S I O
N F O R
A Vision Fueled by Faith Up Close
Connecting the Dots Pulse
God Encounter Meetings
Pastor Dr Philip Lyn
is the Senior Pastor of Skyline SIB, a city-evangelizing church in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, which also works with the rural poor. He is also a practicing medical doctor. A sought-after speaker at international conferences, he is passionate about raising marketplace leaders to live out Kingdom principles to community transformation. Come and catch a fresh vision for the Church and marketplace.
Rev Glyn Barrett
is the Senior Pastor of !Audacious Church, a nation-shaking church in Manchester, England and also the author of books like ‘if I Was The Devil’ and ‘The Audacious Revolution’. A powerful communicator, Glyn’s motivational teachings from God’s Word have impacted the lives of tens of thousands of people around the world. Get ready for God to speak powerfully to you through this man of God.
Contents Issue 03/2013
12 A Vision for tomorrow Who Would Have Thought? A Vision Fueled by Faith Unite with our Board The Place of God Encounters
70 TAKE THE PLUNGE!
The Significance of Water Baptism
Take LEAD. Be Discipled. Trinity’s core courses
60 CONNECTING THE DOTS Real Life Miracle
102 Trinitarian Hero
Youth serving the Church and Community
78 TRAINING AND CONSULTATION IN POLAND
Spiritual Parent Training
80 Sending God’s Love to mONGOLIA Trinity’s Second Trip to Mongolia
82 J-GOSPEL CHOIR
Japanese Ministry’s First Evangelistic Event
84 Launch of spanish SERVICE
First Spanish Christian Service in Singapore
86 Missions at a glance
Overview of Trinity’s Missions Outreach
Break the Elijah Syndrome By Rev Ong Sek Leang
Contents Issue 03/2013
Real Life Miracle
We a re Tr in it a ri a n s!
a re We C and ! ect C onn
30 TUNE INTO GOD
38 GOD ENCOUNTER MEETINGS
42 God-Encounters that Bring
88 Hands on with ccss volunteers
Battle the Curse of our Age
miracles and Breakthroughs Five Truths on the Need to Encounter God
48 Signs of the Elijah Syndrome Is this you?
49 Break the Elijah SYNDROME
Be Free to Walk in God’s Purpose and Plans
56 An Enemy called ‘Average’
God has more in store for you! Don’t be limited!
100 Tough questions answered
Why Would a Loving God Send People to Hell?
Break Indifference, Be Impassioned for God Impacting our Community
92 Life CONFERENCE 2013 Empowering Leaders
95 night revival meetings Unleashing God’s Miracles
289 FTV’s at IGNYTE’s Evangelistic Event
98 Campus camp 2013
Radical Moments with a Radical God
101 Caught on trinity’s camera This is why Trinity is our home church!
Advisor Chief Editor
I am truly blessed and encouraged by the testimonies, messages and life stories found in the Trinitarian magazine! In the last issue, God spoke to me through the message by Pastor Dominic on unleashing ‘The Power of Affirmation’. As I was reading the message, I felt as though God was speaking to me and affirming me as His daughter, loved by Him. I caught a revelation that as a child of God I am so much more privileged and blessed because I’m loved by Him. His blessings and grace showered on me is so much that it overflows for me to be a blessing to others!
Jerlyn Koh I was very inspired by the “31 Biblical Virtues to Pray for your Family” in the last issue of the Trinitarian. This is an interesting concept and one of the small ways to be intentional in getting the family together for prayer time. It has encouraged me to set aside time to pray through the verse of the day for my family.” Esther Lau
Pastor Janice Chng
Diana Lim Miranda Zhang
Carol Lim Chia Ban Seng Christine Poon Elane Luo Gabriel Chu Han Mei Zhen Ivan Koh June Teh Kevin Kwang Lye Hui Xian Moo Yubin Sharon Lim Will Yong
I’m also reminded to affirm the people around me daily, always remembering the power of affirmation. Indeed, God speaks to His people anywhere, anytime and through many ways, including the Trinitarian magazine!
Pastor Dominic Yeo
Andrew Chong Campus Photography Team David Cheong Francesca Tay IGNYTE Photography Team Law Kian Yan Pastor Victor Toh Twenty4Frames
Rev Ong Sek Leang Rev Glyn Barrett Dr Richard Goetz
Advertising Sales & Admin
Sarah Lau For ad sales enquiries, Tel: 6304 7718 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Mailing Address
Singapore Post Centre Post Office PO Box 616 Singapore 914021 Website
email@example.com ISSUE 3/2013
The Trinitarian is published quarterly by Trinity Christian Centre. Company registration number 197802911H MICA (P) 072/04/2013 Designed by Big Detail Pte Ltd Printed in Singapore by Refine Printing Pte Ltd License number L011/06/2013
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.
Trinitarians express thanks to those who have served courageously and been a blessing to others.
Thank you for a wonderful Sunday where we felt very welcome from the moment we stepped into the church till the time we left. My children are also very happy to be here. My older boy is happy that he gets to use his Bible in church. My younger boy is hoping he gets to use his Bible in church next week. Thanks for showing God’s love to all of us!
We want to thank the team behind this year’s Parents Day’s gifts. They are very practical and attractive. The mothers in my family are impressed with the thermal containers because they can contain food and keep it hot. The fathers really like the handy tool box. It is compact and practical. They especially like the wheel design. My grandson commented, “The wheel tool box is so cool!” So thumbs up for this year’s gifts!
This is a note to express our gratitude and appreciation toward the Trinity pastoral staff and our carecell members for their love and care during the recent bereavement of my sister Su Lin. Su Lin came to Singapore to seek medical treatment for pancreatic cancer. During her stay here, she was so impacted by the love shown that she sensed the touch of God once again on her life. It may have only been three weeks, but it was the best part of her life before she went to be with the Lord. In particular we want to thank Pastor Wai Ling for making time to pray and minister to Su Lin in NUH. At the funeral, Pastor Carmelo, shared a wonderful message that ministered to our friends and relatives. Indeed we are proud to be Trinitarians.
Germaine and Weewoon
Janet and Nam Yong (Chinese Ministry) Do you have someone to thank? Send your appreciation notes to firstname.lastname@example.org.
ENGLISH SERVICES Weekend Services, Nursery & Discoveryland* Sat 5pm • Sun 8.30am & 11am Pre-Teens Services (ages 10-12) Sat 5pm • Sun 8.30am IGNYTE Services (ages 13-20) Sat 5pm • Sun 11am CHINESE SERVICES Sat 8.30am & 11am
We see our worship services,
We see Trinity Christian
prayer meetings and carecells
Centre as a church living
as places where people hunger
together in covenantal
for the presence of God
and where God delights to
inhabit and dwell. In a vibrant
families and individuals
atmosphere of worship, prayer
are flowing in corporate
and discipleship, we see people
unity to fulfill God’s
encountering God and the
purpose and plan for the
manifestation of signs, wonders
church for that hour.
ENGLISH SERVICES Weekend Services, Nursery & Discoveryland* Sat 5pm • Sun 10am Pre-Teens Services (ages 10-12) Sat 5pm • Sun 8.30am IGNYTE Services (ages 13-20) Sat 5pm • Sun 10am CHINESE SERVICES Sat 5pm • Sun 10am** FILIPINO SERVICE Sun 10am INDONESIAN SERVICE Sun 10am JAPANESE SERVICE 2nd & 3rd Sun of the month 10am
We see a people consumed
We see the church
with a vision to touch the
as a place for the
world for Jesus Christ and
to see His glory displayed
development of Spirit-filled
throughout the world. We see
leaders who will be
a church with a passionate
heartbeat to fulfill God’s global
and deployed within
agenda through sending men
the Body of Christ. Every
and women of faith to equip
Trinitarian a leader with
and empower churches and
the body of Christ.
SPANISH SERVICE Sun, 10am THAI SERVICE Sun 3pm
Passionate Honor Passion to love and honor God
Audacious Fervor Boldness and zeal to believe and ask largely for the impossible
Relentless Belief Unwavering belief in people and their God-g¡ven dest¡ny
Contagious Faith Authentic and infectious faith that reaches out to the lost
If people can’t see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves; But when they attend to what He reveals, they are most blessed. Proverbs 29:18 (The Message) Every September,Trinity celebrates Vision Month. It’s a time where our church catches a godly vision of what He wants to do in and through us Trinitarians: A Vision for Tomorrow. Back in 1970, we began with just 10 people, without a premise we could call our own. Yet, our founding pastors and Trinitarians believed in God’s vision for our church. Take a walk down memory lane on p12 and p24 and be in awe of how God provides for the vision – His provision – when His people step out in faith and obedience.When we acquired Trinity@Adam and Trinity@Paya Lebar, we would have never imagined the extent of influence our church has today.
In the recent National Day Rally speech, Prime Minister Lee mentioned that the Paya Lebar airbase will be moving to Changi to free up more space for homes and industries. God has indeed positioned Trinity@Paya Lebar to be a lighthouse! We are living in exciting times. God has been preparing us in our God Encounter Meetings and forming us as His people for a greater purpose. As you read the encouraging testimonies of lives being transformed on p38, may you be touched with divine revelation and re-fueled with new passion and purpose for Christ. Trinitarians, let us continue to walk in faith to fulfill God’s vision for tomorrow!
Who would have
Thought? Much of what we have today in Trinity is simply breath-taking. From a small prayer meeting with just 10 people in Hillcrest Road, to a church with a vibrant community of more than 7,000 Trinitarians. Imagine standing as one of the 10 people in 1970.Would you have envisioned Trinity to become what it is today? By Will Yong
Hotel Equatorial, 151 Stevens Road 1974 1970 2 Hillcrest Road
37 Merryn Road 1976
1975 Ewe Boon Road
16 Anguilla Park (intermittent) and 8 Ewe Boon Road 1978 1977 Regional Language Centre, 30 Orange Grove Road
NTUC Conference Hall, 7 Shenton Way and Cathay Cinema 1982
1981 Singapore American School, 118 Kingâ€™s Road
Who would thought Trinity would have three free-hold properties in a land-scarce nation? When the 3,000-seat Sanctuary at Trinity@Paya Lebar was open for the 2009 Watchnight service, it was not big enough to contain everyone â€“ in fact the carpark was double-parked and full. Neither did we expect Tai Seng MRT to be built right next to Trinity@Paya Lebar. Today more than 7,000 gather weekly in a vibrant atmosphere of worship at Trinity@Paya Lebar and Trinity@Adam.
World Trade Centre, 1 Maritime Square 1984 1983 23 Adam Road
Singapore Labour Foundation, 510 Thomson Road (intermittent) and Hoover Theatre, 360 Balestier Road 1993 1990 Trinity@Adam, 21 Adam Road
1995 Trinity@Adam 21 Adam Road
Trinity@Lavender 103 Lavender Street 2000 2007 Trinity@Paya Lebar 247 Paya Lebar Road
Who would have thought Trinity would develop our own carecell model that now impacts churches around the world? As the church grew bigger, we got â€˜smallerâ€™, gathering in our carecells. Our carecell model gave Trinitarians a sense of belonging to the church and brought individuals into corporate unity and covenantal relationships. It is a place where Trinitarians grow and serve in Godâ€™s house together.
Who would have thought a church of 10 started by missionaries would be able to send missions impact teams to 44 countries since 1970? Today, Trinity is a church of global impact carrying Godâ€™s passionate heartbeat for the world. Last year alone, Trinity sent a total of a total of 320 Trinitarians to 10 countries for missions trips and made 53 Training and Consultation trips to churches around the globe in 13 countries, including Bulgaria, Poland, Romania, Japan, Taiwan and the United States.
Who would have thought Trinity would have more than 50 home-grown pastors and over 1,000 lay leaders? When people were getting saved back in the 1970s, we did not have an Introduction to the Trinity Family course. Today we have our own Christian education programe, LEAD, that equips Trinitarians to be strategic leaders. And TCA College that trains and releases well-rounded leaders to make a fresh impact in the church and marketplace.
A VISION FUELED BY FAITH Trace our heritage of faith through the lenses of our former and present board members.
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1
By Faith, Missionaries started a prayer meeting with 10 people… Trinity had its humble beginnings in the personal residence of its founders, Rev and Mrs Glenn Stafford at 1 Greenleaf View in September 1969. The Staffords were missionaries from the Assemblies of God, in USA. Their hearts’ cry was to have ‘a Pentecostal witness in District 11 of Singapore’, so they started a prayer meeting with 10 people, including five from their family, in their home in September 1969. The weekly prayer meetings continued until April 1970 when Trinity started with just 10 people the Staffords launched the first Sunday Service at 2 Hillcrest Road in Bukit Timah. Trinity Christian Centre was birthed.
By Faith, Trinity embraced a lady senior pastor when it was unheard of at that time… “In the midst of a leadership vacuum, a young evangelist Naomi Dowdy was passing by and was assigned to preach in Trinity for a Sunday service. God gave me the insight that she would be our pastor. So, even though a woman pastor and an expatriate wasn’t favored by most people, we [the board] proceeded to get her work permit and visa to stay in Trinity as our pastor.” - David Lum, one of the first board members. He was co-opted into the church board by Rev Robert Ferguson, the third missionary who continued the work in Trinity.
