Prayer Letter Sept. 2017

Dear Friends of SAGOS, Greetings!

On August 27 evening, we shared our vision for “SAGOS Preaching Institute” with over 260 church pastors, elders, brothers and sisters who witnessed and supported our vision. On that evening, Rev. Johann Lai shared his vision, Rev. Samuel Ho introduced the curriculum, Rev. Thomas Wang shared on behalf of guests, Rev. Steven Kwan spoke as an advocate, and finally Rev. Lai sang the song “My Tribute” to conclude the evening’s events. The entire events flowed smoothly and was spirit filled. We thank the Lord for receiving over $ 210,000 in offerings during the evening; from early August, we have received a total of nearly $ 300,000 offerings for the purchase of the new site. However, compared with the goal of $ 1 million, we are still short about $ 700,000. May the Lord continue to guide us! As the target date for closing on the purchase is the end of October, we will commit all offerings from August to October towards the purchase fund for the school site.

It is our dream all along to form “SAGOS Preaching Institute”. At the end of June, we became aware that the office of the Great Commission Center was available for sale, and this dream was re-energized. As timing and outside conditions match our human commitment, we took a giant step by faith to purchase our new school site:

  1. Local condition – of course, it is because Rev. Thomas Wang and President Weyman Chan were willing to sell their office to us.
  2. Human commitment – first, the unanimous approval by the Board of Directors; secondly, the partnership with Rev. Samuel Ho over 1 year ago ( his experience and burden in theological education, and his deep experience in sermon preaching); and finally, the approval by Mrs. Lai. There is full harmony in our commitment.
  3. Timing – to be honest, if we wanted to start a preaching institute earlier when SAGOS has just started, I felt that we were not ready. However, over 10 years have passed, we became more mature in our preaching, our hairs have turned whiter, and we are more experienced in our writing (with the publication of “The Gourmet approach to Preaching”). We felt we are ready now.

Rev. Ho and Rev. and Mrs. Lai will share their visions with brothers and sisters in Hong Kong during their training trip to Asia in September 9, and Rev. and Mrs. Lai will share with brothers and sisters in the Philippines in September 21. They will pass on their vision of theological education while sharing their needs.

We thank our Lord that over the last 2 months, SAGOS and West Houston Chinese Church jointly organized “SAGOS living word classes” where we studied the expositions of the books of Philemon and Habakkuk using the 10-step method, and taught by Rev. Lai and Elder Shu. About 30 people attended the classes. The last lesson was scheduled to be held on August 29, but is now postponed to September 5 due to the severe storm experienced in the Houston area.

Please continue to give thanks and pray for the following:

  1. Thank God for His leading of the Vision sharing event in August 27, and pray for our need of another $ 700,000 for the new school site.
  2. Pray for the vision sharing meetings to be held in Hong Kong and Manila in September.
  3. The training ministries by Rev. and Mrs. Lai, Rev. Ho, and the many co-workers in Asia.
  4. Pray for the well being of the residents in Houston who were affected by Harvey storm.

May the blessing of the Lord be with you!

Your Co-worker,

Johann Lai

September, 2017