Prayer Myths of the 21st Century
Man’s Questions vs God’s Answers
s ’ d Da Special
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The Dad’s Special
The Dad’s Special
Fatherhood 28 -What’s the Secret? An interview with Pastor Wilson and Sam Kuna My Cool Dad 38 Our fathers share what they do to bond with their kids Movie and Book Review 42 Have a family movie night Family Fun! 43 Activities for all in the family
Take Courage 16 Faith is spelt as courage LEAD 23 Leaders’ Empowerment and Discipleship
Missions Convention 2012 54 Pray, Give and Go for Missions Pastors’ Conference 2012 56 Serving the nations Missions at a Glance 60 Overview of Missions for Jan-Mar 2012
Prayer Myths 66 of the 21st Century Debunk the myths and arise in prayer
Man’s Questions 46 Vs God’s Answers Real Life Miracle Trinitarian Hero 76 Serving the next generation
The Passover Experience 10 An extraordinary Easter Christ Scene Investigation 14 Children’s Easter Event Senior Pastor 61 as General Superintendent Blessed to be a blessing Brave New World 62 Two powerful seminars from TCA College Morning Prayer 70 Good morning Jesus Consumed 72 IGNYTE Polytechnic Camp Money, Relationships, Emotions 74 Young Adults Workshop Caught on Trinity’s Camera 78 Captions Frenzy
Real Life Miracle
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Thank you for another amazing Trinitarian magazine! The powerful testimonies from the Real Life Miracles never fail to encourage me. Reading the Watchnight message concretizes what I have heard and pushed me to another level in my faith. It’s also great to see how Trinity has been faithfully serving God in Missions, bringing encouragement, salvation, and healing to many countries. It is awesome to see God’s hands at work! In fact, I will be going on my first MIT to Mongolia and am very excited to see where God leads me. Leong Kit Mei ....................................................................................................... My sister, Corine attends Trinity and she will pass me a copy of the Trinitarian without fail. I reading it and have been encouraged by the many testimonies of your people. It was also through this magazine that I knew about the Christmas Cantata. My family and I finally attended it last year and we were truly blessed. Thank you very much and God bless all of you! Irene Chua
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Email firstname.lastname@example.org ________________________________ ISSUE 02/2012 The Trinitarian is published quarterly by Trinity Christian Centre Company registration number 197802911H MICA (P) 102/03/2011 Designed and printed in Singapore by The Print Lodge Pte Ltd License number L019/08/2011 All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without express written permission is prohibited. Opinions and views expressed do not necessarily constitute the official stand of the church.
Since my children were born, the years flew by quickly and today Natalie is already studying her Bachelor of Arts in Theatre in Australia while Matthaeus is pursuing his Diploma in Culinary and Restaurant Operations. With Nat away in Australia, I decided to spend more time with my son. A trip to Tawau, East Malaysia for both ministry and leisure helped us grow closer. We have since gone back a few times for grilled fish and golf, giving us the opportunity for more bonding and interaction on things that he liked and also about his friends. Just the other day, we were in Johor for a golf game and it was really a joy to see him having grown up in his attitude and knowledge. I felt proud knowing he will grow to become a better man than me. I thank God for the quality time spent and the growing relationship between me and my son.
A father’s love and presence is extremely important for a child’s development. Sadly, these aspects are often neglected in today’s society. In this issue of the Trinitarian, we shine the spotlight on fathers. We spoke to many fathers in Trinity on the activities they enjoy doing with their children – p38. In Fatherhood – What’s the Secret, p28, we talked to Pastor Wilson Teo and Sam Kuna on “The 7 Secrets of Effective Fathers”. They shared candidly about the joys as well as the struggles they faced as fathers themselves. Being a good father is not easy. And all the more so in today’s fast-paced world. Trinitarians, whether in the family, workplace, school or ministry, we all need to have faith in God and take courage to see fulfillment in these arenas – p16. I believe that God will bless you and your family as you step out in courage.
Two million oppressed slaves, their only hope was in God. On Apr 5 and 6, 2012, Pastor Dominic Yeo led 7,000 believers and visitors through the Passover Meal which commemorates freedom and life. More than 180 made decisions for Christ. Han Mei Zhen talks to those who were touched by the presentation.
When I heard the message, something tugged at my heart and I just believed! The Passover showed how the Christian faith transcends time. It was a very interesting presentation. I found the meaning and symbols of each process very special. Chan Shi Chang Benjamin, bank staff
This is my first time in church. My brother-in-law invited me to this Passover presentation. I found it very impactful. Although I am facing work pressures, I felt God’s presence, love and peace within me when I accepted Christ. Peter Lim, property officer
I gave my life to Jesus after understanding the details of the Passover. I understood that the Lord can light up my path and that He has cleansed me of my sins.
I gave my niece The Passover Experience invitation card and asked if she had received Christ as she had been to church with her mum before. Her reply was that she was not baptized yet, so I asked my daughter to share God’s love with her.
The part of the presentation that spoke to me was when Pastor Dominic was knocking at the door. It was as if God was knocking at the door of my heart, beckoning me to open my heart to invite Him in. I knew then that I must make a decision to accept Jesus into my life. There was no struggle at all, but a strong conviction in my heart. Besides, it was high time that I got serious with Jesus – for Him to be the Lord of my life. Liu Shu, financial consultant
As she was sharing, my nephew joined in and also wanted to receive Christ when he heard his sister saying the sinner’s prayer. While praying and leading the two older children to receive Christ, the youngest sister came along. When she heard what her sister and brother were doing, she also wanted to receive Christ. Thank God, on that day, all three children invited Jesus into their hearts. Glory to God! Nancy Han, homemaker
I want to thank the church for praying. Both my parents, aged 80 and 84, gave their lives to Jesus on the first day of the presentation. What an awesome Easter Gift! Lee Koon Yi Dion, business development manager
In the past, when the Jews were still held captive in Egypt, they had to eat the Passover meal in haste while standing. Now, Jews all around the world sit down to have this meal. This posture of sitting down and eating represents the freedom that God has given to them.
In this same way, God, through Jesus Christ, has also granted us freedom.
THE SED ER PL AT E
The Passover or Seder meal celebrates God delivering Israel from a life of slavery to freedom.
ר ד ס
(Shank bone of a lamb)
This represents the lamb that was sacrificed the night before the Israelites’ liberation from Egypt. They smeared its blood on their doorposts, so the angel of death I knew about the Passover but not its would pass over their homes. The subtle links and in-depth details. It was sacrificed lamb signifies the a reminder of God’s love and grace for us. Lamb of God – Jesus who God is amazing. died on the cross. When Pastor Dominic described the lamb (sacrifice) that was drained of its blood and then drew the link to Jesus Christ being crucified on the cross, I realized that God’s (Roasted egg) ways are just so amazing when we finally This represents the understand them. sacrifice of the temple. Since Another special part was when Pastor the destruction of the temple Dominic described the fathers hiding the of Jerusalem in AD70, there was piece of bread wrapped with a cloth and no place for the Jews to gain the children having to find it. To know atonement for their sins. It the significance of that made me feel that finding God was the best decision I had signifies the destruction ever made. of their ceremonial Ng Yeu Sheng Jason, sacrifice. student
הגיגח H GA
ET תסורח S O (Apple,
nuts and spices)
This resembles the mortar the Israelites used to make bricks when they were slaves. It is sweet as it also reminds us of the promises of God in the midst of oppression.
ספרכ S A (Sprig of parsley)
The parsley represents life. It is dipped in salt water which represents the tears of the Israelites. A life without Christ is a life soaked in bondages and tears of life.
AROR ררמ M (Horseradish)
This represents the bitterness of life experienced by the Isralites in slavery. The bitter aftertaste reminds us of how life would be without Christ.
The Passover is a meaningful reminder of God’s grace, protection and sacrificial love for us. The actual partaking of the Passover meal during the service made the entire experience more real and closer to the heart. It was a sensory experience that led me to understand the significance of the emblems of the meal through the taste of the salt water, parsley, horse radish and apple sauce. Priscilla How, lecturer & pharmacist
The Passover signifies God’s grace, unconditional love and mercy extended to mankind, despite our sin. Every item in the Passover meal had a meaning and represented something to man from God. The most special part of the presentation was when I thought about how God could relate to man’s suffering, pain and sadness. He understood and brought Himself down to man’s level. Fiona Koh, special education teacher 13
nd DiscoveryLa in n e r d il h c 1 to , 49 , Apr 6, 2012 t Seen Investigators (CSI) y a id r F d o o ris re On G as Junior Ch these, 98 we ” f d o e t it u u r O c . e b r “ m to were of the empty us into their y s r Je te e s y it v m in e th to ed His solve and 40 decid us really die? Who stole s r o it is v e m s ng Je first-ti d Savior. Did see? Sharon Lim tags alo n a d r o L s a es hearts e eye witness th id d t a h W body? ious “crime”. c a d u a is th t to bus
t s i r h C n e e S sttiiggaattiioonn s e v v n IIn e C..SS..II..)) (C (
ess, saw John the Beloved, the first eye witn hsemane, Get in ing Jesus healing the blind, pray is s Jesu ion: clus Con and His crucifixion. s for us. cros the on die to se cho but powerful,
body of Jesus, Alerted about the missing ck down the the Junior CSIs began to tra . important eye witnesses 14
The Junior C SI witness, Jose s then found the second ph of Arimat eye he tomb to Jesu s and buried a, who donated his Jesus’ body w in aloe, myrrh ra surely died. and cloth. Conclusion: Je pped sus had
We asked the Junior CSIs how they found the investigation. Conclusion? Interesting! I like the people acting, and I learnt that Jesus is alive. Raena Yeong, 9
This is fun and exciting! I like breaking the codes in the CSI report and the actors are very funny sometimes. Yeo Zhi Ming, 11 Next, the Lead CSI found the Roman soldiers who guarded Jesus’ tomb, and realized how strong the seemingly small Roman soldiers were after an armwrestling match! Conclusion: His body could not have been stolen by any ordinary person.
Lastly, they met M saw and spoke ary Magdalene who actually with Jesus! Con clusion: Jesus is alive! He has risen from the dead!
