Lessons from a Mountain Top
Rev Dr Colin Gordon is widely known for his prophetic gift and has been invited to the US, Mexico, Isreal, Myanmar, India and other countries. where he has held hugely successful rallies. He shares with AGAPE his humble beginnings and lessons learned from his mountain top.
When he became Trinity Community Centre's (TCC) pastor in the mid 80s, Rev Dr Colin Gordon's congregation of 30 gathered to worship at a small house in Lorong Ma'arof in Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur. The house church was quite dilapidated and flooded when it rained. Driving past jalan Ma'arof one day, he saw a bungalow for rent. The owner wanted RM1,400 a month, but he only had RM12.90 in his account.
The church had one week to come up with a RM6,000 deposit for rental and utilities if they wanted the property. Rev Colin turned to prayer and climbed his "mountain" a hill on Bukit Damansara to be closer to God and take his supplication to Him. "On the very morning I was supposed to make payment, I found an envelope sticking out from under the door of our church. Inside was RM6,000. There was no note to say who it was from."
TCC moved into No. 96, Jalan Ma'arof, but when the owner found out that people gathered there for Christian worship, she got angry and demanded they buy the bungalow for RM500,000. Rev Colin replied that he would consider it once the tenancy ran out in two years. The economy slumped the following year and house prices fell. The owner was eager to sell before it dropped further and asked for RM370,000. In 1986, TCC purchased the property, this time with only RM2,000 in its coffers.
With donations, Rev Colin paid a RM40,000 deposit and applied for a loan for the rest. But his monthly income was only RM2,000, and hence, the bank approved a loan of just RM 170,000. “I had to come up with the balance of RM 160,000 within three months. My congregation of 30 was made up mostly of the deaf, blind and youth, so I wondered where on earth I would get that kind of money," said Rev Colin.
'We were very poor then," added his wife, Pastor Marie. "Colin and 1, and our two baby girls lived above the church at the time. Our pulpit was actually the kitchen cabinet with legs sawn off. "We covered it with cloth to look more presentable. Also, we didn't have the well equipped musical instruments we now do, and relied only on an organ and a bongo that had holes in it."
However, God showed Rev Colin a series of signs to remind him that He was never far away. Once, a police patrol car called the fire department after seeing the church roof on fire. When firemen arrived at the scene, they were dumbfounded as there was no fire to be seen. Baffled, they demanded of Rev Colin: Ini rumah hantu ka? (is this a haunted house?)", and he replied, "Tak, ini rumah Tuhan". (No, this is God's house).
Despite his confident reply, Rev Colin worried about how to raise the additional funds to purchase his new church. This time, he climbed his mountain every other day during a three month period, and remained in prayer from 10pm to 6am. "I once said to God: 'Lord, You spoke to Moses face to face. Elijah just spoke the Word and fire came down from heaven. Won't You please speak to me in Your own way?" Suddenly, a star began dancing. Rev Colin thought there must be some scientific explanation for this, but as he looked closely, all the other stars were stagnant. He thanked God for the sign and continued praying.
One day, Rev Colin took his assistant, Pastor David Chan, with him. "We had three coffee breaks as we prayed throughout the night. During our 3am break, I said to David, 'Wouldn't it be nice if God appeared to us as a burning bush, the way He did with Moses?” "As soon as I said that, we saw a bush burning a short distance away. We went closer to investigate, and it was on fire. It burned for about 15 minutes and when we examined it, not a single leaf was singed," said Rev Colin.
Soon, others were eager to follow him, and he agreed to take 10 fit people who had to clamber 45 minutes uphill before reaching the top, where a flat surface greeted them. "As part of my routine, I'd draw a circle and sanctify the ground within it before praying barefooted. Now there were 10 people within the circle. That night, there was thunder and lightning and we prayed it wouldn't rain as we had no shelter.
I raised my palm to the sky and said, 'Peace! Be still'. Well, it rained heavily all around us, but not a single drop fell within that circle. "That boosted our faith, but as time drew nearer for me to make payment on our new church, lawyers threatened that they would forfeit all the money I had paid if I didn't come up with the balance before the deadline expired," said Rev Colin.
By then, TCC had collected some money through faith pledges from church members and needed another RM56,000. With just one weekend to the deadline, Rev Colin organised a three day prayer chain and even enlisted Korea's Rev David Cho Yonggi's church to join in.
"I was really nervous that Saturday because Chinese New Year fell on the following week and it was common for the congregation to leave town. This meant I'd have an even smaller attendance at Sunday service. "Then I heard an audible voice for the first time in my life. It said: 'Son, fear not. You shall see my promises being turned into reality.' I was so shocked, I said, 'God, if this is really You speaking, say those words to me one more time' and the voice repeated those words again."
That Sunday a day before the deadline Rev Colin went straight from his mountain into church. The 9am service started soon after, and his heart sank when he saw only half his congregation there. All this while, he had been saying that God would provide the money, but now he grew anxious and during his sermon, he declared that he would resign if God did not provide the RM56,000 by the following day.
"I was not giving God an ultimatum. I just felt I had let down the church the very people who had sacrificed their time and money to believe in the vision God had given me. I'll be responsible for losing RM40,000 of the church's money if it was forfeited, and I was prepared to suffer the consequences," said Rev Colin. Some members of the congregation began to cry as he collected the offering. Then, to count the money, he called a man who had walked into TCC for the first time. I instructed him not to empty the pouch but to put his hand into it and slowly take out the money bit by bit. Soon, he was past the RM10,000 mark and the congregation was on its feet watching with bated breath.
"The money kept coming and when it reached RM56,068, it stopped. We were ecstatic, and I wondered what the extra RM68 was for. When I went to settle the purchase price, the lawyer said to me: 'Mr Gordon, I'm afraid you have to pay some disbursements. It amounts to RM68.”
But the miracle did not end there. After 20 years at No. 96 Jalan Ma'arof, TCC sold it for RM2.3 million to purchase a bigger building in Petaling Jaya that can accommodate its growing congregation. The new owner, who only wants to be known as Soldier of God (SOG), had intended to use the building as a furniture showroom, but could not convert No, 96, jalan Maarof, classified as "Kebajikan agama" (Religious welfare), to Commercial.
Unable to convert the status of the property, SOG took it as a Godly sign to return it to the church for as long as they needed it. He is also renovating the double storey bungalow into a three storey building with about 6,000 sq ft in the topmost floor. "I am a very blessed man. I lack nothing ... I have a wonderful family and all the comforts. Once Jesus touched me, I realized that there is nothing I own in this world.
"Everything belongs to Him. We are only guardians of what He has entrusted to us. That's why I felt compelled to return the building to the church for as long as they want it," said SOG, who added that he was not even a Christian when he bought the property but subsequently accepted Jesus when he experienced the power of God at TCC.
"Developers have flattened my mountain and built upon it, but my mountain had taught me to always find time to isolate myself with God and to turn to Him first when the heat is on. "I don't think I'm fit enough to climb my mountain now, even if it were still there, but I'm fit enough to take on the principalities and powers of darkness because it provided the training ground for me to learn how to pray. "Our church will not carry out anymore fund raising projects other than what we have already started. If we should have any future need, we will just go on our knees and pray," said Rev Colin.
TCC is temporarily located at Wisma Penchala, in Jalan Penchala, Petaling Jaya where it holds weekend services on Saturdays. Those who require prayers can contact the church at 03 7784 2839.