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Bold Faith Newsletter #9 - Heart Revelation of Giving

Posted by Phil Chin on

As the third wave of the virus affects Hong Kong, we continue to trust God and serve the city by providing masks to those in need and blessing low-income families financially.

10K for HK
One special way we were able to encourage our church to extend generosity was through our 10K for HK Campaign. Permanent residents were encouraged to donate their government gift to those in need if they were able. That’s just another way to continue spreading the love of God to the hurting in this extra challenging time!

Bold Faith Shirt Sale
In yet another creative way to support the Bold Faith Building Fund, a generous donor donated thousands of shirts and allowed us to sell these to raise support for our future building! The sales – both offline and online – not only generated over $320,000, but also gave us an opportunity to bless over 1,000 people through “shirt gift packages” donated to both local and overseas NGOs.  

Leader Spotlight: Karen Kwok
This month, we’d like for you to hear from Karen Kwok, our Senior Director of Finance at Island ECC.  

“Serving at Island ECC has given me the privilege of witnessing God’s glory through your generous giving over the past 14 years. Your generosity is an expression of the unfathomable grace of God, an act of true worship, obedience and surrender.

Recognising that God owns “everything in the heavens and earth” (1 Chronicles 29:11) required me to transform my thinking, which was not easy initially. I now realise that the way I handle money is a barometer of my relationship with God, and frees me to trust that God will take care of my needs. I am merely a custodian of what He chooses to give me and I will be accountable to Him for what I do with it. In His goodness, He always provides in ways that beautifully exceed my expectations. 

An Overview of Our Current Leasing Budget
Each year, 32% of our church budget is allocated to building leasing obligations. So far, the annual lease of $27 million only provides us with 62,428 ft2, which allows for only 1,200 seats per service at 633 King’s Road. Over the past 14 years, the lease for space has consumed nearly HK$ 260 million in church resources.

A Projection of Unfavourable Future Leasing Costs
By leasing the same space in the years ahead, the upcoming costs would be $145 million (5 years), $317 million (10 years), $517 million (15 years), $751 million (20 years). However, to meet the anticipated annual growth, we will likely need to expand from 6 floors to 10 floors in a few years’ time. This would bring us to a much higher future leasing cost: nearly $1 billion over 20 years.

Our Goal of Investing These Funds in a Permanent Venue
How wonderful would it be if this extraordinary and unrecoverable fund could be invested towards acquiring our own building? Rather than continuing to spend church resources on a short-term lease, we believe the best use of resources would be to invest in a permanent venue that will not only bless our church now, but for generations to come.

This is Bold Faith.  

A Challenging Season
Given our fluctuating economy, along with the pandemic, we might be tempted to change our passion and approach towards generosity. But we remember the Biblical truth in 1 and 2 Chronicles, when the children of Israel returned from exile to rebuild the temple, the work was going very slowly and virtually stopped because of a drought and limited resources. Yet God taught them to set their priorities on His higher works, despite the situation at hand. I pray we will make God’s kingdom and His mission our top priorities in this season.

Where We’re At
The Bold Faith project has raised $171 million; so we still have a long way to go to achieve our $1 billion goal. In Philippians 4:17, Paul says “Not that I am looking for a gift, but I am looking for what may be credited to your account.” Paul’s letter to the Philippians gives us a godly perspective on giving. Although Paul appreciated the support financially, his real joy came from the fact that their gift was being credited to their heavenly account.

Join Us in Prayer
Our prayer is that God continues to turn generous intent into generous action, to sow and reap fruitfully. The 5 loaves and 2 fish parable is a reminder to us that Jesus is willing to multiply whatever we give sacrificially to become a feast for thousands in His hands. It is a divine invitation to respond to God’s calling to build up our church at a difficult time, trust in the Lord, pursue righteousness, and surrender to God what already belongs to Him. Our prayer is that God reminds us of eternity’s gains, and the ultimate reward: Jesus. Pray specifically that God would guide our leadership and legal teams as we make decisions related to a redevelopment opportunity in North Point. The property market continues to shift and we need God’s guidance. 

We are grateful for all who faithfully continue to support our Bold Faith efforts

Phillip Chin
Bold Faith Chairman


Karen Kwok
Senior Director, Finance

 

© 2020 Island ECC - A Dynamic English Speaking International Church in Hong Kong