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Issue 04/2013

Pulse

Piecing the GEMs Together Up Close

Miracles... Continued Focus

Confessions of 4 Time-strapped Families

JUMP-start Your Engines!


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Contents Issue 04/2013

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24 JUMP-START YOUR ENGINES Are you ready for 2014?

62 MISSIONS AT A GLANCE

Overview of Missions for Jan-Sep 2013

64 GOD’S BOUNTIFUL BLESSINGS Missions trip to Philippines

52 MIRACLES...CONTINUED Real Life Miracle

89 CAUGHT ON TRINITY’s CAMERA 90 Trinitarian Hero

Serving behind the scenes

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66 AN UNEXPECTED RETURN Missions trip to India


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Contents Issue 04/2013

THE

COMMUNITY ISSUE

32 32 THE COMMUNITY ISSUE 34 ARE YOU THE CHURCH?

Breaking individualism and isolation

39 COMMUNITY-BUILDING GETS TECH-TONIC

Use technology to enhance relationships

42 CONFESSIONS OF 4 TIME-STRAPPED FAMILIES

Excuse me, but I have kids!

46 THE HOUSE OF GOD It’s not what you think

88 TOUGH QUESTIONS ANSWERED

Why do Christians behave like hypocrites?

16 VISION RALLY 2013 A fresh perspective

20 PIECING THE GEMS TOGETHER God Encounter Meetings

70 unexpected blessings

Filipino and Indonesian ministries testify

74 TCA COLLEGE 24TH GRADUATION CEREMONY

Launching pad to our dreams

78 HANDS ON WITH CCSS VOLUNTEERS Impacting our community

82 WI-O WI-O, WONDERFUL INSIDE-OUT DiscoveryLand celebrates Children’s Day

84 I LOVE MY CARECELL! IGNYTE’s school carecells

86 EXISTENCE

Campus Ministry’s evangelistic event

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Advisor Chief Editor

Pastor Dominic Yeo Pastor Janice Chng

EditorS

Cliff Lee Diana Lim Miranda Zhang

Editorial Team

Carol Lim Christine Poon Elane Luo Gabriel Chu Han Mei Zhen Ivan Koh June Teh Kevin Kwang Lye Hui Xian Moo Yubin Sharon Lim Will Yong

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Contributing Photographers

Pastor Dr Philip Lyn Pastor Joseph Tan Rev Glyn Barrett Josias Teo John Tan IGNYTE Photography Team Law Kian Yan Pastor Sunny Chua Twenty4Frames

Dear Pastor Gary and Pastor Victor,

Big Detail Pte Ltd

Last Saturday, I attended the ‘Holy Spirit & I’ LEAD class. 

Contributing Designers

Faith Koh

Editorial Support

Sarah Lau

During the session, Pastor Gary shared about how sometimes, there’s this little voice that whispers in the ear saying, “Yes, now. Do it.” 

Designers

Advertising Sales & Admin

Sarah Lau For ad sales enquiries, Tel: 6304 7718 Email: sarahlau@trinity.org.sg Mailing Address

Singapore Post Centre Post Office PO Box 616 Singapore 914021 Website

www.trinity.net Email

admin@trinity.org.sg ISSUE 4/2013

The Trinitarian is published quarterly by Trinity Christian Centre. Company registration number 197802911H MICA (P) 072/04/2013 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.

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That evening, I had a chat with my friend via WhatsApp, a question suddenly came to my mind - “What is your religion?” Just out of nowhere, just like that.  I debated inside me for a while. As I just got to know this friend not too long ago, touching on the subject about religion can be sensitive. Then, that little voice went, “Just ask.”. It turned out that my friend has strayed from God. He used to be active in school, attended church but somehow, he strayed.  After that, I prayed about it and had another chat with him the following day. Again we talked about the subject and I tried to encourage him to attend church service with me at Trinity. He agreed. Praise God! So pastors, I want to say, “Thank you!” You have taught well and that little voice is amazing!

Kelly Lim


I’ve known God since I was 15. My cousin happened to be a pastor and she always involved me in most Christian activities. For more than a year I attended another church. One day, I searched the internet for Christian churches in Singapore and I found Trinity. It was such a great privilege to experience Christ here at Trinity one Sunday. I felt the warmth of the congregation and strongly felt the presence of the Holy Spirit while people gathered at the altar for a prayer. Now, I would love to serve God and others if I am given the chance. Thank you and warm regards,

Len Gandia

Do you have someone to thank? Send your appreciation notes to connect@trinity.org.sg.

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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

relationships; where

and where God delights to

carecells, ministries,

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.

and miracles.

ENGLISH SERVICES Weekend Services, Nursery & Discoveryland* Sat 5pm • Sun 10am Pre-Teens Services (ages 10-12) Sat 5pm • Sun 10am 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

empowerment and

to see His glory displayed

development of Spirit-filled

throughout the world. We see

leaders who will be

a church with a passionate

strategically positioned

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

a ministry.

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

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At the turn of the year into 2013, God’s word to Trinity was an invitation to encounter Him, know Him and be transformed, so that the fulfillment of God’s plan for our lives can take place. Hearing and declaring the prophetic word of God is one thing. To actually execute it is another matter. We had five nights of prayer in the early part of the year. That was when God gave us a taste of simply being in His presence. I recall how powerful those moments were. When the five nights ended, God wasn’t done with us yet. He had more in store for us. I remember during one of the pastors’ summits this year, God had put in my heart the idea of rallying the entire church and all our carecells to seek Him – without Man’s agenda but God’s. It would be extremely radical for a cell-based church to move its structured carecell

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meetings to a corporate setting for a protracted season, hence the leadership was apprehensive about steering Trinity in that direction. In seeking God’s heart and mind, the entire leadership sensed that this was the right thing to do and the right moment to do it. Stemming from a sense of reverence for God, courageous faith and obedience, we knew that this could not be orchestrated or rationalized. We had to simply let go and let God. We started the God Encounter Meetings (GEM) on Fridays. And I am blessed to see how Trinitarians have grown in seeking God and allowing His revelations to transform them from inside out. God is revealing Himself and His heart to us. Read about some of these revelations on p20-23.

God is like the potter, repairing and remolding us. Week after week, the pieces of clay became more formed and distinct.

back to our carecells and our community, we are His People, filled with His Passion, ready to fulfill His Purpose.

God is forming us to be His People, His Bride, His Church.

Perhaps you’ve been stalled for some time, or perhaps you’ve been experiencing God’s refuelling. Either way, it is time to hear the message of God, to jump-start your engines - p2428.

His Church cannot be made up of individuals coming to church just to fulfill a religious obligation. This issue is all about His Church as a community, p34-38. What does it mean to be in His community?

Trinitarians, start your engines! Are you ready for 2014?

Amidst our busy Singaporean lifestyle, is church a mere program in our lives? When the Lord blesses us with children, should church be relegated to a lower priority? I’m sure you can find some answers as you read the Confessions of 4 Timestrapped Families, p42-45. His Church has to be gripped with His purpose and manifest His power. All that God is doing at Trinity is so that when we go

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With powerful messages from Pastor Dr Philip Lyn and Rev Glyn Barrett during Vision Rally on Oct 19 to 22, 2013, the Church received and responded to the Lord with S$14,435,256.91 dedicated in faith promises. Many lives were aligned and rededicated to God. So, what really stirred up the hearts and souls of Trinitarians to respond the way they did? Hear it from the voice of a first-timer at Vision Rally. Cliff Lee blogs.

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VISION RALLY 2013 My experience at Vision Rally was simply AWESOME! It was my first service at Trinity Christian Centre. After returning from five years of overseas studies, I longed to find a church where I could continue to encounter God. Upon my decision to check out Trinity, I was just in time for the church’s annual Vision Rally. The church came together eagerly to sing praises; the passion of the people for the name of Jesus Christ was evident in the arena. People came hungry and stood in worship, expecting to encounter and receive from God. With vibrant music, the congregation welcomed the presence of God into their midst. With loud praises, people came before God with open hearts, creating an atmosphere in which God would be delighted to inhabit and dwell in. I personally delighted in being a part of it all. 17


“I had encounters with God before, but this was different. It wasn’t about the leaders, but the Holy Spirit was taking lead and guiding the rallies. People seemed expectant for something to happen right from the start.” – Haeman, Process Specialist “The message really encouraged me. During this season of my life, God has blessed me with much and being reminded about His promises reassures me that God will continue going before me.” – Amenda, Allied Educator “I was really touched by Pastor Philip’s message about the different ways of starting a car engine. I realized when I look back on life that I have been ‘started’ in many ways by God or someone in the past. Now, I hope to do the same for others.” – Rico, Engineer

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Nothing else matters, nothing in this world will do…


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Led by the worship pastors, and as one voice, we sang together for the audience of one, giving all glory and honor to the One above. “Nothing else matters... Jesus be the center…” Like the lyrics, it felt like nothing else in our lives mattered in that moment. It didn’t matter whether my voice was heard. It only mattered that I was joining the congregation in praising the Most High. Open and expectant, people came before God to receive a fresh vision. Aside from the worship, the sermons never failed to bring along with it a renewal of strength and perspective. The message God gave through Vision Rally is that He set eternity in our hearts, and that we have to set our hearts and minds on things that are higher to fulfill that which truly matters. In his message, Rev Glyn Barrett reminded us that our problems on earth are not “problems of circumstances, but problems of perspective”.

Arnold, 11 and Aaron, 8 emptied their piggy banks for God after hearing the message the previous week.

Life didn’t feel the same after Vision Rally for me. Life couldn’t be the same. I believe I represent the masses in this statement. God has promised and destined our lives for so much more. Pastor Dr Philip Lyn’s message emphasized that God did not ‘send us here to start the race, He sent us to finish the race’. Indeed, God has a destiny greater than what we can imagine. As a Church, we need to continue running the race if we want to finish well. There are no limits to what we can do with God. From the history of Trinity, we have seen how God has been faithful in building and blessing His Church. Do we stop here because of what He has already done, or do we look to the future and expect more to come? God has a vision for His people. He has revelations that He wants to reveal to us. When we make ourselves available to God, He will not fail to deliver these things. We are bound to receive. I believe, as a church, we have received through this year’s Vision Rally. Now all that matters is how we respond. Vision Rally has aligned me once again to what’s important in life. Thank you for making it an encounter to remember. T 19


God Encounter Meetings Piecing the GEMs t gether

God’s revelation is like a jigsaw puzzle. Every week, since God Encounter Meetings were launched on Jul 12, God has given us a piece of revelation. Each piece completes a puzzle of His revelation of Himself and who we are in Him. Trinitarians share the revelations they received that have changed their lives.

God reveals about Himself… “God is holy. The song ‘You are Holy’ kept resounding in me. He is cleansing me. He is purifying me.”

“God is faithful; His plans are good and perfect. He calls me to

follow Him, and I can place my trust in Him.”

