* This is from when I got baptized at HIC at 19 years old in 2000.
Thank you, Kevin and Kiley and anyone involved, for setting this up to give people an opportunity to share. It is a great way we can honor and remember your father. Here’s my story:
My childhood is marked by many people that have come and gone. There are a few that consistently stand out in my mind that changed the trajectory of my life. Pastor Fred Hsu was one of them.
Warm smile. Kind eyes.
As a young 16 year old, he always made me feel welcome in his home, in his church, in his presence. I was excited to be part of his new church, meeting in his home weekly for youth group and going to Sunday services. And he was genuinely excited to have teens in his home every Friday. (This is where Irving and I first became friends.)
I was a girl who often felt like I was not good enough, comparing myself to everyone around me. Pastor Hsu, however, was truly one of my biggest fans during my teen and young adult years. For whatever reason, he always made me feel that he respected me, trusted me, and believed in me. To feel affirmed in how God created ME was refreshing and transformative.
His steadfast faith and spiritual hunger was contagious. I was eager to know this God from the Bible that he would preach about. His excitement, vulnerability, and own growth in the Lord (even in his 50s and 60s) encouraged me to keep seeking and learning.
Big dreamer. Spiritual father.
Pastor Hsu dreamed big. He did not want to limit God. He saw a church with no generational divide, no cultural divide. He constantly supported and rooted for the young people of our church, giving us much freedom to try new things, take on leadership roles, and encouraging others to believe in us too - that we would be the next generation that could change the world. He wanted us to dream big too! Not fully understanding or appreciating it in the moment, I thrived and matured in both practical and spiritual ways. It was the most important and transforming decade of my life.
Pastor Hsu often said a church was like an army, hospital, and family. It definitely was that for me and I am grateful for how the Lord led me to HIC. I am incredibly thankful for all the HIC pastors at that time, their wives, and many sisters and brothers in Christ who will never fully know the amazing impact they made in shaping who I am today, including Pastor Hsu.