I like all of it! It is very funny. And I laugh too much at the moustache. Jesus is in heaven and He is risen from the dead!” Isaac Ray Cheong, 6
As overheard by key witnesses…
- “From CSI, I learnt that God loves me no matter what happens. I love Jesus!” - “God is great! This presentation reminded me that with Jesus in my life, I should never give up.” - “Jesus is alive! I felt God’s presence during the whole event.” - “CSI was interesting. Although I knew that Jesus rose from the dead, I did not know so many details. Today, I understand what really happened and why we celebrate Easter!”
the the children to say Pastor Ee Lin leads ank God for the victory th Sinner’s Prayer and h! at de over 15
COURAGE STEP INTO APOSTOLIC FULFILLMENT! By Pastor Dominic Yeo
On my recent trip to the UK, I had the opportunity to visit the Liverpool Museum. I was hoping to set my eyes on the recent Carling Cup that my favorite football club had won. Unfortunately, when we arrived, the lady at the museum told us it was the wrong day. I really wanted my money back for the entrance fees! How could it not be there? I came all the way from Singapore and the cup was not there? Despite the disappointment, I decided to hang around the museum a little longer. While Pastor Darick and I were taking photos in the museum, a guy in a purple suit came to us and said “I heard you lads wanted to see the Carling Cup? Well, follow me.” Immediately we went along with him. He opened a secured door, pulled out a wooden chest, removed the locks and chains and opened the chest. And there it was – the Carling Cup! He looked right at me as though he knew that I wanted to hold it and then handed it over to me. I could not believe it. I was holding it in my very own hands! It was momentous, almost preposterous even.
half the year has gone by and perhaps you are tired from being faithful. Do not get me wrong. Faithfulness is a premium that is sought after by many. But faithfulness alone can wear you out. The Bible says in Proverbs 13:12: Hope deferred makes the heart sick. You could be faithful in serving, doing care acts, leading a carecell, but the carecell has not multiplied in years and your oikos remain hostile to Christianity. Faithfulness alone can lead you to a point of weariness, woundedness and wariness. Weary from all the doing and seeing no breakthrough and no fulfillment. Wounded from people failing you time and time again. Wariness against making mistakes, so you rather stay on the safe side than to make any errors. Is there a sense of weariness, wounded-ness and wariness in your spirit today?
Reflecting on what had happened, I realized that had we come another day, the Cup would have been behind a glass and I would not have been able to hold it. God had essentially turned this “wrong” day into a “right” day. Had I left right after the museum lady told us it was the wrong day, I would have missed the opportunity of a lifetime. In a way, waiting was a form of faith –waiting for God’s perfect time. It takes faith to wait, it takes faith to follow. We started the year with apostolic faith to believe God for apostolic fulfillment. Now
I believe God wants you to Take Courage!
Courage is not the absence of fear
In a familiar passage of the Bible, Matt 14:22-31, the disciples were in the boat to cross over to the other side when they met a storm. A storm so ferocious, that seasoned fishermen feared for their lives. The black of night, howling winds and crashing waves were threatening their existence. Would they really make it to the other side?
Courage is the quiet confidence of Him who holds our hands. The disciples were in the midst of a storm. They were fearful for their lives.You could be fearful for your life, your job, your family, or even your ministry. The disciples were probably tired from throwing water out of the boat.
Then came Jesus standing on the waters in the middle of the sea. He called out to them “Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid.” Peter responded in faith and stepped out of the boat and walked on water towards Jesus. And while walking on water he saw the waves and started to sink. Jesus then reprimanded Peter for his lack of faith or little faith. Many times in our lives we are faithful but lacking in faith. We are faithful in our daily tasks. We function, survive and we get by with life. We are reluctant to step out into the unknown for fear of making mistakes or failing. I have heard of people being scared to pray more because they did not want any form of spiritual attack. I have even seen Christians who are so afraid of rejection that they refuse to take on evangelism or leadership positions. We think the safest route is to remain faithful. And so we hide under our faithfulness and think to ourselves: “At least I am faithful.”
If Jesus did not show up they would have kept throwing water and paddling their oars till they were dead tired. It takes faith (not faithfulness) to breakthrough weariness and wounded-ness. The disciples would have never made it to the other side if they were simply faithful. What changed their circumstance was looking to Jesus. Finding the confidence in who God is and knowing that He holds our hands through the thickest of storms. Who is this God that holds our hands? He is Jehovah Jireh, Jehovah Nissi, Jehovah Shalom. He is our provider, our banner and our peace. He is our savior, overcomer and our victory. Just like a child who finds security and the quiet confidence in the hands of his or her parents. We know that our Daddy is with us and will never forsake us. Courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is knowing that the one who holds your hand is bigger, greater and stronger than any other. We need to stand upon who He is. Are you in a storm? Hold His hand.
God wants you to have FAITH! To take courage! What is courage?
Courage is not the absence of the unknown or uncertainty Courage is an active, living faith in what God has said. When Peter stepped out of the boat, there were many unknowns and uncertainties. When God called Abraham to leave his country, he had no idea where he was going. When Moses met God at the burning bush he did not know how he was going to deliver the Israelites out of Egypt. He did not even have the words to say to the Pharaoh. When Nehemiah submitted his request to the king to return to build the walls of Jerusalem, he did not know if his request would be granted. Jesus said to Peter ‘come’. And Peter walked on water. Abraham simply acted on what God said to do. In Exodus 3:10 God said to Moses “Go, I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.” Moses experienced the greatest deliverance of God’s people. In Nehemiah 1:9, Nehemiah remembered what God said, and persevered in prayer and courage to bring his request before the king. We always want all the answers. The unknown paralyzes us. If you had all the answers there would be no need for faith or God. Yet it is the unknown that makes it so beautiful. You may not know how the person will respond when you share your faith with them, but certainly you can SHARE it with them by faith. You may not know what the call of God entails, but you can certainly ANSWER the call. You may not know what tomorrow’s stock market will be like, but you can certainly TRUST God. You may not know what to do, but you can HEAR God.
You need to have courage to keep walking in the direction that God has shown you. You may not have all the answers, but keep walking. Have faith in what God has said and let God take care of it for you.
Courage is not the absence of criticism Courage is a deep conviction of who and what we ultimately believe in. People will criticize your faith. The other 11 disciples in the boat must have tried to dissuade Peter from stepping out of the boat. It was, quite simply, crazy. Who walks out of a boat during a storm? But Peter had a deep conviction and believed in the man on the water who told him to “come”. Peter stepped out of the boat and made history as the only human being who had ever walked on water. Many heroes of faith in the Bible had an audience of people who never failed to criticize. Noah was laughed at for building a huge ark and proclaiming that a flood would wipe out the world. Joshua and Caleb were criticized when they spoke in faith to conquer the Promised Land after the 12 spies came back with their exploration reports. Sometimes the criticism comes from within the house of God. We need to learn to stand together. In growing a carecell, multiplication can be difficult. There is a lot to be done, care events, care witness, nurturing the new members. Rather than complain or being resigned, it is time to stand together in faith. Spur each other on to accomplish more good deeds. Pray together and believe that growth will take place.
Courage is not the absence of challenges
Courage is the inner peace that it is the RIGHT thing to do. The right thing to do is to passionately pursue what God says. Challenges will always be there. The only persons who do not have challenges are the dead! During the time when we were building Trinity@ Paya Lebar, there were many challenges in the economy. But every time God challenged us to stay on course and looking back, we can say with confidence that God has never failed us. In fact He has exceeded our faith and enabled us to pay off the full loan in under five years. We could have done the ‘right’ and ‘logical’ thing – put off the project till the economy got better. But we would have missed God’s perfect timing and season in our faith. Courage is not found when all is going well. Courage is formed when you press in against the crashing storms that are about to tear your boat apart. Peter in Matthew 14:18 said “Lord, if it’s you, tell me to come to you on the water.” It was a really bad storm and the last thing a fisherman would want to do is to attempt walking on water in such a storm. But Peter knew better to be where Jesus was than in a man-made vessel. Courage is about pursuing the presence of God. I would rather be surrounded by challenges with God than to be where God does not want me to be. Think about what this means for you. In stepping into fulfillment, we need to recognize God’s presence and follow His leading. It may look like a wall of challenges ahead. But that could be
where God is leading you to break through into another level of faith and walk victoriously in Him. God is saying to you, follow me. Take courage and follow me.
Courage is not the absence of unbelief
Courage is the tenacity to hold on to the shreds of faith. Shreds of faith? When faith takes a beating zillion times over and is torn apart by different factors, that is when we need to hold on to what is left of it. Peter was walking on water! A victory! But it was short-lived. He lost focus, fear gripped him and unbelief found its way into his heart. He started sinking. Sometimes that happens to our faith. We hit another wave, the wind blows and we start wondering if we are walking in the right direction. Did I hear God correctly? Did He really ask me to do this? Why am I not seeing the results in my ministry? Why is my family not saved yet? Why am I still being persecuted for my faith? Why did the cancer recur? You may feel like you are hanging on a thread. You feel like you are down to zero and there is nothing left. But if that thread you are holding on to is labeled ‘Faith in God’ – I beseech you to HANG ON, keep the faith. As Peter sank, with the little shred of faith he had, he cried out “Lord, save me”, Jesus then reached out His hand and caught him. The shred of faith in God is strong enough to lift you up. Let God make something out of nothing. It is tough but you can speak courage and faith into your heart and spirit “Lord I believe, help my unbelief.”
Faith is spelt as COURAGE Faithfulness itself is not enough.
Faithfulness and Great faith = Manifestation of fulfillment Great faith requires courage. We are living in uncertain times.You may even be out of a job tomorrow. How do you live a life of fulfillment despite the odds? Just like an old hymn that goes “Many things about tomorrow.You may not seem to understand. But know who holds your hand and who holds your tomorrow.” What can you believe God for this season? Life will have challenges, fears, criticisms etc. But let us take courage. Believe God who says He will and He will bring it to fulfillment. Can you take the plunge of faith? When Peter stepped out of the boat, it was not at the shallow end of the waters. It was in the deep end of the sea. God is calling us to faith. It is more than just faithfulness.
