REAL LIFE MIRACLES: GOD JUMPSTARTED MY HEART
#JUBILEE 50K CHALLENGE
TOP TEN MISTAKES CHRISTIAN PARENTS OF TEENS MAKE
WAS JESUS’ RESURRECTION PHYSICAL OR MERE VISIONS?
FAITH In CRISIS Parenting
Some say He was a pious religious leader. Others claim He was an unusual miracle-worker. And then there are those who think He is a myth. But, who is He… really? Back in Singapore for the second time – His Life the Musical is a spectacular performance about the life of Jesus Christ. His Life has been showcased around the world in places such as New York, Ethiopia, Colombia and South Korea. Rigorously keeping to the original text of the Bible, its 80-strong cast unfolds this epic story with excellence and artistry.
Come and experience His miracles, His pain, His love…
A P E R F O R M A N C E F O R T H E E N T I R E F A M I LY Wed-Sun, Jul 15-19
Wed, Jul 15
Thu, Jul 16
Fri, Jul 17
3pm & 7.30pm
(Summary of scenes only)
Sat, Jul 18
3pm & 7.30pm
Mandarin 华语 Spanish
Jul 17, 7.30pm
Sun, Jul 19
3pm & 7.30pm
Jul 18, 7.30pm
Jul 17 & 18, 3pm
Trinity@Paya Lebar 247 Paya Lebar Road Level 2, Sanctuary Language Interpretation via headsets
Duration: 2.5 hours with an intermission
Visit us at www.trinity.sg/hislifemusical
The quality of the lighting and artistry is on the same level as performances in Las Vegas.
Randy Brooks - 1993 ‘Best New Artist of the Year’; 1998 & 1999 ‘Male Entertainer of the Year’.
Get ready for God to speak powerfully to you through these anointed guest speakers!
Wilfredo De Jesús Rev Wilfredo De Jesús is Senior Pastor of New Life Covenant Church (NLC), one of the fastest growing churches in Chicago. A man who believes no one is beyond the transforming power of God’s love, he calls Christians to arise to reach out to those in need and those “that nobody wants”, such as the homeless, gangs, and drug addicts.
Sep 26 & 27
Les Bowling Rev Les Bowling is the founder of Eagle Rock Ministries in Ohio, originating president of Gospel and the Preacher Bible College, and overseer of Eagle Rock Covenant Network. He is dedicated to teaching the truth of the gospel message, and equipping disciples with Biblical truths and the power to proclaim them!
together in unity
5 JULY 2015 Singapore sports hub celebrate and pray together at
SUNDAY â€˘ 4.14 pM
DOORS OPEN AT 2 pm twitter @JDOP2015
STADIUM MRT station (CC6)
Jointly Organised By:
National Council of Churches of Singapore
Singapore Baptist Convention
National Prayer Alliance
Evangelical Fellowship of Singapore
Indian Christian Network
Festival of Praise Fellowship
Contents Issue 02/2015
In CRISIS Parenting
p44 FAITH IN CRISIS
30 envision BE A BLESSING
And All People On Earth Will Be Blessed Through You TRINITARIAN HERO Partnering To Disciple The Young SECOND GENERATION CHRISTIANS – STRUGGLING THROUGH THEIR FAITH CRISIS! Get Up Close With Our Second Generation RECOMMENDED BOOKS Resources To Help You Be A Stronger Christian Parent
#JUBILEE50K CHALLENGE Bless and Proclaim, Transform Our World CAUGHT ON TRINITY’S CAMERA
TOP TEN MISTAKES CHRISTIAN PARENTS OF TEENS MAKE Are You Really Helping Your Children Or Are You Their Stumbling Block? TOUGH QUESTIONS ANSWERED Was Jesus’ Resurrection Physical Or Mere Visions?
GOD JUMPSTARTED MY HEART Real Life Miracles
FAITH IN CRISIS Parenting Teens Today
LEAVING A LEGACY OF FAITH, HOPE AND LOVE The Best Inheritance We Can Leave For Our Children
MISSIONS AT A GLANCE An Overview of Trinity’s Missions Outreach from Jan to Mar 2015
Problems? Only one point?
So many devices to charge!!
Find yourself checked into the hotel room with multiple devices to charge but only one main power point? Worse still, if there thereâ€™s two pax in the room, twice the number of devices to charge. Some even resort to getting up in the middle of the night to charge the next device. Which device to charge first? Source: The Business Times ÂŠ Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Permission required for reproduction.
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Contents Issue 02/2015
p30 Be a Blessing
p24 GOD JUMPSTARTED MY HEART
p12 EASTER 2015
p68 CELL CHURCH CONFERENCE 2015
p76 LOVE BEYOND BOUNDARIES
p88 TRINITARIAN HERO
MISSIONS REPORT A Highlight of Our Missions Efforts from Jan to Mar 2015
MENTORING PASTORS An Update From Our Mentoring Pastors
WHAT’S UP DOC? Children’s Easter Event
CELL CHURCH CONFERENCE 2015 Transforming The Harvest Field Into The Harvest Force
TRINITARIANS GO TO THE NATIONS! MITs That Happened from Jan to Mar 2015
LOVE BEYOND BOUNDARIES CCSS help ex-offenders reintegrate into their families and society to start life afresh
Be A LEADer Developing Your Potential Through LEAD MISSIONS CONVENTION 2015 Catching God’s Passionate Heartbeat for the Nations
TRAINING AND CONSULTATION Empowering Churches To Grow
EASTER 2015 Understanding Lent from Maundy Thursday to Easter Sunday
IGNYTE HAPPENINGS It’s Been An Exciting Start For IGNYTE In 2015 MISSIONS CARNIVAL See How Our Children Catch God’s Heartbeat For The Nations
Pastor Dominic Yeo
Pastor Janice Chng
Carol Lim Dawn Lim Daniel Koh Hannah Tan June Teh Lye Hui Xian
Miranda Zhang Rebecca Vinod Sharon Lim
Babu Immanuel Ben Voon Chelsea Chew Jaena Teo Jeff Strong Pastor Dominic Yeo Pastor Johnathan Lee
Audrey Guo IGNYTE Photography Team Kelvin Low Noelle Lim Pufferfish Studio Twenty4Frames
Big Detail Pte Ltd
Hello Comms team! I was missing Trinity and decided to visit our website and WOW! It’s looking really good! Fresh, sleek and so in trend. Thanks for serving behind your screens! Much love from Sydney, Joan Huang
Dear Pastor Dom, Pastors and Board & Staff of Trinity, Just want to say thank you for the thoughtful gift for our newborn baby. Appreciate the thoughts and the heart. Thank you once again ! Yours sincerely, Celeste & Gerard
My mum’s words in Hokkien to me when she received the get well basket were “The flowers are very pretty, please tell BIG PASTOR thank you very much” The flowers and wellness gift for my Mum in her recent hospitalization cheered her up tremendously. Thank you Trinity for making your presence felt in such a tangible and beautiful way!
Dear Pastors and Church Staff, Thank you for your sacrificial love and blessings given to serve the church. May these special cup cakes of sweetness and love be a blessing to you and your families. From a Trinitarian.
Blessings, Pastor Steven Tay
Send your appreciation notes to firstname.lastname@example.org
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Dear Trinitarians, It brings me great joy to share my heart with you in the latest issue of our quarterly magazine. As we entered into the year 2015, I shared that the Year of Jubilee is one of favor, rest and restoration. True enough, I’ve since heard numerous testimonies, especially of successful business deals. A fellow Trinitarian shared about how his team was unable to bring in the sales volume required and was subsequently ranked at the bottom of his company last year. However this year brought a positive turn – the team miraculously brought in the sales volume required and were placed at the top of the list for the first two quarters of the year! Besides experiencing favor, God wants us to proclaim His favor to others. Through the #Jubilee50K Challenge, lives are being opened to better
I believe as we continue to proclaim God’s favor to people around us, we will see a greater transformation taking place in us, our households and other spheres of influences.
know Jesus. For example, I read that one day Mark, a Trinitarian, randomly called a colleague from another department for lunch, during which he listened to his colleague’s struggles in parenting. Mark decided to buy him a simple cup of coffee and peanut pancake, which caused his colleague to become tearyeyed. It turned out that day was the colleague’s birthday! His colleague said, “He (God) must have arranged this lunch.” Powerful isn’t it? We are God’s agents of change to Transform our World. Check out the other testimonies on p36 or visit our Facebook #Jubilee50K page. This challenge is changing families as well – many youths are stepping up to ‘jubilee’ their parents with unexpected acts of blessings. A young girl received a Word from God to bring her grandparents, who live in Hong Kong, to church. She obeyed, her grandparents went back to church that weekend and thereafter
expressed interest in continuing to attend! Another youth’s dad went for a cataract surgery that didn’t turn out too well. She felt prompted to pray for him there and then, and she stepped out in faith to do so. I believe as we continue to proclaim God’s favor to people around us, we will see a greater transformation taking place in us, our households and other spheres of influences.
Every June issue, we take time to focus on the family because Trinity is very much a family church. With almost 2,000 children, youth and campus students altogether, we have put in place strong children, youth and campus ministries to help our children discover God from a young age and transit through life’s various stages. However, the best discipleship that can happen is the one that takes place in the home. Hear the voices of our youths and young adult children from the team’s interviews with many second generation Christians on their struggles growing up in church, my son included, on p46. Then, read about some of the mistakes we make as Christian parents on p52 so that we can help our children if they ever have a crisis of faith as they grow up. The family unit is very important. In this issue, you will find a photo spread of our spiritual family – your pastors. Keep it with your Bible or journal and pray for us and our families, and the entire leadership as we forge forward in unity! In the coming months, we have two opportunities to advance the kingdom of God – the Jubilee Day of Prayer and His Life The Musical. As we cover the nation in prayer with the wider Christian body in Singapore, I believe doors will be opened over our nation. Let us take every opportunity to invite people to His Life The Musical so that as many as possible will hear the gospel message and experience His love.
Easter 2015 What does Easter mean to you? To some, it may just be another nationwide holiday to catch up with friends and relatives, stay out late the night before and sleep in the next day without the snooze fight with the alarm clock at 6am. For us believers, it might simply be yet another yearly event. We may go through the motion of attending special Easter services or inviting friends to come to church presentations because it seemed like the right thing to do. I’ll admit I have been guilty of thinking and behaving this way before, but Easter this year was different. Perhaps it was because 2015 is a year of Jubilee, which led me to ponder the true meaning of Easter Weekend – a reflection of my unworthiness in comparison to the grace and mercy Jesus so freely gave. By June Teh
I’ve been a believer for years, but this was my first time hearing the term ‘Maundy Thursday’. Afraid of being branded ignorant if I asked my friends about its meaning and significance, I decided to ask Mr Google. I learned that ‘Maundy’ is short form ‘Mandatum’, which is Latin for command. It was on that day when Jesus told his disciples, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” (John 13:34). And that Thursday was the day before Jesus was crucified, the day of The Last Supper, also known as the Passover. On that night, two significant events took place: Jesus celebrated the Last Supper with His disciples, and Jesus washed His disciples’ feet in an act of ultimate humility, a reminder that we are to love and serve one another, especially to those who least deserve it. 16
Pastor Dominic shared a timely message on Maundy Thursday, about how the Corinthians had failed to embrace the true meaning of the Last Supper. To them, it was a time of feasting, but the rich cared only about filling their stomachs and left practically nothing for the poor. They had missed the point entirely when they didn’t honor and serve each other despite their financial status, as Jesus had commanded the disciples during the Last Supper. Joshua Lee, from IGNYTE recollects, “The word shared reminded me of the true meaning of partaking the bread and cup. I will never again regard communion as a simple action. Rather, it’s a constant reminder of what Jesus has done for me on the cross, and its significance should be upheld with an attitude of humility and thankfulness.”
