City Harvest Case: Jail Terms Begin, But Hope Remains
Even as they begin serving their sentences today (April 21, 2017), Kong Hee and the team have City Harvest Church on their hearts and minds.
It was a grim morning—marked by torrential rain—for City Harvest Church as its senior pastor Kong Hee and four other members involved in the four-year court case surrendered themselves to the State Courts to begin their jail sentences today.
There was no call nor plan for members to gather, but around 30 church members and friends of the church were present outside Court 1 at the State Courts this morning when the first of the five, Kong, arrived.
Tears were shed, words of encouragement spoken, hugs given. Although the atmosphere was somber, there was nevertheless a persistent sense of hope.
Late last night (April 20, 2017), Kong put up a video message for the leaders of the church, thanking and encouraging them. “I want to thank all of you for standing so strong the last seven years,” he said, “and I pray that the coming days, you will be even more united…united in spirit, united in the Word, united in faith, vision, in like-mindedness…I pray that you will really love and support Sun, Pastor Bob, Pastor Aries and the senior leadership.
“I can promise you this: that in jail, I will be praying for you, and I will be thinking even more about the church and about you, and you can count on my intercession…remember me, and pray for me as well,” he added.
Earlier this week, City News asked the other four if they had any thoughts they wished to share with the church.
John Lam said, “I have come to terms with the judgment and hope that, in the end, this will bring closure to our members. For myself, I wish to restart my life with my family when I eventually complete my sentence.”
Tan Ye Peng thanked the church for their faithful support and prayers. Likewise, Sharon Tan said, “Thank you so much for loving me and praying unceasingly for me. I am already blessed.”
Serina Wee had this to say, “To the church, I would like to thank everyone for praying and believing to the very end. I have never felt that I was walking alone in this seven-year journey. I am and will always be proud to be part of this spiritual family.”
“KEEP FOCUSING ON JESUS”
Joining the members of the church at the State Courts this morning were three pastors from churches in Taiwan that had experienced revival when the Crossover Project took place there: Garrick Li, senior pastor of Christ Harvest Church; Wayne Chang, senior pastor of Hsin Tien Covenant Church and Jenny Hung, a pastor from New Life Church.
Li told City News that “I came down to be with Pastor Kong, to let him know that we love him, to thank him, to let him know we are standing with him.”
Chang said, “I always remember how he (Pastor Kong) helped me, all he taught me. It’s important to be here in his time of need. You always stand by your family. They may not be perfect, nobody’s perfect, but they’re family. When he’s down and out, I’ll stand by him.”
Each pastor also had a message for CHC members. Chang said, “Have a simple heart towards God. Have a simple heart towards your leaders. Have a forgiving heart for anyone who is down and out—not just the leaders, but the people who are next to you. We are in the job of reconstruction and rebuilding the image of Christ and not tearing [it] down.”
Li encouraged the church with these words: “Keep focusing on Jesus. He’s the author and finisher of our faith, He’s the anchor of our hope. Just keep looking to Jesus. He’s in control. Everything is in His hands. He knows what He’s doing, even though sometimes we may not see what we expected but God is in full control and something glorious will come out from all these things.”