March â€“ May 2013
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:16
KAMPONG KAPOR METHODIST CHURCH – PASTORS’ MESSAGE 02 PASTORS’ MESSAGE - An Outstretched Hand 03 FEATURED SERMON 05 MISSION TRIP - Mission Trip to Chakia 09 KK FAMILY SERVICE CENTRE 10 KKMC KINDERGARTEN 12 LIFEGROUPS - Around our LifeGroups 12 SEMINARs - The Upper Room Experience - By This Name 14 ARTICLE - God Can Do A Miracle When You Simply Give A Book Away 16 DADS' MINISTRY 17 CHOIR - Celestial Choir Reboot 17 TAMIL MINISTRY - Lenten Meditation 2013 - Missions Sale 2013 18 MANDARIN MINISTRY - Mandarin Ministry Spiritual Retreat at Kukup 19 KKMC IN THE COMMUNITY - Breakfast with Love - Seek the Welfare of Singapore - Visit by The Presidential Council on Religious Harmony
Rev Gabriel Liew, Rev Kenneth Huang, Rev Daniel Cornilius Tan
AN Outstretched HAND
By the time you are reading this issue of FOCUS, another Holy Week and Easter Sunday would have been solemnly observed and happily celebrated respectively. Holy Week gave us reason to slow down and re-focus on what is really important in life, while Easter Sunday gave us reason to energetically express our great joy in being alive in Jesus! The continuing challenge for Christians is whether the reality and power of both Holy Week and Easter Sunday will affect us, or more correctly, whether we will allow the reality and power of both Holy Week and Easter Sunday to affect us to love, and live for, our Risen Lord Jesus more faithfully. Evidence that we clearly are more faithfully loving, and living for, our Risen Lord Jesus is seen when we are not a people who so easily forget the good done on our behalf by God in Jesus, and are also not a people who so easily forget the good that we are supposed to do in the lives of others we meet. In fact the opposite is true – we are living each day evidently grateful for God’s goodness in our lives and actively bearing the Fruit of the Spirit in our lives, which in turn inspires us to be giving other a helping hand in whatever form is required to assist them in their time of need. It could be lending a listening ear, sharing an encouraging word, interceding for their needs, providing a word of wisdom, speaking of God’s love, or just being around.
21 TESTIMONIES - Wen DeZhi - Melissa Goh - Jenny Chang 23 DEVOTION - Psalm 77 From Frustration To Faith Publisher : Rev Kenneth Huang Editor : Lyndon Gan Editorial Team Andrew Tan Janice Khoo Lianne Ong Pearlyn Lim
As we help others, we are actually bearing witness for Jesus by our whole life, in words and deeds. And so, I wonder who the persons are that God is asking us to stretch our hands out towards in order to be of help to them in their time of difficulties. For the rest of 2013, may we be found to be loving, and living for, our Risen Lord Jesus more faithfully, and so be able to say, “LORD, Be Glorified In Me!”
Our Sunday Worship Services English : 8.00am, 9.30am & 11.30am Peranakan : 11.00am Mandarin : 2.00pm Tamil : 5.30pm
To God be the Glory! Rev Kenneth Huang, Rev Gabriel Liew & Rev Daniel Cornilius Tan
FEATURED SERMON – KAMPONG KAPOR METHODIST CHURCH
Holy Week mediations this year were based on the Featured Sermon Our theme “Who Do You Say I Am” from Matthew 16:13-20. Over 3 evenings from 25-27 March, the Rev Dr Daniel Koh K.S. led us in looking at Christ from different angles. In his first talk, Christ of Faith, he explained how 2 groups of Christians had tried to understand Jesus. One tried to separate the historical person of Jesus as described in the Gospel accounts from the experience a person might have of the Christ through their daily personal encounter with him. This liberal view is no longer as prevalent as it was before, but survives today in scholarly and intellectual circles. Rev Koh cautioned that we must not be taken in to think that such teachings are progressive and encouraged us to see Jesus through the eyes of the Gospel. The other group sees faith in Christ as
a way to health and wealth. Again Rev Koh cautioned that the Christ of material comfort and success is a distortion of Jesus Christ of the Bible who loves us and gave himself for us. In his third talk, Christ and the Cross, Rev Koh shared that people whose minds are set on earthly things are enemies of the cross. Accumulating earthly things is not carrying the cross. To carry the cross is to live the life of discipleship that God intends and calls us to live. It is a life marked by love for God and our neighbours and a willingness to serve without calling attention to self and without serving self-interest. The second talk, Christ and is Consumeristic Culture is reproduced below :
Christ and the Consumeristic Culture Text : Matthew 6:25-34 25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you — you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. 28
Introduction Has anyone of heard of Rene Padilla ? In 1974, some 2,700 Christians gathered at Lausanne, Switzerland for a major consultation on world evangelisation. It was the first such gathering sponsored by evangelicals that included some younger theologians from the Third World. Among those younger theologians (who are now rather old, if they are still living), was Rene Padilla, who was born in Ecuador but spent most of his adult life in Argentina. Rene did his university studies in the USA and obtained his PhD at the University of Manchester under the supervision of the famous New Testament scholar, F.F. Bruce. I mention Rene because it was he and some of his colleagues from Latin America who were rather critical of the kind of Christianity practised by and promoted by certain American Christian groups and churches. They spoke against what they considered as Cultural Christianity or the offering of a cultural Christ. The warning of the presence of cultural Christianity and by extension a culture influenced understanding of Christ is something which we should take on board when we look at our faith
and when we attempt to answer the question Jesus posed at Caesarea, “Who do you say I am?
Images of Jesus Christ The picture of Jesus Christ which we are familiar with is Warner Sallman’s portrait of Christ. That is the picture that we find in the homes of Christians. Sallman’s Jesus is a Caucasian with blond hair and a serene look. Though it is a popular picture, that Christ is not a fair representation of Jesus who was born into a Jewish family. Jews look like Arabs with rugged features, sharp nose and usually dark hair. Jesus was not European. He was born into an Asian family.
Jesus through the Centuries There have been different images of Jesus over the centuries. Among other things, some have seen him as Calm Pilot steering a boat in a stormy see. He has been presented as a loving shepherd carrying a lamb on his shoulder or surrounding himself with children. Others have seen him as a political
KAMPONG KAPOR METHODIST CHURCH – Featured sermon
revolutionary with an angry face, fighting against the status quo and social injustice. He was also viewed as a Liberationist. In recent times, he has been portrayed as an ordinary human being in Martin Scorsese Last Temptation of Christ. Then there is also Jesus as a Superstar in Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s Jesus Christ Super Star. How we look at the Christian faith and who we see Jesus Christ to be, in many ways can be and have been easily shaped by the dominant culture of our time. Looking at the world today, one dominant culture is the prevalent culture of Consumerism. We do not have to try hard to recognise that the tentacles of Consumerism have extended all over the world, courtesy of globalisation, partly facilitated by the demise of Communism and the triumph of capitalism or the free market economy. If you look closely, Consumerism as we see today is a new form of materialism that worships moneytheism which our Lord has taught us to avoid. “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” [Matthew 6:24]. Consumerism, we should say is not new and it is not a new concern for us either. In some ways, R. H. Tawney, in his "The Acquisitive Society" first published in 1920 had anticipated the kind of problem consumerism posed to human well-beings.
What are the characteristics of a consumeristic culture? Using Craig Bartholomew’s Introduction to "Christ and Consumerism", a book edited by him and Thorsten Moritz, there are three clear characteristics of a Consumeristic Culture: Firstly “Consumerism points to a culture in which the core values of culture is derived from consumption rather than the other way round.” In a healthy society core values are
values nourished over hundreds if not thousands of years and then taught and transmitted from generation to generation. Sometimes such values are found in certain traditions associated with certain ethnic groups or religious communities. So to be upright, hardworking, honest and so on would be something which a faith community may teach and hold dear. Such values and virtues would then be used to help members of a faith community to assess and critique whatever is happening around us. But in a Consumeristic Society, it is in consumption that we derive values. Consumption then is allowed to dictate what is good and what is of worth. We formulate values based on what we consume and the satisfaction which we receive from our consumption. Related to this characteristic, we are told, is the “aestheticisation of commodities; the appearance of products becomes crucial because products provide the basis for negotiation of meaning and personal identity.” Applied to our view of our faith and our view of Christ, this first characteristic of a Consumeristic culture displaces the central role of our faith informing our values. Now value is found in things; in the attraction of consumption instead of in Christ and His teachings. We may still say with all good intention that we love Christ and we follow him. But in reality, perhaps without knowing it, our faith is given a secondary role and Christ is consigned to a position of lesser importance in how we ought to live our life and what lifestyle we should adopt for ourselves, our families and among Christians. Secondly, “freedom is equated with individual choice and private life.” FFreedom is not just a freedom to exercise choice on critical issues. But this is now extended to what has been said as “unconstrained choice” for private consumption and pleasure. At the bottom line, this fosters
unbridled individualism. My right to choose whatever I want for my own pleasure is of paramount importance to me. You do your own thing and leave me to do mine. This kind of attitude leads one to the kind of individualistic value-system of what I want is what I should get and it is none of your business if I choose whatever I want to consume. In some ways this is something akin to what Charles Taylor, the Canadian Philosopher has critiqued as atomistic individualism, although his magnum opus, "Sources of the Self", iis more a critique of political liberalism than consumerism. The impact of such development is that consumerism may undermine community life and the common good. In promoting individual indulgence and individual satisfaction, koinonia, for example, is compromised. Christians then would not consider fellowship essential for their spiritual and character formation if such fellowship prevents them from access to their choice of consumption. Thirdly, we are told that “needs are unlimited and insatiable.” Consumerism creates wants, markets wants, and then generates more wants. It is a disposable value-system. We buy phones and change phones because we just want whatever is latest. What we have last year becomes outdated after a short time. They become worthless in no time. Such kind of disposable ideas, and sellby-date mentality rub off into how we view life and other people. If someone is no longer attractive and youthful, if a person is no longer economically productive or viable, they are considered of little value to us. They are seen as burdens. Dispose them or send them away to somewhere, maybe a home for the aged where we will not be inconvenienced by their presence. That’s the value-system we draw from the consumeristic world and they are reflective of the values promoted by consumerism.
