Update from Brooklyn House of Prayer
UPDATE – Oct 26, 2017
Thanks to God, on Oct 6 we have completed the property transfer procedures and we now officially own the new chapel. From June to October, from checking out the property to signing the contract, from $650,000 at the beginning to $1.74 million right now, we were accompanied by God’s abundant grace every step of the way. Thank God for His mercy, we saw His wonderful works during the process of praying and waiting. We would also like to give thanks to all brothers and sisters for their loving prayers and generous offerings. We can purchase a chapel with money, but we cannot build a church without the abidance of God. Let us pray in one accord for God’s continuous abidance as we do our best to preach the gospel in the Brooklyn area. Also, please continue to pray for the upcoming applications and our chapel renovations. May all the glory and praise belong to our heavenly Father. Amen!
It is with abundant gladness and thanksgiving we bring you the good news that the Brooklyn House of Prayer has entered into contract to purchase a chapel property!
The 7,200 sq ft property is located in the Borough Park section of Brooklyn, one block away from the D train subway station. It has three stories and a basement level. The building will undergo construction to convert for church use, and will include a chapel hall, classrooms, offices, and lodging areas.
The Brooklyn House of Prayer is in need of $1.2M. The property selling price is $1.62M (seller mandates a 60 day closing date by 8/28/17), plus an estimated $230K construction cost for church use conversion. We currently have $650K of funds on hand.
We sincerely appreciate any amount of financial help. May the Lord remember your kindness and generosity. May your seed of love be multiplied many folds in Brooklyn’s holy work. Funds can be sent via wire transfer or mailed check. For detailed information, please refer to the flyer attached to the right.
With trembling, the Brooklyn House of Prayer brethren are marching forward in this great endeavor. As joy, gratitude, and excitement mix with the unease of burdening our brothers and sisters, we place our trust in our gracious Lord Jesus to deliver us to triumph, like He has for many other churches before, and believe that every effort and contribution made shall serve as a sweet fragrance to God.
May all the glory and praise be unto our Lord Jesus Christ!
Brooklyn House of Prayer Council
Testimony from Sister Priscilla Lau
Our Lord has guided us from the moment when the members of TJC who live in Brooklyn expressed their desires to establish a house of worship in the very neighborhood where they live.
On Thursday, June 15, 2017, Brother Mingzhu Wang, Sister Qiaohua Wang and I went to an open house on a property that just had a huge price drop. The initial asking price for the property was $1,999,999 but it dropped to $1,449,999. There were a lot of interested parties at the open house due to the drastic price reduction. Before we even stepped into the house, we already noticed people making offers.
As soon as we went inside, we all agreed on the size, upkeep, and potential that the property had to offer. The agent let us know that the property would be delivered vacant and that the seller was looking to close as soon as possible due to the untimely death of her husband.
After a call to Pastor Raymond and a Google search on the property zoning regulation, we too jumped on the bandwagon and made an offer. This property just checked all of our boxes:
- Asking price is way below market value;
- Location of the building is close to multiple transportation options (trains and buses);
- Size of the building (30×60 each floor for 3 floors) with 5,400 square footage not including the basement – this is the biggest that we found in the neighborhood within our affordable range;
- The zone permits church establishment;
- For a commercial property to be delivered vacant is extremely rare;
- No work is required on the 2nd and 3rd floor. Plenty of rooms for different RE classes;
- Centrally located for many Brooklyn members
The two open house viewings were scheduled on Thursday evening and Saturday noon time (not on usual Sunday). I never really check the church schedule and I wasn’t aware at the time that Pastor Raymond Chou was assigned to give the last Brooklyn service before his next rotation. Thank God, the open house was during lunch hour and we were able to bring Pastor Raymond to see the place. Raymond also immediately noticed that the value, location and size of the property were perfect for Brooklyn House of Prayer. We agreed to up the offer to put us in a strong position to secure the property. I was actually worried that not all of us were going to be able to decide so quickly, but Raymond’s approval boosted our confidence to execute.
The Saturday open house was not as successful as the Thursday one for the seller due to heavy downpour. At the time the agent said to us, “Looks like God doesn’t want anyone to see it but you guys. He is making it pour.”
In all honesty, our increased offer is still below market value and cheaper than all other places from our research. With our higher offer and the pouring rain on Saturday, the seller verbally accepted our offer on the following Monday. We immediately contacted the best home inspector that we knew and that was near 6:00PM Monday night. The inspector’s secretary picked up the phone to let me know that she was about to leave for the day and asked if we ever worked with them. I told her I worked with them many times before and because I was a recurring customer, she stayed online to help us. Surprisingly, the inspector’s calendar was open the very next day. In my past experiences, he is never available the next day because he is very well-respected for his thoroughness.
I asked his secretary to let me know the inspection fee so we would know the amount of money that we needed to bring with us to pay for the service. She started listing the extra charges; commercial property, two additional families above, the size and the corner property. I was expecting the fee to be $1,250 or more. When she called me back to confirm everything, she told me that the engineer was going to charge us $725 and I was instantaneously stunned with the low rate. She then explained to me that the engineer was also a Christian and he wanted to give other Christians a discount.
On Saturday, Brother Wang asked me to introduce the building to the congregation. I truly felt God’s presence and that He moved all those who were there. The voting result was 45 out of 46 eligible votes. The 1 vote that was not a yes was an indecisive vote and not a rejected vote. Right after the vote, the agent texted me to let me know that someone actually overbid us. At that point, we were not worried because God was with us. The agent knew we were a solid buyer because we had God with us and we acted fast.
During the congregation meeting, we learned that brother Wang’s wish was for Brooklyn to have a targeted place before Raymond and his family moved away. Brother Wang’s wish was granted because on June 28, 2017, which was also Raymond’s very last day in New York, the seller signed the contract even though there were multiple offers that were higher than ours.
Hallelujah, thanks to the Lord for giving us this opportunity to witness His wonderful works.