With the rampant immorality we all witness around us through the news media, movies, magazines, etc. I know many Christians feel as if Christ might return at any time. And He may. But as Scripture says, no one will know the exact time or hour, so we ought to live our lives with eternal purpose so that we might not be ashamed at His coming (1 John2:28).
As Christians we live in this world, but we have been called out of this world by the sovereign and righteous word of our Creator and God. But sometimes, this task seems so hard. It seems so hard to fix our eyes on Christ and not on protecting ourselves, our children, or even our own comforts and personal delights. We get tired, and we easily believe the devil’s lie that we should enjoy ourselves while we have the time. When really, we need to remember that our time here is short and it’s meant to be spent on God’s passions and desires, not ours. We will have all eternity to rest from our work, but we only have a short time here to actual do the work our Lord, our Master, our Savior has commanded us to accomplish (John 9:4, Ephesians 5:15-16).
This is why I’m so delighted to introduce to you, Larissa Lam, co-host of JCTV’s Top 3, singer/songwriter/recording artist with her latest album “Revolutionary“, and the Founder of On The Way Up and Beautiful Faith ministries! This sister is passionate about being a good steward of the time, talents and gifts God has given her. In this interview, she shares with us her fears, her victories in Christ and how God took this spoiled, only-child and molded her to become a voice; a beautiful voice crying out for all to repent and trust in the Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ.
Sunny: God chose to make you a Chinese-American and called you into an industry where you’re the minority of minorities. Has this been difficult?
Larissa: I grew up in California, where I was surrounded by blonde-haired, blue-eyed girls who played with blond-haired, blue-eyed dolls and watched shows and movies with the same. I found that I often wished I wasn’t Chinese and even as a young child was aware that I was “different”.
I was only 1 out of 4 Asians in my entire class, all the up to junior high school. This was quite discouraging to me and I continued to dislike my own ethnicity – to the point where I didn’t even speak Chinese (up to the age of 5). One year, my mom sent me to Hong Kong to visit my cousins and I picked up the language pretty quickly. By the time I was a teenager, I was fluent in both Cantonese and Mandarin. I truly believe my ability to pick up languages quickly is a God-given gift so that I can preach the Gospel through the music industry and reach people groups I wouldn’t ordinarily be able to reach if I only spoke one language.
In 2003, I had an epiphany! I attended a leadership retreat with Media Fellowship International (we met in the CBS studio in Los Angeles). I shared with everyone how I was very interested and willing to go on missions in the name of Jesus, but absolutely not to Asia! Just then, one of my friends said, “Oh my goodness, you’re like Jonah, and China is your Nineveh!” This was the year I chose to yield to God’s calling regardless of my personal dislikes and insecurities.
Sunny: I’m glad you got out of there before you got swallowed by a big fish! 🙂 You offer eight (8) wonderful speaking topics with On the Way Up Ministries, which one(s) is/are your favorite and why?
Larissa: I have three favorites.
- How I was brainwashed into thinking I wanted to be a doctor and lived to tell about it.
Although I was raised by Christian parents, I was raised with strong eastern cultural values. This meant I was raised to love God, trust Jesus with my life, but also consider academics and family honor before and above everything else – including my spiritual growth. I struggled with this and I share my struggles as well as my victories in Christ when asked to speak on this topic.
This is one of my favorite topics because I think it’s very important for others in my situation to recognize that Christ is to take preeminence in all our lives. There is no one and nothing above Jesus and I enjoy encouraging others to trust God and live boldly in their faith, regardless of circumstantial influences.
- Never Say “Never” to God.
I love this topic because it covers (in detail) what I just shared about really disliking how God made me a Chinese-American and how my strong dislike caused me to say that I’d go anywhere and do anything to serve God, just not in China. God has a great sense of humor and a lot of patience. I’m so thankful for that! 🙂
- Hollywood: the hidden mission field.
I’m particularly passionate about this topic because I believe that’s why God made me a Chinese-American with musical talents and abilities.
As Christians, we often think of Hollywood as the big “Satan”. In Christian circles, we will talk about how disgusted we are with all the Lindsay Lohan’s or Britney Spears, but how often do we stop to pray for them?
