City News brings you the highlights of the year for City Harvest Church.
By Lee Weifang & Eugene Tay
CHC experienced a significant number of healing miracles this year. Members rose up in faith to pray for the sick during Bible school sessions, Prayer 365, all-night prayer meetings, and outside the four walls of the church. Testimonies of God’s healing power were shared widely: one School Of Theology student, Lavendran was healed of leg injuries from a road accident when Choong Tsih Ming, a CHC pastor and SOT teacher prayed for him. Queenie Hu’s three-week-old baby niece, Sarah, who was suffering from jaundice and suspected of liver problems was declared by the doctor to have a normal, healthy liver after members prayed. These and many more miracles have marked 2012.
Such testimonies served to embolden members to pray for sick persons inside and outside the church. When Dawn Lee (second from left) discovered that a friend’s niece was faced with a life-threatening situation, she went to the hospital to pray for her. During birth, baby Avril was in distress and did not breathe for 20 minutes. The lack of oxygen in her brain caused her to have suspected brain damage, which would have affected multiple organs. When Lee prayed for her in the ICU, the situation began to improve bit by bit, and in one week, all her organs started to function independently. Today, baby Avril is 3 months old and has been certified by the doctors to be perfectly normal. She had experienced the miraculous healing power of God.
It’s impossible to forget the amazing testimonies of the two former triad leaders shared at CHC this year. Both were leaders of high profile gangs, both had their lives turned around by the love of God.
Teddy Hung (left, top), former triad leader of Hong Kong’s notorious 14K, shared his testimony during the Church’s anniversary on Aug. 11 and 12. In 2002, he received Christ during a Crossover concert by CHC’s co-founder Sun Ho, but struggled in unbelief for seven years. It was God’s unfailing love and a revelation that finally cause him to turn around for good. Today, he is a Bible School graduate and spends his time reaching out to other triad members.
Yasumasa Aoki, a former Yakuza in Japan, shared his testimony during the SOT graduation service on Sep. 22 and 23. In his life as a gang leader, Aoki committed acts of violence and was heavily involved in alcohol, gambling, and other vices. He received Christ when he was at the lowest point of his life in prison, and his life began to change drastically. Today, he is an SOT graduate, and is making plans to start a halfway house for former convicts.
Since it was launched in May this year, this has become City Radio’s most popular program. Listeners get insight into the mind of Kong Hee, the senior pastor of CHC, as he shares his thoughts on topics such as being a good leader in the office, a good teacher of the Word, even his own quiet time and personal encounters with God. He gamely tackles hot-button topics such as dealing with temptation and depression, finding the right life partner, along with personal experiences with his wife Sun.
On the weekend of Oct. 20 and 21, Coffee With Kong went live on stage during CHC’s services. City Radio’s producer Bernard Loh (right) conducted a live CWK session before the congregation. It was a new side to the senior pastor that most had not seen before—his candor and pastoral heart were on full display as he answered questions about discipleship, and several of his disciples joined him on stage to share their stories about being Kong’s disciples.
That weekend, the radio station enjoyed 33,000 hits on their website, a leap from the average weekly hit count of 19,610.
In the one year since the City Harvest Community Service Association’s House Of JOY opened its doors at Pine Close, it has impacted a total of 510 elderly persons in the area. Staff and volunteers of HOJ, a senior activity center, reached 225 elderly persons through their regular in-house programs, while befrienders reached 467 seniors through weekly home visitation.
Chong Jok Mee, 71, is one of those who found joy and meaning in her life after joining the programs at HOJ. Because of the debts she inherited from her late husband, and subsequently a stroke that caused one side of her face to droop, Chong fell into depression. Through the programs at HOJ, Chong’s life took a turn for the better. This year, she even took part in the center’s Mother’s Day Pageant and regained her confidence through “modeling”. Today, she is a HOJ volunteer, trained to help others.
Emerge started in 2003 as an annual conference to empower young people to live their best life. The three-day Emerge Conference held in July this year centered around social causes through a new segment, Salt & Light, which gave youths an opportunity to create and execute projects that provided real solutions to real-life problems.A total of 3,188 youths participated in this year’s Emerge Conference, and the community projects conducted touched the lives of 5,420 people.
After the conference, the organizers felt Emerge should not be constrained to an annual or bi-annual event, but that it should become an ongoing movement. Hence, the inaugural City Harvest Bible Boot Camp was held from Dec. 3 to 7. The camp sought to replicate the experience of Bible School, where students were immersed in the presence of God daily while learning Biblical truths and obtaining practical advice. Hundreds of youth participated in the camp, praying, fasting and studying topics like “The Art Of Discipleship” and “Growing In Christlikeness”.