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“God is love. We are gems in His hands. We are not made by nature, but by His love. We are His masterpieces.”

“God is the Gardener that prunes us. He cuts off parts that hinder us, so that we can be more fruitful.” (John 15)

“He is a God of grace. By His grace, I am forgiven. He has broken every chain in my life.”

“God watches over us.

Regardless of happy or sad moments, He protects us from danger. Each and every second of our lives.”


“God is the potter, we are the clay. Though I cannot see myself as someone beautifully created, God showed me that I am a

reflection of His beauty.”

“I saw the words ‘Plumb line’. God is going to re-align us with the plumb line of his Word; the alignment will bring forth the manifestation of God in our lives.”

“God wants to be the

absolute Lord

of our lives. I saw Jesus walking into different rooms of our lives and knocking at the doors of our hearts.” (Rev 3:20)

“I saw a vision of some half-empty glasses and some empty glasses. But God was pouring

His living waters into us.” (John 7:38)

“God is doing a heart surgery in many of our hearts; removing the heart of stone and providing a new heart. (Ezekiel 36:26) Though the knife that cuts was scary-looking, the hand that holds the knife is our Father in heaven.”

“God does not want me to sit on the fence in apathy or just be happy in His presence, He is inviting me to pursue Him.”

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“I saw our church engulfed with fire. The flames were

not red or orange, but blue — the hottest part of a flame. God wants to

God wants to draw us deeper into His presence. He does not want us to stay ankle-deep. He wants us to go waist-deep and even deeper with Him.” (Ezekiel 47:3-5)

consume us with a love that is so fiery and passionate.”

“God taught me to wait and dwell in

His glorious presence.

There was an unspeakable joy that He filled in my heart.”

“I saw a signet ring. God is restoring my identity in Him.”

“I saw a cloth polishing the church, causing the church to shine and reflect the beauty of God.”

“God is making a new

covenant with us, that God will put His

Words deep within us, and will write it on our hearts.” (Jeremiah 31:33)

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“He reveals Himself to us, so that we are transformed.” (Acts 9:1-19) God is forming us to be His People.”

“God is calling us to stand in our positions with authority against the enemy. Go back to the Word, know what He says, and stand on it for our victory.

“This is the birthing of a new season. I believe God is going to give us a

“I saw golden oil poured out from a golden jar. It wasn’t just a smearing, but a total coating of new oil. He is giving us a new anointing for new things in our ministry.”

“From the place of His presence, God calls us to walk in His purpose and

manifest His power.”

“I saw a finger with fire writing on a heart the words ‘丰收’, which means bumper harvest.”

7-fold harvest.”

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JUMP-start Your Engines! As we approach the new year, let God restart our engines to continue on our God-given destinies. By

Pastor Dr Philip Lyn

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around it, finishing the race. John was one of the 58 participants to complete the race — 18 other participants did not complete it.

Many people start a marathon, but not many finish it.

Even though John completed the race in a state of agony and pain, he still completed the race. When questioned about why he did so, John said, “My government did not send me 5,000 kilometers to start the race. They sent me 5,000 kilometers to finish the race.”

here is a point in time during a marathon where every muscle and fiber calls out for you to stop. However, if we manage to overcome this struggle, we will almost certainly finish the race.

John Steven Akhwari ran a marathon in the 1968 Olympics. Somewhere along the 19 kilometer mark, John fell and sprained his ankle, partially dislocating his knee and injuring his shoulder. Struggling in pain and fending off help from the spectators that would have rendered him disqualified from the race, he got up and walked. Over an hour into the marathon, John reached the stadium and walked his last lap 24

John Steven Ahwari saw it as his destiny to participate in the Olympics and complete the race. As Christians, God also destines our lives to complete the ‘races’ He has set out for us. The key to completing a race is to never stop running the race. The Christian walk is not a 100-meter dash, but a marathon run.


Like how the Apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 9:27, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize, he refers to the Christian life as a race. God has a destiny for our lives. Whether we have fallen down or are limping along, God can fulfill the destiny that He has for our lives if we carry on. There are four ways that we restart our car engines when it stops running. And these are also four ways God uses to get us back on our feet; running again to finish the race.

Push-Start

A push-start is a way of restarting a car engine by engaging the manual transmission through the motion of a vehicle. One of the greatest examples of a push-start is in the story of the Apostle Paul. Paul, in Acts 9, was supernaturally converted on the road to Damascus. After his conversion, he became zealous for the gospel. We see this in Acts 9:20-21, immediately He preached the Christ in the

synagogues, that He is the Son of God. And all who heard were amazed. (NKJV) The people were amazed because Paul previously had an international ministry of persecuting the Church, but now he was preaching for Christ! However, if we read Galatians 1, we will realize that Paul did not immediately go to Jerusalem after his conversion and started preaching in the synagogues. He went to Arabia and three years went by before he proceeded to Jerusalem. His ministry was on hold for three years, and he limped in his walk with God, with the Jews plotting to kill him and the disciples afraid to trust or accept him. But Paul was push-started back into the race. When Paul was seemingly rejected by the disciples, Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles (Acts 9:27). Barnabas testified to the disciples about how he had seen the Lord, how the Lord had spoken to him about Paul, and how Paul spoke boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus. Barnabas’ testimony stirred the disciples to start trusting and accepting Paul.

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The name “Barnabas” meant a “son of encouragement”. Barnabas was not seeking to be on the stage or the pedestal in his life. He was prepared to serve in the background where he would encourage Paul, pushstarting him to fulfill his God-given destiny. Barnabas was a push-starter. And God does the same for us. He has destinies for us, and He will use people to come alongside us and push us into the fulfillment of our destinies. Paul was push-started from one that had an international ministry of persecuting the Church into one that was used greatly by God for the furthering of the gospel. And today, we can be push-starters too. Many of us have been push-started by a push-starter – sent from God - to run the race for God, and may God also use us as push-starters to push-start others into fulfilling their destinies for God. Tip 1: Identify the push-starters in your life. Be around them and let God use them to push-start you further in fulfilling your destiny with Him.

Crank-Start

Crank-start is an old-fashioned way of restarting a car. A mechanical tool called a crank is inserted it into a part of the engine. With the rotary motion of our arm, we turn the crank and transfer this motion into mechanical motion to start the car. When something is cranky, it does not behave in the way it should. We have an expectation for it, but it fails to deliver that expectation. An example of a crank-start is Peter. Peter was an impulsive man. He would say and do things before thinking about them. 26

In Matthew 26 where Jesus speaks of how His sheep will be scattered when He is struck as a shepherd, Peter declares, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.” Later, he also declares, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” However, we know that many times he does not live up to these declarations. These declarations show the passionate faith of Peter, but we find that he eventually regrets these declarations. When he denied Jesus, the pain and hurt of the realization went deep within him. He felt that he disappointed God so much that it made restoration harder. Many times, we experience the same in our lives. We feel we betrayed God. We feel that we have disappointed God and He will never pick us up and use us again. These are the lies of the devil. God will pick us up and use us once again. Jesus picked Peter up and restored him. After His death, Jesus appeared to the disciples again on the shore of Galilee. He asked Peter three times about whether Peter loved Him. The first two times, Jesus asked Peter whether he ‘agape-ed’ Him. Peter replied both times that he could only ‘phileo’ Jesus. But the third time, Jesus asked Peter whether he could phileo Him, and Peter replied that he could phileo Him.

(Definitions: Agape – unconditional love of God; Phileo – deep love for a friend)


Jesus ministered to the heart of Peter. He identified with where Peter was in his relationship with Him. Peter was restored. He had direction and purpose again. And he continued on his destiny – to run the race again.

Even after the deed, King David remained spiritually unrepentant. He thought that no one knew about his deed, but the Prophet Nathan came along and pointed out his sin. And David’s world came crashing down on him.

Peter was crank-started by Jesus. As opposed to a push-start, crank-starting happens in a short duration of time. We can be push-started many times by different people before we start running again, but crank-starting sets us running almost immediately through a single one-onone ministering from a mentor, pastor or spiritual leader. Tip 2: Recall key messages or prophetic words that God has ministered in your heart, and let these revelations crank-start a transformation in you

Choke-start

A choke-start cuts off the air vents and enriches the gas cylinder. Spiritually, a choke-start enriches your life from the inside out. There is still some life left in you but you are down and out of the race. When your life is choke-started, it is spiritually enriched; the choke-start sparks off your fire again.

David confessed to Nathan that he had sinned and was overwhelmed with remorse. The depths of his remorse can be found in Psalm 51, as he confesses his sin and pleads with God in brokenness and repentance, begging for mercy. He spent seven days and seven nights fasting. It is not that we have to fast and mourn to show God that we have done enough penance, but like David, we do it because we need to position ourselves to hear the voice of God again. We need to position ourselves to hear about God’s love for us again. And this enriches our lives. If we do not come before God after sin, all we will hear is the constant lies of the devil. After repentance, David’s son with Bathsheba died. But when it happened, David anointed himself with oil and went to the temple, raised his hands and praised the name of the Lord.

The best example of a choke-start is in the life of King David. King David fell into sin with Bathsheba. He was up in the palace when he saw a woman bathing in the distance. He liked her, had sex with her and upon impregnating her; he tried to hide the affair by getting her husband to sleep with her. When her husband refused, King David consigned her husband to the battlefront – where the battle was fiercest – and had her husband killed in battle. King David became a murderer. 27


David was back on track with God. He was choke-started by God, and his life was enriched.

encounter with Him where He restarts us personally.

David felt far away from God after his sin, but he chose to draw near to God. He chose to position himself to be enriched again by God.

Tip 4: Posture and prepare yourself for God’s supernatural power to restart you.

Tip 3: Choose to position ourselves for spiritual enrichment. Attend a service. Join a carecell. Set apart time alone with God. Avail ourselves to Him.

Many times, people who “start the engines” of spiritual giants are unknown.

Jump-start

Another way God can use to restart our lives is to jump-start our lives. To jump-start a car is to take energy from another car to restart your own engine. It is a direct connection from one car to another. The greatest example we have is Moses. Moses was an impulsive and arrogant man. However, upon murdering an Egyptian, Moses fled into the desert. Losing all hopes and dreams, Moses lived 40 years in the wilderness, trying to forget Egypt. His plan was to finish his life in obscurity.