The Last Supper proclaims the death of Christ as an act that released grace and mercy – grace we didn’t deserve in the least, and mercy so that we don’t get what we deserve. Erny from East District shares, “I am amazed at the grace and mercy of God. Everyone has different life struggles and we’ve made a multitude of mistakes, but
God has lifted all our sins from us, and His mercies are new every day. This is the benevolent God we serve.” Fellow Trinitarian Josephine testifies, “Christ has assured me of His love and that He will turn my messy situation around!” 17
Easter happened so that the penalty of our sins would be paid for by the one who took our place upon the cross â€“ Jesus Christ. In the three powerful rallies we had for Easter, we saw 119 decisions made for Christ and numerous healings taking place. Watch a lady walk for the first time without her wheelchair at http://goo.gl/g3p6P6 18
Over Friday and Saturday, we held three Easter rallies with Evangelist Jason Frenn, an anointed speaker who shared how God is still in the business of miracles today. The testimonies he shared captivated the audience and drove home the point that God can heal the sick, restore relationships, and provide when we seek Him. As Jason extended the invitation to those who needed the resurrection power of Christ to come forward to be prayed
for, many hands were raised and a sea of people gathered at the altars at each of the three sessions, all wanting the same thing from God: a life-changing touch. This was a faith-building experience, and many attested to the overwhelming presence of God at the rally sessions. Faye Tian, a Trinitarian, shared how her oikos teared during worship and gave her life to Christ as she felt such a tangible peaceful presence. When I first heard that a rally would replace the usual Easter presentation this year, I was
skeptical and was of the mindset that it would be easier to invite oikos at presentations as people are usually more inclined to accept invitations to church events that were geared towards performing arts such as skits, song and dance performances. But after the rally, my perspective changed â€“ I learned that it isnâ€™t about the event, but about God doing His work and touching the lives of people. It was a joyous moment for Grace Hee when the oikos she invited and prayed for brought friends to the rally, and three in their group gave their lives to Christ.
As we step out in faith to pray and petition for the lost, God can and will use us as a conduit for His perfect plans. This is in tandem with the message that Jason Frenn shared: God rewards those who seek Him but without faith, it is impossible to please Him. God always has the last, and best word if we place our absolute faith and trust in Him. He transforms lives and orchestrates breakthroughs â€“ all we need to do is to allow Him to help us get out of our comfort zones.
I was awed when Jason shared the story of how God’s hands were moved to perform a miracle on an 8-year-old girl, giving her the three missing rib bones she had been born without. Jason aptly said, “Let it not be seeing is believing, but first believe and you shall see.” This is but one of the many ‘God-moment’ testimonies that led many to give their lives to Christ during the rally sessions, regardless of age, race, language. Pastor Kelvin Teo also shared that he invited his new helper, who just joined the family a day before the rally, and she
God’s healing and restoration work continued into the combined Easter Sunday Service at Trinity@Paya Lebar. Although people had to overflow into the Chapel because the Sanctuary was so packed, there was a warmth in the atmosphere with the whole family of Christ worshipping together in the same building.
rededicated her life to Jesus during one of the sessions. Alan Chang, from the West district testified excitedly, “My cousin had backslid from Christianity for 20 years, but this Easter he called me up out of the blue and said that he and his family needed to visit Trinity. At the rally, my cousin rededicated his life to Jesus, and his wife received Christ in her seat after the gospel was shared. Tears streamed down her face when
she said the Sinner’s Prayer and she later explained that she rarely cried but was moved to tears because God had filled her heart with a purpose and peace.” Mirabel from Campus Ministry recalled that when she was in her seat during the altar call, God gave her a vision. “It was a reminder that He understand my current trying situation and assured me that He will provide restoration and healing. I know God loves me very much.”
That morning, Jason Frenn spoke about the 53 miracles performed in the first four books of the New Testament. These miracles took the form of physical healings, financial blessings and deliverance, but the greatest ones were those that were about salvation and changing hearts. One powerful thing I learned over Easter Weekend was that the resurrection power of Christ is great enough to change any life or situation and Easter isn’t about what Jesus did that one day, but what He does for us every single day.
Do you need a miracle?
God’s resurrection power is always available for us!
Children’s Easter Event 2015
What’s Up, Doc? A hearty dose of fun and entertainment awaited DiscoveryLand’s children at this year’s Easter celebrations on April 3 and 4, 2015. What’s more, they learned important truths during the Easter presentation ‘What’s up Doc?’ held at Trinity@Paya Lebar. Close to 700 children and 122 first-time visitors met Dr Real Lee, a man of science who didn’t believe in miracles and Pastor Wai Wai, who shared her amazing testimony of healing and how God went beyond what medical science could ever do. Would the good doctor ever be convicted of God’s saving power? The livewire atmosphere was certainly contagious as the kids participated in engaging know-your-body games and shared their own testimonies. Most importantly, they learned about the God’s limitless power and how Jesus gives life and hope when there seems none. The celebrations then concluded with 69 decisions for Christ. By Rebecca Vinod.
Getting ready for a time of truth, revelation and some fun.
Keeping it ‘real’ – the doctor and his nurse at work in the clinic.
Pastor Wai Wai arrives for a consultation with Dr.Lee. She had many amazing things to say!
DiscoveryLand children learn that God does much beyond what science and humanity can do.
Children had encouraging testimonies to share.
Fun and games are a must for everyone. Doctor’s orders!
I had problems standing up as both legs were very painful but after the prayer, I felt much better. Jonathan, 9 years old I have itchiness on my legs every day. After praying, it’s less itchy. Kerryn Tay, 7 years old I had a stomachache yesterday. After prayer for healing today, I feel much better. Theresa Soh, 11 years old I have learned that even the craziest miracles can happen! Claire Tan, 12 years old I had a bump on the back of my head. It was painful but I’ve no more pain after praying at the altar. Kaelyn, 5 years old
God works wonders though little children as they prayed for their families and friends.
I find that Jesus is able to solve any problem. Jesus is able to do anything men cannot do. Odelia Chua, 12 years old
Jumpstarted my Heart! Richard was breathing fast, but with deep gasps. Perspiring profusely, he wiped his brow and rubbed his eyes repeatedly. Suddenly he slumped over the chair, pale and barely conscious, showing little signs of life. Was life about to come to an end for Richard? Or did God have something more in store? By Daniel Koh Zhi Guo
God Jumpstarted my Heart!
Richard Lim had only just returned to the Lord barely three months before in July 2009 after having backslid for 22 years. It was nothing short of an act of divine intervention that while helping a friend, Richard found himself attending a church service. The sermon preached was “The Prodigal Son” and this longlost son suddenly found himself arms raised in surrender, back in the Shepherd’s arms saying, “Here I am, Lord. Give me a second chance!” “My fear then was that my marriage would break down because of my faith,” shared Richard, who has been married to Jeannis for 26 years. “We married at a time when I would warn my insurance agents (who were Christians) not to preach to me or I would stop doing business with them.” Although his wife wasn’t against her husband’s new-found faith when he rededicated his life to God, she cautioned him not to try to convert her and their two children, given her family’s staunch religious background of 26
another faith. Richard’s previous attempts at getting her to attend his then home church’s events had prompted this reaction. One of these invitations was for a three-day-two-night marriage seminar that they both attended to renew their vows, and which he conveniently did not mention was organized by the church. Though Jeannis started attending church services with Richard, she remained unconvicted about God. Undeterred, Richard would fervently and frequently pray, “All things in Your time”. Little did he expect God to begin a chain of events one fateful evening at a Chinese restaurant in Dalang, Guangdong on one of his business trips. He was traveling with his longtime friends and business associates, K. F. Cheng and Michael Lee. After a long day, they stopped by a restaurant for dinner when suddenly Richard slumped over the chair, almost unconscious. Richard was hardly breathing. His heart seemed to have stopped, and he was deadly pale. “Call the ambulance!”
Richard and K.F. Cheng (far right) and other business colleagues. K.F. yelled in Cantonese as Richard laid motionless in their arms. They thought they had lost him already. Everything happened quickly. One moment he was having dinner at the restaurant, and the next he was gone! By the time they got him to the hospital it was 20 minutes after he had collapsed with hardly any signs of a pulse. K. F. and Michael thought they had lost their friend for good. During those 20 minutes, while K. F. and Michael were in a fluster and panic, Richard experienced something out of the world.
... suddenly Richard slumped over the chair, almost unconscious. Richard was hardly breathing. His heart seemed to have stopped, and he was deadly pale. Richard’s condition of high blood pressure. An average person’s blood pressure should be 120/80. “Low blood pressure; suspect insufficient blood in the heart…” wrote the doctor in Chinese after his preliminary checks.
“There wasn’t any time to be afraid or anxious,” shared Richard. “I felt like I had all of a sudden been transported to a different place, but somehow I knew I was with the Lord. Then, I saw the Lord and two angels appear before me. The angels were huge– a few stories tall and glowing. The Lord’s face was so bright I couldn’t look straight into His eyes. The Lord spoke to me, “Do not be afraid. My son, I will be with you.” And immediately, the words from Psalm 23 came to mind: ‘The LORD is my Shepherd, I shall not be in want… Even though I walk though the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.’ “His words assured me,” Richard recalled. “I felt at peace, and knew then that no harm would befall me as the LORD would protect me.” On reaching the A&E Department, Richard was immediately attended to by the medical officer on duty. His blood pressure was 85/45 – a very low reading given
Nonetheless, Richard slowly regained consciousness. The doctors ran a thorough examination, including a blood test, ECG and an echocardiogram. Miraculously, the reports showed that everything seemed to be functioning normally. It was as if God literally jumpstarted his heart and set everything back in place! The doctor remained concerned and asked for Richard to stay in the hospital for three to five more days for observation. Richard refused. With great apprehension, the doctor discharged him with these words on the report, “The patient insists on being discharged despite being told to remain [in hospital] for treatment. High risk of low blood pressure in heart. Consequences for patient to bear alone.” Having encountered God in such a dramatic and tangible manner, Richard’s heart was filled with new-found faith. He continued with his business discussions in Dalang and only flew back to Singapore the day after. He consulted with his cardiologist a day after his return home, and tests confirmed that he was healthy. Today, Richard is in the pink of health despite having come so close to death. As
remarkable as his experience was, what was to come testifies even further of God’s amazing grace. Not wanting to alarm his wife and family, Richard only related what had occurred to Jeannis after he returned home to Singapore. “I kept asking why this thing happened!” exclaimed Jeannis. “I was both devastated and relieved at the same time,” Jeannis gasped at just how close she and her children were to losing Richard. “I never expected anything to go wrong. He traveled a lot and I guess I took that for granted.” Richard shared with his wife how God had spoken to him and saved him from the brink of death. “I was grateful he was alive. I don’t think I would have been able to contain my fears had I known what had happened and if he had to remain hospitalized. I’m also thankful I was spared the anxiety of worrying.” Then still a pre-believer, she wondered, “Who is this God that saved my husband and spared me such great worry?” Unbeknown to Richard, Jeannis had her very own encounter with a prayer-answering God just a month ago. “I wasn’t sure whether God would answer my prayer,” revealed Jeannis. “Richard kept telling me about God’s power; so when there were reports of yet another typhoon approaching the Philippines, after they had suffered one just a few weeks 27
God Jumpstarted my Heart!
before, I asked God to stop the typhoon. And He actually did! The typhoon which was heading west towards the Philippines somehow turned back!” Pleasantly surprised, this episode marked her first step of faith in God. And with Richard safe after his near-death experience, she
didn’t argue when he asked to her to accompany him that weekend for Sunday service. “I don’t recall what was preached that day, but when it was time for the altar call to receive Christ, I was suddenly prompted by a voice that said, ‘Raise your hands… Raise your hands…’,”
“It was an indescribable feeling, but I felt joy in my heart.” Raise her hands she did, and together with her beaming husband, walked out to the altar to receive Jesus as her Lord and personal Savior.
