In April ’93 MBC became independent. We celebrated that summer by joining with our mother church for a memorable short-term mission to Montreal. We did street preaching and singing, and the whole Chinatown was saturated with the gospel as people came face to face with the good news of Jesus Christ, some for the very first time.
Since we believed in the importance of English Ministry, we hosted our first youth retreat that fall. There were several other firsts that year: summer retreat, missions’ conference, and our first baptism.
Due to the inconvenience of rented facilities, in April ’94 we purchased an industrial building with the intention of renovating it to church use. At that time our first pastor Rev. Wilson Wong left, and we waited six months before the arrival of our Senior Pastor Rev. Nick Wong. During that time we were glad to have the help of Miss Becky Ho, our part-time Director of Seniors & Women Ministries.
In early ’95 we applied for rezoning and joined the Baptist Convention of Ontario & Quebec. That summer we led a short-term mission to Ottawa. The Lord is faithful, as each time we ventured out He touched some of us so that we no longer look at the world the same way again.
New outreach ministries continued to develop. In spring ’96 we commenced our prison ministry, and in the summer we joined other churches in hosting worship services at Yee Hong Geriatric Centre. We re-launched our cell groups that fall using the three-legged stool model: study the word, care for one another, and evangelize the lost ("empty chair"), a strategy we practice to this day.
It wasn’t until ’98 that the Lord caused the Scarborough councilors to accept our rezoning application, which we subsequently amended to "rebuilding". We have been waiting for a youth-worker to lead our teens' ministry. The Lord sent Miss Amy Chow that fall, who joined us as Director of English Ministry.
With City Hall’s approval of our rezoning, excitement mounted as construction began in the fall and we eagerly watched the building of our church, both spiritually and physically.
A New Chapter
During construction I recalled the unity and teamwork of brothers and sisters coming in their spare time to help wherever needed. By April the work was completed and we celebrated Easter in our new building. The memories of that inaugural service as young and old sang and offered praises with thankful hearts are still fresh in our minds.
With our own facilities, we are better equipped to be the salt and light the Lord meant us to be. We offered our first VBS that summer, which was a tremendous success as students and parents appreciated the sacrificial giving of their time by the councilors and teachers. We have always wanted to have a trained gospel team to penetrate the neighborhood, and the Lord graciously sent Mr. Alex Wong in Sep. last year to be our Director of Evangelism and Outreach, in addition to coordinating our new Mandarin ministry.
Looking back, I see the Lord’s hands blessing and guiding us. Looking around, I see the smiles and tears of brothers and sisters working shoulder to shoulder to discern and obey His will. Over the years we have distilled our core values to three things:
- Love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind and strength – the Greatest Commandment.
- Love one another – the New Command.
- Love the lost: Go and make disciples of all nations – the Great Commission.
This is what we are committed to. Our adoption of the purpose-driven model in both congregations is simply the means towards that goal.
And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about the countless prayers with tears pleading on behalf of brothers and sisters, of families serving those in need, of aerobics and arts class for pre-evangelism, and of home bible studies to win people to Christ. All these speak of MBC as a warm family dedicated to making Christ known.
Many challenges lie ahead. Our strength is small, but our Lord is great. Our building is dedicated as a house of prayer to the Lord. And He will provide and guide if we stay true to our commitment to love, trust and obey Him.