Billy Graham, after he was converted, was crank-started by an unknown person. George Verwer, a prime advocate for worldwide missions and globalization of Christian faith, was crank-started by an old lady who was praying in obscurity. Though these crank-starters may be unknown, they will be great in the Kingdom of God. These starters who come along in our lives are appointed by God; they come with a divine purpose. Thus, let us not reject these people – when they come along in our lives – as they ‘push’, ‘crank’, ‘choke’ or ‘jump’ start us to run toward our destinies again. Especially when the starter is God Himself. Are you ready for the new year? Let God start your engines. T Watch this sermon at http://trinity.net/ onlineresources/sermons

But when God saw that Egypt was taken out of his life, God jump-started Moses’ life. God spoke to Moses through a burning bush and sent Moses back to deliver His people from Egypt. God jump-started Moses to fulfill his destiny of bringing His people out of Egypt and into the Promised Land. When God jump-starts our lives, He impacts us personally. Whether it is through a burning bush, God gives us a direct

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Pastor Dr Philip Lyn, Senior Pastor, Skyline SIB, Malaysia A sought-after speaker at international conferences, Pastor Philip is passionate about raising marketplace leaders to live out Kingdom principles for community transformation. Come and catch a fresh vision for the Church and marketplace.


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THE

COMMUNITY ISSUE

Pg 34 Are You The Church? Breaking individualism and isolation 32

Pg 39 Community-building Gets Tech Tonic Use technology to enhance relationships


Pg 42 Confessions of 4 Timestrapped Families Excuse me, I have kids!

Pg 46 The House of God It’s not what you think

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Are you the

Church? By Kelvin Kwang and Diana Lim

Church \ ch rch \ e

Definition: 1. A church is a building in which Christians worship. 2. A church is one of the groups of people within the Christian religion that have their own beliefs, clergy and forms of worship.

I

t’s Sunday morning. People are streaming through the doors of a building located in one of the hipper postal codes in London. Those who are already there are hyped up, ready to dance and sing to the music while waiting to be fed by inspiring, illuminating speakers.

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You might think I’m writing about a passionate church in England with a vibrant, enthusiastic congregation.You would be wrong. What was illustrated is a fast-growing atheist church with grand plans of instituting “god-free” communities around the world.

According to an article by The Daily Beast, Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans founded the Sunday Assembly - they described it as an atheist church - and the first service was held earlier this January. Since then, besides the first branch founded in London and services held in


a deconsecrated church in the metropolitan city, other branches have mushroomed in Bristol, England, Melbourne, Australia and the United States. “The idea is simple: [Sunday Assembly] has all of the community spirit, engagement, and inspiration of a church without any of the religious aspects. Each service has at least one guest speaker, from economists to poets, a moment of reflection and, above all, repeated entreaties to get to know the rest of the people there,” the article stated. Sounds uncanny? It should. The story of Sunday Assembly and its rising popularity should provide us Christians, both new or old, to seriously consider two things: 1) What is church? and 2) What is church to us? The reason why Sunday Assembly is reportedly attracting so many people is because human beings have an innate need to be part of a community. So if you prescribe to the idea that church is simply a place where Christians come to worship, you would be meeting that need. But is church just a convenient location to socialize? Or is there more to consider when we talk about community in the context of how God envisioned it? Let’s take a deeper look.

Understanding Community, God’s Way

Community existed before the beginning of time and is

rooted in the eternal Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In Genesis 1:26 God says, “Let us make man in our image.” Did you notice how the verse is expressed in plural terms?

Eugene Peterson, author of The Message Bible, summed it up succinctly, “Jesus invested 90 percent of His time with 12 Jewish men so that He could reach the rest of the world.”

The creation account provides us an amazing window into the community nature of God. In fact, community is so important that even in the perfect environment - the Garden of Eden - being alone was not considered to be a good thing. God created Eve to be Adam’s companion.

The importance of a united community could be seen when Christ prayed for His disciples in John 17:11 “that they may be one as we are one”.The “we” referred to the Trinity of God, and Jesus’ desire was for us as believers to have the same kind of fellowship so as to live life to the full.

People hunger to be part of a community because we are created with God’s communal DNA. Ecclesiastes 4 further describes the importance of not being alone: “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil” and “A cord of three strands is not quickly broken”.

Thus, living in a godly community is not just a lifestyle preference; it’s simply the best way to function.

Through these verses, we see that God has created us as unique individuals who are interdependent on one other.

Jesus and fellowship Jesus Christ brought God’s communal DNA one step further, as seen in His three years of ministry life.

God has created us as unique individuals who are interdependent on one another.

One example of this was the invitation for 12 men to join Him on His journey on Earth. In the three years, He spent much time with them in fellowship, nurturing and discipling them in His ways. The end goal was to empower them and send them on toward a common purpose, which was to make disciples of all nations. 35 35


Early church as the model

The vision that God and Jesus have in terms of community was exemplified on a larger scale with the church formed on the Day of Pentecost. Acts 2:42-44 records their initial exploits (see box). Acts 2:42-44

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. 42

The believers in the Early Church were committed to the teaching of God’s Word and to one another. Its strength 36

and momentum was generated primarily by the unity of the believers. It was an exciting community to be a part of – everyone was filled with awe of what was taking place in the church. This is certainly an ideal that our church today can look to emulate and grow toward.

Community Breaks the Power of Individualism

The benefits and value of a godly community is clearly illustrated, which is why we have other groups of people trying to re-create a similar experience within their community. However, there are challenges within our church communities that threaten the formation of the ideal exemplified earlier. Randy Frazee, in his book ‘The Connecting Church’, talked about the problem of individualism and isolation seeping into the church, thereby creating the gap between what today’s communities are and what a God-centered community should be. There are two groups of people who personify Frazee’s idea of individualism. The first is people who stroll in late during worship and exclaim, “Ah! Just in time for the Word”, thus is missing the importance of corporate worship. Then there are those who run out, sometimes literally, of the service hall the moment the preacher ends his message and

says “let us pray”. They miss the importance of responding to the Word of God. What links the two groups of people is the notion that the individual is the most important. For the first group, they fail to see that by being on time and worshiping God with the rest of the congregation builds up a spiritual atmosphere of hungering after Him, which helps usher in the presence of the Lord. Similarly, the quick exit by a handful of people immediately after the sermon has ended punctures the spiritual atmosphere built up over the course of service. It also acts as a distraction for those who are looking to press in and respond to God’s prompting. This is not to say we must stay on even in emergencies, but if the reason for leaving early is to avoid the traffic jam exiting church, for example, then it’s fair to say the need met is an individualistic one. Individualism has caused individuals to be focused on the fundamental premise that the human individual is of primary importance. It causes us to think that church is simply just about I, me and my needs. Individualism puts you above God and the plans He has for you. God’s idea of community teaches us to live beyond ourselves, though. Philippians 2:3-4 exhorts us accordingly, “Do nothing out of selfish


ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” Living in a church community requires sacrifice and us dying to self, but in doing so, we enrich the collective body. For instance, if you’re seated in the middle of the row and people are responding to the altar call, the “sacrifice” would simply be to remain in your seat.You might have to spend a longer time while driving out, but you would have allowed someone in your row to receive a timely, life-changing word from God. Randy Frazee, gives his readers something to seriously reflect on, “Can a group of Christians who do not share a common set of beliefs, practices, and virtues really be considered a Christian community, or are there, rather, a group of individuals who happen to gather on Christian soil?” The Bible gives us our orientation to God and the

baseline for living in community. It challenges our motivations and commissions us with God’s plans and purposes.

is dangerous, as it insulates them from having wider perspectives and reinforces long-held negative beliefs.

When we are gripped with God’s purpose, commit ourselves to be united and build the local church that God has placed us in, it breaks the power of individualism.

There are also believers who have one foot in the church community, but a larger footprint with other social groups or friends. They are not quite plugged in, or committed, to forging strong relationships with other churchgoers, choosing to coast by and be casual acquaintances instead.

Community Breaks the Power of Isolation

The other problem identified by Randy Frazee is isolation. There are pockets of churchgoers who believe that attending services, or being involved in carecells and other corporate events are optional. Some even regard exhortations to be part of these activities as rigid bureaucracy and a means for the church leadership to spot-check on congregants. When chatting with them about knowing more people in church, they are mostly cynical, guarded and unwilling to be part of the larger community.These “lone rangers” need to know isolation 37 37


They may turn up for service or carecells, but never stick around to have a meal together or just spend time getting to know the rest of the community better. In other words, they exhibit no intentions of wanting to integrate within the community, but remain on the periphery of God’s community. Corinthians 12 reminds us, however, that as the body of Christ, we are all interconnected and it’s not in His design for us to be isolated entities. God’s church is a community of believers, filled with the love of God and commissioned with His purpose. This means God’s people living together in an intentional, relational community to advance the well-being of one another in every way - physically, spiritually, materially, and emotionally. It’s a bond that exists even when we are not gathered physically together. It is our spiritual family.

interactions are necessary to develop friendships and, by extension, the church community. This means going beyond chatting about football, fashion or work, but finding out how one another is doing in terms of our walks with God, being the salt and light in their families, or challenges in upholding Christian values at our workplaces. As such, accountability and strong relationships are ideal antidotes to the negative spirit of isolation that ails God’s community.

Community’s Unstoppable Power

Finally, community attracts the presence and power of God. Jesus said in Matthew 18:19-20, “…truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

believers were modeling what Jesus did among them. In Acts 5:42 it says, “Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.” This was truly community in action – both in public and private life. The glue that kept the early church together, however, was God’s love in action. Romans 12: 9-21 talks about this love, that which is sincere, devoted, shares with those in need, not conceited, and rejoices with those who rejoice and mourns with those who mourn. In the end, building relationships within the church is not just to feed one’s carnal need for companionship. It’s about reaching out to the lost, hurting and weak, helping them connect with God and be discipled in His ways.

Breaking out of isolation can be the easiest, and also the most difficult, step to take for the aforementioned groups of people. The first step to initiate a conversation or ask to be included in a carecell can prove daunting for those who are new or long-time periphery churchgoers. Do it all the same, you will realize your fears are unfounded.

The early church took community seriously and saw the Great Commission fulfilled in great measure. In Acts 2:42-47, we see what God’s community looked like and what it did. It provided fellowship, helped disciple new believers, allowed them to serve one another, evangelize, and worshiped God in unity.

The founder of the home church movement in England, Canon Ernest Southcott, said it best, “The holiest moment of the church service is the moment when God’s people — strengthened by preaching and sacrament — go out of the church door into the world to be the church.

Once the initial contact has been made, regular intentional

The result? God added to their numbers daily because the early

We don’t go to church; we are the church.” T

“We don’t go to church; we are the church.” 38

- Canon Ernest Southcott


COMMUNITY BUILD

G

GETS

ECH TONIC Harnessing the positive possibilities of technology can aid, not harm, efforts in building stronger ties and communities within church. By Kevin Kwang

I

n the last issue of the Trinitarian, I wrote about the need for us to press in and dwell in God’s presence and, in doing so, learn to ignore the clamoring clutches of things such as social network updates, e-mails, and instant messaging, among other distractions. That said, I’m not a Neolithic, anti-technology advocate. Far from it. The ease of catching up on what friends and family are doing in their daily lives via social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, etc, have now become entrenched as a part of life among many here. It is for me, too. More importantly, technology has given us the ability to be intentional in maintaining friendships and accountability within our church community. This is increasingly important given the rate of growth our church is going through right now.