featured sermon / mission trip – KAMPONG KAPOR METHODIST CHURCH
Sadly such pernicious values have a way of blocking out the time-tested Christian teachings of Imago Dei in the image of God), for example. It also displaces the teachings and example set by Jesus Christ who loves people, never mind whatever social status they come from or gender, or ethnic background or age. He loves everyone unconditionally. But this Jesus and His teaching of how we ought to
relate with people seem to be easily forgotten when we are overwhelmed by consumeristic considerations. We love things and use people instead of loving people and using things. So who is Jesus to you? What difference has the Christian faith made in your lives?
Counteracting the forces of Consumerism There is no need to despise material blessings. Not every type of consumption is bad. Just remember that things are to be used and people to be loved. Remember too, what Michael Sandel says in his recent book "What Money Can’t Buy", that there are things in life which we cannot commodify or put a price on.
How can we go against the current of the consumeristic culture? 1. Adopt a simpler lifestyle [Read and reread Matthew 6:25-34]. Our Methodist Social Principles says well when it declares: A Simple Lifestyle and Consumerism. a) We call on all Christians to adopt a simple lifestyle and to be ever conscious and vigilant against the influence of consumerism which thrives on pride and greed. b) A simple lifestyle is not necessarily a call to an ascetic life. It is a spiritual discipline which increases our awareness of God’s presence and providence in our lives. A simple lifestyle frees us to become more sensitive to the needs of the poor and the beauty of God’s world. 2. Learn to be contented. Like Paul we should be able to say with confidence and with peace of mind, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” [Phil 4:12] 3. Exercise generosity. When we free ourselves from the consuming power of consumerism, we will have the added freedom to share and to care generously. I like the popular song, “Give Thanks.” But next time when you sing this song, please include a verse to say, “And now let the rich say I will share, and let the strong say I will care because of what the Lord has done for us, Give thanks.” Being generous should be something natural for Christians who have experienced God’s generosity and love.
Conclusion I want to suggest to you that the accurate answer to the question posed by Jesus “who do you say I am” is not in what you say but how you live your life. A person’s true belief; a person’s view of Jesus is not found in how well you verbalise your creed but in how you allow your faith and the teachings of Jesus to give you meaning in life, to shape your valuesystem and to form your character.
Mission Trip to Chakia had no knowledge about diseases such as T.B, cancer, diabetes etc, they were slow in seeking treatment for their illness. The local residents in and around this place attended this camp and God enabled us to have new contacts to preach the word of God. Many people were cured from their illnesses and blessed by our Lord through the fervent prayers of the KKMC Team and the ministers of our mission field. The presence of God was moving throughout these days. We are very grateful for all the efforts made by KKMC to conduct this camp in a successful manner.
From 17 to24 February 2013, a team of 7 members visited our missionaries Christraj and Glory in Chakia, India. The team comprised 5 doctors, Caleb Teo, Winston Chin, Shermin Tan, Edward Tan and Charlene Kwa, and 2 nondoctors, Lim Chew Ker and Bella Chin. Over 5 days, the team ministered to 3335 patients from the surrounding villages. At the end of the trip, Rev D Samuel Thomas, General Secretary of the Indian Missionary Society wrote:
By the grace of God, the medical camp at Chakia mission field, Uttar Predesh was held for 5 days from 18th to 22nd February 2013 by the KKMC team. 3335 patients received medical treatment at no cost. As these patients
Some of the team members share their experience on of this trip.
KAMPONG KAPOR METHODIST CHURCH – mission trip This is my second mission trip to Chakia and I am very pleased to be able to bear witness to God’s hand moving in this field and in India as a whole.
Not only were the children touched by God in this camp. I met 2 men who helped during the entire 5-day camp with the hectic work of registration and crowd control. I had observed that despite the hard work, they maintained a sense of peace, purpose and joy throughout the days. I had thought that they were local evangelists, under the hire of the Indian Missionary Society, doing their job by assisting the camp and wanted to congratulate them on their hard work and spirit. I then found out that they were volunteers from the nearby village who had heard of this camp and taken time out of their work to come and help with no thought of any reward except for the joy of participating in God’s work!
During the first trip in November 2011, we ran a medical camp for 3 days with 4 doctors. Our missionaries Christraj and Glory, as well as several other local missionaries, assisted us with their wonderful organizational skills and tireless work. We saw over 1000 patients and that trip was an incredible success. Building on that previous trip, this year’s medical camp treated 3335 patients over 5 days. A good number of patients were open to receive prayer.
With these examples of the children and the locals being touched by God and moved by the spirit, I am convinced that this field will continue to grow under the servant leadership of Christraj and Glory. I am honoured as well to be able to work with them, to draw from their faith and to learn from their spirit. Even as Paul reminds us that “beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news”, I will always be blessed to be able to participate in ministry with such as these, and to bring God’s light into the darkness of poverty and spiritual blindness.
Every day of the camp we witnessed God’s grace, mercy and great love for the lost in India. Right on the first day we were able to appreciate the power of corporate prayer as we saw God act upon the weather to allow us to access the site. For the week before our arrival, the rains and flooding of the roads raised concerns that we would not be able to travel from Varanasi to the site. However, the prayers of the church and our friends in India moved God to stop the rain just the night before our arrival and dry up the roads to allow us to reach the site.
Jai Masih! Praise the Lord! Before we arrived, Christraj and Glory realised that they would not have any other missionaries who would be able to come to help with translation work! By faith, they believed that God will provide the hands to help and persisted in broadcasting a full 5-day camp. They were led to teach the older children of the hostel every night over a period of 3 weeks to translate medical terms to English, and these incredible boys became our brilliant translators over the 5 days of camp! They were tireless just as Christraj and Glory were tireless. When asked, they expressed that they were honoured to be able to help in this work for the poor and they wanted to emulate the hard work and spirit of Christraj and Glory! Caleb treating a patient
mission trip – KAMPONG KAPOR METHODIST CHURCH
But it was through this veil of negativity that we really saw God’s love and faithfulness for his people shine through. Right from the first day, we saw how God answered our prayers and act upon the weather to allow us (and the patients) to access the medical camp.
What really struck the both of us was the impact the lives of our 2 missionaries have had on the local people in the surrounding villages. They started off in a hostile environment where the locals were closed towards the gospel. Christianity was seen as an invasion of a foreign culture which the locals did not like. But actions spoke louder than words. Over the past few years, the locals have seen the tremendous love, sincerity and dedication of Christraj and Glory. Now about 10-20% of the villagers are Christians. More importantly, the Christians are no longer ostracized but instead live in harmony with the other religious groups. The non Christians have opened up to Christraj and Glory and are actively supporting the work they are doing. I found it particularly heartwarming when one of the older boys in the boarding school shared with us that he wanted to go to bible school and become a missionary. Praise be to God!
We were tasked with setting up a medical camp which saw 3335 patients in 5 days. But despite the humongous number of patients we saw, we knew that the bulk of the work was in fact done by the other members of the team—our prayer warriors, and of course missionaries Christraj and Glory. The preparation for this camp started long before we arrived.
Personally, this trip has been a journey of faith for the both of us. Proverbs 3:5-6 shone through as God walked with us through immigrations and customs, paved the way to the camp site and strengthened us at the end of each day to fellowship with our hosts and the children. Indeed, we were blessed to experience God’s faithfulness each and every step of the way.