“Who is this God that saved my husband and spared me such great worry?”
Jeannis became the first Christian in her family. She shared with her mother what Jesus had done on the cross, and how Richard was miraculously saved from death. “But she just kept quiet…” said Jeannis. Unexpectedly, Jeannis’ mother passed away slightly a month after Jeannis became a Christian. Grieved, Jeannis wondered day after day, if she would ever meet her mother again. “God, why did you take her away when she was not saved? She has no chance now…” Jeannis often thought. A few months passed and at a church meeting, a pastor prayed for her and saw the word, ‘Wish’. As she pressed on to understand the revelation of this word, it was as though God was assuring Jeannis that He knew her deep for her mother’s salvation. All of a sudden, Jeannis received a vision: “I saw my mum sitting on a bed in hospital, followed by Jesus appearing in the sky. And then, I felt my mum standing on the right side of Jesus!” God assured her that her mother was safely with Jesus! “I believe my mum received Jesus before she passed on and is with Him now,” Jeannis professed without a hint of doubt. One by one, family members came to know God’s love through Richard’s and Jeannis’ testimonies. Richard’s parents learned that God loved them enough not to take their son away. And Jeannis’ siblings realized just how real the power of God is in transforming life from death. Richard honored God by making it a point to speak to someone about God every day for one year. And many more, including their daughter and a total of nine family members came to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
Richard sharing his testimony with his family.
Celebrating the water baptism of Richard’s mum and dad. His friend Mr. K. F. Cheng, who personally witnessed how Richard was saved from the clutches of death, received Christ as well and started attending church back in Hong Kong. “Before this incident and as a young man, I served God out of sheer duty or obligation,” Richard remarked. “Now I serve a personal loving God who cares for us – no matter how insignificant we may think we are.” When asked to reflect why all this was allowed to happen, Richard quoted Jesus when He was asked why a man (He was to later heal) was born blind: “Neither this man nor his parents sinned… but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.” (John 9:3)
Richard and Jeannis now both attend and serve in Trinity Christian Centre. Richard enrolls in LEAD classes regularly, and served as Camp Champion in the last Church Camp. Apart from sharing his testimony with as many people as he can meet, he also serves in the committee of ACTS College (formerly Assemblies of God Bible College) in the Human Resources and Corporate Governance departments. Richard once teetered on the brink of death, but now lives passionately together with Jeannis, their family members and friends for God’s awesome glory! “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28). Hallelujah and amen! 29
be a By Senior Pastor Dominic Yeo
We all want to be blessed by God. Who doesn’t love receiving blessings? When God told Abraham that He would bless him, make his name great and that he would be a blessing – it wasn’t just about Abraham receiving blessings. It was a call for him to be a blessing, , but what does it mean to “Be a blessing”?
Let’s look at the time the Bible talks about the covenant God made with Abraham in Genesis 11-12. He was still known as Abram at this point. In Genesis 12:1-3, God made His covenant with Abram: The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”
Blessing! Not much is known about Abram at this juncture in the Bible, save that he was 75 years old, married to Sarai but childless, and that he had gone with his father Terah and two brothers from Ur of Chaldeans towards the land of Canaan. In Abram’s culture, it wasn’t good to be childless. If you didn’t have children, it was generally believed that you and your families had been cursed by God, even if you were prosperous or successful in other areas of life. From Genesis 11-12, we learn that Abram’s family was from Ur of the Chaldeans, a prosperous maritime port very much like Singapore. It was a place with great economic prosperity, where trade
and commerce took place and those who lived there enjoyed its economic boom. Abram was no exception – he was pretty successful and accumulated many possessions and servants. Despite this economic success, Abram remained childless. However, God decided in His sovereignty that he was going to carry out His plans through Abram and so made a covenant with him. He called Abram to leave the safety and prosperity of Ur of the Chaldeans, to go into His promised land – a land he didn’t know anything about. This is akin to God calling us today to leave our comfortable lives in Singapore to move to Iraq or Syria. Would you go if you had received such a calling? Abram did so with an attitude of faith and obedience.
Be a Blessing!
God had promised Abram that He would bless him, and that he would be a blessing to all the people on earth. This was sufficient for Abram. He heard and obeyed the Word of the Lord to uproot his life and go to an unknown land. We can learn three truths from this short passage outlining the Abrahamic covenant.
1. When God calls, He will bless.
In Genesis 12:1, God called Abraham to leave his home and promised that “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you.”
We may have a mistaken concept of God’s call, thinking that a calling refers only to full-time ministry. But 1 Peter 2:9 tells us that we are His chosen generation, a royal priesthood, His own special people whom God has called out of the darkness into His everlasting light! He calls, and each one of us is called. When God calls, He blesses. He calls us to know him and blesses us with abundant life. The covenant of God from Abraham’s time right through to today and the future has always been a calling of blessing. He has called each of us into our destinies. Believers are called into the present for our future. Put your past behind! Every step we
The Abrahamic Covenant is one of the most important covenants God has made with man. Its importance lies not only in what it promised, but also in the fact that it was given unconditionally. God made a promise to Abraham that required nothing of him. The ceremony recorded in Genesis 15 indicates the unconditional nature of the covenant. God bound Himself to His promise made to Abraham. It is important to note that the responsibility to fulfill the covenant was God’s alone. And when God says He will – you bet He will.
take towards the future is the call of God, and every step we take has the blessing of God.
Every blessing is His authentication over our lives. The people of God are to be blessed. This is why the Psalmists repeatedly sang, “Blessed are His people”.
his friends declined these in order not to defile themselves as God’s people. They chose to take only vegetables and water, but their appearance, knowledge and understanding were better than those who ate the king’s choice food. God blessed Daniel so that when people looked at him, they would know there was a God in his life. That was God’s way of authenticating Daniel’s life.
In the Old Testament, we see how Daniel was blessed when he was called. When Daniel was taken captive into the foreign land of Babylon. He was part of the group that was shortlisted to go to the palace to serve King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. This chosen group was given the king’s choice food and wine, but Daniel and
In the same way, others can see that despite the sometimes bleak circumstances in our lives, there is something different about us. Because of this blessing, they come to know that there is a God in our lives who blesses us through the ups and downs. They’re able to witness God’s model of grace in our lives.
Why does God bless us when He calls us?
In the Book of Acts in the New Testament, the early church was facing immense persecution for being Christians. In that age and even in some countries today, being Christian can deny you opportunities and cause you to lose your job. Nonetheless, even though these early Christians weren’t doing well financially and everything seemed to be going downhill, they were still joyful. The early church shared what they had with each other, yet no one had an unmet need. Even the persecutors could see that something was different about them. The people around the early church could see that, and wanted to join this community. Because of God’s blessing, the church experienced explosive growth. Every member of the church became God’s instrument of blessing. As they allowed themselves to be a blessing, the reality of God’s love and providence came through the community of faith. Therefore, God’s blessings are also God’s way of empowering us to become models and instruments of His grace. We are enabled with our enough so that we can multiply into abundance. Why does God bless? I believe it is so that we can be empowered to bless others around us. Some of us think we don’t have enough to offer anything. However, God has already provided everything
As they allowed themselves to be a blessing, the reality of God’s love and providence came through the community of faith. that we need to be a blessing. In fact, He takes what we have and multiplies it into abundance. When we first started the #Jubilee50K challenge, someone told me that everyone is buying someone else something to bless them, but he didn’t have the money to do so and therefore could not participate in the movement. I asked him: What do you have? Do you have strength? You could bless someone by helping with his luggage or groceries. In fact if you were to look at various acts of blessings that have already been carried out, you will see how many have stepped out to bless someone with a prayer, enabling many others to encounter the power of God. We can certainly pray for people, regardless of how much we have. What God has given us is already His empowerment – we just have to do something about it! In 1 Kings 17 and 2 Kings 4, we read about two suffering widows with great unmet needs. One was
picking sticks to make her last meal before waiting to die, while the other had creditors coming for her sons following her husband’s death. The prophets Elijah and Elisha came to them and asked: What do you have? They had just a handful of flour and a little oil, but that was enough for God to make a miracle and multiply that into abundance. It’s not about us – it’s about God! Look at the Abrahamic covenant – God says “I will” – it’s not up to us. God is at work. Abram was well advanced in age at 75 years old, but he was so blessed. As Abram began the journey in obedience and faith, he took his wife Sarai, his brother’s son Lot and all their possessions as well as the people they had acquired in Haran (Genesis 12:5). He was already so blessed, and God desired to bless him even more greatly. The question is – do we see ourselves called and blessed? When God calls, He will certainly bless.
Be a Blessing!
In Genesis 12:2, God promised Abraham, “I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.”
invest in an expensive fish tank, cleansers and expensive fish, but if you leave the tank as it is, the fish will probably be dead in two days.
It’s important for us to understand that God’s blessing doesn’t stop with us. As humans, we are naturally self-centered and egoistic – we think that the entire world revolves around us! We think only about ourselves, and tend to prioritize ourselves above everything else.
Why? This is because the water would be still. The fish need moving water. Where there is movement, there is life. Anything that is still becomes dead. That is why when the blessing stops with you, it dies. When we fail to bless, our faith will become stale. The blessings of God get ‘choked up’ in our lives. Conversely, when you pour out the blessings in your life into someone else’s, you see them overflow into abundance.
2. When God blesses, we are His blessing.
But God wants us to understand that we are HIS blessing. God’s heart is always to bless more people, not just us! He wants us to bless others around us. Unfortunately, if the blessing stops at us, it will start to decay. But when we use our blessing to touch someone else, it continues to grow. I have discovered the same principle from my bird-fish planters tank. I learned that you may
When we walk with the consciousness that we are to be His blessings, we no longer look out just for ourselves, but for others
Again, why is this so? Because God’s heart is a generous one. Selfishness is not of God. #Jubilee50K is God’s heart pulsating out of us to touch others in a meaningful manner. God didn’t give me the vision of the #Jubilee50K challenge for the fun of it. It’s meant to help us to become conscious of becoming His blessing. The movement also isn’t about us being blessed by others – that is still just “all about you”! We are quick to talk about how we have been blessed, but that is missing the point. The #Jubilee50K challenge is to re-orientate all our hearts, mindsets and hands to become the blessings of God and touch others. I had a personal experience when I went to Malaysia with friends one weekend on a golfing trip.
