Reaching out with Kindness

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Reaching out with Kindness Powered By Docstoc
					Reaching out
with Kindness

                Sep-Dec 2007 MICA (P) 040/12/2007
4     77th Anniversary Celebrations By Rulin Yeo                                                    8 Pee See Hua By Numbers By Genevieve Wong
6     A Deeper Level By Israel Houghton And New Breed                                               10 The Story Of Denise And The Medal Of Commendation
      Cd Review By Doris Gan                                                                           By Stephanie Pee
7     Between The Dreaming And The Coming True                                                      12 A Change Of Heart By Lim Soon Beng
      By Bebo Norman Cd Review By Lorraine Koh                                                      13 Be Thou My Vision By Tan Tsu Haung

14 A Spirit-filled Camp By Sheryl Kang                                                               18 Interview With Charles Wu By Alan Tan Hoe Heng
16 Ym Worship Team Godrocker's Retreat By Joseph Ting                                               20 Healing Of Family Ties By Jenny Gan

21 Obeying God The Higher Calling Testimony By Dr Sam Ng                                            26 Melody Care Group By Janet Tang
22 Young Methodist Leaders Conference By Nathaniel Tan                                              27 The First Noel By Favian Ee Book Review By Lim Fung Peen
24 Sex And The Supremacy Of Christ By Michael Chung                                                 28 Conspiracy Of Kindness By Steve Sjogren
                                                                                                       Book Review By Roy Tan

30 Whether Thunder, Rain Or Sunshine Genevieve Wong                                                 32 Shawn Yong, Our Spanking New Ym Chairman
                                                                                                       Interview By Yeo Rulin

Reach Out
34 The Methodist School In Cambodia A Letter By Vimala Devi                                         40 Alpha In The Workplace By Alan Heng
36 Full Flame Film Series By Lim Fung Peen                                                          42 Contributing Through Alpha By Bernard Low
38 What Is Prison Ministry? By Pastor Chui Ming Li                                                  43 The Cell Phone Vs. The Bible Poem By Anonymous

Witness Team                                                                                        Pastor-in-charge: Rev Edmund De Souza.
Communications Chairman and Editor: Lim Fung Peen. Assistant Editor: Keith Ng. Subeditors:
Kenneth Kway. Eileen Tan Cochien. Sheryl Kang. Kenneth Choo. Gan Seng Chee. Administrator:          Witness is a quarterly newsletter of Christ Methodist Church. The views expressed herein do not
Sharon Lim. Contributors: Yip Siew Joo. Pauline Tan. Cheng Tai Kin. Doris Lee. Shawn Yong. Kelvin   necessarily reflect the official views of Christ Methodist Church or the Methodist Church in Singapore.
Ong. Stephanie Pee. Genevieve Wong. Tay Poh Luan. Sharon Soh. Yeo Rulin. Design: Joanne Chua.       CMC 597 East Coast Road Singapore 429082.
Jasper Phua. Photographers: Terence Tay. Lim Fung Jen. Tan Hock Seng. Alfred Wong. Alvin Lau.       Tel: 63453934 Fax: 64470035
Rodney Chia. Peter Fong. Goh Lay Kwan.                                                    

Cover Photo by Joanne Chua
A Love Letter From Jesus!
By Rev Juliette Arulrajah

                                      The Greatest Lover of all times,     ourselves to broken people in a relevant manner that meets their
                                      JESUS, changed history               felt needs by walking our talk – speaking the truth, dealing honestly
                                      and all our lives forever            and living uprightly.
                                      when He who is God was born
                                      as a little human baby on the        In fact, we can be the oil of anointing to others by enabling them
                                      first Christmas! He identified         to experience the power, peace, joy and hope found in Jesus by
                                      with us by tangibly reaching         practicing these five simple principles:
                                      out in love and kindness             – Treating people as friends and increasing their willingness
                                      to a humanity that was                 to listen.
                                      directionless, despairing,           – Touching hearts by serving in humility.
                                      doubting and delinquent to           – Transforming perception of christians by serving others without
                                      bestow abundant blessings of           a hidden agenda.
                                      salvation, hope, freedom,            – Telling the message after 'doing' the message.
                                      joy and peace – a destiny            – Focusing on planting seeds of kindness by liberally sowing
                                      of promise!                            acts of love everywhere instead of aggressively 'closing the deal'
                                                                             to harvest souls.
No matter what our status in life, God has a special destiny for us!
He calls us by name and unfolds before us a purpose for our lives.         Moreover, reaching out in kindness minimizes the risks of rejection,
The shepherds were terrified when the angel appeared to them                fear and failure thus it frees us to do very practical and manageable
whilst they were following their usual routine on the momentous            tasks to express Christ's love without strings attached. Creative
night that Jesus was born. Yet it was to these lowly and despised          ideas for showing kindness in simple but powerful ways in different
people that God first proclaimed the good news of great joy (Luke           everyday contexts abound in Sjogren's other book, Servant
2:10): the news of the birth of His Son! Each of us is special and         Warfare. In addition, according to the Random Acts of Kindness
God has a role for us that no one else can so uniquely fulfill The          Foundation, helping others reverses feelings of depression, hostility
shepherds would never have imagined that they would be the                 and isolation as it supplies social contacts and energizes emotions
first privileged bearers of the good news of Jesus birth and His            that strengthen the immune system and reduces stress, enhancing
role here on earth. Likewise, many of us struggle with the fears of        feelings of positive bonding and well-being of the giver.
sharing the gospel message of hope even as we desire to do so.
                                                                           Whether it be a smile, a compliment, a listening ear, a hug,
How can we be love letters from Jesus?                                     appreciating your boss or employee, giving someone else your
To lovingly and sensitively do this with low risk, we need to step out     parking spot, being a friend to a new student or co-worker or
in kindness.. Acts of kindness motivated by love soften the heart          calling / visiting the homebound, etc., when carried out habitually
as kindness is a language which the dumb can speak and the deaf            or constantly, acts of kindness win and preserve the heart and
can understand, echoing endlessly in the lives of those it touches.        secure the comfort of the recipient whilst emboldening us to take
Humble demonstrations of love through which pre-believers feel             baby steps to share our faith. As each one of us plays our part
accepted, kind acts plant a seed of eternity which will blossom            in reaching out through acts of kindness, the church's role in the
into faith in Christ as they are the 'phone wires' through which the       community becomes redefined as a beacon of hope and the
message of victorious life in Jesus are 'spoken'.                          community becomes saturated with Jesus' tangible presence of
                                                                           love, ushering in the kingdom of God!
I witnessed firsthand this expression of the fullness of love in a
vibrant and young church of about 200 believers in military-ridden         We are like traffic lights – we signal the flow of pre-Christians along
Taungyi, Myanmar some years ago. Though poor themselves and                the highway of heaven into the kingdom of God. Are you the red
often going hungry, the members would always bring some food,              light that stops others from coming into God's household because
whether it be porridge or just half a biscuit, on their daily hospital     of your PRIDE which will not allow you to serve in humility? Or are
visits. These Shan brethren ministered without fail to the lonely,         you the amber light that is always preparing to love pre-believers
neglected, bedridden Bhama tribe by not only feeding them but              but procrastinating due to your PHOBIA of rejection? Or are you
also spending time with and praying for them. An old long-term             the green light that is characterized by the PURPOSE OF LOVE,
patient of the hospital told me that he found these people strange         encouraging others to be reconciled to God and experience the
– they persistently ministered to those who had persecuted them,           fullness of God's love through your acts of kindness?
people like him despite numerous rebuffs with deep joy and
overflowing love and this opened his heart and led him to receive           Be a love letter from Jesus! Make a difference today!
Jesus Christ as His Saviour and Friend.

We need to be sensitive to those around us so as to bring Jesus'
healing and wholeness to them for as the sun melts the ice,
kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust and hostility to
evaporate. In his book, The Conspiracy of Kindness, Steve Sjogren
underscores the importance of seeing those around us with the
eyes of Jesus (i.e. the eyes of scripture, mercy, simplicity, integrity,
culture and reality). This enables and empowers us to give
    "I felt very blessed by the speaker...who shared a very
     interesting perspective about the life of Jesus and His purpose
     on earth" – Ray Chong, 22 BUGGS

4   Worship
We'll never be the same again.                                         Worship night saw many respond to God's unfailing love and
Not after what happened on our 77th Anniversary.                       deeply moved me to see how lives were changed that night.
                                                                       It's simply amazing to see hurting young people releasing their
Nope. We'll never be the same again.                                   pains and fears to God, to see hearts of stone softened and
                                                                       turned towards God, to see people finally taking up the courage
Some call it the "holy weekend", others call it the "power-packed      to commit their lives fully to the Lord. It was not about the music,
Anniversary Celebration", but I choose to call it "CMC's new           not even about the lyrics and never about our singing. God has
chapter". It started with a 2 day INDI conference, followed by an      always been and only concerned with our hearts, and I believe
energetic, spirit- filled worship night; and finally brought to an end   that on that night, He was pleased with our worship.
on our Anniversary Sunday. CMC was more than blessed to have
the very anointed Rev Peter Tsukahira to share his insights and        Amongst the post-INDI Conference and Worship Night's excited
perspective with us.                                                   chatter, and the news of CMC's logo and identity face-lift, the
                                                                       atmosphere on Anniversary Sunday was undeniably awesome.
The relevance of Rev Tsukahira's messages spoke volumes into           The air smelled crisp and fresh with anticipation, there was a sense
my life, and I am sure many of you were shaken by his words too.       of expectation for bigger things to come. You know how it is always
Indeed, God is bringing CMC into a new chapter and we need             said that after a conference like this, people will be excited for a
to embrace change and this exciting paradigm shift. Many of us         while, then the mountain top experience will die down? I know
(yes, it's YOU I am talking about, stop looking at the person next     that this one's going to be different.
to you) are stuck in our traditional methodology and mindsets,
we always expect God to do things in a certain way and at a            I can smell revelation, revival and revolution in the air. Everyone is
certain time, but we should stop putting God in a box. The God         catching onto God's tsunami. Are you going to miss it?
who created the heavens and the earth with such creativity, can
and will do bigger things than we can ever humanly imagine in
our lives!

                                 77th Anniversary Celebrations
                                 By Rulin Yeo

                                                                                          Rulin has lost count of the number of times people
                                                                                          have asked her this question: "So, which cartoon
                                                                                          characters do you look like?" And she is going to
                                                                                          answer it once and for all: "Olive from Popeye the
                                                                                          Sailorman, Verne (the turtle) from Over the Hedge
                                                                                          and Sid from Ice Age." – So, stop asking her.

                                                                                                                                         Worship   5
                                                                              The latest album, "A Deeper Level" by Israel Houghton and
                                                                              New Breed is the result of 40 days of fasting and prayers prior
                                                                              to the live nights of worship and recording. The album boasts a
                                                                              fusion of Gospel, Reggae, R&B as well as Contemporary tracks
                                                                              that are sure to set you grooving to the music as you worship God.
                                                                              One of the songs, "I know who I am" is the joint effort of Israel and
                                                                              another well-known worship leader and song writer, Chris Tomlin
                                                                              who also lends his vocals to the song. This track easily became
                                                                              my favourite song with its catchy tune and affirming words. Other
                                                                              noteworthy songs include, "Say So", "With Long Life", "Identity",
                                                                              "If not for Your Grace" and "You are not forgotten". Biblical truths
                                                                              are weaved into the words of each song and they serve to
                                                                              strengthen the believers' faith and hope in a living God. Israel
                                                                              Houghton is undeniably one of the most talented and anointed
                                                                              worship leaders of our generation. In this CD, you can feel God's
                                                                              awesome presence when he leads the people in worship and he
                                                                              affirms them with words of encouragement that releases them to
                                                                              seek greater intimacy with God.

                                                                              Spiritual Identity is one of the central themes that seems to
                                                                              resonate throughout the album and this is an important issue that
                                                                              all believers should ponder upon. The message in this album has
                                                                              come as a timely personal reminder to place my identity in Jesus
                                                                              Christ. Often times, we measure ourselves according to the world's
                                                                              standards which include the relentless pursuit of material gain,
                                                                              social status and man's approval. Little do we realize that these
                                                                              pursuits do not bring us true happiness and lasting contentment
                                                                              but only perpetuate a discontented spirit within us, telling us we will
                                                                              never have enough; we will never be good enough. If any of us are
                                                                              feeling discontented with life, let me encourage you this day to fill

               A Deeper Level                                                 that "GOD-SIZED" void in your life with "GOD-SIZED" promises as
                                                                              only Jesus – the Holy One of Israel can provide.

                     By Israel                                                Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty
                                                                              again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst.

