4-Minute Coffee with Uncle Reggie: A touching couple
与曾叔叔喝四分钟咖啡: 一对令人感动的夫妇
(Dixia 翻譯)

What’s in Cincinnati?… In 1969, when we arrived from Chicago to “small-town” Cincinnati, we found there was no Chinese language church. We had assumed there would be one in any city. But we did at least find a vibrant small group studying the good Word. The secret sauce that affects whole lives.

辛辛那提有什么?… 1969年,当我们从芝加哥搬到“小镇”辛辛那提时,找不到中文教会。我们曾以为任何城市都会有一个。但至少我们找到了一个热情的华人小组,他们在一起研读上天的话语,内中有影响整个生命的秘诀。

The study was in Mandarin, difficult for me although not for my wife. Led by a couple, Mr. and Mrs. Chu, who soon became two of our best friends.


We were touched by their obvious enthusiasm, and we instantly clicked. We had great dinners in each other’s homes and a common vision to learn to love the Word!

我们为他们的热情所感动,很快就相知相惜,常在彼此的家中共进晚餐,并有一个共同的愿景— 学会热爱上天的话语!

“You wouldn’t know it!”… Shipei, the husband, was actually relatively new to the Word. A “new kid on the block” essentially! But you wouldn’t know it from the way he expertly conducted the studies. He was obviously articulate and very knowledgeable, and carefully prepared for each study.

“你不会知道的!”… 斯白,也就是那位先生,实际上对上天的话语还比较陌生。他根本就是个“新手”!但从他熟练地主持研读的方式来看,你不会觉得他是新手。他口才好且知识渊博,每次都认真准备学习上天的话。

Solid drinker and gambler “credentials”… I began to hear the full story of his “credentials”, that Shipei had been a drinker, smoker and gambler, totally rejecting anyone who tried to persuade him about Truth issues. He argued so strongly with people that he even threw them out of his home, slamming the door in hot temper. He developed strong arguments and was proud of outsmarting others.

他的“资历”:喜欢喝酒和赌博… 我开始了解他“过往”的完整故事,斯白曾是一个酒鬼、烟民和赌徒,完全拒绝任何试图说服他接受真理的人。他与人激烈争论,甚至把他们赶出家门,怒气冲天地关上门。他有力的论点让他引以为傲,以智胜人。

But now he was a different man, seriously intent on studying the Word that he had rejected and argued against. No longer a smoker, certainly not a gambler, drinker or curser.


What?… The rather dramatic story is that he went to a talk by Moses Yang, a respected Mandarin speaker and teacher. He had been reluctant to attend, but he did and was suddenly struck with the clarity of it all, and abruptly changed his life. Suddenly!

什么?… 相当戏剧性的故事是,他去听了一场由备受尊敬的讲普通话的教师杨摩西的讲座。斯白本来不情愿去,但去了之后,突然间对这一切有了清晰的认识,他的生命突然改变了。突如其来!

Even the secular press was excited when we began together in Cincinnati.

A very quick 180 degree turn… He began quickly to do the opposite of what he had done before. Instead of rejecting the Word, he was now promoting it.

迅雷不及掩耳的180度转变… 他迅速开始做与过去完全相反的事情。不再拒绝上天的话语,而是开始传扬。

Right away, he began visiting old friends to encourage them in his new understanding.


Having recently come from their ranks, he was aware of all the standard objections. He understood the problems and roadblocks on their “spiritual journey”. His friends were shocked and alarmed: what had happened?


Super commitment… Personally, I had lots of “nerdy” book knowledge, and likely knew a lot more about the good Word than Shipei did at the time, but he soon made up for all that. Plus, his enthusiasm and dedication were striking and much deeper.

超级投入… 尽管我有很多“书呆子”式的书本知识,很可能在当时比斯白更了解好消息,但他很快就赶超了我。此外,他的热情和奉献精神令人瞩目且比我更深入。

What’s wrong with me?… I wasn’t stupid, so I then quickly turned to ask myself, “What’s the difference?”

我怎么了?… 我并不愚蠢,所以我迅速转而问自己,“问题出在哪里?”

It’s often said, and I tend to say also, “you shouldn’t compare your life with others’” but when I started to compare Shipei’s and his wife Elaine’s lives versus mine, I sensed that there was a problem: either they were a problem, or I was a problem.