Our wives were with us and we had stopped by Johor Bahru (JB) to do some grocery shopping. This was around the time of the Chinese Lunar New Year and the shopping mall was extremely crowded. It seemed that Singaporeans were buying up all of JB! Each of my friends and I had trolleys full of groceries, and we had been waiting a long time in queue at the cashier. We then noticed a lady with just two items behind us. Imagine how long she would have to wait for us to be done! Usually, I would not have thought to let her cut in front of us. Singaporeans are well trained to prevent others from jumping the queue in our crowded nation and besides, it was my right since I was ahead of her! But we remembered the #Jubilee50K movement, and asked her to go ahead of us. She was really surprised that we’d allow her to go first. When we walk with the consciousness that we are to be His blessings, we no longer look out just for ourselves, but for others, especially those who may be underprivileged, and find ways to bless them. The act of posting our #Jubilee50K acts of blessings on social media is a blessing in itself. As it was written in Matthew 5:16, “Let your light so shine so that man may see your good works and glorify your Father
We can either unlock the momentum of God’s grace and blessings, or we can throw away the key and decide to take care of only ourselves and put a stop to this movement. in heaven.” Our posts are a proclamation of God’s miracles in our lives flowing in abundance to be a blessing. God wants to use us to be His instruments of grace. Are you ready to be His blessing?
3. When we bless, many will be blessed.
In Genesis 12:3, God promises that “all peoples on earth will be blessed through you”.
I was excited that at our recent Missions Convention, Trinitarians came forth and blessed many through our missions giving and programs. I think of the many children in our orphanages in Chiangmai, Thailand, and I’m glad that instead of becoming drug mules or sex workers, they can grow up to become a blessing themselves. On one of our visits, I met a young girl who was sick. She refused to see the doctor but requested for prayer. Soon after she received her healing and
only ourselves and put a stop to this movement.
guess what happened? She started sharing with everyone in her children’s home how God had healed her and constantly sang the song “How Great is Our God”.
Another church in Singapore enquired with me about the #Jubilee50K blessings movement and asked whether they too could continue this movement in their church. I said, “Sure!” Even the church in the UK has started doing this. People are beginning to recognize this movement. Here at Trinity, we too should capture and understand this truth so people around us can experience us as God’s blessing, and in turn see others on earth being blessed through God’s people.
She continues to testify of God’s goodness in her school and has even taught her peers to sing the song. There is great power in our testimonies!
God has blessed us so that many will be blessed. Let us unlock the channels of blessings that are already within us! Be a blessing today!
When we start blessing, many people will be blessed. And as we continue to walk with that confidence that we are blessed to be a blessing, an abundance of blessing will begin to flow forth from our lives. God started this movement of blessing us, so that we may in turn bless our world. The world will see the tsunami of God’s love outpouring into the world and desire to know Him better. We hold a very important key – we can either unlock the momentum of God’s grace and blessings, or we can throw away the key and decide to take care of
Pastor Dominic Yeo is the Senior Pastor of Trinity Christian Centre. Listen to his sermons at www. trinity.sg/media/sermons
Questions You May Have Asked ic
What is it all about?
The #Jubilee50K Challenge is a prophetic act of stepping into the year of Jubilee (Luke 4:18-19). It is about collectively proclaiming 50,000 acts of blessing through social media in 2015.
Why not post about being blessed, isn’t it easier?
Yes it would be! But the #Jubilee50K Challenge is about us becoming agents of change that will make a difference in the lives of people around us, and telling the world what God has done through us. Also, if it was easy, it wouldn’t be called a challenge.
Why use social media?
Social media gives us a quick and wide reach to proclaim the Year of the Lord’s favor. It also enables us to transform the social media landscape
Why can’t i do all 10 acts then post it in 1?
Not everything is a hole in one. Every post is counted individually. If you put 10 in one post, it will only be recorded as 1 act of blessing even though you did 10. Moreover, posting it individually allows more posts to be shared over social media at regular intervals. 1
Isn’t posting boasting? Why the need to trumpet?
Read more about it on p38 and p40. 37
Trumpeting By Pastor Danny Leong
At Watchnight Service on December 31, Pastor Dominic released a prophetic word that God has called us as a church to trumpet 50,000 acts of blessing in 2015. The prophetic word released by Pastor Dominic is exactly what Leviticus 25:10 requires of us – “It Shall be a Jubilee For You”. It requires us to blow the ram’s horn to testify of the great grace of God. Don’t miss the key point here God’s command is to trumpet, and not just do the blessing. If we just do the blessings, there is really no Jubilee as Jubilee requires the blowing of the ram’s horn; the trumpeting of God’s grace released through our blessings. Let’s examine a little bit more on trumpets. Wherever the word “trumpet” is found in the scriptures, you would find that trumpets proclaim the presence of God and His Kingdom.
“God has ascended amid shouts of joy, the LORD amid the sounding of trumpets.” Psalm 47:5 As Israel marched around Jericho, the trumpets proclaimed to the idols of the city that one far more powerful had come to take over the Promised Land. In this Year of Jubilee, God has commanded us, Trinitarians, to blow the ram’s horn; to blow the trumpets to proclaim the Presence of God and His Kingdom in Singapore. In so doing, God’s presence and Kingdom will be manifested in the release of God’s grace upon the land and the people. Where do we trumpet God’s grace? In Leviticus 25:9, it states clearly that the trumpet was to be sounded everywhere, and throughout the land. “Then have the trumpet sounded everywhere on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement sound the trumpet throughout your land.” We can trumpet God’s Presence and His Kingdom to everyone throughout the land through the pervasive social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. A survey in 2014 tells us that 3.8m (70%) people in Singapore have a Facebook account, 1.35m (25%) Instagram and 1.2m (21%) Twitter.
Today, the power and reach of social media is far greater than newspapers, billboards or banners. Social media can be a powerful tool for good to prevail. Through social media, millions of dollars can be raised for charitable causes, great evil can be exposed, and great good can be executed. The Church cannot ignore social media if we want to do good, and testify that God is good and that He is great. There are two groups of people in general. The first group consists of those who are social media savvy and active on social media. According to the statistics, 74% of Singaporeans are in this group – 3 out of 4 people. For this group, the pertinent question is: Why should I do it? The second group consists of those who are not yet social media savvy, like me. I am Internet savvy but I didn’t know how to use Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. I belonged to the minority of 26%. When I received God’s command released by our
Senior Pastor on Watchnight Service, I had two big problems: 1) I didn’t know how to use social media and 2) I didn’t really feel like doing it, as it was unnatural to me. Getting over the first problem on “how” was relatively easy. I quickly started a Twitter account. The user interface is quite straightforward and easy to use. With some help, you will be on your way. The more challenging part was overcoming my resistance to “trumpeting”. Many thoughts came to my mind – God knows what I’ve done, there’s no need to tell people. People may say I am boasting. It is just not natural for me to tell the world what I have done. But by God’s grace I overcame my resistance and started trumpeting my acts of blessing on Twitter and Facebook. How did I overcome my resistance to trumpeting? It is by aligning the command to trumpet with the Word of God.
• Proclaims the presence of God and His Kingdom (Psalm 47:5) • Acknowledges God is doing a new thing (Isaiah 43:19) • Shows that we have understanding to know God (Jeremiah 9:24) • Lets the world see our good deeds and glorify our Father in heaven (Matthew 5:14-16) • Embraces the Year of Jubilee for me and my household (Leviticus 25:10)
Boasting By Pastor Jeffrey Wong
The Jubilee50K Challenge is a prophetic act through social media to proclaim the Year of the Lord’s favor. Some of you ask, “why must we post our acts of blessings on social media?” My question for you is, “why not?” Some of you are struggling to post the acts of blessings on social media. Let me share my personal thoughts concerning posting my acts of blessing on social media. I, too, pondered upon these questions: Should I or should I not post? Is it appropriate to post on social media? How will posting it on social media glorify God?
though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. These two verses imply that good deeds must be observable by the public and it is not meant to be in secret. However, there are also verses that teach us not to boast about our good deeds. Such as Matthew 6:14, which says:
Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven. So when you give However, posting is not boasting. to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in Let us look at a few scripture the synagogues and in the streets, verses where I derive my thoughts. so that they may be honored by men. Matthew 5:16 says: Let your light shine before men in such a Truly I say to you, they have their way that they may see your good reward in full. But when you give to works, and glorify your Father who the poor, do not let your left hand is in heaven. know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; 1 Peter 2:12 says: Live such good and your Father who sees what is lives among the pagans that, done in secret will reward you. 40
Also, Matthew 23:3,5 says: Therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things and do not do them... But they do all their deeds to be noticed by men; for they broaden their phylacteries and lengthen the tassels of their garments. If you just take a cursory read on these few scriptures it seems contradicting. But God never contradicts Himself. It is our own mindset in how we interpret the scriptures that brings contradiction. In other words wrong interpretation of scripture. As a rule in interpretation we must first read scriptures in its proper context. Matthew 5:16 is in the context of the beatitudes where Jesus is teaching proper, good, and moral behavior. Being his disciples we are to be the light. And how do we be that light? By being doers of good. 1 Peter 2:12 is written by Peter where he was admonishing the
Christians to live godly and holy lives before unbelievers. As followers of Christ, we live in the world among unbelievers and they are going to see how we live. Peter is telling us to act properly with unbelievers so that false accusations will not stand against us because we have lived with integrity among them. But in Matthew 6:1-4, in the context of the beatitudes, Jesus was addressing the Pharisees. He was teaching us that if the motive of doing something good is just to be noticed by people then don’t do it. For if we do, then that’s wrong. There is nothing wrong with doing good works that will be seen by the public. After all, we live among unbelievers. However, when we do good things, don’t do
them for the purpose of drawing attention to how “good” we are.
unbelievers will see them and give credit or glory to God.
The former is prideful and wrong, whereas the latter is done in humility,
And social media helps us to shine where once we couldn’t and now social media has allowed us to reach the darkest places of this world.
Likewise in Matthew 23:3 and 23:5, Jesus is addressing the crowds and teaching them about the hypocrisy of the Scribes and Pharisees and how they do their deeds in order to be noticed and admired. Let your light so shine among men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven. What does it mean to let your light shine? How does this relate to our subject on posting our good deeds on social media? Letting our light shine before men means that we are to shine in the world in such a way that the
If we just do good deeds among ourselves then our lights are not shining in the world. Our light shines when our acts are made known to the world. Our light shines brightly as our ways are different from the ways of the world. My point is it is not about to post or not to post, it is about how you post. Let us post it in a way to glorify God!
I’m ready! How do I post on social media? Simply log on to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and post the act of blessing with the hashtag #Jubilee50K. Remember, it is not mandatory to attach a photo with every post! So should I stop posting after completing my 10 acts? Well done on completing the first round of the #Jubilee50K Challenge! We encourage you to carry on. You may nominate 3 others to the challenge for every 10 acts of blessing! The target is 50,000 acts of blessings, so let’s keep on blessing, and keep on posting! Can I nominate people outside Trinity? Yes you can! Nominations were encouraged within Trinity initially to have as many Trinitarians as possible be a part of the #Jubilee50K Challenge. As more Trinitarians become part of the challenge, we encourage Trinitarians to nominate non-Trinitarians to participate in the #Jubilee50K Challenge as well.