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One of the growing pains of worshiping in a fast-growing church is that attending services with our friends and carecell members become ever more difficult to coordinate, since there are more choices in terms of service timings and locations. Even if you manage to attend the same service, simply locating one another in the huge auditorium can be a challenge.

“Quick access to SMS, WhatsApp and the Bible app on my smartphone also made it easier to share what God had been speaking into my life with my friends, instead of waiting until we get the chance to meet up in person,” she adds. Claire also noted that with other newlyminted mums, these real-time communication platforms helped in holding each other accountable in terms of their walks with God and their respective journeys in becoming godly mothers. It is also important to point out that while a WhatsApp or SMS message may seem distant and aloof compared to, say, a phone call, our pace of life depicts that short, bite-sized messages mean a whole deal more than it did a few years back.

What more those that find it difficult to even attend church? For families with young children or sickly dependents, the act of going to church becomes a luxury and not a given. The adage “out of sight, out of mind” suddenly becomes a very real thing. This is where technology helps.The ability to maintain contact in some form, whether through text messages, or a note left on Facebook, or commenting on pictures posted online, helps keep our social fabric intact.

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First-time mum Claire is one who utilized platforms such as WhatsApp and Facebook to stay in touch with church friends, particularly during her confinement and early stages of caring for her newborn.

Cliff, who just returned to Singapore from his overseas studies and is new to Trinity, shared how technology helped ease him into carecell life and allowed him to feel comfortable in his new community.

She shares, “These have been useful platforms for me to share my struggles, joys and reach out for community support and prayer, while offering the same to my friends.

He says, “Rico, my spiritual parent, would message me at the start of each week with blessings like ‘Good morning. Have a blessed week ahead. See you on Friday at GEM.’ He would also try and find out my likes


and dislikes, basically getting to know me, through deliberate, regular messages.

misinterpretation of words if people are not careful or caught unaware.

“Having a group chat on WhatsApp also allows the carecell to communicate regularly and plan outings more easily.”

Claire also pointed out that meeting up in person helps augment the digital connection and deepen one’s friendships too. Ultimately, technology works best as a complementary aid in building up our communities, whether in church or out of it. It should be the means to an end, nothing more. And when it works, our lives get a little bit more enriched as a result of stronger relationships with family and friends. T

Of course, there are also downsides to online communication. Misunderstandings tend to develop due to the nature of the platform, which leaves much room for

4 Nifty Technological “Enhancements”, but don’t forget the human touch! 1. Brighten someone’s day with an encouraging Bible verse through WhatsApp 2. Inspire someone by sharing a Christian video on Facebook 3. Get to know your carecell mate better by initiating a meet-up via SMS 4. Pray for someone in need over the phone Who do you need to get in touch with today?

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Church? Excuse me but I hav , e kids!

Soiled diapers and half-washed dishes screaming for your attention. Before you can take in the laundry, it’s time to dress the kids for church. How do us mere humans juggle these demands and still attend, or even serve, in church? Four couples unveil their secrets. By Sharon Lim

Sean Lau and Adelena Tan, both 31, run their own baby photography business. They serve as Celebration Hosts (CH) at Trinity@ Adam on Sunday mornings and are part of a North district carecell. They have two children –Hannah, 4 and Benjamin, 2.

How do the kids find GEM and Children’s Ministry so far? Have you noticed any change in their behavior? The first few God Encounter Meetings (GEM) were difficult for the children to adapt to as it’s new to their routine. Now, they can sit through the entire session. Of course, when they get too disruptive, there are “naughty corners” for timeout. Hannah now lifts her hands and claps during GEM and share toys and biscuits with other children. Hannah also loves Nursery. She sings the songs she’s learnt and gets very excited about the stickers given. She has learnt to pray and once reminded me that I’d forgotten to give thanks during a meal! The kids are not bored at GEM. In fact, they are worried that we won’t bring them along. 42

Why do you find it important to involve your children in church activities e.g. GEM, service, serving, carecell? The best thing that parents can do for their children is to help them to know God. It’s not about the amount of knowledge or career advancements the children will have when they grow up. Above all, the children need to know God. When my father was ill, Hannah asked, “Daddy, why don’t you pray to Jesus?” Now, Benjamin also closes his eyes and says “Amen” after a prayer. Another time, when I (Sean) was serving as a CH, Hannah joined me and we gave out bulletins together. That touched my heart and I believe it touched God’s too. If we don’t bring our children to church, we short-change their lives. How do you cope with the different demands and commitments? Our kids adjust to our schedule; not the other way round. Our plan is to have no plan when there’s church. We are open for anything to happen at anytime and our kids have learnt that as well. Our family puts God first and the needs of the family will fit into that greater plan. Any encouragement or advice for the struggling parents out there? Learn to see ministry in the church as enjoyable and rewarding. GEM is family time—we can sit together for two whole hours! Our kids will enjoy it if they can see it as a time to be together as a family with God.


Baby Bonus!

I like GEM! We worship God during GEM. Sometimes some of the songs continue playing in my head the whole night afterward. I’ve also volunteered to join the praise team because I want to worship and serve God. My favorite song is I Stand in Awe. Shadrach in between munching a burger at Hans.

How do the kids find GEM and Children’s Ministry so far? Have you noticed any change in their behavior? Initially the children were more disruptive—they couldn’t see what was on stage, so we moved to the balcony. Initially, Shadrach had enrichment classes on Fridays and he’d get very tired. God helped to change the class to another weekday and now he can nap before GEM. Also, we’d remind Shadrach of the purpose of attending GEM. Even after GEM, he’d still want to do Bible study before bed. Why do you find it important to involve your children in church activities e.g. GEM, service, serving, carecell? We grew up with parents who actively served in church. Now we want to model that for our children, so they know that God comes first. We’ve been blessed by our parents and we believe our children should be blessed in the same way. How do you cope with the different demands and commitments? We go to GEM on Fridays. On Sundays, we start early in church for worship practice, followed by service. We intentionally reserve Fridays and weekends for God. GEM is family time! Of course, there’s a lot of time management involved. I (Eoin) try not to bring work home and for my part-time degree, I choose module timings that don’t clash with GEM.

EoinYankaya, 34 and Phebe Deng, 30, have just moved to Trinity three years ago. They serve in the choir at Trinity@ PayaLebar on Sunday mornings and lead a carecell in the East district. Shadrach, 6, serves in Discovery Land’s praise team and his little sister, Odelia is turning two soon.

God always provides time, strength and people to help us – parents, friends, carecell members and church. Discovery Land (DL) opens earlier, so parents can drop their kids off before serving. Without our Children’s Ministry, we wouldn’t be able to serve effectively. Of course, there’re struggles, but we walk it through together as a family. It’s tough, especially with kids, but these priorities need to be set from the start. When Phebe was carrying Odelia, she didn’t stop serving on the worship team just because we had kids. With proper prioritizing, kids can fit into our ministries. We’ve to ask ourselves, do you just want God on Friday nights and weekends? Or everywhere and everytime? Any encouragement or advice for the struggling parents out there? We encourage young parents to take turns in serving God. One can take care of the kid when the other serves. If it’s a routine, the children will get used to it. It’s tough but it’s not impossible.You’ll just have to sacrifice a little bit of sleep.We do see more couples serving and bringing kids to rehearsals and even Leaders Community Empowerment. It’s really encouraging! 43


Sammy Ong, 40, and Shirlene Lee, 39, lead a family carecell in the West district. They have two girls, Sarah, 7 and Sophie, 2

How do the kids find GEM and Children’s Ministry so far? Have you noticed any change in their behavior? We definitely see the change that GEM has done in our kids. Through GEM, our eldest daughter Sarah has learnt to engage with God through prayer and worship. We also observed that Sophie will raise her hands and clap when worshipping at GEM. She even sings along during worship. When we pray as a family, she seems to have learnt that she has to keep quiet, close her eyes, and say “Amen” after the prayers. Why do you find it important to involve your children in church activities e.g. GEM, service, serving, carecell? Involving our children in GEM and carecell allows them to know God and understand the importance of community life. It’s very important for them to learn how to encounter God in their own personal ways. We see the blessings of our children because of their involvement with the church. Sophie loves going to nursery and has learnt a lot of Bible songs and stories there. Sarah attends 44

DL and has learnt to love people more and obey authorities. She has also learnt to understand the importance of loving God. Carecell has taught her more about the Bible and Christ’s love for her. As she is the oldest in our children’s cell, she also learns leadership skills in chaperoning and setting a good example for the younger children. When she meets challenges now, she prays to God for help rather than grumble and get frustrated. She has also accepted Christ in DL! Any encouragement or advice for the struggling parents out there? We should try to set out priorities right from the start and commit to fulfilling them. Prioritize the importance of things on a daily and weekly basis. Do not be obsessed about sending your kids to the many types of enrichment classes. Select only those that your child really requires or enjoys doing. We should also pray for God’s wisdom and favor to be upon us so that we are able to carry out our duties in our workplaces more effectively, enabling us to spend more quality time with our families and God.


Avan Cheng, 35, and Maggie Teo, 31, attend a carecell in the South district with their children, Theodore, 3 and Teofilia, 7-months. Avan serves as a Traffic Marshal every month and the couple was recently water baptized.

Why do you find it important to involve your children in church activities e.g. GEM, service, serving, carecell? The children need a ‘stillness’ community to experience God. Our children need to grow up knowing the Bible stories and see new meaning to these stories as they go through the different stages of life. Not allowing your kid to attend church ironically deprives them of the very grace they need to see them through life. Theodore loves to go out with the other families from my carecell. Sometimes, on a weekday, he’d ask me (Avan), “Papa, are we going to church today?” During worship in carecell, I realized he’d sing along and say “Amen”” after prayers. It’s heart-warming as a father to see my kids hunger for God. How do you cope with the different demands and commitments? We bear in mind Proverbs 22:6 while we raise our two kids, Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. Any encouragement or advice for the struggling parents out there? When we honor God and learn how to cast all our fears and worries on Him, He will definitely bless us with a lot more. T

Community is bigger than us. It benefits not only us, but our children.

TOP FIVE REASONS to involve your children in church 1) 2) 3) 4) 5)

A child needs to own his faith. They need to experience God for themselves. Children are very impressionable. When they see how adults worship and serve, they will follow suit. It’s good for them to grow up in a community and make friends with the right values. A child is like a piece of blank canvas. The world is dying to fill it with pornography, violence and selfishness. If you don’t fill it up, the world will. Generational blessings. Claim them for your children and their children. Start by telling them that God is our priority. 45


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The H use OF

GOD

We often don’t realize that our churches are, in fact, part of the House of God. Pastor Glyn Barrett illustrates what it means for us to be in the House of God.

