Friends of SAGOS in Christ,
Greetings! Over the last 2 months, the many SAGOS co-workers and directors have committed to shoulder the responsibility of organizing the dual dialect (Mandarin and Cantonese) ‘Preaching Institute’ based on God’s wonderful inspiration and leading, and we are joyful and excited by the Lord’s grace and blessing. In the beginning of July we have purchased the upstairs original site of the Great Commission Center as the school location, and on 8/27 we held a vision sharing dinner party attended by pastors and brothers and sisters from over 20 churches, with a total of 26 tables. During the event, Rev. Johann Lai and myself shared our visions, and Rev. Thomas Wang and Rev. Kwan responded and called for fund raising. With God’s abundant blessing we have collected US $ 210,000 just in that evening, which was much more than our anticipation. Although this amount is still quite a distance from our goal of $ 1 million, yet it clearly validated God’s will for us that he will provide for whatever we may need. Till the end of September, we have collected a total of about $ 480,000 towards the site-purchasing fund, and we thank our Lord. We would also like to express our appreciation and thanks to the many pastors and brothers and sisters for their love and contribution.
For the purpose of promoting the institute, we went to many places to share our vision. In particular, we witnessed the footsteps of Rev. Lai on many Asian cities in the last few weeks, and received support from local brothers and sisters; and I have also shared in other cities receiving very positive response. The “SAGOS Preaching Institute” will have 3 curricula, 2 leading to graduate degrees and one leading to certification. The degrees are Master in Sermon and Master in Christian Education, respectively; and there will be 7 hermeneutics and sermon classes leading to certification, provided for on-the-job pastor co-workers. The classes will be held in the evening so that their daily schedules will not be affected.
The following are the ministry status of our many co-workers:
- Rev. and Mrs. Lai have completed their training classes in Philippines and Asia; they will teach expositional preaching in Hong Kong Pastoral Theological Seminary (3 days focused classes), and then 10-step Bible study training in Singapore Fishermen Fellowship church in 10/12 – 15, and then return to the US on 10/16. Rev. Lai will lead a combined edification meeting in Los Angeles in 10/20 – 22.
- Rev. Samuel Ho will spend 2 weeks in mid-September to teach “systematic theology” and “sermon practice” classes, as well as Sunday sermons in 2 Hong Kong churches, and leading 2 seminars: “Art in the Bible” and “The true meaning of worship from the Book of Ezekiel”.
- Further, several teachers-at-large have returned to the States. The teachers expressed that in the process of their training, both teaching and learning have progressed so that students and teachers were all edified.
Please give thanks and pray for the following:
- We have to pay off the balance of funds for the school site by 10/31. By now we still have a shortfall of about US $ 500,000, please remember in your prayers. Please also pray for the needed personnel for remodeling work. (As the planned transaction date is the end of October, we will commit all offerings from August to October towards the purchase of the school site).
- The SAGOS directors’ retreat planned for 11/12 – 13.
- The planned Bible study camp “The promise to surpass the valley of death and to move towards the heaven – modern interpretation of the Book of Ezekiel” to be held 11/17 – 19.
- The preparation for the 2018 4/25 – 5/3 “Holy land in-depth spiritual tour”, for the bodies, souls and spirits of the lecturers, tour-guides, and participants; the many aspects of various arrangements and safe journey.
May the blessings from above be with you!