Fainted in Freezing Rain
109 Views

Pius Chi-Shing Lee

 

My name is Pius Chi-Shing Lee. Until last year, I worked in the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for two decades as a meteorologist. Since 2011, I have been the team lead responsible for implementing and upgrading NOAA’s air quality forecasting system. My job was to recommend and get the latest and greatest science to be incorporated into the forecasting system, in order to improve both the forecast’s accuracy and timeliness.

I had to admit that it was an exciting but heart-attack-prone job since every day our forecast affects the livelihoods of many people. Sharing a glimpse of such a momentous responsibility is both prestigious and humbling. The effects of air quality impacts may not heighten public attention to the same degree as the effects of hurricanes, tornados, tsunamis, and flash floods, but our jobs at NOAA are in lockstep with all walks of life. On the job, I would sit at the edge of my chair as a gambler — I do not mean our forecast was purely spinning a  roulette wheel of chance, hoping that realization of our forecast was perfect and useful for saving lives and safeguarding properties.

NOAA deals with storms. Storms are perilous. Storms are one of the means by which the atmosphere uprights itself from instabilities. By the same token, in its disturbance and rectification senses, the storms of life may not be all destructive or meaningless. As a Christian meteorologist, I am intrigued by not only the physical storms but also the tumultuous life-storms that often start a cascading avalanche of cleansing and reconstruction in people’s lives and livelihoods.

In this sharing, I would like to introduce myself on how life-storms prompted and propelled me as a career meteorologist and a research team lead at NOAA. I hope my sharing with you through the many windings and detourings of my career does not deter you from identifying your own life-storms in an uplifting and encouraging light. It is gratifying that I retired last year with the NOAA Administrator’s Award, one of the highest NOAA awards, for my leadership in implementing and upgrading NOAA’s air quality forecasting system to the benefit of the nation; now, I am a full-time co-worker in New York Christian Short-Term Mission Training Centre, Inc. (NYSTM). The career change is not as large as many may think, and I will continue to unravel this mystery to you in a subsequent sharing.

 I grew up in Hong Kong during the tumult of the 1967 political uprisings and riots. In 1973, the passing of movie star Bruce Lee, my boyhood hero, havoced a psychological dust storm in my heart — life is short and unpredictable. Fortunately, I was shielded from much of the upheavals and chaos of the 60’s and 70’s as I grew up in the remote countryside of Hong Kong and for high-school resided in a boarding high school in Aberdeen. In the 70’s and 80’s, Hong Kong achieved the most flamboyant economic growth the world had witnessed. I was ambitious to contribute. I went to Canada to study mathematics and sanitary engineering thinking that Hong Kong needed these cutting-edge sciences to curb her environmental deterioration that inevitably arose accompanying its economic development.

In my junior year, I experienced my first storm-related near-death experience. It was Christmas Eve. I was driving alone from Ottawa to a friend’s countryside home in Quebec. It was precipitating sleet and freezing rain. My camper van swerved off a gravel road, and turned over, and I was knocked unconscious. Little did I know at that time, there was one of the most remote and sparsely populated regions in Quebec, where almost every household ran its own diesel generator. Winter car accidents there would not be discovered after many days  — sometimes not even till after the Spring snowmelt. Miraculously, I woke up by myself and freed myself from the overturned van through the shattered windshield. I was not a Christian. However, I grumbled to heaven and lamented that it had snatched away even my meager belongings. Nonetheless, this sleet storm left in me an indelible near-death memory – life is short and can be abruptly taken away even from a young man.

