Founders of City Harvest Church, Kong Hee and Sun Ho share their sentiments about the journey of the church to this point.
Contributed By Theresa Tan
CITY NEWS: City Harvest Church is 22! What are your feelings about seeing the church cross this milestone?
KONG HEE: We’re both greatly humbled by what God has done in this church and through this church. Twenty-two years ago, we started out with nothing close to this many people. But God has certainly brought us a long, long way, not just in the number of years we have existed or the number of members we have, but in our strength and tenacity, our compassion to lend a helping hand to the less fortunate, and our spirit of love and unity as a church family.
It’s not been the easiest of journeys. Sun and I and the rest of our pioneering leaders never expected it to be. Any breakthrough from God requires us first to meet face-to-face with a wall of resistance. Although we have our fair share of “walls,” God has always given us the grace to scale over them.
What have you experienced in this past year about the church that surprised you in a pleasant or touching way? Something unexpected that gave you great encouragement?
SUN HO: Kong and I have always been a missions-minded couple. We believe deeply in the call of Christ to reach out to the nations and to give as many people as we possibly can a chance to say “Yes!” to Jesus. So in our growth and vision as a church, we have always encouraged our members to “find a need and meet it” and to build a “church without walls”; never to evangelize through “fire and brimstone” preaching, but rather through living lives that exemplify the possibility of a better life and eternity through Christ. As leaders, Kong and I have always tried to put our own needs aside in order to fulfill the Great Commission and the Great Commandment. So this year, after our situation began and the world started to crumble around us, it was very touching for us to see how our needs and emotions mattered so much to our members. Day after day, we would receive emails filled with love and support, with verses that spoke into our lives to edify and encourage us; messages sent through Twitter and Facebook; even text messages from former members that have left the church but expressed that they are still willing to stand with us because they believe in us. These are the simple things that matter the most to us.
What would you count as the highlight of this year, and why?
KONG: I would definitely count the move into Suntec as the turning point moment of the year. It surely brought up some of the most scathing critiques of our church and me from disgruntled bloggers! But putting all that aside, I don’t want any member of CHC to miss out on what the historic move into Suntec means to us as a congregation—which is God’s covenant-keeping faithfulness to us as a church! For years we have heard preachers and ministers prophesy that we will be a church for the city, within the city, and to penetrate the culture of our city. Within us, we always have a deep, burning desire to be a relevant voice for Christ in Singapore. Over 22 years, our members have worked really hard to take our creative arts, our technical expertise and our ministry standards world-class. The move to Suntec marked the culmination of all these efforts. Truly, this is a “New Day” for God to move in a new way among His people. Going forward, I am excited to see what He has in store for us!
Sun, you have been back for a year. Even though it was not under the most ideal circumstances, what have you enjoyed and appreciated about being home, being in the office, being in church this past one year?
HO: I’ve been on the mission field for so many, many years, and not one day passed when I was away that I didn’t miss my church friends and the work of the local church. So it definitely means a lot a lot to me to be able to be back helping out in the church office, worshipping with my closest friends, and being with my family.
You set the theme “Choose Love” for this new year. Can you share with us what this means to you, and what do you hope to see in the church toward this direction?
KONG: Like what Sun has mentioned earlier, we have always been a very missions-minded church. But for this year, we were given the revelation that it is important for us to “take time to smell the roses” too as a congregation—to enjoy our friendship, fellowship and faith together. God brought us together as a church not just to work, work, work but to worship, worship, worship together! CHC has always believed that we should love God wholeheartedly and to love people fervently, and the theme of “Choosing Love” is just to re-emphasize that among us. I pray that it will not just be a slogan for 2011, but will become ingrained into our ethos as a church to always choose Christ and to choose love toward one another.
What is your wish list for CHC this coming year?
HO: The house of God is a place where people find a deeper revelation of the Word of God, where they can encounter the Holy Spirit tangibly and through those encounters develop an intimate personal relationship with Christ. It is also where they find a sense of belonging and identity with others who hold our similar faith and beliefs. My wish for CHC this coming year is simply that our church will continue to be all these things and more to our members.
What would you both like to say to your church on this special occasion?
KONG: We would like to say thank you for choosing love. Your love, together with Christ’s, makes us complete. Let’s “Come Together” and make 2012 our best year yet!