I certainly did not think they were crazy or fanatic. I knew they were doing the right thing. I concluded I was the problem and should take my life and commitments more seriously! Sometimes, it’s good to compare, for “inspirational” purposes!


Intimidating or teddy bear?… Shipei was a serious man. He had a rather tough exterior, was truly big in size, and could be loud and intimidating, even like a bear.

是吓人的熊还是憨憨的熊?… 斯白是一个认真的人。他有硬汉的外表,身材高大,有时说话很大声、让人怕怕的,就像一只熊一样。

To a child especially, at first glance he probably looked like a towering threat. But then he flashed a funny silly grin and it could be quite confusing. Sometimes even making a fierce face first, followed by a wide grin and even a bear hug!


Sweet kitten also?… Plus I felt he was really a kitten, especially before his wife, whom he adored and often showed public affection. So much so that years after he passed, Elaine was often heard commenting on how much she missed his loving care. Truly a sweet couple.

或是一只甜美的小猫咪?… 此外,我觉得他真的是只小猫咪,尤其是在他的爱妻面前,他经常公开示爱。以至于在他去世多年后,我经常听到依楠说她多么怀念他的关爱。他们真是一对甜蜜的夫妻。

Old-time stern prophet!… To many, he was an old-time prophet. He would harshly scold the congregation when he felt that they “deserved it, 该骂 gai ma”. He didn’t mince words and clearly reminded us of ancient prophets who feared only heaven but not man. Straight talk from the Word!

犹如古时的严厉先知!… 对许多人来说,他像是一位古时的先知。当他觉得会众“应该被骂”的时候,他会严厉责备他们。他不会绕弯子,明确提醒我们古代先知只畏惧天而不畏惧人。这是直接从圣经中出来的话!

Beginnings at Northern Hills Chapel location, Cincinnati, beloved minister Mary Leung in the middle.
我们最开始在辛辛那提Northern Hills Chapel聚会,中间的是亲爱的梁坤仪传道。

Behind-the-scenes mentors… Although I didn’t directly verify this from him, I sensed he had many great mentors. He often invited outstandingly committed role-model speakers to speak at our small congregation, and I knew he kept in touch with them, especially to consult and pray with them on difficult issues.

幕后的导师… 尽管我没有直接从他那里核实这一点,但我感觉他有很多优秀的导师。他经常邀请一些杰出的信仰根基深厚ù的讲员来我们的小教会讲道,我知道他与他们保持联系,尤其是在处理困难问题时请教和祈祷。

He studied furiously from respected writers and particularly the Word itself. So he had plenty of “mentors” and solid role models.


Shipei was also unconsciously my silent role model and mentor, even though we never formally acknowledged that. Even the word “mentor” was not used in those days, though people had all kinds of de facto mentors, I’m sure.


Big differences in background… When we started our Cincinnati congregation in 1970, at age 30, I was a really “young Elder”; Shipei was a decade older, and David Louie the dentist another decade older.

背景上的巨大差异… 1970年我们在辛辛那提成立教会时,我30岁,是一个真正意义上的“年轻长老”;斯白比我大十岁,而牙医雷兆轸又比他十岁。

In essence we represented three quite different demographics: Dave, American-born, for the small number of English-speaking or American-born Chinese, with his China-born wife, Nell, a dynamo for overseas students work; Shipei for the predominant Mandarin-speaking Chinese from Taiwan; and myself representing probably the rest of the congregation including Hong-Kong-derived people and the young “next generation”.


“No other choice”… Although none of the founding leaders had formal seminary training, all “rookies on the job” you could say, we felt emboldened by our personal study and commitment, under guidance from above, that we could try to lead the budding congregation. There wasn’t really another choice anyway!

“别无选择”… 虽然我们几位创始领导者都没有接受过正规的神学院培训,可以说都是“实战新兵”,但在上天的指导下,我们因个人学习和投入感到振奋,觉得可以尝试领导这个新兴的教会。反正也没有其他选择!

Shipei naturally assumed the apologetics role, predominantly teaching in Mandarin, whereas I did the minority speaking in English. We had volunteer translators by our side, plus friends who helped to speak, and it all functioned well.


Shipei had great natural empathy with “seekers” from various backgrounds, even those initially antagonistic, as once he had been.