                    Houghton                                                  Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water
                                                                              welling up to eternal life." (John 4:13-14)

               And New Breed                                                  And He said to them, "Take heed and beware of covetousness,
                                                                              for one's life does not consist in the abundance of the things he
                                                                              possesses." (Luke 12:15)
                                                     CD Review By Doris Gan
                                                                              Also, God's message of redemptive grace for the broken-hearted
                                                                              is portrayed evidently throughout the album. This is an affirmation
                                                                              to those who are struggling with rejection in life or suffering from
                                                                              the bondage of self-condemnation. The words from the songs
                                                                              allow such to be ministered unto, basking in the knowledge and
                                                                              affirmation of God's abundant grace, mercy and love.

    Doris loves the year end Christmas season. It reminds
                                                                              "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son,
    her of the greatest gift from God. Jesus. She also loves
                                                                              that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life."
    Christmas cos she gets to spend time with friends and
    family and buy them gifts (and get some retail therapy                    (John 3:16)
    in too – everyone's a winner!) No prizes for guessing
    that Doris loves to sing Christmas Carols. In fact she                    "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in
    wonders why we don't sing them throughout the year!                       Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit
                                                                              of life set me free from the law of sin and death." (Romans 8:1-2)

6   Worship
Between The Dreaming
And The Coming True
By Bebo Norman
(September 2006; Essential Records) CD Review By Lorraine Koh

"You could turn a hundred years and never empty all your fears         Much in Norman's recent life has influenced the material he wrote
They're pouring out like broken words and broken bones                 in this album. Navigating the challenges of and freedom in being
They could fill a thousand pages, be the cry for all the ages           newly married, he penned "Time Takes Its Toll on Us", "The Way
And the song for every soul who stands alone                           We Mend", "To Find My Way To You" and "Sunday", the infectious
The ache of life is more than you are able                             choruses not belying the struggle to remain humble, honest and
Hold on love, don't give up, don't close your eyes                     vulnerable in relationships. The simple piano and Norman's vocals
The light is breaking through the night."                              in "I Know Now" and "My Eyes Have Seen Holy" pit human frailty
                                                                       and sinful ignorance against the mercy of a loving God whose
So begins Bebo Norman's remarkable 5th album – a soothing,             patience and goodness are not changed by the slowness of our
stirring, soaring collection of acoustic/folk-pop songs. The           understanding or obedience. "Bring Me To Life", my personal
underlying theme of darkness and light and its permutations            favourite, is the pure joy of a believer who, with full confidence in
– hope and despair, wretchedness and redemption, loneliness            the love of his God, cries aloud the timeless prayer for God to
and love – while not novel, are refreshingly expressed in the simple   have His way.
and poetic lyrics and beautiful melodies. And what melodies!
The upbeat numbers are joyful and energetic without being frothy       I do not own nor have I heard Norman's previous albums but
or repetitive, the ballads are inspiring and unindulgent and the       I understand that this is his departure from his purely acoustic roots
contemplative, God-directed worship songs are pure, heartfelt          and his first collaboration with worship songwriter Jason Ingram
and somewhat haunting. Norman is equally a great songwriter            and a host of excellent musicians to produce this pop-infused
and vocalist, a combination not as often found in Christian music      album with a bigger-band sound. There are very few albums that
as one would like.                                                     I might repeatedly listen to and this is one of them – and I truly like
                                                                       all the tracks on it. Perhaps it is their distinctness. Perhaps because
                                                                       they are so uncrowded musically. Perhaps because, in spite of the
                                                                       rich supporting instrumentation, the music is still uncrowded and
                                                                       powered by driving guitar rhythms. Perhaps it is the lyrics –
                                                                       well-penned in their simplicity but suggestive in their imagery.
                                                                       Perhaps it is Norman's honest, husky baritone itself. Or perhaps,
                                                                       because it is a refreshing change from the mold of some of the
                                                                       overly-exuberant /overly-introspective worship songs popular
                                                                       in recent years. Other reviewers have called it gorgeous,
                                                                       sophisticated, a coming of age, his most accomplished work
                                                                       yet, his most revealing album and a honest slideshow of his own
                                                                       life experiences. Overall it is an exuberant retelling of the classic
                                                                       stories of faith, hope, mercy and a celebration of the Light breaking
                                                                       through the darkness and bringing us to Life.

                                                                                          Li Er lives in Minnesota, USA, with her husband Dave
                                                                                          and children Emily (3), Jenna (almost 1) and Child 3,
                                                                                          (coming Spring 2008). She is a blissfully unemployed,
                                                                                          full-time mum with even less spare time than when
                                                                                          she was working. They currently worship at Bethlehem
                                                                                          Baptist Church in Minneapolis, MN.

                                                                                                                                        Worship   7
    Pee See Hua By Numbers
    By Genevieve Wong

                                                                    One of the most friendly people you may meet in CMC, this lively
                                                                    lady probably needs no introduction. In fact, some CMC-ers would
                                                                    probably be able to write a more comprehensive article on her,
                                                                    sans interview.

                                                                    Contagiously bubbly, incredibly humorous and superbly
                                                                    well-connected, she can usually be found near the coffee area
                                                                    on Sundays, mingling with CMC-ers over cups of Aunty Margaret's
                                                                    coffee and tea. As a nod to her accountancy roots, Witness
                                                                    presents Mrs Pee-Koh See Hua, by numbers.

                                      Number of churches worshipped at (guess which one)
                                      and polytechnics taught at in the last 20-odd years.

                                                       2                       Number of daughters; Lydia (27) and Stephanie (24)

                                                                               Number of Public Administration Awards won:
                                                                               Bronze in 2002 and Silver in 2007.

                                                                               * The Public Administration Medal was instituted
                                                                               in 1963 and is awarded to individuals for outstanding
                                                                               efficiency, competence and industry.

                        Things her daughters say about her:

                        1. "Very noisy."
                        2. "Hilarious."
                        3. "Talkative."

                        Number of bible study groups presently involved in;
                        PTL and Cornerstone care groups; Filipino fellowship

8   Worship
  4Quotes to Inspire:
   1. "It's not the church building, but how you get connected
      to people." (on how she got rooted in CMC)
   2. "…you just do your work and give of your best."
      (on getting the Silver Award this year)
                                                                 Things friends say about her:
                                                                 1. "A good friend."
                                                                 2. "She's so full of grace and mercy."
                                                                 3. "The last person to leave the coffee area."
                                                                 4. "The livewire of the Bible Study group."
                                                                 5. "Xiao."
                                                                 6. "Her daughter really looks like her, hor?"
   3. "We get along swell." (on her friendship with              7. Is the size of her shoes.
      Katherine Tan, leading the Filipino Fellowship.)           8. The number of conversations she can
   4. "For any job at whatever level you're at there's always       hold simultaneously.
      a challenge. As Christians, we have the guidance and
      wisdom of God to balance us and see a deeper meaning
      to what you're doing." (on work and Christian living)

                    Things she wants to thank God for:
                    1. Her future son-in-law, Jeremy.
                    2. Her dog, Russ.
                    3. Her husband.
                                                                                  Number of people who know her in CMC.
                    4. Her Bible study group.
                    5. Her boss.                                                  Number of people who have said Stephanie

                                                                                  looks like her.

                                                                                                                       After 25 years
                                                                                                                       in CMC and

Number of dinners cooked in the last 20-odd years
                                                                                                                       13 years of
                                                                                                                       education in
                                                                                                  institutions, Gen has only recently
                                                                                                  found out that Wesley fasted
                                                                                                  twice a week and prayed for 2
                                                                                                  hours a day. She remains amazed.

                                                                                                                              Worship   9
         The Story Of Denise
         And The Medal Of Commendation
         By Stephanie Pee

                                                                     Interview with Denise Low
                                                                     Denise Low is someone you can consider as being in "full-time
                                                                     ministry". "Wait a minute!" you cry, "She has a job! She's not in
                                                                     full-time! You lie! You lie!" You scream at the article while thinking of
                                                                     how to impale me with a stick because of bad reporting. Well, you'll
                                                                     see what I mean soon, so for the moment, put away the stick.

                                                                     The reason why I've cornered her (well, okay, I called her and
                                                                     made an appointment) is largely because she is the recipient
                                                                     of a Medal of Commendation, which is basically a medal that
                                                                     the government hands out to worthy public or civil servants,
                                                                     like Denise. You can tell that by nature, Denise is someone who
                                                                     is very easy-going. I know because she was really easy to make
                                                                     an appointment with (and to find).

                                                                     So, briefly, this is what Denise has on her plate, she's holding down
                                                                     a full-time job – she works with MCYS developing policies and
                                                                     programmes to help low-income families. She's moved around in
                                                                     the Ministry of Community Youth and Sports, but she's been with
                                                                     MCYS for, get this, 14 years. In doggie years that's like, 98 years!

                                                                     She used to be with Contact Singapore (which is an initiative of
                                                                     MCYS to keep in contact with Singaporeans studying or working
                                                                     overseas and to keep them connected to the "local scene").
                                                                     She had the wonderful opportunity to live and work in Australia
                                                                     for two years.

                                                                     When she's not off saving the less fortunate or formulating
                                                                     policies to help the needy, she's leading a youth ministry care
                                                                     group – a ministry that she's been involved in since…well,
                                                                     since my 27-year-old sister was in the youth ministry, which was a
                                                                     really long time ago. As a matter of fact, Denise used to lead my
                                                                     sister's care group.

         The Commendation Medal (Pingat Kepujian)
         The Commendation Medal was instituted in 1996 and is awarded to individuals who have distinguished themselves through
         commendable performance and conduct, or significant efficiency, competence and devotion to duty.

10   Worship
"My faith has never really dipped," she says. It's always being
 built upon, layer after layer, slowly but surely."

She's been married nearly 10 years now and things are still looking       All that has only helped her go from strength to strength.
great. So one thing becomes clear then: this slim, petite lady is         "My faith has never really dipped," she says. It's always being
not a commitment-phobe. When she's committed to something,                built upon, layer after layer, slowly but surely. Of course she faces
she's in it for the long haul. "My testimony is very boring," she tells   challenges, like when she first started serving in the youth ministry.
me. "I don't know why Fung Peen (editor-to-be-avoided) wants              She had to realize that she didn't know enough and wouldn't ever
to do an article on me." Well, Denise, besides the fact that we're        know enough about God. Through it all she realized that she was
running out of people to interview (I am kidding, Christian people        always learning new things about herself, and about God who
please put the sticks away), and besides the fact that you're the         empowered and anointed her to lead her flock (who are currently
recipient of this nifty, neat and presumably shiny medal, your            in Secondary One.)
testimony is one that I feel, a whole lot of people can relate to.
                                                                          So why is Denise Low considered, well, by me anyway, to be in
The one thing that Denise brings up over and over again in the            full-time ministry? Well, it's because I think that she's out there,
interview is how the Lord has taught her to be submissive, in the         in the "real" world, making a difference to people who really need
sense of not always insisting on her own way of doing or seeing           it and that through her testimony others are able to be inspired.
things. It's not easy and she says she's still a work in progress.        You don't need an Paul/Saul experience in order to be able to
She's still struggling at times but always trusting that God has the      make an impact on others, you can do it through whatever God's
best possible plan for her in life. "And when you submit to God,          has given you and wherever He has led you. It's not how you were
He blesses you," she says matter-of-factly. And she would know,           "converted" that will make others curious about Christ, it's how
her 14 years of long service at MCYS has culminated in her being          you live your life. And so far, I think Denise has been doing a
awarded a Medal of Commendation. The last medal I got was                 pretty good job. For that, I award her the Witness Medal of
some medal for having dragged my body across a finishing line              You-Have-Been-Doing-A-Good-Job.
after 10 kilometers of running, an activity for crazy people.

She was led to work at MCYS after graduation and she says that it
was really divine intervention that she landed the job. She was quite
"sotong" after graduating with a degree in Sociology at the National
University of Singapore, and her "sotong-ness" continued during
the interview. But fortunately, her "sotong-ness" has since abated.
Recounting her blessings, she says that, "she's been blessed with
                                                                                             Stephanie has realised that if she lived in a backward
really good bosses". What about her medal then? She shakes her
                                                                                             world her name would be einahpets, but mom and dad
head in subtle disbelief, "I feel a bit embarrassed! I mean, I don't
                                                                                             would still be the same. She has also realised that
feel like I'm somehow more special than my peers who didn't get
                                                                                             it has been sometime since she last fell down and she
an award." In fact, she finds her work rewarding in itself, the values                        is currently rather impressed with her motor skills.
of MCYS tying in nicely with her own beliefs and values. She is also                         She hopes that no one will trip her because of this.
able to make an impact on society through her work because she
has to deal with a lot of social issues.

"The one thing that Denise brings up over and over again in
 the interview is how the Lord has taught her to be submissive,
 in the sense of not always insisting on her own way of doing or
 seeing things."

                                                                                                                                            Worship   11
                                                                              It has been two years, and the changes have been sustained.
                                                                              Have I been healed of my diabetes? Yes and no. For all practical
                                                                              purposes I am not a diabetic because my blood sugar is well
                                                                              within the normal limits despite the fact that I am not taking any
                                                                              medication. Nowadays my blood sugar remains normal even
                                                                              after a full meal, because of the fact that my body composition
                                                                              has changed (less fat, more muscle). Yet I know that if I fall back
                                                                              into my old eating habits and sedentary ways, my diabetes will
                                                                              come back.