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I am not sure how many of you have been to football games before, but I was at a football game once and the team I was supporting was winning. Though I, like the rest of the team supporters, felt like a winner, I was truly only a spectator. In life, we can be doing the same thing. We can feel like we are part of the winning team but actually all we are doing is merely watching. God doesn’t call us to go to church to spectate a vision, but He calls us to participate in that vision. When we do that, we truly become a part of the winning team when the church goes through seasons of ‘winning’. Many times in life, we end up going to church to just spectate when God calls us to be ‘winners’ along with the church. In Mark 11, we find that Jesus refers to the temple as a “house of prayer”. He calls it “my house”. It is fascinating that Jesus refers to the temple, or what we call churches today, as a “house”. This reference helps us understand some really important things about the House of God.

The H use of God is…

Not a Ceremony

A “ceremony” is defined as a “pomp and ostentatious display”. Everything can seem splendid, appropriate and even perfect. Picture a queen gliding down a red carpet inspecting the straight rows of people dressed pristinely to welcome her down an aisle. That is a ceremony. However, in Mark 11, Jesus did not call the temple of God a “ceremony”, He called it a “house”. We have to realize that church is more than just the 90 minutes we spend at service on Sundays, or even the Christmas performances we put up every year. God’s House happens all seven days of the week, 24 hours each day. We don’t go to a ceremony at church every Sunday. We go to God’s House. In my house, I do not expect a red carpet leading up to my house. I do not expect my kids to be formally welcoming me at the door with appropriate behavior and conduct. And I definitely do not expect my wife to be serving me once I enter into the premises of my house. In fact, what I do expect is my kids springing on me and hanging onto my feet when I enter, the house needing my part in tidying when I get home, and my wife to only notice my presence after 15 minutes of my return. In a house, things can be great sometimes, while other times, things can be challenging. In a house, it is made up of people. Where there are people, there are problems.You may not like the way some people behave in church, but they may find you strange as well! The point is, in God’s House, the people we sit with in service

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are not just fellow ceremony-goers; they are our brothers- and sisters-in-Christ. That is why we are called to love, to forgive, to share and to give, because the church is a house. We cannot expect things in a house to be ceremonious, but we can expect it to be a place of intimacy.

Not a place for business

We do not go to church to do business with God; we go to church to engage our hearts with the love of our Savior. Church is not a place of business; it is a place of intimacy. Jesus went to the temple with an expectation of having intimacy with His Father. However, He was furious when He realized that the temple became a place of business for the people. When Jesus went to the temple of Jerusalem, He was seeking to be in a place of prayer and intimacy with God. He was not seeking to do business with God in that place. We see in Mark 11 that He calls the house of God a “house of prayer”, and rebukes the people who were doing businesses for transforming it into a “den of thieves”.

However, we cannot treat our houses like a hotel. We are responsible for the things in the house, and we are accountable to the way we do things in a house. We have a belonging to the house as we reside in it. In our lives, the House of God is the same. We have a belonging to it. We have a responsibility for it. We even have expectations of how we are to treat the house and how the house ought to be for us. If we want the blessing of the house upon us, the blessing of all those who reside in the house with us, it is time that we take responsibility for the house. It is time we respect the house and its expectations. It is time we treat our church like the House of God. Like our house.T Watch this sermon at http://trinity.net/onlineresources/sermons

We can be occupied with serving in different areas in church services but ultimately, we have to realize that we serve in a place of intimacy, not a place of business. Our faith is not built on our busyness but on our intimacy with God. The key to life is having the intimacy of our hearts in connection with God’s hope and glory.

Not a Hotel

When we go to hotels, the comfort of it is that there is no responsibility. We do not have a care for the things in the hotel because it is not our responsibility to do so. When I go to a hotel, I have no regard for how I behave in the room. I can leave the room without making my bed. I can throw the multiple pillows to the four sides of the room. And I can even choose to use more than one towel after I bathe, or even leave the tap running after use.

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Download Prayer Guide from www.trinity.net

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and join in the 7-day 1-meal fast and pray (Dec 9-15)

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Miracles...

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Continued There’ve been many heart-warming Real Life Miracles featured over the years, but their stories don’t end there. We know that when God provides, He blesses us above and beyond what we can imagine. Carol Lim tracked down three of our RLM alumni to find out how they have been doing since they were featured. 53


Chris and Dawn: God Salvaged our Marriage They were a model couple. But work stresses and family demands crept into Chris and Dawn’s marriage. They started to take each other for granted and frequently argued with each other. The constant tension compounded and proved to be too much for their marriage. Chris moved out to seek “solace” from emotional and spiritual emptiness. He lived a life of debauchery and had an affair. Dawn became depressed and depended on anti-depressants and sleeping pills. Wrecked by the split, she felt that life became meaningless. She even contemplated suicide. Divorce was imminent. But God wouldn’t allow it. His stubborn love and intervention in both their lives gave them renewed impetus to work on their marriage. That was back in 2011. Today, the couple is not resting on their laurels. They share how committing the marriage to God daily, as well as serving as a couple in church is helping to bring them closer. Dawn: When we were first approached to share our testimony, we were quite hesitant if our experiences would bless anyone. But we did it anyway to honor and thank God for restoring our marriage.

Read how God Restored their hope in marriage: Issue 04/2011

www.trinity.net

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When the magazine was finally released, I once again felt God’s handiwork at play given that the release date coincided with our wedding anniversary! He made me realize it isn’t how much I can offer, but how much He can do with what I’m willing to give. Till this day, strangers would approach us to thank us for our testimony and how it made a difference in their marriages.

Since then, God continues to teach us how to respect each other better by being attentive listeners and being sensitive to each other’s feelings. He has also helped us let go of many of the issues that have plagued our marriage. We also feel a deeper sense of intimacy from praying with and for each other on a daily basis. Of course, we still have our occasional flare ups, but the Holy Spirit is always there to convict us and bring our focus back on God and each other. Chris: We have also seen breakthroughs in terms of


lead its marketing team and, since then, I’ve received success and victories in the projects I am involved in. By enabling me to deliver in areas of lack within the company, this has helped entrench me as a pillar within the organization. During last year’s staff performance appraisal, my boss even mooted the idea of handing over to me the day-to-day operations so he could focus on other areas of growth.

God gave us the strength and endurance to push through really tough and unfamiliar conditions to minister to the people there. Chris: On a personal level, God’s favor continues in my workplace. My boss offered me the opportunity to start and

God has also provided a new home for us, and it is currently being readied. Granted, it’s a small HDB unit but it was priced lower than anything on the market at the time we were looking and, with most of the furnishing in place, we need not invest a lot to make it livable. We know all these are possible only because of God’s grace.

mending relationships with our extended family. Although it still has a long way to go, ties are not as strained as before and we can see God’s hand in our family members’ lives. Dawn: Another thing that has happened since 2011 is the decision to serve in the choir together, as well as go on our first MIT to Mongolia. During this trip, we had such powerful personal breakthroughs and saw how 55


See Yeong and Samie:

Man’s Questions vs God’s Answers See Yeong and Samie prayed and waited for two years before God finally blessed them with twins. Even then, it was a difficult pregnancy. Samie had a blood clot in her uterus and a rare blood antibody which could have posed a threat to the fetuses. Then, another blow. At 31 weeks, Samie underwent an emergency C-section and the twins were born two months ahead of schedule. Their lungs were not fully developed and had to be put in Neonatal Intensive Care for almost a month. The hospital bills were choked up to almost $100,000. Like a row of dominoes, the problems came one after another. But God’s intervention enabled Samie to overcome these hurdles, which the Trinitarian found out back in 2012. One year on, when we checked in with Samie, her first reply over the phone was, “We are tucking our kids to bed.” The promise from God for children in their lives resonates in that simple sentence. challenges in waiting to conceive and asked us to pray for them. We are glad that our sharing encouraged fellow Trinitarians, and rejoice with those who have since become parents themselves. We are blessed to be a blessing to them! See Yeong: God has also continued to provide for this family in so many ways.

Read how God Answered Their Prayers: Issue 04/2011

www.trinity.net

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Samie: We continue to see God’s faithfulness in our family, after the article was published. First and foremost, our children bring us a lot of joy and we can’t thank God enough for His blessings and provision. Furthermore, we were approached by other couples from church who shared similar

For Caleb and Sophie, they are doing very well. While they still have to go for halfannual medical check-ups, their pediatrician has given positive reports on their growth. At the last check-up in June this year, both of them met their developmental milestones and were deemed to have caught up with their peers.


In this parenting journey, Samie and I are both learning to pray over our children and teaching them about God. I am also glad to be serving in the choir and we were both in the National Day choir team this August. Going to GEM is a bit more of a challenge with two toddlers, but we try! It must be said that each time we attend, we feel thoroughly refreshed by God after the meeting.

applied and managed to get the necessary coverage for both of them without any form of exclusions in the agreement. God just blew our minds with that! He has shown to be a promisekeeping God, as was stated in Philippians 4:19: And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus.

It is a miracle the twins do not have any medical conditions given their premature births, and weighed in at barely 2 kilograms at birth.

It is a miracle the twins do not have any medical conditions given their premature births, and weighed in at barely 2 kilograms at birth. We also faced challenges in getting health insurance for Caleb and Sophie because of their premature births, as insurance companies tend not to cover these babies. But God worked another miracle: we 57


Patrick: Lost and Found

Patrick lost his parents before he even reached his first birthday. The stigma of being an orphan led him to grow up with an inferiority complex. He survived mostly on free biscuits and milk in school and couldn’t really relate to his peers who came from well-to-do families and had parents who showered them with attention. Many years later, he found out that his family wasn’t his biological family and he was adopted. Although he was very thankful that his adoptive family sacrificed much to bring him up, he still desired to reunite with his biological family. After many futile attempts to locate them, God answered his prayers. Like a scene in a Hong Kong drama serial, he had accidentally bumped into his biological sister at Trinity’s Christmas presentation ‘Home for Christmas’. She had been invited by her daughter-in-law to the 8pm presentation where Patrick was serving as a Celebration Host. It was a divine meeting and the rest was history. This was just some months back that we read about Patrick’s God-orchestrated reunion with his biological family. The Trinitarian caught up with him to find out how the re-integration process has been for him and the extended family.

Read how God Reunited Patrick’s Family: Issue 04/2011

www.trinity.net

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Patrick: Family reunions now have new meaning.What used to be an annual affair during Chinese New Year is now a regular feature in my life. Since the first lunch reunion in February this year, we have had several gatherings with the last one initiated because my fifth sister, Rosalind, returned from Sydney.

Out of our 10 siblings, only 3 families are Christian. So during the temple ceremony for her anniversary, the rest excused me from attending it. My eldest brother even took pains to apologize and explained they have been brought up in another faith.

I am glad that as I start reestablishing ties with my other siblings, there is a sense of acceptance in our interaction and how they have gone out of their way to accommodate me.

It’s not just me being accepted to the family though. My wife and son has been welcomed too. Angela even got the opportunity to showcase her culinary skills when she once single-handedly prepared an eight-course dinner for 13 family members!

