Monday, 28th November 1983
Reading: English read by Katty Chinese read by Stephen
God said to Abraham, "Leave your country, your family and your father's house, for the land I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name so famous that it will be used as a blessing. I will bless those who bless you; I will curse those who slight you. All the tribes of the earth shall bless themselves by you."
So Abraham went as God told him, and Lot went with him. Abraham was seventy five years old when he left Haran. Abraham took his wife Sarah, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had amassed and the people they had acquired in Haran. They set off for the land of Canaan, and arrived there.
Commentary Mr Hunt
Today is a new beginning for World Vision of Hong Kong. We are starting a new stage in our history in Hong Kong. We have a new office. It is a facility which we hope will serve us for quite a few years. We do not know what will happen in the future, even though we have made plans and forecasts. But, even though we cannot see the future clearly, we are stepping out in faith that God has even more exciting and important plans for us.
In many ways we are like Abraham. The story we have read today is about the man who started the Jewish nation. He was the first Jew. Abraham took a step of faith when he obeyed God's instruction to go to Canaan. He, like us, did not know what was ahead, but he trusted God, so he did as God told him.
We do not know how Abraham became sure of God's instruction for him to move. The Bible simply says that "God said". Perhaps Abraham did hear a voice, or perhaps God made Abraham aware of His will in some more commonplace way. In our case, we can feel confident that God has very obviously affirmed our work through the excellent results of the last year. Our rapid growth, and the many enthusiastic responses we have received from supporters confirms that we should plan for our future in this way.
When Abraham moved to Canaan it was a major change in his life. It was much harder for him to move than it was for us. He had a huge family, furniture, livestock, servants. And he was 75 years old! It is clear that Abraham had already lived a long and fruitful life. Yet, at an age when he might have been considering retirement, he started on his most important work.
So it may be for World Vision of Hong Kong also. We have been in Hong Kong for over 20 years. Our childcare and development work flourished here for most of those years. Many would say that we did a good job and we might have the right to retire gracefully. But, like Abraham, we can sense God calling us to a work which may yet be greater than what we have already accomplished.
We do not know the future. But we do know that God has guided our past, even when we were unsure of the direction. Therefore we start the future today. Let us look forward with eager anticipation to the great things God may do through us.
Support Office Directors have started to arrive for the very important meeting at the Royal Garden Hotel this week. Rev Bill Newell, executive director of World Vision of Canada, arrived on Saturday night. Mr James Tysoe, executive director of World Vision of Europe, arrived last night. The meetings start tomorrow.
On thursday afternoon there will be a special "opening ceremony" which the President, support office directors, and invited guests will attend.
PRAYER (say together)
Lord God, we pray that we shall have faith like Abraham. We ask that we shall hear and understand when you speak to us, and that we shall have the wisdom to obey faithfully. In Jesus Name we pray. A-men