From Womb to Tomb

In this episode, Darrell Bock discusses with Jocelyn and Ric Sun their work with Life International, centering around valuing the sanctity of all life, from the womb to the tomb.

About The Table Podcast

The Table is a weekly podcast on topics related to God, Christianity, and cultural engagement brought to you by the Hendricks Center at Dallas Theological Seminary. The show features interviews with guests who are experts on the chosen topic, and each episode is hosted by a member of The Hendricks Center’s team.

Timecodes
01:00
The Suns’ Background in Ministry
08:54
The Suns’ Personal Testimony Around Abortion
16:13
Advice for People Post-Abortion
22:39
Involvement in Life International
32:30
Caring for Life Outside of the Womb
Resources
Transcript

Darrell Bock: 

Welcome to The Table where we discuss issues of God and culture. I'm Darrell Bock, executive director for Cultural Engagement at the Hendrick Center at Dallas Theological Seminary, and our topic today is ministry from womb to tomb, which means it kind of covers everything but eternity, which is a lot. And our guests today are Rick and Jocelyn Sun, who work with Life International, they're also DTS grads. So it's great to have you with us. Thanks for being a part of the table. 

Jocelyn Sun: 

Thank you for having us. Yeah. 

Ric Sun: 

Yeah. It's such a joy and honor to be here with you, Dr. Bock. 

Darrell Bock: 

Well, as we often do, for someone who's a guest with us for the first time, my question is, I got to slightly adjust it for you all is, what's a nice couple like you doing in a gig like this? How did you get to where you are ministering? Tell us that story. 

Jocelyn Sun: 

Well, Dr. Bock, I'm just going to start from a little bit about my background so you get to know us a little and then heading towards how we got to DTS. So I was born in Houston and raised in Taiwan. My father passed away when I was six. So my mom took me and my younger sibling to Taiwan. And it was a culture where highly academic driven, honor and shame. Everything was about performance, appearance and then knowledge. It was very difficult. And after college I wanted to come back just to further study and not knowing that I stepped into a church where my younger sister and my aunt was at. Our Father, Jesus Christ, in desperation probably He saw me and He remembered me and he pulled me out of the darkness with His gentle and tender kindness. It was very difficult that I also have to wrestle in much tears that I often question God, "If you were the real God, could you just show me?" And the next day everything was different. The Bible came alive. 

And so at that moment, we were really passionate about evangelism. Everywhere we go, we said, "Everybody needs to hear about this story, about the love of God in the gospel." In 2015, I worked for 10 years in corporate America. The Lord had to use a layoff from my job. And then at that moment, the Lord pushed us to fundraise to come here so that Rick can become a full-time student at DTS. And we said, "Lord, if you're going to give, we will go." And He has given us six years at DTS and ongoing till now. In 2018, so I also sense the urgency to be equipped at DTS as well. I said that, "Lord, I would love to integrate the faith into the workforce. So I want to equip the saints, teach me how to do that." And who knew that our heavenly Father had a grander plan. He always has a best plan for us. So He said that, "Daughter, not this right now, but I would like you to go through a post-abortion retreat." 

And I said, "Father, really? With all the homeschooling finals and then TaeKwonDo ministry, college ministry that we're in." And I've never heard of this kind of retreat, but with lots of grief, pain as I dragged in my foot into the doors of that retreat, after a weekend, I attended the Someone Cares retreat in Dallas where I learned how to grieve. And later I was an intern at a 12 week recovery group. And later on I attended a Deeper Still retreat in Tennessee where I counted the Holy Spirit very intimately. I had to face something back then where we didn't understand the sacredness of life. And back when we were in college, we sacrificed our unborn for this whole world. But this whole world has nothing comparing to a living life within me. 

Darrell Bock: 

So Rick, what's your side of the story? 

Ric Sun: 

So I was born and raised in Taiwan. And then as Jocelyn shared, the big part of our life is really about achieving, and honor and shame. To the point where that it's almost like you asked you asked the fish, what is the water? The fish said, what is water? There's nothing else. There's no other ways for the fish to know there's a different purpose of life, a different sense of the belief system. So that was the upbringing and pursuing the whole world. Romans one is pretty much sum up everything that I have done in the past and live 24 years without knowing Jesus until when we found out that we actually fell pregnant and then that completely shattered our lives. And at that time, just because we don't know the value of life without knowing Jesus Christ is our Lord and savior, that the culture is affirming us, "Hey, you just need to clean up, fix the problem and move on." 

