MBCSFV - English - Church Expansion Project

Church Expansion Project Reasons for the Expansion Offering / Pledge Form

Prayer Messages
Church Expansion Project update and Pastoral Message by Minister Daode – 10/22/2017
Let's experience the grace of “Rise Up and Build”!
Our church’s theme this year has been "Let’s rise up and build!" This phrase is from the Book of Nehemiah 2:17-18. The Scripture says: “You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace. I also told them about the gracious hand of my God on me and what the king had said to me." They replied, ‘Let us start rebuilding.’ So they began this good work.”

From this passage at least we can tell "Let’s rise up and build" was not mere a slogan, but an awakening of God’s people, inspired by His grace. It was a collective response of God's people to follow God's will. More importantly, they did it and truly put it into action. The Bible says, “so they began this good work.”

Thanks God, in the past few months, we also experienced the similar grace. "Let’s rise up and build," was not only printed on our Sunday bulletins, but a common awareness of our church members. We knew that our church needs to be built by God both in quality and in quantity. Similarly believers need to be built by God both in their personal and family lives, as well as in giving offerings and offering oneself in service.

I believe that the entire project of “Nordhoff House” from purchase to renovation was a important part in fulfilling the theme of our church "Let’s rise up and build". And also I believe as we stay active in “Joyful Devotion”, Sunday school classes, fellowship and discipleship groups, God will continue to motivate our mind and action to “Rise up and build ". In the future, this theme can also guide our spiritual growth personally as well the whole church. Right now, our pastoral team and the Church Council are working on the ministry plan and church budget for the coming year. Very soon the“Nordhoff House " will be put into use. The renovation of the main hall and of a children's playground will start quickly too. On the Mandarin side we are seriously considering the addition of an earlier service on Sunday morning to expand our ministry. Let’s pray that we will follow God in every step as He leads. “Let’s rise up and build "! May God bless our church!

Dear brothers and sisters, let’s serve God with one heart! Let's experience His joy and power together! Let's “Rise up and build” by His grace!

Church Expansion Project update and Pastoral Message by Pastor Pastor Ken – 10/6/2017

I’ve been a part of seven Chinese churches in my life. There was one characteristic that was common to them all. I once joked about this characteristic in the following way. I said it was great that there were so many professionals in our Chinese churches, but it would be nice to have some more plumbers and carpenter types too.

In the weeks since acquiring the church house, we have needed the work and contributions of those who were blessed to be skilled in their hands. There is something special about putting in a personal touch, using one’s very hands. It is a very concrete way to express love, as when a mother cooks a nourishing and tasty meal with hands that express a loving heart. At times Jesus cooked and fed his followers. I’ve always been inspired by that example as I’ve pastored and cooked; a physical feeding of the sheep.

We say thank you to the many who have come and cleaned, moved, painted, repaired and done many other essential jobs for God at our Church House. Not only have they saved the church money, they’ve given what we call “labors of love”. Because of this labor, our Church House is gradually becoming ready for ministry use.

And we are reminded to thank God for all those who offer their hands in labors of love. In God’s house, we have such opportunities endlessly. We have our monthly cleanups, or after meeting cleanups. We have weekly volunteers doing office work. We have those who cook and serve. We have those who serve physically with our sound and recording ministries, and other worship ministries.

Exodus 31 talks about the skills of those who worked with their hands, that these were gifted by God’s Holy Spirit. How valuable they were for the building of the first of God’s dwelling places.

Plumbers or physicians, carpenters or college professors, we need them all in God’s house. We are parts of God’s body, every member needed and valued. This week, we thank God for providing those who will serve through their “hands”. And for those gifted with manual skills. And for the variety of ways we can love God’s church. “Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit;” (1Cor. 12:4)

Church Expansion Project update and Pastoral Message by Pastor Daniel Hsu – 9/21/2017

During the last two months, led by the mighty hands of God, we have experienced very unusual blessings as a church. Not only we were able to purchase another piece of property fit for our future expansion on Nordhoff Street, but we were also able to witness the unified effort in giving offerings and pledges towards the building project by our entire congregation. Glory to God!

For every church, building projects are always a challenge because it is not the purpose of a church. Church exists to fulfill God's mission, building projects are only the means. If the mission is not clear, what's the use of beautiful facilities? Today in America and Europe you will find many magnificent cathedrals and church buildings that are no longer used for Christians to meet or worship, but have become only historical sites. Maybe these places used to be church homes for God's people in the past but later, regretfully, they lost their missional purpose. This is a pity when we see them. I couldn't imagine how sad and pained God might feel.