By Faith, Trinity moved out from the back alley… “The Board had practical concerns of paying the bills for the use of Equatorial Hotel. But they took a step of faith to move out from the back alley into Equatorial hotel believing for growth. Church has to be in a place where we can be seen, where we can be easily accessed, so that people can come.” - Pastor Naomi Dowdy, former senior pastor of Trinity Christian Centre “The church grew by leaps and bounds. Worship services were progressively conducted in hotels, convention halls and auditoriums. The ‘nomadic life’ was wearisome and the need for a home base was urgently felt and actively pursued.” - David Lum ntre
gional Language Ce
1977 Service at Re
By Faith, Trinity purchased her first land, Trinity@Adam… “When we first bought Trinity@Adam, I called for a board meeting. I told them that if we signed this deal there’s no turning back. If we don’t have the money in the next 3-4 months we will lose our down payment. The board collectively agreed and we proceeded in faith not knowing where the finances were going to come from” - Pastor Naomi Dowdy “God never failed to provide. There was once Pastor Dowdy asked the board to pray for a sum amounting to two hundred thousand. This was almost impossible but then God worked marvellously. I was sitting in the church office when a brother screamed and jumped off the chair. He just struck a deal and the tithes alone amounted to a hundred and twenty thousand.” – David Lum
ing ceremony at 21
By Faith, Trinitarians gave their all… “When we purchased Trinity@Adam, we did not have enough money in our bank account!” – Danny Yeo, present board member who has been in the building committee for all three buildings “Raising funds to finance the project was a challenge as the congregation was relatively small at that time.”– Tang Seng Foon, former board member
“Most of the other denominations had their own ‘parent’ to either provide the finance or help raise the funds needed.” – Colin Lincoln, former board member
“Banks were reluctant to lend as it would be bad PR if they had to sue a religious institution.” – Raymond Leong, former board member
“In order to show the banks that we were serious and committed to taking and eventually paying off the loan, we sought the agreement of Trinitarians to either put their money in and/or mortgage their assets with the church. With this we could then go to the bank and show that as a church we did have some collateral.” – Colin Lincoln “Trinitarians rose to the call to give toward building God’s house. The young congregation gave sacrificially. People gave hard cash, their savings and even mortgaged their homes.” – Danny Yeo “When it was decided that we would purchase our own property to build our own church, it was decided that the board should take the lead to make their faith promise at the board meeting as a step of faith from the leadership of the church. I’ve never been involved in such an ‘exercise’.” – Colin Lincoln
“We were given humble slips of paper to put down the amounts we determined in our hearts to give and to stretch in faith to give over and beyond our usual. The following week we were to actually turn in those amounts to the church office!” – Lauren Ong, former board member overseeing legal matters “Looking back, it was a step of faith and a prophetic act that the board took to set the tone of how we as a church would go about building God’s church.” – Colin Lincoln
By Faith, Trinitarians continued to give to the Vision…God gave us Trinity@Lavender “After we paid up the loan for Trinity@Adam, I recall saying to Pastor Dowdy (rather cheerfully) that we don’t need to take Vision Faith Promises anymore! She ‘rebuked’ me saying ‘Raymond! When we stop building, we stop growing!’ This statement has set the foundation of my faith whenever I wrestle with whether to go forward with the next building project.” – Raymond Leong
1998 Groundbreak at Trinity@Lavend ing ceremony er
“Shortly after the completion of Trinity@Adam, our church was presented with an opportunity to buy a property at Lavender Street. This was transformed to be used as our second church premise and an outreach center.” – Lauren Ong
By Faith, Trinity stretched her faith to purchase Trinity@Paya Lebar…
2004 Groundbreaking cere at Trinity@Paya Lebar
“I was constantly challenged in my faith! Each time the figures were tabled at the Board Meeting, they would turn to me for my response. Seriously, we didn’t have the funds. We were initially talking about over $10 million for Trinity@Lavender and another $2 million odd to renovate the existing building. As soon as we paid off the loan for Trinity@Lavender, Paya Lebar came into the picture....our tender was $19.1 million, just for the land! The figures got bigger each time!” – Raymond Leong
“The price of $19.1 million may seem like a manageable amount now, but back then it was a staggering amount; in addition there were construction and related costs to be factored in. The board, once again, took a step of active faith and the Lord backed us up with His unimaginable blessings of provision and supply.” – Lauren Ong “What amazes me is not just the few Trinitarians who gave in the hundreds of thousands but the many Trinitarians who gave of their ‘widow’s mite’ believing in leaving a lasting legacy. Trinitarians were giving extravagantly despite periods of economic downturns.” – Khong Yew Cheong, 2005 Contract-signing for the construction of the bui lding present board member
“Our bankers were very surprised because we had taken a 10-year loan for the purchase of the land at Paya Lebar and paid it off in 4 years. It was truly God’s provision.” – Raymond Leong “We took a 15-year bank loan for the building and started repaying in 2008. God surpassed all our expectations when we fully paid up for Trinity@Paya Lebar in less than 5 years.”– Senior Pastor Dominic Yeo
By Faith, Trinity will… “Never stop taking faith promises. We can never stop – because the Kingdom of God must always be moving forward and we will continue establishing His Church.” – Pastor Naomi Dowdy “Do great exploits for the Lord! Trinity has grown up.We have substantial financial and manpower resources. We must not walk the path trodden by the previous generation. Any linear progression will only result in marginal return.” – David Lum “Be empowered to do so much more both within and outside our church walls, in the local context and globally, to further the spread of the gospel and for the myriad needs of our society.” – Lauren Ong “Build a great church for the glory of God where every Trinitarian can grow to the fullest extent in their knowledge and walk with the Lord.” – Colin Lincoln “Leave a lasting legacy of faith for future generations. And be a place where people encounter God and their lives are changed.” – Tang Seng Foon “Continue to be a model for the churches in Singapore and Asia at large. The Bible talks about being a beacon on the hill - being in a prominent position to direct and guide light, I see Trinity fulfilling its mandate to nurture and develop a stronger Christ-centered community, and prepare ourselves as the bride for the coming Groom.” – Philip Chow, present board member “Come alongside the Pastoral leadership and position ourselves to be used by God in whatever areas possible to see people added to the Kingdom.” – Ng Chee Keong, present board member “Continue to give to our Vision Faith promise as it is our faith and vision to see more and more people fill the house of God. Our buildings today will not be able to accommodate the harvest of tomorrow. I believe as we give in faith, God will provide us the land and buildings to fulfill His purpose of extending His Kingdom.” – Alana Mah, present board member “Continue to raise up more young pastors to lead and connect with youths, continue to be an effective family church and always have a strong Missions agenda.” – Phillip Choo, present board member
“Remain humble, stay close to God and seek God first.” – Pauline Sng, present board member “Be blessed to be a blessing.The Vision Faith promise is not about giving to a building. It is about sowing into a faith vision of growing the community of believers.We have used our buildings for our celebration service, for TCA College and LEAD classes and we also have used it to host other non-Trinity events like charity events for the Singapore Press Holdings School Pocket Money Fund and Assemblies of God events etc.” – Allen Loh, present board member “Continue to be a church that knows how to seek and love God and to always put Him first.” – Ronald Loke, present board member “Have more centers of worship across Singapore to enable the growth of individual lives both spiritually and numerically and deepen the footprints where Trinity is already consulting globally.” – Khong Yew Cheong “Be everywhere; with centers in the North, South, East and West. Trinitarians must have a vision of faith to grow. We will stop growing when we stop planning for facilities to contain the harvest.” – Danny Yeo “Trinitarians, we have been blessed with a rich legacy of faith that began more than 40 years ago. But God is not done with Trinity. Today, over 7,000 people attend our services every week! There are people to be won for God, disciples to be made and nations to be impacted. Let the store houses for the harvest of tomorrow be built! Trinitarians, what would you build for tomorrow?” – Senior Pastor Dominic Yeo
Hebrews 11:40 says “God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.”
Today, more than 7,000 attend Trinity’s Services every week
Unite with our Board!
Get behind these men and women of faith, support them,their families and their ministries in prayer. Phillip Choo 1. Family: I’m married to Siong Yu who is a homemaker and we have four kids (Jared 18, Jana 16, Kayle 7 and Katriel 5) 2. Occupation: CFO of Rotary Engineering, a listed company in Singapore 3. Ministry: Together with my wife, we are leading a section as Sectional Leaders in South District 4. Something interesting about myself: Having four kids? Also, I enjoy running and have completed two marathons, albeit slowly Philip Chow 1. Family: I’m married to Angel in Oct 1992. We just celebrated 20 years of marriage last year. We have three teenage girls: Katarina (17) and a set of twins Ashleigh (14) and Clarine (14) 2. Occupation: Chief Administrative Officer at an investment bank 3. Ministry: I’m a Carecell Leader and I’m passionately serving as a Traffic Marshal 4. Something interesting about myself: I enjoy music and my hi-fi system. I love jazz and in particular the sound of the Saxophone, even though I do not play Khong Yew Cheong 1. Family: I’m married to Michelle Koh with three lovely children 2. Occupation: Finance professional in the banking industry 3. Ministry: I’m a Sectional Leader in West District 4. Something interesting about myself: I’m a Manchester United fan and love nothing more than spending time with family 22
Allen Loh 1. Family: I’m married to Wai Ling with one young adult daughter and two teenage daughters
Ng Chee Keong 1. Family: I’m married to Carol Wong for 25 years with two daughters, Jasmine (23) and Jelaine (18)
2. Occupation: Senior Vice President 3. Ministry: I’m a Sectional Leader in South District 4. Something interesting about myself: I’m an introvert en-caved in a sea shell. It’s all quiet outside the sea shell, but it’s quite noisy inside the sea shell.
2. Occupation:VP, looking after ground operations and safety for SIA Cargo locally and worldwide 3. Ministry: Involved in church operations for weekend services and special events 4. Something interesting about myself: I love to eat. Would always be on the prowl for food haunts that provide value for money
Ronald Loke 1. Family: I’m happily married to Mee Fong for 25 years now. We have four wonderful children – Jeanette, Charmaine, Brandon and Kevin 2. Occupation: An insurance broker 3. Ministry: Serving in the sound ministry 4. Something interesting about myself: With a collection of more than 2000 CDs from classical to jazz, I guess I’m a certified hi-fi nut! Comics! Love them – Peanuts, Garfield, Baby Blues, Kevin & Hobbes, etc.
Pauline Sng 1. Family: My husband and I live with a senior citizen child: my father
Alana Mah 1. Family: Happily single with parents, two brothers, two sister- in-laws, two nephews and one niece 2. Occupation: Regional Director of Human Resources 3. Ministry: I’m a Sectional Leader in North District and I serve in Nursery 2 4. Something interesting about myself: Scuba-diving in my younger days. Now, I’ve found a new interest in cooking
2. Occupation: Global Director of Technology Services, Quality and Information Technology, IT in Hewlett Packard 3. Ministry: I’m a Sectional Leader in North District 4. Something Interesting about myself: Painting and Teddy Bear making (not toys) – collectables like Steiff teddy bears
Danny Yeo 1. Family: I’m married to Dilys with three grown-up children who have all graduated and are working 2. Occupation: Group Managing Director of Knight Frank Singapore 3. Ministry: Board Member serving as Chair of the Building Committee 4. Something interesting about myself: Most people said I look pretty serious and stern. Social friends who know me for long may disagree. I took up golf since 1990
By faith, what do you see for Trinity Christian Centre? Draw or write what God shows you. Share it with us by sending it to email@example.com or dropping this page at the Level 2, Information Counter.
S I O
N F O R
s r e t n u o c n E d The Place of Go Trinity always envisioned that our buildings will be vessels where people will encounter God and experience transformation. Our giving in faith has been instrumental to touching the many lives that have walked through our doors. By Lye Hui Xian
Douglas Yuan, Corporate Planning Director, who serves as an Associate Leader and Lily Koh, Corporate Trainer, who has just completed the AlphaTrack program. They have been worshipping at Trinity@Paya Lebar for the past 5 years.
Douglas & Lily, how did you come to make Trinity your home church? Douglas: After living overseas for five years, we were searching for a church for our children, Dominic and Dorothy who were then 11 and 7. Lily: At that time, Dorothy would prefer to sit with us in the main service, instead of going for Sunday School. We heard about Trinity’s Children
Ministry and brought Dorothy to Discovery Land. She “released” us to go off on her very first visit! Dorothy really liked the vibrancy of the atmosphere; it was not the usual classroom setting, and she also made friends easily. She started helping with serving communion and now serves in the RGB ministry as well. Our older boy, Dominic, is now also part of the IGNYTE Worship team. We are really delighted to see our children find their own place here, growing and serving God; their faith is not just an extension of their parents’ faith.
How about yourselves - what are some of your “God-moments” at Trinity? Lily: It’s not the dramatic moments or events for us, but about our life here as a family. We have experienced Trinity as a people-oriented carecellbased church, first-hand. Douglas: I still remember the celebration host on our first visit to Trinity, even though till today we still don’t know her name! After the service, she immediately approached us and walked us to be introduced to the pastors. Later, we saw that her family had been waiting for her all that while. What a welcome! Our first carecell host, Andrew, was also very helpful and faithful in helping us integrate. He would call us to find out how we were doing. We were really touched. This inspired us to become celebration hosts ourselves. For the past year, we have five families - which include about 10 children - gathering at our house every Friday evening. It’s a really rowdy time! But we all have fun. The children out-sing us when they worship with us, and they also share their testimonies very eagerly. The children will even call up the other families, if their parents are unable to bring them over that Friday. It’s been a fulfilling and joyful time being part of this group.
Our parents are also happy at the Chinese service. We used to attend a Chinese service, and it didn’t exactly speak to me. Now, I can go for the English service while they are happy at the Chinese service. My dad who’s a pre-believer also came for the mid-autumn event held on the church rooftop. He was very open when the pastors prayed for them. We had an Indonesian helper who was a prebeliever when she worked for us. We introduced her to the Indonesian service in Trinity where she received the Lord as her savior and was waterbaptized last year despite her family’s objections. We find it very easy to invite friends to church. I had visited one of my clients in hospital and asked for her permission to pray for her. She received healing, visited Trinity, and accepted Christ! Douglas: There are many opportunities and events to invite friends, not just Christmas once a year. For example, the Life Skills seminars flyers help me to strike up conversations with my colleagues.
What are you looking forward to in the coming years? Douglas & Lily: It’s been challenging at times with our young children and growing work responsibilities. But we are going to trust God as we step up to serve in more areas.
We hear that your family and friends have come to join Trinity as well? How did that happen? Lily: Trinity’s different services held at the same time have really helped. We all have our own place here. My sister-in-law has three young children and it’s difficult for her to attend church when my brother is away. She really appreciates the convenience of our building, and having nursery and DiscoveryLand for the children. Their family is now happily settled in Trinity, attending carecell and even the God Encounter Meetings.
Michael Wee, has been worshipping at Trinity@Adam for past 29 years and serves as a Sectional Leader in the South District
Uncle Mike, we hear you are a longtime Trinitarian. How did you come to Trinity and to make it your home? I’d been very reluctant to go to church, and thought that church would be an empty, monotonous, lifeless place. Then, my wife and I were invited by a couple to Trinity’s service at World Trade Centre in August 1984. I’d never imagined that church would be such a dynamic experience! I was going through a crisis in my life at that time and cried out to God, where are you? It was so reassuring to know that there is a God in control at that point of crisis. My wife and I received Christ at that first service and our family started attending Trinity.