And so that's what we did. And as if that there's nothing happen, and I even vow to myself that I am not going to share with anybody else with this part of story, I will bury this part of story with me to the grave and without mentioning the words, and even our parents did not know about that. And then a year later, as you can imagine, that the spirit of God began to woven into me now because living in the darkness and shame and knowing there's something deep inside that I cannot share, that it really affects and trigger anything that I do. 

And even later on I went to seminary, become a pastor serving in the church in Texas, I'm really good at performing, pleasing people. Say the words people want to hear or even just do things that gain people's respect. And just a lot of the turmoil, a lot of the darkness that I've been wearing a mask, the facade way too long, way before COVID. And it's really not until 2020 something dramatically, even supernaturally happened. And then we'll share it in just a second. So that's my life story. 

Darrell Bock: 

So this is pretty fascinating. So the post-abortion seminar that you attended was in part to deal with what you had been through. Am I right about that? 

Jocelyn Sun: 

Yes. 

Ric Sun: 

Yes. 

Darrell Bock: 

And I guess this... Well, let me mention something. You all work for Life International, which is headquartered in Grand Rapids. And on their website they make a point, they start off with birth and then they go through the care of a person all the way through their life, which is something we want to try and do as we talk with you. But the thing that struck me is there's a statistic on that webpage that talked about how many children are born in a given year and how many children are aborted in a given year. And I think the figure is something like one out of every four pregnancies ends in an abortion. 

At least that was the figure this last year, which is a number that... And that's globally. We're not just talking about the United States, that's globally. And I'm just thinking about man, what a number that is. Such a high number. I had no idea it was that prevalent. But I'm assuming that in the midst of doing this, and I also am assuming that this happened before you came to the Lord, that something in you triggered that there just wasn't something right about having gotten an abortion. Am I right about that or did you have that sense before you came to the Lord? 

Jocelyn Sun: 

Yes. So yeah, at that time we were just thinking what will people think about us? And then being a performer, we just wanted to hide that part. We never talked about it and we'd taken upon the decisions upon ourself. And then in Taiwan there wasn't any resources. There wasn't any pregnancy centers and nobody ever talked about it. We remember in middle school when we are being taught about sexuality, it was only two pages and then it was just really fast. The teacher wanted to just skim through it and then afterwards nothing was taught in school. We just put it underneath the rug in the closet and not trying to say that it pretended that it didn't happen, but it would just shut there. And then we never dealt with it till we went to a retreat like this, which we never thought that there was this kind of retreat because I lived 10 years of Christian life afterwards and then I've never heard of this kind of retreat. 

And then at that moment, John 9:1-3 really imprinted it in my heart. And you know the story, His disciples asked Rabbi that, is it the men or their parents that sin that he was born blind? But what's did Jesus say? Jesus say neither it is this man nor his parents that he was born blind, but so that the works of God will be displayed through him so that His work will be displayed. And at that moment because of learning how to grieve, encounter the Holy Spirit, slowly I became to breaking the alabaster jar that my friend encouraged me to do. And so God's redemptive love can show and shine through this story. And I turned to Rick, I said, "Rick, it's time for you to go." 

Darrell Bock: 

And so he attended a retreat as well with you or on his own? 

Ric Sun: 

Well actually I said no. I said, "No, it's not..." I mean, know my theology. I think the moment I professed my faith in Jesus Christ, I already dealt with my sin with Jesus and I've been forgiven and my sin has been washed away white as a snow. But then God has to use COVID, 2020 and closing the border of New Zealand while we were really just waiting and been discerning going overseas to serve at a church in New Zealand for waiting for more than two years, but God has to use that 2020. And a lot of people want to delete that year, but that happened to be a mighty years of our family. He brought me deeper. So I was dragging my feet to Smokey Mountain, which is where the retreat was hosted, and went through three days completely soaked in the Holy Spirit, that faith in prayer, people serve you. 

