| Pastor Samuel To
He grew in a 4th generation Christian home. (His great grandfather became a Christian in San Francisco in 1860.) He and his wife Winnie appreciate the blessings of raising three daughters, and gratified at their becoming independent serving adults. At this "empty nest" stage, they enjoy cultivating friendship with many young and old people in church.
Having experienced the blessing of knowing Christ early in life, he knows first hand the unusual challenges of growing up in a Christian home. To help families reach the next generation, he is overjoyed to work with our church leaders to reach the next generation through creative means, such as marriage & parenting classes, parenting cell groups, the family-based youth ministry, etc.
Having experienced spiritual revival during graduate school in Virginia Tech, he loves to grow with this church since its inception near the University of Maryland. Indeed, we serve and live "near the heart of the campus, and the campus is in our heart!" For that reason, we cultivated a natural tendency to reach students and young professionals, while they are relatively receptive and less entangled in things of the world, e.g. materialism, affluence, etc. Of course, our challenge is to engage enough coworkers in view of the transient population, especially in Prince George's County.
Having been blessed with seeing many people experiencing the abundant life that Christ has promised (John 10:10), he loves to see more people open to the claims of our Lord Jesus. Indeed, as people trust in Christ, they manifest the new life with purpose and meaning, becoming like "new creatures" (2 Cor 5:17).
Having been blessed with unusual diversity, he appreciates the Bible as our valuable manual for faith and life. Besides Chinese from different areas and language groups, we have been enriched with people from different parts of the world and ethnic groups. He is thrilled to see those with "world Christian mentality," especially those who cross cultural and linguistic barriers. Along that line, he always encourages those under 60 to learn a new language (Greek, Hebrew; Mandarin, Cantonese; Spanish, Arabic, Malay, etc.) Of course, he likes to encourage people to study the Bible. Besides deciphering lasting value in the midst of cultural differences, we can sense the heart of our Designer. Indeed, besides getting to know God, the Bible shows us directions for a joy-filled & healthy life.
Having been blessed with weaknesses and limitations (e.g., headaches, toothaches, ear ringing, need for 8 hours of sleep, etc.), he appreciates Paul's experience as his life verse:
And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. (2 Cor 12:9 NASU)