One example of this was during my mother’s death anniversary.

It’s my desire to reach out to the rest of the family to share God’s


love, and our family is ready to act when the opportunities arise. God, I believe, has not finished extending His grace to my family yet. Since my testimony was published, my wife and I have also met up with different readers who approached us to share their reactions. One lady thanked me for being frank, as she, like me, was adopted but did not have the courage to share this fact openly. She was very ministered by the article, and encouraged to be more open about her past.

My wife, too, interacted with another reader who subsequently shared that her father was involved in a motorcycle accident in Malaysia and was hospitalized with multiple injuries. We took the opportunity to visit him at the hospital, and after Angela shared our testimonies and invited him to accept Christ, he readily agreed! Through the article, God is opening doors for us to minister to His people, and we are definitely blessed to be a blessing. T

Through the article, God is opening doors for us to minister to His people, and we are definitely blessed to be a blessing. 59


Christm a Special: s

$12

(U.P:$1

8)

Bless someone with Trinity’s BOOK and WORSHIP ALBUM! Christmas Special! $12 per book (U.P.$18) $12 per album (U.P.$18)

Coming Soon rin in Manda

“Rev Dominic’s personal life, his leadership and the growth of Trinity Christian Centre will attest to it. You will find the teaching practical, workable, and inspiring; you will be impacted by the spirit of faith and boldness and discover a new level of anointing to see the fulfillment of your Godgiven potential.” Rev Ong Sek Leang Senior Pastor, Metro Tabernacle, Kuala Lumpur General Superintendent, Assemblies of God, Malaysia

Potential to Fulfillment God’s Design for Your Life by Rev Dominic Yeo

An excerpt taken from Chapter 7:

T

he token of reminder not only seals the faith experience but it will also teach the next generation that faith in God can be realized. Some years ago, I went to Guatemala to attend a conference on intercession.

As the worship segment ended, the pastor went up to the podium and declared that it was time to give to God.You will not believe it, but a pandemonium broke out. People cheered and whistled. The music started and I


witnessed hundreds of ushers coming out with what seemed like a huge sack that stretched from one end of the stage to the other. As soon as the worship began, people started coming forward to give to the Lord. I was taken aback by the way people were giving not only their money but shoes, rings, watches, and even clothing!

And then, as I turned around to return to my seat, God asked me to remove my shoes.

Now, you have to understand that I was merely attending this conference and the money that I had with me was the cash advance that I had taken from my church for my stay in Guatemala. Hence, I was not thinking about making any offerings.

I have a habit of hiding money in my shoes, back pockets, shirt pockets, and any other place where I can hide cash, just in case I was pickpocketed. Out of obedience a second time, I emptied my shoes, shirt pocket and pants of all the money I had on me.

Now, I was really starting to argue with God. I told Him that I needed my shoes to walk back to the hotel. But God was not interested in my shoes. Rather, it was what I had put into my shoes—more money.

All the while, I was telling God that the money that I had was not mine and that I had no intention of parting with it. As I got closer to the huge sack before me, I heard an internal voice telling me to empty all the money that I was carrying into the sack. A big debate went on in my head but before I could reach any conclusion, I found myself staring at a smiling usher.

All this time, I was wondering how I would get by the next few days.Yet, I still returned to my seat with joy in my heart. All of a sudden, the internal voice returned and I distinctly heard it resound inside me, “Son, open your wallet.” My immediate response was, “Lord, I emptied my wallet for you and there is nothing in there!”

In a daze, I obeyed the Lord, taking every single note of the church money that I was carrying and putting it into the sack.

But the unmistakable voice of God urged me to look into my wallet. Following the prompting, I opened my wallet, and I saw

money in it! I instinctively reached into my shirt pocket, pants and shoes and found dollar notes in them as well! I experienced such a surge of faith that day, knowing that when I acted in pure obedience to His voice, I had broken into a new realm of miracles. Therefore, to seal my faith and to remind me that I can trust Him and take that extreme measure of faith, I kept a US$100 note from that conference to this day. It is a token of reminder for me, to help me remember my faith experience. To this day, whenever I am challenged in faith, I take out this note and remember His goodness and this wonderful miracle. It continues to inspire me to trust God for His miraculous provision, be it for my family, or for the church when I was involved in the church building program. Record your faith journeys or keep tokens, like photographs, to help seal and inspire your own faith walk.

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Missions at a glance Trinity Christian Centre continued to impact the nations through its missions efforts from July to September 2013. Lye Huixian reports.

Statistics for Jan-SEP 2013 GO: Missions Impact Teams (MITs)

8 154 9 6 3,179 9 GO:Training and Consultation

19 11 62

Trips Countries (Bulgaria, China, Japan, Poland, Romania, Singapore, Taiwan, USA, Sri Lanka,Vietnam, Malaysia)

Countries (Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Mongolia, Singapore, Thailand, Japan, Philippines) Trinitarians Evangelistic MITs Humanitarian MITs Decisions Healings

GIVE

1,052 25

Destitute Children in Cambodia, India and Thailand sponsored Ministries supported


Highlights for Jul to Sep 2013 Trinity’s pastors continued to go on training and consultation trips to equip churches in China, Japan, Malaysia, Romania, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, United States and Vietnam. We conducted the 7 Steps to Transforming your Church Conference in Ho Chi Minh,Vietnam, Nanki, Japan and Kaohshiung, Taiwan. For each of these churches at the Conference, it marked their first step of transformation into Cell Churches. At some of the trainings, we received testimonies of how the use of the Book of Life helped them to effectively reach out to their prebelieving friends. Seven Mission Impact Teams (MITs) brought great encouragement to the churches in India, Japan, Mongolia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. God’s power and love was seen in the different team trips. The team in Kolkata, India ministered to our sponsored children in one of our slum schools and also partnered with the church to feed 1,000 people.

anyone in the village. For two weeks, she had not bathed and would merely sit in the open areas staring into space. The team in Mongolia witnessed God’s transformation of a hopeless situation in His healing of a boy who could not walk for four years after a fall. In Chiangmai, the host church testified that in a week, God did through the team what he had been praying for 10 years. Every adult in the church received the baptism in the Holy Spirit and were touched by the Lord. Another team partnered with the Japanese church to minister to evacuee families at Iwaki, including distributing sacks of rice. Many children and also two evacuee ladies, who had been attending the church for one year, gave their lives to Jesus. Trinity continued the sponsorship of 1,052 children in the various homes, slum schools and centers. In Mongolia, we partnered with a Bible School to award scholarships and helped with the re-modeling work at the student dormitory. We also gave a love offering toward a social project in Romania where 200 children from poor families are fed and cared for at their day care center.

Another MIT partnered with Trinity’s Indonesian Ministry to see a breakthrough Sunday service attendance of 134 and a Sunday afternoon seminar of 107. There were a total of 33 first-time visitors at these two events. The medical missions team in India conducted medical camps and life skills seminars for the women. The team was especially encouraged when a young lady who had been emotionally distraught received healing and breakthrough. She had not spoken, eaten or associated with

Be a Partner in Prayer for Trinity Missions! Pray for: • Churches and organizations in partnership with us to have strong and godly leaders who love God and love people • Workers to be raised up for the harvest field

Trinity’s sponsored children to grow in: o Competencies – grow to full maturity; physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually o Godliness – godly caregivers to bring them up in the ways of the Lord o Companionships – friends to spur them to lead godly lives

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Jul 22 to 28, 2013 – 20 of us embarked on a Missions Impact Team (MIT) trip to Iloilo, Philippines. It proved to be an adventure filled with God’s bountiful blessings that will not be forgotten. By Lily Koh

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oices of excitement echoed in our class of Alpha Trackers after viewing the introductory video of Iloilo City. There was a catch: our Mission Impact Team (MIT) trip was not to Iloilo city! The bulk of our evangelistic and ministry work was done in Alimodian, a municipality in the province of Iloilo. It was up in the mountains - a two-hour Jeepney ride from Iloilo city. As citydwellers, living a week in the mountains with cold showers, power outages and hundreds of flying ants around us was really an experience. But in it, there was something greater. We met God in ways and had revelations about Him that we never knew before. God desires to reveal Himself to us and He does so by inviting us to be part of His works so that His name may be glorified in His holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. (2 Thessalonians 1:10) As I set aside my own agenda, fears and preferred areas of ministry, instead focusing on partnering with the Holy Spirit in fulfilling His agenda, God equipped me with new giftings. Being a serious corporate trainer, I was surprised how I pulled off a hilarious skit, sang in a foreign language, hosted a night’s program, preached and ministered!

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God also gave me a new-found courage to evangelize. My ministry partner, Natalie and I shared Christ and prayed for the sick in the hospital. She prayed with increased faith and heightened expectations for miracles to take place. And God honored that faith. An old man whose family said was deaf raised his hands when our interpreter asked if he wanted to receive Jesus. That day, he was healed physically and spiritually! God moved mightily during our evangelistic meetings. On the last open-air crusade, electricity was cut-off right before we started the session. In the midst of total darkness, the team prayed relentlessly, “Lord, surely You didn’t bring us all the way here for nothing?” Then, right before the message was preached, electricity was restored! Throngs of people stepped forward to receive salvation and healing! We relied on Christ and He answered our prayers! Over a week of evangelistic meetings, house-tohouse and school outreaches, over 1,600 adults and children came to Christ! This trip has given me numerous personal breakthroughs and life-changing experiences. We went to bless others but we were also blessed bountifully!


ALPHA TRACK ADVERT

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An

Unexpected

Return

ian umanitar h a n o d w arke eports ho r ians emb r h a e it T in e r n T 10 . Ju a team of tah Pradash, India , 3 1 0 2 , 1 25 to 3 ohi, Ut From Jul l outreach to Bhad pectations. a ex and medic gone beyond their ad the trip h

A

team of 10 Trinitarians embarked on their missions trip to Bhadohi, Uttah Pradash, India. They were not sure what to expect. Like most Missions Impact Teams (MITs), they prepared for the span of programs they were to cover during the trip: setting up medical camps, organizing life skills seminars for women in the villages, evangelistic programs for children, conducting weekend services for both children and adults as well as prayer meetings for pastors and leaders at combined house churches.

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But nothing could really prepare them for what they were to experience when they actually got there. Teong Eng recalls the heart-wrenching moments when he witnessed the living conditions of the locals and dilapidated infrastructures of government schools and roads - far worse than he had ever imagined. Although their journey had grueling living and weather conditions, the team pressed on with one


goal in mind - to make a difference to the people in Bhadohi. And they did. Approximately 1,070 lives were touched by the outreaches, with an astounding 180 who gave their lives to Christ.

“At the start,” she shares, “I was apprehensive because organizing children programs was not my forte. But the children’s hunger for God and their receptivity of the gospel greatly encouraged me to step out in faith.”

