There have been many good things happening at ICA in the past year. God has taken our church to a new level of spirituality, a deeper understanding of the Scriptures and releasing the supernatural ministry of the Holy Spirit.
The year started with the commencement of the Hong Kong School of Supernatural Ministry (HKSSM). Throughout the year, the students were taught many things about God and our identity in Him. This first year was such a success like we never dreamed and one lesson we learned is that as we dream big for God, God is dreaming even bigger for us. An outpouring of the Holy Spirit empowered our students to pray, prophesy and minister powerfully and we look forward to developing this leadership team.
Each week, our members reach out to at least 950 people through Manna Ministry. This ministry focuses on fostering long-lasting relationships with the poor through scheduled home visits, food distributions, tuitions and many other regular weekly and monthly activities. ICA works with these people to help them through their hardships, to bring them hope and to share the love of God. Manna Ministry started the year with our 4th ICA Annual Pun Choi event held in January.
This was the largest pun choi that we have ever held. 360 participated, with two-thirds of them being new migrants and from low-income families. We were so encouraged to see the work of God while serving these people. Many of the single mothers and elderies we have been working with the past year through our English classes and food centers also attended and have grown in their relationship with us and in our Lord.
ICA is also called to ¡®go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.'" We are actively involved in the Great Commission and every year we send many teams to countries throughout Asia to experience first-hand what God is doing in our region.
According to Proverbs 2, children must be taught to treasure God¡¯s commands, seek understanding, know what it means to respect the Lord and practice God¡¯s wisdom in our daily lives. Therefore, we are so proud of our youth, who have a heart for God. In March they traveled to Kolkata, India to partner with an AG church there.
They spoke on ¡®Supernatural Lifestyle", led worship, and ministered healing and prophetic words to a multi-lingual group between the ages of 14 - 30. It was a special time, especially for our youth who had just completed their youth discipleship training. As this was their first opportunity to practice what they learned, it really turned out to be a supernatural time of spiritual growth for them as well.
In the months that followed, ICA has sent over 7 teams out to all corners of Asia on God¡¯s calling to reach out to the lost including Cambodia, China, Indonesia, and Malaysia to name but a few.
ICA celebrated its 40th anniversary in May and to commemorate this milestone, we held a grand celebration at the Queen Elizabeth Stadium in Wan Chai. Special guests from all over the world attended the event, including former Pastors, former leaders, Board of Directors and friends of ICA¡¯s past and present.
The stadium was full to its 4,000-seat capacity and everyone was gripped from the powerful testimonies to the prophetic words, from the musical worship to the stage performances. ICA¡¯s journey to its 40th year has been so remarkable and miraculous, that we couldn¡¯t help but to create a 280-page history book - Ordinary People, Extraordinary God. It is through God¡¯s grace and blessings that ICA is where it is right now and this was a great way to record our amazing history and give Him the glory.
We also thank God for the good people at ICA. Our leadership is committed and united. Our pastors and staff have been so dedicated, having a wonderful heart for the Lord while serving us.
We enjoy seeing God move mightily ? healing, saving, restoring and giving us powerful messages and worship.
An Invitation to Life Dinner was one such event where we saw God¡¯s hand. In June, those in the marketplace invited their non-believer friends and colleagues to join them for this dinner event. During this meaningful time, our guests were introduced to God through testimonies and fellowship. It was a life-changing event and we praise God that so many souls responded to the altar call. Many lives were touched and saved. We do believe seeds that have been sown will continue to bear fruits in the days to come.
ICA has also grown scripturally. By the end of August, the church finished two sermon series that were life transforming. The ¡® Wonder of Worship¡¯ series looked at how worship is simply being fully dependent on God and making Him everything in our lives. As worship is commonly considered part of the singing and praise during church service, we learned that it is much more than that. Man was created to worship God and even the hosts of heaven worship Him. The ¡®Wonder of Workship¡¯ series examined how God is our ultimate boss and those who work for Him will find success in their workplace. We explored in detail how we worship God at work through how we conduct ourselves at the workplace, how we live by our virtues, our integrity, and our work ethics. And when all the hard work is done, how we observe the Sabbath.
In September, our cell groups reached out to their friends and family with the weekly studies Meaning of Life. Jesus promised that where two or three come together in faith and devotion to Christ, He is there with them. Our faith was strengthened in His presence and breakthroughs came. Many of our guests, who shared their experiences, struggles and joys, were saved.
We finished the year with a season of celebration, thanking God for another opportunity to serve Him. After months of weekly rehearsals and preparations, ICA¡¯s original musical Because of Love took to the stage once again to reap in the harvest. The theme of this musical was inspired by Acts 16:31: ¡°Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.¡±
We prayed that God would use this musical to touch the hearts of our loved ones and friends who came to watch it. We were blessed that the seeds, which were sown in the musical, bore fruits for His glory! At the end of all five shows, watched by more than 4000 people, 417 persons indicated that they accepted Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. Our greatest joy is seeing people come to know Jesus.
We also thank God for what is to come. We are moving into a season of sharing the Good News, in words and works, with the community. There are many people in Hong Kong who are broken, lost and in pain. We want to reach out and love them with the love of Jesus. It is for this very reason that He has placed ICA here. It is a great privilege to be in Hong Kong and to be the salt and the light in this city.