                                                                              God doesn't always heal miraculously – He sometimes ordains the
                                                                              use of means to obtain the healing. Hezekiah was ordered to lay
                                                                              a lump of figs on his boil. Naaman, who had leprosy, was told to
                                                                              wash himself in the River Jordan seven times. Both were healed
                                                                              only after they obeyed.

                                                                              The skeptic (including myself) would comment that this is not
                                                                              surprising, considering that I am simply applying what every doctor
                                                                              knows to be true – diabetes can be well controlled with a proper
                                                                              diet and exercise.

     A Change                                                                 My reply would be: Yes, indeed – everyone knows how to do it.
                                                                              The problem is always in the application. The spirit is willing,
                                                                              but the flesh is weak.

     Of Heart                                                                 The Master Physician, after prescribing the means, supplies us
                                                                              with the ability to apply them. The real miracle, I believe, lies in my
     By Lim Soon Beng                                                         permanent change of heart towards diet and exercise. Those who
                                                                              have eaten with me before would know what I am talking about.
                                                                              God has made this change in me in answer to my cell group's
     Diabetes is what we call a lifestyle disease – a result of too much      prayer and to His glory.
     good food and not enough exercise, although genetic factors also
     play a part.                                                             I find the spiritual parallels striking. We are all sinful – spiritually
                                                                              diseased – knowing the difference between right and wrong, but
     I diagnosed myself with diabetes more than ten years ago,                not able (or even desire) to do the right thing. It is only when God
     but I have never really been very worried about my condition.            changes our hearts through the power of the Holy Spirit that we
     After all, I reasoned, dying early from the complications of diabetes    develop a desire for spiritual things and start to disdain the things
     simply meant going to heaven that much sooner. I tried to get            of this world. He cures us of our sinful cravings, but change does
     some regular exercise, but never watched my diet. No one would           not occur in our lives without some spiritual sweat – self-denial,
     ever have guessed that I was a diabetic from observing the way           prayer, studying the Word – applying the means which God has
     I ate, least of all my diabetic patients, to whom I often stressed the   prescribed for spiritual change. God Himself will help us in this.
     importance of diet and exercise!
                                                                              dna raef htiw noitavlas ruoy tuo krow ot eunitnoc yaw emas eht nI

     Sometime in October 2005, I was prompted by God to ask my                taht snoitca dna serised eht uoy ni secudorp ohw doG si tI .gnilbmert

     cell group to pray for the healing of my diabetes. Over the next         )31,21:2 lihP ( .miH esaelp

     few weeks I experienced a definite change of heart towards diet
     and exercise. I started lifting weights regularly and eating fewer       ot elbisiv ylisae eb lliw ti ,su degnahc sah doG nehW .drow lanÞ enO

     carbohydrates (which all diabetics need to do). I found that I could     ydaer eb" su teL .sessentiw siH eb ot dellac era e W .su dnuora esoht

     easily forego the types of food I used to love. God had given me a       epoh eht fo nosaer a sksa ohw enoyreve ot rewsna na evig ot syawla

     whole new set of taste buds.                                             )51:3 teP 1( ".su ni

     Soon, I started noticing symptoms of low blood sugar, so I decided       ,skrow doog ruoy ees yam yeht taht ,nem erofeb enihs thgil ruoy teL"

     to stop my medication, while continuing with the workouts and            )61:5 ttaM( ".nevaeH ni rehta F ruoy yfirolg dna

     diet. My blood sugar readings continued going down – in fact,
     they became lower than what they were previously while I was still
     taking medication!

     I began visibly losing weight, to the extent that many of my patients
                                                                              Soon Beng used to be the editor of Witness, but has since handed this
     started asking me if I was all right (in other words, was I suffering    great privilege over to Fung Peen. He loves reading works by eighteenth-
     from cancer or AIDS or what?). These queries proved to be good           century authors – ostensibly because they were spiritual giants in those
     opportunities to share about what God had done in my life – how          days, but mostly because their works are now in the public domain
     my church friends had prayed for my diabetes, and how He had             (read: free). His favorite website is He loves his life,
     answered their prayers by giving me a change of heart.                   but can't wait for it to end so that he can be with Christ.

12   Worship
Be Thou My Vision
By Tan Tsu Haung

                               I had a branch retinal vein occlusion (BRVO) healed by the Lord.
                               My wife prayed over my eye, now and again, over a 6-month
                               period. The healing was gradual, but quite dramatic.

                               In early March 2007, I discovered that my left eye saw things as
                               if through cotton wool. I covered my right eye and tried to read with
                               my left. To my concern, I could not make out the words, and the
                               whole page was blurry with cloudy patches. The next day, I went to
                               the polyclinic to get a referral to Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH).
                               I was quite sure it was just normal cataract due to old age, since
                               I am 60 years old.

                               In early and mid April, the specialist at TTSH diagnosed that my
                               left eye had a condition known as branch retinal vein occlusion
                               (BRVO). This is like a "stroke" to the eye. There is no effective
                               treatment, and laser may not improve the vision. So then I had
                               to rely on the Ultimate Physician through prayer. In early August
                               2007, I discovered I could read with my left eye, and the vision
                               was clear. In fact I could drive with my right eye closed!

                               I went back to TTSH and the specialist was satisfied that my eye
                               was well, and required only just follow-up observation. A week later,
                               at the polyclinic, I was told that the follow-up observation could be
                               done there instead of at TTSH.

                               Praise be to God for restoring my vision!

                               Tsu Haung ('Paul' to those who cannot remember his Chinese name) has
                               been a CMC member since 1985, worships at the Hokkien Service to stay
                               in touch with his roots and is a member of GYM. He was a town planner
                               with URA before his retirement.

"I had a branch retinal vein occlusion (BRVO) healed by the
 Lord. My wife prayed over my eye, now and again, over a
 6-month period. The healing was gradual, but quite dramatic."
                                                                                               Worship   13
     A Spirit-Filled
     By Sheryl Kang

     Having not been to church camp, I was curious to find out what
     was in store for CMC Camp 2008. When my fellow cell group mate
     from Clayworks, Fung Peen, asked if I wanted to do an article on
     the subject, I jumped at the chance. My task was to interview Alan
     and Pam Heng (described by Peen as a very affable couple), who
     are part of the CMC Camp 2008 committee. So I set forth – my first
     interview at CMC, for a first-hand account on church camp.
                                                                           in his company's Alpha program. He has also started conducting
     I scheduled to meet Pam and Alan outside the CMC library after        the Alpha program to inmates at Changi Prison together with
     Sunday service. Given the mass of people thronging through            several colleagues this year.
     the corridors, it took me awhile before locating Pam. Dressed
     in a vibrant shade of purple, she was every bit as cheery and         As for Pam, her encounter with God paved the way for her to
     approachable as I expected. Her husband, Alan, was similarly          use her many talents and gifts. Last year for example, Pam was
     good-natured.                                                         approached to help with the lessons at Sunday school. She is
                                                                           also actively involved in a prayer group called "Mums In Prayer"
     Pam grew up in CMC, having attended the church since she was          for the children of Methodist Girls' School. Pam explained that she
     ten. She embraced Christ at thirteen, and was actively involved in    had come to Church Camp hoping to leave with something, and
     the Methodist Youth Fellowship throughout her youth. Thereafter       she did – it affirmed God's plan for her and took her further in her
     she met Alan, who was from the Bible Church in the West Coast.        spiritual walk. According to Pam, CMC Camp 2006 was indeed a
     Staying at extreme corners of sunny Singapore posed no                refreshing and empowering experience for her.
     obstacle to the loving couple. In December 1996, Alan started
     attending church at CMC. By 1997, they were married on the            Strong friendships blossomed throughout the duration of the
     church grounds.                                                       camp. Apart from new friendships, Pam and Alan also discovered
                                                                           new sights and tastes while sight-seeing and sampling the
     After their marriage, Alan and Pam spent some years in Taiwan         sumptuous Malaccan food. The kids were not left out in the fun.
     and New Zealand before returning to CMC in 2004. It was an            Facilitators Patrick and Winnie had expertly planned worship and
     opportune time for arrival, for CMC was then engaged in the           bible stories sessions, art and craft classes, games and team-
     '40 Days of Purpose' campaign modeled after Pastor Rick Warren's      building workshops to bring the young ones closer to God. On
     book -- 'The Purpose Driven Life'. The campaign was the catalyst      the last day of camp, the children put up a memorable item to
     for the birth of 'Living Waters', the care group which Alan and Pam   conclude the event.
     are a part of.
                                                                           Inspired by CMC Camp 2006, Alan and Pam decided to join the
     Being rather "green" to CMC after years abroad, the couple felt       camp committee for CMC Camp 2008. Targeted to be a spirit-filled
     that it was also important to meet and interact with people outside   camp, Alan and Pam hope to build new friendships amongst
     of their care group so as to fully integrate themselves back into     CMC-goers through bonding activities and most importantly,
     church. Having heard about CMC Camp 2006, Pam decided                 to provide an impetus for revival and spiritual growth.
     that the family (along with grandma) should attend the four-day
     event in Malacca.                                                     On this note, Pam ends with her personal aspiration for CMC
                                                                           Camp 2008 – to have the Lord's spirit move mightily in every
     Alan confessed that he was initially filled with trepidation.          person's life, such that each person would love and serve the
     How was he going to survive four whole days at church camp?           Lord with the power of the Holy Spirit.
     Unexpectedly so, the three days went by like a breeze.
     The ministry sessions conducted by Reverend James Singh
     brought messages from God that spoke to the couple and
                                                                                             Sheryl is from Clayworks and has been in CMC
     many others, strengthening their bond with the Lord. The spirit-
                                                                                             since June 2006. She is currently in her first year
     filled atmosphere also encouraged people to share openly and                             of legal practice and is determined to maintain a
     intimately with God, bringing them closer to Him.                                       work-life balance. She enjoys travelling to exotic
                                                                                             places, art-house movies, and talking over coffee.
     For Alan, the phrase – "workplace" – impacted him greatly. In 2006,                     She likes calico cats. She daydreams about having
     he begun helping out in his company's workplace ministry and the                        a house by the beach where she can paint all
     message confirmed God's plan for him. He is now actively involved                        day long.

14   Connect
Connect   15
16   Connect
"He told me to humble myself and in doing so, we will be able
 to lead the congregation in humbling themselves before Him
 in worship."

YM Worship Team
Godrocker's Retreat
By Joseph Ting

Question: Bring together a whole bunch of musically-inclined            getting too focused on him/herself, the whole team could come
Godsrockers together for a retreat and what do you get?                 crumbling down. Every member in a worship team should also
Answer: Wonderful fellowship together in Christ, loads of               strive to blend into the group, to complement each other and not
stitch-inducing laughter and of course, never-ending music filling       to stand out when playing together. Through analyzing a song
our hearts.                                                             together after that session, we figured out how the mechanics
                                                                        of a whole worship team functions differently at different parts of
24 Aug 2007 saw the whole Godsrockers team and several others           the song.
rushing back from their schools, colleges, office and soccer games
to get prepped up to leave for Aloha Changi Resort.                     The afternoon was then spent at the beach for a time of games.
                                                                        The main activity was the sandcastle building event. The one that
Despite it being just your everyday weekend-for-you-to-relax,           stuck in my mind the most was Group 1's "sandcastle". They used
everyone arrived eagerly with hearts ready to bond and to               their "castle" to metaphorically represent the Godsrockers' team,
meet God.                                                               that when we work together as a team, no one can come amongst
                                                                        us and break us apart.
That very night, even while just having a barbecue, God had
already shown us that He was there with us. Just as we got the fire      As the event drew to a close, everyone left feeling pleased with
started and the barbecue was ready to go, we started feeling some       the short but sweet time we spent there, having fostered an
drops of rain. We all then just prayed and asked God to give us a       even stronger relationship for the glory of Christ. God gave me
clear night to continue with our activities. Personally, I was rather   a strong reminder of how blessed we are to be in the company
confident that God would definitely answer our prayers.                   of such great children of God. Growing in God is so much more
As expected, the drizzle stopped shortly.                               accessible in the presence of other believers because we are able
                                                                        to encourage each other in our faith.
The following morning, Lynette had us separated us and we had
some quiet time alone to ourselves. Moments like these are really       When was the last time you took time off just to relax with other
worth treasuring in a hectic world like ours. It really is a great      believers in Christ, to revel in the beauty of God's creations?
pleasure to just stop and revel in God's wonders and mercy.             With the year coming to a close, maybe it's time to plan for
As I sat at the table outside the chalet in silence, I could not help   an activity to just push the world away and be alone in the
but think of how God had so wonderfully done so much for us,            presence of God.
even though we are so undeserving of His amazing love. His love
is just indescribable and incomprehensible.