There is something about faith. Faith intrigues God, it draws His attention and the manifestation of faith. It is time for a faith alignment. Some of our faith has been knocked out of line when no fruits or results occur. It is time to stir courage in your life. Put faith back in you to believe God for the impossible. Courage is not the absence of fear Courage is not the absence of the unknown or uncertainty Courage is not the absence of criticism Courage is not the absence of challenges Courage is not the absence of unbelief “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” - Jesus Let there be an explosion of faith in your life today! T
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A New Generation of Leaders Trinitarian speaks to our Senior Pastor, Dominic Yeo, on LEAD, his heart behind it and where it will bring the church.
ope is the premier commodity that Empowerment Network) which has helped this world is looking for. With wars us raise the generation of leaders in the last and rumors of wars, those living few decades cannot be merely tweaked as we in war-stricken countries long for a time of entered into this fresh season. peace. With the news of corporations being Ken andWith Aileen incurreddeclaration huge losses bankrupt and the constant sirens of bearish the prophetic of a New financial markets, those undergoing economic Beginning, Empowerment And during the 1997 LEAD Asian(Leaders financial crises as well as governmental leaders Discipleship) was birthed to be catalytic in crisis. Hopes were dashed and they hope for economic stability and prosperity. the formation of leaders – Christ-centered from God. them With mutated viruses stripping many of drifted away Leaders. LEAD is notJoin merely a whitewash their health, those who are hospitalized or but a completely new engine to power the as they share their story of a faithful plagued by deadly viruses cry out for medical development of Christ-centered leaders. breakthrough so that they can be whole.God Yes, who pursued them and saw them through their painful journey. HOPE is what this world needs. Going forward, I see Trinity as a church of strategic leaders addressing By Carol Lim and Diana Limthe need of this While the world needs hope, the Church world - Hope. In order to raise such strategic needs leadership – a leadership that: Christ-centered leaders, it is imperative that 1) Is centered in the Person of Christ and three foundational areas be established. Their: will not be affected or swayed by opinions 1) Personhood be formed through good or beliefs that shroud our world of truths theological truths and spiritual disciplines 2) Practices the way of the Master and 2) Perspectives be widened to relate breeds hope and optimism Biblical truths to the world that they live in 3) Has a Christ-centered Perspective 3) Practice be anchored by a set of to accomplish the will of God and bring theological frameworks so that the transformation to a world clouded in actions of the leaders are impactful and pessimism and crisis transforming Hence, Trinity Christian Centre embarked on this journey three years ago to accelerate the development of leaders in this world of ambiguity and uncertainties. The spiritual leadership and I decided that TENet (Trinity
So today I present to you LEAD. As we embark on this exciting journey to raise a new generation of leaders who will transform our world, may you be inspired to rise up as God’s strategic leader! 23
Visit w w w . t r i n i t y . n e t > Be Equipped >
Download T r i n i t y ’ s i P h o n e a p p “Trinity C hristian C entre” from iTunes > Sign up for LEAD
81 4277 > Reply course code o 8481 4273 or 84
How can I s ign up
Who should go for LEAD?
the Bible in
E in ver a
ourses ing C ) v i L y Life tian hris nd Famil C nd ya le a inistr b i u B .g. M yo s (e s p elo e 3P v de f th se e o r u n co o y east tl
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TENet provides general Christian education for Bible, life and ministry. It has served us well for a season to raise up strong believers. Moving forward, raising up strong believers is not enough. The Kingdom of God needs strong leaders who can effect change in the society and nation. Pastor Dominic Yeo
LEAD develops you to be a Christcentered leader expressed through the 3Ps (Person, Practice and Perspective).
• Who you are Your Personhood: identity in Christ, character and values
• How you think Your view of God, church, self, people and the world
L EA D ? s i at
• What you do Your speech and actions in daily living
I aspire to be a person of influence.
Why I should go for
I want to deepen my understanding of God’s Word. I desire to walk in unshakable faith. I want to be sure of my identity in Christ. I want to make godly choices in dilemmas. I desire to build a strong marriage and family. I want to inspire my children to know God. I want to share Christ effectively. I want to facilitate God-encounters in my carecell.
Learner-focused teaching philosophy We believe that every student does not come into class with zero experiences; they carry with them their life experiences, knowledge and corporate training. People learn best as they contribute and engage with the class. Pastor Dominic Yeo
I want to be a strategic leader.
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THE DAD’s SPECIAL
s ’ d Da 26
l a i c e Sp
28 Fatherhood - Whatâ€™s the Secret? An interview with Pastor Wilson and Sam Kuna
38 My Cool Dad
Our fathers share what they do to bond with their kids
42 Movie and Book Review Have a family movie night
43 Family Fun
Activities for all in the family
THE DAD’s SPECIAL
d o o h r e h t a F s ’ t ha
? t e r c e S e th
Being a father is not mere biology, but a God-given role involving commitment, humility and discipline on a daily basis. We asked two prominent Trinitarian dads - Pastor Wilson Teo, Deputy Senior Pastor, and Sam Kuna, Dean, School of Counselling at TCA College what it means to be an effective father.â€ŻBy Will Yong 29
THE DAD’s SPECIAL
FATHERHOOD – WHAT’S THE SECRET?
As I got older, I would also spend time talking to mature Christians who have been fathers for many years to glean knowledge from their experiences.
r Ken Canfield, in his award-winning book, “The 7 Secrets of Effective Fathers”, illustrated three important truths about fathering – 1) Effective fathering could bring enormous, and oftentimes unexpected, rewards, 2) The role of a father in a child’s life is extremely important and 3) Effective fathering is, and can be, learned.
Sam Kuna: The first person who prepared me to be a father was my mother. As surprising as this may sound, I believe that parenting is not about gender roles. Rather, it is about becoming the kind of parent that will make a difference in your children’s lives.
Based on these three truths, Trinitarian chatted with Pastor Wilson Teo and Sam Kuna to find out their perception of the father’s role and how the experience has been for them. Tell us a little about yourself. How many children do you have and how old are they? Pastor Wilson: I grew up in a broken family. My father left us when I was 10 years old. My mother single-handedly raised me and my two siblings. Thank God for her, though it was a difficult journey without the security and stability of my father’s presence. I grew up really understanding the importance of a father because I didn’t have one in my life. For my own family, I have three children – Caelyn, Aryn, Nevan - who are 11 years, 4 years and 6 months old, respectively. Sam Kuna: I’m 57 years old and have four siblings who are all married as well as eight nephews and nieces that are also married. Since I was 18, I have looked forward to falling in love, marrying the woman of my dreams, and one day becoming a dad. This happened when I was 22, having met my wife, Cheng Sim, and three years later, we got married in 1980. We now have a daughter, Christal 22, who was born a decade after we tied the knot. Who or what prepared you most for fatherhood? Pastor Wilson: The absence of my father had led me to quietly observe Christian families around me when I was growing up. I would visit these friends’ homes and learn from observing their fathers.
My mother single-handedly raised five children and also had to take up the “dad role” because of my father’s mental illness. She showed tenacity, unconditional love, tremendous patience, and resilience while going through the Second World War. During other tough times when our finances and resources were in short supply, she never gave up making sure we were well taken care of. The other person who influenced me would be my spiritual mentor, Rev Irvin Rutherford. He was the first “Dad” to share with me quite openly about his challenges, personal struggles, and breakthroughs of being a father to three girls! Do you agree with Dr Canfield’s proposition that fathering can and needs to be learnt? If so, how do you learn more about becoming a better father? Pastor Wilson:Yes, fathering needs to be learnt just like many other skills we have picked up in life. This is especially true in my case since I did not grow up with a father around me. I learnt through talking with experienced fathers and reading parenting books to understand the art and science of being a father. Even then, I have to constantly reflect over my personal actions with my children to see if I am fathering them in a godly way. Sam Kuna: The question that comes to my mind is “Where does a Dad go for classes?” Actually, I found that I learned to be a father only after I became one! The days before that was just inspiration and observation. Something clicked within us the day our daughter was born and we started to “behave” like father and mother. It was only the beginning though, the rest was on-the-job training!
over school matters. This can be for both small and big events that they are having in school. The other way is to find out from them how they are doing in school, whether through their co-curricular activities (CCA) or incidents that happened in class that day. I do not trivialize their experiences and I constantly engage them to share with me their school-time encounters. Sam Kuna: I always give my family priority even with a busy schedule. Sometimes I want to take a rest after a hard day’s work, but I choose to attend to my child so that my wife can have some space for herself and do things at home. Those are times where commitment takes over instead of grumbling!
I have to constantly reflect over my personal actions with my children to see if I am fathering them in a godly way. Dr Canfield’s book identified seven “secrets” of effective fathers. These secrets include 1) commitment 2) knowing your child 3) consistency 4) protecting and providing 5) love the mother 6) active listening and 7) spiritual equipping. Trinitarian asked Pastor Wilson and Sam on their thoughts about these seven points and whether they have put some of these in action while dealing with their children.
Secret No. 1: Commitment
With fathering, true commitment takes feelings and makes actions out of them. What are some of the ways that you express your commitment to your children daily? Pastor Wilson: One of the ways I express my commitment to my children is to pray with them
Secret No. 2: Know your child
How well do you know your children? Despite the age and generational gaps, what are some ways you use to better relate to them? Pastor Wilson: I try to see things from my children’s perspective, regardless of how childish the situation may be to me or to outsiders. My presence in their lives is a daily one, and my children know I’m interested in whatever they are going through. Additionally, I will take the effort to know my children’s friends by name and talk to them so that I can understand them better. Often, knowing the friends that they are mixing with helps me understand certain behaviors they display at home. There are also times I didn’t fully understand some of the lingo used among my eldest daughter’s friends. To understand what this generation is interested in, I would “google” the term to find out more so that I can follow what they’re saying and understand what they are engaging in. Sam Kuna: I would say that I’ve had to know my child progressively. When my daughter was young, it was easy to say that I knew her likes and dislikes and what she enjoyed doing. However, as she grew older, new areas opened up – school work, things she does with her friends, her thoughts, struggles, and so on.
THE DAD’s SPECIAL As a father, I wouldn’t know about these things if I did not spend time with her, talking and engaging with her while driving to and from school and discussing her interests, all the while learning to “suspend judgment”.
assurance that we are there for them whenever they need us. Our children must also learn that with greater autonomy comes greater responsibility in terms of their actions.
I also studied human development, and was therefore very curious to observe the various developmental milestones my daughter was going through. I also deduced her likes and dislikes by observing and making associations as she gravitated toward some things and had an aversion to others.