Chay Ling vividly recalls a miracle of healing where she saw a mentally challenged lady who was fearful and terrified of physical contact with anyone. But after she was touched by God, she exuded peace and even allowed the Pastor to hold her hand during prayer and worship. Chay Ling shares, “I never prayed so much in my life. The trip taught me the power of prayer and worship. I also learnt to be bold in my prayer life and ask God to show me more through the Holy Spirit with visions or impressions.” “I learnt to pray with an absolute desperation for the less fortunate in Bhadohi. The prayer walk through the main streets of Bhadohi was a first for me and now, I understand better God’s unconditional love for His children,” shares Indu Koshy, “I’m blessed to know that I do not have to be a pastor or a leader to do God’s work. As long as I’m longing to be used by God, He will use me.” Cheryl Tan was thankful to be able to minister to the children through the services and skits.

Jackie Chiu did not expect the trip to have such a huge impact on his walk with God. Previously, he struggled with fears of inadequacy. However, during the trip God deposited revelations in him every day and allowed for personal encounters and transformations in his life. Through the trip, the foundations of Jackie’s relationship with Christ were re-established. The team went with the common expectation to minister to the needy, but little did they expect that they would be the ones that receive an outpouring of God’s favor and faithfulness, returning home renewed and ministered to. With each member, the experiences were unique and these will remain with them forever. 67


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Our Filipino Ministry celebrated Employer’s Sunday on Sep 8, 2013 at Trinity@Paya Lebar. It was a beautiful day of sharing and thanksgiving. 150 Trinitarians along with their employers, came together to share how they have been blessed by God and one another. Here are some of them.

Unexpected Blessings The house of God transcends language, cultural and background differences. See how Trinitarians from our Filipino, Indonesian and Japanese ministries have been blessed by God to be a blessing. By Miranda Zhang

“Zen has been a blessing from God. Ever since she attended Trinity’s Filipino service, we often hear her sharing Christ with our little ones. We leave our two girls with her during the day and when we come home from work, the girls would share with us the verses and things they have learnt from the Bible. It’s amazing!” - Kelly and Clare Yeo

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“My four years in Trinity’s Filipino Ministry has transformed my life. I’m more relaxed and patient now and I believe that God is always with me. He placed me in this family because He has a plan for my life. Through this family, I have been blessed so much; not only financially but also spiritually.” - Zenaida Agagon


“Besides taking good care of our household, Maribel demonstrates a positive attitude and an open mind to learn new things. She also diligently reads her Bible regularly. She is much happier now than before, since she now has a Filipino community to share her life with. She shares freely with us about the interesting activities she gets to be involved in, such as birthday celebrations, guitar classes, dance performances and even her role as King David in a skit for Carecell Day. We have fun viewing the photos and videos, as she walks us through the various events.”

PICTURES: Our Filipino Trinitarians with their employers “Since I attended Filipino ministry four years ago, I started to do my job patiently and diligently, and not compare myself to my friends - about what they have and I don’t. My employers noticed that I did my part in serving the family and grew trust in me. They gave me off days on both Saturdays and Sundays and even public holidays. Furthermore, they increased my salary by almost 50 percent!” - Liza Villanueva

“We have seen how fervent she is while serving in church and how actively she reaches out to her oikos since she started attending the Filipino ministry and carecell. She has also benefitted from the several life skills courses that she attended in church. She has since put these skills to good use in our house – IT, sewing, etc. We are blessed to know that she is blessed too.” - Duane and Kelly Thia

- Shannon Quek

“I’ve been to the Filipino Ministry for only about eight months, but I’ve already been blessed so much by God. I found my spiritual family in my carecell and learnt to trust God amidst problems. I learnt to be positive as I know God has a plan for my life. I’ve also become closer with my employer - my madam. I started sharing with her about my personal life and also how the Filipino ministry has blessed me. I trust her and am really happy to have my current employers.” - Maribel Reymundo 71


“ “

I’ve only been a Christian for eight months. It was my employer who brought me to Christ. Even after I accepted Christ, I would not listen to advice and did not like getting scolded even if there was a reason for it. God showed me during the camp that I needed to humble myself in these areas and after the camp, I’ve become more conscious of my attitude, especially at work. A few weeks after the camp, my employer thanked me for my improved work attitude to which I replied, “Thanks for letting me go to the camp. It was at the camp that God changed me!”

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- Agnes Rinasusanti

God gave me more than I asked for! I didn’t dare to ask my employer whether I could go for camp because I was rather new on the job. But as I prayed, I felt prompted to ask. When I did, she not only allowed me to go for the camp, she also paid for my camp fees! At the camp, I learnt how to invite God into my life. I’ve been a Christian for many years back in Indonesia, but it was in Trinity that I learnt how to draw close to God. After the camp, my faith grew stronger in God and now I follow the Holy Spirit’s leading when I serve as a Celebration Host or do street evangelism. I stand in awe of how God works through me each time I follow His leading!

- Imelda Magdalena

- Tri Wulansari

ulansari, Jayanti, Tri W santi From left: Etri ) Agnes Rinasu ht rig n (o a, len Imelda Magda

Before the camp, I used to be short-tempered and lacked self-control. Pastor Johnathan’s illustration of the washing feet - just like Jesus did - really impacted me. The leaders started washing our feet and the rest of us followed after. This made me realize that God is not proud and that He is willing to do even the little things. After the camp, I started opening up more to my employer. Now, I ask her questions I have about Christianity. I also learnt what it truly means to serve others and I no longer lose my temper over the little things.

- Etri Jayanti

Our Indonesian Ministry had its second camp on Sep 13 to 15, 2013 at the Boys’ Brigade and Girls’ Brigade Campsite in Sembawang. It was a time of unhurried worship, ministry of the Word and tons of fun together. Five happy campers - all domestic helpers - share how they have been blessed through the camp.

I wanted to go for camp so that I could learn more about God. My employers gave me leave and even subsidized the camp fee for me! At camp, I learnt about developing a Christ-like attitude and God showed me areas to improve in my character. Since then, my employers shared with me that I’ve become more responsible in my work and that they trust me more.


Indonesian

Filipino

Japanese

Spanish

S ’ Y T I N I TR

Thai

LANGUAGE SERVICES Know someone who speaks Filipino, Indonesian, Japanese, Spanish or Thai? Invite them to our language services at Trinity@Paya Lebar!

Filipino Service Sun 10am Lecture Theatre 2

Indonesian Service Sun 10am Classroom 5

Japanese Service 2nd & 3rd Sun, 10am Hostel Block, Classroom H1

Spanish Service Sun, 10am, Lecture Theatre 1

Thai Service Sun, 3pm Lecture Theatre 2

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“LAUNCHING PAD TO OUR

DREAMS

With 520 people in attendance, TCA College celebrated their 24th Graduation Ceremony on Oct 6, 2013 as 59 students graduated from the college. Gabriel Chu reports on this important milestone for the TCA graduates.

These three alumni were Christine Tan, Pastor Chen Zhen Fang, and Pastor Wendy Ng.

E

very student steps into TCA College with dreams to change the world. Through the years of education, the dreams are fuelled by faculty who not only teach, but impart their lives to the students. Here we stand at another graduation ceremony - where each graduate stands on God’s launching pad. This is where dreams become reality. Can one person be of much impact to God’s Kingdom? Yes, with God’s power. Rev Dr Wilson Teo, the President of TCA College, highlighted three TCA College alumni, who have been used extraordinarily by God. This was to inspire the graduates, so that they too can believe that God can use their seemingly ordinary lives to change the world.

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Christine Tan, having a burden to help individuals with addiction problems, gave up her job in the corporate world, heeded God’s call to clinical counseling studies with TCA College, and is now blessed to serve as the Executive Director for Prison Fellowship of Singapore. Pastor Chen Zhen Fang, who formerly studied theology in TCA College, received financial assistance as a student and upon graduation, realized that her education greatly benefited her ministry in China. As a way of gratitude, she gives a significant portion of her income to TCA College’s scholarship fund every time she returned to Singapore; recognizing the investment that was put in her and hoping to bless another with her investment in them.


Pastor Wendy Ng has gone home to be with the Lord. According to her husband, her greatest desire was to obey God’s call upon her life, even if it meant that she would have to give her life up for it. Indeed she did. She was murdered in Cambodia, where she gave leadership over a school that was set up to provide education for the children there. Her death was a tragic one, but her example will certainly be an inspiration to many to fearlessly serve God - even in the face of danger and death.

look forward to the future, as they fulfill the Great Commission and be the salt and light of this world.

These are examples of individuals that heeded God’s call and purpose in their lives. May they serve as inspirations for us to live out the destinies that God has accorded to each one of us – blessing the lives of others with the blessing we have first received from Him.

Here’s a hearty congratulation to all the graduates of the TCA College 24th Graduation Ceremony as they go forth as church builders. The day’s message can best be summarized by this bible verse: Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed (Proverbs 16:3).

Rev Dr Wee Boon Hup, Bishop of the Methodist Church was the guest speaker for the ceremony. The main theme of his exhortation was to “Consider Jesus,” the prime mover and builder of all we do. It is Jesus, who effects the power of what we preach or say and brings about the results. And it is Jesus who effects the power of our prayers in what we say to God at the throne of grace. 

As the Valedictorian and recipient of Best Student Award, Amadea Seow exhorted the graduates to 75


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Blackout these dates Church Camp 2014, Jun 9-12

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Hands on with CCSS Volunteers In the second of this two-part series, Trinitarian throws the spotlight on volunteers who have been faithfully availing themselves to serve our community through Care Community Services Society (CCSS) programs. This issue, our attention turns to a Trinitarian family who has grown much stronger from volunteering as a family, while two young adults share their different experiences working with children from disadvantaged family backgrounds. By Krystle Foo and Kelvin Kwang

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Name: Francis Cheang CCSS Program: CARElderly Seniors Activity Centre Many of us would still be in bed at 7am on a Saturday, but not for Francis Cheang and his family. His wife and son would join him for breakfast before heading down to CCSS’ CARElderly Seniors Activity Centre, where they would spend time engaging the elderly in morning exercises as well as arts and crafts. This commitment has spanned two-and-a-half years, and is still going strong. For Francis, this was a personal decision to “do something meaningful…to touch and empower the old folks who are in the last lap of their lives”.

He later roped in his wife and son, the latter initially for a very practical reason: to get enough community involvement credits for school. These side benefits for his son filtered through though, as he experienced first-hand how to communicate and help the elderly understand the games and art activities, as well as serve them meals. “Volunteering has impacted my son’s relationship with his grandparents, especially with his grandma. He has become much closer to his grandma,” Francis shares,“Additionally, we have a closer bond as a family through the times of volunteering together.”