The youngest present that day – Sherilyn Chan – said, "He told
me to humble myself and in doing so, we will be able to lead the                                                                 Joseph is
congregation in humbling themselves before Him in worship."                                                                      currently in
                                                                                                                                 the Youth
Right before noon, we watched a DVD by Paul Baloche on what
                                                                                                                                 BOSS CG.
everyone in a worship team does. He brought up quite some                                                                        He is currently
stuff that made me realize how a worship team differs from the                                                                   studying in
bands outside. For instance, what we do – playing our instruments                                                                Victoria Junior
or singing – has always been glorifying God and NEVER about                                                  College. Joseph is passionate
edifying ourselves. Once a member of a worship team starts                                                   about photography and drumming.

                                                                                                                                        Connect    17
     Interview With Charles Wu
     By Alan Tan Hoe Heng

                                                                         Q: I started by asking him about his CG and how it got started.

                                                                         My CG came together in 2005. Most of the members then were
                                                                         post Alpha course grads who wanted to continue meeting after
                                                                         the course. I was one of the facilitators of the Alpha course and
                                                                         I agreed to lead the CG.

                                                                         Since then, we have combined with another group led by Carolyn
                                                                         Ng, and Carolyn co-leads the CG together with me. The name of
                                                                         the CG is Koinonia, which means 'fellowship' in Greek.

                                                                         Currently there are 10 members in the CG and we meet every
                                                                         Monday night. The CG members are made up of both singles and
                                                                         married members, and their ages range from 30s-60s.

                                                                         We are presently going through a series on the Parables. Usually
                                                                         after completing a Bible study series in about 8-10 weeks, the CG
                                                                         always celebrates by going for a 'makan' session.

                                                                         Q: Share some of the challenges you faced in your CG and
     Looking suave in black, Charles arrived at Novena Square for the    how you overcame them.
     interview. We decided to head for 'The Coffee Club' to grab some
     dinner and dessert.                                                 As a CG leader, you would always want the whole group to grow,
                                                                         but there are some individuals who are not regular at attending,
     Born in Indonesia, Charles finished his secondary schooling in       so it is important to encourage them to be more regular and more
     three countries, Indonesia, Hong Kong and USA. He received          contributing. Another challenge I face is in encouraging some of
     his BA in biology from Asbury College and his MA in Allied Health   my members to attend church regularly.
     Education and Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of
     Kentucky. Currently, he is employed at the National University      Sometimes you have to go beyond just meeting during the CG.
     Hospital (NUH) working in Laboratory Medicine. He is married        You have to spend individual time with members, to get the person
     to Susan and they are blessed with two daughters, Michelle          to grow and experience God's love and feel part of the group.
     and Melissa.
                                                                         Like all CG leaders, we want the CG to gel, to have someone they
                                                                         could call without any fear or hesitation even if it is very late at
                                                                         night. I managed to get the group to be honest, to speak freely,
                                                                         and to give their opinions without fear of offending. I also have to
                                                                         strike a balance to make sure everyone gets a chance to share
                                                                         their needs and feelings.

                                                                         It is also difficult when members do not feel close, or they don't
                                                                         feel like they belong to the group. We may not necessarily be close
                                                                         to everyone in the group, but we should at least be close to a few
                                                                         whom we could share our burdens and joy.

                                                                         On a personal level, I have to discipline myself and set an
                                                                         example. I have to walk closely with God and seek His leading
                                                                         and providence to meet other people's needs. We are not perfect,
                                                                         even though we are CG leaders. We lead because we love God
                                                                         and want to help people. We have our own shortcomings. As CG
                                                                         leaders, we covet your prayers as much as the other members.
                                                                         Lift your leaders up in prayer.
18   Connect
"Pray and seek His guidance, and be yourself. Remember that
 you will grow even more as you lead others. I think as leaders,
 we benefit more, and we can never 'out-give' God. Hopefully
 somewhere along our members' lives, they can say that we as
 leaders have helped them and led them closer to God."

Q: How do your CG members encourage one another                       our Christian life, there will be difficult or unpleasant periods.
                                                                      But as surely as God brought me through and I finished each
We have this special activity where we would pick someone to pray     marathon, He will carry us through difficult periods in our spiritual
for. I prepare the names of people at the CG and put them in a        journey with Him.
basket. At the end of the session, we would each pick a name,
and then ask that person how we could pray for him or her during      Q: What are some of your future 'running' plans ?
the week. Then during the week, we would follow-up with the
person whom we had picked, to encourage and pray for them.            I will be participating in a 50 km running event at MacRitchie in
                                                                      Dec 07, and next year, I hope to participate in the inaugural Lion
Q: Are there any CG activities in the pipeline                        City marathon.

One of our CG's goals last year was to do some kind of overseas       I am also looking into the details of initiating a local chapter of
missions work together. Although different members have been          'ChristianRunners' in Singapore. This is a registered society in
helping out with CMC's various outreach programs, we wanted           the US, which aims to utilize God's gift of running to further His
the CG to do missions as a group. This is an area which we will       Kingdom through fellowship, community and service.
be looking into.
                                                                      Q: How do you sustain your interest in running
Q: What advice would you give to 'would be' CG leaders
                                                                      Running is like a journey, a lifestyle, a part of my life, a routine.
Pray and seek His guidance, and be yourself. Remember that            Staying fit by running, is like breathing, you don't think about
you will grow even more as you lead others. I think as leaders,       it. It's a part of my life that comes naturally. To some, running
we benefit more, and we can never 'out-give' God. Hopefully            can become a 'chore', as opposed to something we want to do
somewhere along our members' lives, they can say that we as           because we see the benefit of it. To me, running is 'de-stressing',
leaders have helped them and led them closer to God.                  it's like a 'good addiction'. But just as in all things, I've got to strike a
                                                                      balance so as not to neglect the other areas of my life.
God is using us as part of His Body, for example a 'hand', to hold,
touch, comfort, and guide the growth of the members. In other
words, everyone is part of the Body and responsible for each other.   My interview with Charles underscored an interesting fact, that is,
God can also use us to focus on what He wants us to do within the     the Bible makes use of the analogy on 'running a race' (eg Acts
small group and within the church.                                    20:24, 1 Cor 9:24 & 26, Gal 2:2, Gal 5:7, Phil 2:16, 2 Tim 4:7,
                                                                      Heb 12:1) to teach us about living our Christian life here on earth.
Q: Tell me about your other passion – running                         Indeed, there are many facets about 'running a race' which could
                                                                      reveal spiritual truths for us.
Someone invited me to run one evening after work and it
subsequently became a regular activity. Prior to taking up running,   Stay tuned to the next edition of Witness, where we will explore the
I counted badminton and tennis as my sports interests. I found that   parallels between 'running a race' and our spiritual journey. We will
running helped me outlast my opponent in tennis. Someone said         of course 'chase' our marathon man, Charles to share his insights.
that playing tennis with me was like playing with the wall.           Gotta run!

I enjoyed the fellowship with my running mates and they would
challenge me to improve. I strived to improve my personal best
as I trained and got more experience. It's the same with our walk                          Alan started attending CMC about 12 years ago.
with God, we strive to have a closer walk with Him as we mature                            He attends the 10:30am service and you can usually
in our faith.                                                                              find him on the 2nd floor sanctuary balcony with
                                                                                           wife Ee Hui. They are blessed with 3 daughters,
                                                                                           Sarah (9), Raena (6) and Elisa (3). While Alan may
I did my first marathon in 1985 in Louisville Kentucky.
                                                                                           seem quiet and reserved by nature, he enjoys having
I subsequently participated in the New York, Chicago, Disney,                              a hilarious time with the kids, cracking 'lame' jokes
San Francisco, Paris, Detroit, Washington DC, Singapore and                                and clowning around. Alan works in the IT sector,
Boston marathons. Although I've run close to 40 marathons             and is accustomed to working at strange hours of the night. Amidst juggling
between 1985 and 2006, I've only had about 10 perfect or              work, family and church commitments, both Alan and Ee Hui try to keep fit
pleasant marathons. In the same way, as we journey through            by running, and taking part in running events held throughout the year.

                                                                                                                                           Connect    19
     " Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer."
       (Rom 12:12)

      Healing Of Family Ties
      By Jenny Gan

      God answers prayer in His time. We just need to persevere on               My sister-in-law, Eleanor was in the bathroom when she heard a
      and trust in His faithfulness and goodness.                                knock on the door. Naturally, she couldn't recognised Patrick and
                                                                                 Mary, his wife. The conversation went "Is this Ted and Ele's home?
      I've been praying for the reconciliation of my siblings since the          "Who are you?", "Patrick". "Patrick who?" Patrick and Mary".
      death of my mother in 1984. The relationship grew worse after              She thought they were Jehovah witnesses as Patrick looked like
      3 deaths in the family. By God's grace, reconciliation took place          the sensei from Karate kid with his bald plate and bushy sideburns.
      after more than 23 years.                                                  Eventually after several questions including names of my nephews
                                                                                 and nieces, she opened the door and they cuddled each other
      Tears just rolled uncontrollably when I heard the news. I can just         – a warm feeling Eleanor could not expressed.
      imagine the joy ringing in my second brother Ted's heart as he was
      the one who told me to give up and stop praying. If God didn't give        Teddy who was at church returned home then, supposedly to take
      up on us, how can we give up on His promises. "Be joyful in hope,          Eleanor for their usual afternoon coffee. He honked twice and she
      patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." (Rom 12:12)                     did not come out of the house. As a result, he came out of the car,
                                                                                 stood at the door and asked "are you ready?" He saw a couple and
      I've tried to keep in touch with Patrick, my third brother but each call   thought "who are they?".
      always ended with tears and heartaches as he would still show his
      bitterness, anger and frustrations.                                        Patrick stood up and Ted recognized his brother and said
                                                                                 "Patrick". Then they ran and hugged each other. Since then,
      In 1997, after settling the estate of my oldest brother, I called          Patrick has been constantly in touch and calling them weekly.
      Patrick to put an end to all this and his heart-wrenching reply was:       Praise be to God!
      "I have no brothers and sisters". In response, I said: "No matter
      what, you are still my brother".                                           God has softened 3 hardened hearts – my dad, Teddy and Patrick
                                                                                 – in my family and I know more great things will come, beginning
      Each time when there was an opportunity to pray for reconciliation,        with Patrick's salvation.
      I would not hesitate to confirm God's divine intervention, especially
      uttering the names of my brothers Teddy and Patrick. I knew deep
      down in my heart that only the Holy Spirit can intervene, I just
      have to pray and envision the day when all my siblings will come
      together to celebrate the goodness and faithfulness of God.
                                                                                                   I have been worshipping in CMC since 1967 & became
      The dream has just begun …
                                                                                                   a member in 1981. I've served in the Worship & Music
                                                                                                   Committee as Secretary, Worship Leader & now
      On 20 Jul last year, Teddy called and informed me of a wonderful                             usher. I was serving in 2nd GB affiliated to CMC until
      blessing from God. Patrick who has not seen nor called Teddy for                             it was transferred to Christalite MC & now serving in
      37 years travelled from Melbourne and visited Teddy at his home                              34th GB. I'm in the Pilgrims CG.
      in the Gold Coast. Below is a short account of how of my two
      brothers reconciled.
20    Connect

Obeying God The Higher Calling
Testimony By Dr Sam Ng

                                                                        " ..He said to me, My Grace is sufficient for you, for my power is
                                                                        made perfect in weakness." (2 Cor 12:19)

                                                                        These were two verses I had memorized when I was young. They
                                                                        had returned to comfort me, to reassure me that so long as I fix my
                                                                        eye on Him, I need not worry.

                                                                        The clinic had only started and I was only into my third villager
                                                                        when epiphany struck again – that every missioner's job,
                                                                        regardless of assignment, is to bear witness, to share the gospel
                                                                        – not indirectly but openly. Witnessing at the clinic in Krang Svey
                                                                        Methodist Church brought 63 decisions for the Lord, far more than
                                                                        we ever hoped for! During the Gospel Rally, I was able to share the
                                                                        Good News in a manner that touched the villagers. This duty did
                                                                        not distract me from my doctoring. Instead it helped me to resolve
                                                                        and verbalise what I perceived of the the spiritual struggle many
I accepted Christ as my personal savior 32 years ago. I walked          Cambodians were undergoing.
close to God and I learnt to put Him at the center of my life.
However, my spiritual life took a downturn when I entered medical       God had more to teach me about being a vessel of supernatural
school. I had great difficulty coping with the rigor of doctoring        blessing (as opposed to relying on my perceived strengths).
and began to doubt if God really knew what was best for me.             For the next mission, He told me not to bring any medicine. At first
I harbored this resentment towards God even after I became a            I objected because I felt I could serve Him best as a doctor. I have
specialist. God chose to discipline me, but where was the               23 years of experience looking after the sick and no experience
higher calling?                                                         in anything else. But God said, Trust me. Spend every moment
                                                                        strengthening the church members. Pray with them, encourage
In 2001, my wife accepted an invitation on my behalf (Here I am         them, share My word with them. I had no choice but to rely solely
Lord, send him!) to join CMC's mission to Maekhapu, Thailand.           on God every moment of the day. We visited many homes and
It was a life changing experience for me. Epiphany struck the           conducted Bible lessons. On each of these occasions, I had to
moment the first villager stepped into the clinic. Like Paul on the      wait on God for the words to speak. It was faith 101 all over again.
road to Damascus, I was totally overwhelmed as everything fell into
place in my life. I finally understood why God chose me, a person        Since then, each field trip has become a greater mystery as I ask
given to dreaming and non linearity, to become a doctor. I have         God for the role that is required of me. Be it as an English Teacher,
seen a thousand or so patients on missions since then. Amazingly        Care Group Trainer or Physician, my happiness comes from the
God is still speaking deeply to me as I reach out to others.            chance to reach out, to share the Gospel.