In graduate school at UC Berkeley, I studied ocean engineering, thinking that Hong Kong has long coastlines and many interesting projects related to sanitary engineering of ocean outfalls and large structures. I lived on campus while my oldest sister and her family lived across the bay in San Francisco. As graduation approached, I sensed a storm beginning to brew between us. Like a tornado’s touching down on the ground, the whirling funnel in the air had formed well in advance. I sensed the treacherous air in her home whenever I visited her. One day, the storm from my sister touched down. She ordered me to go to a Christian church to look for a bride so that I would not wander anymore to yet another country. Coming prepared, I explained to her that I had already signed a work contract to go to Norway after graduation. To appease her, however, I went to a nearby Chinatown Christian church with her. The Sunday School lesson was on the Gospel of John, chapter 11 verse 25 where Jesus proclaimed himself to be the giver and resurrector of life: “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die” (John 11:25). I was awe-stricken at Jesus’ words as they flashed me back to the scene of a ditch 15 feet below road level in Quebec. The lesson ended, and I followed the teacher’s prayer in my heart, saying that I would like to know Jesus better as the life-giver. Within a few days, a friend of mine who attended the Cantonese Christian fellowship on campus knocked at my dorm door and plainly said he could explain to me the good news of Jesus. I was surprised, but hid my pleasantness and brushed him off saying that: “Okay, but let it better be abbreviated because I am packing up to move away.” That evening, I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord. Now the tables were turned; and I regretted having signed the Norwegian contract and feared that there might not be a church for me in Oslo!

There was no Chinese church in all of Scandinavia in the early 80’s; though Danmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden had fellowships and Bible study groups, many of them due to the unwavering love of returned former missionaries to China. I was able to grow as a young Christian in Oslo and witnessed for myself the many sacrifices the former missionaries made to strengthen and nurture the Chinese Christians they had seen migrating to their own homelands. There are plenty of North Sea winter storms gave poignancy to my work, but in my leisure time those years in Oslo gave me the most tranquil haven to develop a missionary heart for the lost, especially for the Chinese-speaking people for whom many Scandinavian missionaries had lost their lives during the Boxer Rebellion in the waning days of the Qing Dynasty. It was also a fertile ground for me to find my future bride —Thuyen-Anh, my dear wife, who in this same issue writes her own story about becoming a Christian in Vietnam and migrating to Sweden.


Author: Pastor (Dr.) Pius Lee is the Director of the Development Division of NYSTM. In 2021, he retired from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the United States, and was selected the winner of NOAA’s Administrator’s Award for the Air Pollution Forecasting Research Group in 2020. Pastor Lee and Mrs. Ancy Thuyen-Anh, Lee have three sons and one daughter. The couple relocated from the capital, Washington, to New York to take up the post.

 

Pius Lee. “[Storm Buster series] Fainted in Freezing Rain” NYSTM Truth Monthly, January, 2023.
https://nystm.org/storm-buster-series-fainted-in-freezing-rain/

[Storm Buster] Storm Surge

[Storm Buster] Storm Surge

Storm surge causes inundation of large swaths of coastal land. Eleven years ago, storm surge from Hurricane Sandy havocked large damages in New York (NY) and New Jersey (NJ). Today, some of those destructions are still noticeable and remain unrepaired.

【小趣奇遇】民族之間文化的差異

【小趣奇遇】民族之間文化的差異

我父母親年輕未婚時來自潮州;但我們六個兄弟姊妹都是出生於越南。全家一直住在華人聚居最多的「堤岸」。華人都是做大小生意為生的。連本地越南人都學會說粵語,特別需要在生意上能用粵語溝通,他們也讓自己孩子去華文學校讀書。

Heatwaves

Heatwaves

Heatwaves in many parts of the Northern Hemisphere captured the public’s attention. The inadequacy of the central air conditioning units in many of the northern cities testifies to the unexpected increase in air temperature across Northern Europe, Asia and America.

Cultural Divide

Cultural Divide

Born in Vietnam, my siblings of six including myself, lived in a Chinese town called “Cholon”. Cantonese was the business dialect that even the native Vietnamese learned to speak. Many of the Vietnamese natives sent their children to Chinese schools.

Pollen Allergy Becoming a Mainstay

Pollen Allergy Becoming a Mainstay

Pollen allergy is more commonly known as hay fever. Medically speaking, it is called seasonal allergic rhinitis —- a provocation of the immune system to overreact to pollen from trees, grasses, and weeds. Hay fever occurs mainly in the spring and fall when pollen from trees, grasses, and weeds are in the air.