Christraj and Glory trained the hostel children to act as our translators. A week before we arrived, they did a mock simulation of the medical camp where Christraj and glory were the doctors, the younger children the patients, and the older boys the translators. These kids eventually became the anchors of our whole camp, helping us with the translation through the 5 days. Even the infrastructure that we had was mindblowing. A tentage that arose overnight from an empty grass field was sophisticated enough to have a queue system (which separated males from females), a dedicated pharmacy, consultation tables for each of us and private examination rooms.
We would strongly encourage everyone to come join us and experience God’s bountiful love for his people.
This is the first trip up to Chakia for both Charlene and me. In my previous mission trips to Lahu, I realised that first times don’t sit very well with me. Prior to this trip, I was still complaining about spending our very limited and precious leave going to a land of hardship. Landing in the Varanasi airport and having a bad experience with the customs officers did not do much in boosting my enthusiasm either.
Edward and Charlene
This was my second trip and I was one of the two nondoctors on the team. Although there was no direct preaching of the gospel during the medical camp, prayers were offered to those who were open to it. The villagers who walked into the church compound for medical treatment would see a church building with the cross high up on the roof. Setting foot into the church compound was a first step for the majority of these folks who would otherwise never do so. This medical mission is at the end of the day a seed planting mission. We pray for the fruits to be manifold as time unfolds.
The work that Christraj and Glory have done in the Chakia field is nothing short of amazing. They have worked tirelessly in shaping the field into what it is today. By the grace of God, they have been able to increase the number of children in the hostel to 61. Christraj and Glory care for and love every one of these hostel children like their own. They provide a takeaway lunch box for every kid and daily “tuition” after school.
I have been truly blessed by the experience and through witnessing the tireless love, faith and dedication of our missionaries Christraj and Glory as they run the church and the hostel for 61 children and a clinic to dispense medication to the villagers there. God is indeed growing the Chakia field for a plentiful harvest. Please continue to pray for the health and work of our 2 missionaries Christraj and Glory, and the poor villagers over there to come to hear the Gospel that will give them hope and new life. To God be the Glory!
With their God-given talents and skills, Christraj would easily be a highly paid executive and Glory a senior level nurse manager or director in our public hospitals; but they have stayed true to God’s calling and to them their reward is being able to bring so many more people than they otherwise would have been able to, to experience God’s love.
Edward treating a patient Chew Ker praying for a lady Team with hostel girls
KAMPONG KAPOR METHODIST CHURCH – mission trip
We were blessed with the opportunity to visit a nearby village, and were invited into the homes of some of the believers. These people had so little, yet had such big hearts and offered their best to us. Their joy was evident, despite facing persecution and discrimination. Some believers shared that they were not given governmental support to rebuild their houses because of their faith, yet they remained steadfast in their love and trust in God. Faith, hope and love were seen in a tangible form when we visited an intelligent young man, B, who had multiple brain tumours for more than a year. His mother had consulted us during our last medical camp, but there was little else we could do but pray. I continued praying for him over the past year, not knowing how he had fared. By the time we visited him this trip, L-R Chew Ker, Caleb, Charlene, Edward, Glory, Christraj, Jebukamar, Shermin, Winston and Bella he had lost his ability to see and hear, and his family communicated with him by writing on If you are interested in making a mission trip, please contact his palm. He did not speak much, except to say firstname.lastname@example.org or 62937997. 'Jaimasee' (‘Praise the Lord’ in Hindi) when we held his hand and prayed for him. His parents Scheduled mission trips in 2013 also shared that their faith and hope in God was Children’s Primary 5 Trip to Batam : 1-3 June 2013 what kept them going, as they cared for their WSCS Trip to Batam : 12-14 July 2013 disabled son. Young Adults Trip to Batam : 9-11 August 2013 Chakia Medical Mission Trip : To be confirmed. Possible periods are It has been a great privilege for me to play a November 2013 or February 2014 small part in God's work in India, and I have Children’s Primary 6 Trip to Lahu : 27 Nov – 2 Dec 2013 been deeply encouraged and challenged by Christmas Trip to Lahu : 6-18 Dec 2013 the embodiment of Christ's love by our fellow believers. We have much to learn from their faith in God despite adversity, sickness and persecution. Indeed, there is so much to be done, whether locally, India, or wherever else that God places us. What we need is God's love, grace and wisdom, and faith to believe that He is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us. May we be faithful to His calling and continue to uphold our brothers and sisters in India with our prayers, participation and support.
Villagers coming for medical treatment Glory - best hostel Mom, with Christraj
KK FAMILY SERVICE CENTRE – KAMPONG KAPOR METHODIST CHURCH
Kampong Kapor Family Service Centre Our Principal Social Worker at the Kampong Kapor Family Service Centre, Ms Lee Yean Wun, was featured in the Straits Times on 1 April 2013 as one of only seven Master Social Workers in Singapore. This is a way of recognising her experience and abilities as a social worker. Yean Wun has 27 years of experience in social work, including 12 years with the KKFSC where she served as the Centre’s director before taking on her current role as the Principal Social Worker. KK Focus catches up with Yean Wun and finds out more about her passion for helping others. KK Focus: Congratulations on being recognised as a Master Social Worker. Please tell us, what is a Master Social Worker? I see it as a scheme rather than a person. Manpower shortage is always an issue in the social work sector. This shortage is more acute when it comes to experienced social workers. The ‘master social worker’ scheme aims to build capabilities and raise practice standards by getting seasoned social workers to mentor other senior social workers or directors, by sharing our knowledge, skills and practice wisdom with them. KK Focus: Which Family Service Centres have you been mentoring? What do you do there and how has the experience been? I have been attached to Care Corner; Tampines FSC & Woodlands FSC in my role as a Master Social Worker. I
and hopes. Some perhaps were more idealistic than others. I was working with at-risk youths. Hours were long and I even started skipping church as there were many activities on Sundays. My parents complained that I would just come home late at night, go into my room and the next day be out of the house again – I was literally too tired to talk.
It has been an enriching experience. It is also, in some ways, affirming when I share certain practice wisdom accumulated over the years and these appear to make some sense to others. Interacting with workers outside KKFSC has helped me to expand my own vision and their energy to learn is most rewarding as I feel refreshed and my interest is renewed.
I think I just poured my heart and soul as a very new worker. I did not have a supervisor and in fact my only support was another social worker as fresh as I was. I vividly remember an incident that made me break down and cry. I cried during a debrief with the youth I was working with because I was so angry and disappointed that the boys got into a fight during a soccer competition that they actually won. I shocked myself as I don’t cry. I remember asking myself if I what I was doing with the boys was enough to make a difference. If it was not enough, was it because I lacked the knowledge or maybe as a person I just did not have the traits to be a good enough social worker?
KK Focus: Were there any times when you wanted to give up being a social worker? I think the hardest point was my initial years. Fresh out of school as a social worker, I held certain aspirations
KK Focus: What made you continue as a social worker? I prayed long and hard about staying; I remember very clearly the words “He will give you all that you need if you are doing His work…do not doubt
work with the core senior team on areas of reviewing and streamlining casework structure; such as developing assessment framework, risk assessment, as well as in areas of programme development and outreach.
KAMPONG KAPOR METHODIST CHURCH – KK FAMILY SERVICE CENTRE / KKMC kindergarten Him” coming to my mind. I knew in my heart that I really enjoyed being with my clients even if some of them made me want to tear my hair out some of the time. I enjoyed the challenge of how every day was different and every client/family was different. I came to accept that when we deal with people there was no-one-size-fits-all method or solution. As a professional enabler I needed to always learn more. So instead of letting my doubts about my work get me down; the doubts, the setbacks pushed me on. I thank God for He has richly blessed me to be able to do what I do and to enjoy doing it. After 27 years there are still some days that I leave the office at night after a session and I can feel a ‘high’ and in the mornings when I walk to the office I feel a ‘bounce’. KK Focus: If KKFSC were to cease operating today, who in the community would miss us the most? If KKFSC were not here, hopefully no one will miss us because it would mean we have done a good job. KK Focus: Do you have any advice for people thinking of entering social work? Social work is a ‘helping/enhancing’ profession that works with the vulnerable and needy. A social worker needs to have the passion as well as
the willingness to meet the required standard of practice as a professional. Hence, a balance of heart and mind are needed. As professionals we acquire skills & knowledge to be better at servicing our clients. Yet there must a fair balance of ‘heart’ – the key essence of developing and growing a helping relationship. If it is a job worth doing, it is worth putting in the effort needed. It is not an easy job, it does not pay very well, there is not much of a career path to speak of and there will be lots of knocks and setbacks. For some of us, social work can be fulfilling and be more than a job. It is a blessing to be paid to fulfill my passion in helping the needy. KK Focus: Is there a role for volunteers in social work or are professional staff in a better position to help the needy? We all help differently and have different roles to play. As volunteers, the relationship formed with the client might be more informal and this could open doors for help to be given in many ways that professional workers are unable to. KK Focus: What does your family think about you being in social work? I am the youngest of 6 children. My parents and siblings were initially not happy with my choice of study. They
had suggested I go into law, business or accountancy. When I was working with higher risk groups, spending long hours and struggling so hard in my first job, they were worried for me. Over the years they have come to respect what I do and know that I enjoy my work. My husband and children are very supportive but I have also had to cut down a little on my work to be fair to my family. KK Focus: Are there goals that you would still like to reach as a social worker? I don’t set goals; I tend to not plan too far personally. This is a blessing. I enjoy what I do and I’ll keep trying to get better at what I am doing. That is more than enough. KK Focus: Thank you, Yean Wun. May God use you to make a positive difference in the lives of people around KKFSC and in the other centres you are assigned to mentor. The committed full-time staff at our KKFSC are making a huge difference in the lives of people in our neighbourhood. The work can be enhanced by the presence of KKMC members in volunteer roles. Please contact the KKFSC at 6299 7662 to find out how you, too, can make a difference.
