Words from our Shepherd: Lengthen, Enlarge and Strengthen – Pastor Wanda Lam

Words from our Shepherd: Lengthen, Enlarge and Strengthen – Pastor Wanda Lam

When CBCSD celebrated its 20th anniversary in January 2007, God gave us the message of Isaiah 54:2-3 through pastor Lam, “Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes.  For you will spread out to the right and to the left;  your descendants will dispossess nations, and settle in their desolate cities.”

Lengthen your cords:

CBCSD has always put emphasis on “lengthening our cords”: we have planted churches in places with growing numbers of Chinese people. In the past 10 years we have planted west campus (2000), central campus (2003), Temecula campus (2007) and North campus (2009). We have also supported and sent out missionaries to spread the Gospel to other parts of the world. However, God’s heart is also concerned with enlarging His tent and strengthening the stakes.  When I recall how God has wondrously led us in the past years towards building his temple, my heart response is to worship, for “ Your ways are higher than my ways, your thoughts higher than my thoughts!”

Enlarge your tent:

Perhaps because we are usually focused on evangelism, discipleship, and ministry, rarely do we concern ourselves with the need of church expansion. We have found ways to solve the space issue by using other campuses, or adding worship services. This is why when we were confronted with the land by Santa Luz 6 months after the 20th anniversary celebration, it took our church leaders a whole year and a half to really think the issue through. One of the noticeable issues is the land being very close to central campus.  It took the pastors and council much thought, waiting and seeking for an answer. The church finally came to a consensus to support the building of a new main campus. Praise God for His confirmation: in our survey, 85% of the church support this decision and 10% were neutral. Thank God for His leading!

Just when we have set our hearts on the Santa Luz land, the unexpected started happening. First the seller seemed untruthful, and made several unreasonable demands. Then God brought us the land next to 4Gee Road. This land is much larger than the first and is situated midway between main campus and central campus. We were told that 70-80%  of the residents of 4S Ranch are Chinese. This is a key place for church building, and God amazingly led us to it! God has once again answered our prayers in ways that we cannot imagine.

I still remember on January 24 of this year when we had the prayer walk, we met two ladies from China walking there as well. When they learned that we are planning to building a Chinese church there, they were so excited, they even walked along with us! This again confirms God’s leading for our church building, and the choosing of this land.

Strengthen your stakes:

In this church building process, I have not only experienced God’s guidance, but also His provision: I have witnessed God using people to manage and coordinate the building process, Him moving the county and officials to grant us the permit to expand the entry way to the church, and God raising faithful brothers and sister to serve and promote this cause. I am so encouraged by what I’m seeing! We do, however, anticipate trials ahead. Trying to raise $3 million is surely a challenge, and the seller’s standing contract with the strawberry farms is another hurdle. We will be seeing a lot of trials as we continue with the building project. This is why it is crucial that we “strengthen our stakes”. What are stakes? They are what keeps the tent from falling down, they bear the weight of the tent. The larger your tent, and stronger your stakes should be. What do the stakes represent? They represent our relationship with the Lord. We are to simply trust, obey with loyalty and seek to walk with Jesus intimately. We are to be united in love with our brothers and sisters. We are to apply God’s truth and display spiritual maturity.

Praise be to God – that in the past 6 months, we have prayed more fervently because of the building project, and we are learning to serve and give in ways we have not before. In building His kingdom, we are establishing better communication and relationship amongst the staff, and learning to grow through trials. As we expand God’s temple, let us strengthen the stakes and lengthen the cords, that God’s will for CBCSD may be made complete amongst us!