19. Tears of Victory

Author: Raymond Eng
Translator: Abraham Koo

They will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you, for I am with you,’ declares the Lord, to deliver you.”

Jeremiah 1:19

To me, every loan request in my life has been a spiritual experience. At first, the loan request was for personal needs. The latest one was used to develop the ‘Popeyes Chicken’ chain. Now the purpose was not to have more cash for myself, but the cash goes as offering to God’s family needs. Because of God’s love, I work hard, earn hard, in order to give more, so that the gospel can reach those whom Jesus seen as precious: the financially strapped, the poor, the helpless, the needy, and who are sick and in pain, so that they can come to know the gospel and the Savior who love them. May God be the glory. Slowly, I discover I no longer live for myself, but for God, hoping I can contribute my strength for His kingdom as my way to thank God for His grace.

God has been very gracious to me, the SoHo property I bought I still own, and the property value keeps going up, and now this building has been granted loan to redevelop it, the revenue it generates can help with God’s work, I am very grateful for that.
I think back about 25 years ago, SoHo was a dark and dreary place that had no streetlamp, a rundown place, – full of crime, drugs, robbery, fights, and it’s just plain unsafe. If you park your car on the street, thugs will break your window in broad daylight and steal anything of worth from your car, like radio, tire and car parts. If someone wears nice clothes, they may get mugged, and break-in occurred quite often. A garment factory across from me had experienced so many break-ins and finished product stolen decided eventually to move away. After that a dialysis center opened. I see dialysis patients going in and out of the center, their expressionless face tells me a lot about their outlook on their future life’s prospect. On top of that, my sister had to go there three times a week, and every session lasted 4 hours, every time when I saw her face, I was saddened and despondent. It is like being encased in dark cloud, caged animal having no way out, and no sunshine!

I can’t imagine today; SoHo is now a up and coming chic district in Manhattan. The dialysis center has since moved out, and in its place two 5-star hotels were constructed, and around it many luxury condo and business buildings are being built. The SoHo today isn’t like its past, the downtrodden, rundown part of town; it is the golden mile. It’s beyond my wildest dreams! Years ago, Popeyes Chicken stock was worth only $4.80 per share, now it is at $80. From doing business at a loss to making money, it has become the fastest growing chain store. This experience let us sense that God is the one who can change the impossible to possible. The Bible says in Matthew 6:33, “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” This is the promise of God.
2020 is a very unusual year. I want to use my last bank loan to clear up all my personal debts and take what remains to help those families who are experiencing economic hardships. In the past, I helped families that are single parent, left-behind children, orphans and widows. Beyond helping them to find jobs, I created career opportunity also by providing them prospects to invest in ‘Popeyes Chicken’, letting them become my business partners, so they can have a stable income and a good future, and not to have to worry about tomorrow. Their diligent hard work gives me great comfort to know they are on the right track.

Now I want to switch my help targets to family, – especially the new immigrants. This year, I will establish a foundation, using low interest rate loan to help them buy their own property, so they have a stable place to live. Family is very important. A good family can help children grow and these healthy grown children will then become pillars of society, and through this means, I hope to reach them with the gospel also.

But this loan application was not easy as I would have envisioned. Chase Bank had already promised to make the loan. Their interest rate was the lowest among all the banks with the highest loan amount permitted, but they had to go through many documents, including the CO (Certificate of Occupancy). Before this, no other bank asked me for it, so I got a monkey wrench thrown in. The issue was not the CO, but time, for in my mind, the plan of investment was set, but now the whole plan was thrown upside down. I got a bit upset about it! I prayed to God almost feeling like a child, ‘Lord, will you cover the eyes of the bankers and confuse their minds, like how Gideon messed up the Midianites, so that they won’t have the need to look at my CO. You are the Almighty God, in you there is no hard things for you are the Almighty God, help me!’ and then I added, ‘yet not according to my will, but your will be done. For your thought is higher than my thought, you know what is best!’

In fact, God had already prepared Morgan Stanley to make me the loan, and they didn’t require me to hand the CO for their inspection right away. God’s name is “Jehovah Jireh’, He had already prepared, like the popular saying, ‘man plans, but heaven is what make things done’, again I experienced what Proverb 16:9, ‘man plans his own way, only the Lord directs his path’, marvelous truth!
Lord! I willingly and humbly bow at your feet, for you are the lamp to my feet, light to my path. You are my God thus I give you my thanksgiving! You are my God, I worship you! (Psalm 118:28) May you use the remainder of my earthly days to testify and glorify you!

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