30 Orange Grove Road, down Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore 258352
Mailing Address: 1 Goldhill Plaza, #03-35, Singapore 308899
Email: email@example.com; Website: http://www.truelifebpc.org.sg
(Ring Pastor Jeffrey Khoo 62561189 Anytime)
|“The LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep SILENCE before him.”
16th Anniversary Thanksgiving Service
Katherine Go and Joycelyn Chng
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” (Rom 1:16).
The Lord laid a burden in Katherine’s heart a number of years ago, to reach out to the women in the prison with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Sometime in 2016, the Lord gave us an opportunity to talk about it and we committed the matter to Him in prayer. Subsequently, advice was sought from Rev Koshy and Pr Kabingue as Gethsemane BPC has been heavily involved in the men’s prison ministry under Singapore Anti-Narcotics Association (SANA). With Pastor’s blessings, we applied to go into the prison through SANA, under the leadership of the Gethsemane team.
A period of waiting upon the Lord followed. Eventually, we completed the compulsory SANA orientation by May 2017, and Singapore After-Care Association (SACA) training by August 2017, which is required by the Singapore Prisons Service for all volunteers to be aware of the security and safety protocols within prison grounds. However, the Lord closed the door to the women’s prison ministry through SANA when we received news in September 2017 that SANA has no slots for female volunteers to enter the women’s prison. Assured that God is in control, we were not disheartened, as God had used Pastor in one of his sermons during the Lord’s Day worship service to confirm in our hearts that ministering to the women inmates is indeed His will for us. We continued to seek the Lord and His timing for us concerning this matter. “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Prov 3:5, 6).
About two weeks later, the Lord used Pr Jeremiah Sim from Gethsemane BPC to direct us to Christian Counselling Services (CCS), which used to be under SANA. However, as we desired to be under the supervision of Gethsemane BPC in this ministry, we did not follow up with CCS until much later. In the meantime, we requested Pr Jeremiah to write an appeal letter to Prisons through SANA, appealing for the opening of slots into the women’s prison. The reply from Prisons came on 18 January 2018, rejecting our appeal. Shortly after, Joycelyn was diagnosed with cancer. It seemed then that there were many hurdles preventing us from entering this ministry. We continued to pray and submitted to the Lord’s will and time.
The Lord indeed was working. Katherine contacted CCS and eventually met up with the person in charge for an interview on 9 March 2018. Through this session, we found out that CCS does not tolerate tongues speaking and the health-and-wealth gospel. In addition, we are permitted to teach freely from the Word of God. For this, we are most thankful to the Lord. After consulting with Pastor, we submitted our testimonies of salvation along with our application forms to CCS.
Katherine was eventually issued her Prisons temporary pass on 2 June 2018, after clearing another interview, and had her first session in the women’s prison the very next Saturday. By the grace and mercies of the Lord, and in God’s perfect time, Joycelyn was also issued her temporary pass in January 2019, and had her first session on 12 January.
Our intention all along was to serve together, ministering to the same group of inmates. Yet, “A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps” (Prov 16:9). The Lord knows what is best for the work. We were assigned to minister to different groups of women inmates—Katherine to those serving long/life sentences and Joycelyn to drug offenders. We believe that this arrangement is for a higher purpose—God wanting us to reach out to a wider group of people.
A typical session follows rather closely the order of worship at our fellowship meetings. Conducted in a classroom setting, we start off with a time of singspiration, followed by an opening prayer before the sharing of God’s Word. We then break up into groups for sharing of thanksgiving and prayer requests. Some of these items include prayers for their family members and being thankful when they get to see or hear from them. The overriding desire of the drug offenders on the other hand, is to be released as soon as possible to a halfway house or be placed on a work/home release scheme. Their differing concerns are tied to the nature of their offences and sentences, which we take into consideration when we minister to them.
Similar to the church, it is a mixed multitude that we are reaching out to. What they need are not motivational talks based on personal experiences or human intelligence, but the Word of God that they might be saved through the gospel of Jesus Christ (Rom 1:16), and grow in His grace and knowledge (2 Pet 3:18). True and lasting change can only come about through His Word (Ps 19:7-9). It is our prayer that God will use us effectively for this work.