And without knowing that I have never really surrendered 100% of my life to Jesus. And so I left the retreat, I made a commitment to the Lord that we will begin to talk about our unborn daughter's name, which is Iris. She will be 20 years old this year. And secondly, I will begin to share my testimony with people who God has brought into my life. And this is the part I want to kind emphasize a little bit. So we were still living at DTS at that time, 2020. And so I came back, I began to pray and God brought people to me. I began to share with my fellow seminarians and pastors and to my surprise, but which I shouldn't, that one of them came out by saying that, "I don't know why you shared this with me, but I have gone through the same thing and you are the first person I was able to share because you shared with me." 

And there are other younger seminarians were sharing that they were living in double kind of life within the door of their dorm. They're addicted to a pornography, fantasy, arguing with their wife and spouse. But then when they come out, they have to put on the best themselves, say the things that people want to hear because they're serving at a church. And that just occur to us that how many people actually still living in such a defeated life when John 10:10, that Jesus has come and give us a life and have it abundantly that even within the circle of our Christian community, that there's so many hidden sin and shame has not been explored and even been healed. 

And so that's one thing that begin to vow to ourself and God that we want to go anywhere that devaluation of life is happening even within our backyards where we are. And God became to open doors and we got to speak on the different churches, organizations and mission conference. And so those are the part of where God's leading us that the redemption of God is not just individually, but also it's a whole family and that can affect entire church community and even the city, eventually to the country. 

Jocelyn Sun: 

Yeah, God's really opened up the doors for us during and after recovery that we get to minister to a high schooler that just got an abortion and then to a lady across the table saying that it is so sad that she had to understand the sacredness of life when her hair is turning gray. And then not only that, we found our new passion in walking alongside wounded hearts to see their lives radically transformed to have total dependence on Jesus Christ. But we personally experience and have experienced through discipleship and ministering that when they're done with recovery, they're better off to receive new information, whether it's academic work or other things in front of them. And so we just want to let you know that we've really encountered seven people around us that still will benefit from a retreat at DTS. 

Darrell Bock: 

So I've got a million questions, I'm trying to decide which one of the million to ask, which takes a while. But anyway, let's go here. So what would be your general advice to someone who was in the situation you were in before you went to the retreat and they had done something, they did something they had a sense wasn't quite right, and they knew that they were kind of shoving it down underneath and locking it up. What's your advice to a person who finds himself in that situation? 

Jocelyn Sun: 

We are so good at reading the Bible and then understanding the scripture, but do we really understand the heart of it, the core? As in, you look back on the biblical stories and even people that have gone before us, the woman at the well, or the blind man, or so forth, they were desperate. They carry their sins to Jesus and not knowing what will happen and all they have is just to fix their eyes on Jesus and their faith made them well. Jesus said that I'm not only going to heal you physically, I'm going to heal you spiritually. And what does that mean? That I'm not going to let my sins be in the gap of me reaching Jesus. And I know that I have sinned and I'm still a sinner and I will sin in the future, but I'm going to bring this to you Lord. 

And I know that you are bigger, you are bigger than my sense and all the stuff that I've done in the past and now and will do in the future. That Lord, all that you've done at Calvary will make no sense if I didn't fully surrender to you. And so that knowing our God, He loves us so much, He forgives and He wants to redeem you because what he did at Calvary was so much. He not only take away like my sin, my husband sins, but instead He redeemed us. He redeemed me, my husband and our whole family. So what Rick didn't mention was after he came back to the retreat, our oldest daughter, I mean, we have three kids now, they're 11, eight and five. And at that time they were a little bit more younger and so we had to face to let them know, that you actually have a sister in heaven. 

And so she embraced me and cried with me for 30 minutes. But afterwards what she did, she wrote a song for the men and woman who are struggling, who are wounded. And so now when Rick goes out to preach, we deliver the message as a family. He talks about the identity of Christ and we come up to share our recovery story. And the kids, they wrap it up with the song called Healing. And so the redemption comes in a holistic way. In all the things that we've done, it's not that one day that I woke up that I said that, "I want to take away a precious life." Well, I didn't even know it was a life. And so it's not that, but you need to see it in a holistic way, how we were raised, what the culture was speaking into us, how we were influenced and brought up. And so that at that moment, that event occurred, whatever it is, and that robbed us from the love of God. 