Over the next fours years I felt subtle changes to my calling in the    There is surely physical hardship to be borne, as many of us
context of medical missions. While I had been called as a doctor        Singaporeans have settled into a comfortable life-style. Once
to missions and had experienced intense fulfillment in this role,        we had to sleep in a wooden hut at minus 2°C! But this pales
I began to question the strategy of separating witnessing and           in comparison to the joy that fills me with each mission. I have
doctoring, especially in a clinic setting. This mindset has its roots   realized that the reality of my life comes from submitting to His will.
in the way doctors practice in Singapore, where witnessing of the
Gospel on the job is frowned upon as proselytizing.                     In obeying Him, I am blessed with an intensity of meaning and
                                                                        peace I know can never otherwise exist.
At about that time, CMC decided to explore short term missions
to Cambodia and I was asked to lead a team to do medical
outreach and teach English. In addition I had to deliver the sermon
during the gospel rally. Initially I was rather awed by the brief.        Sam has been trying to keep a low profile in CMC since 1999. He counts
But 2 verses came to mind. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart,        among his best friends wife Tek Loen, son Sean and dotter Sophia.
and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways                  He is not sure what he does for a living but has saved a few lives with
acknowledge Him and He will direct your path." (Proverbs 3:5)             Das Gospel and jazz reviews.

                                                                                                                                             Grow   21
     " We were not only blessed by our individual experiences
       but also the insight and knowledge gained from interacting
       with other churches."

     I'm pretty certain God had a hand in waking me at up 5.30 in the
     wee hours of the morning on 7 Sept. Just in time for the Young
     Methodist Leaders' Conference 2007 that kicked off at 6.15am, with
     20 of us representing CMC heading to Holiday Inn Batam, where
     the conference was to be held. YMLC is an annual conference
     organized by TRAC for youth leaders or leaders-to-be, to come
     together united as one Body of Christ to encounter God and be
     blessed. For most of us, it was a much anticipated weekend of
     bonding, fellowship, worshipping and hearing God's word, not just
     among our own church but with the youths of the other Methodist
     Churches as well. Most importantly, it was to be
     a good time of rest and rejuvenation in the Lord.
                                                                             healing to stand in faith and be prayed for. Many were healed and
     A week before we had left, a question was brought up to us by           shared amazing testimonies. I believe that all of us experienced
     Shawn Yong during a briefing session: What is your true purpose          and received God's anointing in our own special way, refreshing
     for attending this conference? That triggered many jokes such           and restoring our spirit, heart, body and soul. Most importantly,
     as checking out the girls/guys from other churches; battle of the       one of the more important lessons learnt was to persevere in
     bands and other comic relief that CMC youths are known for.             prayer and to have faith and believe in His Unlimited Power.
     However, fun and jokes aside, I felt that at the end of the day, that
     question really made us get serious with God and realise our true       Attending sharing sessions with other youth leaders, who are
     purpose for attending this conference. In realising that purpose,       so 'on-fire' for God had also certainly re-ignited and revived my
     I believe that the prayer for most of us was for open and expectant     passion and excitement of serving Him. Many of us were inspired
     hearts to allow God to come and do his work and reveal his truth.       to carry on the fire that was flamed during the conference and
     As for me, I wanted to experience the power of God working in my        spread it on to the rest of the youths and to see a breakthrough
     life and bringing about transformation, so that I could come back       in our Youth Service. Our prayer is that we will see a transformation
     to the rest of the youths as a channel for God's work.                  and fresh revival in our worship and service to God.

     Last year's theme was Unlimited Power; specifically God's unlimited      At the end of the day, I am sure that most of us will affirm that
     power at work in and through us. The theme did not really impress       YLMC 2007 was the beginning of more signs and wonders in our
     upon me when I first signed up for the conference, but through the       spiritual walk with God, rather than just another highlight of our
     course of it, I realised and understood how powerful the message        walk with Him.
     behind it was.
                                                                             "My message and preaching were not with wise and persuasive
     It was amazing to see how God's healing power flowed through the         words, but with demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your
     congregation when our very own Rev Edmund De Souza, one of              faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power." (1
     the Keynote Speakers of the conference, asked those who needed          Corinthians 2:4-5)

                                                                                               Nate is 21 this year and has been attending CMC
                                                                                               for about 15 years. He is serving in the Music and
                                                                                               Worship Ministry as well as playing soccer for CMC
                                                                                               United. A fresh graduate from Temasek Poly,
                                                                                               Nate is currently looking for a job in PR while awaiting
                                                                                               enlistment for National Service next year. (Please do
                                                                                               approach him should you require temporary staff in
                                                                                               that position.)

22   Grow
Young Methodist
Leaders Conference
By Nathaniel Tan

" Personally, God had showed me how powerful and faithful
  He really is. He delivered me from all my self-consciousness
  and fear when He assured me and gave me such peace and
  joy when I was on stage with the music team leading worship
  for the frighteningly massive crowd of 300 people! But I came
  through, and all I can say is, All praise and glory be to God."
  – Teo Mae Yan, 19 yrs old.

                                                                Grow   23
     Sex And The Supremacy Of Christ
     By Michael Chung

     The aim of this DVD resource is to apply biblical truth to sex. Included are six messages that address a variety of issues
     concerning this topic all for the sake of magnifying Christ by breaking the power of sin and increasing joy in him. Sex was
     designed by God then ruined by sin. But now, through Christ, it may be restored. These messages offer the healing, forgiveness,
     and happiness possible through the gospel – because they offer Christ.

     Messages in this set:
     • John Piper – Sex and the Supremacy of Christ (Part One)
     • Ben Patterson – The Goodness of Sex and the Glory of God
     • Al Mohler – Homosexual 'Marriage': A Tragic Oxymoron. Biblical and Cultural Reflections
     • Mark Dever – Christian Hedonists or Religious Prudes? The Puritans on Sex
     • David Powlison – Making All Things New: Restoring Pure Joy to the Sexually Broken
     • John Piper – Sex and the Supremacy of Christ (Part Two)

     An Overview of Sex and the Supremacy of Christ – DVD                     erotic sex done in the way and within the context God intends,
                                                                              in contrast to the cheaply toxic sex done in the way the world
     In Part 1 of DVD, John Piper explores this relationship of God and       recommends. In the second half of his message, Patterson
     sex by suggesting two simple but weighty points. Positively, he          examines the theological foundations for the celebration of sex
     argues that sexuality is designed by God as a way to know God            within the covenant of marriage. God not only created all things
     in Christ more fully; and that knowing God in Christ more fully is       good, out of nothing, but He sent his only Son in human flesh,
     designed as a way of guarding and guiding our sexuality. Or to put       showing that the physical is a fit vehicle for communion with God.
     it negatively: all misuses of our sexuality distort the true knowledge   And God demonstrated this goodness by creating us male and
     of Christ; and all misuses of our sexuality derive from not having       female, as sexual creatures who were made to be together and
     the true knowledge of Christ. In Part 2 – the second part of Piper's     to find ourselves as we give ourselves away. Patterson closes his
     message – he expands upon this second point, helping us to see           chapter by offering a poignant example from his own life where he
     and savour the supremacy of Christ in and over all things. The           experienced afresh the gratitude and joy of being given his wife by
     main obstacle to knowing the supremacy of Christ is the just and         a good and gracious God.
     holy wrath of God against us, his sinful, rebellious subjects. And
     the solution is the righteousness of Christ in absorbing that wrath      In David Powlison DVD, we turn to issues surrounding sexual sin
     and opening for us the door to eternal life. Piper concludes, then,      and brokenness. David argues that we are all engaged in a battle,
     by asking and answering the question of how the knowledge of the         and it is longer, wider, deeper, and subtler than people realize.
     supremacy of Christ – opened to us by the gospel – can guide and         We must lengthen our view of the battle, seeing it as a lifelong
     guard and govern our sexual lives, making our sexuality sacred,          battle. We must widen our view of the battle, not focusing only
     satisfying, and Christ-exalting.                                         upon the high-profile sins and thereby missing the big picture.
                                                                              We must deepen our view of the battle, recognizing that sexual sin
     In this DVD "The Goodness of Sex and the Glory of God,"                  is but one expression of a deeper war for the heart's loyalty and
     Ben Patterson suggests that C. S. Lewis's description of worldly         primary love. We must also recognize that the battle is subtler than
     pleasure in The Screwtape Letters – an ever-increasing craving           we often think as we begin to see the complex layers of sin in our
     for an ever-diminishing pleasure – is exactly what's going on in         hearts—some obvious, some subtle; some externally manifested,
     our culture. But God's agenda for sex and pleasure, Patterson            some only internal; some involving our sin against others; some
     argues, is different. Sex is good because the God who created            involving others sinning against us. The goal of the battle is not
     sex is good. And God is glorified greatly when we receive his             "just say no" and not just the "means of grace," but rather the goal
     gift with thanksgiving and enjoy it the way he meant for it to be        is to see Jesus Christ himself. For Christ's love is itself longer
     enjoyed. To show that this is true, Patterson takes us on a tour of
     the Bible, showing the importance of marriage – in the beginning,
     at the end, and throughout. In particular, he marvels at the imagery
     from the Song of Solomon, and its vision of wholesome, richly

24   Grow
" Sex was designed by God then ruined by sin. But now,
  through Christ, it may be restored."

                                                                      anything of substance or significance without dependence on the
                                                                      Bible. We must be the people who have a theology adequate to
                                                                      explain the deadly deception of sin, as well as a theology adequate
                                                                      to explain Christ's victory over sin. We must be honest about
                                                                      sin as the denial of God's glory, even as we point to redemption
                                                                      as the glory of God restored. We must be the people who love
                                                                      homosexuals more than homosexuals love homosexuality, and we
                                                                      must be the people who tell the truth about homosexual marriage
                                                                      and refuse to accept even its conceptual possibility, because we
                                                                      know what is at stake."

                                                                      In the final part of the DVD, Mark Dever examines the role of the
                                                                      Puritans and sex. The Puritans and sex? Did they ever enjoy
                                                                      such a thing? Isn't "Puritanism" the "haunting fear that someone,
                                                                      somewhere may be happy"? Dever refutes these historically
                                                                      ignorant suggestions and, in quotation after quotation, allows the
                                                                      Puritans to speak for themselves. After surveying the historical
                                                                      background of the Roman Catholic tradition and the Lutheran
                                                                      revolution, Dever details the Puritan view on marriage, sex,
                                                                      romance, sexual sin, and pleasure. Dever shows that the Puritans
                                                                      were not opposed to pleasure per se; they were opposed to
                                                                      pleasure insofar as it was insubordinate to pleasure in God.
                                                                      Dever closes by drawing together eight lessons we can learn
                                                                      from the Puritans regarding a biblical view of sexuality.

                                                                      This is an amazing conference DVD which literally takes you to the
                                                                      conference without leaving your home. It can be use for personal
                                                                      study, CG group study or run it like a full conference in church
                                                                      context minus the cost of T&L. May Christ bless you as you view
                                                                      this video. Our prayer is that it would draw you closer to him,
                                                                      as you see his supremacy in all things – including sex.

                                                                                           Michael Chung worships at 8.30am service, and
and deeper and wider than we can imagine. Powlison ends his                                has been a member of CMC since 1988. Involved with
message by giving us some practical counsel on getting down to                             the library ministry for the last five years, Michael also
                                                                                           actively helps in prayer comm & the Alpha Marriage
business in today's skirmish of the Great War.
                                                                                           course. Together with his wife Lili, they lead
                                                                                           "The Lights" CG. He has an avid love for nature and all
Albert Mohler explains why he views "Homosexual Marriage as                                things IT, with nature parks and Sim Lim Square being
a Challenge to the Church." The challenge has to do first and                               on the list of his favourite destinations. In between
foremost with the kind of people that we – the body of Christ –       serving God and serving his family, Michael destresses by enjoying healthy
will be. Mohler convincingly argues that "we must be the people       multigrain bread from German bakeries. He loves gourmet bread and calls
who cannot talk about homosexual marriage simply by talking           white bread "cottonwool".
about homosexual marriage" – that is, we must start with the larger
issues at stake. "We must be the people who cannot talk about sex
without talking about marriage, and the people who can't talk about

                                                                                                                                                Grow   25
     " Though different in our own ways (like music notes), yet like
       sweet melody or music, we are "beautiful" as a group, learning
       more about God's word, growing spiritually and caring for
       each other at a deeper level than we first begun."