People are so willing to pray for those who are in Africa and will go on missions or support those who are on missions there, but we aren’t so quick to pray for those in Hollywood when in fact, they have much in common. Those who live in Africa and in Hollywood are stricken by AIDS (due to rampant sexual immorality); both groups worship idols, live with self-centered and self-survivalist mentalities and most importantly, live lives totally separated from God. We want Hollywood to change, but if their hearts aren’t transformed by Christ, how can we expect them to change? They can’t.
Christians should absolutely stand in our convictions, but without neglecting to manifest the same compassion of Christ to reach the lost with the Gospel.
I implore every reader, next time you see something on TV or in the movies that you don’t like, instead of judging them, stop what you’re doing and earnestly pray for them. You can even pick a celebrity and commit to pray for them faithfully. For those who are interested, there’s a group called Hollywood Prayer Network and they have kind of an “adopt-a-celebrity” program where they match up the people who are not in the arts industry to pray for those who are.
Sunny: Oh sister, you’re so right! I know I’ve done that a lot myself. I get disgusted with what I see or hear, but I don’t often stop to pray for them – I mean earnestly pray for them and their salvation. Thank you for the reproof. 🙂 I noticed you offer three (3) different kinds of workshops through On The Way Up Ministries. One of them is Personal Ministry Consultant. Is this workshop offered to everyone or just those who are in the arts industry?
Larissa: This workshop is offered to anyone. One of my gifts is helping others find their gifts so they can use them to bring glory to God. The consultation is very personal and I help them to find the best match for their God-given gifts with the profession God is calling them to.
Each workshop is tailored to that specific church or an individual or groups particular needs. Depending on the depth of information they require, I can do a condensed one-day workshop, or an intense two-day workshop.
Sunny: Wow, that’s really cool! I think this workshop would benefit anyone who’s truly looking to serve God and honor the gifts He’s given them! I saw that you have a new feature on your Beautiful Faith ministry (a division of On The Way Up Ministries and a department of Artists in Christian Testimony International). Can you share with us what “Beautiful Faith Stories” is all about, why you created it and how our readers can participate?
Larissa: Sure Sunny, I’d love to! I’ve noticed that people are really enjoying the idea of video testimonies and we really want to push the Beautiful Faith movement in that direction. We want to help others share their beautiful faith in Christ through personal video testimonies.
The primary purpose of doing this is to spread the Gospel through these videos, to encourage believers who are going through personal struggles and exhort them to start sharing what God has done in their lives through their faith in Christ.
We encourage readers to view the videos that are already on our website by clicking “Beautiful Faith Stories”; then make their own beautiful faith videos (about 2 to 4 minutes long), submit them to us through our website and/or on YouTube, Tangle, Facebook or other forms of web capabilities. And who knows, maybe your video will be featured on our Beautiful Faith website! 🙂
Sunny: Oh precious sister, thank you so much for presenting this opportunity for all of us to share what Christ has done in our lives for the edification of the Body and salvation of the lost! Can you tell us more about your passion for missions?
Larissa: During my sophomore year in college, I went on a mission trip to Mexico for a week. There was much in the trip that was out of my comfort zone: we worked in a town in the middle of nowhere, we had running water for only 12 hours per day, witnessed to migrant farmers, traveled on roads that really weren’t roads, etc.
One night we were stuck in a ditch in the middle of the night, in the middle of nowhere. And there, it is pitch black, so it’s scary. There were no “street” lights because there really wasn’t a street. So we prayed. We were so humbled and grateful when we saw lights – lights coming from a vehicle driving down this deserted dirt road; and wouldn’t you know it, it was a tow truck. When I witnessed God’s miraculous hand in getting us out of that ditch, I realized at that moment that missions – preaching the Gospel was very important to Him.
From that point on, I had a passion for missions; God had completely transformed my perspective on life. Through World Christian Movement, the Lord taught me that He is a missionary God. The Lord taught me that the whole purpose we’re here is to see everyone worship God.