Tell us about one of your “Godmoments” in Trinity. I was baptized at the Adam Road building. Back then, the baptism pool was outdoors behind the church building, like a small swimming pool above ground where we had to climb up and down during our turn to be baptized by the pastor. I recall that there was a long delay as it was pouring that day! We almost thought that the baptism had to be cancelled. After the service, I discovered that Adam Road had flooded and my car too had been “baptized”! 26
How have you grown as Trinity has grown over the years? Even as a new believer, I was convinced that I cannot be just a Sunday Christian, and approached the brother who was in charge of communionserving (who became Pastor Ng) at that time. He welcomed me to serve alongside him, and from then on, I got to know many people in church. We were all very close and I really enjoyed the closeknitted family atmosphere. A few of us also formed a group which became the Hospitality Ministry. We would serve food and drinks after services, especially to first-time visitors who would get little coupons for a drink. This ministry grew even after we moved to Adam Road. We used the childcare kitchen to prepare food, selling porridge, beehoon etc. after the services on Sunday at Adam Road. The proceeds went toward the church building fund. Our ministry was certainly not confined to Adam Road! We also brought food and drinks to Trinity’s choir and children caroling during Christmas at Orchard Road. Today, my wife and I are also serving in the nursery. What touches me most is seeing the children grow into adults and seeing our young leaders now become parents, in turn sending their children to nursery. I stand in awe when I see how the building is still a vessel to reach and transform the next generation and their children. T
Fund raising for Trinity 27
TO GOD Battle the Curse of our Age
Effective Christian living is not possible without drawing deeply from God. Donâ€™t let lifeâ€™s hustle and bustle, technology and other distractions keep us from being fundamentally shaped by Him in the quiet moments. By Kevin Kwang 31
We’ve always known electrical power to be an integral part of our modern living and, in recent times, it has taken on an added importance given our dependence on “smart” gadgets. These devices range from our smartphones--now an essential-and tablets to lightweight notebooks and e-book readers. As a result of our need to constantly be on these electronic devices, the sighting of a power socket in a café or restaurant is now akin to stumbling into an oasis in the middle of a desert. Hurrah! Our dying devices can now be given a juice boost and stay powered for the rest of the time we’re out and about. We can now find out the latest happenings on Twitter, our friends’ status updates on Facebook, keep to our calendared events, smash our way to the next level of Candy Crush, and even read a bible verse while we’re at it. The use of these smart devices is now pervasive. However, these smart devices are undeniably causing our attention spans to return to pretoddler levels, the constant need to stay on top of everything happening making us twitchy as if we’ve been catheter-ed to caffeine. For many of us attending church services regularly, we rely heavily on Bible apps to reference scriptures highlighted by the preacher. We even take notes on these devices, with the intention of keeping all our activities centralized on a common device. It is a noble intention. The challenge with doing so is another modern phenomenon: multi-tasking. It’s as if listening to a sermon and trying to understand the message is not mentally-stimulating enough. We need to engage in other activities such as messaging our friends to confirm dinner plans, checking our Facebook and Twitter accounts, or even check and reply e-mails that pop up on our screens. These scenarios are not alien to us. It happens to the people around us, heck, we even indulge in multi-tasking at times too. Not regularly, but sometimes, just a few times, we like to tell ourselves.
“Curse of our age” The issue, though, is not the use of electronic devices or multi-tasking per se. It is what the use of these devices and applications detracts us from - the ability to quieten our hearts and enter into God’s presence whether in church, at home and even while we’re outside. In other words, these modern ways of life are sapping our ability to dwell in God. The Oxford English Dictionary defines “dwell” as a person living or staying in one place. The word’s origins in Middle English further describe it as a person tarrying or to remain in a place. The word “tarry” appears to be an antithesis to modern living for it connotes the absence of anxiousness of time, or more specifically, the waste of it. It depicts someone who is content in being in a particular place, and spending time there. So if the place is a museum, for example, he or she is more than happy to while the hours away taking in the beauty in the art pieces on display. When it comes to dwelling in God, however, things get slightly complicated. How do we dwell in someone, let alone God, you might ask. It’s a valid question, and one that requires us to move away from the cerebral understanding of being in the presence of God and imagining we’re sharing the same space as Him. In Richard Foster’s ‘Celebration of Discipline’, he quoted a Russian mystic Theophan the Recluse who said, “To pray is to descend with the mind into the heart, and there to stand before the face of the Lord, ever-present, all seeing, within you.” To do that, though, our minds cannot be thinking about the next place we’re headed to, or the tasks that need to be accomplished that day, or in church context, the people we have to minister to. Many of the items on our to-do lists are undeniably important for our daily living, but they also clutter our minds and distract us from the act of spending time in God’s presence. Foster describes this modern conundrum as “superficiality” and deems it the “curse of our age”.
He went on to say that Satan uses three things – noise, hurry and crowds – to make sure we are engaged in “muchness” and “manyness”. If Satan accomplishes these things, he rests satisfied, knowing that our focus is no longer on God but on every other thing. How true. “The doctrine of instant satisfaction is a primary spiritual problem. The desperate need today is not for a greater number of intelligent people, or gifted people, but for deep people” - Richard Foster
Importance of dwelling The need to dwell in God is not, and should not be, a church directive or people-issued instruction. It is, instead, a fundamental practice in growing in the understanding and ways of the Lord. These times help draw us closer to God’s heartbeat and focus our eyes on His purposes while relegating our personal needs to the background. In other words, it opens our eyes and ears to the things of God, so that we may pursue His purposes in our daily living. Bob Sorge wrote in his book ‘Secrets of the Secret Place’ that the Roman centurion Cornelius is a good example of when we devote regular time to spend with God. According to Sorge, Cornelius was a devout Christian and first Gentile believer who gave regularly to the poor, lived a holy lifestyle, fasted and adhered to the secret place of prayer. God then used Cornelius to show the Jewish believers that the promise of salvation and the empowering of the Holy Spirit is open to all who believe - Jewish and Gentiles alike. Many of us, however, have been so swamped by all that life has to offer that we no longer know how to quieten ourselves and enter into God’s presence. Here are three simple steps to remember as we re-acquaint ourselves with the Almighty. a. Shut the door It sounds simple enough to shut the door, but we know in reality it’s hard, deliberate work.
It is no longer enough to just shut ourselves physically in our rooms or homes. We need also to relinquish our desire to check online updates, phone messages or e-mails, and zero in on simply dwelling in God’s presence. Jesus Christ was clear on this point. In Matthew 6:6, the Bible said, “But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” The circumstances and distractions may vary, but Jesus’ commands remain steadfast: shut the door and tarry in Him. b. Learn to listen Shutting the door is just the first step to entering into God’s presence. We are also called to focus our hearts on Him and listen to His voice. There are two things we tend to do during these quiet times with God that prevent, rather than usher, us from entering into the secret place of God. The first is we talk too much. As one preacher once said, the answer is in the phrase “quiet time” - we are meant to be quietly meditative during these times. Jesus implied this as well, when he said in Matthew 6:7-8, “And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him”. Don’t spend all your quiet time moments complaining about things that might have gone wrong in your life, or situations that might have caused distress. Rather, enter the secret place by asking to hear from God, His agenda and things He wants to impress upon our lives. In other words, adopt a posture of humility in seeking God’s heart. The second thing we frequently do is to question the voice of God. Many times, we may have heard His still, small voice but immediately dismiss the words as a mental trick, something our brains were thinking at the time. We question everything we have heard because we are not confident they came from God. 35
However, Jesus said in John 10:27, in response to similar doubts over his true identity, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me”.
by receiving and believing in the word. Then pray over it and believe the word will become a reality. It helps too if you account to someone like your carecell leader or pastor regarding God’s word.
Thus, be confident in your identity as God’s chosen ones - His sheep - and learn to discern God’s voice during this secret place encounters.
Now that God has spoken, what do I do?
c.Take time to mull For some of us, it’s a joyous moment when we enter into God’s presence to the point where nothing else matters. That is a laudable response, except that there is one thing that matters more: God. He may want to shape us, leave an impression, or even share His destiny for our lives, and we would miss this if we’re satisfied merely in reveling in His presence. Then there are those who have received God’s word, yet do not know what to do with it. This may be in the form of a vision, an audible word or a feeling, but as with all communication, it’s a twoway street. If it’s a personal message, respond to it
Some of your responses should include: - Record and reflect on God’s revelations: (i) What did He reveal to you during those secret place moments? (ii) What does it mean to you? (iii) How can it be applied in your life? - Pray over the revelation, whether alone, with your spouse or with spiritual leaders and pastors - Test the revelation against God’s Word in the Bible
d. Pray intentional prayers There will be times, particularly early on in our faith, that we will be stumped for words during prayer. We are not sure of the appropriate lexicon or vocabulary of words to use when addressing the Almighty God, and in trying too hard, may appear to be like the babbling pagans Jesus spoke out against. Sorge recognized this challenge, and suggested that one of the ways to pray the will of God and develop a language when communicating with Him is to pray the Scriptures. “When the language of our prayers is shaped by the Scriptures, we gain confidence in knowing that we are praying according to the will of God - a confidence that means ‘we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him’ (1 John 5:15)”, he wrote in his book. He also stated, “As we pray God’s word back to Him, the language of His word becomes the working language of our daily dialogue with Him.
A powerful transformation begins in your soul when your everyday conversation starts to reflect God-language.” A simple way of thinking about this is to pick a phrase such as “For God so loves the world”, and reflect on the broad theme(s) in it. In this case, God’s exponential love for us is the focus, so our prayer would be one of thanksgiving and praise. To be clear, inculcating a strong, vibrant and intimate “secret place” with God will not happen overnight. In fact, it would help to think of it as a life-long pursuit that will be pockmarked with disappointments, lack of discipline and even apathy. The important thing would be for us to pick ourselves up, and keep pursuing after God. With His grace, our journeys will likely be filled with more life-transforming highs than spirit-sapping lows. So let us finish this race strong with Him leading our way! T
Friday night God Encounter Meetings (GEM) that began on Jul 12, 2013 have been Godâ€™s invitation to Trinitarians to seek Him without an agenda. In His presence, we found the indifference in our hearts being broken and being impassioned for God again. Gabriel Chu reports.
attling rain and gnarly traffic, thousands of Trinitarians descended on Trinity@Paya Lebar on Jul 12, the first Friday night for the inaugural God Encounter Meeting. Chartered buses to ferry Trinitarians and their friends to church were packed, and so were the Sanctuary and Chapel. Even the steps in both venues were littered with eager children, who joined their parents that evening. The stage was set. This meeting had only one agenda: to seek God. The sense of anticipation, and the hunger to meet with God from the congregation, palpable. Kelly Lim : My work makes it hard for me to reach GEM on time. After praying the whole week, I not only made it home for a quick dinner, I got to GEM with my kids on time!
Corr-na : I affirm the church leadership in recognizing the need to lead us to experience God through GEM. Only with a true encounter can we profess to love and know Him as our Lord.
“At the start of the worship, the moment I closed my eyes, I saw a flood gate opening from the stage. It poured out refreshing mist, which then became heavier and started to drizzle as rain.Yet, it was so gentle. I felt so refreshed as if the dew of heaven was raining over me, assuring me that He is my provider. At the same time, Pastor Dominic shared what he sensed happening which was an affirmation of my encounter with God. I felt God’s peace and my burdens and tiredness were released.” Magdalene Tan
Passion Restored! “When Pastor Dominic shared the vision of a blue flame, I was wondering what it meant. Then as I pressed in, God also revealed the same vision to me. So I researched it online and found out that it was the hottest part of flame. I believe that God is doing something amazing in Trinity as God doesn’t just send us a normal flame, but the hottest flame – the blue flame!” Eugene Ng
Kicking off the evening, the worship team ushered in the presence of God as those present praised and professed their love for Him. Worship was interspersed with fervent prayer and altar calls, which led to God’s miracles taking place there and then. Over the weeks, many met with God and were left transformed. Hear from some of them:
Encountered God! “As worship started, I felt a strong presence of God. Then, I saw a clear image of the roof of the church being ripped off by a whirlwind and bright lights coming through. I’ve never seen images like that in my 13 years as a Christian! I pressed in for more of God and saw a big ball of light crashing in. It looked really hot but instead of feeling the heat, I felt at peace and comfortable. I also saw a green pasture of ‘lalang’ swaying in the breeze as if enjoying the warm presence of the Lord as one people.” Shawn Loh
“I’d been praying for my pre-believing parents since I became a Christian. To be honest, after many years I was starting to doubt if they would come to know Christ. However at GEM, God showed me His cross and reminded me that His great love was for everyone. He touched my heart to believe again for my parents to know God and revived my passion to pray for them!” Chew Shin Jye
Healed of Back Pains! “I’ve suffered from rheumatoid arthritis since young, causing me leg and back pains. I had to defer surgery due to an abnormal blood condition. During GEM, I remembered the story of the lady with a blood disorder who was healed after touching Jesus’ clothes. I answered the altar call, and after being prayed for, I was healed of my pains!” Lee Sai Yong “I’ve had an annoying lower back pain ever since National Service in 1997, and had to abstain from lifting heavy loads and vigorous exercises. After being prayed for at GEM, there was no more pain!” Randy Lee 39
“I was diagnosed with a slipped disc in April this year, and because of it, I couldn’t do my favorite sports. At GEM, I couldn’t leave my seat to answer the altar call, but trusted that God will heal me just as He healed those in the Bible. Then, a tingling sensation flowed from my hands to my back, and I sneezed four times without feeling the excruciating pain like before. I knew I was healed and swam 500 meters the next day!” Tan Chin Hwee “I was diagnosed with Aortic Regurgitation in 2010 and then an auto-immune disorder last year. I had persistent pain and sometimes, it gets very intense, like I’m being stabbed with a knife. I could not sleep, sit or stand for long. At GEM, my friend Ricky prayed for me at the altar call, and my hip pain disappeared! Pastor Dominic then specifically called for those with ‘fire in your bones’. It accurately described my condition, and I answered the call for prayer. After that, I was able to squat without pain and, that night, I slept very well!” Steven Tok (visitor)
Contracts Sealed and Jobs Provided! “During GEM, there was an altar call for those with dealings in businesses and pending contracts. I had many pending contracts and I’d not managed to seal any deals in July. To my surprise, on Sunday after GEM, one of my co-broking agents called me to tell me about a possibility that I might secure a deal. By Monday, the deal was sealed with a deposit. God is indeed faithful!” Cynthia Teo
me a job with my desired Telco company. The following Tuesday, I received the job offer from the company! God is good!” Joel Khoo “The last two to three years had been lean with a lot of labor going into pitching for projects which did not materialize. I was then introduced to a group of individuals who had a potential project I could pitch for. At GEM, I responded to the altar calls lifting this project into the hands of God. During the 2nd GEM, a fee figure came to my mind. Not that it was very lucrative, but this figure firmly stayed in my mind. Despite being apprehensive, I submitted the figure in my proposal in faith, and my fee was accepted without any typical request for discount whatsoever! I’m thankful to God for answering my prayer!” Bernard Ng Healing and miracles come hand-in-hand when we meet God. However, the supernatural can only take place when God’s children hunger after Him in a posture of worship and reverence. Meeting with God goes beyond signs and miracles. In meeting Him, our identity in Christ is affirmed, we are aligned with His will and He forms us as God’s people. T
“I’d been sending out resumes for a permanent job placement over the last few months with no reply. At the 2nd week of GEM, I responded to the altar call for job provision and surrendered all to God. A few days later, I received a call from a headhunter for a job I’d no relevant experience for. The interview went well and I got the job! God is faithful! He will provide in His timing.” Faye Tian “I recently graduated from NTU and most of my friends had already secured jobs prior to graduation except me. During GEM, there was an altar call for people looking for a job. I was initially skeptical since I’d been jobless since June. However from my seat, I still prayed for God to grant
Christen Anne Teo (13-year-old), drew what she saw during GEM worship.