We divided the two main functions as speaking/teaching, which Shipei oversaw, and organization, which I oversaw. Both Shipei and I, as well as Nell were enthusiastic about outreach and led the entire congregation in these efforts.


Greatest joys of early days (touching day for us also).

“Orders from above”… Things went swimmingly as the congregation grew and enjoyed fellowship and pioneering camaraderie. And then suddenly, presumably as part of his professional grooming, his employer, Procter and Gamble, sent Shipei to Pensacola, Florida. Which was rather devastating for us.

“上面的命令”… 教会蓬勃发展,大家享受团契和初创教会的同工同仁情谊,事情进展得很顺利。突然间,可能是作为他职业发展的一部分,他的雇主宝洁公司将斯白派往佛罗里达州彭萨科拉。对我们来说,这是相当大的打击。

“Wake-up” call… But many “woke up” and rallied to the cause, and all went fairly well, in spite of the main speaker now being me and volunteers from local congregations and even from afar.

“警钟”响起… 但许多人“醒悟”过来,齐心协力,一切都相当顺利,尽管主要讲道的现在是我以及来自当地和甚至远方的志愿者。

The next two years was rather long and I was getting pretty exhausted. Then Shipei reappeared, reverse-transferred back. We all heaved a huge sigh of relief.


“Little time left”… A few years later, however, one day Shipei suddenly announced his call to go into full-time ministry. Others had urged him to retire early but to wait a few more years to get a better company pension. But he felt there was no more time to waste, and abruptly resigned.

“时间不多了”… 然而,几年后的一天,斯白突然宣布他有了全职事奉呼召。其他人曾劝他等几年可以拿公司更好的养老待遇后提前退休。但他觉得没有时间可以浪费,突然辞职了。

I suspect his sudden Florida assignment was his “time in the desert”, making him think seriously about his own time, and the growing urgency of ministry.


A great boost… It was a wonderful time. We had stable leadership, regular strong teaching, and a sense of ordered direction. This lasted a few years, and then suddenly, just when we were “getting comfortable”…

巨大的助力… 那是个美好的时光。我们有稳定的领导,定期强有力的教导,且有序有方向。这持续了几年,然后突然间,就在我们“变得舒适”的时候…

“Don’t get too comfortable!”… As they say, one shouldn’t get too comfortable. One day out of the blue, Shipei stood up, at the proverbial prayer meeting, and made his even more dramatic announcement. The family had answered the westward call to California. The land of massive Chinese immigration, opportunity and great need.

“不要太舒服!”… 正如人们所说,不要太舒服。有一天,突然间,斯白站起来,在传说中的祈祷会上宣布了更加震惊的消息。他的家人回向西的呼召,前往加利福尼亚。那片土地上有华人移民聚居、机遇和需求都非常大。

He was going to Los Angeles to lead, surprise, a Cantonese congregation!


“Holding the bag”… We were stunned but, surprisingly, everyone took that in stride. However, I was left holding the bag again!.

“被留下负责”… 我们很震惊,但出乎意料的是,每个人都淡然对待。然而,我再次被留下“拾起担子”!

Love and deep respect from Cincinnati folk continued even in the Chu’s elderly years. Front left.

Historically, I was left holding the bag a total of seven times, but these two were the most dramatic. Preparing me well for other times.


The congregation was so devoted to Shipei and Elaine that financial support continued for them in their California transition years.


“What could we say?”… Our family never attempted to dissuade them. We knew their decision had been carefully thought through. When one answers the call from high above, what can you say? In any case, they never asked.

“我们能说什么?”… 我们家从未试图劝阻他们。我们知道他们的决定是经过深思熟虑的。当一个人回应来自上天的呼召时,你能说什么呢?无论如何,他们从未征求我们的意见。

Why didn’t we fight?… In retrospect, it could be asked why Shipei and I had no major arguments or fights. We were both driven and had strong opinions, a good setup for clashes. But in a wonderful way we never had real conflict.

为什么我们从不争吵?…. 回头看,可以问为什么斯白和我没有发生重大争论或争吵。我们都个性强很有冲劲,本该冲突连连,但奇妙的是,我们从未真正发生冲突。

We might not have agreed on issues, but we respected each other and talked it out. I particularly respected his integrity, his careful thinking and dedication with oversight from above! It’s difficult to challenge that!


