“Hope in Uncertainty” with Dr. Peter Chung

Financial challenges, isolation, relational stresses, illness or the death of a loved one…Where does one find hope?

Dr. Peter Chung

Chairman and CEO of Primacorp Ventures Inc. 

A true visionary, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and diplomat, Dr. Peter Chung has built a diverse portfolio with businesses in education, real estate, healthcare and social enterprise.

With a Honourary Doctorate in Education from Belhaven University and a Honourary Doctorate of Human Letters (for his contributions to human welfare and humanitarian work), Dr. Chung and his wife are devoted to supporting charitable organizations and causes that are dear to them and their family.

In 2006, Dr. Chung was appointed as Honourary Consul of Paraguay to represent all Paraguayan diplomatic and governmental interests in Vancouver, Canada. Similarly, in 2017, Dr. Chung was appointed as Honourary Consul of Myanmar to represent Myanmar’s diplomatic affairs in Vancouver.

Transcript of Hope in Uncertainty

Good evening Excellencies and distinguished guests. 

In Proverbs 17:22, we are told, “A joyful heart is good medicine.” We know this to be true. 

When I immigrated to North America at the age of 14, my father was a student and my mother worked in a sweatshop, making ties. Even at this early age, I realized that life isn’t easy and you have to do what you have to do to make a living. So throughout my teenage years, I did various odd jobs to help my family make ends meet. I started thinking about my purpose in life, why am I on this earth? Where am I going? What will my future be like?

“A joyful heart is good medicine.”

As a freshman at UCLA, my roommate introduced me to Christ as the personal Savior in my life. I found my joy when I gave my heart to Jesus Christ. After that, every day was a joyful day. I shared what it meant to have Jesus in my heart. Many of those who heard of my hope also chose to follow Jesus and give Jesus first place in their lives.

So I prayed that God would use me as a missionary. But as it turns out, God gave me the vision to be a missionary that helps missionaries financially and with prayers.

The most precious love that I can share is introducing the way to heaven and having a joyful life while living on this earth.

After graduating from UCLA, I worked for various companies for about five years. In 1982 I started computer training schools. In the following years, I started many different businesses, owning part of a local bank, an import/export business, real estate, investment and development. And at the height of my business career, I had 14 companies under me and it felt like everything I touched became gold.

“Lord, who am I to be blessed? Thank You for giving me another day to serve You. I pray that You keep me humble before You and the men I come across today. Thank You for all the blessings You poured out on me.”

I prayed every morning before work, kneeling on my balcony and looking up to the sky. I prayed, 

“Lord, who am I to be blessed? Thank You for giving me another day to serve You. I pray that You keep me humble before You and the men I come across today. Thank You for all the blessings You poured out on me.”

My businesses were successful and were growing. I was getting a lot of praise from my friends, other business people and the media. It made me think that I was successful because of my own doing and not because of God’s blessings.  

My mission started to drift from being a missionary that helps missionaries to wanting to become a billionaire. As time passed by, I ran into financial difficulties. In the middle of the storm, I did my best to hold on to my companies, but I lost 13 out of the 14 companies I owned. 

I felt I needed to escape my circumstances in Los Angeles, refocus and start over. My family and I ended up in Seattle in October 1991. Soon after, I was reflecting on myself while I was alone in my home. I asked God, “Why am I here all alone? Where are my so-called friends?”

I started repenting about my arrogance and asking God for forgiveness for not being humble at the sight of God and man. God made me humble again and brought me back to the basics. Help the poor, needy and missionaries. God granted me His grace for a second chance in this great country called Canada.

Pain cannot steal hope.

I have also learned that pain cannot steal hope. God gives us pain and suffering for a better future and we all know that life does not always go the way we plan. The experience I had with my business reversal back in Los Angeles strengthened me for the future. 

Especially for a time like we are facing with COVID 19. I learned to go through the storm and grow with COVID 19 and that is the plan we have been executing in our current businesses during COVID. My initial plan was to hunker down and weather through the storm. God has blessed my business ventures in the midst of the storm. We are actually growing with the storm. Praise be to God! 

Don’t let COVID 19 steal your joy!

We found out that my oldest son Joseph, at the age of three, was autistic and at the age of seven, he started developing epilepsy. It was devastating news to us and I asked God, “Why would you let this happen, Lord?”

On September 27th, 2012, I experienced the most excruciating pain when Joseph passed away at the age of 32. I felt so helpless after my son’s passing, I cried every day for the next six months, asking God why He took my son home before me. 

“I have dedicated my son to be your servant as he was our firstborn and You know I have dedicated him as a missionary or a pastoral person that can be used as Your servant and nourish Your kingdom.”   

When my mother died in 2008, although we were very sad, it was natural. My mom was older than me and going home before me was natural. My son dying before me was not natural to me. I will always carry him in my heart until I go to see him in heaven. 

“Do I want to be a slave of this pain that I am carrying, or do I use it for the better?”

One day one of my wife’s friends came to visit and comfort us. She shared about her daughter, who died 50 years ago and still carried a deep sorrow in her heart. I had a choice at that time. I asked myself, “Do I want to be a slave of this pain that I am carrying, or do I use it for the better?” 

I did not want this pain to go to waste, so we decided to turn this into something useful. Because of Joseph, we started Joe’s Table, a coffee shop, where we employ highly functional individuals with down syndrome or autism. We give them, as well as people in the mainstream an employment opportunity. 

We also started the Joseph Chung Scholarship Fund, as we had dedicated Joseph as a missionary to the clergy. Joseph barely finished high school and couldn’t go to post-secondary school because of his capacity. We decided to give scholarships to pastor’s or missionary’s children to attend post-secondary education. This year will be the 9th year we have awarded the scholarships.

My wife Stephanie also founded the Bethesda Mothers group. This group is specifically for counseling and helping people with an autistic child or children. Stephanie has been involved in this ever since. 

“There is nothing better for man than to be happy and do good in his lifetime.”

King Solomon said, “There is nothing better for man than to be happy and do good in his lifetime.”  

We learned good deeds take the pain away and God also brings us happiness. You know the saying, “No pain, no gain.” This pain, I consider a gift from God. 

Having Jesus in my heart comforted me during these challenging times. I look at life on this earth as temporal. I look forward to a better future while I live on this earth. I am also looking forward to eternal life, where I will see my Savior Jesus Christ with my son and my mother one day. And that is the hope I have in God. It’s been over eight years since God took my son Joseph to heaven. I learned that catastrophe happens to everyone. Suffering from pain is an inescapable reality, but there is also hope.

Suffering builds perseverance, character and hope. I learned that tragedies, suffering and pain might test my faith, but God will rebuild my character for His purpose.

So let us not give up hope. Let us be resilient! It is written in the Holy Scripture that we also rejoice in our sufferings because we know that suffering builds perseverance, character and hope. I learned that tragedies, suffering and pain might test my faith, but God will rebuild my character for His purpose. I want to encourage those suffering, going through a tragedy, losing loved ones, going through everyday stress and problems, or having a tough time with your business or family due to COVID 19.

Centuries before Christ walked on this earth, God gave hope by promising one who would come to save us and set us free. Jesus fulfilled those promises.

Please do not give up! Move forward and do not lose hope. There is hope to be found in Jesus Christ. It is one of the reasons we celebrate Christmas. Centuries before Christ walked on this earth, God gave hope by promising one who would come to save us and set us free. Jesus fulfilled those promises. Jesus offers you and me hope by promising eternal life to all who believe in him.

Thank you. Have an early Merry Christmas and may God bless you all.