The man who inspired City Harvest Church in 1996 with his message on building a “Church Without Walls” was back to speak at a special service.
Contibuted By Delvina Su
Founder of Metro Ministries, Bill Wilson, 62, spoke at a special evening service at City Harvest Church’s Jurong West premises on Aug. 26. He was in Singapore for the Bethany Singapore Impact Conference but took time out to minister to the CHC congregation. To church members who heard him before, Wilson’s message was a timely reminder of the need to fulfill the call of God in one’s life. To those who heard him preach for the first time, it was a meeting that impacted them right from the start.
Sharing his life story at the packed auditorium, Wilson recounted how as a young boy he was abandoned by his alcoholic mother and left waiting on the street for three days until a Christian gentleman picked him up. This gentleman later sent him to a Christian camp and there began his relationship with God. But out of the pain and isolation that he experienced by being abandoned and rejected early in life, Wilson grew a heart of compassion for hurting children and reached out to them because to him, they matter to God as much as he mattered to that kind gentleman.
God uses ordinary people, shared Wilson, who see beyond the world they have created for themselves, to do extraordinary work. Using his life as an example, he labeled himself as a “painfully” ordinary man “who does not have the gifting someone in his position should have.” But God still used him because he had something in him to do what God wanted him to do. “If we do not have it, we do not need it because we have everything we need in us to do what God wants us to do,” said Wilson. Doing God’s work is not just reserved for prophets or bishops.
Wilson taught about the vision from Isaiah 6. Only after King Uzziah died did Isaiah the prophet see the real vision. “The king,” explained Wilson, “sometimes has to die for us to see something different. The king refers to the throne of our life that has taken priority. When the priority is taken out of the equation, it puts us in a position to see who God really is. When we see Him for ourself (like Isaiah did), we receive an upward vision,” he said.
Real vision is a process—like a woman who desires a baby to conceiving it to the baby’s delivery. To have the end product, a person needs to go through the process. He defined the process as one from receiving an upward vision, to having an inward vision before finally having an outward, manifested vision. Only after having an upward vision of seeing who God really is, can one have an inward vision where the Holy Spirit reveals and one is made to see one’s true nature. “People should do something for God automatically, and not be coerced to do so,” explained Wilson.
Wilson ended by showing the congregation photos of a 10-year-old Kenyan boy who had a huge tumor on his right eye covering almost half of his face. When Wilson saw that, he knew that he had to start a Sunday School for children in Kenya. The boy eventually died, but Wilson’s Sunday School grew to some 10,000 children. A similar event occurred in the Phillippines when Wilson witnessed the decomposed body of a dead 5-year-old girl dumped in a garbage heap. Faced with such mind-numbing moments, Wilson was prompted to start a Sunday School there for children that no one loved.
City Harvest Children’s Church worker, Fang Xinwei, 30, first heard Wilson preach in the mid-1990s and was very inspired to see how his commitment and love for the ministry had not changed all these years. “He is still as passionate about meeting the needs of those around him,” says Fang.
CHC member Heng Shi Han, 19, student, heard Wilson for the first time and was very impacted by his message and is challenged to see beyond herself and to receive God’s vision for her life.
Wilson’s worldwide ministry is a reflection of his personal life: through the kindness of one stranger who picked him up when he was abandoned, he had a chance to do what he does today. Today, Wilson aims to reach all kinds of children, especially those who are unloved and hurting, and to introduce the love of God to them.
Wilson ended the session by reminding the congregation that big doors open on small hinges—opportunities to help might be presented in small ways like sending a child to a church camp but that was how he started his own journey with God.
“To the world we might be just one person but to the one that we are helping, we are the world,” said Wilson.