As I look back over the past 14 years of New Life’s history, I can think of several milestones that strengthen my faith in God. The first is the several Coffee Houses we did in our earlier years in an attempt to reach out to our unchurched friends with the love and gospel message of Christ. I fondly remember how everyone served so sacrificially and joyfully as members got involved in various different ways. Through these Coffee Houses, I learned that when God tells me to do something, I will never lack people resources in doing His will.
The second milestone is raising $100,000 in about a month after I came back from a West Africa vision trip in 2002 with three members. We saw a Bible college/seminary that was dilapidated and the team sensed God leading us to raise money to support and renovate the school, one that served to equip Christian leaders for that nation. In about six weeks, New Life gave more than $100,000. One married woman sacrificed and gave her diamond engagement ring. Through this, I learned that when God tells me to do something, I will never lack financial resources in doing His will.
The third milestone is God using the message I delivered to the KSC to stir a deacon’s heart to match my giving amount for our building campaign, which was my one year’s gross income, shortly after I declined to receive a brand new Honda Accord SE from a KSC member. My two younger children even to this day tell me, “Dad, you should’ve taken the car!” But through this, I learned that God gets deeply pleased when His children put Him and His kingdom work first. You wouldn’t believe how thrilled and ecstatic I was when I received the check from the deacon right after the worship even before we kicked off our building campaign. God was using this to tell me, “Eric, you are on the right track! Don’t listen to those naysayers but press on with what I am telling you to do!”
The fourth milestone is the Leadership Team members raising about $500,000 amongst themselves and about 180 New Life members raising close to $2,000,000, totaling $2,500,000 for our building, allowing us to be totally debt free after three years! This is pretty unheard of and I am very thankful to God that I have a very giving congregation. Through this I learned that if we seek His kingdom and righteousness first, He will take care of all of our needs.
And the most recent milestone happened this past Sunday. After spending a brief moment with Mr. & Mrs. Chon in my office, I came to realize that they need a great amount of financial resources to do God’s work in North Korea. At first, I felt a little uneasy because I will have to be the one who will need to communicate their needs to New Life, especially after supporting them with $60,000 in 2011. But then, I started to get a little sad and frustrated during the second worship service because Christians all over the world have been praying for North Korea for the past six decades to open up to the message of the gospel. And here they are, about thirty plus missionaries, in Pyongyang, the capital doing God’s work by interacting with the finest minds of the nation, but they can’t do the job well because they don’t have $120,000 a month. How sad and tragic this is! What are Christians all over the world doing when God is doing some incredibly mighty and special things in the most closed country of the world through these missionaries?
After the message, I sensed God compelling me to present the specific needs that I heard from the Chon’s to New Life trusting that God will once again move the hearts of New Life. That evening, one New Life member called me and shared with me that he and his wife have decided to give $100,000, money that they had saved to renovate their home, to support PUST by helping them to build and provide a research facility for the Engineering School. Imagine the joy this must have brought to the Chon’s who shared with the couple that they have been discouraged even the day before worship because they felt like no one really understood what they were trying to do there. And imagine what will be written in this couple’s book that is in God’s hand! Through this, I learned that New Life is ready for a God-sized mission. All I need to do is to obey the promptings of the Holy Spirit and provide opportunities for New Life members to participate in doing God’s work.
Even as I am writing this with so much joy and excitement, I can’t help but to think of and feel sorry for those whose god is not God but money and comfort. If this is you, please repent and honor God using your money, time and skills before it is too late. Otherwise, nothing will be written in your book and you will hear no encouraging words from our heavenly Father. I say this because I, as your pastor, don’t want anyone to lag behind.
These are some of the milestones that cause me to have a firm faith in God that He will take care of me and New Life all the days of our lives. Let’s remember that we can never out-give God.
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