With much gratitude, we see the mighty hand of God at work as we reflect on how He has placed us in this ministry. All the waiting that God had put us through was needful to prepare us for this area of service. Truly, God is sovereign and His timing is perfect. All praise and glory be unto the Lord.
CHINESE BIBLE STUDY
Thank God for starting the True Life Chinese Bible Study. It is God’s special plan and provision for the spiritual needs of our Chinese-speaking brethren. Through which their knowledge of God’s Word may increase, and their faith and love may be grounded in God’s Word.
Chinese Bible Study (CBS) is an answer to our prayers. The Lord had put the burden to start a CBS in my heart, since I started to serve the Lord full-time in True Life BPC last year. Therefore, I have been praying for it. I did mention to our brethren about this desire during the Chinese worship service, and asked them to pray about it too. Truly, the Lord has answered our prayers.
I believe that it is not only my burden to start the CBS, it is the desire of our leaders as well. On the 9th Chinese Service Anniversary, our Pastor was the speaker, and I interpreted for him. During the service, he asked our Chinese congregation whether they wanted to have CBS, they replied “yes.” This was a clear sign for us to begin the CBS.
With Pastor’s blessing and approval, we began to plan for the CBS. The Lord directed me to the book of Genesis, which is the beginning of God’s creation, the fall of man, the promise of a Saviour, and Israel’s history. In fact, some important names and events mentioned in the book of Romans (which I am currently preaching in the Chinese service) are from the book of Genesis. I found that the book of Genesis is a very good and relevant book for us to begin in the CBS. Thank God that both Pastor and Eld Mern Yee agreed to it.
The Chinese Bible Study officially started on July 10, 2019. We meet on every Wednesday evening at 7.30pm, except the first week of the month in view of the Ladies’ Fellowship. I planned to have a simple quiz after every four lessons to help them to remember God’s Word better. We completed one quiz so far, and most of our brethren showed that they have learned well. May our brethren be like the believers in Berea, who “received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily” (Acts 17:11). We pray that God will help our brethren be well educated and grounded in God’s Word.
Usually, we have about 25 to 30 people attending the Bible study. Most of them are from our church, and a few from other churches. We pray that the Lord will sustain, and move more brethren to join us in the systematic study of the book of Genesis. Surely, it is a worthy investment to give our time to the studying of God’s Word. It will not only provide help for our earthly journey, but also heap up treasures in heaven. May the Lord use the CBS to help our Chinese-speaking brethren to increase their knowledge in God’s Word. Their faith may be strengthened, and their love for the Lord and His people may be deepened. They may be even motivated and encouraged to serve the Lord more fervently in their respective areas. May all praise and honor be given unto the Lord!
MINISTRY IN AVIARI
I am so thankful to the Lord for the ministry in Aviari. I truly see how the Lord works in a mysterious way in bringing people to Himself, to worship Him in Spirit and Truth. Last Sunday, 18 August 2019, we started a Worship Service in Aviari with five worshippers—three young men, my sister and me. We worshipped God in the storehouse we use for the children’s ministry. With advice from Rev Kiantoro, the worship service is held in the afternoon at 3pm.
Two of these young men are actually the children of members of Calvary Batam BPC, Mr and Mrs Bakhtiar. For a few years, they have been worshipping in other churches, but they felt that they are not growing in their faith. Sometimes they are lazy to go to church. The Lord then moved my heart to visit this family. When I was in their house, telling them about a new ministry in Aviari, they immediately and happily told their two sons to join me and take the catechism class under me. The other young man is actually their friend who is also looking for a place to worship and to take catechism class.
In the worship service, I am burdened to teach them the book of Galatians. So I preach from this book. We also started the Teens and Young People’s Fellowship. I mixed the teen and the young people because we are still small in number. At our first meeting, three young men and three teens came. I am teaching them the book of Proverbs. Pray that they may grow to be wise men for Jesus’ sake. We meet regularly every Saturday at 7pm.
Concerning the plan to reach out to those in University, I have sent to a University an email asking permission to reach out to their students. But they have yet to reply. I plan to go directly to that University when the new term is opened because now they are still on holiday. Please pray that the door might be opened. Please pray also for God’s guidance as I am looking for a room or a house to rent in Batu Aji, so I can be closer to Aviari, to be more focused and have more time to evangelise the people there.
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