Hundreds mourn the 'extraordinary' Paul Lin
2012: Hundreds of mourners this week packed the funeral service for Paul Lin, the popular Norwich Christian restaurateur who was also described as ‘an extraordinary man with a remarkable testimony’. Mike Wiltshire reports.
Father of three young sons, Paul Lin died, aged 48, after a year-long battle with leukaemia.
“He had a wonderful peace and quiet assurance - with a heart full of gratitude to God,” said Paul’s pastor, Goff Hope from the King’s Church, Norwich.
Speaking at the service at St Mary’s, Reepham, attended by friends from many churches, including the Chinese Church, Goff said that Paul though sick, never asked, ‘why me?’ or complained that life was not fair.
“He was one of the most honest of men in his journey of faith, aware that he was a work in progress . . . he had a wonderful peace and quiet assurance . . . as we talked and smiled and cried, there was no fear.”
Another close friend, the Rev Tim Dean was asked by Paul’s wife, Ruth, to share how Tim, too, had once had leukaemia, but had survived nevertheless. Paul and Tim, however, “both shared with all believers in the hope and love of Jesus Christ for all generations . . . and a certainty that we would eventually see Him face to face.”
Paul Bo Lin was born in China and came to the UK after the 1989 Tiannamen Square massacre. He had already graduated in Mechanical Engineering and worked as a manager in a big manufacturing company in South China
He came to the UK to study English as a foreign language student and knew no-one when he arrived.
Paul first met his future wife, Ruth, at a bus stop in Sheffield shortly after Ruth returned to the UK after having been working for two years in Hong Kong with well-known Christian drugs worker Jackie Pullinger (author of Chasing the Dragon).
Back in 2007, Paul told Network Norwich how “Ruth first spoke to me in Cantonese and told me the Gospel. We went to the Chinese Church in Sheffield which was very active and I got baptised the following year and married in December 1991.”
Paul and Ruth's three sons are Jordan (13), Jasper (11) and Jerome (6).
Growing in faith, Paul worked tirelessly to establish his growing family - in the early days, he sold hot dogs in Cambridge,cleaned people’s homes, filled supermarket shelves, picked potatoes and hand-stirred Kettle Crisps on the night shift.
With great courage and humour, Paul eventually built up his restaurant business in Norfolk. “I have had to seek God to help me so much as it has been a very humbling experience.”
Donations in Paul’s memory being placed in a trust fund for Paul’s three sons.
Paul is survived by his parents, who were both at the funeral service, and by his elder sisters, Bing Howerd and Bong Lin.
The Rev. Margaret Dean officiated at the service which included a solo by Annette Phillips, who sang Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring.
Pictured are Paul, Ruth and family, plus pictures at the packed service at St Mary’s, Reepham.
Please add your memories of and tributes to Paul below