From the Pastor's Heart
by Pastor John Khng
“Remember his marvelous works that he hath done: his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth:” – Ps 105:5
There were many blessings from the Lord in 1996. The first being the successful implementation of the Small Group System of Home Fellowship Prayer Meeting at Queenstown (Tuesday night) and Thomson (Wednesday night), the first group being led by the deacons and the second group being led by myself.
The “Hongbaos for Missions” total collection was S$775.20 which we sent to the ministry of David and Donna Utter. They are missionaries to the Marshall Islands. The church also voted to support them on a regular basis of S$100.00 per month. The Church Fellowship night held on May 1st in the evening at Brother Norman’s house was well attended. The topic for discussion was “Wanting to Win” a look at “Christians and Competition”. We started off the evening with a pot-luck dinner, followed by a lively and interesting discussion, and we ended the evening with a great time of prayer together. Reverend Tang Ah Chan, missionary to the Philippines preached on May 5th at our Morning Service. His message and sharing on how he lived by faith and how the Lord used him to build up a Church and a Christian school challenged many hearts. On Mother’s Day, the Junior Worship Group and the Young Teens in our church presented a special program on “A Living Presence”, a parable for mothers. the program was directed by Mrs. Khng. On June 1st, we held a family seminar and the Church Outing at the NTUC Resort at Pasir Ris. The response to the seminar was very good. Brother Thay Liong spoke on “Family Relationships” and his wife, Elizabeth spoke on “Childhood Education”. We had a little problem on the catering for lunch but the feedback from everyone was that they enjoyed the time together. The highlight of the day was the baptism service in the evening where Alison Tan was baptized. Imagine the unique way of transporting Alison for her baptism, she sat on a canoe while Peter Foo pushed the vessel to where the water was at waist deep. The reason for such an arrangement was that the mud was very deep (our legs sank into the soft mud for about a feet for every step that we took) and there were sharp stones in the sea bed. Poor Peter suffered a few cuts, but he was chivalrous and gallant as a “knight in shining armour” about the whole event.
Praise the Lord that three Indonesian maids were saved on June 9th. An Indonesian Sunday School class was held to meet their spiritual needs. This class was eventually dissolved in May 1997 due to lack of manpower. The 2nd Church Anniversary was a great blessing to many people who came. The attendance was 103 people including children. There were 34 visitors and the gospel was faithfully preached to them. The choir sang some beautiful hymn arrangements with a combination of Scripture Readings. The theme for the Anniversary Service was “Christ, Our Head”. The Anniversary Magazine was also well received. In August, Kai Ling was diagnosed with having meningitis, but praise the Lord for the early detection. She responded well to the treatment and recovered quickly from the sickness, to the relief of her parents, Vincent and Lydia Lee. On August 25th, we held a special business meeting to vote on the purchase of the Church Building at No. 3, Lorong 25A, Geylang, which is situated across the Aljunied MRT station. The motion to purchase the abovementioned property was carried by a 98% majority (23 voted “Yes” and one voted “No”). The asking price for this freehold property of approximately land, 1200 square feet and built-in 2000 sqaure feet was $1.16million, but we managed to negotiate it down to $1.08 million. A number of our folks went to view the place again in the afternoon, and all were happy with the decision to go ahead to purchase the unit. The church collected a love offering totaled S$466.00 for Reverend Tang and family in the Philippines to help with the expenses of their newly arrived baby boy. We rejoiced with this missionary couple. I was very glad that we could do something for them even though we were having financial needs of our own. On September 22nd, Wedding Bells rang for Peter and Alison as they were joined together in holy matrimony it is always such a great excitement and blessing to the whole church to see one of her own getting married. We began raising our Building Fund in the month of October. I preached a series of message on giving to challenge God’s people to give toward the building. We have a saving of S$160,000, and so we set our target at S$170,000 after securing a loan of S$800,000 from the bank. Praise the Lord for the ten guarantors who came forward to help secure the loan for the church. We encouraged all the working people in our church to give a minimum of one month’s pay to the building fund. The response was very encouraging.
On Nov. 24th, we were glad to announce to the church that the Building Fund collection totalled S$174, 640.16 of which S$100,000 came in as interest free loans from three families in our church. We praised the Lord that we could make all the necessary payments in time. We also thanked God for answering our prayers in that all the necessary approvals with regards to the purchase of the building were given according to schedule, although it took us many hours to work on all the submissions, and a lot of running around to the different government bodies and to our lawyer’s office. Praise the Lord for providing us with a Christian lawyer, who not only was very helpful, but was also touched by God to waive all her legal fees. On Nov. 11th, we held a Baptism Service cum Church Picnic at the seaside along East Coast Park. Praise the Lord that David Tan and Samuel Chng were both baptized, the former by his own dad, Reverend Tan and the latter by myself. Please remember to pray for their spiritual growth. Christmas caroling was done a bit differently this year. The deacons, James Ang, Tech Shing, Swee Fong and Thay Liong took turns to preach in each family which we visited, with me preaching in the last home. It was a very exciting night as the carolers and the various families were greatly blessed. A proposal was made that the deacons should preach again during the next year’s Christmas Carolling. They had done such a good job. May this become the beginning of one of our Christmas traditions. Our Watch Night Service was held in one of the Bungalows at Changi Point. The delicious BBQ food was prepared by Kok Peng’s mum. There were many testimonies, and everyone was so blessed of the Lord. At the stroke of midnight we formed a circle holding hands and a few brothers led in prayer as we crossed from the last year to a new year.
Our theme for 1997 is “Christ, Our Saviour”. The pastoral letters were written by Apostle Paul towards the end of his earthly life. It is very significant that the number one thing Paul was concerned about was that his readers will get to know his Saviour. It was out of this burden that Paul testified, “this is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief” (1 Tim 1:15). Paul considered himself to be the foremost of sinners even though he had accomplished great spiritual works for the Lord Jesus Christ. In verse 16, Paul mentioned that his salvation was an example of how God can save sinners and gave them everlasting life. Paul pointed out that he obtained mercy of God, even though he was once a “blasphemer”, a “persecutor” and an “injurious” person (1 Tim 1:13). He experienced the super abundant grace of God (1 Tim 1:14). He was put into the ministry by God, who not only called him but also enabled him to do a good job (1 Tim 1:15). God’s desire is for “all men to be saved” (1 Tim 2:4). The Lord Jesus Christ is the one and only mediator between God and men. He paid the price of redeeming all men from sin by his own death on the cross. His work of salvation is to be made known to all men (2 Tim 2:5 – 6). This then is the testimony of the church to the world, “The Lord Jesus Christ, He is Our Saviour”.
(Church Anniversary Magazine 3)
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