司徒永富博士

司徒永富博士

作者

▪︎鴻福堂集團控股有限公司行政總裁兼執行董事
▪︎世界華福中心常委會主席
▪︎國際短宣使團常委會副主席

田森傑牧師/博士

田森傑牧師/博士

作者

■ 現任:
▪︎美國加州羅省聖經宣道會主任牧師
▪︎國際短宣使團國際董事及洛杉磯區代表

李志成傳道 / 博士、李黃嬋英師母

李志成傳道 / 博士、李黃嬋英師母

¤ 李志成傳道/博士
▪︎前美國國家氣象局 NOAA 氣象預測科研組長
▪︎前紐約短宣中心拓展部主任

¤ 李黃嬋英師母
▪︎瑞典卡羅林斯卡醫學院社工學系畢業,曾任瑞典養老院護理工作
▪︎前紐約短宣中心義務同工

余俊銓牧師/博士

余俊銓牧師/博士

余俊銓牧師/博士
▪︎前普世華文及香港三元福音倍進佈道總幹事、前華人福音普世差傳會國際總主任及現澳洲委員會顧問
▪︎2020年始任澳洲阿德萊德澳亞基督教會主任牧師
▪︎2024年始任國際短宣使團「佈道訓練講師」

余德淳博士

余德淳博士

▪︎「余德淳訓練機構」總監及講師
▪︎香港短宣中心董事會副主席及總幹事助理(義務)
▪︎國際短宣使團國際董事

洪順強牧師

洪順強牧師

▪︎前溫哥華短宣中心總幹事
▪︎現國際短宣使團 (義務) 總幹事

陳志賢、陳梁頌玲醫生伉儷

陳志賢、陳梁頌玲醫生伉儷

作者

¤ 陳志賢醫生,曾任香港大學家庭醫學名譽臨床助理教授,香港短宣中心及牧職神學院校醫多年
¤ 陳梁頌玲老師,牧職神學院輔導科講師、輔導中心主任及校友牧關
¤ 2022年7月定居加拿大,夫婦開始擔任「國宣訓練講師」

黃雪卿老師

黃雪卿老師

作者

▪︎貝爾謝巴便古利安大學考古聖經近東研究系聖經碩士
▪︎耶路撒冷希伯來大學考古系博士生
▪︎希華文化交流中心董事
▪︎2022年3月與丈夫黎富文牧師從生活了廿五年的以色列移居塞浦路斯 (聖經時代的居比路);夫婦均開始擔任「國宣跨文化訓練講師」

鄭媛元博士

鄭媛元博士

作者

▪︎前溫哥華短宣中心國語事工主任、《真理報》(加西版)編輯、中心代總幹事
▪︎西三一大學神學院中文部教授「宣教學」、「當代婚姻家庭問題探討」等科目
▪︎2022年9月起成爲 IFSTM 國宣跨文化訓練講師
▪︎2023年3月憑信心踏上宣教工場

滕張佳音博士

滕張佳音博士

國宣創辦人

▪︎美國芝加哥三一福音神學院文學碩士(宣教)及教牧學博士(宣教學)
▪︎前建道神學院跨越文化研究部副教授
▪︎牧職神學院榮譽創院院長
▪︎國際短宣使團創辦人

鄺偉志、鄺黃麗明牧師伉儷

鄺偉志、鄺黃麗明牧師伉儷

作者

¤ 鄺偉志牧師
▪︎現任澳洲基督教播道會靈福堂粵語事工牧師
▪︎悉尼短宣中心義務佈道訓練講師
▪︎國宣佈道訓練講師

¤ 鄺黄麗明傳道/師母
▪︎現任 Fairlea Aged Care, Harris Park & Rosehill, Sydney 院牧
▪︎悉尼短宣中心義務佈道訓練講師
▪︎國宣佈道訓練講師