2010 RH - The New Promised Land

By Rev. John Kao

As we celebrate the 25th Anniversary of RHCCC, we are grateful to the Lord for His wonderful blessings, especially His gift of the ‘New Promised Land’!

In the days of the Old Testament, the Promised Land was a place prepared by God for His people. By faith, they were led to this land of milk and honey. By obedience to God, they found rest and abundance in Him. In the days of the New Testament, Jesus Christ established the church, which became the ‘New Promised Land’ for the children of God. Likewise, the brothers and sisters of RHCCC shared the same experience. Through faith and obedience, they have been blessed with the New Promised Land.

Many years ago, my wife and I prayed earnestly for a site where we could plant a church. Many suggested that we should go to Chinatown, where the majority of Chinese people resided, but God had other plans. One day, we attended the worship service of a small Caucasian church near the Yonge and Lawrence. We never thought that one day we would use this borrowed facility and plant an ACEM church.

On Jan. 12, 1975, we held our first worship service in this neighbourhood, where not too many Chinese families resided. The Lord, however, brought to this church many people by subway from north and south of the city. Due to a change of immigration policy, many visa students became immigrants and accepted Christ here. The combined factors of time, location and people helped the growth of this church, which was not because of human work, but because our Lord Jesus Christ had led us to this ‘New Promise Land’.

By God’s grace, many young adults committed their lives to serving God. In June 1979, our church had two meeting places and I looked after both congregations. The Agincourt congregation, mostly founding members of the church, held their worship service in the Scarborough site whereas the Lawrence congregation, mostly young students, stayed in the Yonge and Lawrence location.

After Pastor Sam Chan graduated from the Tyndale Theological Seminary in the summer of 1982, he was appointed to pastor the Lawrence congregation. Due to the slow growth of this young church, Pastor Sam looked for another place of worship and prayed for a ‘New Promised Land’. Under his leadership, the Lawrence congregation moved north to Lewis Beattie Secondary School at Yonge and Drewry in Oct. 1985, and was named the Yonge North Church. In 1987, Pastor Simon Wong joined the pastoral team and the Church Board continued to seek God’s will in expanding His Kingdom.

In those days, only a handful of Chinese families lived in Richmond Hill, but God gave vision, faith and courage to Pastor Sam. He led the congregation to hold their worship service at the Bayview Secondary School and the Lord wondrously provided a parcel of land for church building in this area.

Who would have thought that with the opening of Highway 404, Richmond Hill would turn into a popular residential area for Chinese families? Many came to accept Christ at the new location. In order to meet the needs of the growing congregation, Phase II and Phase III church expansion projects were carried out in 1997 and 2008. These are all wonderful blessings of the ‘New Promised Land’!

God’s people must never forget the lessons of the Israelite in the days of the Old Testament. Sadly, God’s chosen people turned their blessings into sorrowful experiences. I trust that ACEM churches will instead seek to trust God and glorify His name:

1. Live a life of purpose: Stand firm in truth and grow in Spirit.

2. Obey His Great Commandment: Love God and love one another.

3. Carry out the Great Commission: Train disciples and spread the gospel.

At this time of thanksgiving and celebration, let us reflect on God’s grace and guidance.

We are blessed to be a blessing and let us glorify His name!

Rev. Dr. John Kao is the Founding Pastor of Association of Chinese Evangelical Ministries (Canada).

Last modified on Monday, 01 April 2019 08:44


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