Ms Linda Wah is the principal of the Kampong Kapor Methodist Church Kindergarten. Joining us in November 2012, she has been working hard to help the KKMC Kindergarten become the pre-school centre of choice for our community. KK Focus finds out more about Linda and what has been happening around the KKMC Kindergarten. KK Focus: Tell us, how did you get into early childhood education? I was a housewife caring for 6 children. When my youngest child was 5 years old, I felt the need to return to the work force, partly because of our expanding family needs. I was looking out for a job that would enable me to spend time with my family and I chanced upon a teaching position offered by a kindergarten near my home. The location was within walking distance from my home and it met my needs. That was how I got started. With no experience in this field, I attended my first training class and since then the quest to learn more about early childhood education has not ceased. I went on to teach in church-linked kindergartens before joining KK Kindergarten. KK Focus: What do you enjoy most about early childhood education? As a family-oriented person with many children, I simply love children and that is what I enjoy most in early childhood education.
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KKMC kindergarten â€“ KAMPONG KAPOR METHODIST CHURCH
Aniu, co happy p ok: This kinde rg lace to work in arten is a . Ms Lim, Nursery Class: The children are so enjoyable in their curiosity. As they learn and share their discoveries, I find myself learning from them too! They are so fun to be with.
It is challenging to interact with children, understand their needs and meet their needs. Every child is unique and different in every aspect. Up until today, I am still learning from the children and they open doors to discovery for me. KK Focus: What is the current state of the KKMC kindergarten? Are there any new initiatives being planned? Currently the kindergarten has a relatively small enrolment. I did a survey when I wanted to start an enrichment programme and the response was not too good. Nonetheless, we are looking into other programmes like abacus, speech and drama and science enrichment programmes that will benefit the children. We are getting feedback from parents on the type of programmes they would like for their children. KK Focus: How do you see the KKMC Kindergarten serving the community? The KKMC Kindergarten is serving the community by providing a quality pre-school education for children. Apart from skills and knowledge, parents like the way we try to mould the childrenâ€™s character. Every session begins with the children gathered for assembly. A short bible story is shared and the children are taught virtues like acts of love, compassion and charity. They are taught to practice these virtues in school and at home. The teachers, too, demonstrate these virtues to the children. We have received positive feedback from parents of the love, care and concern the teachers had displayed to their children.
Miss Henry, PreNursery Class: It is so fulfilling to be the childrenâ€™s first teacher when they come to KKMC Kindergarten. They come in unable to do many things but they are all so happy and teachable. I find it a joy to be the teacher who teaches these toddlers their ABCs, how to sing and dance, and the basic skills.
Mrs Helen Lai, K2 Class: I love teaching the children to read as speech and reading ability will open new worlds for them and prepare them for Primary One. I also put emphasis on character building and teach them good manners. These are lifeskills they will need.
role may be to help a child who needs to use the toilet. Without such extra help, the teacher may have to stop the lesson to attend to the child. The extra shepherding hands will make the kindergarten a more conducive and safe environment for the kids entrusted to our care. We are also praying for the physical facilities. The current set-up has its limitations. Our teachers are dedicated and committed, and have been doing a wonderful job in working within the space we have. Please join us in praying that we find solutions to our physical constraints. KK Focus: What do you enjoy doing when you are not working? I am always working even when I am not at the kindergarten. However, I make time to prepare healthy meals for my family. I enjoy gardening and I make time to tend my little garden. I enjoy listening to praise and worship songs. I also enjoy the simple pleasure of having a cup of coffee in the company and love of my family. KK Focus: Which church do you attend and how are you involved there? I usually attend St Michael's Church. However, with many churches in Singapore and the various timings for mass, I now attend a number of churches based on the schedule for the day. I was a catechist (Sunday school teacher), but stepped down due to family commitments. KK Focus: Thank you, Linda. The KKMC Kindergarten is looking for volunteers. If you can spare a few hours of your day, once a week, a fortnight or even a month, the KKMC Kindergarten would welcome your presence. Volunteers have found working with these young children a truly joyful and rewarding experience. If interested, please contact either Vivian Ang at email@example.com or the principal Linda Wah at firstname.lastname@example.org.
KK Focus: What role can KKMC members play in the KKMC Kindergarten? The members of the church can help by sending us shepherds to look after our flock. We need volunteers to be an extra help for the teachers in looking after the children. The volunteer
KAMPONG KAPOR METHODIST CHURCH – KKMC Lifegroups / seminars
Around our LifeGroups The “Bridge” is a Life Group formed in 2007 comprising mainly young adults in their early 20s. With a special love for hymns, choral and organ music, our group members have been attending the 9.30am worship services regularly. By the grace of God, we have grown from 3 persons in 2007 to 15 strong today. We believe that this is the work of the Holy Spirit and our commitment to the ministry of evangelism. One of our aims as a LifeGroup is to share Christ with our friends in an inviting and friendly atmosphere. We decided to invite our friends over the Lunar New Year for a celebration. As we prepared for the outreach, we prayed earnestly for the Lord to touch the
hearts and lives of the friends whom we read Dr Teo's testimony on Facebook. had invited. The session was thought-provoking, challenging us to think deeper about The event was held on Sunday, 17 the need for value and purpose in our Feb 2013, at KKMC. With the theme lives. While we concluded by offering of blessedness (based on the Chinese the Christian perspective of a blessed word "福"), the afternoon started with life, the session left both Bridge a couple of games; first charades, then members and guests pondering deeper an innovation challenge, where groups of how they could apply this new were provided with limited ingredients understanding to their lives. to make their own 'yusheng'. The activities contributed to a light-hearted We were happy to note a few of the atmosphere and fostered friendships invited guests indicated that they between hosts and guests. would like to join us for future events. We pray that we will be continue to be After this, we shared the testimony of used by God for His greater glory even the late Dr Richard Teo, an aesthetic as we plan follow-up and engagements. surgeon who battled cancer, with our guests. Some of the guests could Soli deo Gloria! (Latin: To God be the relate to the testimony as they had Glory) Feedback from members and guests: Victor, "I gained insight into the meaning of life. I was deeply impacted by Mr Stephen Tay's sharing on living everyday like it's the last. I want to achieve it too but it is a struggle." Caleen, "I enjoyed the session! The company was fun and the learning good, reminding me the importance of getting to know God. Life isn't about money or power, it's the relationships you have in your life and God; the relationship with our Father is the most important one!"
Upper Room Experience
On Saturday, 30 March 2013, some 50 persons gathered to observe the last Passover meal Jesus celebrated with his disciples. Organised by the Discipleship and Nurture Committee (D&N) and the Women’s Society for Christian Service (WSCS), many participants gained a deeper understanding of Christ’s death and resurrection. Imagine being able to go back in time and witnessing some of the events recorded in the Bible. Imagine witnessing Jesus having the last supper with his disciples. Wow! Okay, so time travel is out. So what’s the next best thing? Participating in the reenactment of the Last Supper – KKMC’s The Upper Room Experience. Why take part? I wanted to know Jesus more clearly and more intimately so that I can be a better follower of Jesus.
Victor Lai sounding the shofar at the start of the Upper Room Experience
The whole event took slightly more than 3 hours but it did not feel like it was that long at all for all of us really got into it.
Ming Cherng did a wonderful job of taking us all through the Seder (the order of service used in celebrating the traditional Jewish Passover). It was solemn but at the same time tremendously interesting and informative. Most importantly, I was reminded of how thankful I must be for all the good things that God has done for me; and of Jesus’s wonderful love for me, His atoning death on the cross for my sins. Post note: Although the reason for participating was not because of the food, for the record, the food was excellent especially the lamb.
Mr Khor Kheng Guan
seminars – KAMPONG KAPOR METHODIST CHURCH The Upper Room Experience is a good experience for first-timers like me as I realised the significance of Good Friday and Easter was more than just a long holiday. It is good to keep talking about certain traditions to know how precise God is. Even though we did not really do the actual foot washing, when the basin was passed around for washing, I felt overwhelmed knowing that Jesus really loved us.