Secret No. 3: Consistency
For example, when she was younger I would go for walks with her to the park and also to a secret creek! During our walks, she would have a great time cajoling me to tell her stories. As she got older and the walks came to a halt, her fondness of my stories continued and I would spend her bedtime retelling tales while she shared all that went on during the day. Nothing can substitute spending time and having fun together to know our children. Kids nowadays frequently talk about wanting to have “space”. Should this be given and how much autonomy should they have? Pastor Wilson: The amount of space children get to enjoy will increase with age. As a father, I will allow space for my children to be independent, but not to the point where I’ve no idea what they are doing. Furthermore, the space that our young children need must be seen as a privilege that can be taken away when trust is not honored. As they grow older, it is natural for them to desire their privacy and we need to allow them the space to discover their own identity without losing the
I will take the effort to know my children’s friends by name and talk to them so that I can understand them better. 32
Our children need us to be constant as a person, in our actions and habits. What areas do your children look to you for consistency? Pastor Wilson: One area of consistency that is very important is discipline. Disciplining children is a key area that fathers must not delegate or avoid. The process of disciplining our children in a consistent way will allow them to understand that we care for them enough to reprimand them. Every child will find the disciplining process painful and that’s why our consistency in enforcing rules and meting out disciplinary actions must be observed. Such consistency will allow our children to respect us and also respect the disciplinary process. Sam Kuna: I believe most fathers need to work at keeping their moods consistent! It is not about being constant, as in not having any change in your being, but consistent in that your children know you can be depended upon even if you are tired, weary, sad, busy, or in a celebratory mood. When they come to you for help or with a question, you should always be ready to drop everything and attend to them. In other words, your child knows that you have the capacity to include them in your inner world and they do not have to jostle and fight to get your attention. This can be challenging for some, but try it.You will be surprised at how God will help you create that “space” for your children! Another key area is in the area of morality, both in personal convictions and in values. Children seek consistency from their fathers in this area because the world, the media, and the Internet are loaded with many perverted views that will make morality seem old-fashioned. “Go ahead and do what feels good” seems like the contemporary mantra that our children are exposed to. When dads demonstrate consistency in terms
Secret No. 4:
Protecting and Providing
God has positioned fathers to be heads of their households, and men naturally feel the need to protect and provide for the family. Pastor Wilson, having grown up in a single-parent environment, how has your past affected you in this regard? Pastor Wilson: Losing my father at a young age did not remove this innate need within me when I became one.
Children seek consistency from their fathers because the world, the media, and the Internet are loaded with many perverted views that will make morality seem oldfashioned. of their personal morality – such as how they view good manners, decency, modesty, propriety, love, lust, relationships with the opposite sex, the marriage covenant (and it’s not a contract!), and how they take a stand against all kinds of abuses, victimization, injustice, and other kinds of social and gender issues - these are critical messages that are “caught and not taught” by children.
In fact, it actually highlighted the importance because of this lack in my life. I realized that a family without a father could be likened to a house without walls. The sense of vulnerability was very real to me in my growing up years. Fathers provide the sense of security and stability in the family a lot more than what mothers are able to provide, and this, I believe, has to do with the spiritual headship that God has given to men. However, single parent families that do not have the presence of a godly father figure can look for suitable spiritual fathers or role models for their children. What advice would you give to fathers who feel dissatisfied in the way they are providing for the family financially? Sam Kuna: Parenting involves shared responsibilities in some cases and among these, providing financially has evolved to becoming a shared responsibility globally. However, some men may feel ashamed at their inability to bring home the “whole bacon” and having to share this aspect with their wives. To this sentiment, I say men should see this as a step up, rather than down, in recognizing that the marriage partnership now has a broader definition and society is less patriarchal these days. Also, it is not about providing a CEO-level of income that would suffice for your family that matters. Rather, it is earning enough to meet the needs of each family member so that they are content that makes a difference.
THE DADâ€™s SPECIAL
to see the reality of God and His Word come alive through their parents is a powerful demonstration of who God is and can be in their lives.
Secret No. 5:
Loving Relationship with one’s Wife
Studies have shown a strong marriage can have a great impact on the development of children. Do you agree? How do you think your children have been impacted? Pastor Wilson: My children are constantly observing the way I relate with my wife and vice versa. Through their observations, they get to form their individual concept of marriage, family and how to relate with partners in a healthy and loving way. I am constantly surprised at the questions my daughters ask after observing how I interact with my wife, Evelyn! From a counselor’s point of view, what are some of the effects divorce has on children and how does this affect them when they grow up? Sam Kuna: Firstly, divorce affects every member of the family, and a marriage needs to be jealously and religiously guarded. I believe the main protector’s role falls on the men, even though women today have equal responsibility to safeguard the relationship. Children do take note whether a dad works at keeping the marriage alive or does things that sap the energy out of the relationship and marriage. These things include internal conflict and pain through constant arguments, criticisms, and ridicule, as well as external distractions such as being buried in work or hobbies and having extra-marital affairs. Kids that have gone through their parents’ divorce would, as a result, display signs of hurt, disappointment, confusion, rebelliousness, waywardness, delinquency, sadness, depression, and even suicidal thoughts. This kind of emotional damage can take a long time, sometimes even a lifetime to heal particularly if the child is not able to process his feelings and get it out of their hearts and minds. Praise the Lord, though, that the majority of these children do manage to be resilient and overcome this period of their lives to become successful, responsible, godly and righteous people!
Secret No. 6: Active Listening
How open do you think your children are willing to share things with you? Pastor Wilson: At the moment, my children are able to share almost everything with Evelyn and me. We’re striving to keep it this way for as long as we can. This comes with the conscious effort of constantly building trust with them so that they are able to tell us about anything in their lives. Share with us some of the distractions that keep you from giving the children your full, undivided attention. Sam Kuna: I’ve learnt from my marriage and since becoming a dad to listen first before I speak! That doesn’t mean I’m always successful and it still requires effort on my part to do so. Children want to tell their parents so many things because in sharing, they want to be understood by their fathers and mothers. However, as a dad, I may not always be in the right disposition to listen. These times occur when I bring my work home, have a deadline to meet, or I am in a deep conversation or argument with my wife (definitely not a good time!), or when my favorite program or game is on TV. Some of these moments may not be of any significance but when your child has something important or critical to share and we give them the cold shoulder, the damage done and disappointment caused might take a long while to heal. This is why the third secret in being an effective father, which is to always make space for your child, is necessary regardless of how important the task at hand might be. Difficult? Yes, but not impossible.
Secret No. 7: Spiritual Equipping
Ephesians 6:4 urges parents to “bring our children up in the training and instruction of the Lord”. How do you guide your children in discovering God for themselves? Pastor Wilson: One of the best ways to help our children discover God for themselves is to share with them how God has been real to us in our personal journey and struggles.
THE DAD’s SPECIAL Our children know cognitively that the Bible is God’s Word because they hear it from us and at church every week. But to see the reality of God and His Word come alive through their parents is a powerful demonstration of who God is and can be in their lives. As parents, we should seize teachable moments to share our faith and trust in God through what we have gone through in our lives with them and let them be inspired to know God through doing so. Sam Kuna: Spirituality and spiritual disciplines are both critical aspects of being a Christian that needs to be practiced regularly and modeled diligently. There were times I wanted to organize some of our devotional times mechanically with my family, but these sessions usually fizzle out after a while. At home, it is important that dads practice their spiritual disciplines consistently and not just to display a form of godliness. Our children can see through these kinds of masquerades and, once they figure out it is just a “show” dads (and moms) put up, parents will have a potentially difficult time to convince them otherwise. This is why discipleship must begin at home and let it permeate every part of the day; each of us is a follower of Jesus Christ first and therefore our life and lifestyles at home and in the presence of the family must reflect that.
If your children were to give feedback on your performance as a father, what area(s) would they encourage you to brush up on? Sam Kuna: Play more. I think at times I get too serious. I think my daughter would like me to play more, laugh more, learn to relax more, and enjoy the ride…be a fun person, so to speak.
I believe that she would not only have a better dad, but life would be more enjoyable and tolerable for her and my wife. In addition to these seven secrets, are there any more you would like to add? Pastor Wilson: Every child is given by God to us and He has plans set aside for each one. Our role as fathers should not be to use them to meet our unfulfilled dreams, but to help them to accomplish God’s will for them. That is why we give them a good education and stable family to build a strong foundation for their future. Our children will only be truly blessed when they follow His will for their lives. Sam Kuna: A final secret: “Stay Cool – there’s a way out of every situation.” Sometimes, dads might feel pressured to know what to do in any situation and have all the correct answers. I clearly remember the day when my little girl looked up to me with her big brown eyes and said, “Papa, I thought you knew the answer to everything but now I realize that you do not know everything!” It was a bruise to my ego, but it dawned on me that the day had come for me to acknowledge that it is perfectly all right to say, “I don’t know”, but I can try to find out! Yes, there are plenty of resources out there where we can find out more about parenting, about being a good and effective dad, an excellent husband; about pre-teens, adolescents, young adults; about young courting couples, young married couples, even grandparenting! The list of resources is endless. So stay cool! T
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THE DAD’s SPECIAL
Trinitarian dads share fun activities they do with their kids.
Vincent Yau, senior technical sales engineer ~ Isabelle, 2 Bonding Activities • Wrestle • Count the star stickers in her room • Explore theme parks (e.g. Safari Run, Zoo, Jacobs Ballas Garden, Hay Dairies Goat Farm) • Blow bubbles at the playground
Mark Teo, financial consultant ~ Abel, 3 ~ Asher, 1 Bonding Activities • Explore new playgrounds • Outdoor activities (e.g. cycling, swimming) • Play time with the children 38
Royce Teoh, business development manager ~ Ryan, 8 ~ Rexton, 6 Bonding Activities • Outdoor activities (e.g. soccer, cycling, swimming) • Indoor games (e.g. board games, console games) • Bedtime story reading
Terence Ow, entrepreneur ~ Joen, 10 ~ Javen, 8 ~ Julien, 6
Bonding Activities • Walks in parks • Outdoor activities (e.g. cycling, basketball, skate scooter) • Car rides to the more remote areas of this island (e.g. Kranji, Lim Chu Kang) • Gardening and farming vegetables at grandparent’s small plot of farm land • Art camps • Being Star Wars fans (e.g. Star Wars Lego, role-playing the characters) 39
THE DAD’s SPECIAL
Samuel Arididon, support analyst ~ Ashley Jann, 11 ~ Jimuel Sam, 7 ~ Samantha Anne, 1.8 months Bonding Activities • Family Prayer Time (e.g. prayer, worship, “sharing-about-anything” time) • Karaoke sessions • Outdoor activities (e.g. basketball, soccer, badminton, swimming, kite flying) • Child Date - A one-on-one date to spend time with them. (e.g. library, shopping, eating ice-cream, watching movies) • School Time (e.g. sending kids to school, attending their school activities, joining the parents-students team activities, helping them with assignments)
Alan Sim, leadership & talent management practitioner ~ Megan, 10 ~ Joseph, 9 ~ Evangeline, 2 Bonding Activities • Physical activities (e.g. catching) • Talk time • Going to the library • Going to places of interest • Doing homework together • Composing & singing silly songs • Playing “cooking” with Evangeline • Playing Peek-a-boo • Serving together (e.g. Christmas Cantata) • Listening & explaining the messages from audio bibles while driving them to their schools Mahesh, pilot ~ Nicholas, 20
Bonding Activities • Going for a short vacation • Sharing about the past and God’s goodness in their lives • Praying together • Strolls in the park • Fishing • Working out together • Preparing different types of dinner at home (e.g. BBQ, hotplate, steamboat) • Family Cook-outs • Watching and discussing movies and documentaries • Family meals
Richard Lee, director ~ Hannah, 21 ~ Joshua, 19 ~ Esther, 18 ~ Grace, 12 Bonding Activities • Family dinners • Taking short vacations overseas • Chilling out at the kelong
Edmund Ho, IT professional ~ Daniel, 23 ~ Asaph Ho, 19 ~ Janice Ho, 17 ~ Peter Ho, 11 Bonding Activities • Celebrate birthdays, special occasions and milestones • Going for movies • Make a point to have lunch with family members • Making trips back to Edmund’s hometown • Visiting theme parks during school hoildays 41
THE DAD’s SPECIAL MOVIE
Directed by: Alex Kendrick Courageous is the fourth film from the Kendrick brothers and Sherwood Pictures, creators of faith-based movies Flywheel, Facing the Giants and Fireproof. . Courageous seeks to shed light on a very real and desperate issue in modern society – the spiritual and developmental decay that comes from a lack of genuine and dedicated fathers. The characters are complex yet authentic. There are no action heroes here – when tragedy strikes, each of the characters must come to terms with how to live out their faith and to build better relationships with people around them. Coupled with an unexpected plot twist, drug-related crime and gang violence, Courageous definitely is one of the Kendrick brothers’ darker and more dramatic films to date. My favorite extra was “Courageous in 60 seconds”, an amusing video that summarizes all the important parts in just 1 minute (although I’d recommend that you watch it only AFTER you’ve seen the whole movie). Watch it at your next family movie night or cell event. Be careful! You might never look at fatherhood the same way again. Reviewed by Will Yong
How to Talk So Your Kids Will Listen by H. Norman Wright
This book presents a long-term view on communication with your child - from toddler up until adolescence. If you have young as well as teenage children, this book is perfect for you. The questions peppered throughout the chapters sparks you to reflect how you connect with your child. It provides easy-to-follow steps on how to improve both verbal and non-verbal communication.