In challenging times, it is vital for Christians to gather in prayer. Prayer 365, which was started on Aug. 1, mobilized CHC members and cell groups to form a prayer chain to pray every evening for one entire year without ceasing.
Wu Yuzhuang, the pastor in charge of the movement, explained, “Prayer has always been an integral part of CHC; it helps connect us to God and to each other. In this challenging season of our church, it is even more important for us to depend on God in our prayers and stay united in our prayers.”
7. FRIDAY All-Night Prayer Meetings FOR 40 WEEKS
Tan Ye Peng, deputy pastor of CHC, received a personal revelation of how prayer and the Word of God are the keys to breakthrough and revival. Out of this, the Friday weekly all-night meeting was birthed on Sep. 7, and would run for 40 weeks. This seemed to hit a chord with the church members: thousands have spent their Friday evenings, from 8 to 11 p.m., interceding and spending time in the presence of God. A special offering is collected in every meeting and part of it is donated to a local charity organization every week.
Entering the 16th of 40 weeks now, the fruit of this initiative speaks volumes. The prayer life and faith of the members have grown stronger in measurable ways: many have experienced and testified of physical and inner healing, revival in their hearts, as well as financial and personal breakthroughs.
CHC members were encouraged to be rooted in the Word of God, a Christian’s most powerful weapon. Those who completed reading the Book of Psalms, John and Hebrews were awarded a special publication, Irrevocable, at the Candlelight Services on the weekend of Dec. 15 and 16.Serina Perera, an editor of the book, explained: “As a result of the revelation our leaders received regarding the believer’s authority, and the power of speaking out the promises of God, Irrevocablewas born. This book is a collection of God’s promises and the prophecies spoken over the leaders and the church.
”Irrevocable is filled with Bible promises carefully selected by the pastoral team of CHC, along with breath-taking pictorials taken by CHC’s photography team. “As the members enjoy this book, we hope that they will be immensely encouraged and inspired by the pictures, verses and revelations,” said Perera.
The early Church grew most rapidly when it faced the toughest persecution. Christians of this age must understand that the work of reaching out to the lost must go on at all cost and the Hands of God are never too short to save. Embracing their purpose, CHC members rose up to the occasion this year, reaching out to their friends week after week. A total of 1,152 salvation decisions were made for Christ this year, up to the Candlelight services last week. Koh Jia Yong is a youth cell group leader in CHC who saw increase in her cell group this year. “In September, my cell group members invited four new friends to church; all four of them have received Christ and are now firmly planted in the church. Even in the midst of trying times, God’s work of salvation never stops!”
10. New Speakers At CHC
Canon J John
Founder, Philo Trust, United Kingdom
John is a master at fusing humor and truth. Over the weekend of Feb. 18 and 19, he shared a message on accepting the invitation of Christ, who promises new life in the present and hope for the future. That weekend, many gave their hearts to Jesus.
Senior pastor, Cottonwood Church in Orange County, California, USA
On the weekend of Feb. 25 and 26, Conley visited CHC and shared a message on having faith in God regardless of circumstances. With stories from the Word and real-life testimonies, Conley revealed that God is into restoration, imputing new faith and courage into the hearts of the members.
Senior pastor, Bethel Church in Redding, California, USA
Johnson preaches all over the world, often moving in miracles and healing. Over the weekend of Mar. 17 and 18, CHC received a lesson on how to exercise the authority to release the power given by God, in order to fulfill His will. Johnson also prayed for a mantle of healing to fall upon CHC.
John C Maxwell
Speaker & author, USA
On May 26 and 27, Maxwell shared a memorable message on the host of heavenly witnesses cheering believers on. He imagined the key messages Bible heroes like David and Jesus would say to Christians as they ran the race of life. He also expounded on how believers are to be an active channel of God’s blessing.
Senior pastor, Champions Center, Washington, USA
Gerald ministered on Jun. 23 and 24 bringing messages of profound truth packaged in simple language, and practical steps to the members of CHC. He expounded on six forces that form the future, bringing the revelation that what a believer does, says and thinks is key to shaping his future.
Senior pastor, Jakarta Praise Community Church, Jakarta, Indonesia
Private banker-turned-megachurch pastor, Rachmat often teaches on Godly leadership and influence. Sharing at CHC’s 23rd Anniversary weekend in August, he taught the church about the rest of God: “Daylight is for us to do what is possible, while the night time is for us to rest, while God does the impossible.”
Senior pastor, Trinity Christian Centre, Singapore
On Sep. 8 and 9, Yeo, who is also the Superintendent of the Assemblies of God Singapore, who is widely known for preaching internationally on powerful breakthroughs and transformation, brought a timely message to CHC, on how to break through five different barriers in life.