Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church – Shooting Incident Pastor Billy Chang: The Answers Are Found in God

NEW TAIPEI CITY, TAIWAN — Billy Chang was a pastor who helped to subdue the gunman in the Laguna Woods church shooting. One person was killed and five others were injured during a luncheon for the Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church at Geneva Presbyterian Church in California.

Dr. John Cheng was the deceased victim, who is being called a hero for charging at the gunman and sacrificing himself.

Identified as David Chou, the suspected assailant has been described by authorities as a US citizen of Chinese descent who was motivated by “political tensions involving China and Taiwan”.

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen on Tuesday expressed her “sincere condolences” to the family of Cheng, a Taiwanese-born American, adding on Twitter that “violence is never the answer”.

Pastor Billy Chang, Taipei Nan-Men Presbyterian Church:

This is such a tragedy. For most people, like the people at my church, we’re asking, why did God allow this to happen? I don’t have an answer. Job didn’t have an answer. Why did God allow Job to go through all the pain? There’s no answer. The only answer, the only hope is that we have eternal life. This is what we need to pursue. Now we know God, although there are still sin and evil around, but we believe in the power of love, the power of goodness, the power of forgiveness, the power of tolerance, and the power of mercy. These are much stronger than evil. We need to trust God in all circumstances. But right now when I speak to the congregation, there are no human words that will bring comfort to the victim’s family and friends. We can only let the Spirit pray through us with “groanings that cannot be uttered.” He knows our weaknesses. For me, I blame myself. Because Dr. Cheng doesn’t come to our church often. It’s the first time that he came with his mother. And his mother hasn’t been to church for a long time. She came this time because she wanted to see the old pastor. So I don’t know how to face this family. I think until now, talking about Dr. Cheng, I still blame myself. Thank you.

When we come across suffering and incidents like this, we always want an answer. We are not God. But we believe God is the sovereign ruler of history. He is still sovereign. Whatever has happened, we need to continue to trust in Him, this is the way to move forward, and to carry on with hope. This is what I’d like to share with my congregation, and with believers around the world, and all who have shown their love for us. Thank you.

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