The Father Connection by Josh McDowell
The 60 fun things a dad can do with his kids include God-centered like praying and serving other people.
Tell us how you felt about The Dad’s Special and stand a chance to win these books How to Talk So Your Kids Will Listen and The Father Connection.
An easy read based on the dimensions of a father’s role - The Father’s Connection, The Father as Refuge, The Father who disciplines, The Father and Forgiveness and A Father after God’s own heart - to name a few. The clearly defined dimensions paint a holistic picture of what a godly father should be. It provides very useful handles on how dads can take responsibility in having an active role in their children’s lives. 42
THE DADâ€™s SPECIAL
n u F y l i Fam for Kids! Challenge #1:
Unscramble the Pa
1. WESOR 2. TUSMARD DESE
Take up the challenge! Have fun as a family, pair up and see who solves it the fastest.
Challenge #2: Match Mate
5. DOGO MASRIATNA 6. LOTS NICO 7. CHIR LOFO 8. LANTETS 9. DEGIWDN EASFT 10. REMNUIFCUL VERA
ing city with A. Escaped a burn hters his wife and daug r home B. Hid spies in he 2. Samson ty walls C. Rebuilt the ci 3. Ruth his son asked to sacrifice as W . D id 4. Dav by a great fish Was swallowed E. t Lo 5. ntest Won a beauty co 6. Nehemiah F. ll of troyed a house fu es D . G h 7. Jona Philistines titute H. Married a pros 8. Hosea ldier I. Murdered a So 9. Rahab d while J. Met her husban 10. Esther lds working in the fie
Answers #2: 1. D 6. C 2. G 7. E 3. J 8. H 4. I 9. B 5. A 10. F
6. LOST COIN 7. RICH FOOL 8. TALENTS 9. WEDDING FEAST 10. UNMERCIFUL SERVANT
4. SIWE DAN OFOSILH
Answers #1: 1. SOWER 2. MUSTARD SEED 3. LOST SHEEP 4. WISE AND FOOLISH VIRGINS 5. GOOD SAMARITAN
3. TOLS ESHPE
> REAL LIFE MIRACLE
Godâ€™s Answers vs
Questions? Long-time Christians, See Yeong and Samie, had plenty for God when faced with a slew of unanswered prayers and crises. Unknown to them, God had much greater plans. By Carol Lim
> REAL LIFE MIRACLE
e have been Christians for a really long time. In our journey as Christians we understood what it meant to trust God and live by faith. There were certainly ups and downs in our lives but it never occurred to us that we would reach a point of questioning God. It all began in 2009 when we got married. Both of us loved children and desired to have children of our own. We did not have a good start as Samie was diagnosed with pre-cancerous cells in her reproductive system and had to surgically remove the abnormal cells inside the cervix. We thought that it would be easy for Samie to conceive after the surgery, but the months went by and Samie still failed to conceive. Soon, a year passed. There was still no sign of a baby. Being in our 30s we knew that it would be harder to conceive and it added to our anxiety. Jealousy, despondence and avoidance were what we felt whenever we heard that our friends around us had conceived. We stopped attending babies’ birthdays and started to feel depressed. To make things worse, we had difficulty answering questions from friends and family members whenever they asked when we were going to have children. Tears flowed freely when the pregnancy tests indicated negative month after month. There were
See Yeong at 48
in Taiwan MIT
even people who prophesized that we would have children! It was an emotional roller coaster. There were moments when we felt assured of His promise and the next moment we would crash and burn, allowing our emotions to sway and question if having children was really God’s plan for us. Both Samie and I have been serving in carecell and we eagerly took part in Easter and Christmas productions. We loved God and we wanted to serve and honor Him. Our questions were not demands for answers on account of our faithfulness. Rather, they were questions spawned from us trying to grapple with our own faith. Was God hearing us like He used to? Wasn’t He supposed to give us an abundant life?
Question 1: God, why? During one weekend service in 2010, Pastor Danny challenged the congregation to sign up for a Missions Impact Team (MIT). Throughout the preaching, I heard God whisper to me, “Go for the MIT and see how I am going to bless you.” We decided not to stay idle but to serve God with our talents while our faiths were being challenged to trust God. In obedience I signed up for an MIT to Taiwan. During one of the healing sessions where we ministered to the sick, I was assigned by Pastor Dorothy to pray for an unborn child who was suspected of having Down Syndrome. After I prayed for the baby, I felt as though God was trying to reveal something to me, something that I could not comprehend. Back in Singapore, things were still the same after the MIT. Many times, I questioned God if He has forgotten His promise to us. Similarly, Samie was buffeted by thoughts if she was worthy of God’s blessings. I had to put up a strong front to help Samie cope with her emotions. The countless times when I cried, I had to turn to a corner. It was heartbreaking and tiring.
We chose to believe in the power of prayer. It was our first and only resort.
> REAL LIFE MIRACLE Question 2: God! Are You there? Even though we could not hear or see anything from God, deep inside we knew we had to be tenacious in our prayers. We clung on to every Bible verse we grew up with and pressed in closer to God. In May 2010, the exasperating wait was finally over. Our spirits were lifted when we found out that Samie was expecting twins. Yes, not just one child but twins! If we could put points on a score card for God, it would have been 200 points out of 100. Our faith rose together with the news of the pregnancy. But it was not long before our growth in faith came to a halt. We were slammed with bad reports from our gynecologist. First, Samie had a threatened miscarriage during the early weeks of pregnancy. She was given three weeks of bed rest from her lecturing job. Despite this, the pregnancy was unstable because there was a blood clot in her uterus which posed a threat to the fetus. Our gynecologist told us that he had done everything he could to stabilize the pregnancy and asked us to pray. It is never good news when your
doctor tells you to pray. Never had we prayed so hard.The next source of support was our carecell and church friends.They interceded for us. Different friends were laying hands on Samie’s tummy declaring God’s divine protection over our twins. The next blow came. The doctors discovered that Samie has a very rare blood antibody - Anti-I antibody. This antibody is so rare that the doctors could not provide us much information.
Question 3: Is this really from You Lord? The carecell was immediately mobilized to pray. Together, we committed the safety of our babies to God. A few weeks later, we were relieved when the hematologist told us that the antibody will not affect the babies’ growth. It is interesting how easily humans can behave in a schizophrenic manner – on one hand we were heavy-laden with all the bad news and on the other we were praying and interceding. Sometimes we wondered if it was a really bad joke. However, we chose to believe in the power of prayer. It was our first and only resort. Looking back, it was the support of our spiritual family that really helped us to stay on the side of faith and prayer.
Just when we heaved a sigh of relief, the doctors told us that one of our babies was at risk of Down Syndrome. Our hearts sank deeper than the Titanic. We were shocked to hear that. The doctor asked if we wanted to continue with some more tests to determine if this baby had Down Syndrome. However, we decided not to do the test as the risk of miscarriage was very high. Besides, the option to abort the baby if the tests were positive was against the will of God, so we left it in His hands. We believed with all our hearts that every child was a gift from God. Would we be able to love them unconditionally no matter what conditions they might have? Will our children blame us if we chose to bring them into this world? We prayed and stood by our conviction. We were not going to abort that which God has blessed us with. I remembered that during my Taiwan MIT, I prayed for someoneâ€™s baby suspected of Down Syndrome. Here I was again, only this time it was my own flesh and blood. It was as if God had prepared me for this. With peace in our hearts, we committed our prayers to Him. We firmly believed that our Almighty God will see us through all circumstances. Again, we asked our supportive carecell to intercede. They prayed fervently for us. They encouraged us with godly advice that strengthened our tired spirits. Until today, we are truly glad and rejoice that we have a carecell that stood with us through tough times.
At the 28th week of pregnancy, we found out, to our horror, that our babies were engaged and ready to be delivered. Babies are usually delivered in their 38th to 40th week. This was way too early for the babies to come out. The doctor told us that their lungs and other organs were not fully developed yet. Samie had to be on bed rest again to prevent an early birth. No amount of faith could prepare us for what happened next. On Nov 30, 2011, Samie underwent an emergency C-section to deliver the babies.They were two months pre-mature, at 31 weeks and 5 days, and had to be on oxygen support. Caleb was at 2.07kg, while Sophie was at 1.84kg. It took the medical team some time after the C-section to stabilize their breathing before they were transferred to Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). As their lungs were not fully developed, they were given Continuous Positive Airway Pressure in the NICU. To prevent any possible infection, the babies were also given antibiotics daily. In nursery care, they were also given phototherapy because of their high jaundice level. Daily blood tests were done to check on infection and other possible medical issues. Sorrow overwhelmed me when I could not carry my babies in my arms. We broke down when we saw IV tubes inserted into both of their feet. We could hear them screaming when the doctors drew blood every day for countless tests. I felt extremely helpless as a father because I could not protect or comfort them. Our hearts broke when we saw them in such a state.
> REAL LIFE MIRACLE Question 4: Lord, why are we facing blows one after another?
