．Last Stretch of the Race・
Give thanks and praises to our beloved God, our Father in Heaven. For His ways are just and true. His grace is great and marvelous. Who are we that received such a good care from Him by His blessing? He provided us a lot out of nothing, and made us without lacking. Therefore, we should give our thanksgiving to Him, for He is the awesome One and His great works are deserved for great glory.
For we know that from the beginning of our church building purchase venture, God forbid us to buy an old small synagogue on Number 3 Road with a price of $1.5 million. Then we turned to buy the existing piece of land at 8280 Number 5 Road with a price of $1.6 million. Our original plan was to build a small gymnasium for our assembly. But later, we were moved by God to plan for building a main sanctuary first and then a gymnasium. We purchased the land at $1.8 million per our plan. We estimated the total cost of construction should be within $2.2 million. If we all united in one heart, we must succeed. When we proceeded further, we noticed that the building cost would no less than $2.6 million. It was all because of the increase of building materials and labor cost. We did not expect to go into such test given by God. Although God did not ask us to offer our son as a sacrifice, for the total estimate project cost came up to $3.6 million which is to us like the Mount Himalayas. It is far beyond our financial capability. However, God moved the hearts of brothers and sisters from overseas to support us in a miraculous way. We are greatly encouraged by their generosity. Our faith has become strengthened.
Brothers and sisters, we are now almost close to our final goal. I am writing to encourage you to finish this ．Last Stretch of the Race・ well. Let me explain to you in details as below:
Up to now, the total construction project offering from our congregation is $819,780; the selling price of our church office is $347,760; offerings from overseas members and churches are $1,275,170, and by adding $230,000, the additional offering which will soon transfer to us from TST Peace Evangelical Church, the financial support from overseas will constitute $1,505,170 in total. (I estimate that there will be no more overseas offering.) That is to say, we have a total revenue of $2,672,710 for our church construction project.
Up to the end of May, we have already withdrawn $1,536,516 out of the above revenue for our building project. We estimate the expense for June will be $200,000, July $300,000 and August $400,000. And by the end of August, our total building expense will up to $2,436,516. By that time, our project reserve will come down to $236,194. It is not enough to pay for the September expense at the amount of $300,000. Besides, we are going to pay for another $164,000 in October, $300,000 for November and December. And by the end of January 2006, we also need to settle the final account at the amount of $400,000. That is to say, we now fall short of $927,826. Right now, we are having seven properties from members that are ready to put into mortgage in order to meet the immediate financial need. One member is willing to provide $100,000 free interest loan for our urgent need. We should not worry that we cannot complete the construction project. If we continue to strive for meeting the goal in our offering, it will cut down the amount of loan. It is because our future repayment ability is rather limited. Carrying over a great amount of loan will jeopardize our future church operation.
Therefore, I encourage all of us to unite together and to strive for the ．Last Stretch of the Race・. I hope to resolve our financial problem by the following measures:
1) I exhort those members who intend to give offering in the later period of project; you need to understand that the best time to give offering is before September. Your timely offering will help us to avoid a deficit.
2) I announce that from July up to the end of January next year, we try our best to make for another $300,000 offering. It will bring down our financial need to $627,826. If we can successfully raise for this amount, our total offering for this project is only $1,140,000. The amount still seems small when we compare with the Gospel Church of Christ. They could raise $2 million among their congregation. If all of us are willing to give up two month of salary, we then can achieve our goal immediately. Thus, it is not an impossible thing. I say this because I myself demonstrate an example to practice offering for the church-planting project of TST Peace Evangelical Church and the purchase of Seminary building. For your church project, I had given up my 24 months of salary from TST Church. It is in fact a private matter between God and me, not to be disclosed in the public. But when I read the Scripture about David who disclosed his personal offering in order to stimulate others, I feel relaxed to open up myself to you. Please refer to the Scripture:
．Furthermore King David said to all the assembly: "My son Solomon, whom alone God has chosen, is young and inexperienced; and the work is great, because the temple is not for man but for the LORD God. Now for the house of my God I have prepared with all my might: gold for things to be made of gold, silver for things of silver, bronze for things of bronze, iron for things of iron, wood for things of wood, onyx stones, stones to be set, glistening stones of various colors, all kinds of precious stones, and marble slabs in abundance. Moreover, because I have set my affection on the house of my God, I have given to the house of my God, over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house, my own special treasure of gold and silver: three thousand talents of gold, of the gold of Ophir, and seven thousand talents of refined silver, to overlay the walls of the houses; the gold for things of gold and the silver for things of silver, and foz all kinds of work to be done by the hands of craftsmen. Who then is willing to consecrate himself this day to the LORD?" Then the leaders of the fathers' houses, leaders of the tribes of Israel, the captains of thousands and of hundreds, with the officers over the king's work, offered willingly. They gave for the work of the house of God five thousand talents and ten thousand darics of gold, ten thousand talents of silver, eighteen thousand talents of bronze, and one hundred thousand talents of iron.・ (1 Chronicle 29:1-7)
But I truly know that there are members among us whose financial ability is rather tightening. Their incomes are not enough to support their living. Therefore, I suggest that any one who thinks he or she has financial difficulty should not give offering. Let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves and remembers a cheerful giver. Thus, after you read this letter of encouragement, do not feel pressure. Please give offering according to your faith and love for God.
3) For we know that out of the total project expense, there is $200,000 for internal fittings. Let us work together to deal with this financial need by providing the church the actual gift of item. If we can successfully resolve this amount, our financial need will come down to $427,836. The way to approach this issue is as below: Gary Fong will responsible to coordinate the whole exercise. Member should first check with Gary and look for which item you are going to offer as a gift to church. If you want to give a used item as a gift, it must be in good working condition. (at least 70% new) The best way is to provide money so that the church can buy that item. Please refer to the following items that we need:
4) By all these measures, we can cut down the free load amount at $427,826, if it is based on an eight years of repayment period. For the first two years when our church does not have a significant growth in size, we can repay the loan at $40,000 each year. (After the deduct of the monthly rental $2,100, we only pay for the loan at $1,300 each month that is within our affordability.) For another next two years, we can repay the loan at $50,000 each year. (Monthly payment will be $4,200. After the deduct of the monthly rental $2,100, we only pay for the loan at $2,100 each month. This should be all right by the time of our growth.) And for another four years, we can repay the loan at $62,000 each year. (Payment for loan is estimated as $5,200 each month.) We can fully repay this loan after 8 years. All this planning is based on the assumption that we can exhaust ourselves for another $300,000 by the end of January next year, plus our concerted effort to absorb all the necessary items for our internal fittings at the estimated amount of $200,000. We should strive for this ideal goal. Let us apply our full effort in prayer, offering and praises. It is because nothing is impossible to our God. May God, who loves us and works miracle for us, receive all the glory!
By: By David Ng