With CHC’s location at Suntec Singapore in mind, members embark on this year’s Arise & Build campaign with vigor.
|CN PHOTO: Michael Chan|
The launch of the 2010 Arise and Build campaign was especially significant for the members of City Harvest Church, as it happened on the same weekend as the release of the much-anticipated news about the church’s new location at Suntec Convention Centre.
The Arise and Build campaign typically takes place from November to April. However, the annual tradition took a break last year as senior pastor Kong Hee decided to put it on hold until the new premise had been found. Hence, it was to a surprised and excited crowd that Kong announced on Jan. 16 that the management board had finally signed the agreement for the location in the central south of Singapore. Due to a non-disclosure agreement, the management had to keep mum on the exact location of the church’s new site until the Arise and Build weekend.
March 6 and 7 marked the beginning of the 2010 Arise and Build weekend—the climax of seven weeks’ worth of anticipation and speculation among members.
During the service, Bobby Chaw, a pastor in CHC, and his wife, Cindy Ng, shared on stage on how they have sowed into the building funds over the years. Chaw told of how, when his family was steeped in debt and bankruptcy, church members rallied to help him, providing him the means to complete his university studies and graduate with a degree in Material Science.
Chaw and Ng believed that sowing and sacrifice would help their family get out of their financial crisis. Thus, when the couple decided to get married, they did what very few newlyweds would have done—they emptied their savings into the building fund.
Their trust in God did not go in vain. At their wedding, they received bountiful angpows from friends and relatives which covered their wedding expenses, with more than enough left over for their honeymoon in Australia.
The miracles continued to flow. Due to their good record in consistent repayments, Chaw’s family was discharged from bankruptcy prematurely, although they had only paid S$60,000 of their S$500,000 debt. Now, 13 years down the road, the whole family is debt-free and owns six vehicles as well as six properties amounting to more than S$10 million in Shanghai and Singapore.
This testimony ploughed the hearts of the churchgoers before Kong launched into his sermon and announced the location. A special video had been prepared for the occasion, one that recalled the times Kong and the senior leadership had cast the vision “to build a church in the marketplace, for the marketplace, to penetrate the marketplace.”
After showing the 25 locations that were deemed unsuitable or that were successfully procured, the visual finally locked in on Suntec International Convention and Exhibition Centre’s iconic street-corner LED billboard. At every service, the congregation leaped to its feet, roaring with approval as the video ended.
A familiar place to most Singaporeans, Suntec Singapore meets with all of CHC’s requirements, being centrally-located and large enough to contain a 12,000-seater hall as well as facilities to cater to all aspects of the church’s operations.
The target for this current Arise and Build campaign is S$17.3 million. To help the churchgoers in their pledges for the campaign, Kong revealed a chart of the average amounts given in past years by each sector of the congregation (professionals, executives, church workers, homemakers, students and others).
To raise the S$310 million needed for this new location, there will be eight more Arise and Build campaigns. The current Arise and Build campaign will run from March to June.