When we are eager in our building project, we need to recognize with the strongest conviction that “the missional purpose is the lifeline of a church”. What is the exact missional purpose of a church? This is certainly not for us to decide. Christ is the head of the church. He builds His church and the church belongs to Him alone. The purpose of a church is to fulfill God's will and to glorify His name. A few years back, we have began talking about this subject in the pulpit, in Sunday school, as well as in fellowship groups. Now we need to be prayerfully seeking this before the Lord even more fervently. Based on the general principles given by the Scripture, we need to ask the Lord for the more specific missional directions and strategies that God has for MBCSFV here and now, lest we forsake the abundant grace He has bestowed upon us.

Right now, many work projects continue in the Nordhoff House. Since this house is only for temporary use until we get the conditional use permit to build the expansion, we will not do anything major, only to make it safe and clean to use for Sunday school and fellowship meetings. We appreciate many of you are already involved in the work project there. If you are moved by God and want to join to serve, please put your name on the sign up sheet. Our project leader will contact you in detail. As soon as the Nordhoff House is ready, we will have an open house event to give thanks to the Lord and to dedicate the property for God's service.

Message by Pastor Alex Yuen – 9/9/2017

In preparation for building the temple, King David urged the Israelites: “Who then will offer willingly, consecrating himself today to the LORD?" When the people responded overwhelmingly with large amounts of gold, silver, bronze and iron, David praised the Lord: “And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name. But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able thus to offer willingly? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you.” (1 Chronicles 29:5, 13-14)Our fundraising goal for church expansion of $500,000 dollars was not only met, but was exceeded by about $100,000 dollars, in just one month. How amazing! It shows that our people have offered willingly, consecrating ourselves to the Lord. Praise the Lord!

Perhaps, one may ask: “Now that the goal is met, do we still have to give?” The answer is “Yes”.

Let us look back at the history of our church building program and we will understand why the answer is “yes”. Our church was first started as a Bible study group in 1976. The first worship took place on March 18, 1979 at 17424 Sherman Way, a church facility which belonged to the Baptist Association(We then moved to meet at the First Baptist Church of Van Nuys on June 1st, 1980)A $10 check dedicated for a church building came in five months later. This became the first offering for the Church Building Fund. By 1987, the Fund totaled $70,000, a 7,000 fold increase. This Fund, together with additional offering raised and interest-free loan from brothers and sisters, enabled the Church to purchase the property on which we now sit. The price for this property was $415,000.

Brothers and sisters continued to give after the purchase. By 1991, when our ground breaking took place, the Fund reached $280,000. With the Lord’s leading and grace, through the help of a Christian banker, our church obtained a mortgage of $1,350,000 and was able to finish the first phase of church building [the building we are now in]. Brothers and sisters continued to give after the first worship took place on August 2nd,1992. With our high mortgage payment, the church was under tremendous financial pressure which limited our capacity to do ministry. In April 2005, we started raising funds to accelerate mortgage payments for the remaining balance of $600,000 loan. Praise the Lord, through our brothers and sisters faithful giving, the loan was cleared on June 2009.

Preparing for the second phase of the building project, brothers and sisters continued to give. From June 2009 to July 2017, the Church Building Fund accumulated to $300,000. This fund enabled us to go forward in faith to purchase the next door property. Now that we have acquired “the Blessed House of Nordhoff” and yet, this is only the first step. We still need to accumulate enough funds for future expansion because “Nordhoff House” can only accommodate our needs temporarily. I believe that the Lord’s blessing of exceeding our fundraising target is a sign to encourage us to do greater thing for Him.

Praise the Lord, many remodeling items have been finished in the “Nordhoff House”, including the following: swimming pool “fill-in”, tree trimming, front yard leveling, a house fence, metal fence, front gate and side gate. There are still many things to be done, such as painting, flooring, internal fixtures and cleaning. We give thanks to the Lord for gifted brothers who have volunteered to do many of these jobs. Their hard work not only saves a lot of money, but they have finished the work nicely as we desire it.

Let us give thanks and praise to the Lord in one accord, and ask the Lord to strengthen the works in our hands, to build up our spiritual life, so that we can do greater thing for Him.