Together, let’s proclaim 50,000 acts of through social media in 2015.
Check out these #Jubilee50K posts!
Visit our #Jubilee50K Facebook page for many other encouraging posts! 43
Most parents would do anything to ensure their Christian faith and values are passed on to their children, so they grow up to be men and women of God. Unfortunately, the opposite seems to be true, with the exodus of young adults from evangelical churches in the US, as reported by the Barna Group in 2006. 61 percent of young adults who had attended church as teenagers were now spiritually disengaged, and werenâ€™t participating in worship or any spiritual disciplines. A year later, LifeWay Research released similar findings, citing that 7 in 10 Protestants age 18-30 who had worshipped regularly in high school had stopped attending church by the age of 23. Regardless of which study is most accurate, itâ€™s clear just because children are raised in the church, does not necessarily mean they stay on in the faith.
S I S I R C Parenting Teens Today What can parents of today’s teens do to walk their child through their crisis of faith? What exactly is going through a teenager’s mind such that they no longer accept what you say as it is simply because you said it? Is there something inherently wrong in the way we relate to our teens? Parenting teens today isn’t like it was two or three decades ago. Thanks to the Internet and media, our children are exposed to more information than any generation has before. It isn’t uncommon for teens to begin questioning matters of faith and religion in a world that talks about Universalism, self-discovery, tolerance of different faiths etc. They might have many questions but these doubts don’t necessarily mean it’s the end of their faith. In fact, the Bible encourages us to test everything we hear against scripture. Unfortunately,
many teens have their questions brushed off with silence, cliché fix-it Bible quotations, or a wellmeaning “Just have faith!” from those around them. Proverbs 22:6 says to “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it”. In other words, it’s hard work. Parents should know that there is a greater need to practice Deuteronomy 6:7 in their families and not relegate the inculcation of the Christian faith to pastors and leaders within the church. These years of searching are when your teens will make their faith their own, and the role of parents in this cannot be more critical. As a parent, you are responsible for teaching your children the Lord’s ways and how to worship Him. In fact, parents have been tasked to disciple and train up their child in the ways of the Lord.
Senior Pastor Dominic Yeo strongly believes that “Discipleship begins at home.” Read this section and be empowered to walk with your teens through their crisis of faith, overcoming it and in turn making this faith their own. SECOND GENERATION CHRISTIANS – IGNITING THE FLAME WITHIN! – p46 TOP TEN MISTAKES CHRISTIAN PARENTS OF TEENS MAKE – p52 LEAVING A LEGACY OF FAITH, HOPE AND LOVE – p56 BOOK REVIEWS – p60
Second Gen Christians
Struggling Through Their Faith Crisis! By Sharon Lim “Can I really emerge from a season of wandering away from God? Is it possible to be filled with renewed zeal for Him? Is my faith my own? And will I still choose to follow God if I was asked to decide?” These are some of the burning questions Second Generation Christians have to answer at some point in their lives. Being born into a Christian family ensures a rich faith heritage to share with the body of Christ—but that will only begin to bear fruits when they decide to adopt not just a lifestyle that has been passed on, but when they choose to follow God willingly. Trinitarians Benedict Teo, Giselle Goh, Hannah Lee, Ong Hui En, Jonathan Foo, Jost Png and Matthaeus Yeo share their faith journeys as Second Generation Christians and give insights on how parents can better support this generation in their walk with God.
Insight Parent for s #1 Be our
Ro Models le in servin the Lor g d and running the rac e
I always enjoyed going to church as a young boy. Church, for me, was a weekly affair of going out with my family, dressing presentably, attending choir practices, and having fun with my best friends and siblings. My parents always made it a point for us to attend Sunday School and to put God first regardless of our school work. Taking turns to say grace before meals was a family culture. Every once in a while we would also have an intimate time of family prayer and sharing. My parents may not have been perfect but they definitely ensured that going to church, reading the Bible and praying was a routine part of our lives. I did not question my faith neither did I do anything to grow in my relationship with God. By the time I was in Polytechnic, I found it easy to “hide” behind the routine of church. Presenting myself as a “good” Christian outwardly every week became second nature. Inside, I was struggling with sin and started compromising my time spent reading the Bible. I also entered a relationship that my parents did not approve of. As time passed, I became unknowingly entrenched in that relationship and being a Christian was only a facade. When the relationship ended after five years, I was empty and broken. I finally realized how distant I had become from God. It was during this time that I started spending more time with my parents who encouraged, prayed for me and eventually connected me to a carecell just before I entered university. Although being in a new environment was daunting, God reminded me to continue running the race. Seeing my parents set the example first by stepping up to serve as Spiritual Parents and going for mission trips encouraged me to stay on this journey and to grow steadily in God once again. Today, I’ve graduated from the Campus Ministry and have decided to sow back into the next generation by serving in IGNYTE Ministry.
Growing up, my family showered me with lots of love and care, and we were taught to love God and have faith in Him. Despite having them as role models, I went through a phase where everything became a routine. The values I believed about myself then and Godly values clashed. I tried to find acceptance and love from the wrong sources, and I got involved in a toxic relationship. I would cry in the toilet often, and tried to bite or cut my wrists with a ruler (I wasn’t brave enough to use a penknife). I ran away and drifted away from God big-time. Eventually, I grew exhausted, and even though I tried to shut God’s voice out, the Holy Spirit constantly stirred in my heart, and I knew, somehow, that I had to come back to God. I left the toxic relationship, and I struggled for many months. It was an extremely long and painful process. I thank God for leaders and close friends who came alongside me, encouraged and prayed for me, and helped me finally break out from my addictions. My parents simply showed their encouragement by always being there for me. I may have grown up as a Second Generation Christian, but I went through the same problems as any other person. My mum was one of the first few people to show me what it means to have faith. She always told me to trust in God, to pray and seek Him sincerely. The foundations she laid taught me how to draw strength and courage from God when I was searching for a way back to Him. Ever since I came back to church, I’ve encountered God personally at the IGNYTE camps and I know He has done a new work in my life! And I am no longer the same.
Insight for Parents #2 Be there for us with an encouraging presence
FOCUS Second Gen Christians Speak Up
just wasn’t working for me. It was too easy to slip through the cracks – to just say the right things and not mean it. It was easy for me to look like I was growing. At the same time, I began reading books about romance, eventually venturing into rather explicit territory. My imagination and heart were captured by the emotions and sensations that these books stirred up, and before I knew it, I was trapped. The temporary satisfaction that sin brought into my life seemed far more exciting than what God had to offer, so I told God, “You know what, I don’t need You anymore”. And I left.
I was your typical ”Guai” (obedient) girl growing up in church. As a child, I learnt my Bible verses, lifted my hands during worship, and actively volunteered to serve. But what I understood of God, I knew only in words, not in my daily life.
Throughout those years of struggling, I felt worthless, hopeless, and completely alone. I knew God was there, but there was too much standing between Him and I. Even though I was very good at hiding that I was struggling. I knew my mother was praying for me. Once, when I refused to go to school, I walked into my mother’s room and told her I wasn’t feeling well, and she looked at me with eyes that I knew perceived the truth. She said, “If you don’t want to go today, you don’t have to. But tomorrow, you will go to school.” and she proceeded to pray the most beautiful prayer for me. I don’t recall the words, but I know that God spoke to me that day about His love for me. God never gave up on me, and neither did my mother. Not once did she condemn me, but she showed me the grace of God time and time again. When someone has been praying for you, you will know it; every interaction is shrouded with the love of God. This was what triggered my return to God.
By the time I was halfway through the youth ministry, I felt like this Christianity “thing”
Coming back to church was very much more difficult than leaving. Even though I
My parents never hesitated to let us know how much they loved us. At every turn of my life, in every exam and every new season, my parents were there to pray with me and celebrate with me. From a young age, we also knew what their values and beliefs were, through their lives, their teachings, and how they brought us up. As we matured, my parents would never tell us what decision to make, even when they didn’t agree with our choices (and we knew it). They would instead let us walk our own paths, even if that meant walking away from God.
had stopped the act of sin, I was steeped in shame, guilt, and condemnation. But after venturing so far, I knew in my heart that I needed God, and it was this conviction that brought me back to Him eventually. I knew it – my life would fall apart without Him. Conviction is not built by what one’s circumstances are, but the decision to press into Him regardless. It was a painful and tough journey, but God healed and restored my heart, and He has been growing me ever since. My life testifies that there is nowhere we can go that God’s love cannot reach, and this is a truth. No matter how far you have wandered, God’s unfailing love can and will find you right where you are. To those who have loved ones who are struggling – don’t give up on them! You never know how your prayers are moving the hand of God in their lives. Don’t be afraid of praying with them, and of speaking to them about the love of God: they need to hear it!
Having an environment where love was abundant and Godly values were cultivated at a young age was vital in my growth as a child and as a teenager. On the flipside, my upbringing was much stricter and more controlled as compared to my peers due to these values. However, I have grown to be grateful for such an upbringing as I believe it has made me into a better person. My walk with God would be best described as a rollercoaster ride. There were times of extreme hunger and longing for the Word of God and there were other times where church was just a mundane routine. However, all these low points started happening more toward the period of time where I had entered Secondary school. The point of life where I started to stray from the faith was when I encountered a series of disappointments in my life repeatedly. I could not reconcile my unanswered prayers. After I drifted away from church, my parents kept telling me to go to church week after week. But after I brushed them off so many times, they sort of stopped. So instead of constantly reminding me to go to church, they started to remind me of God’s presence through other means – like playing devotions out loud in the car and telling me about their faith experiences. The little things my parents did for me helped me to experience God even though I was far away then. Today I am glad to say my church experience is no longer a mundane routine but one that is real and alive.
My mother did not bring me back to God; the love of God brought me back to Him, but my mother was His vessel. In the same way, all of us can be used as vessels of the fierce love and relentless belief that God has for our loved ones.