GOD-ENCOUNTERS THAT BRING MIRACLES AND BREAKTHROUGHS By Pastor Dominic Yeo
God-encounter causes one to experience breakthrough and fulfillment. It brings us to a place where you and I experience the supernatural and miracles.
When we become too busy to read the Bible, pray and meet God, we don’t get refreshed and renewed by His presence. As a result, we become tired, inefficient and ineffective.
Why Encountering God is a Need
This is why in our busyness we need God more than ever.
There are five truths that we can glean from the book of Luke on why we need to encounter God. Luke 18:35-43 says: As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard the crowd going by, he asked what was happening. They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” He called out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Those who led the way rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stopped and ordered the man to be brought to him. When he came near, Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” “Lord, I want to see,” he replied. Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus, praising God. When all the people saw it, they also praised God.
In our Busyness, We Need God More than Ever Luke 18:35 begins with Jesus entering Jericho. During Biblical times, Jericho was a flourishing town. Jericho, unlike the rest of the arid land in the Middle Eastern terrain, was geographically situated below sea level; it was like a valley – a catchment area for water. And because it had the abundance of water below sea level, the ground was fertile. So this Middle Eastern town became a place for trade and commerce. As prosperity came into that town, people naturally became busy. Busyness can be a curse. It can rob us from meeting God and drain the life out of us.
And here’s the good news: Just as Jesus entered into Jericho, God wants to meet with busy people, He wants to meet with you.
In a World that is Blind, We Need the Light Luke 18:35 says: As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind man. Now the Bible is silent about why this man was blind, or how this man became blind. But this blind man is a symbolism of you and I who live in this busy world. Many of us suffer this condition called “blindness”. We are blinded to the truth due to our experiences or simply because of sin in our lives. When we were born into this world, our sinful nature had blinded us from the truth. And even after we had seen the light as a child of God, we sometimes allow blindness back into our lives. The city of Babylon symbolized a world of prosperity, a world that was flourishing. It was a country that pursued excellence, desiring to be the first in everything. Dig deeper to the core of its motivation and you will see it’s sparked from an inner greed. Greed has a way of deceiving us. When we are driven by this wrong motivation of greed, we get blinded and make bad decisions. Blinded by Wrong Thinking Some of us are blinded by wrong thinking. “All those promises are a figment of one’s imagination.” “The Bible is a book of motivation.” Wrong thinking leads to wrong perspective. Without the right perspective, you will not be able to see the light in your circumstances and will not be able to lay hold of God’s promises for your life.
Blinded by the Enemy We can also be blinded by the devil. The devil comes to steal, kill and to destroy (John 10:10). In order to steal from you, he blinds you. In order to kill you, he blinds you and then kills you. In order to destroy you, he blinds you so you don’t see him laying traps that will stop you in your tracks. We live in a blind world and we can be blinded. That’s why we need to meet God and let His light shine in to reveal our motivations, thoughts and see the enemy in our lives. Then we can break through to experience His miracles and promises.
There is a Lack in our Lives There’s a tremendous lack in our lives, whether you feel it or not. As Jesus approached Jericho the blind man that was sitting by the roadside was begging. He had a financial need. But when he came to Jesus, he expressed a greater need, not just for subsistence, but for sight, healing and restoration. 44
Many of us live in this world with a great need similar to the blind man. Like him who can’t heal himself, a lot of us have needs that we can’t do anything about. And we deal with it by being busy. We refuse to allow the silent cry of that need in our hearts rise up, so we allow busyness to muff out that cry. But if we can be honest with God today, and pause for a while, we will be able to hear the silent cry of a certain lack. It’s a sense of incompleteness, a sense that something is missing. Ephesians 5:18 tells us to be filled with the spirit [of God]. That’s why our encounters with God will grant us a filling of the Holy Spirit until we are full of the Holy Ghost. When you and I are filled with the fullness of the Holy Spirit, our lives will be filled with a richness. We don’t have to live a life of poverty, lack or incompleteness. That’s not God’s intent for you. Will you be like the blind man who could see his lack and reach out to God to bring a breakthrough?
Walking by Sight Leads to Unfulfillment and Death As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard the crowd going by, he asked what was happening. Notice what the crowd said. “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” Now look very carefully at the next verse. He [the blind man] called out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Wow, what a big difference! That crowd saw Jesus for who He was: a man. But the blind man, recognized that He was the son of God. “Jesus of Nazareth” talks about being a carpenter’s son, but “Jesus, Son of David” means Jesus is the Messiah. It is sad that the crowd saw Jesus as a man, and that a man who was blind noticed this contrast. What does this tell us about the crowd? It tells us that the crowd walked by sight. The Bible says that we are not to walk by sight, but by faith. Scripture says blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed (John 20:29). The problem is that many of us experience life by sight. Peter Walks by Faith and Not by Sight A classic example is in Matthew 14. The 12 disciples were in the boat sailing in the Sea of Galilee. The winds began blowing, the waves began crashing, the boat began sinking and the disciples were busy saving themselves. Then at three in the morning, Jesus comes. Thehe scripture tells us that they saw the apparition, and then they shouted, “Oh no!” They probably thought the angel of death had come, which is why Jesus’ first words to the disciples were, “Take courage, for it is I.” So all 12 disciples had heard Jesus say, “Take courage.” At that point in time, they knew it was Jesus but they were still busy trying to logically save themselves. And then Simon Peter speaks without thinking. He says, “Lord, if it’s you, call me to come.” Obviously, Jesus says,
“Come.” All 11 disciples stared and only one took the step of faith. Peter, denied physical sight and senses and became the only disciple in the scriptures to have walked on water. Many times we approach life by sight. This is why perhaps some of us are not getting that which God has promised. Make time to encounter God and let Him peel away the logic of your mind.Yet this does not mean that you dispense with logic entirely. If you tilt to the logic side, then there is no need for God. But if you tilt to the other side, then you shroud yourself with mysticism. We need a dynamic balance between the two. That’s why God gave us a brain – to balance logic with faith. On one of my recent ministry trips, I managed to get WIFI connection and I happily got connected. The first thing I read about was the haze in Singapore. It was Friday and the haze was quite bad. I started reading all the other stuff about the measures of shutting down schools. The possible implications began to surface in my mind. I thought that we might end up shutting down offices, if Singapore offices are closed for a day, our economy will lose hundreds of millions. So I grew concerned about our economy. Then I started thinking about the impact on the church and our carecells that meet on Friday nights. Sensing fear creeping into hearts of believers, I stayed up to write a statement to exhort all of us, as believers, to ride the dynamic tension between logic and faith. As a church, we are all called to live by faith. Because walking by sight will lead to death and unfulfillment. Going back to Luke 18:35, this is why the crowd did not experience God’s miracle; they did not encounter Jesus. Only the blind man encountered Jesus because he walked by faith. Walking in the natural will cause you to live in the logical, but walking in the supernatural will cause you to experience the miraculous.
Before a Revelation from God, We are Blind In Luke 18:38, the blind man had a revelation of God that Jesus was the “Son of David”. No one had taught him this. A revelation from God came into this man’s life. And as soon as he called out, “Son of David”, Jesus stopped and his attention turned towards him. Can you imagine the crowd and all the noise around Jesus and yet He could hear the utterance of a blind man? Revelation always captures God’s attention and ushers us into the throne room of God. When we are in the throne room of the Father, it is the place where we can make our requests known to him. We need a revelation of God for our existence. When you know Him as Jehovah Jireh (Lord the provider), the orientation of your life changes.You no longer live in poverty or fear. A lot of us are fearful people, “What if this doesn’t happen? Or what if that happens?” In this case, look to God as Jehovah Jireh. A revelation of God who owns the cattle on a thousand hills gives me a lot of confidence. The revelation that God is healer causes me not to be overly stressed by the illness that I have. A revelation that He is the almighty God who has created the heavens and the earth gives me great confidence despite the haze. So during the haze period, I told God, “God, you created the wind right? Please blow the haze out to the South China Sea. God, you created rain right? Why don’t you let torrential rain fall over Singapore, so that it washes away the haze.” We need God’s revelation. Proverbs 29:18 says: Without a revelation, the people cast off restrain. How do you get a revelation from God? Meet Him! Encounter Him! Press in! Be prepared to stop everything and say, “Let’s just meet with God.”
The story of this blind man in Luke 18 sitting by the roadside represents most of us. In the blind busyness of our lives, if we just learn to press in, to see the supernatural, we will be able to see and experience God’s promises for our lives. I used to say, “If you can see the invisible and embrace the imperishable, you will have the miraculous.” Let’s get rid of our wrong thinking and blindness and say, “I don’t want to be blind anymore.” Because in the presence of God, Jesus asks you, “What can I do for you?” Can we all say, “Lord, I want to see you!” God wants to meet you and me. Would you allow Him to meet you today? T Pastor Dominic Yeo is the Senior Pastor of Trinity Christian Centre. Listen to his sermon at www.trinity.net
GOD Encounter Meetings Meet God. Be Transformed. Every Friday, 8pm Trinity@Paya Lebar Level 2, Sanctuary
During worship, I saw a huge angel standing on stage. It was majestic and quickly drew it in my journal. Christen Teo, student God reminded me of His love displayed on the cross and restored my passion to pray for my unsaved loved ones. Chew Shin Jye, production planner I was diagnosed with a rare disease called Ankylosing Spondylitis. Doctors said there was no cure. But God healed me instantaneously at GEM! Steven Tok, unemployed 47
e? m o r d n y S h ja li E e th f ns o Are you showthinougghtssig represent how you feel? Take this test. Do these
Signs of the Elijah Syndrome 1. Why am I always the one being given the task? Why can’t others do it?
Yup, that’s me
Nope, that’s not me
2. I’ve got too much on my plate, can’t afford to serve in ministry now. 3. I’m very tired. Really burnt out. 4. I’m not good enough, I cannot, just cannot.… 5. Here I am, send them. I will never be as good as them. 6. I’ve been serving for so long. No one appreciates what I do. 7. Nobody cares. 8. Nobody understands my struggles. 9. Woe is me. Why am I always dealing with problem after problem? 10. People have something against me. They are always fi nding fault with me. Can you identify with any of the signs mentioned? Read on to ffind i out how you can break free from the Elijah Syndrome to live out your God-given purpose and destiny! 48
Break the Elijah Syndrome By Rev Ong Sek Leang
Even the best of us get worn out and torn down by discouragements, negative thoughts and threats, also known as the “Elijah Syndrome”. Rev Ong Sek Leang shares three lessons we can learn from Elijah to overcome this challenge. James 5: 17 - 18 (ESV): “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain and the earth bore its fruit.” Have you experienced a time when everything is going well for you, whether it is in your studies or work or even relationships, and you thought nothing could bring you down? However, when the first signs of trouble came or when a challenge looms that seems impossible to you, you choose to run away from it rather than face it head on. Sound familiar? Well, you’re not alone. The prophet Elijah, too, had to experience a similar situation and that was when he was in the midst of achieving great exploits in the name of the Lord. Elijah is one of the most illustrious personalities in the Bible and a great prophet of God who did mighty miracles. He prayed that there was no rain, and there was none for three and-a-half years. When he did pray for rain, it came and the bible says the earth bore its fruit. Even more notably, he was responsible for bringing an entire nation which had backslidden, back to the Lord. To do so, he had to battle witches and warlords who had influenced the nation of Israel at all levels, from political and social to the spiritual realms. Imagine a nation stripped of its power politically, socially and spiritually - this nation was dead. The plan of the enemy has always been to strip us of our confidence in God and affect our mind and human nature. He comes to kill, steal and destroy, and he did just that with Israel.
However, reading back on James 5:17, the Bible very pointedly stated that Elijah was a man. He was no angel, but an ordinary human being just like you and I. That is a key point in this verse because if a man like Elijah can be used to effect such profound changes in that country, then God can use any of us to do the same in ours. If we only understand the power God wants to bless us with, you and I would be the most confident people in the world! The power behind the great Old Testament prophet’s exploits was because he tapped on God’s power, spirit and anointing. This gave him the power and authority to speak, and nature would obey. But it’s not as if that kind of power has dried up in recent times. Rather, the same power that turned a nation around is also available today. The Bible, in fact, says that in the last day, God will once again release the Spirit and power of God. Introducing the ‘Elijah Syndrome’ The flipside of being just a man is that after a while, we begin to look inward regardless of what God is doing in our lives and we see our human-ness, our self-esteem, and say, “No, God cannot use me because I’m imperfect”. Elijah, in this respect, was like us in our human imperfections but the Elijah Syndrome also includes the negative influences of demonic powers and spirits in our choices. In 1 Kings 19:1 it reads, “Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword.” This illustrates the work Elijah had done, so much so that the backslidden King Ahab had taken notice of it. Our God is not only in the business of changing lives at a personal level, but also in a dramatic way that the world cannot deny His hand in it. He wants us to be transformed in such a way that when people look at us, the Christians will praise God, while those who have backslidden will also give Him praise because it is undeniable. For those who are not Christians, they cannot help but say this God of ours is great.
In the following verses, it states, “Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, ‘So may the gods do to me and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by this time tomorrow.’ Then he was afraid, and he arose and ran for his life and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there.” Elijah, the great prophet, was threatened and afraid. So much so, he upped and left before he lost his life to Jezebel!. Ministering to our human-ness 1 Kings 19: 5, 6: “And he lay down and slept under a broom tree. And behold, an angel touched him and said to him, ‘Arise and eat.’ And he looked, and behold, there was at his head a cake baked on hot stones and a jar of water. And he ate and drank and lay down again.” 1 Kings showed us how Elijah despaired and called on God to take his life. God refused though, choosing instead to minister to the prophet’s needs. In verses 5 and 6, the Bible says while Elijah was sleeping underneath the tree, an angel was sent to call him to eat the cake baked on coal and drink the jar of water. This didn’t happen just once, but twice, because God knew his human limits and the amount of sustenance he needed to fulfill the journey the Lord had set him to. For him then, and for us now, God is saying that though we may be under attack, we should still be prepared as He will continue to use and empower us and our ministry is not over. While in Beersheba, Elijah went into the wilderness and under a broom tree, prayed to God that he might die. In his words in verse 4, “It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers.” This is the man who rallied an entire nation to return to God and restored them politically, socially and spiritually. Yet, the moment he received the threat from the witch Jezebel, he chose not to fight back.