Ric Sun: 

Yeah, And I will just add a scripture that James 5:16, that's as many people have memorized, "Confess your sin with one another, pray for one another for the prayer will be powerful and effective." And I realize that it's throughout this season of restoration and healing that this is not just a scripture that we memorized, but it is actually a powerful, powerful message for people to live out. And we have encountered people who have gone through maybe suicidal thoughts, abuse, and more than just abortion, all the kinds of devaluation of life in the very first place is really recognize that are we have anything holding back from receiving the fullness of the spirit of Jesus Christ. A lot of time that you ask a question that if there's anything in your life that you would like to receive the healing, you would like to have Jesus to meet you at a place. 

And we believe that the beginning of the healing is to meet Jesus where they want to run away from, whatever that is before their salvation or in the midst of following Jesus or serving Jesus. I think there's always the area that we cannot talk about. And so our invitation is always that Jesus want to meet you where you are running away and we are here as a community to walk alongside you, to serve alongside you, pray over your champion for your marching on our knees, to pray for you. And we over and over that this is not a rocket science, there's no formula, but it's really just based on relationship and discipleship that people can trust you. It's not a safe place, but a safe person that they will be able to surrender and let go. And then we begin to see life begin to come forward and then will burst into transformation. 

Darrell Bock: 

I'm assuming that you're doing this in conjunction with your ministry with Life International. We haven't talked about how you got to Life International. So let's do that. So you came to seminary. It sounds like you're still in class and so you're still doing that. You're not in Dallas, you're in Grand Rapids. I know how that happens, we do online so that part's easy. So tell us about how you transitioned to Life International. Was Life International responsible for this retreat or did it come some other way? 

Jocelyn Sun: 

No, actually, well, during this whole time I was still in class. Rick graduated in 2019. 

Darrell Bock: 

Okay. 

Jocelyn Sun: 

And then- 

Ric Sun: 

Waiting for New Zealand. 

Jocelyn Sun: 

Yeah, waiting for New Zealand, the borders to open up. God really called us there. There was a army waiting behind us to go. But during that time, God refined our call way before we knew Life International existed. He said that, "I want you to talk about the sacred of life." And then as we're serving at recovery retreats either in Dallas with Someone Cares or Deeper Still, Deeper Still has 24 chapters globally. In Asia, they have it too. You could go to Hawaii to get healed as well, and the whole retreat is completely free. You just got to say yes to the Lord. So like Rick said, we created a safe space. We encountered seminarians, leadership, church body, and then that has not only abortion issues, but suicidal thoughts, marital issues, struggling with pornography- 

Darrell Bock: 

Yeah, we'll get there. 

Jocelyn Sun: 

Yeah. And then so Life International, we got to know them through Deeper Still. They're sort of like a sister kind of organization. And so they invited us to come up on the website through Zoom to learn their courses. It's like a three to four day course online or you could take it in person. So at that time, we got to train with them. We love it. It's prevention. The Lord said, "We don't want to only do recovery, let's do prevention." And so later on. We just kept in touch. Sometimes we'll teach online. At that time we were still in the Swindoll Tower, so we were there for six years till this May. And so this May... 

Ric Sun: 

Early this year that they reach out to us by asking that, would you be interested in joining Life International to serve as a pastor of partner care? And long story short, I mean we pray for a couple months to make sure that if this is the way God's calling, because I mean, Grand Rapids, we have no one that we know here. And then we know the winter is going to be notorious. 

Darrell Bock: 

Yeah, just white. Exactly. You're probably in the midst of it right now. But anyway. 

Ric Sun: 

And then- 

Jocelyn Sun: 

Winter wonderland. 

Ric Sun: 

But I mean, I'm a Texan from Taiwan. 

Darrell Bock: 

I know. I tease people when they go to the north and say, "I hope white is your favorite color." 

Ric Sun: 

Exactly. But when God opens the door, nobody can really shut. And then so we pray and then really God make it so clear that the next season of life that God is really just open up this newfound passion that even though I'm still called to want to be a serving pastoral ministry, but then God's telling us, "No, there's a lot of churches in need of the resources." So we pray to become a bridge, to become a support, to really strengthen Christ's church around the world. 

Darrell Bock: 

So the ministry steps into church contexts that are looking to be able to minister to people in this situation, and you offer resources and advice and counsel for how to do that. Is that basically the core of what the ministry is about? 

