11/11/2019

 

Dear HOTS family,

 

I am writing today to let you know that the Chinese Fellowship has temporarily stopped all activities as of November 3rd, 2019 due to my need to take a sabbatical.

Twenty-eight years ago, when I was working on my PhD dissertation in Manhattan, Kansas, I was called by God to serve as a tent maker/missionary to international students in college towns. After we moved to Colorado Springs, 25 years ago, my husband Bill and I joined Heart of the Springs Church.  During those early days, I worked full time while I raised two boys, served Chinese people in town, and traveled a lot as a volunteer evangelist in several US states.  About 11 years ago, several people that I had led to faith in Christ, asked me to provide Sunday services for them so that we could all worship our Lord together in Chinese.  So, I met Pastor Mike and proposed the idea to him of having a financially self-supported Chinese Fellowship Ministry at HOTS.  Pastor Mike was excited about the idea and brought the proposal to the Elders.  My proposal to begin a Chinese Fellowship received unanimous approval.

With a lot of help from the HOTS staff, the first HOTS Chinese Fellowship Sunday service started in September 2009 with 7 members.

In the past 10 years, with God’s mercy and to His glory, 85 people have received Jesus as their Savior and 65 of those individuals were baptized at HOTS by Pastor Mike. The Chinese congregation kept growing, averaging more than 100 people a week in attendance at one point. However, last year, many Chinese families and individuals moved due to work and other personal reasons. I took it as a sign that I should take sabbatical and just be quiet and be still with God.

In the past two years, the pastoring ministries, the full-time job, the role of a mom, and the obligations as a daughter of two elderly parents in Taiwan has started to overwhelm me.  My health has been declining badly. After communicating with every family and individual in our Fellowship, we all agree that it is best to rest the ministry of our Chinese Fellowship while I get my rest.  I need a “worry free” sabbatical.

Although this was a hard and very emotional decision for me and for some of our Chinese brothers and sisters, I place all of us in God’s hands with many tears and faith. Please pray for us while we are all resting with God and are surrounded by His promising love.

 

Thank you very much.

In His love.

Li-Wen Hammer