Space Available, One Week, God Worked!

Since we moved to our current church location over a year ago, we have had the vision of expanding. We have been seeing who our “neighbors” were and thought about the possibility of eventually renting one of their spaces if they ever moved. Back in the summer, one of the guys told the neighboring business that if they ever decided to move, to let us know because we might be interested in renting it. Then at the end of January, he came and let us know that they were planning on moving! This was good news because it came at a time when we needed more space and not just dreaming about needing more space. There was a small problem: we didn’t have the funds on hand to pay the year rent up front that was necessary. We talked with the home homeowner and got a great deal on the space, but we needed the funds.

I tried to think of ways to get it, but my hands were tied unless we decided to make an unwise decision. Maybe God didn’t want us to have the space. But if we didn’t rent it now, we didn’t know when it would be available again. We knew what we needed to do: pray and trust God with it. We decided that we would ask the Lord for the funds, make our needs known and see what God does. If he gives us the resources then we will take it that he wants us to rent it, and if he doesn’t then we will take it that he doesn’t want us to have it now.

We also had a short timeframe. We told the homeowner that we wanted to rent it (even though we didn’t have the funds) and that we would sign the contract on February 1st. That means we had about one week to raise the money.

On Tuesday, January 26, 2016, at 4:11 PM I sent out an email entitled “Read and Pray” that read as follows:

Please read and pray: A great opportunity!

Dear Pastors, Partners and Praying Friends:

Our church rents a room on the 25th floor of a 30 story building. As you can imagine, doing church in China is different than many places. We can’t build or buy church buildings. Space in the city is limited. But we have a great opportunity because the office space directly across from us is available for rent. We have talked with the owner and he has given a great price! We can rent the space for $400 a month. But we have to pay one year’s rent upfront which is a total of $4,800. Unfortunately, at this moment we don’t have those funds available. So we are praying that God will give us the funds before February 1st, which is the day we can sign the contract!

This space won’t replace our current church space but it will expand it and also give a place for our interns and other young men to live. This is a great opportunity because it helps us with space issues and once the space is rented out to another renter, we don’t know when or if it will be available for us to rent again! Since it is directly across from us, it makes it the most convenient and obvious option to expand into!

Please pray with us over the next couple of days that we can raise $4,800! If you are interested in giving to this please contact us since the time is limited!

And what happened next was exciting. People started to respond to the email. People began responding saying that they would give, and others replied that they were praying. We also sent out a similar statement to our Chinese church ring on social media. They started to respond and pray as well! The next few days were excited as we watched God work.

I sent the final email update on Sunday, January 31, 2016, at 9:05 am “Read and Pray – Update 5” that read as follows:

Update #5: Please read and pray!

Dear Pastors, Partners and Praying Friends:

The Lord has answered our prayers! We have a total of $5,526 pledged for our $4,800 goal! This morning at 8:30 (China Time) we went and signed the contract to our new place that the church will use to expand its’ space! Thank you for praying! Thank you for giving!

God used about 7 Chinese and 10 Americans to help meet this need. Praise the Lord! He answered our prayers and showed us in a strong way that the work is to go forward here.

Now, we are working on having a wall taken out so we can expand our auditorium space and turn our new space into kids’ rooms and a place for interns to stay.

Thank you for praying and giving! May the Lord be glorified!

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