At this point in his life, Elijah was truly human. It also reminds us that even when God’s power comes upon our lives, we have a weapon that is very strong and powerful – but it will never change the fact that we are all human beings. So what is the Elijah Syndrome? It is a cycle of discouragement that brings about depression, selfdoubt, self-pity and a mentality of being under siege. It afflicted the prophet so much and so suddenly, he was not ready for it. He was so unprepared that he asked God to take his life. The thing about the Elijah Syndrome is that it snares even the best of us. Many pastors such as Pastor Dominic Yeo, Pastor Naomi Dowdy and myself have our own stories of being affected by such bouts of self-doubts and negativity. You might picture us as spiritual giants or demigods, but it’s not true. We are, like Elijah, just ordinary human beings. The issue is not how to avoid contracting the Elijah Syndrome or being immunized against it, but the challenge lies in how we would overcome it when it hits. Based on Elijah’s encounter with God in the next few verses in 1 Kings, we can extract three principles to apply in our lives to better cope with the Elijah Syndrome when it does hit us.
1. Re-examine our lives, priorities Following Elijah’s bout of depression, God fed him and told him to make the journey to Horeb, the mount of God. At that place, God came and asked him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” You must be wondering why did God ask such a silly question when He was the one who directed Elijah to the place. God knew, of course. But He asked so that Elijah could vocalize the problems he felt was insurmountable and, in doing so, reexamine his life and priorities. The thing with us human beings is this, we tend to allow our problems to fester, grow and become bigger than God. What we need to do is to surrender our problems, take our hands off the wheel of our lives so to speak, and give God full control. In doing so, we’re saying, “God, I believe in you”.
In realigning our lives to God’s agenda, we would also eventually reach that place where we say our lives cannot just be about our careers or making money. If you think about it, if our careers and making money is all there is, we should just die once we stop working and generating wealth. Our lives’ function is done. But as Christians, we are called to be full of God’s anointing and power so that we can be used to heal the sick, cast out demons, preach the gospel and bring breakthrough into people’s lives. Therefore if you’re feeling discouraged or mentally and emotionally challenged by life’s circumstances, the thing you need to do is to reexamine your life’s priorities and let God take complete control. Let go of the steering wheel and let God do the driving.
2. Break our addiction to big manifestations The second lesson that can be learnt from Elijah’s experience is found in verses 11 to 15. In it, God told Elijah to stand on the mountain and “behold the Lord pass by”. Three things then happened: a great and strong wind “tore into the mountain”, an earthquake and a fire. For all of these disruptive natural occurrences, the Bible stated clearly that God was not in them. It was only after all these took place did a still small voice become audible to Elijah. Through this, we learn that to break the Elijah Syndrome of discouragement, depression, selfdoubt and self-pity is to end our addiction to big manifestations. God is not only present when great or big things are happening. He is also present in the small things, as these can be great in the presence of God. Our tendency is to look for God in the big things when He is actually doing great things elsewhere even if they are not as noticeable or attention-grabbing. Similarly, God is present with us even when we feel small. He is with us even though we feel discouraged. Very often, the greatest breakthrough God effects in our life is in a small little place surrounded by bones - our hearts. 53
The Bible says, “After all those things have passed, he heard a still small voice.” And when Elijah heard the voice, he went and God began to speak to him again. Besides ending our addiction to big events or things, we must also be willing to have solitude with God and be alone with Him. Yes, for a great church to be even greater, it’s important for people in the church to learn to build good relationships with each other. We are definitely not called to be isolated from the next person. But sometimes, we are so connected to people that we no longer know how to be quiet with God. Even in our worship times, we sing or talk too much! Solitude means to get away from the noise and distraction around us and concentrate on God. So in our worship and times of communion with Him, we must develop a heart that is not carried away by the worship song but sensitive enough to catch the still, small voice of the Lord.
3. Resume our God-given responsibilities The third lesson we can learn from Elijah is to get back to doing what we are supposed to do. The Bible shows that God instructed the prophet to “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus. And when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael to be king over Syria”. He was also told to anoint Jehu to be king of Israel and Elisha to take over his mantle. You would have noted that when Jezebel threatened Elijah, it was not just a physical intimidation. She was a witch and the threat she posed was a spiritual one too, which would have crippled the prophet’s ministry. However, God did not allow that to happen. Instead, He re-commissioned Elijah to anoint a prophet to replace him and two kings - all three of whom were to be responsible for ending the spiritual influence of Jezebel and those who worshiped Baal.
Besides getting back to what God has called us to do, we are also not to work alone because we cannot. People like Elijah are rugged individualists who like to function independently, but they are the exception rather than the norm. In fact, God, in instructing Elijah to anoint three others for His work, was telling the prophet that he is not the only vessel in use for this mission and there would be others to continue the work when his ministry was over. Would you tap on God’s Spirit and power and break free from the Elijah syndrome? T
Rev Ong Sek Leang is the Senior Pastor of Metro Tabernacle in Kuala Lumpur and the General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God, Malaysia. An anointed speaker and recognized prophet, Rev Ong ministers to churches both locally and internationally, activating and releasing God’s prophetic unction and anointing. Throughout his ministry, God has used him to deliver life-changing messages, calling churches and leaders to arise to the will of God for their church, nation and generation.
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An Enemy Called ‘Average’ Don’t let being average stand in the way of being excellent in the things of God. Rev Glyn Barrett highlights four common pitfalls to avoid.
e all have things in our life we are average at. I’m pretty average at maths and at knitting. But that’s not the problem. It is the insidious type of being average – the average that coincides with your God-given potential and His purpose for your life - that matters. Thus, Colossians 3:23-24 presents to us a challenge. It says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” So we are not just supposed to work hard at what we like to do, or what we feel comfortable doing (or when the boss is watching), but in “whatever” we do.Yet what I have found is as Christians, there is an enemy we face everyday and it is called “average”. God doesn’t call us to be average in our calling. He doesn’t call us to be average in our anointing. 56
He doesn’t call us to be average in our purpose on this earth, but He calls us to excel in these areas. He calls us to live life, and “life to the full”. However, I believe that in trying to excel, “average” continually tries to knock at the door, cross boundaries and enter our lives. Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else guard your heart, for out of it come the issues of life”. The word “issues” in this passage in original Hebrew is “towtsa’ah”, which literally means ‘borders’ or ‘boundaries’. Proverbs is telling us here that the borders or boundaries of our life come from the heart. I believe that in our fight against being average, we must be aware of four areas that press against us on all sides, trying to encroach on the borders of who we are and our purpose in life. When we are aware of these areas and the truth of God, we will be able to break off the shackles of being average.
#1: Past Experiences Luke 9:62 says, “Jesus replied, ‘No one who puts a hand to the plough and looks back is fit for service in the Kingdom of God’”. Sometimes we can become so past-possessed we are no longer future-focused. The enemy’s plan is to make us obsessed with our past and hinder us from moving forward in God. Psalm 45:1 states, “My heart is stirred by a noble theme”. This verse highlights that our hearts can be stirred by a theme or pattern. However, we all have times in life when situations arise and we immediately think, “Here we go again”. When we look at God’s opportunities in a negative light and through the prism of our past, then we foster an atmosphere of negative expectations in our lives. It is not God’s plan live in fear of a pattern in our lives. There are people who refuse to commit to church life because they’ve been hurt in their previous church. Then there are people who refuse to enter into another relationship because they’ve been hurt before, or who go into relationships with the expectation of being hurt again. We can even be held back by the good experiences we’ve had in life. I meet people all the time who say, “It was better back then”. People are held back from their future because they are holding on to the past. They forget that God wasn’t just in their past but He’s in the now and their future. Do not let your past make you accept average.
#2: Lack of vision Proverb 29:18 says, “Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint”. A lack of vision will allow the borders around your life to close in and mire you in average. This is a breeding ground for worry.
When we are apprehended by God’s vision, we will not have time to entertain worries. Worry is interest paid in advance on something we may never own, and casts a large shadow on small issues. And I believe worry is a complete misuse of God’s imagination within us. The truth is found in Matthew 6, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life” “…But seek first His kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well”. When we focus on God and His Kingdom, we gain vision and perspective. Lack of vision also erases the guidelines of life. Recently, we had fog in Manchester and, while I was driving, it became so thick. The only way I could drive safely was to be guided by the light reflectors on the side and in the centre of the road. They are necessary guidelines for drivers. Similarly, life without God’s vision is like driving blind on a dark night. We end up going really slowly, and it makes the journey altogether more dangerous.
#3: Compromise Compromise is a daily battle we face when living in a world where we’re constantly bombarded with opportunities to give in. It is so easy to compromise because it is the road most traveled. The God-life for us is the road less traveled, to hear Him and obey. There are a number of places compromise can be found in our lives but it is mastered through laziness and in making excuses. The parable of the Great Banquet in Luke 14 shows us how each person dished out excuses not to attend the banquet. The master of the house finally remarks to his servant, “Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full. I tell you, not one of those who were invited will get a taste of my banquet”. 57
This parable is teaching us that if you live with excuses you will miss out! You will miss out on potential opportunities, as well as God’s purpose for you. Paul writes in Romans 2:1, “You have no excuse”. There is no valid excuse not to do what God is calling you to do. When God speaks to you about your life and puts a call to a certain area in your heart, it’s because He knows you can do it. Sometimes, because of the knocks of life we end up coming back to him with what we think are valid excuses, but the actual fact is the excuse is just a cover up! A good definition of “compromise” is this: the act of changing the question to fit the answer. A lot of us do that in changing God’s calling and purpose to fit where we are at. Compromise is also perfected by our trying to blend in. As Christians, we were never meant to blend in. 1 Peter 2:9 exhorts us to declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. We were created to stand out and shine. Consensus does not mean something is right. Stop trying to fit in, embrace the call on your life and stand out! Compromise can also be found in trying to take the short cuts. I’m sure there have been times when you have been driving and you decided to take a ‘short cut’ which turned out to be longer and a complete waste of time and energy. We try to do this in all areas of our lives, but excellence is not achieved through cutting corners. In fact when it comes to the things of God, the only short cut is waiting on God’s timing!
#4: Indecision If you are indecisive in the areas God has impressed on your heart, you will end up being average. Deuteronomy 30:19 says, “…I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.” Meanwhile, James 1 adds, “He is a double minded man, unstable in all his ways.” I find that when I am indecisive in areas of my calling, I can be easily swayed by impulse, which is dangerous. This is why we need two things in our lives: God and good friends. For the first, He will help us see clearly and wisely when are struggling to make the right decision, while the second are those who would bring the best out of us and spur us to be more than average. To live the life God has intended for us, we have to fight compromise. But to do that, we need to learn how to surrender to God. Remember the powerful truth of Psalm 139:5, “You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me”. God surrounds us and we can and need to surrender to Him daily. Let’s choose today to never settle for average! T
Rev Glyn Barrett
is the Senior Pastor of !Audacious Church, a nationshaking church in Manchester, England and also the author of books like ‘if I Was The Devil’ and ‘The Audacious Revolution’. A powerful communicator, Glyn’s motivational teachings from God’s Word have impacted the lives of tens of thousands of people around the world.
“Life without God’s vision is like driving blind on a dark night.”
Connecting the Dots Sometimes, all it takes is a simple text message or call from one to another to bring someone back from the precipice and into the arms of God. Sharon Lim finds out how one such act triggered a chain of unexpected salvations and rededications. 60
Dep re ss ed and Dejec te d
t doesn’t take much to push us away from God. An accumulation of work-related obligations that require us to skip church and carecell sessions over a length of time could dull our desire to be in His presence. Similarly, a senseless death in the family could lead us to question God’s will and His love for us. Or it could be a relationship that has gone awry that shakes one’s notion of love and, by extension, God’s unwavering love for us. All these circumstances could trigger a switch in our mindsets that make us want to avoid God and all related activities.
The converse is true, too. Offering a sincere bedside prayer for an ailing family friend or relative could usher God’s presence in what was once a barren, Godless heart. Or a simple call to provide advice regarding a challenging relationship could point the person toward a Godly resolution instead of turning away from Him. For Alex Khaw, Mandie Ong, Jenny Toh and Bee Chin, God has indelibly changed all their lives because of the intervention of Daryl Sung, whose initial intention was just to make sure his friend Alex did not fall away from Christ. Read on to find out how one Trinitarian’s caring and connecting helped bring the four into God’s family.
Daryl Sung: 32, Physical Educator Carecell: Formerly in Overflow (North district) but now in Creative Ministry Before I became a Christian, my life revolved around drinking, smoking and clubbing. Life was fun, yes, but there was also a sense of emptiness gnawing within me. It had no meaning, purpose or aim.
Alex subsequently decided to visit my carecell, Overflow, and joined us for lunches after service. It proved to be a good fit, and he became a regular carecell member in time to come. Itâ€™s been two years since those challenging times, and Alex has been baptized in Trinity and joined us as a member. He is also now serving a Young Adult carecell as a carecell leader. Praise God!
It came to the point where I wanted a change. I wanted a purpose in my life, and I prayed to God to fill my void and transform the way Iâ€™m living. The way He did it made me realize God can change lives, and offer people a second chance. Sharing the gospel came naturally to me after that. The Great Commission in Matthew 28 became my mission and purpose in life. At that point, I was studying in Perth, Australia, and had the opportunity to share the gospel with Alex Khaw who was studying there too. He accepted Christ, and we eventually became mates in the same carecell, which was made up largely of overseas students. Over a few years, I continued to keep in touch with Alex. While I settled in Trinity, Alex was worshiping in another church.
r ag e d u o c n E and e d! w e n e R
Yet, I realized that all was not well with him spiritually. As a designer, Alex tends to work late into the night and his demanding clients and deadlines were weighing heavily on him physically, emotionally, and spiritually. At the same time, he was also finding it difficult to settle at church as he was the only single person in his carecell, which made it more difficult to relate with them. They were also much older than him. At this point, I decided to support him by visiting his church, praying alongside him and urging him to be accountable to his church leadership about his struggles.
