By: Ptra. Annaliza Novero
We were overwhelmed but convinced that God would use us wherever we went as long as we have an obedient heart to fulfill His will when we answered His call to launch a ministry in La Union through JECPP.
On February 2, 2002, we arrived in La Union before sunrise. When we arrived, the lessee of the residence was not responding. Despite our worries, they soon picked up when we called repeatedly. When we got here, the house wasn’t finished, and that made us sad. No matter what the situation, we allowed God to comfort us through Joshua 1:9. We thought that what we saw was merely a test of faith and of our character. “Have I not instructed you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid. Do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. We were uncomfortable, yet we were nice to the owner. God has gifted us with a tranquil spirit.
Initially, the house rental was not a burden because we did not pay for it. We are grateful to JECPP for paying our rent. Our concern is when to begin the ministry here and where to go. You can only see a few houses in the surrounding area. We prayed to God about whether or not this location was suitable for establishing Evangel Family Church. We are confident that God has brought us here to begin the ministry. God is, indeed, gradually revealing His will in our lives. He began to lead us from one family to the next, and we were surprised that we had already started our first worship.
The Lord increased the number of worshipers until we could no longer fit into the space we were assembling. One of the challenges we encountered during our worship was that the home’s owner would begin prodding anything that made a noise, which greatly disturbed us. Every Sunday, the same thing happened. Until we had had enough of what was going on. So, we decided to seek a place where we could freely worship. Rents can be a little pricey in La Union.
But we were adamant. Finally, God guided us to a suitable location, and the rent was quite reasonable.
We were given unlimited access to the building’s space by the owner, with the understanding that there would be an annual rental price increase.
The Lord sustained us for seven years. After seven years, it’s time for the church to stand on its own.
Each month has been a miracle in the eight years we’ve been renting. Because the rental is increasing annually, we must also take the risk of raising the amount. The rentals depleted our allowances. Despite that, it kept us moving forward.
As the cost of renting a place of worship rose, the Lord burdened our hearts to pray that He will allow us to build a place of worship. The burden of having a building is increasing until the land area where we live and gather for worship has been subdivided, making the space smaller so that only one car can park there. Every Sunday, we are frustrated by the situation. We decided to call a meeting of the leaders.
As we collaborated, the Lord impressed in our hearts to start saving for the church building. When the church can pay the rent, the area shrinks. The weight of owning a building persisted in weighing on our hearts until we decided to relocate to the old location. The difficulty we experienced caused us to decide to look for a new place. For the area, we have our own set of standards. Until the Lord led us to one of the nearby locations, the house owner was our first point of contact for Bible study. We learned that she had moved to Russia to work. It had been a long time since we had last spoken.
We contacted her via messenger and were delighted to reconnect with her. We told her we were going to rent her place. She agreed that we could use her space for worship and build a church in her place. Her area is large enough to accommodate us. She allowed us to do what we wanted. She is in her sixties and single. She informed us that she had no plans to stay in her current location because she was returning to Russia.
We accepted the challenge of constructing a church. We have a Bible study contact who owns a construction company. He encouraged us to start our plan to build a church and said he would be responsible for supplying the materials. He promised that we could pay him once the church had the funds. Knowing that we only have a small amount of money in the bank was a giant leap of faith. As a result, the entire congregation pitched in. We laid out all the options for building a church on a limited budget. God brought us to our knees. Pastor Jetro summoned all of the men in the church. They discussed everything. One of the things we were most grateful for was that the church had skilled men. One of our men offered to draw the church building sketch. We encouraged everyone to take part. Just like Nehemiah, they have assigned work and responsibilities to each tribe to complete the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s wall. We allowed everyone to participate. The men will be in charge of erecting the structure, while each family in the church will be responsible for providing food and snacks for all of our workers.
We took the risk of constructing a church. We built the new Evangel Family Church building in three weeks. We were overjoyed by how the Lord showed favor in the church. We were delighted to see the entire church working together. We dedicated to the Lord the New Evangel Family church last September 18, 2022. It was a celebration of thanksgiving. It causes us to wonder how the Lord makes all things beautiful in His time. Finally, the Lord has granted our heart’s desire. Now we have a more extensive and conducive place for worship,
We still have a financial obligations, but we are confident that God can meet the church’s needs. Truly, our God is the God of the impossible. All the praise and adoration are due solely to God.