FOCUS Second Gen Christians Speak Up
Parents #5 Insight fotorattend services,
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Growing up in a Christian family, it was a pillar of support for me during trying times in Primary School and a channel through which I could have fun and interact with the children who attended the Children’s Cell. It was very memorable because of the activities and games and fun. I also enjoyed going to DiscoveryLand. My parents encouraged us to go to church, and we had the habit of gathering to share our day with thanksgiving before we prayed and slept. My mother also prayed in the morning with before I left for school. It was an atmosphere of love and care at home. In Primary school, my parents would have me write Bible verses repeatedly in exercise books to encourage me to memorize the Word and read scripture, which I wasn’t too fond of. They also encouraged my brother and I to go to church and serve. In Secondary school, I started comparing my grades with others and derived a sense of security in my achievements. I was preoccupied with living the way I wanted doing everything by my own strength and I gradually didn’t feel any passion or yearning for God. What brought me back and closer than ever in my walk with God was the IGNYTE Camp RAW in 2012. My parents played an important role because they “forced” me to sign up for the camp even though I didn’t want to. After the camp, I was refreshed and renewed in the Spirit. I sought to be humble and to live a life that glorifies God, in thoughts and actions and in any way possible. It took me about a year after the camp before I started to enjoy my Time Alone With God even though I had been reading His Word every week. Finally, I decided to obey God and went for the water baptism declaring my stand to follow God for the rest of my life, and to live a life glorifying to Him. 50
Having spiritually strong Christian parents, to me, had both good and bad points. Good because my parents raised me up pretty well. They brought me up with the right values and principles. These life handles helped me to make right decisions in my life as I grew up. Bad because I used to feel that doing Time Alone With God was just a chore, nothing more. Also, being the Senior Pastor’s son, I felt very restricted. It was as though I had to lead a perfect life since my father is the Senior Pastor. In my growing up years, I cared a lot about what people thought of me. Over time, I just felt I needed a break from God because I was trying to upkeep the good image of me being the Senior Pastor’s son. Due to my internship, I slowly got used to not attending church. What brought me back was actually my mom, nagging at me all the time, in love of course, to attend carecell and go to church whenever I was free. So I would oblige her and attend carecell and service. Another important factor that brought me back to church was my carecell. They were all very encouraging toward me. And always invited me back for carecell, as well as to hang out with them for dinners. They saw me for who I am instead of the Senior Pastor’s son. This was when I realized that I should not be bothered by what people think about me, but I should care about whether I have a real relationship with God. At the end of the day, what really matters is knowing that my priority should be God. I realized that we don’t have to match up to people’s expectations of who our parents are in the ministry. We just need to simply trust God to help us through whatever struggles we go through in life.
As I grew ol der, things st arted to get more co mplicated. I started to question the th ings that I had been taught. Was G od really real or was He part of my imagination? Did I really believe in God , or had I mer ely been brainwashed by my parents? And the even bigger qu estion: Why di d I believe? Was God truly real to me or was it just because my pa rents said so? Distractions in the teenage lif e also start creeping in su ch as studies, computer games, TV sh ows, and friend s. All these fought for my attention. There was a tim e in my adoles cence when I I then started came close to on a journey of walking out on seeking and re the faith. -discovering G od for myself. My parents pl ayed a vital ro le in helping m of walking the e keep to my Christian faith faith as well. continued to in stories of his Their modelin spire me. Hea journey with G g ring my Dad sh od spoke to m faith. My pare are his e at many poin nts were neve ts of r he m encourage me sitant to use th y growth in th to trust Him to e e Word to spea a new level in k into my life, my faith when or to I faced proble I was fortunat ms. e to be servin g in the youth Parent and in m inistry in the ca the worship m recell as a Sp inistry. These growing my re iritual two roles forc lationship with ed me to be co God and kept the ministry, I nsistent in me close to m made many C y faith. Throug hristian friend with God, enco h serving in s who stood by uraging me w me in my wal ith the Word du challenging m k rin e to grow mor g the down tim e when I had es, and these two fact victories in God ors were impo . I believe rtant in helpin faith. g me keep to my Christian During the tim e in my adoles Insight #6 cence when I confusion I ha decided to se d, I shared thes ek an e sw Encourage us to w go on that jour ith my pastor, ers in the ney of search and she enco ing and discov ur ag I became mor ed serve the Lord me to ering truly who e mature in m God was to m y faith and in my life after th e. my understand at season of se ing of His plac eking. Since th able to take G e in en, nothing ha od’s place in m s and will ever y life, because irreplaceable be I am certain of place in my lif e. His reality and His Many may ch oose to walk away from God that the true G in their journe od-experiences y to maturity. they have had that no matte But I believe r how far they in their youth will ha ve strayed, th that God is re ey will know de always remind them al, and He is st ep within them ill waiting for them to return selves to Him.
By Pastor Jeff Strong
It might be difficult for some parents to read through, but here are the top ten mistakes Christian parents of teens make:
Not spending time with your teen. A lot of parents make the mistake of not spending time with their teens because they assume their teens don’t want to spend time with them! While that’s true in some contexts, teens still want and need “chunks” of one-on-one time with parents. Despite the fact that teens are transitioning into more independence and often carry a “I don’t need/want you around” attitude, they are longing for the securing and grounding that comes from consistent quality time. Going for walks together, grabbing a coffee in order to “catch up,” going to the movies together, etc., are all simple investments that teens secretly want and look forward to. When you don’t carve out time to spend with your teen, you’re
9 Letting your teen’s activities take top priority for your family. The number of parents who wrap their lives/schedules around their teen’s activities is mind-boggling to me. I honestly just don’t get it. I know many parents want to provide their children with experiences and opportunities they never had growing up, but something’s gone wrong with our understanding of family and parenting when our teen’s wants/”needs” are allowed to overwhelm the family’s day-to-day routines. Parents need to prioritize investing in their relationship with God (individually and as a couple), themselves and each other, but sadly all of these are often neglected in the name of “helping the kids get ahead.” “Don’t let the youth sports cartel run your life,” says Jen Singer, author of You’re A Good Mom (and Your Kids Aren’t So Bad Either). I can’t think of many good reasons why families can’t limit teens to one major sport/extracurricular activity per season. Not only will a frenetic schedule slowly grind down your entire family of time, you’ll be teaching your teen that “the good life” is a hyper-active one. That doesn’t align itself to Jesus’ teaching as it relates to the healthy rhythms of prayer, Sabbath, and down-time, all of which are critical to the larger Christian task of “seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33).
8 communicating that you’re not interested in them, and they internalize that message, consciously or unconsciously.
Spoiling your teen. We are all tempted to think that loving our kids means doing all we can to ensure they have all the opportunities and things
we didn’t have growing up. This is a terrible assumption to make. It leads to an enormous amount of self-important, petty, and ungrateful kids. A lot of the time parents are well-intentioned in our spoiling, but our continual stream of money and stuff causes teens to never be satisfied and always wanting more. Your teen doesn’t need another piece of “crap”, what he needs is time and attention from you (that’s one expression of spoiling that actually benefits your teen!). There are two things that can really set you back in life if we get them too early: a. Access to too much money. b. Access to too many opportunities. Parents need to recognize they’re doing their teens a disservice by spoiling them in either of these ways. Save the spoiling for the grandkids.
7 Permissive parenting. “Whatever” — It’s not just for teens anymore! The devil-may-care ambivalence that once defined the teenage subculture has now taken root as parents shrug their shoulders, ask, “What can you do?” and let their teens “figure things out for themselves.” I think permissive parenting (i.e., providing little direction, limits, and consequences) is on the rise because many parents don’t know how to dialogue with and discipline their children. Maybe parents don’t have any limits of boundaries within their own life, so they
FOCUS TOP TEN MISTAKES CHRISTIAN PARENTS OF TEENS MAKE
don’t know how to communicate the value of these to their teen. Maybe it’s because they don’t want to, because their own self-esteem is too tied up in their child’s perception of them, and they couldn’t handle having their teen get angry at them for actually trying to parent. Maybe it’s because many parents feel so overwhelmed with their own issues, they can hardly think of pouring more energy into a (potentially) taxing struggle or point of contention. Whatever the reason, permissive parenting is completely irreconcilable with a Christian worldview. I certainly do not advocate authoritarian parenting styles, but if we practice a permission parenting style we’re abdicating our God-given responsibility to provide guidance, nurture, limits, discipline and consequences to our teen (all of which actually help our teen flourish long-term).
Trying to be your teen’s best friend. Your teen doesn’t need another friend (they have plenty); they need a parent. Even through their teens, your child needs a dependable, confident, godly authority figure in their life. As parents we are called to provide a relational context characterized by wisdom, protection, love, support, and empowerment. As Christian parents we’re called to bring God’s flourishing rule into our family’s life. That can’t happen if we’re busy trying to befriend our teen. Trying to be your teen’s friend actually cheats them out of having these things in their lives.
Sometimes parents think that a strong relationship with their teen means having a strong friendship—but there’s a fine line that shouldn’t be crossed. You should be friendly to your teen but you shouldn’t be your teen’s friend. They have lots of friends, they only have one or two parents—so be the parent your teen needs you to be.
Holding low expectations for your teen. Johann Goethe once wrote, “Treat a man as he is and he will remain as he is. Treat as man as he can and should be, and he become as he can and should be.” All of us rise to the unconcious level of expectation we set for ourselves and perceive from others. During the teenage years, it’s especially important to slowly put to death the perception that your teen is still “a kid.”
in “emerging church ministry” as opposed to “youth ministry,” and you may find some principles within it helpful. 4 Not prioritizing youth group/church involvement. This one is one of my personal pet peeves (but not just because this is my professional gig). I simply do not understand parents who expect and want their kids to have a dynamic, flourishing faith, and yet don’t move heaven and earth to get them connected to both a youth group and local church.
They are emerging leaders, and if you engage them as such, you will find that over time, they unconsciously take on this mantle for themselves. Yes, your teen can be moody, self-absorbed, irresponsible, etc., but your teen can also be brilliant, creative, selfless, and mature. Treating them like “kids” will reinforce the former; treating them as emerging leaders will reinforce the latter.
I’m going to let everyone in on a little secret: no teenager can thrive in their faith without these two support mechanisms. I’m not saying a strong youth group and church community is all they need, but what I am saying that you can have everything else you think your teen needs, but without these two things, don’t expect to have a spiritually healthy and mature teen. Maybe there are teens out there who defy this claim, but honestly, I can’t think of one out of my own experience. As a parent, youth group and church involvement should be a non-negotiable part of your teen’s life, and that means they take priority over homework (do it the night before), sports, or any other extra-curricular commitments.
For an example of how the this difference in perspective plays out, I’ve written an article entitled “The Future of an Illusion” which is available as a free download from www.meredisciple. com (in the Free Downloads section). It specifically looks at my commitment to be involved
Don’t be the parent who is soft on these two commitments, but pushes their kid in schooling, sports, etc. In general, what you sow into determines what you reap; if you want to reap a teenager who has a genuine, flourishing faith, don’t expect that to happen if you’re ok with their
commitment to youth group/ church to be casual and halfhearted. 3 Outsourcing your teen’s spiritual formation. While youth group and church is very important, another mistake I see Christian parents make is assuming them can completely outsource the spiritual development of their child to these two things. I see the same pattern when it comes to Christian education: parents sometimes choose to send their children/teens to Christian schools, because by doing so they think they’ve done their parental duty to raise their child in a godly way. As a parent–and especially if you are a Christian yourself–YOU are THE key spiritual role model and mentor for your teen. And that isn’t “if you want to be” either– that’s the way it is. Ultimately, you are charged with teaching and modelling to your teen what following Jesus means, and while church, youth groups, Christian schools can be a support to that end, they are only that: support mechanisms. Read Deuteronomy 6 for an overview of what God expects from parents as it relates to the spiritual nurture and development of their children. (Hint: it’s doesn’t say, “Hand them off to the youth pastor and bring them to church on Sunday.”)