Question 5: Where are we going to find the finances to foot the bill?
In our despair, we cried out to our faithful God. This time we heard God’s steady voice in the midst of our storms. God spoke to us in our hearts, “I will never leave or forsake you. I have brought you out from your pits and I will deliver you again.”
We could only surrender this financial burden to our Jehovah Jireh, the Lord our Provider. If our babies’ hospitalization wards were not able to downgrade to a lower class, we would have to pay the private rate even after they were discharged. That would surely burn a huge hole in our pockets. Without any hesitation, we asked for a downgrade of the class ward.
These words were the pillars of strength we held on to as we weathered through each day. We felt the peace of God, which transcended all understanding, guarding our troubled hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7). We knew that we had to be strong for our babies. After Samie was discharged from the hospital, we made daily trips back to the hospital just to hold, feed and talk to our babies. Each time we held them, we would sing ‘Jesus loves you’ to them. The stay in the NICU and Nursery Care was almost a month. The high level of care, treatment, consultation by senior doctors, laboratory tests, medications, and expendables did not come cheap. We were told to expect a bill of $100,000 for the hospitalization. Our jaws dropped.
The medical social worker who handled our case said that based on our income and expenses, it was unlikely that our application for the downgrade would be approved. Humanly, it was not possible, but with God, all things were possible! We prayed for God’s divine intervention. God did it again! The next miracle came! Jehovah Jireh divinely intervened and our application was approved. As a result of the downgrade, our bill came down to $25,000 and in addition, we also received some reimbursements from our insurers. So, we did not even need to fork out cash for the babies’ hospitalization stay. We were rendered speechless by His miraculous help and provision.
We thank God for the victories we had experienced ever since our babies were discharged. Our babies are currently doing well. They have good appetite and are gaining in weight. Their jaundice level is now normal. When Samie struggled with breastfeeding, which landed her in the Accident & Emergency Department a few times because of the severe engorgement, we learnt to give thanks in the midst of trouble. After many months, it became easier. The grace of God has seen us through every challenge and every victory. We dedicated our babies to God on Feb 18, 2012. This was a significant milestone for us and our babies. As parents, we are mere stewards who are entrusted by God to raise our children to be Godfearing. We named our children “Caleb Rainer Yeo Kai Le” and “Sophie Joy Yeo En Le”. Caleb means “loyal servant of God” and Rainer means “A leader with wisdom”. Our daughter’s name is Sophie Joy. Sophie means “wisdom” and Joy because we want our children to be full of joy. Their Mandarin names come with the character “乐”, which means joy. They are the bundles of joy that God has blessed us with. Seeing our babies growing healthily, we rejoice in God’s faithfulness. This entire journey was a test of our faith. We were glad that we did not give up and continued to trust our unchanging God in each and every trial. Our faithful and Almighty God has walked with us every step of the way. Being faithful, He kept all His promises. He never left us in our struggles. Being the Almighty God, He is able to completely turn a situation around, even when it defies human logical thinking.
“What did God want us to learn from this journey?” Let us share our thoughts with you:
4 POWERFUL TRUTHS ~ Promise ~ He promised us our own child. He is a faithful God who kept His promise. Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations.The LORD is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does. Psalm 145:13
~ Protection ~ Despite the many challenges, God protected our babies and they are now in great health. But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you. Psalm 5:11
~ Power of Prayer ~ We experienced the awesome power of prayer. When facing these challenges, we asked our carecell members and church leaders to pray for us. Our request was also prayed for during the Pre-service prayer time. With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. Matthew 19:26
~ Provision ~ God intervened and provided for our babies’ hospitalization. And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
Our Almighty God reigns! T If you want to know this God, take this moment to say this prayer. “Dear God, please forgive me of all my sins. I believe Jesus died on the cross for me and rose again. Please come into my life and be my Lord and Savior. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.” If you have said this prayer, we would like to help you to know God more. Connect with us at email@example.com If you want to be connected to a carecell near your home, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The March Missions Convention 2012 was a meaningful four days from Mar 1 to 4, 2012, where Trinitarians and visitors came dressed in their ethnic costumes to celebrate Godâ€™s heartbeat for the nations. The Missions Convention 2012 burst into full-swing with a flurry of festivities at the Cultural Village. The celebrations rang high in the atmosphere with games, food sampling and cultural performances from India, Indonesia, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Japan. Trinitarians experienced the food and culture of countries that Trinity has ongoing missions efforts with.
Hailing from the US, speakers Rev Bryan Jarrett and Lee Grady challenged Trinitarians to be stretched by God to reach the nations. It was a call to avail ourselves to be used by God. Trinitarians were consumed with a vision to touch the world for Jesus. Together, we made faith promises amounting to $10,571,196.44! Let us continue to Pray, Give and Go to the nations.
Senior pastors, pastors, elders and leaders From Mar 1 to 3, 2012, Trinity hosted 483 leaders and pastors from 27 nations at its Pastorsâ€™ Conference. Ivan Koh finds out how these eventful three days left its indelible mark on the participants.
he aim of the Pastors’ Conference was to specially train and equip leaders and pastors around the world with practical handles and spiritual truths that will take their churches to the next level. The three-day event was packed with plenary sessions, forums, special meetings and seven different workshops facilitated by Trinity’s very own pastors and guest speakers. The practical, spiritual and administrative aspects of the church were colored with rich illustrations and examples addressing the diverse needs of churches today. Candid discussions on real world issues – such as obstacles to church growth and internal discord between leadership as well as within laity – were very fruitful. The delegates were able to share their knowledge, grow together, and pray for one another.
At the close of the event, there were compliments and testimonies from the conference participants as they left feeling engaged, empowered and enriched. Here are some snippets from the leaders who attended and left impacted: 1
General Superintendents from the Assemblies of God around the world at the conference 2 & 3 Leaders from around the world worshipping together
The authenticity, content, wealth of experience, str ucturing of sessions, anointing of the Holy Spirit and the heart of spe akers – all excellent! Juliette Arulrajah, Christ Methodist Churc h, Singapore
This is our second time here at the conference. It’s wonderful where there’s dynamic preaching, great praise and worship and the opportunity to connect with other pastors around this part of the world. It’s been very inspiring, very encouraging! David Westbrook, Mackay Christian Family Church, Australia
The session helped me to kno w that we are not alone in facing these challenges. This provided a diff erent perspective. I’m now armed wit h better information, to learn to serve my senior pastor and to see God’s Kingdom. Janet Lee, His Sanctuary of Glory, Malays ia
The last few days have been a great, great, great blessing… I will bring home a lot of what I’ve learnt here and it encourages me to go back home and go ahead with the vision. Michel Ouedraogo, Assemblies of God, Burkina Faso
Reflections from those who served the nations
To support such a huge gathering of ministers and leaders, strong logistical and administrative support was required. Trinitarians from different walks of life volunteered their time, talent and treasures to be a blessing to the delegates and were, themselves, blessed.
simple act of hosting. My Spirit has been encouraged and refreshed. I am delighted to have taken the pastors into my home.”
Mdm Goe offered her home as accommodation for the delegates and experienced a refreshing in her time alone with God. She recalls, “This hosting experience has turned out to be far more than a
Roland and Florence Soh offered their time and talents to serve the delegates at church during the conference. They witnessed how they could be used to impact the global delegates.
I am always impressed with Tri nity’s team. They have beautiful har mony, unity and respect for one ano ther. It is an amazing thing for me to witness. I am thankful for Pastor Domin ic’s openness to share the deeper realities of ministry honestly. Koji & Emiko Hayashi, Tokyo Metro Church, Japan
We are very glad to be able to come ip here to Singapore and be in fellowsh ons nati rent diffe from with pastors experiencing the presence of God and worshipping together. This has given me a Kingdom perspective. I’m greatly . touched by the experience. Thank you Selah Jen, Macau Assembly of God, Macau
In their words, “We are now blessed with new brothers and sisters in Christ who we met at the conference and I believe the conference participants have also brought home many valuable lessons.”
We, three pastors, chairman and laypeople, felt very encouraged and motivated by the conference. We felt the topics were very impactful, such as church growth, administration, and raising the new generation of leaders. the We gained a clearer perspective of different aspects of ministry. Pastor Chen Ming Zhen, Taiwan Taoyuan Shimen Baptist Church
God has indeed blessed Trinity to be a blessing to the nations. The delegates went back to their homes with renewed faith and passion to impact the world for God’s Kingdom. 59
Missions at a Glance (Jan-Mar 2012)
How should we define the success of missions? We have to judge success by the unfinished tasks and there is much to be done in our world today Rev Bryan Jarrett, Lead Pastor, Northplace Church,Texas, USA
The first quarter of 2012 has been an impactful period for Trinitarians as they engaged in missions. Here’s a snapshot of their efforts. By Ivan Koh
GO: Missions Impact Teams (MITs)
3 Countries (Cambodia, Indonesia and Thailand) 24 Trinitarians 2 Evangelistic MITs 1 Humanitarian MIT 424 Decisions GO: Training and Consultation
13 Trips 9 Countries (Bulgaria, China, India, Japan,
Malaysia, Poland, Romania, Singapore and Taiwan)
sponsored children in Cambodia, India and Thailand
4 ministries given love offerings
The missions field was abuzz with Trinitarians sowing their time and service to many in need. As part of humanitarian efforts in Padang, Indonesia, Trinitarians constructed 4 houses and fed 140 families. Above all, there were over 400 salvations through these efforts! In Thailand, the MIT fed over 150 children as part of a feeding program under Trinity’s sponsorship. In Romania, 40 pastors and leaders were trained in Trinity’s 7 Steps Conference and were inspired to take their churches to the next level. Closer to home, 483 delegates from 27 nations gathered in Trinity for a three-day Pastors’ Conference. There, they received ministry training and many were refreshed, renewed and rejuvenated with a new fervor and vision for their ministries and churches. Besides going and giving to the missions cause, Trinitarians also celebrated missions in a huge way as they congregated for Missions Convention 2012 in the first week of March. During that weekend, Rev Bryan Jarrett issued a call to define the success of missions by the unfinished tasks and that there is much to be done in our world today. Trinitarians answered the call to raise the bar through committing funds, time, praying for missions and above all settling within themselves the need to embrace a passionate heartbeat for missions.
> THE ASSEMBLIES OF GOD OF SINGAPORE
Senior Pastor as General Superintendent Our Senior Pastor was in New York in Mar 2012, for the World Assemblies of God (AG) Executive Council Meeting with 35 other Superintendents. He was also in the UK in May for an Assemblies of God Great Britain leadership conference â€“ Unstoppable Church Conference 2012. As he continues serving the AG churches of Singapore and internationally, let us pray for the wisdom of the Lord to be upon him and may the Spirit work powerfully through him to touch the nations for God.