Ric Sun: 

Yes. It's actually more than that. I think the goal is to make known of Father's heart for the sanctity of life. And then part of what we do is that recognizing that there was so much devaluation of life happening. And we believe that abortion is only the tip of the spear. That there is a oppression of women, there's euthanasia, there's a shooting, human trafficking, abuse. So as we really travel around the world, I got to different parts of the nations in the past couple months that you realize that there's so much hurting and pain and a lot of pastors that they are lacking of the resources not alone to even speak into the cultural moment like this. I was just in India as for two times, actually a couple months ago, and pastors there are very burned for the gospel. They're just all for the Kingdom. 

They're running, and yet they do not know how to talk about abortion because I mean, India or in Asia, abortion is just going through the roof everywhere you go that you see abortion thrown away aside, don't throw it away, your baby girl. Or even India they don't allow ultrasound because once they found out it's a girl, they almost 100% of the chance that they will abort the baby, and such things like that. We got to connect with the people who are serving in the ministry. Then so we provide this trainings, it's called Journey of Life Giver, that it touched base on the message of life and taught a lot about the foundation of life. Like I said, biblical worldview decision of aborted baby is not built up overnight. It's throughout the years or throughout the background and culture. And so we begin with the foundation, kind of deconstruct what their background and value and to rebuild, what does the Bible say? 

And it's not about political. I think a lot of science that, especially in America that we kind of politicize the pro-life movement. But I do really want to emphasize this with you, Dr. Brock, and whoever is listening that the goal for our purpose is not about to change the law, but to change the hearts. Because we are not trying to make abortion illegal because it doesn't matter how hard you try, there is going to be abortion, but we are trying to make abortion unthinkable because ultimately this is not a political issue. This is a biblical issue that the image of God is under great attack in this time and age. 

And so what we are really going after is not about changing the law. Yes, that's part of the plan, but we are calling ourself as equipping ministry that we are serving the pastors and the leaders and helping them to empower them. Actually, we don't try to take over, we go to India, we go to Georgia in Central Asia, we go to Africa. We don't tell them what to do, but we come alongside them to serve them and then contextualize their own culture. And so they are taking all this curriculum to be able to serve their own people. 

Darrell Bock: 

So that's a great overview of the direction of the ministry. I have one loose end I want to tie before we turn to some of the other categories besides abortion, since you did just a great job there of talking about what's important and to make what I think is a fundamental biblical point, which is, you don't get changed without changed hearts. I like to use the example of Acts 19 where the magic books were burned in Ephesus. And I said that didn't happen because the Ephesian city council had a meeting and said, "We're outlawing magic books." That happened because people's hearts were changed and they said, "Magic is bad for us." So I'm deeply curious where in New Zealand you all were thinking about serving before you did... I go to New Zealand every other summer, so this is fascinating to me. 

Ric Sun: 

We were thinking about having a partnership with DTS once we get to go, because we know that it used to be a... There's a office or school there. So we actually signed a contract with the church in Christchurch. 

Darrell Bock: 

Oh sure. 

Ric Sun: 

In Christchurch, and that was February, 2020. And then as you can imagine a month later, COVID hit everything. Just shut down. 

Darrell Bock: 

Everything completely shut down. Yeah, I went in that summer right after as the restrictions were being lifted and actually was in Christchurch was one of the places I visited this last summer. I've been there now twice. So I've been there, I think I've been in New Zealand six times total because I go every other summer for about two months, New Zealand and Australia. And I've really come to love the church there and the people there. So that's an interesting thing to walk away from in many ways because the opportunities that exist and the need is so great. So let's transition back to, you've already talked about abortion and we said this is womb to tomb and if we're not careful, we get stuck in the womb and I want to get through life. You said there are several other things. There's suicide ideation, there's human trafficking, there's what else is in that list of... So the person's born and we're thinking about how does life get de-sacralized or devalued? What are the types of areas that you all talk about? 

Ric Sun: 

Yeah, so one of the sections of this curriculum, we also talk about how to be a life giver. Life giver, not only for those who easy to love and who care for you, who are talking like you, but also to those who are difficult to love, or hate you, or don't say anything similar as you, or even vote differently like you. And so based on that foundation that we get to talk about oppression of woman. Oppression of oppression of woman is the area where that everywhere you go basically in Asia or Africa, it's devalued and even polygamy that in Africa, I remember one of the stories that our trainer went to Africa, one of the countries, and there's a group of just a pastors and bishops meeting and receiving the training and the story as we taught and throughout the time until the where that we talk about God's plan for marriage, which is that marriage is a holy institution created by God with one man and one woman. 