Message by Pastor Ken – 8/10/2017

Praise God, this past weekend we have received an additional $90,000+ of new donations and pledge payments. So we have covered the purchase. Let us thank God for how he is moving in the hearts of our MBC people. Even former attendees have been eager to send in money to support this project. It is heartwarming that their connection with us is still “hot” with love.

     In Nehemiah 3:11, 20, 21, 24 & 30 God noted those who made extra efforts in building the wall of Jerusalem. God knows and notes dedication. Praise God for that we have such people at MBC.

     We have met with our Nordhoff neighbor and they are quite friendly. We will meet again with them to continue to build good relationships.

     Much is happening for the members of the Church Expansion Committee. There are nine subgroups handling numerous projects that make up the various parts of the preparation of the house for ministry and the renovation of the church as well. Some of the projects need to be carefully coordinated in order to avoid delays and undesirable complications.

     Let’s pray for wisdom for the Church Expansion Committee, and especially for brother Steven Yang as he oversees and coordinates all of it. Other specifics to pray for include the continuing collection of the money that’s been pledged, needed additional funds so we can meet our entire goal, good relations with the three neighbors who adjoin the new property. Ask God to help each and every one of the Committee members to be alert to stay up to date on the things they need to do, that we will be able to find ways to keep the property secure, that we will hire the right contractors to clean and upgrade the property in various ways.

Prayer Letter from Pastor Hsu (7/31/2017):
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ:

     I am sure you are very anxious to know the special offering we took yesterday during Sunday morning worship service. Praise the Lord, up until yesterday afternoon, the offering received was $256,825.85, plus $156,000.00 in pledges. The total was $412,825.85. What a remarkable blessing from the Lord! However, the entire budget of our church expansion project in 2017 is $500,000.00. So we are not there yet. Let us continue look to God and pray that He will provide.

     The expansion project of 2017 is truly a historical undertaking for our church. The opportunity to purchase the next-door property happened so quickly. Within days our Building Committee had to move swiftly and carefully, lest we missed the precious timing. We are grateful that God is with us in every step. Our committee members worked very diligently and wisely through this process. Please continue your prayers for them. There are a lot more work to be done after we get hold of the property.

     Last Sunday we had our church membership meeting, this past Sunday we took special offering in both services. These were milestone events for our church family. Because everything happened so quickly, it was very challenging to keep everybody informed and have them ready to give offerings within days. Praise the Lord! Through the testimony of yesterday's offering, the unity of our church family as well as our love for God and His church were clearly seen. We all greatly moved and encouraged by the faithful giving of our congregation. I am sure God is very pleased too.

     This morning, no matter where you are, I urge you, please set aside a few minutes to pray to God. Thank Him because He answered our prayers. Thank Him because He truly worked in our hearts yesterday! Thank Him for sustaining our faith together as we give ourselves to the Lord! Thank Him for each and everyone who gave cheerfully in this offering. For every dollar given in this project, pray that not only it will be used to accomplish God's work here, but also to become eternal treasure there in heaven. Please pray also for yourself that God will use you. This church expansion project needs more than financial support, your talent, your time and your willingness to serve are also much needed. Please talk to our pastoral team or anyone of our Church Council, if you felt led.

     Last but not least, let me remind you. All the things happened in this church expansion process, they are not just for our own blessings only. Many unbelievers in our community will have a great opportunity to witness something unusual in God's church and therefore, cause them to come to know God. Let us prepare ourselves and take this opportunity to bring people to God. Remember 1 Corin. 9:23, “ I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.”

Pastor Daniel Hsu

A Prayer Message from Pastor Hsu

    Last Sunday, both our congregations voted overwhelmingly to acquire the residential property next door. The lot size of this property is about 1/3 acre which fits our church expansion project perfectly. No doubt, this is the God-given opportunity that we need to grasp in time and to take hold of it with great faith. Remember the Exodus story. If Israelites didn't grasp the opportunity to follow Moses, their history will never be the same. For those came out of Egypt with Moses, they still needed to continue exercise their faith otherwise they will have no part in the Promised Land.

     Praise the Lord, we have taken the first step and grasped the opportunity given by God for the future expansion of our church. Let us pray to God even more fervently that He will sustain our faith as we continue to fix our eyes on Him and dedicate ourselves for His good work. This coming Sunday, July 30th, we will take a special offering for this expansion project in both congregations during worship service. The goal for this Sunday is $303,000. Please pray and prepare for it. The time is short because we need to close escrow in just a few days. Let’s ask the Lord to provide what the church needs and to unite His children in faith as well as in sacrificial giving.