Alex Khaw: 31, Senior Manager Carecell: Shine576 (North district) Back in 2008, I was in the doldrums. With my heavy workload as a publication designer, I was so stressed out that I was clinically diagnosed with anxiety and depression. It was not a good moment for me. It was then that Daryl, whom I got to know in Perth, got in touch and introduced me to Trinity. I felt very welcomed from the first time I visited his carecell, as everyone were very friendly toward me. They understood the challenges I faced at work, prayed and spent time with me - both during carecell and outside of it - and never failed to encourage me. It took two years, but the prayers and support from the carecell members and church leaders helped my road to recovery as I eased off the medication to help me cope with the depression and anxiety. Besides helping me overcome my medical conditions, my carecell leaders also nurtured me spiritually. One expression of this was to evangelize and we had the opportunity to do it during our Home for Christmas celebration at Daryl’s house in 2012. My ex-carecell leader, Eveleen, encouraged us to bring our oikos for the event and, despite being introverted, I decided to trawl through my Facebook list to identify prebelieving friends residing in Singapore. Amazingly, a few actually responded! One of these was Mandie, who was the sister of my ex-school friend and whom I added on Facebook by mistake. She happened to be in Singapore during Christmas that year, and she accepted my request to join us at Daryl’s place. During the party, I had the opportunity to find out that Mandie was a backslidden Christian and, though she responded positively to the gospel 64
message conveyed, she had to go back to Malaysia after the holiday period. It was then that Eveleen encouraged me to follow up on her. As a fellow Malaysian, I returned home for Chinese New Year in the months following the party and met up with Mandie then. We subsequently kept in touch via Facebook and instant messaging, and it was through these conversations that I discovered her to be a workaholic and self-sustained person. She would try to resolve problems on her own without seeking God, and these efforts tend to leave her utterly exhausted and disappointed. I shared with her that she needed to go back to God and learn to depend on Him instead. Some of the other carecell members were also in touch with her to support and pray with her. In time, our regular interaction brought the friendship deeper and we started dating. At that time, God impressed upon me that for Mandie to grow in faith, she had to move to Singapore. Unsure how this was supposed to happen, I shared my prayer requests with the carecell, which prayed with me during the season. And God answered! Mandie’s boss decided to set up a Singapore branch that allowed her the necessary employment credentials to work here. That was when she started attending Trinity and our carecell regularly. God’s other promises started being realized too. Mandie and I were married last December and are now serving God together as a family. We are both learning to pray together and encouraging each other in our faith, and would check ourselves to set aside time for God and people.
c and i l o h a Wo r k h e lme d w O ve r b le ms o by Pr Fo un d Su pp ort an d Lo ve in th e Ca re ce ll
Mandie Ong: 28, Financial Accountant
frequently. We both had it tough after leaving school with challenging times at work and in dealing with personal issues, and these helped us build a close bond.
Carecell: Shine576 (North district) I moved to Singapore in October 2011 after my company decided to set up a new branch office here, and with the move were many attendant transitional issues such as bedding down and lack of family support. However, joining Alexâ€™s carecell helped ease a lot of these issues when I eventually made the move across the Causeway. The carecell was like home to me, and I felt loved and accepted into a new family. With all the prayers, care and support from each member, I adjusted to the local culture and community pretty quickly.
So in 2009, I found out Jenny was coming to Singapore to work and was under a lot of stress, I prayed she would find Jesus. One practical step was to connect her with Alex as she did not have many friends in Singapore. He invited her to the carecellâ€™s Christmas party and Eveleen then followed up on her. A few days later, Jenny accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior. Like me, she was soon connected to one of the carecells in Trinity and started to grow spiritually and assumed the role of a spiritual parent. She also dated and married a fellow Trinitarian last year. I really thank God for His beautiful work in her life!
Back home in Malaysia, I have a close college friend, Jenny, whom I used to share problems with 65
Fo un d Tr ue Lo ve in Je sus!
ST R ES SED !
Jenny Toh: 28, Lead Accountant, Finance Planning and Control
not deter me from praying for her though, and the Holy Spirit would always prompt me with her name as I prayed for my oikos. My prayers continued even after I left the company in 2011.
Carecell: Overflow (North district) Mandie and I attended college in Malaysia together back in 2003, and I would always share my relationship issues with her. Then, in November 2009, I moved to Singapore to work and experienced great difficulties adjusting to life here. There were cultural differences at work, and I had no friends whom I can share my burdens with. I was staying in a rental room alone leased from an elderly landlord. These circumstances made me feel very lonely and disconnected then. Knowing that I was alone in Singapore and having difficulty adjusting, Mandie asked Alex to meet up with me. He invited me to his carecell’s Christmas party, which I knew was linked to church and Christianity. Since my colleagues in Malaysia had started sharing the gospel with me, I was not against the religion and agreed to go. In the end, I found the party to be fun and the people there were not pushy about me accepting Christ on the spot. As things went by, I also met Alvin at the party whom I’m now happily married to, so it proved to be a good decision to go! After the party, I was invited to attend Trinity’s first Christmas service at the newly built Sanctuary at Trinity@Paya Lebar. I went and was moved by Pastor Dominic’s sermon about unfailing love. So on the Christmas of 2009, I accepted Jesus into my heart. I then joined Eveleen’s carecell, and began to learn more about Jesus. At that point in time, I had a colleague Bee Chin. She was a quiet one and had pretty low selfconfidence then, but it did not stop me from reaching out to her as God showed me clearly she needed Jesus in her life.
The opening came for Bee Chin to visit church when I invited her to my wedding in October last year. After the ceremony, she shared with me how touched she was by the love shown from my carecell members as they served selflessly at the wedding. I seized on the opportunity to invite her to the next carecell event, and she readily agreed. It was then that she got to know the carecell members better and, at the event, Alvin and I plucked up the courage to invite her to attend church service with us. Again, she accepted the invite to our surprise. During the service she attended, Bee Chin was visibly touched by the love of God and was uncontrollably in tears. At the First Time Visitors’ lounge, Bee Chin was presented with the gospel but said she would need time to seriously think about becoming a Christian. I had faith in God’s timing, even though she did not accept Jesus immediately. From then, I would message Bee Chin periodically and tried to answer the questions she had about God. There were some difficult questions I was not able to answer, so I took the opportunity to invite her to carecell so I could get my carecell leader to explain to her. After that, Bee Chin joined our carecell and got to know more about Christ. Amazingly, she said she was ready to give her life to Christ during a prayer meeting right before Christmas! She is now an active carecell member, growing and serving together with me. My faith in Him has grown through her salvation. I thank God for that!
I would regularly invite Bee Chin to church and carecell events but she would reject them. It did
Nee di ng di re ct io n an d pu rp os e in lif e.
Ngo Bee Chin 27, Accountant
C om p le te i n G o d!
to Eveleen though. I was quite taken aback by my reactions. Thinking back, it would appear that just like rain can clear the haze in the air, then my tears were to clear my eyes to see God.
Carecell: Overflow (North district) Visiting churches is not a new experience for me. Since young, I’ve been to kindergarten church services and had Christian friends and tuition teachers who would invite me to their churches. These probably helped cultivate my curiosity about Christianity. So when Jenny shared with me her experiences and walk with God, I was open to listening. Similarly, when she invited me to visit Trinity@Adam last November, I was fine with it but did not expect anything from going. On that day, Pastor Wilson was preaching about the Armor of God, which was palatable for prebelievers like me as it had many interactive photos and was easy to comprehend. As he made the altar call, I remember tears welled up in my eyes. It was not sadness, yet I did not understand what it was. The emotions, which were seemingly in check when I made my way from service to the First Time Visitors’ Lounge, were released when I spoke 68
However, at that point in time, I hesitated when asked if I wanted to accept Christ. Deep in my heart, I already said yes, but I held back because I could not see myself as a Christian and was worried about my family’s reaction. It was only after I had several long conversations with my mum, who understands me very well and encouraged me to follow my heart if Jesus is who I need, that I dared to say yes to God. And I needed to, as it gave me the chance to start life afresh. I used to live life aimlessly and disliked being in the world very much, which I knew hurt my parents a lot. I could see no future for myself. With God in my life, I now finally understand the deep joy and peace everyone has been talking about. With Him, I feel complete. Today, I cherish every memory of meeting with God and every little step made with Him. So too the memories of the love and care showered on me by Trinitarians. In return, I’m now happily serving in Nursery and praying for my family members to join me in church. T
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Water Baptism: Take the Plunge! Have you been a Christian for some time but not yet water-baptized? Perhaps it’s time to reconsider. By Christine Poon
e were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. Romans 6:4 As disciples of Christ, water baptism is a public declaration to be a follower of Jesus Christ, who loved us so much to pay the price on the cross for our sins. When we go through the immersion of baptismal waters, we are declaring to the spiritual and physical realms that we are choosing to identify ourselves with the crucifixion and burial of our Lord. And when we emerge from the waters, we’re reaffirming that we are clothed in the risen Christ, wrapped with power from on high and ready to embrace His divine purposes for our lives. Pansy Seah is one who has recently taken the significant step in her walk with God by undergoing water baptism, and below is her testimony: “Having grown up in a family with very staunch religious beliefs, I would accompany my mother to visit a spiritual medium almost every week when I was younger.
After my marriage, I followed my Christian husband to church. He rededicated himself back to the Lord at Trinity@Paya Lebar in 2001. Since 2006, I’ve been attending church but hadn’t accepted Jesus into my life yet. It took a harrowing experience with pregnancy complications to shake me up. My sister’s friend visited me when I was in hospital and I was touched by her kindness and was greatly ministered by the love of God. In 2009, I made the decision to accept Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior and served in church. My doctor had advised me not to get pregnant again due to the high risks involved. But by the grace of God, He restored my strength and I gave birth to a healthy baby boy last year! It’s a miracle and a testimony of God’s faithfulness and mercy on me. With God, all things are possible!” When God is in our lives, it’s a cause for celebration and the decision to be water baptized is simply the exclamation mark punctuating our new lives in Him. Sign up to proclaim God’s work in your lives today!
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Nurturing the future today
“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not turn from it.” PROVERBS 22:6
Raffles House Paya Lebar • Robin Close • Toa Payoh • Jakarta
Tel 6742 8015 For ages 18 months to 6 years www.raffleshouse.com 71
Take LEAD. Be Discipled. I am a Christian. I believe in God. I am a believer. The question today is: Are you a disciple of Christ? Surely there is more to a Christian’s journey than simply being a convert. Salvation is free. We do not need to earn it. But if we truly desire to live the authentic Christian life – we need to continually prepare and equip ourselves with knowledge and skills to become what God has called us for – fishers of men and build the Kingdom of God. Encourage one another to attend these 7 Trinity Leadership courses, where you will be able to take gradual steps to becoming a disciple and a discipler. God CAN and WILL use those who avail themselves for His kingdom expansion. Be that vessel today!
I am a Christian.
I believe in God
But am I a disciple of Christ?
Nurturing that Transforms Lives
Spiritual Parenting Introduction to the Trinity Family
• Experience a personal breakthrough in your faith
• Know our DNA – our vision, values and beliefs
• Be captivated by Christ’s passion for the lost
• Discover the significance of water baptism and church membership
• Pray with a new level of faith and believe for the salvation of your loved ones
• Be baptized in the Holy Spirit and be filled with His Power
• Learn how to lead someone to Christ and nurture them
• Learn how you can know God on a deeper, personal level 74
• Improve your Spiritual Parenting skills in helping others build a strong spiritual foundation • Learn how to effectively deal with spiritual obstacles in the lives of those you are mentoring • Connect and build genuine relationships with people • Develop a relentless belief in people
Sectional Leaders’ Training Planning and Navigating the Carecell Toward Multiplication
Carecell Leaders’ Training • Understand that God has called you to lead and impact lives • Be empowered to facilitate vibrant and purposeful carecell meetings • Develop skills to lead, shepherd and mentor others
• Believe that God wants to multiply your carecell
• Master skills to facilitate purposeful and vibrant carecell meetings
• Learn to navigate your carecell through its life stages
• Create a faith environment where people engage one another to see the greatness of God • Facilitate life-changing group discussions with God’s Word
• Grow in competence in planning your carecell toward growth
• Grow to be a leader of leaders • Mentor and raise leaders • Facilitate life-changing Leadership cell meetings • Lead carecells to overcome barriers to breakthrough for new levels of growth
• Instill a Christ-like passion for people through persevering for a breakthrough
• Lead people to reach out to their loved ones and friends
• Experience how God multiplies His Kingdom through you
Training and Consultation in Poland Trinityâ€™s ongoing bid to empower leaders and churches around the world had our pastors traveling to Poland this May 1 to 3 to share on a topic close to our hearts - Spiritual Parenting. By Elane Luo
t’s in Trinity Christian Centre’s DNA to spend time and resources equipping other pastors and churches around the world with the cell-church model. This May, two of our pastors - Pastors Margaret and Beatrice - traveled almost halfway across the globe to Poland to share God’s Word and practical tools for Spiritual Parenting. The three-day session may have been short, but it proved impactful for those in attendance. Here are some sound-bites from the participants:
“Through Matthew 14:22-33, God wants to strengthen me in my faith, so that it will be stable and solid. While being in the mission field and talking to people about God, I had the opportunity to pray for one man. I know that something will change in his life as he thinks about God and salvation. I will pray that it happens.” Krzysztof
Equipped with God’s Wisdom
“It was a great time for me at the workshop. I’ve enriched myself with wisdom that I can make practical use of, such as the Five-finger Prayer and
the Bridge Diagram. The topics, supported with God’s Word, drew me closer to the ministry of home cell groups and cast a new light on its purpose and organization.” Krystyna Koczapska
Received God’s Affirmation
“It was really important for me to be here. God has given me my oikos - colleagues, family and schoolmates - and my anxiety was, ‘How to look after the person, so he or she could start living with God and having a victorious life?’ But through the course, I know God is my answer. Thank God for the voice of the Holy Spirit.” Ewa
Empowered for New Beginnings
“I attended the workshop wondering what God was expecting me to learn. Now I know that, among other things, I’m precious to God and where I am at, it is time to spiritually nurture and care for the people in my life. This will be a new time of building relationships and helping to develop the church.” Celina Nowakowska
It’s not everyday that you get to hear of someone who visited Mongolia to spread the Word of God, but eight Trinitarians did just that this June. Partnering local churches, the team spent seven days ushering the presence of God into Ulaanbaatar and Khovd to minister to the locals. One of the highlights of the MIT was when God broke through and brought healing to the congregation of a local church. During an evening service, almost everyone went forward to the altar for prayer, including a lady who could not bend her knees for five years. After she was prayed for, God healed her of this physical impediment. Another lady who had been paralyzed for 10 years was another recipient of God’s healing touch during the night’s altar call. Imagine walking after being bedridden for a decade. What joy!