And then one of the bishop just stood up and was so mad by saying that, "What are you saying that this is only one man and woman? And our culture, our background is, I mean you can have multiple wives." And as a matter of fact that in Old Testament they always kind of refer to that. And then it took a while for other bishops and pastors rally to pray and to confess. And then in the end we turned that into a time of just a confession and worship. And that the biblical truth has been revealed to all these bishops. And they went back to their village, they were able to begin to talk about what is marriage, what is God's intent for this area, and also euthanasia or disability. And we also talked about what if it is a Down Syndrome? 

So we just recently had another case in India too. One of the leaders have Down Syndrome, baby already diagnosed in the womb. And then so most of time in India, there's a condition, even you're Christian, you can still abort the baby because you don't want to have a burden for the family. But then because of the teaching that for a lot of the disabled people, even like blind, we have attendees who are having a lot of defect of their body. They were able to receive the value of God. And then so people begin to see people in a different way, view each individual, whether men or woman, whether they're rich or poor or a healthy or sick defect through the lens of God. 

Darrell Bock: 

So I'm assuming that the starting point for this is, because we've spent a lot of time saying, here are the problems, here are the things that are faced. But I'm assuming that one of the core starting points for this is to establish the sacredness of life because every human being is made in the image of God. And that that's kind of the stop one, if I can say it that way in the story, and then it builds from there. I also assume that in the midst of this, there's a discussion about the value of each human person, which moves in the direction of a broad definition of justice and a broad definition of caring for people that says that every human life has value and is sacred and starts from that point. Am I right about that? 

Ric Sun: 

You are absolutely right, 100%. 

Jocelyn Sun: 

And if I can add, there's five main points. So I'm just going to go down really quick. The foundation in life where, what's the biblical worldview? And then how do you become a life giver? Redemptive thinking, transformation, abiding in Christ. What is marriage and family? The miracle of life, biblical sexuality, family planning and so forth. The devaluation of the life, abortion and its effects, and then global issues. And how do we restore? Let's not end on the devaluation, but let's restore. What's the next step of healing and renewal and repentance and forgiveness? 

Darrell Bock: 

So this involves kind of rallying around people who have a need and helping them... The Romans 12, one and two pops in my mind about transforming the way you think about the world and what the way you see it. And then out of that, redirecting the energy that you give to life and what you think about and what you direct and how you interact with them. And then you're off and running and trying to be someone who is called to represent God in the world and to serve and be redemptive, to be the passer on or the mediator of what it is you have received from Him in the way in which you live out your life. 

Ric Sun: 

That's right. 

Jocelyn Sun: 

Amen. 

Ric Sun: 

And that about, if I can add one thing that as our mission statement is so clearly an explicitly, teach truth and love well. I oftentimes kind of categorize life international under the category of love well. How do love well in the intimate and personal way for those broken hearted and crushed in spirit? And also a lot of times that is even, are we able to be formed into the likeness of Christ? Are we able to counsel people or pastoring people who have been hurt or gone through a lot of different devaluation of life in their lives? And so what we really just championing here is that as we are trained to exegete the words and then teaching the Bible and theology. At the same time, on the flip side, how can we be the hands and feet of Jesus, providing resources and connecting with people who are really just living in shame and brokenness, because that's our experience too. 

Darrell Bock: 

I can't tell you how important I think this is. And the way I will often say it is, in the conservative church we have a premium that we put on the truth and believing the right thing. But the other half of that equation is how you minister and how you pastor and how you relate to people in the fallen situations they often find themselves in or have placed themselves in because they've simply absorbed what's been said to them all their lives from the world. 

And so thinking about one, how to reach out to people who are in that situation, and two, how to minister to them in such a way that also shows there's a whole nother way to put this together and to make sense out of your life. And then the middle of that is Jesus Christ and the gospel. I can't imagine a better, more useful, more holistic way of ministering to the entirety of a person's spirit than doing that. And so I love the emphasis that says, yeah, we believe this and we know this and this is what Bible teaches, but then how are we actually going to touch people who have been impacted by the choices that they've made and the decisions that they've undertaken that God can redeem? 

