Project Ebenezer

Although 2020 will be remembered as the year that robbed us of our routine practice of gathering for worship, we will also remember it as the year we secured our future place of worship, at Henderson.

On 16th December, we were informed by our lawyer that our purchase of the property at Henderson Industrial estate had been formally completed.

In retrospect, looking at the way things have worked out, the Lord has led us in His own way, quite apart from our plans. For example, the region where Henderson is situated was a choice far from our minds because we were considering the convenience of members residing near CCKBC. Accordingly, our plan was to look for a place nearby, which included Tengah and Woodlands. So, ending up eventually at Henderson was a surprise.

Interestingly, Henderson straddles Telok Blangah and Lengkok Bahru. Telok Blangah is the place where, in 1975, Hermon established its first worship service at Swee Pharmacy (then owned by Elder Tan and Mrs Tan), and Lengkok Bahru is the place where all the mountain churches originated. With these associations tied to our physical roots, the new place now feels more meaningful and exciting.

This unit was our second attempt at buying a property in the area. The first unit of interest was snapped up by a buyer at a price just a tad lower than the offered price, an indication that there was not going to be any fire sale despite the projected bleak economic outlook. We are thankful that this unit became available not long after the first one had been taken.

Although its price per foot was a little more than the first, we did not have to pay GST because the owner was a private individual. As a result, this unit cost less in total. It is also two floors higher, which makes it more airy for our worshippers gathering along the spacious corridors.

Right after we had paid our deposit, the agent unexpectedly called to ask if we were willing to sell it. Apparently, there was good demand and he had run out of units to sell. Though we were very much amused by his call, it was an assurance that we had bought the unit at the right time and at a good price, and we were suitably relieved that we had been good stewards of the financial resources entrusted to us.

At the right juncture, the Lord mobilised among our members people with the right knowledge and skills to contribute to the last stages of the purchase. Concurrently, members, worshippers, BPCIS churches and friends brought their contributions of gifts and loans.

One of the difficult challenges in our journey was holding our ECMs in a virtual environment as directed by the authorities. No one had any prior experience and the pressure grew as there was an urgency in obtaining the needed mandate from members to meet various regulatory deadlines before we could purchase the property through a company. We were concerned that members would have all sorts of difficulties making it to the virtual meetings. However, the Lord once again carried us through all these hurdles. Members adapted amazingly well and extended their overwhelming support to the leaders to execute all the necessary tasks.

As our unit is a freehold property, it reminds us symbolically of the Promised Land in Canaan, where we can settle permanently without the need to ‘camp and break camp’ in our sojourning. Soon, we will be nestled in a new neighbourhood and among new neighbours at Henderson. We must be careful to avoid repeating the bitter experience of the Israelites in the way they conducted themselves, apart from the Lord, in the new land.

Let us persevere in our faithfulness as disciples of Christ.

– Eld Peter Seah