The Outward Spiral

05/20/2016 .
Katie Brown  .  Storytelling Intern

For most of Cordelia Lo’s life, her influence remained limited. She served at a local church, participated in a small group, and loved God, but her reach only went as far as her present location. Then she decided to take a chance, leave behind what she had been doing for over 20 years and step into a bigger calling than she ever dreamed.

God had big plans for Cordelia and her family—plans that extended a lot further than their hometown in Torrance. For over two decades they attended a good local church and were involved in small groups that used many Saddleback resources and books. In 2012, the family decided to check out Saddleback for themselves at Christmas. They had no intentions of making Saddleback their new church family, but God had a different idea. “We felt drawn to Saddleback at the time. We didn’t know why, but we felt called. We just felt that pull,” Cordelia said. Shortly after, they began commuting every week. Saddleback became their home church.


In March 2013, they took CLASS 101 to become members of the church and learned about the upcoming launch of Saddleback Hong Kong. Cordelia and Aaron, her husband, were originally from there before coming to the U.S. They began attending meetings for the launch to support the new church and offer any help that they could. They knew that God wanted to use them to reach the people of Hong Kong, a people near and dear to their hearts. Starting with the Global PEACE Hong Kong meetings, Cordelia began as a worship leader for the services.


Soon Cordelia and her husband, who are both fluent in Chinese, were on the translation team for Saddleback Hong Kong. Cordelia’s husband became the coordinator for the team that worked tirelessly to translate the English sermons, including audio, Powerpoint slides, and notes, into Chinese.

When the team took on its first major assignment, Easter, it required fifteen people in eleven different geographic locations to work a total of 30 hours to get the message ready in time. That message ended up getting broadcast all over the world on a Chinese Christian television channel, reaching countless people with the Gospel message. Cordelia was amazed by how God orchestrated the whole project and used it to bring his message to so many people. “God’s hand is in it and I’m a part of a much bigger plan,” Cordelia said.

The family is still very invested in the continued success of Saddleback Hong Kong. Cordelia served on both the usher team and the worship team after the launch of Saddleback Los Angeles in 2014. Then in 2015, members of that church come to visit California Cordelia and her husband serve as hosts, picking them up at the airport, housing them in their home and even showing them around Southern California. “Serving God in this way I’m getting to know a lot of people and I’m looking at things in a broader way than before,” Cordelia said.

However God’s calling didn’t end there. When Cordelia found out that Saddleback was launching a campus in her local community, the South Bay, she wanted to be a part of it. Soon, she and her husband were members of the core team for the launch of Saddleback South Bay and were actively involved in the whole process of starting that campus.

One of the things Cordelia has always loved about Saddleback is the way its members dedicate themselves to God’s work.“The people at Saddleback have this ability to put everything aside and focus on the mission,” Cordelia explained. She and the rest of the core team did just that during the planning stages and execution of the launch of Saddleback South Bay. Cordelia said that all the members of the team brought very different crucial skills and talents to the process, which bonded them together as a team and ultimately made the launch successful.


In the beginning stages, Cordelia was the only vocalist for the worship team and her husband was producing every service. Through it all the family pressed on and kept giving more and more of themselves to the brand new church, fully committed to the church’s growth. As they followed God’s lead, he also gave them more and more influence within their community. “The dream that God gave us to serve is a lot bigger than we ever imagined,” Cordelia said.


Currently, the church is growing and attracting more and more people from the community. Shortly after the first services, the campus baptized new believers and hosted a CLASS 101, which forty-seven people attended to become official members of the new campus. “We see a lot of things happening and we see things are to come as well,” Cordelia said.

In the midst of all the busyness, the pastor of Saddleback Irvine South reached out to Cordelia for help with their new Chinese language service, which meant Cordelia was now helping launch a brand new ministry in addition to leading worship and serving on the prayer team at Saddleback South Bay as well as assisting Saddleback Hong Kong and the translation team. However, she takes it all in stride; believing that God wants to use her in all of it for his glory. As a result of the Miracle of Mercy campaign, Cordelia is now launching a local Orphan Care ministry at Saddleback South Bay. They will serve the foster care children in the local community.


Recently, Cordelia was named as a Giant Killer in recognition for all her efforts within the various ministries of Saddleback Church. Looking back at all that’s happened since making Saddleback her home church, Cordelia can clearly see God at work in her life. “When you follow God’s calling, everything will come into place for you. Things don’t make sense sometimes, but if you really think you’re doing it for God and you know that it’s God’s calling for you then things will start making sense over time. It’s so clear to us because it hasn’t been an easy journey, but we’re not doing it for ourselves, we’re doing it for God,” Cordelia said. “God just kept on calling us to go to different places and do different things within Saddleback. We found community there, we found ministries and we found our purpose.”

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