Ric Sun: 

Amen. 

Jocelyn Sun: 

Yeah. 

Ric Sun: 

Yes. 

Jocelyn Sun: 

And then the thing is that Life International to date, that they have over 13,000 gospel leaders already trained in the six continents over 91 nations. And so they break it down to 10 hubs. And then you want to share the hub? 

Ric Sun: 

Yes. This is one of the things that Life International, as you talked about, what are we really going after? That our really angle is one, to strengthen Christ's church everywhere that is serve the people pastors are serving. And number two is that we pray this message of life will be like a wildfire. And the next year that in November, and I think the third week, 20, don't count on me, I need to check the dates. But November that we will host a Congress for Life in Malta. I like Malta, where a where Apostle Paul got shipwrecked, that's the place. And then we will rally the delegates from 199 nations to come together and have a time of confession, time of prayer, worship, and commission, send them out into their nation for the very purpose. This message of life will be a outburst of wildfire to spread out every parts of their nation. 

And so our job right now, basically for what I'm doing as a pastor partner care, I'm walking alongside these pastors delegates and to pray with them, serve alongside them and encourage them and provide special resources, but then for them to do the work, take this message and into their country, and we pray that eventually the rate of the abortion will prayerfully decrease, to ultimately cease. And we believe this is something, the big goal that we are praying for, and if that's even possible on this sided eternity, but that is our life goal mission that is not just about abortion, but for the life message to be spread out. And it's not just about pro-life movement, but we see that as a great commission movement because not until every person- 

Darrell Bock: 

It's pro-life. I mean, it's not a pro-life movement, it's pro-life. You said there are 10 hubs, what are they? 

Ric Sun: 

So we have a Latin America and we have North America, in Central Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia- 

Darrell Bock: 

Oceania, yep. 

Ric Sun: 

Oceania. 

Darrell Bock: 

That's where you were headed. Go ahead. 

Ric Sun: 

That's right. And then East Asia, and MENA, and Middle East and North Africa and South Sahara, and Europe. So far we have formed seven hot leaderships. And so next year we are looking into East Asia, Oceania, and then lastly North America. So yeah, I think this is a vision that God has given to our president and founder, and so far that we have been just seeing that fulfill one step at a time and day by day, more and more just delegates said, "Hey, we would love to journey with you." So far, I think I can say this, about 44 delegates. So we have about 30 nations, I mean, sometimes it's a couple serving together, and so I got to go visit them in person, host the training. That's just also part of what I do and our whole family is serving together. 

Darrell Bock: 

So I forgot to ask this at the start, so this is a good time to ask it. So how long has Life International, been around? I mean, how old an organization is it? 

Ric Sun: 

So it has been 21 years, since 2001. And then it's quite a fascinating story behind that. Our building here in Grand Rapids used to be the largest abortion clinic. 

Darrell Bock: 

And it was the synagogue before that, that's on your webpage. That was really interesting to read. I mean, yeah, it's been a lot of places. The building has gone nowhere and been a lot of places. 

Ric Sun: 

Yeah, you know the story. 

Darrell Bock: 

Yeah. Well, I just want to thank you for taking the time to be with us and to introduce us, not just to Life International, but just to this whole message of thinking through the entirety of life as being something that should be dedicated and generated to honoring people who are made in the image of God and thinking through how to minister to people who have made, in some cases, what we might consider poor decisions or decisions that they now regret, et cetera. And being able to think about how do you minister to bring them out of where they were with an understanding of how they got there. That is really terrific. 

So I just want to thank you for giving us your time and sharing a little bit of your story. I was going to say, it isn't just a story with a tomb to womb perspective, which kind of covers everything, but it's not a long ending, it's in progress and it's going to be in progress for a long time, and we just really are supportive of what it is that you're trying to do. And I'm glad that in the midst of it, you've brought a little of that message back to us here at the seminary. Really appreciate it. 

Ric Sun: 

Yeah, thank you so much. 

Darrell Bock: 

Thank you so much. 

Ric Sun: 

And then, Dr. Bock, Once again, it's not just our story. This is God's story that continue to write in our lives and through us. 

