Friday, February 6, 2009

History of Hope International

Having been in Hope for almost 2 decades, i can truly say i have seen it all and heard it all. I thought i should also blog down a little bit of the Hope International History. No opinions but just facts so here goes.

As you know Dr.J or Dr Dan as he is called, studied in Monash University and that is where he met his wife and also received the Lord Jesus. He attended a church in Melbourne and well his history in on my other post.

In melbourne, he started a bible study class which included some core people, where he gave them intensive bible study classes. I believe Ps Simon was one of the beneficiary of the initial years. Story was told DrJ finished the bible 8 times in that 1 year.

When he went back to thailand, he returned to Melbourne to preach in a seminar organised by the Overseas Christian Fellowshop, i believe back then Melbourn already had a Hope Church. In this meeting, was the birth of the International churches.

At that time DrJ's teaching was revolutionary, I was not there but i have watched the video a number of times. I believe its called One man One world and One man Can change the world.

It inspired alot of people to actually join Hope, well if i am not wrong and dont quote me on it, but you might be surpirse to find that some of the Hope Pastor's used to be OCF leaders. The leaders included, Ps Chew Bong, Ps Peter Ting, Ps Andrew, Ps Simon, Ps Gordan, Ps Victor Soo, etc. Alot of the initial bunch of people that studied with Dr.J joined him in Hope Movement. And alot more during this conference. You could say HGI was birth out of the one meeting.

Hope Melbourne was the 1st International daughter church, followed by Seattle, then Singapore... a number of others started appearing around the world. But from my understanding, the key night was the night DrJ was invited to preach at the OCF seminar, the sudden exodus from leaders to Hope back then caused alot of friction with OCF. I think if my memory serves me right they have a constitution which states that no OCF leaders or members can be a Hope member, whatever it has toned down... that i am not too sure. Most new OCFs wont know, only the older seniors, that was way back in the early 1990s.

But something happened in 1996-1999, I to say the least was stunned when one after another, many of the 1st group of pastors started leaving Hope for one reason or another, lets just say that if you have been in Hope long enough, you will know who are those pastors, and if you are not then it won't affect you either,so i wont go repeating their stories. But at the time i did not understand why these initial leaders left because in truth these were good leaders and now i now better. Lets put it this way, if 1 or 2 leaders left, i would think its normal but more than 10 pastors left, well Now we now better.

The really funny thing though, when some pastor left Hope they also brought their members with them like in Seattle, KL and Melbourne. PN used to tell us, NEVER NEVER NEVER SPLIT THE CHURCH. Lets keep unity and if you want to go, go so by yourself , protect unity at all cost. You can ask PN if you don't believe.

Anyway, all these happen when Dr.J started entered politics and left the church to PN. He only preached in IPC ( International Pastor's conference) though. I had felt something was really wrong but couldn't understand why. I attributed it to the spiritual covering and now when all these happen, i finally realise.

As Dr.J's heart left God and pursued politics, the spiritual covering that was suppose to be there, started to crack. As he continued to lie in court about his knowledge of us, so did the blessing that was suppose to cover our pastor.

When PN and DrJ talk about spiritual covering, the person providing the covering must first live a life that is worthy of such annointing. If blessings are suppose to flow from Top Down, but the top are not living a life worthy of men of God. Then how are we the ones in the middle and the bottom suppose to receive the annointing of the Hope Umbrella ?

There was alot of theory in my mind back then, i could not place my finger on it. But, something was not right, we had all the right principles, understanding, the blueprint and yet most of our Hope Churches stuggle to hit 1000 with the exception of Hope Singapore of course. Singapore is a very blessed country, almost every church there is a mega church.

Initially i blamed the pastors for leaving us, but now i understand, if almost 90% of the initially 1st flock left in about the same time, it could not have been their fault. Now the secret is out, all alog when the real man behind Hope ( DrJ) was disowning us apparently for our sake. How could God give us the covering.

We have to remember, even though PN was the official Head of Hope, Dr.J was still the leader of the movement and the one directing the vision and direction of the church. PN is his brother-in-law.

Now if you ask me, maybe it has been the best decision so far for HGI to leave the covering of PN and Dr.Dan. I would hate to see more pastors leaving Hope and getting burned out. I know HGI would be better off this way.

There are alot of good leaders in HGI and i think HGI will go far under a different covering from PN and Dr.Dan.


Anonymous said...

Yea, for a long time a few of us have always thought that Dr J should have sticked to his calling as an apostle; teaching, growing and planting churches.

Some how after he 'left' the movement, the corporate anointing was affected. And yet there was nothing any of us could have done. I mean, what do you do? Emailing Dr J? We the 'ordinary' citizens of the movement never get to see him for years. For years we would be wondering where on earth is he and most of the new members have never heard of him, the mysterious founder. (Gee,come to think of it, this does make him look like one of those monks who meditates day and night in the mountain cave.) But the truth is only the selected few top leader did at one point. And even if they dare to suggest anything to him I doubt it would have made any difference.

It's sad but in the end God's love for His people still triumphs. He won't abandon his beloved sheep and we will be alright.

Anonymous said...

It is okay for christians to pursue politics. We are called to be the salt and light of the city, influence and change the culture of our society, bringing down the kingdom of God, redeem the society back to God. This is what that is intended for man when God created Adam - the first man, to rule and reign the world that God has created.

I believe Thailand (or any country in fact) can become a christian nation. Look at Korea, since 1960s, the number of christians have surpassed that of adherents to the traditional religions. Their church - Yoido Full Gospel Church now having the world's largest christian congregation with a membership of 830,000, founded by Dr Yonggi Cho. Also a traditionally Buddhist/confucianist nation in the past, but now, very open to christianity. How their church grow so much, i believe, is not just focused on recruiting converts, discipling them to recruit even more converts just for the sake of growing in numbers.

So christians should not stay away from politics or pop culture, or etc. We shouldn't just be recruiting converts but also use what we have learnt in church to impact our society for a good cause, this will in turn help many more people to know God too. By faith one day, we can have various ministries started by the church that will become real government ministries of the nation.

Life Changing Hospitality said...

I would like more information about what has happened since this post in 2009. If this blog is still active could the author please contact me at rmendola@ifiusaorg. Thank you, in advance. Richard Mendola