I’m a recovering judgmental Christian. 🙂 Instead of being disgusted by seeing others live ungodly lives, God has given me Christ’s compassion to love them and pray for their salvation – and now I want to share the Gospel with them any way that I can. I don’t see people through my disgust anymore. I see them through God’s merciful eyes. I’m so grateful to God for that.
Sunny: Yes sister, I often pray that our Heavenly Father will direct me in His love and Christ’s perseverance (2 Thessalonians 3:5). It’s so much harder than we think. 🙂 Speaking of missions, I understand both you and your husband are traveling to China this summer to do some missions work. How long will you be there and can you share any specifics about the work you’ll be doing?
Larissa: My husband, Baldwin (a.k.a. Only Won) is going to China for “work”. His company is sending him there. We saw that my husband’s work charge was clearly the Lord opening a door for us to preach the Gospel in China.
For security reasons, I’m not at liberty to share any specifics. It is illegal in China to proselyte in a public area. So we are essentially going as “under cover missionaries”. Also, I can’t really say how long I’ll be there because it’s all up to the Lord. I’ll be there as long as God wants me there. I’m totally trusting God to work out all the details and would very much appreciate prayers. 🙂
Sunny: You got it sister! Our readers are fabulous and I know they’ll be praying for your “secret mission”. 🙂 Do you and Baldwin do a lot of missions work together? If so, what kind?
Larissa: Well, we try to. Right now, Baldwin is working as a full-time Engineer. At some point, he would like to stop doing that (at least full-time) and would like to devote more time to missions work. We’re working on a website for him called LyricalEngineer.com. We really want to use the internet to impact people for Christ. Baldwin’s target audience are those who are on the internet.
Sunny: Can our readers get involved with On The Way Up and/or Beautiful Faith ministries?
Larissa: Yes! That would be great! They can sign up for our newsletters which include: prayer requests, volunteer opportunities i.e., updating things on the website, updating the database, scheduling events (missions trips, speaking engagements, conferences, etc.). We’re in need of volunteers who are gifted in administration and graphic design. We also need people who are willing to host an event at their church, people who will faithfully commit to pray for us and those who feel led to support us financially as well. We want to continue to invest in the lives of others who also want to be messengers of the Gospel.
Sunny: Is there a specific Scripture verse or passage you’ve been meditating on lately that has helped you stay focused on God’s calling for you? If so, how have they helped you?
Larissa: Yes, there are three right now that God is really using to keep me focused on His call and not my fears.
2 Corinthians 12:9 ~ This verse resonates with me because of the vision and call God has given me. The world is very big and as messengers of the Gospel, I feel like most people – overwhelmed with this task to preach to Gospel to all nations. Sometimes it seems so overwhelming I don’t want to do it. God is growing these ministries (On The Way Up and Beautiful Faith ministries) and He alone is the one who pulls me through in Christ’s strength while I’m weak. God provides the resources, knowledge and wisdom to do all that He’s called me to do.
Isaiah 41:10 and Philippians 4:6-7 ~ God has used these Scriptures to remind me that I don’t have to be afraid to fail. So often, the task seems so great; I don’t want to do it because I’m afraid I will fail. I’m even afraid to go to China. It’s very much out of my comfort zone. Although I speak the language, I can’t read it. I don’t even know the details about this trip and that makes me a bit nervous. There are many “unknowns” and God has used these two Scriptures to really comfort me in His sovereignty and works of righteousness. I know I’m not in this alone and I want to encourage others to join me and get involved so we can work together as the Body of Christ to preach the Gospel to all nations.
Sunny: Sister Larissa, thank you so much for visiting with us here at CWO! I’m so encouraged by your faith and trust in Christ as well as your passion to exhort your brothers and sisters in Christ to preach the Gospel – even to those in Hollywood. 🙂 I’m so thankful for how God has made you and have really been blessed by this interview and getting to know your heart for Christ, our Savior. May the Lord our God bless you and protect you as you walk in faith, in abandoned love and humility. May the Lord Jesus Christ be honored and exalted in all our lives as we remember that we are but dust and our time here is shorter than we think. And may we all use our time wisely.
“So teach us [Lord] to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.”
~ Psalm 90:12