Sending God’s Love to Mongolia From Jun 19 to 25, 2013, a team of 8 Trinitarians embarked on Trinity’s second trip to Mongolia and brought with them God’s love. By Elane Luo 80
On another occasion during a leader’s gathering, the healing touch of God was again present when an old lady testified after the meeting that her backache was cured while a South Korean missionary also shared how her headache eased away after receiving prayer. Read on to find out what some of the team members thought were the most memorable events they brought back from ministering in Mongolia. “I am extremely happy to see the fervency and commitment of the Christian Mongolians in their worship of God. They walked miles just to come to church to praise and worship God and hear His words through the preacher. They were also present in most of the training conducted by the Singapore team - a testimony of their hunger and desire to know more about God and learn how to lead others to grow in the Lord by taking up leadership roles.” Richard Lee
“I am thankful to have been able to lay hands and pray for my brothers and sisters there even though I was beset with feelings of inadequacy, especially with the difficulty of praying through an interpreter. It was also a first for me to address a large group of young adults, so it was a personal breakthrough to forget myself while speaking to the youth leaders. Through these incidents, I felt God was showing and teaching me things about myself as I pushed myself to exercise a different level of faith.” Jennifer Oliveiro “I believe we showed the local believers that they are not alone, but part of a worldwide body of Christ and they are loved by believers outside Mongolia. I feel I am probably more blessed through the trip than the people we were ministering to.” David Nettleton “I was humbled by the Christian leaders there in that each one has contributed in big ways to the Lord - planting churches within Khovd, outlying villages and neighboring countries - and yet were so humble. I was also impressed by the Council set-up, which unites the 6-8 churches in the small city.” Michelle Nettleton
“Our team managed to share with the small groups and youths the biblical principles that they can apply to their own personal life and church ministry. While being able to bless the church in Mongolia, I learnt a lot from them too. I learnt their heart for God and experienced God’s love through their hospitality and love. I hope to carry that love for His people in Singapore so that the people around me can also experience God’s love.” Juliana Sung “I am thankful for God who used me in ways I never imagined. It was a blessing to be able to use my guitar skills for morning devotions and special items during our ministry.” Lewis Ng
r i o h C l e p s J-Go
Japanese Ministry’s First E-Event
On Jul 20, 2013, our Japanese ministry held a J-Gospel Choir concert which saw the 100 participants on stage and the floor singing and dancing as one. Keiko Chua shares.
“Japanese people are more reserved and restricted when it comes to things like religion. In Japan, it’s very difficult to share the Gospel with people. Even bridging the topic might be considered taboo,” says Pastor Toyomi Sanga, who leads the Japanese ministry here in Trinity, “You can’t just walk up to a Japanese person and say, ‘Hey! Have you heard about Jesus?’ It may come as quite a shock to them. Many of them actually face issues and need a lot of support but it isn’t in the Japanese culture to show it. You need a more indirect approach to reach out to them.” A better way to reach out soon surfaced. Driven by a burden from God for the Japanese community in Singapore, Pastor Toyomi began the J-Gospel Choir in July 2012. Back home in Koriyama, she has been leading the Grace Impact Choir, which is made up of both Christian and non-Christian members. 82
For eight years, she saw many lives being touched by God through songs and became a firm believer that the “Gospel choir” is God’s strategy to reach out to Japanese pre-believers. However, it took a little while to launch the project here as the Gospel choir concept was not a familiar choir style in Singapore. Japanese friends were invited to either be a part of the choir performance or to just come and watch the concert. They could join in the practice sessions and workshop leading up to the concert day. “In this way, we can get to know them better at a pace that they are comfortable with and they can get to know us and God better as well,” says Pastor Toyomi. Gospel musician and lead singer for the concert, Ray Sidney, along with two Choir groups from Japan – Grace Impact Choir from Koriyama and
Grace 4U from Hiroshima – met for the first time at the rehearsal the night before the concert. They were self-funded and travelled all the way here with one desire to bless Japanese friends in Singapore. The concert and workshop held at Trinity@Paya Lebar on Jul 20 saw about 100 participants in the choir and audience. Ray had gotten everybody on their feet, including the celebration hosts, to sing and move along with the choir. As the songs of Good News were sung out loud, God’s presence was felt strongly and touched believers and prebelievers alike. The stage and floor became one. It was truly a spectacular sight. Many were touched by God in different ways… An audience member who’s an instructor of another Gospel choir was very impacted by the concert. She told Pastor Toyomi in tears that for the first time she realized how lonely she’s been in a foreign country. A J-Gospel Choir member from another church was very impressed by the people in the red T-shirts serving as they’ve had challenges finding people to serve, especially on Saturday mornings.
He’s encouraged that so many of them here know that they are blessed to serve others. A group of four Japanese homemakers said that they enjoyed the concert very much and will join the choir again when it resumes in September while their husbands look after their children. A Singaporean couple wrote a note to Ray saying that it was their first time at a Gospel choir concert. It was a special moment for them and they were very touched. At the special Gospel service the following Sunday, a J-Gospel Choir member who has been attending Trinity’s Japanese service for the past year finally gave her life to Jesus! The preacher that day, Pastor Nobue shared that she was overwhelmed to see that two pre-believer members of her choir group had also raised their hands when the altar call was made to receive Jesus.
Invite your Japanese friends to our Japanese Service: • 2nd and 3rd Sunday of the month, 10am • Trinity@Paya Lebar, Level 1, Hostel Block, Classroom H1
Standing over 1.7 meters with dark brown hair and a spring in his step, Pastor Frank Smit Caballeroâ€™s cheery disposition is sure to put a smile on anyoneâ€™s face. Hailing from the beautiful nation of Colombia, in South America, he is here with a mission. The glow in his eyes is evident when he talks about what God is doing in Trinity and Singapore. His passion for God is infectious.
The first Spanish Christian service in Singapore was launched on Aug 25, 2013 here in Trinity. It was met with a warm welcome with 41 people from the Spanish-speaking community attending. Q: Tell us more about the Spanish-speaking A long-awaited event, its leading pastor, community in Singapore. Pastor Frank Smit, shares his excitement A: When you talk about the Spanish-speaking on what God is doing in this ministry. community, many people donâ€™t realize that there By Miranda Zhang are about 21 nations in the world that have Spanish as their official language. So in a ministry like this, we are welcoming people from all these places. The Spanish-speaking people in Singapore hail from places like Columbia, Costa Rica, Peru and Spain. Many of them have been living and working here for a long time.
Q: How did it all begin? What drove this Spanish Ministry to set up here in Trinity? A: Since 19 years ago, Trinity had been going over to South America to train ministers and churches including my city in Colombia. Many churches adopted the Cell Church Model and had been growing in God ever since. Trinity has come a long way with working with Spanish-speaking people, sowing and investing time into the Latin American churches. So, when the opportunity came for me to come here to reach out to the Spanish-speaking community in Singapore, I felt led by God to take it, and I did! When I arrived here as a full-time staff early last year, Pastor Dominic shared with me his heart for the Spanish-speaking community. I was excited to see how we could better reach out to them here. 84
Q: And this led to setting up the Spanish service? A: Yes! We began with Spanish interpretation during our main services coupled with a carecell of 10 Spanish-speaking people from Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru and Spain. This little community has since grown to 16. As we got to know them, we came to realize that despite many of them holding stable jobs and happy families, many of them were in search of something deeper. So to meet this deeper need, we felt the need for an avenue to help us also be a part of their lives, to be a larger family and community to them – to be God’s family.
e on Aug
So the Spanish service was born. We hope to see the service make a difference in the lives of this unique group of people living in Singapore.
Q: How has it been so far? A: Many of them are Christians who were happy to discover a Spanish-speaking community that shared the same culture and beliefs. But, this community has gone beyond just reaching out to Christians. The real relationships formed have led many to feel at home here in our church. And that’s really why we are here isn’t it? To love God and love people and to reach out to those who have yet to know Jesus. Indeed. Dios es bueno! God is good!
Service Times: • Sun, Sep 22 • Every Sun from Oct • 10am, Trinity@Paya Lebar, Level 3, Lecture Theatre 1 Invite your Spanish-speaking friends! Pick up an invitation card from the Level 2, Information Counter. English interpretation via headsets is available for those who bring their friends. 85
Missions at a glance January to June 2013 was a fruitful season for Trinity Christian Centreâ€™s missions efforts. Elane Luo reports.
Statistics for Jan-Jun 2013 GO: Missions Impact Teams (MITs)
6 49 4 4 947 5 GO:Training and Consultation
10 8 86
Trips Countries (Bulgaria, China, Japan, Poland, Romania, Singapore, Taiwan, USA)
Countries (Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Mongolia, Singapore, Thailand) Trinitarians Evangelistic MITs Humanitarian MITs Decisions Healings
Destitute Children in Cambodia, India and Thailand sponsored Ministries supported
Trinitarians have enthusiastically come forward to be part of missions. Here is an update of the missions work in 2013.
Highlights from Apr to Jun 2013 Five Mission Impact Teams (MITs) brought great encouragement to the churches, our sponsored children in two homes and the children at the Care Huts managed by Care Community Services Society. While blessing the nations, the MITs were also greatly blessed as they witnessed salvation and physical healing. Trinity’s pastors continued to go on training and consultation trips to equip churches in Bulgaria, China, Poland, Romania and Taiwan. A church in Bulgaria had a tremendous breakthrough when they saw about 400 first time visitors at their Easter care event! Most of these visitors were introduced by the 90 carecell members at the church. Praise God! Trinity sponsors 1,052 children in the various homes, slum schools and centers.
Be a Partner in Prayer for Trinity Missions! Pray for: • Churches in partnership with us to have the breakthrough anointing to reap the harvest • Trinity Missions to have divine alliances with the right partners • Trinity’s sponsored children to grow in character: demonstrating the fruit of the Spirit. 87
Hands on with CCSS Volunteers In this 2-part series,Trinitarian throws the spotlight on volunteers who have been faithfully serving our community through various Care Community Services Society (CCSS) programs. This issue, we turn our eyes to a family man, Simon Lim, who sacrifices precious time at home to mentor young men waylaid by the temptation of substance abuse. We also learn how volunteering at CCSS brought Alvin Lee to give his life to God. By Krystle Foo
Name: Simon Lim CCSS Program: Barnabas Mentoring Program Simon is a father of six, so needless to say, the demands on his time from his family is heavy and necessary. However, even though he recognizes the importance of spending time with his wife Joanne and children, he has given up some of these hours during weekday nights and weekends to mentor ex-offenders with a history of drug or substance abuse. As a volunteer mentor with the CCSS Barnabas Mentoring Programme, Simon makes himself available to be a friend and mentor to these young men. Currently, he is helping one such exoffender get his life back by guiding and helping him through various struggles such as strained family relationships, conflicts at work, and being influenced by undesirable company. Asked why he makes this sacrifice, Simon revealed, “I have always had a burden for those who are trying to assimilate back into society after having made some mistakes and wrong choices in life. The truth remains that they all need help, and I feel that I can help these young adults.”
“They need a friend to believe in them, and that they can turn over a new leaf. I am willing and prepared to be their friend for that purpose,” he asserted. Thankfully, Simon is not alone in this endeavor. Joanne, his wife of 23 years, supports him fully in his ministry by gathering the children to pray for him whenever Simon heads out to meet his charges. The family understands that befriending and mentoring someone take time and perseverance, and Simon is thankful they have never complained about his time away from them. His two-year experience as mentor has also reminded him of the importance of family and the impact and importance of fatherhood in the family setting. “As I learn how to be an encourager to someone, I am in awe that however insignificant I am, with God, I can be a positive influence to the people around me,” reflected Simon.
Name: Alvin Lee CCSS Programme: CareHuts CareHuts are school-based student care centers that provide affordable after-school care for children from low-income and single-parent families. Besides providing children with guidance for their schoolwork, the centers also offer a safe environment away from street gangs and other undesirable influence. Alvin Lee is one such volunteer providing the students with the after-school help they need, after stepping into the CareHut at Zhonghua Primary School. Little did he realize that by volunteering his time and love for the children, he would receive a life-transforming friendship with God in return.
His volunteering journey had been more accidental than intentional. Having completed his national service, Alvin sought for relief teaching positions in schools around his area. Whilst searching for schools, he stumbled upon volunteering opportunities at CCSS. He signed up to be a mentor online. Unfortunately, there was no one available for him to mentor at that time. Instead, he was offered a volunteering opportunity at CareHut and he came on board. At CareHut, Alvin became curious about God and Christianity as he got to know some of his coworkers. He says, “Working at CareHut, I’ve come to respect Michelle and Soo Mee a lot, through their work and the love that they show to the children. Another volunteer, Sarah, showed compassion for the children that was such a good testimony for God. It wasn’t hard to fathom why I was filled with so many questions about Christianity, seeing posters of Bible verses on their walls and tables.” So, as Alvin was invited to The Passover Easter event last March by Michelle and Sarah, he got to experience God’s love for him first-hand and was deeply impacted. “I was apprehensive at the start having been invited to church before. I was also filled with questions like, ‘How can one with wisdom possibly believe in God?’, ‘Why is it that the Christians I’ve come in contact with display such good character?’” he recalls.
“I remembered the very first thing that came to mind when I attended The Passover was, ‘Wah! This church is super nice and big.’ But what stuck in my mind was the message – that everyone, no matter your background or history; are all accepted into God’s family. “I was intrigued by Trinity. The whole event was so refreshing and the message behind it prompted my curiosity as a first-time visitor. It marked the first step of my journey of faith. I’m glad I took up the courage and accepted the invitation.” Today, he not only attends Trinity’s weekend services regularly, he is also connected to a carecell in the church’s Campus Ministry. “Carecell, for me, began during my first semester in NTU. My carecell leader texted me as frequently as I ignored him. As a freshmen, I was in dire need of any form of guidance from seniors. So when he called me to meet for dinner, I accepted. That dinner proved to be more than what I’d expected. He shared his personal testimony and I was touched. “After sharing my problems back at home with him, he told me to press on and trust God in meeting these needs. I was very encouraged and decided to join cell, and till today, I am glad I trusted God in taking that first step into carecell life.”