Participating in The Upper Room Experience was indeed a new and meaningful journey for me. I enjoyed gathering as a multi-generational community around the table, and learning about the significance of the Passover meal. I especially felt that this experience brought me closer to Jesus - the Person of Jesus came alive to me in a fresh real way, and I can only love Him more.
As a family we decided to observe Holy Week differently from previous years. So it was a godsend when Ming Cherng approached us on a Sunday Morning in March to register for The Upper Room Experience.
reminded of Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross to bring us redemption from sin.
Ms Jennifer Chan
Mrs Bernice Lai
When we were back home from church and after we had our last bible reading for Holy Week, I paused. Should my children’s decision to accept Christ as their personal Lord and Saviour lie with the Sunday School? NO, I could not assume it would be so. So I asked my children if they wanted to accept Jesus Christ into their life as their Lord and Saviour. Without compulsion, they said Yes. I led in the sinners’ prayer and my wife repeated after me with them. I give thanks to God my Saviour for fulfilling His promise. “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you shall be saved; you and your household”. This promise was fulfilled when I was a teen and my dad rededicated his life, my mum and my brother came to know Christ. And it has been fulfilled for my 3 children who were baptised in KKMC when they were younger.
I shared with my children that it would be great to know how unleavened bread tasted like but was surprised that they tasted it before in Sunday School. And when we began daily devotion by reading passages from the Bible to prepare ourselves during the Holy Week, our children could recite the passages as they had memorised them from Cherubim choir practice. The reenactment of the Passover meal consisted of 15 elaborate steps and it was amazing that my children were able to sit through the explanations. A lot of effort was put in by the D&N and WSCS team committees to make the process as simple and meaningful for us. We really enjoyed the new experience, culminating with the Lord’s Supper. We learned how every part of the Passover meal had a significant imagery pointing to Christ’s fulfillment the Old Testament. Through the symbols, we were powerfully
Praise the Lord! All Glory be to God, our Saviour and Redemeer, for our God saves. Amen.
1. Participants at the Upper Room Experience. 2. Experiencing the Upper Room meal as a family.
By This Name
After completing the Alpha course, the next natural step for me was to know more about God’s word and so I signed up for the “By This Name” course. The course is based on a book written by John R. Cross. Prior to By This Name Seminar is attending the course, the Bible had always been confusing for me. I did one of the Discipleship not know where to start reading it and how to read it the way it is meant and Nurture programmes to be understood. designed to help people understand the message The course helped to me to make sense of the Old Testament and the of the Bible and how that New Testament. I learnt the time period about significant events in the is relevant in our time. Bible and how God’s promise to fulfill certain events always came to pass. It is conducted twice a The course was almost like a summary of the Bible, highlighting the key year over 7 sessions on points. As such, when I read the Bible now, the contextual background Friday evenings. The acquired during the course allows better and easier understanding of the first seminar ran from 4 verse or chapter which I am reading. January to 22 February. How did this seminar Above it all, I am truly convinced that my faith is not a blind one, but one benefit the participants? that resulted from knowing God’s longstanding history and in believing that the God whom I trust is loving and perfectly just.
KAMPONG KAPOR METHODIST CHURCH – seminar / article
I am teaching the Primary 5s in the Disciple Kids and the P5 curriculum is similar to the By This Name content. Thus, I attended the course to help me prepare for the lessons better. Initially, I thought the seminar would be nothing more than a review of Bible stories that I already knew. It was only after I attended the course that I realised that the entire Biblical narrative was one big story from start to finish. While I used to have a somewhat piecemeal understanding of the Old Testament's relation to the New Testament, this course made me gain a clearer understanding of the Bible as a whole. Through a very focused and directed material, I was able to see God's intervention in the history of man from creation all the way to our present age. It was an eye opener for me to learn and be refreshed by many things like man being cut off from his source of life (God) when he sinned and the receiving of eternal and abundant life when one trusts in Jesus.
Furthermore, I also realised that there were many 'hidden' pieces in the Bible that I often overlooked due to wording or context in the past. An example would be the section on the birth of Jesus where Malachi 3:1 was highlighted. 400 years before the birth of Christ, God had told the prophet Malachi that 'see, I will send MY MESSENGER, who will prepare the way before ME.....'. While I used to gloss over such verses, the connection was just too hard to ignore! God has spoken that He Himslef would come to the earth, and He did it in Christ Jesus. Through very thought provoking material, By This Name brings one through the entire story of the Bible and makes the understanding of the Christian message crystal clear. I would truly encourage anyone who wants a clearer understanding of his or her faith and people curious about the story of the Bible to attend this course! Come and be blessed!
Dishon Mathew David
The next By This Name Seminar starts on Friday, 5 July 2013, 7.30-10.00pm at KKMC. Please contact email@example.com if you are interested to find out more or to register for the course. Course Facilitators Ben Quek and Choong Soo Ming use a variety of props and visuals aids to help participants understand the Bible better.
Article: God Can Do A You Simply Give
Amos and Jennifer Kwok
As believers, Jesus Christ commands us to take the gospel to the ends of the earth. Though we may not all be called to go into foreign lands, we are able to look around us and find opportunities to share the gospel. Each one of us is in a mission field! Often the challenge is knowing what to say and also having enough time to explain the gospel accurately. If you have less than five minutes and someone asked you about the gospel, what would you do?
I attend St Vincent de Paul church and was invited by my friends to attend this class. I am so glad that I did. I am a church go-er, but I was not in any ministry. I did not read the Bible religiously, and when I do, I sometimes mis-interpret and get confused. In this course of 7 lessons, we covered the key events in the whole Bible. The events highlighted lets us understand what happened in the past, and with this understanding, we know what is going to happen in the future, and what we should do now in anticipation of the future. The book draws connection of every event that happened in the Old Testament and proves that Jesus is the Messiah. This course is meant for everyone. For people like me, I can actually 'read' the whole bible through the summary given in By This Name. It gave me have a better understanding, and it made me what to read the Bible again. For people who have been reading the Bible religiously, I believe it is a useful refresher, as there are definitely some events that we may have overlooked.
Miracle When A Book Away
Well, you can give away a book that explains the gospel. It’s as simple as that.
people who have either given or received a book. Here are several of them.
One of the things we have been privileged to witness is how God uses the simple act of giving away a book to transform a person’s life. We may never be eloquent or remember the right words to say but we can all give away books. In just over the ten months we’ve been in Canada, we have been hearing marvellous testimonies the world over from
Sheffield: I read it and my eyes were opened! “Last week, I gave a Chinese friend the Mandarin edition of “The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus”. She read it in a few days and on Sunday night she trusted Jesus as her Saviour. Praise God. She said her eyes had been open to see that although she thought she was a good person she wasn't!”
article – KAMPONG KAPOR METHODIST CHURCH
He became a believer and bought our Spanish edition of “The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus” for his mother. We never know how God uses the books. He knows exactly who is seeking answers and the books make their way into the right hands. Giving a book away can make a powerful impact on another person’s life.
Giving away By This Name book in Thailand
Chiang Mai: We want to reach 6 million Thais Recently, GoodSeed managed to complete and print the Thai translation of “By This Name”. Our representative and his team in Chiang Mai have a personal vision of giving the books to 6 million Thais. They have been going around and simply giving the book to all who are willing to read it. We are amazed at some of the people who have taken a copy of the book. Religious leaders, coffeeshop owners, university librarians, army recruits and even the royal family are taking the book and reading. The book was designed to be taught and also to be read. Our friends in Chiang Mai are really living out the lifestyle of giving the gospel away at every opportunity. In a country that has so few Christians, we are amazed that God has led our brothers and sisters in Christ to be so bold in giving out hundreds and hundreds of copies of the book. Mexico: Finding God at the dentist’s clinic We can never know the impact of giving away a book but here’s one story we heard from a dentist in Mexico. He was given a copy of “By This Name”. He had a rough idea of its content but he never read it. He left the book in his waiting room. A patient, while waiting for his appointment, picked up the book and started to read and was gripped by it. The nurse told the patient he could keep the copy for they knew where they could get more. The patient was overjoyed for he had been seeking answers about God for a long time.
