Paul Wu is an esteemed contemporary, a peer in Christ whom I hold in the highest regard. The fact that he is older than me by a mere 23 days was never lost on me. The extraordinary contribution he made to the Lord’s recovery and this ministry through nearly forty years of tireless labor is plain to see. To me, however, he was and will always be the embodiment of that spirit of sacrifice depicted by the apostle Paul in Romans 16 concerning two of his comrades: “Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, who risked their own neck for my life, to whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles.” I can say unequivocally that all the churches outside of Taiwan (where Paul was based), especially those in North America, have profited from his outpoured service over the past two decades.
Besides Paul’s characteristic concern for the churches, his relentless promotion of the ministry publications, and his unfailing support in the acquisition of meeting halls in various localities, one thing in particular stands out as proof of his faithfulness to the recovery and his devotedness to the burden of brother Lee. I refer to his long unbroken attendance—and through his leading by example, the attendance of core co-workers, leading brothers, and saints in Taiwan—in each and every one of the seven annual feasts over the last 22 years, many of which occurred while he had a debilitating illness. His often-quiet presence in the fellowship of the co-workers, as well as in the public meetings, was this resounding statement: “We brothers are one, and the Lord’s recovery in the West and in the East is still one!” With the co-workers in Taiwan as a pattern in this matter, the churches in Asia soon followed suit. If one accord is the master key to all divine blessings, then Paul never ceased using that key to unlock those benefits on our behalf. In this sense, Paul walked worthily of a believer’s primary calling, that is, to be “diligent to keep the oneness of the Spirit in the uniting bond of peace.” The practical blended condition of the recovery today is due in part to our brother’s steadfast effort over time.
Paul literally risked his life for the recovery, the ministry, the churches, and the saints. Always on the move, always personable, always pragmatic, he visited the churches often and shepherded them with an inclusive care. In the years after his kidney transplant, and later after he started dialysis and had his strokes, there seemed to be no slowing down, up until the last afternoon of his life. Many of us begged him to slow down to no avail. I recall a small experience years ago when Paul drove me from the blending center in Taiwan to TaoYuan International Airport in Taipei. I had fallen ill on the last day of a conference with the co-workers and leading brothers, and he determined to personally take me to the airport. During our ride, he told me in vivid detail his experience with his kidney transplant while I did my best to ward off an excruciating headache and waves of drowsiness. I said to myself, “What kind of superman is this?” I witnessed in close quarters Paul’s no-nonsense grit and toughness. No matter his own physical condition or adverse environment, he overcame them and left no time for himself. It was all in a day’s work, including generously chauffeuring me to catch my flight on that day. Sturdy, dauntless, resolute, enduring, uncomplaining, and many similar adjectives can be used to describe Paul. The Lord not only measured to this member a special portion in the ministry, but He also endowed with and built up in him the necessary human qualities to carry out that commission. This is a brother who imitated another Paul who said, “But I consider my life of no account as of precious to myself, in order that I may finish my course and the ministry which I have received from the Lord Jesus.”
Paul’s ability to have a bright, positive, and optimistic attitude in confronting all manners of challenges cannot be ascribed to his personality alone. In faith and by the Spirit, with a largeness of heart and broadness of shoulders, and gumption and sagacity always at the ready, he helped many brothers make difficult decisions followed by his frequent and now famous exclamation, “Mei Yo Wen Ti!” (No problem!) Such boldness should not be construed as recklessness, neither such bravery as audacity. It was a different spirit, a spirit of belief, like Caleb’s. All he cared to be occupied with was the Lord’s interest. The Father’s business consumed him. When Christ returns to settle accounts with His slaves, this one will likely hear “Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful over a few things; I will set you over many things. Enter into the joy of your master.” He truly fought the good fight and finished his course!
I am reminded of Epaphroditus, who the apostle Paul referred to as “My brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, and your apostle and minister to my need.” Such was Paul Wu—a brother, a co-worker, a comrade, a sent one, and one who served the need of the minister of the age. Not only do the churches in Taiwan and the rest of Asia owe him a huge debt, but so do all the churches in America and around the world. I eagerly join the grateful chorus to say, “Thank you, brother, for your sacrifice. We shall always be grateful.”