Where will you be my darling? Where will you be when the dark is rising?
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
I had the craziest Saturday this year, and possibly all my life. On Saturday, I had class, my band's gig, church service, and Faith's birthday celebration. The week leading up to it was the most intense this year, and I almost went insane over it. I had to do 107 sketches for class and a proposal, I had to practice all week for the gig, and I was in charge of doing the birthday video for Faith. I have never been that stressed before.
Regardless, that's not what I wanted to blog about today. I still owe a lot of topics, and I just added a few mentioned above for another day. What got me through all that was God. I barely prayed anything that week, yet there was still so many assurances from Him. That reminded me about the new church building.
Firstly though, a little background information for the non-City Harvesters. City Harvest Church in Singapore was started with just a small group of people led by Pastor Kong. They moved from house to house and eventually from banquet halls to banquet halls when they got bigger. Later on they managed to buy over the old Hollywood Theatre in Paya Lebar, which cost $1 million. It was raised over a number of years purely from the donations from the members towards the building fund. It sat about 400. After they outgrew the place they needed a new location, which they found at Jurong West. It was in the midst of the 1997 recession that time, and yet they still managed to raise enough money for the new building in Jurong West. Due to the recession, the materials were cheaper, which helped make a grand church costing $48 million, covered in titanium. This place could seat 2500 people.
Jurong West premises. It's covered in titanium.
It was during this era that I first joined CHC SG. Yet this place too, was overflowed after a few years. And we moved to Expo Hall 8 to fit the congregation, seating 8000 renting the hall every single week, while looking for a place we could find our true home next.
Expo Hall 8's interior.
We continued out building fund to raise money for the new location, and we found it in Suntec City Convention centre. This place would fit 12 000 members, and was located in the heart of the city, something we had wanted as we believed we could impact the marketplace well if we had our church in it. This place costs over $300 million to buy, which is a third of a billion dollars. They're currently in the process of raising enough money. They've done it so many times before, I'm sure they'll do it again. When we finally have our new church, I can be proud that a portion of my money, even if just a small amount, contributed to us owning the place. It has deeper meaning for me because my house of God contains my sacrifice.
The Singapore Indoor Stadium, which we book once a year for the church anniversary and the Festival of Praise
Now that I'm in Kuala Lumpur, I'm in City Harvest Church KL. CHCKL's the KL/Selangor branch of the City Harvest family. Previously, the church was moving from place to place as well, using small rooms and the such. Then they had their building fund and finally bought the church building we're using now. And next, they've managed to buy a much bigger building, at a timespan no short of miraculous for religious buildings. The approval and all were completed within a month. I know of other religious buildings and churches that wait years. And financially, I have sacrificed. This new building will have contained my sacrifice as well.
But one thing thats different is that I have blood, sweat and tears too. Physical labour has been a sacrifice. Some volunteers were needed to help do up some furniture and small scale carpentry work, and I volunteered during my holidays. Every few days I'd come over and help out Gordon, who was the only consistent helper apart from me and another guy. I'd saw wood, nail them and demolish certain pieces that we needed parts from. Sawing was quite painful for the ears as I used an electric saw which made a hell lot of noise, and carefully measuring all the wood pieces was time consuming. Nailing and screwing were no big deal. But my favourite was demolishing the wood. Using a hammer and just whacking the wood until it breaks? That's freaking fun! It did turn certain parts of my hand red after numerous whacks, but it was just downright enjoyable. I did get tired after certain times though. However, all I needed to do was think about a certain person, think of how I was screwed over in another country, and instantly, I had more strength (coupled with some anger from the memories) to continue bashing the wood.
One thing though, that really hit me when I was doing the carpentry was that we always picked the best and good woods. It reminded me of several passages in the Bible where it says people always gave their best offerings to God, from the best sheep, to the best gold, best this, best that. Although its used often in the context of financial offerings in church, doing the carpentry work let me see another side of it. We picked the good woods carefully, throwing away the rotten or weak woods. We chose the best to be used because we wanted the best for the house of God. Giving offerings and working through carpentry made me realize that we indeed should give the best to God, because why would you want to give Him less unless you really didn't care?
Just as we want to give the best of what we can to our loved ones, we also want to give the best of what we can to a very significant Loved One. More so when there's so many Bible scriptures on it.
CHCKL is going down to CHC SG tomorrow for Asia Conference. The pastor of the largest church in the world will be there, along with my pastor, the pastor of the second largest church in Asia, and other great speakers. It's going to be life changing.
And I'm probably going to get no sleep as well -.-.