Deacon Profile - Larry Yee
As I look back on when I became a believer, there were two events in my life that I remember well. I remember sitting in the fourth pew on the right side with my good buddy Harlan Lee at First Chinese Baptist Church under the shepherding of Dr. Lawrence G. Stanley. On this particular Sunday, we had a guest speaker who was leading a week long revival at our church. His name was Dr. George Wilson Jr. He was an amazing speaker and what caught my attention was the fact that he did his own translating into Chinese too! Needless to say, when the invitation was given, my friend Harlan went up and not wanting to be left alone in the pews, I went up too! My conversion was based on the fact that I didn’t want to be left alone sitting in the pew; so within a month we were both baptized.
Flash forward to my junior year in high school. There was an inter church camp that had several Asian churches from California and us from Arizona, in which the speaker was an older gentleman who really wasn’t that eloquent of a speaker; not necessarily my first choice as a “motivational and inspirational” speaker to young people! After several days at the camp (back then camp was seven days long!), and many “boring” messages, I got a different perspective on this speaker. Apparently he had just had a heart attack the week before. The reason he had a heart attack was because he found out one of his sons was just killed in the Vietnam war but felt it was necessary to come to the camp because his other son, who was the original speaker, had to make arrangements for the body to be shipped back from Germany so he could not attend. Once word got around the camp about this situation, everyone there listened with more intent; myself included. It was there I heard that I needed to make Jesus the Lord of my life and not just accept Him in my heart as my personal savior as I had done when I was nine.
I graduated in 1972 from high school and for the first 2 years of my college life I attended ASU. I moved down to Tucson where I attended the U of A because they had more of a bioscience influence. I wanted to pursue pre-med and eventually attend medical school. As I began my new college life at the U of A, my roommate and I found this Asian Bible fellowship that met in this old bread factory on 6th avenue and 6th street. From there, I discovered they had a community church that met on Sundays. My intent was to attend on Sundays and concentrate on my studies the rest of the week. When I went to that church, I found there were a lot of things were missing and I felt the burden to help this church be more of a church like what I was accustomed to in Phoenix. I became very involved with this church and eventually Tucson Chinese Baptist Church was founded, which I can say I was one of the founding members! It was there in Tucson, that I learned to teach, play guitar, lead hymns, lead choirs both adults and children, and learned how to counsel my peers when he or she were undergoing problems. Eventually, I heard the voice of God speaking to me and telling me to move to Houston, Texas. This was the first time I really heard the voice of God speak to me. I had never been to Houston nor did I have any relatives there. I just obeyed the Lord. I trusted the Lord regardless of my own feeling and doubts. When I arrived in Houston, I found a home church called Chinese Baptist Church. It was here that I was asked to help work with the youth and sing in the choir as well as lead hymns on a rotation basis; exactly what I had learned and trained in Tucson to do! I was also teaching senior high school Sunday school. It was an enriching and growing experience as the Lord continued to grow and teach me. Those years that I spent in Houston, helped me refine and sharpen my spiritual gifts that God has given me. It was also a time, when I thought everything was perfect in my life that God humbled me and showed me my flaws and sins that I needed to ask forgiveness for. The Lord showed me that I needed passion in my relationship with Him and to trust Him with all areas of my life; He showed me that I was imperfect, but through Him I am made perfect!
As time went on in Houston, I also discovered another reason for me being there. I met Joanie, the love of my life. Eventually, we moved back to Phoenix in 1986 with our son of 6 months, Jonathan. Again, it was the Lord speaking to me. After much prayer and visiting several churches, we felt the call to attend Northwest on a regular basis beginning on May 4, 1986. Since that day, we have added to our family. Two more boys, Darrin and Jordan. Needless to say, our family has grown up with our church family. Our lives revolved around all the activities that happened at Northwest. I am happy and fortunate to say that I have been a small part of all those activities. Our family life revolved around what Jesus has taught us. We learned to apply the New Testament teachings in all areas of our lives. Currently, I enjoy working with the kids on Christmas musicals and organizing our worship teams, teaching Sunday Bible Study and yes, I still enjoy leading hymns. I also believe in training our younger generation to take up the mantle and move us forward in the years to come.
Each morning when I have my devotion, the Lord and I have conversations. These conversations usually revolve around my family; kids, daughters-in-law, grand kids and my mother, as she is up in years (still amazingly healthy!), and what I am doing that particular day. Each day, the Lord renews and refreshes me with His word or at times, what I call "spiritual prompting" where he speaks to me to help me make good choices and decision. I don’t believe Joanie and I will be leaving Northwest anytime soon unless the Lord calls us to do so. Northwest has been and continues to be our home church. Philippians 4:13 continues to be my go to verse in all that I do.