Sharing of Family Matters

 

In this week’s Pastor’s Message, I would like to share with everyone a few things relating to the church building. My family has moved from Toronto to Vancouver and I have served at the PE Church for over 4 months now. As your pastor, the mission given to me by the Lord is to care for His sheep according to His will, guide you not just to understand His will from the bible, but also join with you in experiencing the perfection, purity and beauty of God through adversity. The building of the church manifestly tests our faith and love for the Lord. Now the process of construction has entered into a critical phase. I would like to reconfirm the guidance of the Lord in our plans by reflecting back and looking ahead, so that none in our midst would be perturbed by the massive costs and thereby foster divisions in our relationships.

 

I understand that over a year ago, a group of our deacons and elders, having been moved by the Holy Spirit, felt that it was the burden of this generation to find a fixed assembly location for the church. The church had been congregating at the rented community hall every Sunday for almost 9 years. Because of this imperative, we had submitted a bid for a Jewish synagogue, but finally lost out to a real estate developer. In our disappointment, the Lord miraculously provided for us the farm land at 8280 No. 5 Rd., totaling 2.6 acres. We ended up paying $1.06 million for it. The development plans call for constructing an assembly hall of 11,980 sq ft that can accommodate 390 worshippers. According to the latest information from our architect, the market price of our property has now risen to over $1.6 million in less than a year’s time - an appreciation of some 51%. Summing up the confluence of disparate incidents and timing, I personally feel that it is the abundant providence of the Lord, and affirms the decision we made concerning the building of the church.

 

Analyzing it from the perspective of the church’s long-term growth, a fixed assembly location is truly an urgent necessity. By the grace of God, the PE Church went in the beginning from a dozen of so people congregating in the garage of Brother David Ng to this day, 9 years later, having a Sunday gathering of some 140. The community hall certainly has its size limitations. I’m sure everyone has suffered through the anguish of parking or utilizing the washroom facilities at worship. Transporting children to Sunday School or taking on other duties that require a hurried commute between the community hall and our office has become almost a routine of life on Sunday. In the past 5 years, many families have joined the church. At the moment, children attending worship or fellowship number over 40. The available space in the office for separated functions is becoming increasingly scarce. For the spiritual prospects of the next generation, we have a duty to make plans for them, build a hall, nurture and sustain them so that they will not fall away from us off the track of Truth. As well, we can all sense that every one of the Friday fellowships lack adequate space. The most obvious is the expansion of the Mandarin section. Following the flood of Chinese immigrants, in the past year we have seen a continuous increase in the number of Mandarin-speaking members. Although as the family of Christ we can still share fellowship in different small rooms, but there is no avoidance of interruption from sound transmission. The various children’s fellowships especially need more space in order for them to carry on learning and conduct activities. The English service is of particular concern to me. Our English worship has grown from 8 people in 1998 to 25 during the middle of last year. Right now, the average attendance is some 35. We must ask God for more of His grace, so that He will raise up the next generation that is educated locally here to continue pursuing the Truth and take over the torch of witnessing for the Lord. Dear brothers and sisters, for all of the developmental necessities mentioned above, we truthfully have a compelling requirement for ownership of a fixed church location.

 

This morning and afternoon, we will have a detailed report for the brothers and sisters regarding the progress of construction, budgetary projection and our financial requirements. Following that will be a question-and-answer period and prayers. I hope that brothers and sisters who are truly concerned about our family matters will make every effort to attend, so that we can all confer on this holy work. 

 

By: Daniel To