As a charity founded by Trinity Christian Centre, CCSS impacts the community as the local missions arm of the church. If you are interested in joining our passionate team as we work His field, please contact us at 6304 7604 or via email at email@example.com
Trinityâ€™s leaders were the focus in this yearâ€™s Life Conference as many of them received the equipping and anointing boost needed to keep running the race strongly. By Carol Lim
Life, as we know it, is full of challenges and Christians in leadership positions within Trinity Christian Centre are not exempt from these. In fact, many continue to struggle with ministry fatigue and burnouts, heavy church obligations, and personal insecurities as they soldier on. It is with our leaders in mind that this year’s Life Conference, held in June, was put together. Equipping sessions were organized while the night revival rallies helped provide a conducive environment to worship God and receive a fresh anointing from Him. Since then, spirits have been refreshed and a new passion to serve the Lord reignited. Don’t just take our word for it, hear from some of the participants and how the Life Conference helped them kick on with their ministries: “During the second night of Life Conference, Rev Ong Sek Leang shared about the Elijah Syndrome, which refers to burnout in ministry causing one to feel discouraged and also have self-pity. I could relate to this. He shared four practical pointers to prevent this and I believe that these will help me keep the fire of God burning brightly in my heart.” - Isaac Wong, Carecell Leader, Campus Ministry
“There are three ‘Rs’ that I’ve learnt from Life Conference 2013. Firstly, I rediscovered my first love. During these two days, I put aside my frantic work schedule, shut off my mobile phone and shut in with God. I sought the Lord and learnt to love Him all over again.
“Throughout the three days of Life Conference, I was powerfully ministered to! It not only brought reminders of God’s love for leaders, it also signaled a time for me to renew the godly convictions in my life. I’ve often seen Romans 13:1 as a command and the reason for my conviction to submit to godly authority. However, when I learnt of the love lavished by the pastoral team to their leaders and members and their desire to see them grow, I’m further convicted to support and submit to our church leadership.” - Lee Wei En, DiscoveryLand Teacher “Life Conference 2013 gave me fresh faith to believe God for new things in my life and in my carecell. Both my walk with God and serving in carecell has become rather stagnant. But God reminded me, through the example of Gideon, that He can take us from where we are at now and set us back on the path of His destiny.” - Tan Kia Hua, Carecell Leader, Campus Ministry
Secondly, I realigned my purpose in serving God. Pastor Dominic reminded us to prepare the church to be a worthy bride for Christ. God is calling us to a deeper sense of devotion and servanthood. Thirdly, I rededicated my roles and responsibilities. Many of us are busy executing church duties like Martha, but we should become like Mary and sit at the foot of Jesus and listening to Him.” - John Ho, Associate Leader, West District “I learnt that we need to always pursue God in our walk with Him. We should continue to expect great things from Him. My 8-yearold son said he felt the anointing of God the moment he asked Him to help him speak in tongues. Praise the Lord!” - Cynthia Lee, DiscoveryLand teacher
Unleashing God’s Miracles Night Revival Meetings
Installation of Pastor Chung Kah Fei and Pastor Melanie Tan
“Where are the miracles?” That was the opening gambit by Rev Ong Sek Leang during the first of two night revival meetings held on Jun 7 and 8. His answer? “The miracles should be in the house of God!” By Chia Ban Seng
he atmosphere was simply electrifying. Nothing attracts God more than a spiritually hungry congregation. More than a good feel of basking in God’s presence, God reminded Trinity through Judges 6 that the Lord’s miracles were not limited to times past, but remain in the present and will exist in the future.
Hearts were warming up once again, faith began to awaken and commitments were renewed. One person who received a touch from heaven that very night was Jerlyn Tan. She shared:
1. An acceptance of a life without miracles, 2. An inability to accept that God’s miracles would be done through ordinary people, and 3. A cold, unbelieving heart.
“I had hurt my back and this affected my sciatic nerve. For three weeks, I could not stand or walk for long as I would experience pain shooting from the nerve. During Thursday night’s revival meeting, the pain persisted and I was unable to stand throughout the time of worship. After hearing the word, I recognized my disbelief was silently blocking God’s work in my life. I decided to believe God for a miracle to heal my back and answered the altar call. That night there was no more pain and I was able to stand throughout the worship time the next day!”
The message struck a chord in the hearts of many, as doubt and apathy in hearts were being broken.
Refuse to live a life that is void of miracles. Dare to ask God for a miracle and expect one!
Guest speaker and friend of Trinity, Rev Ong Sek Leang exhorted us to be mindful of three areas so as not to stifle God’s miracles from happening. The three areas are:
arnivallous was a fabulous carnival with about 20 station games which included a dunking machine. Because of the sheer number of participants, we had a big group of dedicated game marshals made up of parents and DefinYtion teachers. The event was a big hit! There was much hype created through the Facebook publicity. The campaign on ‘Vote for who you wanna dunk most’ brought much anticipation, with many targeting at our IGNYTE pastoral team and leaders! In order to play at the Dunking Machine, the groups had to earn tokens by winning in the various game stations. The event ended with a powerful sharing by Pastor Melvin. He shared that our God is a FUN God as well – He is Faithful, Understanding and will Never let you go. We rejoiced with the 25 youths who received Jesus as their Lord!
Who says getting to know God can’t be fun? On Aug 8, 2013, about 700 youths flooded Trinity@Paya Lebar for IGNYTE’s evangelistic carnival event, Carnivallous. Mabel Yeong, who was on the organizing committee, shares some insights of this successful event that attracted 289 first time visitors. 96
Carnivallous was fun! I enjoyed myself! I’ve wanted to know God for a long time and I did so during the event! Jun Wai, Chong Boon Secondary School, 14
Carnivallous was a great platform to invite some of my old friends to meet up together and introduce them to church in a fun and less formal manner. It also broke certain mindsets they had about a church being boring or all “holy holy”. We all had fun and enjoyed carnivallous in a great environment! Zaneta Goh, Anglican High School, 15
Carnivallous was an enriching event that allowed our carecell to bond. It was also a great opportunity to invite oikos. Seow Jia Hao, Dunman High School, 13
I’ve been to Trinity multiple times. But Carnivallous was the first time I got to know the people here through games like crawling in the dark and dunking people in water! Joy Poh, Nanyang Polytechnic, 17
Carnivallous was a chance for us to play games together as a carecell as well as an opportunity to bring our friends to know God. Through the fun and games, we remember that God is a FUN God as well. He is Faithful, He Understand us and He will Never let us go! :) Annabel Tan, Dunman High School, 16
Carnivallous was a fun-filled event and it was great to know that many people who were invited turned up. This is the first time my friend came and she became interested after hearing what the pastor said! Isabelle Tan, East View Secondary School, 13
I came to Carnivallous a little doubtful about its success, but left still feeling the excitement from the activities there.There was an activity for everyone: from Captain’s ball to water bomb fights to the crowd favorite, Human Foosball. Coupled with Pastor Melvin’s insightful sermon, it was the perfect recipe for a great day! Can’t wait for the next IGNYTE event! Elliot, Raffles Institution, 15
Carnivallous was an enjoyable yet constructive event. It brought unique and different individuals together through fun and games. It also promised rewarding experiences to oikos who can get to know Jesus and learn more about the church. Beatrice Koh, Dunman High School, 16
Carnivallous was not only fun but a great opportunity to invite pre-believing friends. I can see God moving in IGNYTE and with more such events, I believe that more people will come to know God. Adrian Sng, Bendemeer Secondary School, 15
Campus Camp 20St13ep: OuRtaStdepicIan l What does it mean to have Radical Obedience? From Jul 26 to 29, 2013, 102 campus students from the various tertiary institutions embarked on an expectant journey to plunge into Godâ€™s river and come out spirit-drenched. Rachel Lim shares her experience. DEFINITION Radical [rad-i-kuhl] Adjective
1. Of or going to the root or origin of our faith, seeking Him first above all other things 2. Willing to step out in faith and step into His plans and purposes for our lives 3. Being campus students dedicated to be an agent of change in their campuses
Fancy playing beach volleyball while blindfolded and running in knee-deep waters wearing a pair of diving flippers? Radical enough? More than just fun and games, every camper experienced God powerfully! Rebekah Lim, a Year 3 student from the National University of Singapore, testifies of how she was deeply impacted, â€œI never knew I could pray so much for someone. Amazingly during this camp, I just kept praying and
depend on God’s grace,” shares Poon Chong Lin, a Year 3 NTU student. “As I sought God, He dropped words, visions and even revelations into my heart which repeatedly coincided with the speakers of the services. When I addressed the campers, I felt God helping me to flow in my words and share with conviction. I know that it is only by God’s grace and voice that allowed me to move in His anointing as I availed myself as a willing vessel.” the Holy Spirit was just leading me and giving me the words to pray over someone. It’s something I’ve never really experienced before and I thank God for this breakthrough.” The morning and night services were defining moments of the camp where campers carried that desire for even more of Him and pressed in for breakthroughs in their personal lives and campuses. As Pamela Lam, a Year 2 student from the Singapore Institute of Management, aptly puts it, “We learnt what it means to have radical FAITH, to engage in radical LIVING, take up radical OWNERSHIP and be radically COMMISSIONED to walk in the radical DESTINY that God has for our lives. The time of vision casting for our campuses was a powerful one as my carecell members and I shared the word and vision that God had laid upon our hearts. It was amazing to see them link up to form a beautiful picture – one that speaks of God’s goodness and faithfulness.”
We believe the encounters we had were not just for us to stay where we are. God is indeed birthing something new in Campus Ministry and we look forward to the greater things God has in store for us!
The bible says in Jeremiah 29:13 says “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” That came true for Vera Wong, a Year 2 student in the National Technological University (NTU). She shares “I re-dedicated my life to God last year, and have since wanted a fresh touch from God and a personal encounter with Him. During one of the worship services, as I prayed aloud, ‘Let the fire burn in my heart for you,’ I immediately felt my body heat up, as if it was literally burning! I thank God for this tangible touch from Him. Our God is indeed real, and the Holy Spirit lives in me!” “Serving as the Camp Commandant was scary as I’m not a natural public speaker, but I knew I could
Questions Answered H G TOU “Why would a loving God send people to hell?”
he Bible reveals God as loving and gracious, yet also teaches that many people will end up in hell for eternity. How do we reconcile these ideas? We go back to the moment when Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden. Their actions introduced a condition known as “sin”. Since then, Mankind has been born in this state of disbelief, rebellion, and separation from God. The Bible also reveals that God is holy and can’t be around sin. It’s as if God is allergic to sin. However, Genesis 1:26 states that mankind is created in God’s image, which means we are like God in some meaningful ways. One of these ways is we have self-determination, or freedom of choice. The most important way we exercise this freedom of choice is the decision to believe and follow Jesus Christ.
Thus, God doesn’t send anybody to hell. Rather, those who do end up in hell do so because they’ve lived a life in rejection of God’s grace. Hell is a moral necessity in order for the universe to be meaningful. God is clear He would rather no one resides there, but is also clear He will respect our choices made in this life as creatures made in his image. God will not violate our choice to reject Him; that would be immoral. As G. K. Chesterton said, hell merely confirms the reality of human freedom and honors the dignity of our choices.
Those who respond to God’s grace through Christ are declaring they accept Him as savior, submit to Him as Lord, and want to spend eternity with Him in heaven. When they die, God honors this relationship with Him and they spend eternity in heaven. However, when people outrightly reject the offer of God’s grace or indirectly by living a lifetime of selfish pursuits, they are saying they want nothing to do with Him, not now or ever. When they die, God honors their choice to reject grace and reconciliation and to be their own masters. In that sense, physical death doesn’t change anything. It is simply the transition to a continued existence in the same spiritual state we have chosen - either in relationship with or rejection of God. Death simply finalizes our choice. Prior to death we can still change our decision - whether we have 80 years or 8 minutes - but our choice at the point of death becomes eternally permanent. 100
Dr. Richard Goetz is a professor of theology at TCA College in Singapore. He earned his PhD in theology and ethics from Marquette University in Milwaukee, U.S. Prior to joining TCA College, Dr. Goetz taught in the U.S. for 15 years. He enjoys spending time with his family, reading, and exploring.
Share your â€˜Trinity momentsâ€™ with us. Send them to connect@ trinity.org.sg
eeting Place ration at The M Birthday celeb : Andrew Chong Contributed by
tized Water Bap ember got Our cell m by: Francesca Tay Contributed
Celebrating an Contributed byother year of life at LIFE conference! : David Cheo ng
This is my ch Contributed urch and I love it! by: Pastor Vi ctor Toh
What drives you to serve God as an IGNYTE carecell leader as well as training the worship team? What motivates me is the unspeakable joy of an ordinary youth like me having the privilege to express my love for God and to be able to bless His people in any possible capacity. My parents are my role models when it comes to serving. They’ve been serving for the longest time as Celebration Hosts every Sunday, but till this day, I’ve never heard them complain about serving and they remain extremely passionate in what they do. Through them, I’ve learnt what it means to be a servant in God’s house and, like them, I see serving as a simple expression of my love for God and His people. Serving also allows me to experience God’s miraculous works first-hand. When I see my carecell members having personal breakthroughs in their lives, or see youths giving of themselves to God, I’m encouraged and reminded that I serve an amazing God! How did you end up being passionate about serving people in church and social work? Before I enrolled at Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP), I was struggling academically. At my lowest point, I decided to surrender all to Him and asked that He would use my life for His glory. Since then, God not only gave me a second chance at school, He also instilled in my heart a compassion for people. My application to study for a Diploma in Social Sciences (Social Work) at NYP was successful. Through the course and internships, I discovered and interacted first-hand with a wide spectrum of people - from low-income families and mental patients to ex-offenders. I also volunteered at Eunos CareHut, which allowed me to help children with their studies after school. Each of these events has fuelled my passion for God’s people, to serve them in church as well as elsewhere. The joy and satisfaction derived from helping them encourages me to continue to pursue more opportunities to touch lives. Through these experiences, God developed my identity and character to who I am today.
On top of serving as an IGNYTE carecell leader and helping with the worship team,Theodore Koh, emerged one of the top scorers in his cohort in school and was featured in the Straits Times for his passion on social work.The 21-year-old gives God all the glory. Rachel Lim reports. What are some of the challenges you face as you juggle both school and ministry commitments? Like any student, I struggle with time management. It’s tempting to put the books aside and do something fun like going out with friends, surfing on Facebook or basically doing anything but study! Serving also takes up time and energy during the weekends and there were times where I ended up not being able to give full attention to my school work. I often have to ask God for His wisdom and strength to be disciplined because I want to honor God not just in one field, but in every area of my life. I choose to honor God by reserving my weekends for Him. Despite the challenges, instead of saying, “God, I have a big problem”, I choose to say, “Problem, I have a big God!” I thank God for His sustenance to be able to manage my commitments thus far.
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Trinitarian Magazine Issue 3/2013