2 Not expressing genuine love and like to your teen. It’s sad that I have to write this one at all, but I’m convinced very few Christian parents actually express genuine love and “like” to their teen. It can become easy for parents to only see how their teen is irresponsible, failing, immature, etc., and become a harping voice instead of an encouraging, empowering one. Do you intentially set aside time to tell your teen how much you love and admire them? Do you write letters of encouragement to them? Do you have “date nights” where you spend time together and share with them the things you see in them that you are proud of? Your teen won’t ask you for it, so don’t wait for an invitation. Everyday say something encouraging to your teen that builds them up (they get enough criticism as it is!). Pray everyday for them and ask God to help you become one of the core people in your teen’s life that He uses to affirm them. 1 Expecting your teen to have a devotion to God that you are not cultivating within yourself. When I talk to Christian parents, it’s obvious that they want their teen to have a thriving, dynamic, genuine, life-giving faith. What isn’t so clear, however, is whether that parent has one themselves. When it comes to the Christian faith, most of the time what we learn is caught and not taught. This means that even if you have the “right answers” as a parent, if your own spiritual walk with God is pathetic and stilted, your teen
will unconciously follow suit. Every day you are teaching your child (explicitely and implicitely) what discipleship to Jesus looks like “in the flesh.” What are they catching from you? Are you cultivating a deep and mature relationship with God personally, or is your Christian parenting style a Christianized version of “do as I say, not as I do”? While having a healthy and maturing discipleship walk as a parent does not guarantee your teen will follow in your footsteps, expecting your teen to have a maturing faith while you follow Jesus “from a distance” is an enormous mistake. You are a Christian before you are a Christian parent (or any other role). Get real with God, share your own struggles with your entire family, and allow God to use you in a positive and powerful way.
Used by Permission. Copyrights 2010. http://meredisciple.com/jeff-strong/ Jeff Strong is the Associate Pastor (Emerging Church Mi nistries and Teaching) at Grindstone church in Waterdown, Ontario. He holds an honours degree in psychology from Redeemer University College in Ancaster Ontario, and a Masters of Theological Studies from McMaster Divinity College in Hamilton Ontario. His passion is to help people discern and follow Jesus’ call on their lives. Jeff lives with his wife and four children in Hamilton Ontario.
The most important gift that we can give to our children is not money, education or health, although these are all important. We can give to them a gift of money as an inheritance but they can lose it within a short time due to an economic crisis or poor investment. It is impossible to ensure that our children can have a good job or even a decent job even if you give them the best education. We can do everything possible to ensure that they have the best lifestyle for good health, but you can never be sure that no accidents would happen or that they will not be stricken with disease. What then is the best inheritance that we as Christian parents can leave behind? I believe the most important gift of inheritance that we can give to our children is the opportunity for them to know and experience the Love of God; Hope in God; and Faith in God (1 Corinthians 13:13). If we can guide them to opening the doors of their heart to receive these three things from God, we would have given them a gift that will last them a whole lifetime. They will be secured in the love of God, guided by His wisdom, and empowered by Him to live courageously and victoriously to overcome whatever challenges life throws at them.
By Pastor Johnathan Lee
Help them discover the love of God I dare not say that I have done everything right as a father for my two daughters. However, I have intentionally set a goal to be the best father to my children, so that their hearts are open to discover and receive the love of God. And they can learn to let God love them. When my daughters were still infants, I was intentionally involved in my daughters’ lives. Beginning with changing diapers, giving them baths, getting up in the middle of the night to feed them milk, whilst giving my wife a chance to rest from looking after the children the whole day. I admit that there were times when I felt rejected when these young infants seem to respond better to my wife than me. Nevertheless, I had to decide not to let that get in the way of learning how to be involved in their lives. When my daughters were about 4 or 5, I would tell them frequently: “I love you because you are my daughter.” Sometimes I would ask them: “Does daddy love you?” they would answer “Yes!” Then I would ask: “Why?” and they would answer: “Because I am your daughter!” There was one time, one of my daughters came back from church and said: “Dad, there is someone who loves me more than you!” I was taken aback and I asked her: “Who?” And she said: “God!” I was so happy to hear that because that is really what
I wanted them to know – that they have a wonderful Father in heaven who loves them more than me. I believe our children need to experience our love for them, so that they can relate to the love of God for them. This is especially important for fathers to do. Many researches now show that the impact of the father’s life on the child is more lasting than their mother and many children’s dysfunction is due to the lack of the father’s involvement in the child’s life. In addition, God is called Father and the ability to relate to Him is often related to their relationship with their father. I think this is why God is so concerned about the returning of the hearts of the father to their children (Malachi 4:6, Luke 1:17). For them to know this reality, my wife and I made efforts to be involved in their lives. We celebrated their victories with them and accompanied them during their activities – this included taking them to piano classes and swimming lessons. We made every effort to be there with and for them, helping them through their challenges, including their studies – my wife tutored their math and Chinese, whilst I looked after the science and arts. We studied with our children, chauffeured them to school and wherever they needed to go, cooked for them, played with them, and disciplined them. To love my children is to love my wife – their mother. One of my other goals is to be the best husband to my wife and this
is a lifelong learning process of growth. Loving our wives and wives respecting their husbands is such an important part of loving our children. This is where we help them have a sense of security, safety and worth. Here are the fundamentals of making a home where everyone wants to come home to. To tell you that my wife and I never bicker or have arguments would be a lie. But we make it a point to reconcile and return to love one another, as this is the expression of our commitment to love one another and assure our children of the bonds of love in the family. I believe this, in turn, helps with our children be assured of God’s love for them. Odelia shares: When children know that their parents are in a disagreement, it really affects them a lot. It has been very important to me to be assured of the strength in my parents’ relationship.
Help them grow in their faith and hope in God Faith and hope are the gifts of God and the work of the Holy Spirit. What we can do for our children is to help them catch it from God. Share your faith experiences and encounters. Talk about them. Create a vibrant environment of faith and hope in your family.
FOCUS Leaving a Legacy of Faith, Hope and Love
Personally, I wrote out many of my experiences and witness of the grace, power and presence of God and how He helped me in various situations. Then, I gave these testimonies to my daughters to read. I can only help them catch faith and hope from God if I myself have had that experience, and that through it, they can see that this is real and not just something that happened a long time ago when I was a “young fiery Christian”. In other words, we need to be in constant pursuit of God in our lives as parents. We need to have authentic faith. Hannah shares: Dad always has this look on his face when he receives a new revelation with God. I am always eager to listen to it because they are great truths. Whenever I struggle with God or ministry, I will go to dad to seek his thoughts. This means that we actively learn how to pray, take authority, know God’s Word and depend on His promises. It also means we intentionally learn to become God’s agent of blessing to others, serve God actively and trust in the power of God to accomplish His will. When we experience the reality of depending on God, we will have real stories and real experiences to share with our children.
Release them to serve and grow My children’s own real experiences with God came with attending church camps – both DiscoveryLand and IGNYTE. I am so grateful to our children’s ministry and the IGNYTE ministry for their contributions to my children’s lives. My daughters would come home from DiscoveryLand and IGNYTE services and camps, and share with us their encounters with God. It is such a wonderful thing to hear the visions my daughters saw and how God touched and spoke to them. These are some things that are caught in their spirit that cannot be erased because it is an experiential reality and not just a hand-me-down knowledge. Odelia shares: I am very thankful to my parents for always ensuring that I am able to attend DL and IGNYTE camps because these camps have truly left an impact in my life. One of my first encounters with God was at my first IGNYTE Camp. Because of that, I’ve grown so much in learning more about God and experience His presence in my life. My wife and I will continue to make sure, as best as we can, that our holidays do not clash with the DiscoveryLand and IGNYTE
camps so that they can go for camp. I remember a time when we had planned our family holidays already and by the time we found out about camp dates, it was too late. However, we made deliberate arrangements to change our holiday schedules so that our children could attend the camps. We can talk about God till the cows come home but once they experience God for themselves, they will truly be able to comprehend the faith, hope and love of God. And that’s something that will put them in good stead for the rest of their lives.
Make Faith, Hope and Love a Lifestyle In our conversations… Meal times have become one of our most important times for sharing the faith, hope and love in God. These are precious moments for us when we can sit together, eat, talk and laugh. This is when conversations happen – all kinds of conversations. We talk about our lives – what we watch on TV and movies; the jokes we have heard; the challenges we faced and our encounters with God in life and in ministry. Don’t let meal times become an interrogative session – checking on children about their homework, studies and friends. Let it be a “just talk” kind of time so that everyone enjoys the time together. Very often, after we have all eaten, we are still at the table having our conversations.
As Christian parents, our encounters with God as we serve Him are important stories to tell – about how God change the lives of those we minister to. These are our realities as parents and that is why it is so important that we serve God. In our actions… My wife is a working mother and she never stopped serving God even when we had our children. She is a Sectional Leader in the DEW district and always travelled with me serving in carecells when I was a District Pastor overseeing the South District. We brought our children everywhere we went and the children had a great time in the carecells being carried by different people who took turns to look after them. I think those were important life experiences for them in the family of God. Unlike many parents who insist their children sleep early, my children never did that – family activity and church is and I hope will always be the priority. Yes, we are concerned about their schoolwork but the lessons of sacrifice and commitment to serve God is important for them. There are times when we do make noise about how much time they spend in church but then again, many times we had to sit back, hold our tongues and let them serve and learn how to trust God with their studies.
In our prayers… We did not have a routine of having family altar times together. We did not successfully develop it. If you have not developed this from the time your children were young, I am not sure if this is the best thing to do now – it might just be an irritation to your teenage children. However one thing we did constantly was to pray for our children and let them know that we are praying for them. God’s ultimate desire is for us to live a blessed and abundant life. He wants us to bless our children and impart a spiritual blessing over them more than just providing for their material and educational needs. And as parents, we have a Godgiven authority to pray over our children and release God’s will over their lives. Finally… If there was nothing else I could give to them, this is what I can give to them. God has been a wonderful Father to me and I want them to know Him as their most wonderful Father. If we can do this for our children, then we would have truly done well as parents. I acknowledge that in the end their pursuit of God is their personal commitment and responsibility that I cannot determine. But at least we have opened the door for them as wide as we can for them to experience, encounter and know God.
Hannah shares: My parents were my best resource of Christian knowledge and they were always there to use the word of God to guide my path in life. They taught me how to depend on God as my everlasting father and were instrumental in shaping the experiences with God in my life. When I turned 21, the biggest change I felt in my heart was a shift in dependency – one no longer on my parents, but on my heavenly father. I realized this could only be because my parents had taught me what it meant to trust God, and has continually demonstrated the importance of doing so.
Odelia shares: The best life gift that my parents have given to me is really the knowledge of Jesus Christ, and of the faith, hope and love of the Heavenly Father who watches over us. Their lives have been a great example of what the love of God is, never condemning, accepting yet disciplining, and ever sacrificial. I think that it is also special to me, that my parents have always reminded me of how my relationship with God is my own journey, to make my own mistakes and to learn from them, to seek after God to know who He is in my life for myself and not to base my relationship with God on theirs.
Recommended Books For Parents of Our Next Generation Raising Kingdom Kids By Tony Evans
Raising the next generation in today’s world isn’t easy. This book provides up-to-date scenarios for today’s parents. If you are serious about leaving a lasting legacy of faith, hope and love, this book offers practical steps for intentional parenting to create an environment conducive to raising kingdom kids. As Dr. Evans so aptly says on the back cover, it’s far easier to SHAPE A CHILD than to REPAIR AN ADULT. What I like about this book is that it influences readers to put the kingdom first in their lives.
