Miracle in the Storm: During a Typhoon, Saddleback Hong Kong made a Daring Faith decision to "go!"

08/29/2017

It was 7:30 AM on Sunday, July 23 when Hong Kong was hit by a category eight typhoon. Government officials immediately ordered all activities and events to be canceled out of safety concerns for residents. With the arrival of this news, Saddleback Hong Kong sent out an announcement to church members that the 10:00 AM Sunday service would be canceled.

In the history of the campus, this was the first time service had ever been called off at Saddleback Hong Kong. Yet in the midst of the storm, God had bigger plans than anyone could have ever predicted.

As soon as the service was canceled, the majority of staff drove straight to church to check the condition of the campus. They also assured that members who turned up were informed of the news and sent home to safety. Ironically, it was the same day that Saddleback Irvine North's PEACE Team was scheduled to help lead worship and share a message with Saddleback Hong Kong.

With the entire staff huddled together, the idea of hosting a service on Facebook Live was presented by Hong Kong's Campus Pastor, Stephen Lee. It was just after 9:00 AM when the team began discussing what it would take to pull off such a task.

"The idea really came from the Holy Spirit," says Pastor Stephen. "By 9:50, we agreed to go for it, and give members a way to worship God at home during the storm. We only had a few staff plus the Saddleback Irvine North PEACE Team on hand, but we made a Daring Faith decision to GO!"

Immediately everyone stepped up to organize the schedule, songs, sound, recording, and lighting. The team agreed that if even just a few people watched the message, it would be worth the effort. In less than 90 minutes, they had everything set up for the Facebook Live broadcast that kicked off at 11:20 AM.

Within minutes, word spread of the live worship service entitled "In the Storm." Online viewers started inviting their friends to watch the event, and numbers grew to the point of surpassing weekly attendance. God did unbelievable and amazing things because of their obedience. That single 50-minute live worship service received 9,321 views, 400 comments, 350 likes, and reached 29,981 Facebook friends.

As Saddleback Teaching Pastor, Tom Holladay says, "They blessed people in the midst of the storm. It's such a great example of the respond-immediately ministry mindset of Saddleback Church."

The Lord's blessings didn't end there, however. The following week, more than 100 new people attended Saddleback Hong Kong. And just two weeks after the storm, they hosted their first ever Saddleback Kids (SK) Main Event on August 8-10. As a result, they now have an average attendance of 120 children in Saddleback Kids, compared to 40 prior to the event.

In celebration, Saddleback Hong Kong hosted Family Night on August 11, which drew 300 people. Despite nearly 20 percent of their members being on summer holiday, the campus is still breaking record attendance at Saddleback Kids.

Clearly Saddleback Hong Kong has no signs of slowing down. "We're building momentum, especially after the Facebook Live service," says Pastor Stephen. "It was the biggest spread we've ever had on Facebook. Only God can turn a storm into a miracle."

To learn more about what God is doing at Saddleback Hong Kong, visit www.saddleback.com/hongkong.