Chicago: The bus driver’s life was transformed John Cross and his wife Janice were on an airport shuttle bus and John had a chat with the driver. The conversation led to spiritual things and John asked if the bus driver liked to read. The bus driver said he did so John gave him a copy of “The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus”. As it turns out, the bus driver didn’t like to read all that much and at the lunchroom, he threw the book down on the table as he sat down for his meal. A fellow bus driver picked up the book, glanced at it and asked the first driver if he could read it. The first bus driver told the second driver he could keep the book since he wasn’t interested. A week later, John and Janice were on a second bus. When they arrived at the airport, Janice waited with their luggage while John went to get a trolley. The bus driver noticed a box with the words “The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus” printed on it. He asked Janice if she was connected with the book. When he found out that Janice was the author’s wife, he got excited. From the bus, he produced a dog-eared copy of “The Stranger”. He was the second bus driver who had taken the book and he had spent the week reading through it. His life had been transformed and he was so glad to be able to meet Janice to thank her. He was now a believer. Florida: I finally understand who the Messiah is! Two men, who knew each other casually, got to sharing about their backgrounds. One of them was a Jewish man who confessed that he didn’t know much about his heritage despite growing up in a Jewish home. His friend told him that he had a book
that helped to explain things about God, the Torah and the Jewish faith. He offered it to his Jewish friend who said he was willing to read the book. His friend gave him a copy of “The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus”. A week later, the two friends met up. The Jewish man told his friend that the book was very interesting. He was learning all kinds of things about his own faith that he had not understood before. He was looking forward to finishing the book. More time passed and the two friends met up again. The giver of the book asked his Jewish friend what he thought of the book. The Jewish man’s face lit up. “You know, I’ve finally understood who the Messiah is. It’s Jesus Christ. I believe!” These are just a few of the many stories coming to us from all over the world. As we’ve come to realise, God has his way of arranging circumstances, people and the books so that the much-needed gospel lands in the hands of the person who needs it the most. We have seen people keep a box of GoodSeed books at their homes or in their car. They keep a keen eye out for opportunities and when they are in a store talking to the cashier, or when they are chatting with the electrician fixing something in their house, they often end up offering a book that explains the gospel. These people see giving a book as a personal ministry. We have learnt from their examples and we now have a “Be Ready” box in our van. Just the other day, we gave away two copies “By This Name” to the mother of one of our boys' classmates. We believe everyone can cultivate a lifestyle where we are always prepared to share the gospel at a moment’s notice, either by explaining it to someone or by simply giving a book. Check out the tools that GoodSeed has to help explain the gospel clearly by visiting www.goodseed.com. For more testimonies and updates from, go to GoodSeed’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ goodseed
KAMPONG KAPOR METHODIST CHURCH – dads' ministry
Lim Fang How I started my daily family devotion time. Initially it was 2 tough! Try getting children aged 4 to 12 to be sit down without any attractive materials from the Sunday School! When I was going through the devotion, memories of my cynical remark to a colleague of mine who shared with me about his weekly family devotion 10 years ago flashes through my mind. “It is so tough to prepare the materials and to get the family seated down on a Friday night! I’d rather watch a movie!”
I have been attending KKMC for the past 6 years. I started joining the morning service at 8:00am so that I could check out the church before bringing the rest of the family. The initial feeling was good. I could feel the family values the church wanted to bring to her members. I saw that families had been worshipping in the church for generations, something I felt missing, coming from someone who attended one of the “mega churches”. Over the years, as the children grew, I began to bring them one by one to Sunday School. It was great to see the older ones always coming home to share with the younger ones what they had learnt in Sunday School. Eventually, all my 4 kids became part of the KKMC Sunday School.
I am so blessed that I can reuse the daily materials such as Our Daily Bread and the Songs of Praise through WhatsApp that I received in the morning (6:30am) from our group leader, Kelvin. Now, the children enjoy it so much and I must confess that sometimes after a tiring Sunday outing in the park, the children are the ones still asking for the Bible Study which I happily oblige even though I think of skipping it and put them to bed.
My elder child had her PSLE last year. As with most parents in Singapore, the world revolved around her during that year, i.e. driving her to-and-fro from tuition, remedial classes, doing DSA etc. When the exams were over, I suddenly felt a sense of emptiness. I begin to question whether parenthood was all about changing diapers when they were young and being their “driver” or provider during their schooling years. What was the most valuable gift of love I could to impart to my children? Was providing them a “good” education both academically and morally sufficient?
As fathers journey through our daily challenges – such as work, children’s schedules, illnesses, etc., we pray for each other and offer support for each other through this long but fulfilling journey!
For weeks, I prayed about it and began to look for the answer. I told myself that if I could not find the answer in KKMC, maybe it was time for me to look for the next Church. Happily, my prayer was answered. In one of those dazed moments of waiting for my younger kids to finish their rehearsal for a church concert, I bumped into one of those “Hi-Bye Sunday Brothers” – Herman. He invited me to join the Fathers’ Prayer Group and I agreed as I was looking for a filler to bridge the waiting time for the Discipline Kid’s lessons to finish at 11:30am. With a skeptical mind, I attended the first session. The dads' group started on the material from the “Courageous” DVD – a movie about how to be a God-like man, husband and father. I watched the movie with my family and coupled with lessons from the course book, I found the answer I was looking for :
One of the fulfilling events I must share was the Date with Dad event (organised by Focus on the Family, Singapore picture above) that brother Herman chanced upon. It was an intimate High Tea Date with our daughters. The programme consisted of fun bonding games, meaningful conversations and intentional letter writing, culminating in a touching presentation of the “Worth the Wait” purity ring by fathers to their daughters. A group of us together with our daughters (age 10 and above) attended and it was so refreshing. Both my daughter and I realised that how little we know of each other. It really bonded us much more!
The most valuable gift I want to impart to my kids is the Gift of Christian Faith. I want them to have faith in God’s word and be fearful of GOD as this is the beginning of the wisdom.
I am thankful that GOD has given me the answer through this Dads’ Ministry and awakened me with the Courageous Bible Study. Through this group, I am slowly but surely instilling basic Christian practices in my family. I hope to reach out to meet the needs of more fathers according to the will of our Heavenly Father.
Ironically, I found the next PSLE for myself from the DAD’s ministry motto: Prayers, Support and Equipping each other to be spiritual Leader in our families. Now P.S.L.E is part of my daily life.
CHOIR / tamil ministry – KAMPONG KAPOR METHODIST CHURCH
Celestial Choir Reboot
Lianne, 2nd from left
Wendy Siew used to conduct the Celestial Choir that ministered at the 8am worship services in the 1990s. The choir disbanded as the choristers entered different stations in their lives. After many years of silence, Wendy felt led to restart the Celestial Choir. What led to that decision? Wendy shares: I came back to KKMC some time in 2010 after many years of back-sliding. I have my mum to thank for bringing me back. When one stays away from church for a long time, the act of worship becomes alien and awkward. This made me grateful for the simple, traditional way we worship in KKMC with the pipe organ and hymns. It wasn't too long before God planted the thought in me to gather a small group for an offertory. He also provided Lianne Ong joined the Celestial Choir at the beginning of this year. She shares how she came to join them. I used to sing in the Chancel choir until 2004, when my husband and I relocated to Sydney. When we returned four years later, it was difficult to join the choir as we had a young child. Rehearsal times before and after service were challenging on
Wendy Siew Conducting
a song - it was an old music score tucked in my sister Mavis' piano chair. It took a few months of prayer before I would have the courage to wave this score at few familiar faces at the breakfast table, asking if they would join me.
fuss, and we would have continued cruising along if not for Pastor Kenneth's gentle but firm direction on re-starting the Celestial Choir again. I resisted it at first but it was clear God had a plan.
And that was the start of our little group.
Today, we have 14 members including Kelvin & Caroline - husband and wife who thought they were joining us for a one-off stint. (They soon found out this was not to be the case.) Together with new members Karen, Ming Cherng, Lianne, Geraldine, Kan How and Tiong Hin, we sing every 4th Sun of each month. It is still a leap of faith each time and only by God's mercy.
God provided a strong and talented group of core members - Lydia, Lynette, Joanna, Ian. At first it was rather ad hoc, made possible only with the help of angels along the way - Germaine, Terence, Alfred, Ruth, Elaine, Adrian & Karen and Ailin. God then also provided another gift - our resident pianist, Carolyn. We even had a name - "Voice Rejoice". It all fell into place without much family logistics. Another relocation and baby later, we returned to Singapore and I wondered if I would ever sing in the choir again or if I would have to wait till my second child was older. To my delight, the Celestial Choir was starting up again. On my second Sunday back at KKMC, Wendy came to ask me to join the choir and I knew
The invitation is open to anyone who feels the call. Join us in glorifying God! If you wish to join the Celestial Choir, please contact Wendy Siew, email: firstname.lastname@example.org. it was the season to sing again. Nine years after my last stint in the choir, I still love singing, seeing the stained glass in the sanctuary sparkling above the congregation, and the buzz of getting things together before the service. But most of all I'm amazed that God answered my prayer to let me sing again - even choir rehearsals are at the perfect timing.
Lenten Meditations 2013
meditations on the Ash Wednesday and on all Fridays leading up to Good Friday. We had all the services in the Chapel. There was a good response and around 35 members regularly attended the services.
Lent is a time of Retrospection, Reflection and Realisation. This year the Tamil ministry held special services with
KAMPONG KAPOR METHODIST CHURCH – Tamil Ministry / mandarin ministry
On Good Friday we meditated on the seven last words of Jesus on the Cross. Seven members from our Congregation led the devotions. That was a time we really felt the pain and suffering of Jesus on the Cross of Calvary.