Darrell Bock: 

That's great. Well, we really thank you, Rick and Jocelyn for doing this, and we thank you for being a part of the table. We'll hope you'll join us again soon. If you're interested in other episodes of the table, you can see it at voice.dts.edu/tablepodcast and that'll take you to the more than actually 500 hours of material that we've done on an array of topics. We often say, "Welcome to the table. We discuss issues of God and culture." And the point underneath that is that means we discuss anything and everything, and we don't have anything and everything up on that site yet, but we're trying to get there. So we hope you'll join us again soon. Thank you for joining us on the table. 

Darrell L. Bock
Dr. Bock has earned recognition as a Humboldt Scholar (Tübingen University in Germany), is the author of over 40 books, including well-regarded commentaries on Luke and Acts and studies of the historical Jesus, and work in cultural engagement as host of the seminary's Table Podcasts. He was president of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) from 2000–2001, served as a consulting editor for Christianity Today, and serves on the boards of Wheaton College and Chosen People Ministries. His articles appear in leading publications. He is often an expert for the media on NT issues. Dr. Bock has been a New York Times best-selling author in nonfiction and is elder emeritus at Trinity Fellowship Church in Dallas. When traveling overseas, he will tune into the current game involving his favorite teams from Houston—live—even in the wee hours of the morning. Married for over 40 years to Sally, he is a proud father of two daughters and a son and is also a grandfather.
Jocelyn Sun
Jocelyn was born in Houston, TX and raised in Taiwan where she met Ric in college as classmates. She intimately got to know our Lord Savior Jesus Christ after college and actively lived out her faith in Corporate America for 10 years. In 2016, God called her family into full time ministry to be equipped in Dallas Seminary where she finished with a Master of Biblical and Theological Studies in 2022.   Jocelyn and Ric had been an advocate at speaking on the topics of the Sacredness of life, Biblical Sexuality and Abortion Recovery. They are heavily involved in serving multiple churches globally as a family of five (including two heavenly precious children) and are team members at Someone Cares, Deeper Still and Life International. They are passionate about homeschooling, evangelism, family missions and journeying alongside wounded hearts to be healed and set free for God’s grander mission. On the side, they are leading a virtual Tae Kwon Do ministry along with her older daughter to promote family discipleship and spiritual discipline.   They have a deep desire to see lives radically transformed to have total dependence on our Lord Jesus Christ. Her life statement is “Engaging, Equipping and Empowering each unique individual to be influential for God’s glory!”  
Ric Sun
Ric was born and raised in Taiwan. He lived 24 years without knowing Christ, pursuing nothing but worldly success, money, and self-fulfillment. While the vanity clothed him from the outside, his soul was tragically empty inside.By God’s ferocious grace, God took hold of his heart in 2007 through a mission trip in Taiwan. God has radically transformed his life from an enemy of God to a child of God, a seeker of truth to a minister of the Gospel, and a lover of the world to a lover of the Word.   Since 2010, Ric and his wife, Jocelyn, have begun the pursuit of God’s calling and mission to serve and minister in a number of churches and ministries, including urban missionary at Apartment Life (2010-12), youth minister at West Houston Chinese Church (2011-16), college and engage minister at Asian American Baptist Church in Dallas (2017-20). Ric graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary in 2019 and served as an advisory elder and community pastor at Icon Church in Dallas for a year before receiving the call to join Life International in Grand Rapids Michigan as Pastor of Partner Care in June 2022, an organization that upholds the value of the sanctity of human life from womb to tomb.  He is crazy about Jesus and a sold-out follower of His savior. His family mission is to embrace the Father, engage the lost, equip the believers and empower the leaders. Not only is he passionate about teaching the truth through evangelism and apologetics, holistic discipleship and expository preaching, but also loving well to the brokenhearted and crushed in spirit in recovery ministry. He is also a boba tea lover and Tae Kwon Do instructor (black belt). Ric has been married to his college sweetheart, Jocelyn, since 2010 and they are incredibly blessed with three adorable children, Kyra (11), Liora (7), Zion (5) and two precious children in heaven.   
Contributors
Darrell L. Bock
Jocelyn Sun
Ric Sun
Details
February 14, 2023
life, ministry, pro-life, whole life
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