     Melody Care Group
     By Janet Tang

     Our care group had chosen the name "Melody" as we are a group           church's ministry, such as: assisting in the children's Sunday
     of ladies of diverse background (in terms of age, marital status        School, arranging flowers for the church sanctuary, helping out as
     and spiritual maturity). Though different in our own ways (like         church librarian, counting the offerings after each Sunday's church
     music notes), yet like sweet melody or music, we are "beautiful"        service, participating in the music ministry and worshipping in the
     as a group, learning more about God's word, growing spiritually         China Ministry.
     and caring for each other at a deeper level than we first begun.
                                                                             2006 has been an enriching year for us, having participated in a
     Our group was first formed in 2004, responding to Pastor                 number of the church-wide activities. We were approached by the
     Edmund's call to participate in the "40 Days of Purpose Driven Life".   children's Sunday school to host the Father's Day celebration for
     We had since also completed the entire series of MasterLife and         the Primary 1 to 4 kids, we ran a game stall during the Mid-Autumn
     are currently studying the Book of John.                                celebrations and helped out in the registration of participants for
                                                                             various development programmes.
     Like other groups, we started out as strangers. Today, our group
     not only meets regularly to study the word of God, we also              The Lord has indeed blessed our group tremendously and we
     enjoy social gatherings at different members' home, indulging           thank the Lord for bringing our group together.
     in the sumptuous food and enjoying every bit of the fellowship,
     celebrating each other's birthdays.

     One of the other greatest joys and comfort in this group is to know
     that there will always be prayer support and intercessions for each
     other's needs, challenges, and trials, for example, rallying together   Having lived in the central part of Singapore before marriage and in the
                                                                             western part of the island during the initial years of marriage, Janet is very
     to pray for our loved ones who have taken ill or landed in hospital.
                                                                             convinced that God led her to Christ Methodist Church as the East Coast
                                                                             was never a consideration in her plans to move closer to her family and
     The Lord had truly blessed the group with members of varied
                                                                             relatives. She and her family had been attending Christ Methodist since
     talents – roles emerged as members assumed designations such            Dec 1999, the year she moved to the East. God had been very kind by
     as secretary, treasurer and official photographer for the group.         providing lots of friends to help her settle into the CMC community and
                                                                             led her to join the Melody Care Group. Her 2 children, Alexis and Andre,
     It is also heartening to note that many of us who did not serve         were baptized in CMC in 2002, while Daniel and herself transferred their
     in church back in 2004 are now serving in various areas of the          membership from Faith Methodist Church to CMC in late 2005.

26   Grow
The First Noel
By Favian Ee
Comic Book Review By Lim Fung Peen

Christmas Comic Relief          No this is not about a                Help share the true meaning of
                                comedian or upcoming                  Christmas and get your copy at
                                Hollywood comedy. Wen's               the following shops (retail price
"It was a fun                   World's The First Noel shares         is about $5):
read. I think lower             the Christmas story in a comic
                                book format. It was a labour of       Acts Lifestyle – China Square
primary and                     love done especially for kids         Central
lower secondary                 (and the young at heart) The
                                protagonist in the story is a
                                                                      SKS Bookshop – Tan Boon
                                                                      Liat Building
kids will enjoy                 young man trying to explain to        Faithworks – Cornerstone
                                his little furry friends the reason   Community Church
it." – Wei En                   why Christmas is celebrated.          TrueVine – Katong Shopping
Ravichandran,                   The reader is transported             Centre, East Point -Simei
                                into the midst of the nativity        Giftworks – Bishan
11 years old.                   story and it unravels like an         Psalms Joy Christian
                                adventure. The little furry           Bookshop – Queensway
                                character does have quite             Shopping Centre                        If you like the comic book
"I liked how the                a few questions, just like a                                                 characters, you can consider
                                curious child, and these are                                                 buying Wen's World's line
main character                  answered as the pair uncover                                                 of notebooks, postcards,
                                                                                            Favian started
tells the story with            the truth bit by bit.
                                                                                                             calendars and Christmas
his cute animal                 Favian Ee, the man behind this
                                                                                            since he
                                                                                            could hold a     and check out his online
friend and how                  comic book, sees himself as
                                a storyteller of the bible with
                                                                                            writing          catalogue and cartooning
they go back in                 words and images.                                           in his
                                                                                            hand. He
time." – Nathaniel              The comic book evolved                started with copying his favourite
Tan 10 years old                from a web-based story on             cartoon character Garfield.
                                                                      Formerly at Faith Methodist
                                his website http://pachome2.
                                                                      Church, he now worships at
                                                                      Gospel Light Christian Church.
"It was very nice               with some illustrations.
                                (This won him 3rd prize in a
                                                                      He did his first comic book to
                                                                      raise funds for his former school
to read –                       web competition). Favian was          Fairfield Secondary.
                                encouraged by the response
quite enjoyable.                online and went on to work
Yes, I would                    on a comic book that is
                                affordably priced. His desire
let my friends                  with this comic book is to help
read it too."                   his young reader understand
                                that Jesus is the greatest gift
– Isabel Chew,                  they can receive. For his next
                                project Favian is considering
9 years old.                    doing comic books based
                                on the victory at the battle at
                                Jericho and Easter.

                                                                                                                                       Grow   27
     Conspiracy Of Kindness
     By Steve Sjogren
     Book Review By Roy Tan

                                      When I was first asked to write an article about practical theology,
                                      I was wondering how I would ever write it. I supposed that it would
                                      have to be about spreading the gospel and doing good works.
                                      My experience with both, as I understood them to be, has been
                                      limited. As God would have it, I was given a book, "Conspiracy of
                                      Kindness" by Steve Sjogren, to help me write the article. Sjogren
                                      is a pastor of Vineyard Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio and
                                      a fervent advocate of servant evangelism. I initially thought that
                                      the book would contain a re-hash of "feed the poor/visit the sick"
                                      tagline. However, when I started reading it, I was surprised by
                                      Sjorgen's refreshing perceptions on servant evangelism.

                                      Sjogren uses the concepts of risk and grace to distinguish
                                      between the different evangelism efforts. Every form of outreach
                                      carries a certain amount of risk – emotional, spiritual, financial or
                                      otherwise. The success of outreach efforts are also dependant
                                      on the grace of God.

                                      He uses the following matrix to illustrate this.

                                         Low Risk                              High Risk
                                         Low Grace                             Low Grace

                                         High Risk                             Low Risk
                                         High Grace                            High Grace

     " Many of the ideas in the book can be adapted for our local
       culture. They don't require Super-Commando-Christians™
       – they are just right for the basic chicken like me."

28   Grow
" Sjogren uses the concepts of risk and grace to distinguish
  between the different evangelism efforts. Every form of
  outreach carries a certain amount of risk – emotional, spiritual,
  financial or otherwise. The success of outreach efforts are also
  dependant on the grace of God."

Low Risk-Low Grace outreach is generally not recommended as a          another drink and said, "Here you go, you can cry all the way back
low dependence on God's grace is a poor way for evangelism. This       today, too." The simple service of a free drink is transformed into
category includes telephone evangelism which relies little on God's    encounter with God's love and grace.
presence and power.
                                                                       Sjogren lists numerous other examples in his book such as car
High Risk-Low Grace outreach includes door-to-door and street          washing, Christmas gift wrapping, car window wiping, light bulb
evangelism where the reject rate tends to be very high. It doesn't     changing, etc. These are normally things that people will associate
take much to see that the method will most likely discourage           with fund-raising activities. By doing these freely and willingly as a
people from doing evangelism. I've done it once or twice with          community service, Sjogren's church was able to show the love
Campus Crusade for Christ and take it from me; you really have to      of God in a sincere way. It's like Scout Job Week – but no
be positive and somewhat thick-skinned as the rejection rate can       donations required.
really get you down.
                                                                       Many of the ideas in the book can be adapted for our local culture.
High Risk-High Grace outreach encompasses things like foreign          They don't require Super-Commando-Christians™ – they are just
missions, power evangelism, starting a new church. These are           right for the basic chicken like me. Because of the low level of
when God's power collides with the forces of darkness. There are       resources, all these can be done at the Care Group level which
specific times and seasons for these things to happen but they are      will take the burden and overheads off the church and the
beyond the scope of this article so I will leave this category as it   pastoral staff.
is now.
                                                                       This type of evangelism will allow a neutral environment to engage
Finally, there is Low Risk-High Grace outreach. This is where          people in outreach when they ask us why we do it. This will
things start getting more interesting. It is basically about           complement our existing traditional church-wide outreach efforts
servant evangelism. Sjogren devotes most of the book to this           such as Alpha and Family Day.
type of outreach.
                                                                       The book and its treasure trove of ideas for servant evangelism are
I have below, just one example of how effective this type of           available at our church library (when I return it) or at your friendly
ministry is.                                                           neighbourhood christian bookstore.

A group from the church was giving out free drinks as part of
outreach. When they are asked why, they reply simply, "We do this
to share the love of God in a practical way." One woman went up
to one of them and told him, "When you gave me the drink last
week, I cried all the way back." The guy smiled and passed her

                                                                                          Roy is a bass player in the 10:30am service.
                                                                                          His current idea of an ideal meal involves large
                                                                                          amounts of grass-fed beef. Cows are advised to
                                                                                          stay clear of him.

                                                                                                                                             Grow   29

     It takes a certain measure of faith before one chooses to make          To pin-point when exactly "God called" is not that easy when
     changes in life, and I'm not talking about those should-I-rebond-       one looks at the life journey of Uncle William and Aunty Michelle.
     or-perm-my-hair type of decisions. I'm referring to those shifts that   Aunty Michelle grew up in a Catholic church. Later, she asked God
     would really impact your comfortable middle-class cosmopolitan          to take her out of the church…and then she met Uncle William at
     yuppie lifestyle. Those that would mean losing boasting rights          the bus stop. He invited her to CMC, and some years down the
     of having tried all the hippest lunch places on the island. Those       road, they got married. (cue sappy Korean drama music) The high
     that might, just might, mean a possible alienation from your other      life started soon after.
     yuppie friends whom you can no longer afford to hang out with.
     Who might just happen to be the only friends you know.                  With a comfortable HDB flat and a son, Jonathan, life seemed
                                                                             perfect. Then, Aunty Michelle felt that she should quit her job. She
     It's a scary thought, isn't it?                                         prayed about it, specifically asking for three things before she quit.
                                                                             When these three things happened, she left her position "with joy"
     Before they went full-time, Aunty Michelle and Uncle William Tan        and resolved to be a good mother. In the afternoons when Jon was
     led the high life. They held comfortable jobs, wined and dined          asleep, she would sit at God's feet, read the Bible and worship.
     at the best places and generally had it made in life. Church?
     Sure, it was always in the picture. Uncle William had been the          On one of these afternoons, she heard an audible voice telling
     president of the Methodist Youth Fellowship in CMC and taught in        her to go full-time. Amazingly, God had been speaking to Uncle
     Sunday School, and both had gone on a mission trip to Indonesia.        William as well, for he immediately agreed with his wife when she
     There had always been talk about going full-time even when they         brought up the idea of going full-time. The couple considered their
     were dating, but it had probably been overshadowed by other             high-tea lifestyle, their yuppie friends, and their financial situation.
     more pressing bread-and-butter (or perhaps, foccacia-and-extra          They tested their friends' responses – positive! Then a letter came
     virgin olive oil) issues.                                               informing them that their flat had been fully paid for. They were all
                                                                             set and ready to go.
     Then, a change came. Slowly, gradually, but a change nonetheless.
     It's catalyst? God, of course. "God called… we went." That's the        For me, here is when the joining-the-dots began. When I was
     blueprint of a God-driven ministry. But it is what transpires in the    interviewing Aunty Katherine Tan, she had mentioned that she had
     ellipses that make each ministry so uniquely interesting. The period    started off praying with Aunty Michelle for missions in the then-
     of waiting, of searching, and of simply depending wholly on Him.        CMC cloak room. During this time, Aunty Kat had been assigned