On the Ash Wednesday we heard from the Book of Joel that we must RETURN. It helped us to come back to God once again from our own ways. The Meditations on Fridays centered around Christian Spirituality. We heard sermons on prayer, meditating God’s word, fasting, alms giving, enduring suffering and holiness. All the sermons were quite useful and led us to think through our lives and make corrections wherever necessary. There was feedback from one member that she learnt not to compromise with the world from the sermon on Holiness.
By attending all these services during lent from Ash Wednesday to Good Friday, I was reminded of Jesus’ words to Martha. “One thing is needful, Mary has chosen the good portion, which shall not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:42)
Missions Sale 2013 Amarnath Poovendran
The main objective of celebrating Easter is to recall the resurrection of Jesus. In my view there is no point in recalling every year the miracle among ourselves unless we do share the experience of having seen the resurrected Lord in our lives. A meaningful Easter celebration will be like Mary Magdalene who witnessed the resurrected Lord first, went and told the disciples that Jesus is Risen. As we witnessed that Jesus is Alive, we must also be ready to share our resources for the Proclammation of the Good News to whom the message is not yet reached. sold during the sale. This year Aaservaatha Thattu (Blessing Tray) was also introduced.
In order to do our part in obeying the great commission of our Lord to proclaim the good new, every year the KKMC Tamil ministry organises the Missions sale on Easter Sunday. This year the sale was held on 31 March to support the ministries in India. The whole Congregation actively participated in some way or other.
The sale was extended to English and Mandarin services where people came out in large numbers to support the sale. Indeed we saw how people who worship God in Little India (Singapore- KKMC) cares and loves for people down in Big India.
This year there were many new avenues for fund raising introduced. Snacks, Tupperware and CDs were brought from India. Gold, phone cards, fruit salad, briyani, dress (tops), Sarees, electronics and handicraft ear rings were
We thank God for the overwhelming response for this sale. We also enjoyed working together for the furtherance of the Gospel. To God be the Glory.
Mandarin Ministry Spiritual 29–30 March 2013
I attended the Mandarin Spiritual retreat and in one session we viewed a short movie of Jim Elliot. He said: 'He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.’ This was a quotation I often see at a clinic. It meant nothing to me until I came to know about Jim Elliot and the five missionaries who died while bringing the gospel to the Auca Tribe in Ecuador. They had weapons to defend themselves but chose not to retaliate, and gave their lives for the Auca tribe. That led me to think of Jesus. Because
Retreat at Kukup
of love, He was willing to bleed, suffer and die on the cross for us. Because of His crucifixion He overcame death for us. Through Him we freely receive the gift of salvation. I feel comforted that
we have become heirs of God and are in His kingdom now. God’s love for us is indeed beyond our understanding. I am reminded once again to love others as we love ourselves.
Mandarin ministry / IN the community – KAMPONG KAPOR METHODIST CHURCH The Mandarin ministry organised a Good Friday cum spiritual retreat on 29–30 March 2013 at Kukup in Southern Johor. The retreat was for leaders of our ministry to get away from the demands of our work and family, so that they could focus on spending time with God and with one another. I was appointed to organise this retreat and I found it very challenging because it was held overseas. Whatever is good in the sight of God is never good in Satan’s eyes as we experienced a series of obstacles: visa problems, negative thoughts of the venue, weaknesses of the flesh, worries and fears, all designed to hinder us from attending. But what can Satan do when Jesus has already defeated him on the cross at Calvary? Alleluia! 27 brothers and sisters signed up for the event. God provided a wonderful retreat chalet built over the sea. What’s more, our beloved Preacher Pau prepared us with much to reflect on. We addressed our current spiritual condition and diagnosed spiritual issues such as boredom in bible reading, losing the ability to pray, doubts, anger, lack
of patience, fear and anxiety, guilt, low self-esteem, and feeling that God seemed far away from us. We realised that these issues were what many of us were struggling with. So in our small groups, we lovingly upheld and strengthened one another in prayer and petition before the Lord. We held a Good Friday service in the afternoon and the next day, woke up at 6.30am for a sunrise service. This was a worship experience we have often longed for, to be like Jesus who woke up early in the morning to be with Abba Father. I thank God for a blessed retreat and must emphasise that it is so crucial for us to set apart a day or two every year, to refresh our relationship with God and one another, for a leap into greater service for the Lord. It is my
prayer that the whole congregation set aside time for this event in 2014. All praise be to the Lord! Amen.
Visit by The Presidential Council on Religious Harmony Gabriel Liew
Kampong Kapor Methodist Church continues to be faithful to God's calling for our unique Inter-Faith ministry.
Council. Council members are appointed by our President Tony Tan Keng Yam. Pastors Kenneth Huang and Gabriel Liew shared with the
The Presidential Council on Religious Harmony visited KKMC on 5 February 2013 to learn about our Ministry of Reconciliation. The role of the Presidential Council on Religious Harmony is 'to give advice to the Minister for Home Affairs on matters affecting the maintenance of religious harmony in Singapore which are referred to it by the Minister or by Parliament, and will make recommendations to the President on restraining orders issued under the Act.' KKMC is honoured to be the first Protestant Church visited by the
respectable Council Members, KKMC's contribution to Religious Harmony in Singapore. After that we had a fruitful discussion over lunch.
KAMPONG KAPOR METHODIST CHURCH – IN the community
KKMC In The Community: Breakfast With Poh Zhi Hui Saturday 2 March 2013 – In the coolness of the morning, residents from the Rowell Court neighbourhood streamed onto the rooftop common area of Blk 638 Veerasamy Road.
There together with MP Denise Phua, members of the Kampong Glam Residents Committee and members of Kampong Kapor Methodist Church mingled. Spreading us out, Ms Fiona Ong and her team of aerobic instructors led us in a series of exercises. The elderly watched on as the rest of us laughed at the realisation that our hands and legs coordination was not as good as we imagined. It was a heart-warming sight – a community of people in glad motion together. Adjourning to the church building, breakfast awaited us after the exercise. Around the tables, as we fellowshipped over food, strangers became friends. Evergreen songs were sung with different ones taking the microphone – karaoke style. Love for neighbor, friendship and contentment were the messages of the day.
MP Denise Phua with community members.
In exercising and eating with our neighbours, the body of Christ follows in the incarnational footsteps of her head and saviour, Jesus Christ; in the hope of that day when we can all feast together at God’s heavenly banquet.
MP Denise Phua exhorted us all not to be a society where we are cold to one another, and to build one in which there is warmth and care.
Breakfast with Love is co-organised by Kampong Kapor Methodist Church and the Kampong Glam Residents' Committee. The next Breakfast With Love will be on Saturdays 27 July and 26 October. Please contact Pastor Gabriel Liew if you would like to participate.
In affirming the need for warmth and care in human society, the world affirms that the Christian Gospel is relevant yesterday, today and everyday. This is the good news that proclaims the Incarnate Jesus Christ, that assures us of Immanuel – God is with us.
Seek the Welfare of Singapore
Pastor Gabriel helping to distribute Hong Pows
Dr Joyce Ridley
Thus said the Lord, "But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you....and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare." (Jeremiah 29:7)
Needy Residents” organized by the Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple and the Kampong Glam Inter-Racial and Religious Confidence Circle (IRCC) on 24 January 2013.
With this in mind. KKMC participated in the “Hong Baos Distribution to
KKMC member, Dr Joyce Ridley wowed the aunties and uncles with her beautiful
songs. Upon reflection, she wrote: "I want to say it was a wonderful opportunity to come together with the Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple and celebrate Chinese New Year with the needy residents at Kampong Glam. We are blessed with much. It is good to bless others."
