Project Ebenezer: Personal reflections

I trust that by now we are all familiar with Project Ebenezer. The name refers to the project by which Hermon seeks to establish a physical facility for ministry and for Sunday services beyond CCKBC. The name Ebenezer was chosen because as we preached through 1 Sam 7 on 10 Mar 2019, we had just submitted our bid for the HDB land on 6 Mar 2019. The name Ebenezer was very poignant for us considering what happened in 1 Sam 5-7. The prophet Samuel set up a stone between Mizpah and Shen and called its name Ebenezer, for he said, “Till now the Lord has helped us” (1 Sam 7:12). This commemorates how the Lord delivered Israel by delivering the Ark from the Philistines and protecting Israel from the invading Philistine army by throwing them into confusion, thundering against them with a mighty sound.  

May I share how I have seen the Lord help us thus far? Firstly, I see God’s providential wisdom. God allowed us to explore various options ranging from staying at CCKBC to tendering for HDB land and even renting from another church. He then closed the door to each of the options in His own way. Sometimes the door closed painfully; at other times, we simply did not succeed in our application. I see this journey as God’s way of providentially helping us to discern what is the appropriate way forward for Hermon.   

Secondly, God’s leading is like a lamp to our feet. God seems to only let us see sufficiently the immediate path in front of us. God seems to be preparing us step by step. I think it might be because if He showed us the full distance ahead, we would be frozen by fear. So, God has lit our path by giving us a challenging CCKBC MOU discussion that forced us to think beyond CCKBC. This then led to the HDB tender, crystallising our move out of CCKBC and serving as the impetus for our earnest effort to raise Development funds. Subsequently, He led us to recce industrial property in four main areas of Singapore: North (Woodlands), West (Jurong East), Central (Bishan) and finally South (Redhill). The search was narrowed with God leading us within the Southern area from Alexcier building to Cendex, and then finally to Henderson. Even our journey of the incorporation of ‘Dew of Hermon’ was God’s step-by-step leading. And each step of the way, God brought together the appropriate people both within Hermon and outside of it (e.g. our current lawyers and audit firm partner) at just the right moment. Also, never in our history have we had to have such complicated matters discussed at ACM and ECM, and via Zoom, on top of that. Yet, God was good to Hermon and we had the highest participation rate in our history for both ACM and ECM.  

Thirdly, God has proven that His timing is spot on. As I mentioned earlier, He was spot on for the human resources we needed. But one incident that truly blew my mind was the acquisition of our current unit. I was really disappointed when we failed to secure 219 Henderson #07-03. But within one month of our failure, we were able to view another unit. God gave us two blessings through this: firstly, the price at which #07-03 was sold put to bed the thought in our minds that what we had to pay was above the market rate (especially in this economic downturn). Secondly, we are now able to potentially save nearly $200,000 because the owner of our unit is not a registered company but a personal owner, and so certain government taxes do not apply.

Finally, God has shown us that His resources are always just enough. 10 years ago, we budgeted $3 million as our part of the renewal for CCKBC. Based on our yearly budget projection, we have not kept in step with that goal. Yet, within the last two years, through the sacrificial giving of gifts and loans by members, friends and sister churches, we have received just enough for our purchase and renovations. It’s amazing that God moved individuals and churches to give a specific amount that adds up to just what we need.

Hermon is where she is today only because we worship a God who is our Ebenezer. Our journey thus far is our testimony that ‘till now the Lord has helped us’. And through this journey He has helped us to be more steadfast in prayer, more sacrificial in our spirits and more sensitive to His leading.

As God has led us thus far, let us be confident that He will continue to be faithful. And so may we endeavour thus to be more united in spirit, more thankful in our hearts and encouraged in our spirits. Our God is truly our Ebenezer.

– Ps Daniel Tan