When you think of planting a rice or wheat field, it always involves a team of people. The church planting efforts of Jireh Evangel Church Planting Inc (JECPP) were never a one-man show. God gave the vision, a group of willing men and women saw and believed in the vision and carried it out. The laborers worked to see that vision came to fruition. Whenever God speaks to a man or a woman, obedience is the key factor, for without a willing heart, nothing can be accomplished.
The call to plant 100 churches within 6 years (1994-2000) involved men and women with willing hearts who said ‘yes’ to changes and much more. It might not be comfortable at first but when followed through, the results were indeed rewarding. God gave me the vision in 1993 which required me to first step down as Senior Pastor of Evangel Assembly of God (now Evangel Family Church) after serving in that capacity for 25 years, and then to relinquish the posts of Assistant General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God of Singapore and the National Missions Director. Not only my life and positions were disrupted, but my wife was greatly affected too. She was asked to take over as Senior Pastor of the church, which she accepted reluctantly at first.
Other changes began to take place, the key assistant pastors who were then with me became missionaries and the new Senior Pastor had to raise new assistance.
When God moves, calls, directs and leads us to new things, sometimes it is like whirlwind that sweeps in and rearrange everything around us. It may seem in disarray, but God knows what to do if He is the one that is uprooting and replanting.
The families of our missionaries were uprooted from Singapore to the Philippines. Their children are now living in another culture, speaking another language and sometimes even eating another kind of food. The church planters have to be uprooted from cities to towns or even to the barrios. For some, it means no more rides on buses, jeepneys or tricycles, but to go on horsebacks they are working among the mountains tribes. The beautiful part of God’s rearrangement is that the right people were placed in the right places. As a result of their obedience, we now have 590 churches that we can call ‘Evangel Family Church’ all over the Philippines.
I take this opportunity to thank my beloved wife, Marion for her willingness to carry the burden as the Senior Pastor of Evangel Family Church, Singapore; my children and their spouses for their understanding and support; the congregation at Evangel Family Church Singapore who for years, consistently and faithfully, gave millions of dollars to missions so that the vision could be fulfilled; two churches, Calvary Charismatic Center (now Victory Family Center) and Calvary Church, KL, for believing in our vision, and standing behind us time and again; the missionaries from Singapore (together with their children) for their willingness to leave home to serve in a foreign land; the Mission Churches that have raised millions of pesos to support the 200 pastors and families in the 590 churches; the faithful missions school lecturers who have helped to train the church planters in the Missions School (ECME), as well as Evangel Tribal Training Center (ETTC) and the prayers and tears of many who have interceded on our behalf.
Without all these, without the team, the vision would never have come to past too soon.