Build God¡¦s House and Kingdom Together, Witness The Lord¡¦s Bounty and Glory as One
Thank God for letting us pass through a year in His grace and peace! 2005 was a year of building for the church. Because of a vision of the Heavenly Kingdom, our projects of building a church and building up people proceeded concurrently. Today is the first day of 2006. At the beginning of a new annum, in the midst of the renewal of manifold elements, I earnestly wish in my prayers that this year everyone will know God more, love God deeper and be more fully infused and engaged by the Holy Spirit, so that God will receive great glory, and His will can be completed in the church.
2006 will be a year of renewal for the church. First, an assembly hall that has long been anticipated and belongs solely to us will be completed early in January. God willing, upon receiving the occupancy permit issued by the city government, we plan to move in and start services in the new building some time in February. Thank the Lord! After ten years of waiting, praying and searching, God has prepared for us on No. 5 Rd. an exquisite and spacious place for the purposes of worship, prayers and testimony. The church also plans to conduct a ¡§Thanksgiving Event for the Dedication of the New Church and the 11th Anniversary of Our Establishment¡¨ on March 5. On the one hand, by the grace of God, the church has experienced continuous growth these past 11 years, with gains in both people and spiritual quality, for which we must be thankful. On the other, during the church building process, we have greatly experienced the wondrous acts of God, especially in the supply of funds and the complementation of gifts. We should rightfully give thanks and praises to God.
From an exterior perspective, the west wall of the new hall looks like a fortress, as many members will surely concur. From a spiritual perspective, the church really is a sturdy fortress with foundations, just like the city of Jerusalem. In the past God chose Mount Zion to build Jerusalem, bestowed on it bounty and glory, and blessed Israel with peace, because God was pleased with the house of David and His people. After the completion of the temple, the exiled and returned remnant under the leadership of Nehemiah again started to build the city walls. Although they faced innumerable difficulties and the attacks of the enemy, the walls were finally finished with the help of the Lord and the unity of the people. Today we have mostly completed the building of the church for God. But the job of building up people still continues. Although the outer wall of the hall is complete, the spiritual wall of the church still awaits our joint diligent construction. I hope that the ¡§Vision of Building the Wall¡¨ continually encourages us. The wall represents a line of defense, so that the people within can be protected. The wall is also a line of demarcation, separating those belonging to God within the wall from those of the world outside the wall. Even more, the wall is a symbol of testimony, just as Jesus Christ said, ¡§You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.¡¨ (Matthew 5:14) May God be pleased with the testimony we have established, so that those who pass by No. 5 Rd. in the future will not just see a building that resembles a fortress, but by seeing the testimony of our lives will come to know God.
For this, the church is using the theme ¡§Build God¡¦s House and Kingdom Together, Witness The Lord¡¦s Bounty and Glory as One¡¨ this year as the goal of our expansion and search. After a year and a half of getting to know you all, I have come to recognize deeply the importance of building a reverential family. Spiritually, we must build up not just ourselves, but our families as well, so that God will have in our midst more families that revere the Lord and love people. Only in that way can the church have the addition power to expand the Kingdom of God. As well, by the grace of God¡¦s salvation and preservation, we must witness together His bountiful providence and glorious acts. In the next year, I hope the brothers and sisters will build up each other through even greater unity, so that the wall of testimony of the church will have no cracks, and will be very sturdy.
¡§May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.¡¨ (Hebrews 13:20-21)
By: Daniel To