Testimonies – KAMPONG KAPOR METHODIST CHURCH
Wen DeZhi I remember growing up as a happy child. Despite the many quarrels that my parents had when I was young, I was contented to be doing my own things with my siblings and friends. By the age of 5, the quarrels between my parents got so bad that my mum and my siblings had to move into my Auntie's house for a few years. My father had lost his job and became bitter because he felt he was done in by office politics. He found comfort in Buddhism and proceeded to try to require that all of us follow after him, which sadly only served to make us not want to do so all the more. I was exposed to Christianity at a very young age. My aunt, who was the only Christian in our family, used to bring me to Sunday school at her church. Because of that, I grew up knowing in my heart that God exists and that He is all around me. Somehow, through all the childhood drama, I knew that someone out there was looking out for me. It was only when I was in secondary school that this seed that was sown bore fruit in my life. By happenstance, I got into the 60th Singapore Company Boys’ Brigade as my Co Curricular Activity (CCA). I was further exposed to the teachings in the bible through weekly Christian Education lessons and ‘singspiration’ sessions. I came to accept Christ when I was in Secondary 2. As a child, I was always very close to my grandfather. In Sec 2, he fell critically ill because of liver problems. Eventually, this escalated into multiple organ failure and I
Melissa Goh Melissa Goh was introduced to KKMC because of our pipe organ. She now plays the organ once a month for the 9.30am worship service and sings with the Chancel Choir. She became a member of KKMC by profession of faith on 24 March 2013. Melissa shares her faith journey with KK Focus. I was brought up in a Christian family and attended Sunday School at Paya Lebar Methodist Church. I was also baptised as a child. Church was very much part of my life and I was close to my Sunday School friends. We would go to church camps together and I remembered them as periods of fun, games and fellowship with friends. I was also in a Christian school Paya Lebar Methodist Girls' Primary School. Before recess, we would sing grace together and thank God for the food. God was a notion that I did not question, and because I did not challenge His existence, I also did not seek to
remembered praying by his bedside for God to listen if He was real. I asked for Him to heal my grandfather since He is sovereign. A few weeks later, my grandfather died. Even though my prayer was not answered, God spoke to me in a different way. I still remember this particular singspiration session where we sang "Power of Your Love". A BB senior said something about God healing our hurts with His love. I just couldn't stop the tears from flowing then. At a Youth Camp later that year, I accepted Christ as my Lord and Saviour. After coming to Christ, I attended KKMC for a while with the youths. Later I moved to another church where I learnt what it meant to go deep into God's Word and to live for God. Four years ago, I decided to come back to KKMC again and sink my roots here where there is a strong theological foundation to build my faith upon. I have also been serving at National University of Singapore Varsity Christian Fellowship for 4 years now. I hope I will see great things to come in God's plan for me! find out for myself whether He was real. The first time the reality of His existence really struck home was when I was attending a church camp at 11 years of age. At Primary 5, I was proud and had thought that the children's programme was irrelevant and boring to me. However, I heard later that angels visited the one session that I failed to go for. That was the first time many things dawned upon me – 1) that God and His angels are real, 2) that God comes to the little children, and 3) to never let pride stand in the way of meeting God. From then on I started to read more and desired to find out more. In a way it was still easy as I still had a strong Sunday School network and we constantly reminded each other of our failings and of the importance of drawing close to God. However, as my friends and I transited from junior colleges to university and army, many of them gradually drifted away from cell group and church. It was also during this period that people started asking hard questions, to which no certain answer could be provided. I majored in philosophy in university and took a class on
KAMPONG KAPOR METHODIST CHURCH – testimonies the philosophy of religion. The module centred around the seeming irreconcilability of three characteristics of God 1) God is omnipotent, 2) God is omniscient, and 3) God is omni-benevolent. During that module I asked God often why is it that He allowed evil in this world? Why are people created unequal? Is there pre-destination? At the end of it, I could only conclude that my wisdom is insufficient to comprehend His will and His goodness, and that I could only trust that God would make all things good.
questioning any and everything with regard to God, I have come to a personal position that there are a lot of things I do not and probably will not ever understand. However, it suffices that I trust in Him and believe that Jesus died for my sins. I try to interpret the Bible in the best way I know how and to seek counsel from godly persons God has placed in my path (and there are many, thank God). I try also to love my neighbour (and with so many neighbours, it's a tall order).
Having spent my university days solving logic puzzles and
And that's where I am now in my spiritual journey.
Jenny Chang I was not born into a Christian family. My whole family were freethinkers, except for my late grandmother. She was the first person in the family who accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior and was a Christian. My late grandfather was a freethinker and if I remembered correctly, Grandma was baptised only some years after my granddad passed on. It was through her that my family first came to know God as she occasionally shared stories of Jesus Christ with us. Being the youngest girl in the family, I was usually the one assigned to accompany my grandma to church as she had a limp on one leg. I hated this task as I found the church service to be long and boring. My grandmother attended Hakka Methodist Church and I never fully understood the sermons delivered in the Hakka dialect. God, however, works miraculously. He gave my family many opportunities to hear about Jesus Christ. He kept sending people into our lives to share the gospel. Our circle of Christian friends and colleagues grew and we often received invitations to churches and evangelistic outreach events. Today, almost everyone of my immediate and extended family has been baptised. Many of them were baptised more than 8-10 years ago but I did not get baptised then because I didn't feel I was ready. I did not have a close relationship with God. Though I grew up knowing God existed, I had many doubts and even questioned my faith. However during those times, I still wanted to believe in God. I wanted to feel God’s presence. Because of this, I prayed that God would help bring me closer to Him and that I would feel more connected to God. Praise God, for He is good and gracious. He never gave up on me. He continued to help me and bless me. In the last few years, I have been blessed with many wonderful Christian friends and colleagues. It is through the help of my Christian friends and colleagues that I gained a deeper understanding of God. They shared many wonderful testimonies and I also had the opportunities to witness God's works in some of their lives.
Jenny receiving water baptism
Today I feel more connected to God. My faith has also grown. My faith was also deepened because of an incident that happened at work last year. I work in Wealth Management and although many people perceive this to be a "glamorous" job, it is very stressful and onerous! I was going through a bad patch at work last year. During that time, I was so stressed out that I could not sleep well. I really cried my heart out to God and asked Him not to leave me alone at that moment but be in my presence and help me. I prayed for His directions and guidance and said that I would commit myself to Him if my prayer was answered. My prayer was answered – almost instantly. God spoke to me ... through the sermon the pastor delivered at church, through the hymns we sang and also through the scriptures I read. He told me He would never abandon me nor leave me alone. If I believe in Him, have faith and trust in Him, all things will be fine. Praise God! Things did improve at work after that! I came to a decision of getting baptised simply by the grace and guidance of God. God has never abandoned me ever since I let Him into my life. He has helped me grow in love and faith. I have now also learned to depend on God for the strength I need. I feel that God is calling me to devote myself to Him. I am really thankful to God that He gave me the chance to know Him, to serve Him and to worship Him. That is why I want to commit myself to Him. I now want to lead a life that is pleasing to Him, a life that is lived for Him.
devotion – KAMPONG KAPOR METHODIST CHURCH
From FrustrationTo Faith
Leong Kwok Thye
Outline of Psalm Vv1-9 Focusing on Self Vv10-20 Focusing on God
Psalm 77 was written by Asaph, a descendant of Levi whom David appointed leader of choral worship when the Ark was brought to Jerusalem. Asaph was also the author of many psalms. He was thus a man of spiritual standing. In this psalm, he pours out his heart to God in despair. We do not know what his problem was. All we know is that he was in deep distress. He had called to God but God appeared unresponsive. It is an experience many of us must have gone through at some stage in life. We can learn valuable lessons as we journey with the psalmist in his search for an answer to his dilemma. The psalm begins with expressions of deep anguish that verges on complaint against God (vv1-6). The psalmist knew that God had heard him (v1) but he was not comforted (v2). He was troubled because the God he remembered seemed indifferent to his pleas for help (v3). Yet despite his weariness, God kept him awake (v4). Recollection of God’s goodness that flooded his mind caused him to persevere for an answer (vv5-6). But doubts assailed him (vv7-9). Had God forsaken him and would He be favourable no more (v7)? Had His mercy ceased and His promises failed (v8)? Had God in anger forgotten to be gracious and shut up His tender mercies (9)? Then as he continued to focus on the goodness of God (v10), his mood underwent a gradual change. Despair and doubts receded. He saw a Most High God who performed wonders, mighty works and deeds (vv11-14). He saw God at work in the lives of Jacob and Joseph (vv11-15) that assuaged his frustrations and fears. Jacob was a selfish and ruthless schemer. But God did not forsake him because of his intense desire to seek Him and His blessings. Joseph was sold to a band of Egyptian travellers as a slave by his own brothers. God also did not forsake him but blessed and prospered him because of his faithfulness. Like Jacob, he needed to seek God and like Joseph, he needed to remain faithful. Confidence in God returned. The Lord, the Creator of the heavens and earth who controlled the elements of nature and led His people through the sea and in ways unknown would deliver him from his trouble (vv16-20). A close relationship with God does not ensure that life will be all sunshine and roses. The key to victorious living is not to wallow in self-pity and despair over problems that we encounter. Crying out to God and wrestling with Him intensely for help is therapeutic and healthy. Psalm 77 offers two principles to guide us in our journey from frustration to faith. Firstly, we must not be overwhelmed by circumstances or dictate how God should respond to our pleas for help. The psalmist was frustrated because God did not respond in the manner he expected. Thus his “soul refused to be comforted”. Secondly, we need to focus on God. He knows our problems and privation. He is in control and will do what is best for us. It is pertinent to note that throughout the psalm the psalmist’s circumstances did not change. Neither did God’s response. The change was in the psalmist’s attitude. His frustration was transformed to faith when he persevered with God. Perhaps the psalmist had a reason for deliberately not revealing what his problem was. What troubles us does not matter. Who God is and what He is able to do matter. God answers our prayers in His own time and in His own way.