30   Serve
Whether Thunder, Rain Or Sunshine
By Genevieve Wong

"Whether thunder, rain or sunshine, we stay put until God tells
 us to leave."
to research on Wycliffe Bible Translators, which she introduced to      "Sometimes you go into the mission field thinking that you want to
Aunty Michelle and Uncle William. It all seemed to fit nicely together   do certain things but you need to be obedient and flexible," says
in my mind.                                                             Aunty Michelle, before adding that repentance and forgiveness are
                                                                        ongoing things. "Going to the mission field is not to find out who
After some deliberation, Aunty Michelle and Uncle William decided       God is but to find out who I really am. We cannot out-give God,
to serve God in Wycliffe. And after further deliberation, training,     we cannot out-love God."
prayer and the opening of doors, they decided that China was the
place. This, despite the fact that neither had a Masters degree,        Any regrets? None, comes the reply. We would do it all over again.
a pre-requisite for the ground-breaking work in the country at that
time. Both would probably also need help in their Mandarin in           "Whether thunder, rain or sunshine, we stay put until God tells us
order to survive. The Peranakan homes that both had grown up            to leave."
in had provided marginally more Malay than Mandarin language
opportunities.                                                          Aunty Michelle, Uncle William and their sons Jonathan and
                                                                        Nathaniel are presently in Singapore while Jon is completing his
Once again, it was another scary change.                                National Service. Do say hi to them in CMC and ask about their
                                                                        many faith-inspiring experiences on the mission field!
Soon after, the couple, with Jonathan in tow, found themselves in
China, far away from the Sunday brunch routine. Aunty Michelle          Genevieve would like to thank her parents for providing the dinner
frankly admits that she cried for two years from pent-up frustration    and conducting this interview together with Fung Peen, while she
and paranoia. It took a question from God, "Did I just love the         happily eavesdropped in between mouthfuls of beef rending.
lovely? Have I not loved the unlovely?" before she could surrender
and ask for enough love to carry on.
                                                                                          After 25 years in CMC and having benefitted from
                                                                                          13 years of education in Methodist institutions,
So even though they ate rice on which they (literally) chipped
                                                                                          Gen has only recently found out that Wesley fasted
their teeth on, downed soup with "1 cm of oil", struggled to learn                        twice a week and prayed for two hours a day.
Mandarin on the streets and in university classes, and lived in rat-                      She remains amazed.
infested quarters, God brought them through. In the years that
they have been in China, God has U-turned many of their plans,
and brought them through a few uncomfortably dark valleys.

"Sometimes you go into the mission field thinking that you
 want to do certain things but you need to be obedient and
 flexible," says Aunty Michelle, before adding that repentance
 and forgiveness are ongoing things. "Going to the mission field
 is not to find out who God is but to find out who I really am.
 We cannot out-give God, we cannot out-love God."

                                                                                                                                           Serve   31
     "Shawn has taught me how to dream, and to be bold for Jesus.
      He has inspired me to be passionate for Christ, but most
      of all he has given me the confidence that God is going to
      take our Youth Ministry to new and greater heights under
      his leadership."

     Shawn Yong,
     Our Spanking New YM Chairman
     Interview By Yeo Rulin

     Witty. Visionary. Wise. Passionate.                                    Describing his younger days, he says he "very driven", even
                                                                            charting out the journey to his first million, and planning his life
     These are four words that describe our new youth ministry              itinerary! Conveniently, God intervened and shifted his paradigm.
     chairman. After our short interview session on a hot sweltering        He now just waits patiently, not knowing where and what God will
     Saturday under the crazy blasting fan at coffee area, with my hair     bring him to next. "But I know that I'll just do my best in everything
     all messed up and a good solid tummy ache from laughing, I told        that He brings". Indeed, Shawn agrees that he has grown in the
     myself that I had better do justice to the awesome man that I had      area of having faith in God's awesome power, His power to heal
     just interviewed.                                                      and change lives.

     Shawn Yong has been in church for more than 20 years and I am          At the age of 27, Shawn is by far CMC's youngest chairperson.
     sure is a familiar face to everyone. But many of you probably didn't   When asked how he felt about it, he simply shrugged and said,
     know that Shawn used to be really sporty and tanned (he was a          "No opinion…But being relatively less experienced, I may be more
     beach bum) and that he plays the flute (*gasps*). And although          conscious". But Shawn is really not THAT inexperienced, having
     an anointed worship leader (with a super powerful voice I must         served in the youth ministry for uncountable years and being the
     say), Shawn admits to having stage fright all the time. Nevertheless   youth worship base coordinator before he stepped up as chairman
     his personal motto is always "to do my best in everything".            – Shawn is well-respected and loved by the younger generation
     He describes CMC as his second home, a place of peace, and is          in CMC.
     the place that he will never fail to come back to, because friends
     here have already become like family.                                  One thing that struck me the most during our interview was how
                                                                            serious Shawn was in his answers in the midst of all his witty jokes
     Our new youth chairman considers himself blessed to have               and humor. He was very frank and candid with his response and
     seen CMC grown through the years, "We have grown to become             as I heard him share about his life and personal desires of being
     more affable, more open, and having a stronger desire to grow."        the role-model to our youths, about his desire of wanting to make
     He joked about how God has changed the focus of the church by          a personal impact in as many young lives as possible, it made me
     180 degrees literally (from the sanctuary facing the coffee area to    realize how serious this man is about his ministry.
     currently, facing the road)! But on a more serious note, he's seen
     the leadership and the Church become more united in spirit and
     direction. CMC has now developed a thirst and hunger for the
     things of God.

32   Serve
His dream is for the youths to have more passion for Jesus, a          It is amazing and a great honor to be in the presence of a man
passion that is not just solely about vibrancy or about programmes.    of God. Shawn has taught me how to dream, and to be bold for
But it is about a serious and personal relationship with God, one      Jesus. He has inspired me to be passionate for Christ, but most of
that will ultimately result in reaching out to the lost. He wants to   all he has given me the confidence that God is going to take our
see more youths serving, being more involved in church, and            Youth Ministry to new and greater heights under his leadership.
contributing to building up the kingdom of God.
                                                                       Thank you Shawn, and just so you know, we're behind you all
In our last words, Shawn shared how youths should not be afraid        the way!
of making mistakes, and how adults should not frown upon
mistakes that youths make. It is a journey that we all must take, to
                                                                                         Rulin is the nicest brother's girlfriend you can have.
fall and climb up again. If we never fail, we'll never learn. But we
                                                                                         Her love is overflowing and she is wacky to boot.
can hold fast to God's love and be certain of the identity we have
                                                                                         Her effervescence is highly contagious and never
in Christ.                                                                               fails to bring a smile to your day. (Just so you know,
                                                                                         Ray Chong wrote this on behalf of Rulin)
"Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young,
but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love,
in faith and in purity." (1 Timothy 4:12)

"Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young,
 but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love,
 in faith and in purity." (1 Timothy 4:12)
                                                                                                                                             Serve   33
34   Reach Out
                                   Reach Out

The Methodist School In Cambodia
A Letter By Vimala Devi

Hi there!                                                              About 40 of these children do not have money for their snacks,
                                                                       so we provide them with a meal. Sometimes, some of these
I am a missionary with MMS working in Cambodia. I have been            children come to school without breakfast and complain of being
here since Sept 1999. I shall be finishing my second term of service    sick, but when we give them a drink and biscuits, they are fine.
in Cambodia in Sept 2008 (One term is 4 years). My main job is to      We also provide vitamins for the weak children and give medical
oversee the Kindergarten, that is, to prepare the curriculum and       help when they are unwell.
train the teachers. My greatest desire is to train a Khmer staff to
oversee the Kindergarten, but staff turnover is so high that my time   Our school is expanding and every year we need to provide
is spent in training the new staff. God is good; the new ones are      3 new classrooms. The 'good news' is we have all these children to
under graduates and committed Christians. They love children and       disciple and this is our mission field. They, in their turn, will make
enjoy teaching children worship songs.                                 a difference to Cambodia. Please walk alongside us in this vision.
                                                                       We need you… your prayers, your financial support and your time.
I love working with my hands, like sewing, cooking, handwork and       Come and visit us and share your talents.
gardening. I try out new projects, like making palm sugar candy,
or beaded bracelets, and these I teach to my teachers, the grade       God has so richly blessed me and has given me a passion and
7 girls or to the women in the local Church. I want these ladies to    joy for the work here. There are some days I am so tired that I can
have something nice for Christmas and Khmer New Year. So before        hardly move but the rest He gives is so refreshing and peaceful.
these festivals, I try to come up with a new project that, they can    "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want." (Psalm23:1)
make and take home.
                                                                       I have my nourishment and delight in His Words; "Trust in the Lord
My passion is working with children. I want to provide them with the   with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding."
best environment; one that is attractive and interesting, where they
have the opportunity to explore and discover information through
fun-filled activities.

The school here is made up of, the Kindergarten which is Nursery,
Kindergarten 1 & 2, Primary 1-6 and Secondary which is Grade
7 & 8. We have a total of 360 children and 1/3 of them are under             Sponsor a Child S$360/ for a year
the sponsorship programme. The money provided by the sponsors                Feed a Child S$75/ for a year.
is for their school fees, which is for the running of the school,            A new classroom cost S$4500/
the staff salary etc.
                                                                             For more information see our website

" The 'good news' is we have all these children to disciple and
  this is our mission field."

Photographs from

                                                                                                                                    Reach Out   35
     Full Flame Film Series
     By Lim Fung Peen

     "I remember the 40 Days Purpose
     Driven Life Campaign in 2004.
     Six weeks of continuous learning
     that helped us drum in the important
     lessons". – Seow Yang San, On-the-
     Mark Care Group , Church Treasurer

     "From 40 Days PDL 6 new small
     groups and the consolidation of our
     discipleship process – Intentional
     Discipleship (Indi)" – Samuel Tan,      Based on the favourable response to that campaign and our
     LMS.                                    commitment for the lost, we will embark on the Full Flame Film
                                             Series in February 2008.

     "I appreciated the integrated           "The church of our Lord Jesus Christ
     experience of viewing videos and        is not a pleasure boat, but a life boat
     lively discussions at small groups      for saving souls...and every hand is
     followed up by the Sunday sermons.      needed on deck." – Reinhard Bonnke
     The participants and facilitator
     guidebooks certainly made things
     easier." – Tan Peck Yin, Hope Care
     Group, Lay Leader                                         Fung Peen counts Hillsong Conference 2007 along
                                                               side his other mountain-top experiences like, Church
                                                               Camp 2006 with James Singh, his trip to Israel in
     "Doing the 40 days campaign with                          2005, Church Camp 2004 with Miguel Escobar,
                                                               his honeymoon in 2000, and proposing to Vanessa
     my CG and with the whole church,                          on Pulau Sipadan in 1999. They all involve the
     was good. It gave us a common                             2 persons he loves most. :) What are your
                                                               mountain-top experiences?
     learning experience that helped us
     all gel together better" – Kevin Loh,
     Meet@502, Worship leader

36   Reach Out
" Ultimately, the mission of The Full Flame Film Series is
  to encourage Christians to a burning compassion for the lost."

Scenes from the DVDs


This is a series of 8 short films – each about 30mins long.           The complete film series contains seven episodes plus a dramatic
Each film will be screened during 8 consecutive small group           introductory short film, "Lost at Sea," in which passengers on a
meetings. A message tied into this will be preached the              ship refuse to come to the aid of those who are drowning in the
following Sunday.                                                    waters around them. Each subsequent episode combines the
                                                                     conversational teachings of Reinhard Bonnke with brief dramatic
Ultimately, the mission of The Full Flame Film Series is to          segments that punctuate the teachings. The use of cinematic
encourage Christians to a burning compassion for the lost. It is a   storytelling alongside Pastor Bonnke's intimate teachings are
project created to help people get saved, ministers to be equipped   designed to move Christians in a way that evangelistic curricula
and every Christian empowered to be a living testimony for our       alone cannot.
Lord Jesus Christ.

                                                                     Full Flame Film Series set includes 6 DVDs, facilitators' guides and
                                                                     small group participant guides.


                                                                                                                                  Reach Out   37
     What Is Prison Ministry?
     By Pastor Chui Ming Li

                                                                            Hock Beng joined Prison Fellowship Singapore's (PFS) Christian
                                                                            ministry in his fifth prison term, during the second year of a five-
                                                                            year sentence. What do we see God doing in Hock Beng's life?
                                                                            What are our hopes for him, and what can we do to bring the
                                                                            hopes to fruition?

                                                                            Like many other prisoners and drug addicts, God had visited Hock
                                                                            Beng in a miraculous way. Suddenly he experienced God's love
                                                                            in a way he had never experienced love from anyone else before.
                                                                            He discovered that he had a new found joy, and an aversion to all
                                                                            things sinful. Hock Beng longed to follow Jesus.