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Names: Rachel Chua and Derek Tham CCSS Program: d’Klub mentoring program Young adults Rachel and Derek signed on for the d’Klub mentoring program in different ways – she learnt about the opportunity via Trinity’s weekly church bulletin while he found out about it through a friend. What is similar is their shared desire to give back to the community, specifically to the children from disadvantaged backgrounds in the program. Derek, who has been a volunteer for the past three years, says, “It’s definitely worth the time. I may not have seen immediate changes in behavior or results in the children I work with. But I strongly believe and trust that every second spent with them is a seed sown into their hearts. Just being there for them makes a difference!”

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It was being there that helped Rachel regain some semblance of balance during a particularly stressful time in her life. “It was a time when I focused solely on studying and neglected many aspects of my life which were equally, if not more important, such as my health, volunteering, etc. I felt I’d lost myself by giving up on these aspects,” she reveals. Seen in that light, it’s no sacrifice for her in taking time out of her Saturday afternoons to spend time with the children. Rachel also noted that the opportunity to work with other volunteers helped forged many valuable friendships. These are friends she can share her life’s concerns, problems and joys with.


(right) Rachel Chua ), op (t m ha rs: Derek T CCSS voluntee

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 in His field, contact us at 6304 7604 or email us at ccss@carecom.org.sg

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On Oct 12 and 13, 2013, 996 children transformed into junior scientists for Discoveryland’s Children’s Day event, Wi-O Wi-O. They participated in various experiments that excited their senses but more importantly, learnt about how special they were in God’s eyes. Our children welcomed 59 new friends and saw 73 salvations. Elane Luo reports. “Wi-O Wi-O...” the alarm sounded. “Welcome to the Wi-O Laboratory!” Our children were greeted by wacky scientist Dr Wi and his sidekick, Mr Oh. In their Wi-O Lab, the two scientists conducted experiments called “Challenges” to find out amazing facts about the human body.

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“Wi-O” stands for “Wonderful Inside-Out”. Our children entered into the fascinating world of science to take part in five challenges – sight, sound, smell, touch and taste. They listened attentively to identify the unknown sounds; passed objects with their legs; learnt to spot differences with their sight; identified


unknown scents; tasted different flavors. All the five challenges culminated into one big discovery – the human body is a wonderful creation of God. Our children learnt a valuable lesson from Psalms 139:14, a scripture by King David: their lives were a gift from God and they should treasure it, as well as the lives of the people around them. What an amazing discovery made at the Wi-O Lab! Hear from our Junior Scientists!

“I thought that this service was really meaningful as it made me feel special. I like knowing that I was fearfully and wonderfully made. Praise God!” - Vera Chia, 10

“I like the program as I got to know more about the human body. I believe that God made us special and we must not complain about our lives because it is God’s gift to us.” - Joash Cheng, 10 “At first I felt nervous, but after the service I was happy as it was really good and I would want to come again.” - Abigail lim, 10

“I learnt that God has made us beautifully inside out and has chosen us in advance.” - Hui Lin, 10

Trinitarian magazine ad 180mm x 120mm copy.pdf

1

2/10/12

“I learnt that God has made me unique and I was created with different senses! God has made all of us special with an amazing body. Praise the Lord!” - Kristen Joseph, 11

12:16 PM

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

83 Tel 6742 8015 For ages 18 months to 6 years www.raffleshouse.com


IL

y M ve ! l l e c e r a C

g God. Beinds h it w k l a ristian’s .wThese are the wor h C a in le ro ing importantth fun and reward n a y a l p Carecellscarecell can be bone Luo reports. part of a uth IGYNTErs. Ela of our yo

I used to feel that going to church was a chore. However, after I got involved with IGNYTE, that feeling changed. My carecell made me feel that there were people out there who really cared. It has also made my life livelier in church! - David Soh, 13, Undivided in Christ Carecell

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I feel that school cells have made it easier - for newer Christians like me – to integrate into the church and its community. I feel really comfortable with all my carecell mates, and this has caused me to see church and carecell as something I look forward to each week. Most importantly, it is of great comfort to know that I am able to always turn to my cell for help, support and encouragement. - Nicholas Yeo, 18, AC Carecell


Before being a part of the Fairfield cell, I was quite preoccupied with what others thought of me and I didn't really dare to express my views or speak up. But after I got involved with the carecell, it helped me grow in confidence as it was a safe environment where I knew the people supported me and listened. It helped me to be more open about my feelings and less worried about what others would think as I knew that they wouldn't judge me based on what I said, but truly loved and cared for me.

\When we just started our carecell, it was an awkward experience. We didn’t know each other well and discussion would not be more than a “I don’t know”. However, God brought our carecell closer with time and now we’re like a family. It’s been a fulfilling experience to see how they have opened up and become so real in sharing their lives. I’ve been truly blessed by my carecell. - Abigail Yeong, 16, Impactful Changers Carecell

- Kristine Chng, 15, Fairfield Carecell

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The heart of the event was centered around the verse in Hebrews 6:19, we have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.

On Sep 1, 2013, Campus Ministry held its evangelistic event, EXISTENCE which saw a groundbreaking 113 visitors, almost equaling the number of Campus Ministry students. EXISTENCE aimed to tackle hard questions that every university student has contemplated before – What is my purpose in life? What anchors my existence? Esther Tang reports.

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uring the months leading up to EXISTENCE, the Campus Ministry students prayed fervently and corporately for their oikos. The ministry fasted together for three days and experienced a significant shift in the atmosphere of faith with many breakthroughs in evangelism. There was already more than 100 successful invitations weeks before the event!

On the day itself, 113 pre-believers came for the event, almost equaling the number of Campus Ministry students in attendance! The event was held in the Chapel, where the students engaged in a fun and interactive time of games and worship.

EXIS ENCE Campus Ministry Event

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The students were treated to a skit based on the real-life experiences of three campus students. Through the heartfelt stories depicted on stage, God’s power to transform, renew and encourage during tough times shone through. Pastor Wendy spoke about God’s love, sealing the message that He has a purpose for our lives. After a time of response, the campus students proceeded to the Summit for refreshments. It was a good time of fellowship, as members of the Campus Ministry shared the gospel with their oikos and bonded together as a cell, using the EXISTENCE photo booth to capture these moments on film. Every pre-believer went home with a testimony booklet which contained more than 40 testimonies of God’s goodness in the lives of university students.

EXISTENCE saw four known decisions made for God and many more who were blessed. Pamela Koh shared that her friend enjoyed the event - despite being an atheist. Noelle invited her oikos, Zihao to EXISTENCE. He attended subsequent services and carecell meetings, where he accepted Christ. Zihao shares, “I went to Trinity a few times, and felt at ease and comfortable to explore more about Christianity.” A friend of mine who came for EXISTENCE was initially skeptical about the testimonies in the booklet, but she shared with me several days later that she was blessed by the accounts of God’s provision!

Through His grace and strength, souls were won and seeds were sown for God’s Kingdom during EXISTENCE! All glory to God above!

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Questions Answered

By Pastor Joseph Tan

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he Greek word for “hypocrite” is “hupocrites” (pronounced hu-po-chri-teys) and it basically means “play-actor or role player”. In other words, a hypocrite is someone who pretends to be someone he is not, or acts as though he is.

Although they honor God with their lips, their hearts are far from God. Christians who behave like hypocrites are often boastful about their religiosity and spirituality. They do not realize their identities are in Christ – and that Christ should be lifted up, so He can draw all men to Himself (John 12:13).

In the New Testament, Jesus describes hypocrites who, like actors, love to make themselves the center of attention. They love to announce to everyone that they have given to the poor, and want to be honored for doing so.When they pray, they want to be seen and heard by men.

Perhaps some of us have displayed similar traits mentioned above, knowingly or otherwise. To you, I offer the following suggestions:

Even when these hypocrites fast, they act as though they’ve suffered through the process by putting up a gloomy face and neglecting their appearance. Hypocrites are also particularly fond of noticing the faults and sins of other people, and trying to correct them. Jesus instrcucted them to “first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye” (Matthew 7:3-5). Hypocrites cannot see their own blind spots. They act as if they are the righteous ones, and often do not want to be corrected by anyone – perhaps not even by God. Jesus said these hypocrites will indeed be rewarded with men’s favor, but God’s favor will elude them as it is reserved for those who do not brag, want to be seen or heard, or draw attention to fasting. Thus, the motivating factors for hypocrites are acceptance, adoration and being honored by men. 88

Keep a tight rein on your tongue

Allow your words to glorify God in a way that they direct attention away from you. If people do give you praise, make sure you acknowledge it is God who should receive the glory.

Acknowledge work-in-progress status

We are all God’s handiwork, created again in Christ for good works and so God continues to be at work in our lives. To continue the molding process, you should make yourself part of a Christian community and allow more mature Christians to speak into your life. Like King David, keep asking God to search your heart and mind, and reveal any sin in your life so He can lead you to the correct paths (Psalm 139:23-24). And for those of us thinking another Christian is a hypocrite, perhaps it is best for us to first examine ourselves for such behavior. Then help each other overcome said behavior, as God has called us not to judge but to reconcile sinners to Christ.


Share your Trinity moments with us. Send them to connect@trinity.org.sg

Following the light

Following after the sunny

Be a light for all to see

With our hands lifted up

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Ever wondered how those trays of “wafers” and “wine” being passed round during Holy Communion come to be every month? We speak to the Holy Communion Prep Team’s two ICs, Brother Ronnie Ho and Sister Sham Ngan Yen, on how the team prepares the 81 stacks of trays in time for Trinity@Paya Lebar’s 5pm service on Saturday. By Cliff Lee How does your team of volunteers prepare the items for Holy Communion? Ronnie: We arrive two hours before each Holy Communion service to prepare the “wafers” and the “wine”. I personally come much earlier to line up the tables and prepare the equipment necessary for the team to work. Sham: It’s largely a team effort. We form an assembly line and help wherever we can. I guess that’s how we complete all 81 trays given the time constraint. Some of us also stay behind to clean up after service. What are some challenges you face? R: There are challenges to the task. Many of the bottles we use require one to carefully squeeze the fluids into the cups. The measurements have to be right, and every cup has to be uniformly filled like the rest of them. There are not to be bubbles in the cups or they are rejected by us. S: There are also manufacturing problems sometimes. The cups provided by the manufacturers sometimes have cracks in them and while filling them, the liquid 90

leaks through. This problem can be quite a hassle to deal with. But thank God for a dedicated team who quickly locates cracked cups, removes them and cleans the mess. Who can join? R: A team member was joking that this is the best ministry for people who like to “hide behind the curtain” as we literally work just behind the Sanctuary stage curtain. We do need more volunteers. It is an area of service where anyone can come to serve if they are willing. Our youngest serving member is only 8 years old! S: Despite the challenges, I believe anyone with patience and care for details can serve on this team. It may not be a ministry that many people know of being behind the scenes, but it is rewarding knowing that you are serving to meet a need in God’s house. Join the Holy Communion Prep Team Speak to your pastor today! Or write in to admin@trinity.org.sg to enquire.


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Trinitarian Magazine Issue 4/2013