Photo: Cheng Zhen Yang
witnessing in action
Zhen Yang (2nd from right) and the Poly students he disciples (L-R): Sean, Gervais and Wei Liang
“The first thing I always do when I’m in a new military camp is to identify myself as a Christian by openly reading the Bible. The fact that the others know I am a Christian is a strong motivation for me to make sure that I represent Christ in all I do. This is often not easy, particularly in the face of difficult or harsh treatment common in the army.
Background Photo source: www.mindef.gov.sg
There are so many people who do not know Jesus. There are also believers who are not walking or growing in their faith. Everywhere I turn, I am reminded of the great need for workers in the harvest field. Because I’m not an outgoing person, nor expressive in nature, I try my best to know my fellow NSFs individually by showing concern through having personal time with them, and trying to find an opportunity to share the gospel.
A few instances are: - Sharing the gospel in Mandarin to a 60 year-old despatch driver in my previous camp whom I would meet twice a week. - S h a r i n g t o a N S F w h i l e travelling with him on the MRT back home using a verse card that I was reviewing that day. - In the Deepavali get-together to visit Indian temples, I brought up the topic of religion and life after death to my officer in order to understand his spiritual condition. - During Basic Military Training, bunkmates would express fears of “spirits”, and confront me about the Bible’s stand on many things; opportunities were abundant to share from God’s Word. Most of the time the only thing I can do is pray for the needs I observe. During the recent Division Chinese New Year get-together, I had the
opportunity to share part of my salvation testimony to a newly posted-in NSF w ho had stopp ed attending church and walking with God. The following week, he c ame into my bunk and we started chatting about our spiritual walk and I just took the opportunity to invite him to have Quiet Time with me the next morning. To my amazement, he woke up earlier than our arranged time at 6.20am. Now we meet to have Quiet Time together (at the staircase at the end of our bunks) on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings. I have recently invited him to our weekend Bible-Study. Psalm 91:14 which says “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name” is my personal motivation for NS—to love God above all—and I’ve experienced His protection on countless occasions.v Besides witnessing for the Lord in his military camp, Zhen Yang continues to do evangelism at his alma mater Ngee Ann Poytechnic and meets with a student weekly for mentoring and to train him to help others.
Jingyi has the skills of a nurse and the heart of a missionary. She overcomes inadequacies to engage 2 nursing students from China in an Evangelistic Bible-study.
“How can I discuss the Bible with them with my limited Chinese? What if they ask me difficult questions?” I struggled with these fears when I was asked if I would like to meet 2 nursing students for an Evangelistic Bible-study. Then there was the issue of finding a time and place to meet, given that I do shift work and we stay at opposite ends of Singapore. Well, most of the time we do Bible-study in the library or at a cafe, and we try to match our time as best as we can. But I really want to help others know God. God willing, I want to be a missionary one day. Through this EBS, I take a first small step until I can reach out to more people. I want to encourage every Christian (regardless of how long you have known Christ) to reach out to someone out there. It may be scary at first but I can promise you that God will guide you through the Bible-study. There is great joy when you bring someone to Christ and watch them grow under your care. v Photo source: Tan Jingyi
Have you ever unceasingly pleaded with God for an opportunity to disciple someone? Gabriel, an undergrad, spent months praying and witnessing just so that he may bring the lost to Christ. Although I went witnessing many times, there was no one who had the desire for further meet ups. James 2:17 says that faith and action go hand in hand so I prayed daily for God to prepare me for someone I could help spiritually. I also went witnessing from 9am to 5pm on campus during vacations. It was a physical and spiritual marathon. Witnessing from 9 to 5 meant that I was also rejected many times from 9 to 5. There were those who heard the gospel, one who prayed to accept Christ but none wanted to go beyond that.
Photo source: Ryoo Jae Kwan
Mark 10:27 which says “Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God” was a verse I claimed at the beginning of this year. Despite the setbacks, I wanted to experience faith that does the impossible. True enough, just 2 weeks later while witnessing, I met someone who agreed to meet me for Bible reading. At the first Bible reading session we had, he received Jesus into his life and I am now meeting him for follow-up. Please pray with me that he will continue to grow in his relationship with Jesus. Pray also for me that I will have a bigger heart to love and serve God.v
PREVIEW Jesus recruited people to full-time ministry. The Singapore Navigators are doing the same as we ask God for more staff for our growing ministries and more missionaries. On 25 January, we hosted our first “EDGE Preview.” EDGE (Evangelism, Discipleship, Growth and Experience) is our new entry-level staff program. 20 young adults attended the “Preview,” a one-day event to study God’s heart for the world and the importance of labouring, and to learn about the EDGE programme. Here are some responses from the Preview:
“I want to cast down my nets and follow Jesus. I am asking God for confirmation and praying for my parents’ approval.” - Astrid, NUS “I have caught a vision of what I want to do with the life that God has given me. I will pray and wait upon Him.” - Adriel, NTU
“I should not desire to only identify with Jesus in His power but also in his suffering.” - Nissi, Singapore Poly “I want to trust not only that God will take care of me , but in the way He takes care of me .” - Charlene, NavTeens
Would you pray with us that God would direct them as to their future, and that some of them would join EDGE?
