Portraits of Grace: Minnow (2 of 2)

Portraits of Grace is a snapshot into the lives of the people at King's Cross Church. As "kingdom minded, kingdom people," we recognize God's work in every detail of our lives. We invite you to meet the people of our church.

Photo by Albert Cheung

This year I had a identity crisis about my work and career. I absolutely love what I do but as I looked five, ten years ahead as a husband and hopefully a father, I wondered if a freelancer’s life was sustainable. I updated my resume (the last time I did that was 2009) so that I could start applying to find a more stable and predictable job.

I found a few jobs that I’d love to do if I could, but also found that my heart was becoming that worker in the parable who buried his one talent in fear of losing it.  I was willing to stop and turn away from what God had given to me the past seven years, just so that I could feign control over my future. I was slowly tying my identity and safety in my work, and not in the Gospel and Jesus who was so faithful to me the past seven years.

Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come
’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far
And grace will lead me home.

I don’t know how much longer I will be a photographer, but I don’t think that’s something for me to try to determine. I’m resolved to continue to be a good steward of what He has entrusted to me, and grace will lead me home.


Portraits of Grace: Gary (1 of 2)

Portraits of Grace is a snapshot into the lives of the people at King's Cross Church. As "kingdom minded, kingdom people," we recognize God's work in every detail of our lives. We invite you to meet the people of our church.

Photo by Albert Cheung

I’ve always known that I wanted to be a father, but I never imagined how challenging and frustrating it would be at times. On the flipside however, I never imagined how amazingly rewarding and fulfilling it could be. I think one of the greatest challenges of being a parent is finding the teachable moments in everyday life, trying to see the world through the eyes & mind of a three year old — teaching her that God made all things, and that we are to glorify Him, because He loves and takes care of us.

One of the greatest challenges as a father is trying to lead and teach by example. By the same token, I fear the day that I disappoint her as a father, when she realizes the hypocrisy and sin of my heart. I hope that God will give her the understanding and compassion to know that I’m doing the best that I can and despite my shortcomings, I could still point her to Christ and teach her about the perfect love of our Heavenly Father.


Portraits of Grace: Minnow (1 of 2)

Portraits of Grace is a snapshot into the lives of the people at King's Cross Church. As "kingdom minded, kingdom people," we recognize God's work in every detail of our lives. We invite you to meet the people of our church.

Photo by Albert Cheung

I got into photography on a whim. For anyone who’s known me before 2007, they’d know I had zero interest in photography. I thought it would be cool to buy a DSLR and take some nice photos, but I didn’t know how much I’d love it.  I got deep into it and often dreamt what it would be like to be a photographer, but I never had the courage to really pursue it as a career. I was a project manager at an ad agency with a steady paycheck, and was trained by my wary parents to not do something out of the ordinary.

But in 2009, the financial crisis hit and a series of bad decisions and worse luck led to me being laid off along with most of the people at my agency.  After months of trying to decide what to do, I was suddenly free. Free of all the excuses that kept me from pursuing photography as a career. And free of the constraints to not give this all I had. I spent the next few months putting together a portfolio and started to tell people I was a photographer. It’s been over seven years since then and I’ve been blessed to do what I love every day.

I often think about the parable of the good and faithful servant when it comes to my work. The idea that each hour, day, and year that I’ve been able to do this has been entrusted to me by God. There’s nothing I’ve done to deserve it.  All I can do is steward these opportunities well, and be a good and faithful servant. That has made me want to do the best I can and pursue excellence in my work, but not let the work define who I am and what I’m worth.


Portraits of Grace: Albert Cheung

Portraits of Grace is a snapshot into the lives of the people at King's Cross Church. As "kingdom minded, kingdom people," we recognize God's work in every detail of our lives. We invite you to meet the people of our church.

Photo by Minnow Park

Growing up, I never really knew my father. The evidence that he lived in the house was apparent. Glasses of red wine and the smell of cognac filled the dinner table. Dirty hands and body odor was indicative of a long day as an engineer in the MTA tunnels. We’d watch the Yankees on weeknights. Mariano Rivera on the mound. 9th inning, 2 outs. No response. No hellos or goodbyes when he left the house. When he passed away from cancer in 2005, I felt the loss of what could have been a fulfilling father-son relationship.

As I grew up, the problems of an aloof father began to impact the way I perceived Christianity and a God figure in my life. What did it mean to love and be loved by a Heavenly Father? How did God love the world so much that He gave His one and only Son, for me? I was always taken care of materially at home, but it always felt empty. And yet I had to move forward. I could grieve this emptiness forever, or trust that God gave me someone that was human and had flaws just like me, and that was perfectly alright. And while I truly love my late father and what he did for our family, God shows in Scripture how He has been that perfect Father that demonstrated ultimate love and sacrifice. This is the inspiration that will carry me to be a great father in the years ahead.

For these were Moses’s words to the Israelites in the desert: ‘The Lord your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes, and in the wilderness. There you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place.’