1 World AG Fellowship Executive Council Meeting in New York 2 AG Executive Council praying over the newlyordained ministers 3 Ministering to more than 1,000 pastors at the Unstoppable Church Conference 2012 in UK
> TCA COLLEGE
Brave New World The future of mankind – a topic often shrouded in a web of difficult questions we seldom have an answer to. TCA College’s latest seminars ‘The Book of Revelation Demystified’ and ‘The Challenge of Biomedical Issues to the Contemporary Church’ addressed many of these difficult questions regarding mankind’s evolution and fate in two engaging sessions on Feb 25 and Mar 17, 2012. Moo Yubin reports. 62
“Who or what is the ‘Beast’ described in the Book of Revelation?” “How are the book and its symbols relevant today?” “When does a person’s life actually begin and end? Is a ‘brain dead’ person still alive?” “What do Christian couples need to understand about assistive reproduction techniques?”
This reminder to focus on God and His Word when faced with controversial or ethical matters was also emphasized by Dr Alex Tang, senior consultant pediatrician in the Johor Specialist Hospital in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, in his seminar on the challenges of biomedical issues. By sharing perspectives from theology, history and medical science on when life begins and ends, Dr Tang encouraged participants to formulate their own ethical and moral positions on issues such as stem cell research, abortion, reproduction technologies, euthanasia and the use of a “living will”.
hese and other challenging questions were raised from the over 200 participants at two seminars conducted by TCA College in February and March entitled The Book of Revelation Demystified and The Challenge of Biomedical Issues to the Contemporary Church.
Participants were made aware of how differing ethical views on life and death could affect key decisions, for example when couples decide to undergo assistive reproduction techniques, or when families have to deal with relatives in a coma or an unresponsive state.
At both seminars, participants were encouraged to go beyond simply accumulating knowledge. Instead, they were challenged to apply the understanding gained from theology, history and science to enrich and live out their faith, and to engage contemporary issues from a biblical perspective.
The seminars were engaging and well-received. Participants at the seminar on Revelation shared how their understanding of the book had been deepened. Others at the seminar on Biomedical Issues commended Dr Tang on the balanced sharing, which enabled them to make informed, rational decisions on ethical matters.
In the seminar on demystifying the Book of Revelation, Dr Babu Immanuel, TCA College Faculty, School of Divinity explained that the symbols used by the author were reflective of the book’s historical and cultural context. He outlined how various interpretations and even groups had sought to link the unexplained symbols to historical figures and events.
If you have a desire to be similarly equipped in the Word and knowledge, so as to live out your faith more effectively,
He concluded by exhorting participants not to dwell on end-time speculation or debate, but to grasp the central truth in Revelation that Christ would return and that we should therefore prepare ourselves and stand firm in our faith. 1
Sign up for upcoming TCA College Seminars at www.tca.edu.sg
1 Dr Alex Tang engaging the participants
2 Participants enjoying the interactive session
llege TCA Conar Semi
of the 21st Century Christian By Manik Corea
here must be so many Christians, gasping and short of breath, as they drag laboriously down the narrow road to life. After all, prayer is like breathing - and those who do not are dead. But why should that be? Obviously, the devil has something to do with it - he is terrified at the power and potential of prayer - and is an expert at getting us not to pray. But there are other reasons, not least are some of the myths that have arisen around our concepts of prayer (both private and corporate). These have blunted and dulled the effects of our prayers, subtly moving us away from effective and worldchanging prayer habits to apathy and faithlessness. The following is an (inexhaustive) list of five common myths about prayer that many Singapore Christians hold to, offered up for debunking.
PRAYER IS PRIMARILY PETITION Years ago, my two elder brothers and I were at a meal with my cousins and aunt. My aunt asked one of my brothers to lead us in ‘grace’ before the meal. He duly began, ‘”The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship...”
“thanksgiving” as Philippians 4:6 exhorts), petition is not the be-all and end-all of our prayers. God is not some celestial vending machine into which we put in our prayers like coins and expect to have the answers we want delivered. The prayers of the people of God in the Bible (e.g. 2 Chronicles 6:14-42, Nehemiah 1:5-11, Acts 4:2430) seek not just the meeting of specific needs, but ultimately the discovery and execution of God’s will on the earth for His glory. Prayer is not a monologue to God on our part either – there needs to be space for listening and hearing what God would say to us. The other types of prayers Scripture speaks of include thanksgiving (Ephesians 1:16, 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18), various kinds of intercession (Genesis 18:22-33, Ezekiel 22:30, Romans 10:1), confession (1 John 1:9, James 5:16) and praying in the Spirit (Romans 8:26-27, 1 Corinthians 14:13-15).
PRAYER DEMANDS A SPECIAL LANGUAGE OR A FORMULA OF WORDS
Looking back, I smile at my brother’s naiveté. There are different types of prayer; the Bible teaches as much - “...with all kinds of prayers and requests” (Ephesians 6:18); “1 urge then... that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone.” (1 Timothy 2:1)
A three-month-old Christian was at his first church prayer meeting. The older saints offered up various prayers using words like “sanctification”, “redemption” and “supplication.” Eventually, the young Christian picked up courage and began himself to pray aloud, “Lord, it’s such a hot day, but I thank you forth at great drink of water I had an hour ago. Amen.”
However, most people understand and use only one type of prayer - petition, i.e. bringing their own personal needs, or those of their loved ones to God. Although we ought and need to do so (with
His prayer no doubt ruffled the feathers of a few of the faithful that day. But it came from a sincere heart. I have a feeling that God warmed to his honest expression of gratitude.
> PRAYER Tragically, in a year, that young man’s public prayers will probably sound just like the others. It always surprises me how quickly new Christians pick up particular words, phrases and clichés. Particular words and phrases in vogue at the moment include “Lord, bless so and so”, “minister to our brother...” and “we lift her up to your throne.” These prayers are not wrong in themselves. But how easily we began to learn (usually unconsciously) to tailor our prayers so that they sound like the spiritual ones we hear others praying. Thus, we rob our public prayers of words that are honest, respectfully natural and straight from our hearts. Some of us have taken to other peculiar habits in group praying. For example, many people constantly repeat the Lord’s name throughout their prayers. Charles Spurgeon taught that we ought to “use most reverently the name of the infinite Jehovah”, lambasting Christians who repeatedly used the Lord’s names as a “stop-gap to make up for our want of words.”
THE LONGER, MORE INFORMATIVE OR IMPRESSIVE THE PRAYER THE BETTER! Have you ever been in a service or gathering where the person leading the prayer was excessively long-winded? You are not alone. The great evangelist of the 19th century, George Whitfield, speaking of a preacher he was with, said, “He prayed me into a good frame of mind, and if he had stopped there, it would have been very well; but he prayed me out of it again by keeping on.”
I am indebted to Pastor Cho Yonggi for teaching me through his writings that our prayers need to be specific and straight to the point. Jesus had a particular warning against babbling in our prayers like the pagans, who “think they will be heard because of their many words.” (Matthew 6:7). Prayers of appeasement, bargaining or seeking to move God through length and posture just will not work with the Living God. Real prayer involves talking something over with God, not trying to talk God into or out of something. Some people seek to preach in their corporate prayers. Others use prayer as a means of sharing information to a group. We do well to remember that the Lord must remain the only object of our prayers. While we are to be conscious of others in the group in public praying, it is God who hears us, and it is Him alone we want to hear us.
PRAYER IS A SPIRITUAL EXERCISE WITH INTANGIBLE RESULTS This myth is based on a fallacious assumption – that prayer doesn’t work. Many Singaporean Christians struggle with the real value of taking time out for personal or corporate prayer because we have been shaped by a culture that values activism and tangible action. And prayer is seen too often as the antithesis of work. But James reminds us that “the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective” (James 5:16), going on to cite the example of Elijah’s prayers that both begun and ended a three and a half years drought.
Furthermore, Jesus Himself shows us the important place of prayer. He had a habit of going off on His own to lonely places, spending significant time praying (Mark 1:35, Luke 6:12, John 17). What a solemn rebuke to those of us who think we can merely get by in the Christian walk without ourselves investing significant time praying.
earth. The real tragedy is when Christians ignore the potential and power of Spirit inspired praying that rises like incense before God (Revelation 5:8), moving Him to action on our behalf, for the sake of His kingdom and glory.
Similarly, all great men and women of God were and are invariably prayer warriors who knew full well the value and power of prayer. They can all agree with Martin Luther’s statement: “I’ve so much to do today, I’ll need to spend another hour on my knees in prayer.”
Manik Corea works with the North American Missionary Society, a church-planting organization with the goal of ‘planting churches that plant churches’. He is currently based in England.
PRAYER IS A SPECIAL CALLING BEST LEFT TO A FEW
Brethren, let us pray. T
The article first appeared in IMPACT Jun/Jul 2000 Vol 24 No 3. It is reprinted with permission.
Many Christians seem to think that it is a special calling or that only the really spiritual among us actually spend hours in prayer each day, or are active in church and national initiatives for prayer. How wrong they are. There is no gift of prayer or intercession to be found anywhere in the Bible. Instead, we have countless exhortations for all Christians to be engaged in various kinds of prayers and to pray on all occasions (for example Ephesians 6:18). We are all meant to be prayer warriors. Both Jesus and the Apostles after, especially Paul, left us in no doubt that prayer is something every Christian needs to engage on a regular basis. Lord Alfred Tennyson, the British poet once wrote, “More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of.” Prayer remains the greatest resource available to the children of God on
Prayer Makes A Difference! Trinitarians packed the Church Prayer Meetings in February and March that were themed “Breakthrough” and many experienced just that. Some went the extra mile to attend the Morning Prayer Meetings from Feb 13 to 17, 2012. Chia Ban Seng reports.
In 2011, God granted my heart’s desire with a sponsorship to pursue a degree in Optometry. But to my dismay my sponsor updated me that I may not get the full sponsorship with monthly allowance. I asked God for a breakthrough during the Church Prayer Meeting on Feb 1. The next day, I received an e-mail confirming that I would receive the full sponsorship with the monthly payouts. God is indeed our Provider! Grace Lim, full-time student
I was amazed and touched that on three separate occasions during the Morning Prayer Meeting, someone prayed for me using the same Bible verse for the same area that God had been speaking to me. God never fails to show up when we seek His face! Jerlyn Koh, HR assistant
I came to Day 1 of the Morning Prayer Meeting with a heavy heart due to unresolved issues with my hotel staff. By Day 2’s prayer meeting, I felt much peace and love which led me to buy my staff a Valentine’s Day cake, apologize to them and share what God spoke to me through a Bible verse on love. God did the rest that afternoon to unite our staff. That evening, we even received a thank-you note from a guest for our hotel’s warm services. All glory to God! Wang Lee Chien, director
Let’s attend our prayer meetings and experience God powerfully!