Doug Erdmann National Director
“Nothing significant happens for the Kingdom of God without faith and sacrifice.” My friend Tom Yeakley (the man who led our Leadership Symposium mentioned on the back page) shared this with me when I was deciding to leave my law practice to go full-time with The Navigators. We are looking for significant things to happen in the next few years through the EDGE program (described in the opposite column). For each of these who attended the Preview, though, it is going to require faith and sacrifice to join EDGE. There are things standing in each of their ways. For some, it is the objection of non-Christian parents, and in some cases, even Christian parents. We graciously have to help these students and grads understand that yes, one has to honor one’s parents, but if God is calling one to go full-time, responding positively to that call takes precedence even over a parent’s objection. Another thing that stands in the way of some is that fact that joining EDGE might set them behind in their careers. Can God take care of a one- or two-year gap in someone’s career plan? Yes. Does it require faith to believe that? Yes. The quote of C.T. Studd, well-known missionary to China, India and Africa, comes to mind. “If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him.” May God give us some C.T. Studds.
Preview participants had an insightful day that included talks and Bible-studies on topics such as “The Need for Labourers” and “God Can Use Your Life.” This photo shows the participants with some of our campus ministry staff.
MISSIONS SPOTLIGHT: INDIA Navigator work from 1976 to the present In 1976, seeking to launch the work in India, John Ridgway found a strategic position as a physics professor at the prestigious Indian Institute of Science. With the help of Warren Myers, John recruited and trained 50 other expatriates who came to India, many as tentmakers. The diverse multi-national team related to countless students, and through them, to their family networks. They also worked with 90 churches in Bangalore, helping believers fully embrace their identity in Christ. Singaporeans Wong Kim Tok and Dolly, and later Mogan Mannar, were part of this task force. They also discovered that the core of the gospel needed to be introduced in a way that would honour and embrace the rich Hindu cultural heritage.
Pray: 1. Many new movements of the gospel are taking place in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and the rural areas surrounding Allahabad in North India. Pray for the leaders of these movements. 2. Pray for peace in the land, as there is a lot of tension between religious groups that continually occurs and impedes the work.
Over the years, efforts have been made to keep disciples in their own context so they can reach their own family members, friends and workmates. The current core team is made up of nationals located in the major cities. They minister to 50 of the 3000 caste groups, focusing primarily on Hindu professionals and the working class. The Indian ministry has also sent out workers to the Middle East, North India and Nepal.v
Kolkata Missions Trip 16 March - 16 April
This is the third team in the last 2 years that we have sent out on overseas ministry trips as we trust God to raise up a new generation of missionaries for Asia.
Photo: Samuel Roy Supra
A team led by Nav staff Supra heads to Kolkata to do friendship evangelism and help existing Christians on Jadavpar University campus .
Jermyn (NUS student, serving in Ngree Ann Poly Navs) ”Going on this trip fulfils a mission interest from 10 years ago. I want to experience disciplemaking in a different culture and am asking God to help me impact someone on this trip.”
Andrew (NUS student, serving in NavTeens) “I hope to build confidence in evangelism as I make friends among the University students. I am also asking God to give me a heart for the masses who have yet to hear the Word of God.”
Xuezhen (Research Assistant, serving in Ngee Ann Poly Navs) “Through this trip, I want to develop a heart for people in the missions context. I am eager to learn from the lives of the missionaries whom I will meet on this trip.”
Joy (Ngee Ann Poly student, NP Navs) ”I am asking God to transform my heart through opportunities to serve others. I want to grow deeper in love with God, to love and to work with people from different cultures.“
Happenings @ SGNavs Asia Pacific Campus Forum, 16-19 January 2014, Bangkok About 50 Navigators staff from the various Asia-Pacific countries converged in Bangkok, Thailand for the annual Campus Forum with the purpose of affirming the critical role of the campus ministry in producing new labourers and leaders. On a side note, we also caught a glimpse of the challenging work among the ethnic Thai people and walked away from the Forum with a renewed fervour to pray for the workers and the salvation of the people of Thailand. q Tom exhorting the staff to be intentional learners and servant leaders.
p Leadership Symposium II, 3-5 January Dr. Tom Yeakley, Field Director of the U.S. Navigators overseeing NavMissions and International Student Ministries, author and leadership coach, blessed the staff with his astute and warmhearted teaching on Servant Leadership in a 3-day Leadership Symposium. He also found time to work with individual staff on their personal development plans.
Mutua Mahiaini, International Vice-President (centre) with Jae Kwan, NUS Campus Director (left) and Chris, NTU Campus Director (right) Photo source: Ryoo Jae Kwan
Missionaries Home Day 3 February
Our missionaries returned home to celebrate Chinese New Year and it was a great encouragement to hear their stories from the field. As the work in East Asia grows, the strategy ahead is to develop indigeneous leaders for local ministries.
www.navigators.org.sg The calling of The Navigators is to advance the gospel of Jesus and his kingdom into the nations through spiritual generations of labourers living and discipling among the lost. Views expressed in published articles are those of the individual writers and may not necessarily be the views of The Navigators Singapore. THE NAVIGATORS SINGAPORE • National Director: K. Douglas Erdmann • Editor/Design & Layout/Photography: Patricia Lian 117 Lorong K, Telok Kurau, Singapore 425758 • Tel: (65) 6344 4133 • Fax: (65) 6344 0975 • E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org • www.facebook.com/singaporenavigators Printed by Seng Lee Press Pte Ltd