                                                                            Although the conversion experience was a powerful and
                                                                            unforgettable one, the journey from conversion to transformation
                                                                            is long and arduous. Hock Beng had much to unlearn and relearn.
                                                                            Through weekly Bible study sessions, we helped Hock Beng
                                                                            renounce his former sin and occult practices. As he repented from
                                                                            his former ways, we did inner healing with him, uncovering and
                                                                            healing decades-old wounds that had been left festering. Hock
                                                                            Beng soon developed the conviction and courage to leave his
     Prison Ministry is often viewed as a complex and somewhat              gang, many of whose members were also in prison with him.
     mysterious ministry. What is the work about and what does it
     entail? Perhaps we could start with a 'typical' case and look at       Even with several years of prison sentence left to serve, we began
     the life story of a prisoner.                                          preparing Hock Beng for re-integration. We encouraged him
                                                                            to write to his parents and siblings and to seek forgiveness for
     Hock Beng was the youngest of six children. His father died when       stealing from them and hurting them. We taught him his role as
     he was a toddler and his mother was left to fend for the family.       husband and head of his household, and showed him that
     Working long hours and holding two jobs, she spent little time with    though he was still in prison, he could exercise godly headship
     Hock Beng. In his early teens, Hock Beng began experimenting           over his family.
     with tablets. Before long, he was addicted, and stole from his
     family to feed the addiction. His stealing alienated him from his      On the outside, a team of volunteers lent support to Hock Beng's
     family members.                                                        wife and child. Our Aftercare staff helped his wife find a job while
                                                                            placing his child in a Christian childcare centre. Hock Beng's wife
     At age 17, Hock Beng began the first of many prison sentences.          was also taught how to pray and trust God.
     Each prison term alienated him further from his family, and heaped
     a greater sense of shame upon him. By his third time in prison, he     We believe that God has a plan for Hock Beng and his family to
     had given up hope of ever changing. In between prison sentences,       minister to others where they are. Having received much from
     Hock Beng sought divine help in 'kicking the habit', delving into      God, we hope to see Hock Beng and his family help restore other
     divination, and other occult practices. Having been alienated from     broken lives like theirs.
     his own family, Hock Beng's loyalty to his gang grew stronger.
                                                                            Some of our plans for the near future: a Family Care Centre that
     At age 20, Hock Beng married shortly after his release from            trains and equips church volunteers to serve families of prisoners;
     prison and the couple had their first child soon after. For a while,    a hostel to ease newly released prisoners to make the transition
     it seemed that Hock Beng's life had taken a turn for the better.       back to society; a vocational training centre that allows
     A year later however, Hock Beng was back in prison. Unable to pay      ex-offenders to learn a trade while teaching them to be disciples
     the instalments for their HDB flat, Hock Beng's wife sold the flat       in the marketplace; a staff office to house our 20-something staff,
     and went to live with Hock Beng's mother. Their relationship was far   fully equipped with counseling and training rooms, a library and
     from harmonious, but his wife had no other options. Several times,     resource centre for staff and volunteers and intercession rooms.
     Hock Beng's wife fled from the home but was forced to return
     because of her dire circumstances.
                                                                            If you wish to know more about our work and how you could help in
                                                                            person or with finances, please feel free to write to us at
                                                                   or call 65427678.
38   Reach Out
"God had visited Hock Beng in a miraculous way. Suddenly
 he experienced God's love in a way he had never experienced
 love from anyone else before. He discovered that he had a
 new found joy, and an aversion to all things sinful. Hock Beng
 longed to follow Jesus."

                                                                         It's just not fair! Why do people think that others are not worthy of

A House Guest                                                            love, of life, of happiness, all because they have been to prison?
                                                                         I just don't know how to express myself exactly right. It's just
By Kimberly Chiu                                                         KILLING me. That's why I had to write this. If I could, I would just
                                                                         about change the mind of everyone who ever looked down on a
On Wednesday night, Uncle Robin came to stay with us overnight.          prisoner. I would even wring their necks if I had to.
We played and talked, and I sang my own compositions.
He was very impressed with me. You see, he has not seen a child          But since I can't, I will just try to change your mind with this journal
for 5 years.                                                             entry. I hope I have succeeded.

Uncle Robin is an ex-prisoner. He was imprisoned for five years
for consumption of drugs. He came from a broken family. He had           Teacher's response
no mother, and all his father ever expressed emotion over was his        Kimberley, sometimes people allow their fears to control their
exam results. He spanked him when he did badly and pinched his           actions. It's practically impossible to change everyone's minds or
cheeks when he did well.                                                 perceptions. It's good enough that you choose to make a difference
                                                                         by writing this article. We can only pray that those who read your
The moment he stepped into my room, he was awestruck. "Wow,"             article will see the value of a yellow ribbon.
he said, "This is really a family."

                                                                                             Kimberley, aged 10, studies in Singapore Chinese
It really saddens me. It really angers me. It makes me really, really,
                                                                                             Girls' School. She is the only child of Rev Chiu Ming
really mad. What is it? The way people treat ex-prisoners. "You are
                                                                                             Li and Jeannie Lee. Rev Chiu is an ordained pastor
dangerous. You're wrong. You're BAD!" But one more thing they                                of Trinity Annual Conference (TRAC) of the Methodist
should say is "You're just like me!" They have changed! Nobody                               Church in Singapore and seconded to Prison
sees that. None of us is perfect. If we had no education, no love,                           Fellowship Singapore as Senior Prison Chaplain.
no help from anyone, of course we will do something wrong. I am a                            Jeannie is serving as the National Director of Prison
Christian. I believe God loves everyone. Jesus died for everyone.                            Fellowship Singapore.

"None of us is perfect. If we had no education, no love,
 no help from anyone, of course we will do something wrong.
 I am a Christian. I believe God loves everyone. Jesus died
 for everyone."
                                                                                                                                           Reach Out   39
     Alpha In The Workplace
     By Alan Heng

     Making a Difference at the Workplace
                                                                         God's plans and blessings did not stop there. He continued to
                                                                         open doors and raised more workers – not just in Singapore but
     Can we make a difference for God in the marketplace? It is a        across the Asia Pacific.
     tough proposition when you consider our competing priorities
     and challenges in the marketplace; work commitments,                Fast Forward to 2007
     deadlines for projects, travel schedules and less than conducive
     working environments.                                               In Singapore, we have just completed our 14th Alpha run and
                                                                         the Alpha Workplace ministry has now extended to 12 different
     Back in 2003, three colleagues in my company (a US global energy    company locations across 9 different countries in the Asia Pacific
     corporation) believed they could. They met and fervently prayed     from Shanghai to Melbourne. Through the Alpha program, many
     for God's guidance to bring like-minded Christians in the company   new believers have since joined the body of Christ.
     together to serve and shine for the Lord in the workplace.
                                                                         In between Alpha runs, disciples coordinate post-Alpha programs
     In Singapore, the company has about 2300 employees spread           to help new believers and organize programs to revive and
     across two manufacturing locations and the Asia Pacific regional     recharge older ones. Eary last year, we ran Reinhard Bonke's
     office. It has a driven and demanding work culture and we compete    Full Flame program to encourage fellow Christian colleagues to
     in a challenging industry. Long hours and hectic travel schedules   win souls.
     are the norm and the quest for efficiency is unrelenting.
                                                                         The last Monday of every month is also designated Corporate
     Shortly after those prayers, doors began to open in remarkable      Prayer Day where over lunchtime, colleagues gather to worship,
     ways. The first Workplace Alpha program started on a Wednesday       listen to an exhortation and pray for specific needs.
     workday at lunchtime in a nearby church hall. At the introductory
     session, God brought 110 colleagues together and filled the hall     The workplace disciples also express their faith and love through
     – God's party had officially begun! By the end of the 15-week        several Christ's Love in Action (CLA) teams who minister to any
     program, there were many new believers and many passive             colleague who are ill, struggling with work stress, parenting issues
     Christians had recommitted their lives to the Lord.                 or difficult marital relationships.

40   Reach Out
"Our work assignments take on an additional dimension that
 goes beyond just the secular opportunities. Disciples have
 learnt to express God's love by ministering to colleagues in
 need and slowly but surely the work environment has become
 more caring and compassionate."

Connecting with the World                                              Transforming the Workplace

As workplace ministry spread to other company locations, Christian     As colleagues continue to join hearts, there have been noticeable
colleagues were encouraged to unite and synchronize their              effects in the work environment. Disciples no longer see each
prayers. In the last three years, disciples have organized a Global    other as just colleagues but a larger body with a greater purpose.
Day of Prayer where a group of colleagues would travel at their        Our work assignments take on an additional dimension that goes
own expense to a particular company location and meet with the         beyond just the secular opportunities. Disciples have learnt to
local Christians for a day of prayer.                                  express God's love by ministering to colleagues in need and slowly
                                                                       but surely the work environment has become more caring and
Last year in October, colleagues from 11 countries around the          compassionate.
world from US, China to Singapore joined hearts through a
teleconference to pray asking for the body of Christ to continue       Indeed the disciples are making a difference by being the salt and
to unite, revive and transform our workplace.                          light at their workplace.

While the company has a CEO and a CFO to guide us towards
business success, the disciples have seen it fit to establish the
CPO – Chief Prayer Officer. The CPO's role is to remind the team
to pray amidst their hectic work schedules.
                                                                                              Alan together with his wife, Pam and 9 year old
                                                                                              daughter, Rachel attends the 10:30am service and
Dealing with Workplace Realities
                                                                                              is part of the Living Waters care group. They have been
                                                                                              attending CMC regularly since Apr 2004 upon their
The work culture in the company is demanding – it is not
                                                                                              return from an overseas assignment. His 20-year
uncommon for employees to pull 60 hour work weeks, manage                                     international career has taken him through a broad
regional travels and juggle several business initiatives. Hence                               spectrum of work assignments in several countries.
putting time aside for God's work is always a challenge. The work                             Aside from helping out at the workplace ministry,
environment also brings with it the need to act with sensitivity to    he is active in the prisons ministry where he facilitates Alpha programs
other non-Christians and to find the right balance in our activities.   for inmates.

                                                                                                                                           Reach Out    41
     " The Alpha has brought the cell group closer and has
       allowed us to appreciate each other for our uniqueness and
       contributions. It is one thing to come together for fellowship
       and bible study, and another to work together on a common
       project. The latter challenges us to take on various roles and
       no one can be a passive observer."

     Contributing Through Alpha
     By Bernard Low

     When we formed X2 (See Acts Chapter 2) last year, one of the key        Although at times it was a struggle to faithfully attend Alpha after a
     purposes of the group was to focus on outreach and evangelism.          long work day, it is when the struggle is the greatest that God also
     We didn't want to be a group that got too comfortable that it           blesses and surprises. By facilitating the sessions, I have benefited
     became just a social group. The common objective gave our group         tremendously from re-discovering what I consider to be the key
     focus and a sense of purpose and under the encouragement (and           issues of Christianity. Through a climate of open sharing and
     gentle though not so subtle nudging) of Barry Hung, we decided to       discussions, I have come to appreciate the golden opportunity to
     facilitate the Alpha course from Aug to Nov last year. This created     see the reality of Christianity in an intimate setting. The Alpha has
     an excellent opportunity for the entire cell group to be involved in    also served to connect members of the church in a more intimate
     an activity of outreach as well as to learn more about Christ.          way. I have gotten to know wonderful people in church whom I'd
                                                                             otherwise not have known, given the size of the congregation.
     The Alpha course is a series of 12 evenings together, starting with a   As a result, I always go home refreshed, excited, thankful for the
     lovely dinner (in true Singaporean fashion, how can we do anything      wonderful insights I have gleaned from our weekly Alpha sessions.
     without food??), then a video screening and later a chat session in
     small groups where we discuss the issues presented in the video.
     Somewhere in the middle of this is an exciting Alpha weekend.

     The Alpha has brought the cell group closer and has allowed us
     to appreciate each other for our uniqueness and contributions.
     It is one thing to come together for fellowship and bible study,
     and another to work together on a common project. The latter
     challenges us to take on various roles and no one can be a
     passive observer. Before the start of the very engaging videos by
     Nicky Gumble, we can always trust Barry to come up with a good
     joke and Mei Wai together with Andrew and Carolyn for a time of
     worship. Tania is our media resource expert and Kian our prayer
     co-ordinater. The rest of us help to facilitate the group discussions   Bernard and his wife (Joanne Poon) have been in CMC since 2004.
     that follow the video presentations.                                    They are in a cell group called "X2" headed by Lawrence Kwok. Bernard
                                                                             currently teaches Economics at Anglo Chinese School (Independent) and
                                                                             his wife Joanne is a Drama teacher. They have a vivavious one-year old
                                                                             daughter (Meave) who has just embraced the art of walking.

42   Reach Out
The Cell Phone vs. The Bible
Poem By Anonymous

I wonder what would happen if we treated our Bible
like we treat our cell phone?
What if we carried it around in our purses or pockets?
What if we flipped through it several times a day?
What if we turned back to go get it if we forgot it?
What if we used it to receive messages from the text?
What if we treated it like we couldn't live without it?
What if we gave it to our kids as a gift?
What if we used it when we traveled?
What if we used it in case of emergency?
Unlike our cell phone, we don't have to worry about our
Bible being "disconnected" because of an unpaid bill.
Jesus already paid the bill in-full.
And just think – no dropped calls! God hears them all!

                                                          Reach Out   43
Coming to Christ Methodist Church in February 08
Register now!

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