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Church Prayer Meetings and grow in your prayer life!
Wed, 8pm Trinity@Paya Lebar, Level 1M, Theatrette 2 Fortified through the Armor of God Jul 4 • Aug 1 • Sep 5 Praying through Jesus’ prayers, teachings and parables Oct 3 • Nov 7 • Dec 5
Consumed By an Encounter. For an Endeavor
55 Polytechnic, ITE and private institution students gathered at IGNYTE’s (Trinity Christian Centre’s youth ministry) annual youth camp from Apr 9 to 12, 2012, for three days of fun, fellowship and fresh Godencounters. Elane Luo reports.
The IGNYTE Pastoral Team touched on various issues that were close to the hearts of youths today.
Day 1: The camp opened with fun and games which were focused on the theme Consumed. That night, Brother Kah Fei shared on the Raw Deal & Real Deal of our relationship with God and His grace. Different ones shared their deepest struggles in their walk with God. And many opened up on their very personal struggles and had their fellow youth pray and minister to them.
Day 2: In the morning, Brother David shared on Surrender. He drew examples from the life of Nehemiah. And concluded that in order for us to do the great exploits for God, we need to first come to a place of surrendering our comforts, safety nets and reputation. That afternoon, Pastor Melvin led a workshop on Grey Areas. He engaged campers in discussion on the grey areas many youths face today. Some being clubbing, drinking, having relationships with pre-believers and going on overseas trips with boyfriends or girlfriends. There was a good time of interaction after which Pastor Melvin shared a Biblical framework based on 1 Corinthians on how one should live in relation to their fellow believers.
Day 3: Pastor Gwen shared on the Characteristics of God’s Call. She shared how the call of God captivates and consecrates us. It was followed by a powerful time of ministry where the youths were prayed over and anointed with oil. Many received a word from God and some specifically in the area of full-time ministry. Day 4: On the final day, Pastor Melvin gave a roundup of the camp with the message Living the Consumed Life. He exhorted everyone to do so by Fighting the Good Fight, Finishing the Race and Keeping the Faith. He led in a time of prayer where the campers were charged to live being consumed by God’s vision for their institutions. For many, the main highlight of the camp was the final night where Pastor Gwen led in a time of worship. She gave out blindfolds to everyone – for them to close their eyes and just focus on God. The effect was amazing! Campers were lost in worship, focusing on God without inhibition.
The sharing done by the pastoral team on the first night service was honest and real. I felt that they truly understood what it was like to deal with sin as they, too, had been in that place of compromise before. I no longer felt alone. It wasn’t easy to have the courage to share something that personal but they did it. And it touched my heart to see how much the pastoral team put in to make that difference for us! I thank God for the pastoral team! They have heavily invested in my life and I know that they have my back no matter how many times I have failed them. I am truly humbled by this experience. Rufus Tan
I was anointed with oil and slain in the Spirit during the last night of camp. I could not stand properly, and my leg shivered and trembled as the Holy Spirit fell on me! I told God “When I get up, I will surrender my relationship and studies to You. Whatever You want to do, I am ready. Use me and mold me, I want to be Your vessel. Take control of my life.”
After the camp, the polytechnic of my first choice called me for an interview. God has answered my prayers! I believe there is much more that God is doing in my life. God is great! Benroy Leong
I cried so much when I was anointed with oil by Pastor Gwen. I remember very vividly, she anointed my hands with oil to do good and not evil. Also, my lips, to sing praises to the Lord. Having said all these words, I caught a vision of the things I had done that did not please God. I was stuck, having to choose between the two things that were very dear to my heart. It was obvious that God was greater but I guess I just needed time to let it go and let God take control. God indeed took me to another level to mold me into a better person and showed me that He loves me unconditionally. I want to shine brightly for Him and I would like to share with the world how big and almighty He is. Joanne Goh In one of the sharing sessions, my group member began to open up and she began sharing with me about the hurts she had faced in the past which led her to have suicidal thoughts. At that crucial moment, God’s presence was so overwhelming and without hesitation, I started to pray for her. That very night, God convicted me to become a Spiritual Parent. Pamela Lam 73
> YOUNG ADULTS Is there only one right person for me?
How do I deal with my sense of inferiority at work?
More than 180 of Trinity’s young adults gathered to hear practical insights on these three topics close to their hearts at the Young Adults Weekend held on Apr 28, 2012. Lye Huixian hears from some of them.
How do I manage my finances and have more than enough?
Money, Relationships, Emotions
Sharing their own experiences in grappling with relationships before they were “20-plus-plus” – because sometimes one plus may not be enough – Pastor Darick and Pastor Gwen encouraged us to be “ready for the right person” by first being that right person as well as building friendships as the foundation for our relationships. Pastor Darick and Pastor Gwen gave very practical answers in the Relationships workshop that will help me give answers to difficult questions that friends ask, such as the topic on relationships with pre-believers. Evangeline Cai, 28, interior designer 74
Pastor Gwen and Pastor Darick’s sharing of their own experiences on topics such as how to find or know ‘the right one’ and the need to know your criteria for who you’re looking for were very practical. Chin Chung Kit, 32, engineer It was helpful, especially for those who are not in a relationship at the moment, to hear the practical examples shared by Pastor Darick in the Relationships workshop. Veralynn Cho, 30, credit analyst
Pastor Danny laid the foundation for the workshop by highlighting the differences between the pursuit of financial freedom and contentment, before sharing practical tips on the importance of budgeting and preparing for the inevitable problem of aging.We were challenged to question whether we would be the rich who hoard, the non-rich who strive, or the contented who follow Christ with no regret, envy or fear. Pastor Danny shared about the difference between freedom and joy. I learnt that freedom of choice, or financial freedom can be an illusion, and my happiness is tied not to money but contentment with what I have. Corrine Chin, 25, account manager After working for three years as a banker, where you are surrounded by talk about flashy bags, spas and holidays, it can be a challenge to feel that we have enough. Pastor Dannyâ€™s workshop Money Talks! was a good reminder that God gives us the wisdom to plan, and we can learn to be blessed with whatever we have. God will assure us of having enough. Adeline Tan, 25, banker
Unravelling Your Inner Thoughts in an Emotionally Charged world Over in the lecture theatre, Pastor Edward and Pastor Margaret addressed the different emotions faced by young adults in a challenging world, and shared practical tips on how to unravel our inner thoughts and emotions and deal with negative emotions and wrong thoughts by praying the Psalms.
Before attending this workshop, God led me to pray a psalm for a situation which had been very challenging for me. During the workshop when Pastor Margaret encouraged us to use Psalms to pray for our situations, I felt comforted, encouraged and secure. Huang Miao Fang, 30, customer support engineer The workshop on Emotions was very thoughtprovoking. It caused us to reflect on our own behavior, actions and how it actually stems from our belief and worldview. Chan Xian Ying, 34, engineer The workshop on Emotions was very relevant in our world where we canâ€™t get away from challenges and need to learn how to overcome our feelings. Ivan Koh, 28, technical supply manager
> TRINITARIAN HERO
Christopher Yeo and Irene Tiong
Former Youth Bible Class (YBC) teachers Christopher Yeo, 50, and Irene Tiong, 46, are back to teach the new generation of youth at DefinYtion, IGNYTE Ministry’s discipleship track. Marrying both their passion for gardening and nurturing the youth, they aptly describe their ministry as tree-planting. Sharon Lim traces the growth of a ministry-minded couple.
Sharon (S): When did you start teaching at YBC? How many years were you in it? Christopher (C): I was brought to Trinity in 1983 by a friend. Between 1987 to 1998, I taught in the YBC as it was known back then. Irene (I): Chris and I met when we were studying in New Zealand. When we came back we got married and he brought me to Trinity. I’ve been here teaching the Bible classes since 1990. S: What prompted you to come back to empower the youths through DefinYtion? C: After the YBC years, we were in the North district from 2000 to 2010, and at one Leaders’ Community Empowerment (LCE), Pastor Dominic announced the plans to re-launch DefinYtion.
Nominate your Trinitarian Hero! Email email@example.com to tell us why you think they best espouse the vision and values of Trinity.
I: Actually we were looking for opportunities to teach. We’ve always had a heart for the youths. We wanted to teach the youths even when we were already out of the youth ministry then. So, when Pastor Dominic said that during LCE… C: …he mentioned my name…
I: And there you go! C: After about 10 years, it was time to answer our call, once again, to contribute to the next generation. S: How different are the youth today compared to many years back? C: I think the context and their environment have changed. For example, now they are exposed to smartphones and the internet. They multitask incredibly fast. The older teachers from the early years get irritated – why do they keep looking at their phones? But these guys are actually listening, and they take notes. They are receiving the lesson; they just don’t look that way. S: What is most rewarding for you in this ministry? C: When you look back you find some students you once taught becoming pastors today (like Pastor Gary and Pastor Victor) or sectional leaders (SLs) or carecell leaders. And they are now bringing up their own children in the ways of the Lord. This is my primary reward.
WHAT can you look forward to? • Encounter God • Engage in real-life issues • Experience new friendships WHEN is it held? • Trinity@Adam, Sat 3pm and Sun 9am • Trinity@Paya Lebar, Sat 3pm and Sun 8.30am
S: If you can summarize how you see yourself making a difference, what would that be? C: Building the foundation for the next generation of Trinitarians. I’ve thought about it long ago. That aim has not changed. S: Is there anything else that you feel strongly about that you wish to share? I: Ah yes! We want to appeal for more teachers! Our church is so big! Surely we have some people who are able to teach God’s Word. C: DefinYtion is definitely a step in the right direction. It will be very sad if it’s derailed over time because there are not enough teachers. Interested to serve? Find out more about DefinYtion here: http://trinity.net/IGNYTE/DefinYtion/
(Sec 1 & 2)
(Sec 3, 4 & 5)
(Poly, JC, ITE, NSF)
Jesus Last Days
Leading the Way
Ancient Faith/ Future Faith
Aug Turning the Tide of Emotions
Ancient Faith/ Future Faith
Sep Agents of Change Oct What God says about Giving
Try this for a Change Try this for a Change
Nov Great Encounters with Jesus
Caught on Trinity’s
! a r e m Ca
me fly Contributed by Chang Wa i
I wish I might, I pray thee Lord, make her my bride
The hand that raised me is now raised to worship the Lord Contr
r ‘Trinity Share you ith us. ’w moments o t Send them rinity.org.sg @t connect
Trinitarian Magazine Issue 2/2012