One of our faith promise missions partners is Emmanuel Church in Kota Kinabalu. Ps Ezra Chin, who pioneered Emmanuel Church with his wife Annie, was our guest speaker on Sunday and he shared about Abraham’s journey of faith. We also heard some encouraging testimonies about how Emmanuel Church is multiplying and planting new churches in Sabah.
Abraham’s journey was a journey of missions and the results of his journey changed the world. In the book of Acts, Steven spoke of Abraham in his speech before the Jewish Sanhedrin. He said, “Brethren and fathers, listen: The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Haran” (Acts 7:2b NKJV). The journey began with a revelation of God and His glory. Abraham was deeply impacted when God appeared to him and he immediately set out from his home country of Ur and moved to Haran. Here is the beginning of a history making move but it took some time before Abraham was ready to continue on from Haran and travel all the way to the land of promise.
In fact, it was not until after the death of Abraham’s father, Terah, that Abraham resumed the journey to Canaan. We are told that Abraham had prospered while in Haran and he had already reached the age of 75 when they began the 600km journey down to Shechem. “Then Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his brother’s son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people whom they had acquired in Haran, and they departed to go to the land of Canaan. So they came to the land of Canaan” (Gen 12:5 NKJV). Perhaps his success in Haran is one reason why he was slow to depart from there.
Ps. Ezra told his own story of experiencing God’s blessing and success during the years that he worked for different companies and had a substantial income. He could have remained as a marketplace minister and continued to provide financial support to his church but God spoke to him about starting his own journey of faith. He took some bold steps to start a new church by reaching out to students from the University of Malaysia in Sabah. It took several years to develop leaders and grow the church but eventually they started a second church and then a third. With each step of faith, God was blessing Ps Ezra and he was receiving promotions in the workplace.
The day came when God impressed on him to step out of his job and dedicate all of his time to starting new churches and raising up leaders. With his two sons ready to start their college education, this was not an easy decision. Ps Ezra personally identified with the challenge that Abraham faced in leaving Haran after experiencing so much blessing and success there. Abraham went to Shechem and built an altar and that was the beginning of the establishment of the land of Israel. Ps Ezra stepped out of his secure job and income and that was the beginning of something that is changing Sabah.
Ps. Ezra and the team of leaders at Emmanuel have been planting churches and they believe God is using them to help reverse the alarming trend of declining numbers of Christians in East Malaysia. With 5 churches already established they are believing God for 15 more church plants over the next 2-3 years. This is a journey of faith that will leave a lasting impact and legacy for future generations. Our partnership with this ministry through faith promise giving is making a difference in East Malaysia. Let’s continue to pray for the Emmanuel churches there and to ask God to do a great work in Sabah and Sarawak.
I encourage you to listen to the message from Ps Ezra and to continue your own journey of faith to see God’s mission fulfilled in and through your life!
The best is yet to be,