The following piece was prepared on Nov. 23, 2020 by one of our founding leaders, Elder Hanchi Lin
Driven by God’s vision - ECC-SKC came from a humble beginning; it started as small Bible study group: Kent-Renton Bible Study Fellowship (KRBSF) in 1989. Later, as Britain scheduled to return Hong Kong to China in 1997, we anticipated there would be an influx of Chinese immigrants to our area. We felt God’s calling to plant a Chinese church here to bring the gospel to them. About 1990, led by Pastor Johnny To of ECC of Seattle, our fellowship started to hold monthly outreach at Highlands Community Church (HCC) and a church planting fund was established toward that purpose. At the beginning of each year, we took a vote among fellowship members to see whether we are ready to act. In January 1994, the vote was unanimously yes and I was appointed by the ECC-Seattle church board to prepare a church planting proposal to be submitted for evaluation and approval.
Walk by faith, not by sight - The most essential thing in the proposal was the projected schedule for the new church to become financially independent. Since we are a nondenominational church, we wanted to minimize the financially burden to the mother church. Hence, the proposal was such: For the first year, the mother church would fund 60% of our expenses, we would pay the 40%. The second year, 20% paid by the mother church and 80% by us. The third year, we would carry 100%. The proposal was quickly approved. But after the meeting, one of the elder, Elder Sam Wei, stopped me and said, “Hanchi, your plan is too ambitious, what if you cannot meet your needs at the end of the second year? It will be embarrassing to come back and ask for more.” I replied, “This is because we don’t want to place too much burden on our mother church. I am sure the Lord is very pleased with our intention and your concern and I am confident that He will accomplish this.” By the grace of God, we not only met our needs but had surplus at the end of the second year.
God’s work, God provides - Since then, we established a church policy toward year end surplus: Each year our surplus will be funneled into four funds: 1) Mission, 2) Church Building Project, 3) Good Samaritan Fund (benevolence fund), and 4) Leadership Enhancement Fund. They come from church general fund and they are irreversible. Thanks be to the Lord, for twenty-six years now, we never came short. The Lord provides. After our proposal was approved, each Sunday after worship service, we would gather in the upper room of the Education Building and got down on our knees to pray for our project. When we were down on our knees, our perspective changed to totally rely on God for His guidance and provision. After our prayers, we would check our progress and identify any action items. This continued until the day we were sent off by the mother church.
A partner with a big heart - Because of our gospel activities at Highlands Community Church, the senior pastor, Pastor Jim Amandus, was very aware of us. So, when Pastor To, Mrs. To and I visited Pastor Jim and two of HCC’s elders to brief them about our church planting project and asked for help because our lack of children/youth Sunday school teachers. Pastor Jim, without any hesitation, said, “All our resources belong to God; if you need anything from us just ask.” And immediately he welcomed our children/youth to attend HCC’s Sunday school. Pastor Jim’s only concern was that HCC teachers could not teach in Chinese. We assured him: “Your people will be our people and your God our God. (Ruth 1:16b). We care more about teaching our children to know God and love Him than learning Chinese.” Our children/youth enjoyed excellent teaching from HCC for over five years until we had enough coworkers. We are very grateful to Pastor Jim and HCC - a partner with a big heart.
Kent-Renton Bible Study Fellowship (Summer 1990)
First Sunday Worship for ECC of Kent and Renton (Oct. 9, 1994)
Note that most people are visiting guests from ECC-Seattle and Highlands Community Church. Only 10 families are from Kent-Renton Bible Study Fellowship.