A Prayer Message from Pastor Ken

     Judges 3:1 has a startling verse.

     Now these are the nations that the LORD left, to test Israel by them, that is, all in Israel who had not experienced all the wars in Canaan.

     God wanted the future generations of those blessed to be able to live in the freedom and richness of the promised land to not just enjoy the fruit of the labors of the previous generations. He did not want them to miss out on the joy of doing mighty things for God and the Nation. So God left enemy nations for the younger generation to have to face and overcome. He wanted them to grow strong by overcoming great challenges; he wanted them to learn how to fight (Judges 3:2).

     God has now given us a chance to face the challenge of preparing for the future ministry needs of MBC through this property purchase. Pray that those who have not had a chance to participate in building a church will love to join in the challenge of this new endeavor. Pray that each generation will not just rest on the labors of the past, but will build on it. Pray that those who were strong in the past will continue to show us the way.

Minister Daode’s prayer message

     When speaking of time, we have the past, present and future. Though we humans function with knowledge of the past, we cannot foresee the future. We live in the present. However, the God we believe is the Lord of Time. He knows the end from the beginning, things yet to be. He says, “My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purposes (Is. 46:10).” He transcends time and prepares good things for his people. “The counsel of the LORD stands forever, the plans of his heart to all generations.” (Ps. 33:11) Hence, the people of God often experience the grace of “surprising joy”.

     Less than thirty days ago, the Lord has provided us the experience of His “just right, surprising joy” regarding our church expansion project. At just the right time, the Lord provided us the right property. At just the right time, He has given the right enthusiasm of heart for our congregation, so that we’ve quickly decided on the purchase with one heart. We have already experienced that grace which is called “The LORD will provide”. And I believe we will continue to experience God in this way.

     Today, let us continue to pray to God for the unknowns of tomorrow and ask Him for more surprising joy. Let us pray that our brothers and sisters will be united in mind and heart to present a generous offering with joyful hearts this coming Sunday. This then will be for us yet another experience of His “just right, surprising joy” together.

Pastor Alex Yuen’s prayer message

Pray for church building project and the building of believers
     On the way of Exodus, the Lord commanded Moses to build the Tabernacle and to tell the Israelites: "This is the thing that the LORD has commanded. Take from among you a contribution to the LORD. Whoever is of a generous heart, let him bring the LORD's contribution. ………. "Let every skillful craftsman among you come and make all that the LORD has commanded.” (Exodus 35:4-5, 10) The Israelites went home to think about how they should respond to the Lord’s command. The result was: “And they came, everyone whose heart stirred him, and everyone whose spirit moved him, and brought the LORD's contribution to be used for the tent of meeting, and for all its service, and for the holy garments.” (Exodus 35:21) Moreover, “every craftsman in whom the LORD has put skill and intelligence to know how to do any work in the construction of the sanctuary shall work in accordance with all that the LORD has commanded.” (Exodus 36:1) The gifts bought were more than enough so that Moses had to announce: "Let no man or woman do anything more for the contribution for the sanctuary." So the people were restrained from bringing, for the material they had was sufficient to do all the work, and more. (Exodus 36:6-7)

     At that time the Lord demanded two things from the people: offer your gift and give yourself to work for the Lord. The response of the people was heart lifting. The Lord worked in the heart of His people so that there were enough workers to build and more than enough material for use. However, the building of the Tabernacle is not the ultimate goal, since the Temple was to be build later. The Temple was not the ultimate goal either, His ultimate goal is to build believers’ body as Holy Temple. The Lord works progressively. He wants His people to follow His Word so that they can be blessed.

     We clearly know that it is the Lord’s will that He empowers us to purchase the land next to us. We need to know further that His ultimate goal is not the land, nor the future expansion building, but to build us up as the Holy Temple. The purchase of land and the future building are just the process of building us up.

     Today, the Lord gives us the same two commands: offer your gift and give yourself to work for the Lord. May our heart be under the Lord’s reign so that we submit to the Holy Spirit’s guidance to gladly offer our gift and our self to the Lord. Hence, we will be blessed.

     Tomorrow, we will have a chance to offer our gift and our self to the Lord during the worship service. I urge each and every brother and sister, each family, to pray earnestly tonight. Ask the Lord to show you what His will in this matter is, so that your response will be pleasing in the sight of the Lord.