Serving Cantonese(!) in Los Angeles… Most of us were amused that he became the leader of a mainly Cantonese congregation. Cantonese is a very difficult language, and he wasn’t that good at languages. But his congregation understood his Mandarin well enough, I guess.

在洛杉矶服事说广东话的人!… 我们大多数人都觉得好笑,他竟然去牧养一个主要由广东话人口组成的教会。广东话是一种非常难学的语言,而他并不擅长语言。但我猜他的会众很能听懂他的普通话。

Elaine, however, began to learn spoken Cantonese, a language with nine tones, really difficult to pick up in adulthood. She served as a great bridge with the purely Cantonese-speaking, especially older people.


Congregational love… I was a visiting speaker at their place several times, and my wife and I attended Shipei’s funeral in Los Angeles. We clearly sensed the love and affection of the congregation towards their senior leader and their deep homage to his memory.

教会的爱… 我曾多次在他们那里做客演讲,我和我的妻子去洛杉矶参加了斯白的葬礼。我们清楚感受到教会对他们的资深领袖的爱和深深的怀念。

Warm remembrances from both Los Angeles and Cincinnati co-workers.

Widow continued faithfully… After Shipei passed away at age 80, I was pleasantly surprised that Elaine continued to serve even in her very senior years. Regularly driving on Los Angeles freeways for an hour each way was certainly a great challenge, if not outright dangerous in one’s 80s. But she felt it was her calling, and continued faithfully teaching.

遗孀继续服事… 在斯白于80岁高龄安息主怀后,我惊讶地发现依楠虽然年事已高,却仍然继续服事。在洛杉矶高速公路上每次单程都要开一个小时的车,这肯定是一个巨大的挑战,甚至在80多岁时也可能非常危险。但她觉得这是她的使命,坚定地继续教导。

(Formerly naughty) son as pastor… As a stroke of divine genius, their son, very naughty in childhood (1) became the youth minister, then English minister, then Senior Pastor for the congregation. Most leaders would love a father-son partnership and succession, and I’m sure the parents were overjoyed this actually happened. Most families cannot even hope for this to happen!

(曾经淘气的)儿子成了牧师… 作为上天的神妙安排,他们的儿子,小时候非常淘气(1),成为了青年牧师,然后是英文部牧师,最终成为了教会的主任牧师。大多数领导都希望有父子合作和继任,我相信,当这一幕成真,父母们会非常高兴。大多数家庭甚至不敢奢望这种情况发生!

We knew their son, Elton, from childhood and youth days in Cincinnati and we could see that even with his mischievous ways, he would be a fine leader. (1)

他们的儿子埃尔顿在辛辛那提度过童年和青年时代,我们那时候就认识他,即使他当时很调皮,但我们也能看出他也会成为一个出色的领导者。 (1)

Sweetness of grand family.

Genes and/or traditions?… Elton also adopted his father’s fierce devotion to the Word and what seemed like a severe teaching style, quite surprising to me at first. Genes and traditions together in a Godly (G used deliberately) manner!…

基因和/或传统?… 埃尔顿也继承了他父亲对圣经的全身心投入,以及和一种似乎严厉的教学风格,一开始这令我惊讶。基因和传统以一种敬虔的方式结合在一起!

I’m going to guess that his congregation might sometimes be unnerved, but would also be deeply appreciative of his Godly stand in a deeply flawed world. Frankly, in today’s world we don’t often see this refreshing approach anymore!l


“Part of the honorary cloud”… We are often told to learn from great examples of history and leaders who went before us. Here was a couple that exemplified that. For decades they served, unwavering from the way, and were not intimidated by an increasingly strident environment trying to quench this aspiration. A lonely but faithful walk. And we were privileged to see this walk in action for decades, both close by and far away.

“荣誉之云”的一部分… 我们经常被告诫要从历史上的伟大榜样和先行者学习。这对夫妻就是典型。数十年来,他们一直在服事,坚定不移地走在正确的道路上,并且并没有被日益严峻的环境吓倒。这是一段孤独但忠诚的旅程。我们有幸几十年来亲眼见证了这段旅程,无论是近在咫尺还是遥遥相望。

Reflecting the principle and concept of a “cloud of witnesses” before us, which was our privilege to see and to even join at times.



1.Uncle Reggie 的故事:“你这么调皮,你有一天会成为传道人” (https://reggietales.org/youre-so-naughty-one-day-you-will-be-a-minister/)