Growing Up Social – raising relational kids in a screendriven world By Gary Chapman, Arlene Pellicane
We see this happening at family gatherings and social situations: Electronic tablets have replaced real interactions. The electronic age has given us some amazing technology, providing “electronic nannies” that keep our children entertained, but with it comes the risk of our children’s stunted social development. How do we harness the good in technology? This book shows the reader how the developing minds of our children are impacted by today’s technology, and offers practical solutions to help parents make good choices on how to handle screen time in their homes.
12 Huge Mistakes Parents Can Avoid By Tim Elmore
I don’t believe parents would intentionally make mistakes when it comes to raising their children. This book opens with a simple parenting quiz that helps readers assess themselves as a parent. Filled with many truths that will provoke deep reflection on our parenting styles, this book may make parents feel uncomfortable, but is extremely relevant for raising children in today’s context. The lessons learned in this book will help parents nurture children to grow into strong resilient adults, ready to face their world. 60
Engaging Today’s Prodigal – Clear Thinking, New Approaches, and Reasons for Hope By Carol Barnier
You may have bought into the myth that “Perfect Parenting Makes for Perfect Children” and secretly carry a sense of guilt. You don’t have to anymore. Get a better understanding of prodigals with the approaches suggested in this book to maintain connection with them. This book will help you handle your relationship with your prodigal regardless of how or why they got there. It’s also a highly encouraging read – you’re not alone, there are other parents who have wayward children but you’ll read about how God restores them. There’s always hope!
The Bible exhorts us to be ready to give an answer for what we believe in. For parents that need an extra boost in BK (Bible Knowledge) so that you can help your teenager or youth wrestle through the tough seasons of faith, here are some books we highly recommend you dig into.
Fast Facts on Defending Your Faith By John Ankerberg, John Weldon
Why Good Arguments Often Fail By James W. Sire
Apologetics For A New Generation By Sean McDowell
Be A LEAD-er !
Developing your potential through LEAD Do you desire to grow in your spiritual walk with God? Do you wish to develop your potential to fulfill God’s destiny? Do you want to know how to be God’s salt and light as a strategic leader?
If your answer is yes to at least one of the above questions, we have the answer for you! This prospectus gives you a picture of the exciting LEAD courses that are available for you! What’s more, fees are waived for Trinitarians so there’s even more reason for you to be discipled!
What is LEAD? LEAD stands for Leaders’ Empowerment and Discipleship. It is based on a Christ-centered leadership model that is expressed through the “3Ps” of development: Person, Perspective and Practice. LEAD develops you holistically through the 3Ps: Person (who you are) • Your identity in Christ, character and values Perspective (how you think) • Your view of God, church, self, people and the world Practice (what you do) • Your speech and actions in daily life 62
Chart your growth by: • Planning the courses you would like to take • Ticking off the courses you’ve attended • Evaluating your growth regularly Key Highlights: • Finish the books of the Bible in three years if you take one Bible series course every quarter • Lost as to which course to take first? Try our “Highly Recommended” courses! • Want to grow in your family life? Try out the courses in our Marriage and Parenting Series!
Need more reasons to be discipled through LEAD? Check out these testimonies from others who have done it! “Bible series: Pauline Epistles 2 was my first LEAD course and I found it very beneficial for my spiritual growth. I will definitely go for more courses and encourage my carecell members to sign up!” – Keith Wong, VP of Operations “I attended the Parenting Series: Parenting Toddlers course. The trainers provided very good insights on how to parent spiritually i.e. how to raise a child in a godly manner.” – Kristen Ong, Nurse “The Marriage Series: Uniting Differences course helped my husband and me reinforce some of the good things that has worked well for us and avoid doing things that are slowly destructive. We will be sharing what we’ve learned with our married friends and carecell members who are also starting young families.” – Clare Chia, Self-employed
“Through The Leader in Moses course, God has shown me that it’s not about what I can do for Him but what I become that is of utmost importance.” – David Leow, Engineer “Spiritual Parenting 1 helped me overcome my fear of street witnessing and now I am better equipped to share the gospel. I connected with a cleaner lady at the food court and through Care Acts, she is now open to prayers for her health condition. Praise God!” – Jennifer Lim, HR Manager “I have gained a good understanding of Trinity’s vision and values from the course Introduction to the Trinity Family, and I am excited to develop myself and others in Christ’s family.” – Elizabeth Eu
“l’ve learned much more about the foundation of Christianity after attending Theology 101, and now I can speak to my oikos with fervency and confidence!” – Penny Huang, Staff Nurse “I have a much clearer picture after attending the Spiritual Formation course on how to feed my spiritual being and grow to be more Christ-like. I also have a better understanding on how to have solitary time with God.” – Andrea Chung, Group Accountant
Don’t just read these testimonies and say “good for them”.
Go online to www.trinity.sg and register for a LEAD course today! 63
AT A GLANCE
Statistics for Jan - MaR 2015 GO â€“ Missions Impact Teams (MITs)
Countries (Bangladesh, Myanmar)
Trinitarians going for the first time
GO â€“ Training and Consultation Trips
Countries (Japan, Spain, Taiwan, Vietnam)
Destitute children In Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Myanmar and Thailand sponsored
18 Ministries supported
Children graduated from home/school
JANUARY TO MARCH 2015 In the first quarter of 2015, two Missions Impact Teams (MIT) making up a total of 23 Trinitarians went to Bangladesh and Myanmar. The team to Myanmar had the privilege of witnessing two youths receive Christ at their seminar and later get water baptized, while the team to Bangladesh saw how when one door closes, God opens another. Team Bangladesh was scheduled to minister in a school, but the program was cancelled due to festival celebrations. Instead, God opened another door for them to minister to 24 children from a school in a slum. Around 19 adults that were listening to the team during their ministry later had the opportunity to hear the gospel. Despite fears of possible repercussions for receiving Christ, three of these adults took the bold step of giving their lives to Christ. Our pastors continued to go on training and consultation trips to equip churches in Japan, Taiwan and Vietnam. The people were strengthened in faith and learned how to implement carecells. Many have seen the fruit of their labor as they launched their
leadership and open carecells. In January, we also started providing Cell Church training for a church in Spain. We continue to sponsor more than 1,000 destitute children in Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Myanmar and Thailand and we rejoice with the 17 children that have since graduated from the sponsorship programs. Be a partner in prayer for Trinity Missions! • Missions Impact Team: Safety in their travel and to have a Spirit-anointed ministry • The Champions: Children to know God intimately and fulfill their God-given destiny • Ambassadors & Trainers: To have the wisdom and breakthrough anointing to help churches transform into disciplemaking churches. • Missions Admin Team: Wisdom in providing administration to support the operation of Trinity’s missions expression.
Thank you Trinitarians for Going to the Nations!
In the first quarter of 2015, we had the privilege to send two Missons Impact Teams (MIT) to Bangladesh and Myanmar. Let us continue to pray for the lives that have been touched and the decisions that have been made for Christ. May every seed that is sown be watered and nurtured to fruition!
Bangladesh Mar 3 – 9
Myanmar Mar 3 – 9
34 decisions made for Christ
158 decisions made for Christ
On the second day of ministry we were supposed to minister at a school, but the visit was cancelled. God divinely orchestrated for us to go to a school in the slum instead, giving us the privilege of ministering to more than 20 children and adults. After the session, three of the adults in attendance gave their lives to Jesus. God showed me that He did not forget those children and villagers. – Corrine Lim
During the trip, the children were taught to draw their self-portraits, and one of the boys identified himself as a girl. God used this opportunity for us to pray for the boy and help him understand he was designed to be a boy by God, as it was written in Psalm 139. I’m thankful that God anointed the children’s team with creativity and wisdom to develop a programme aligned with His purpose for His children. I was deeply encouraged by how God uses us. – Grace Lim
The people there are so friendly and welcoming. I have worked with ‘community kids’ in Singapore and they are so different from the kids we met at Bangladesh, who were so grateful that we could be there. The smiles on their faces melted my heart and were a sign they loved being ministered to. Truly, the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. – Amy Lin
To see more than 150 decisions made for Christ is indeed a miracle when the church usually only gets one or two converts a year! – Lai Lin Yan
In the first quarter of 2015, our pastors went to four countries â€“ Japan, Spain, Taiwan and Vietnam â€“ to equip churches there with our Cell Church Model. Senior Pastor Dominic Yeo led a team to Spain to conduct Spiritual Parent Training. Where our pastors continued to empower the churches with the other training modules such as Mastering 5Gs, Nurturing that Transforms Lives and Sectional Leaders Training.
We constantly hear that the TCC Cell Church Model is a model for homegrown leaders and pastors. Just how effective has the model been for churches that have adopted the model? Pastor Marlene Patricia, a pastor of Iglesia Wesleyana De from Colombia shares her experience. I was part of the initial team when my church adopted the Cell Church Model. Personally, I started as a Spiritual Parent, and grew to becoming an Associate Leader. As I developed, I progressed to serve as Carecell Leader. After I had the opportunity to multiply my carecell repeatedly, I was commissioned as a Sectional Leader, which then led me to my current role as Zone Pastor today. Not only is this model one that raises pastors and leaders within the church, itâ€™s one that that develops character as well. Today, there are many pastors that were similarly raised through the Cell Church Model, bringing about transformation in other cities. Our congregation has also grown, and I attribute this to what we learned about the importance of Time Alone With God in the model. Many families have grown as well, resulting in our church going from strength to strength and developing in character. We are thankful for this model and the countless trainings that we have received from Trinity. Trinity has been so generous in sharing and empowering the nations. We are truly thankful.
Cell Church Conference 2015
Conference 2015 From March 12 to 16, 2015, a record 517 pastors and leaders from 31 nations congregated at Trinity Christian Centre. Their sole purpose for being there was to hear and receive from the Lord a divine transformation that would bring breakthrough in their lives and ministries. Read on to find out how the different delegates have been impacted.
At the conference, delegates learned step-by-step strategies through the TCC Cell Church Model, to steer their church toward growth and transformation. Beyond just gaining head knowledge, it was a session filled with faith to change mindsets. Gloria Kabyanova from Bulgaria shares, “The conference was mind-blowing! God has transformed my thinking about the people I have in my carecell and my attitude toward leadership. I’ve been infected with a Kingdom mentality. I’m returning home with my eyes fixed on expanding the leadership.” Another delegate from Bulgaria, Teodor Sfoynor shares how he was inspired, provoked and excited about everything he saw in Singapore. He leaves us with his main takeaway: “Evangelism is not an event. It’s a lifestyle!” Daphne Chia from Malaysia, who attended the module Mastering 5Gs told us how the session grounded her understanding and commitment to stand alongside her church leadership
in implementing the model. Uma T. from India was also immensely impacted, sharing excitedly, “I learned about the smooth transition from one ‘G’ to the other. I now understand the objectives better and am also more effective in serving in the carecell.” Many of the senior pastors and church elders who attended the module Discipling toward a Strong Cell Church shared about how they caught a new vision and learned the importance of long-term planning. Divesh Silva from Sri Lanka said, “The lessons shared were helpful. Pastor Dominic and Pastor Jeffrey were excellent. This conference has revitalized my vision and cleared up many questions.” “I learned new strategies to take the cell church model to a higher level and help guide other churches to grow further,” said Pastor Patricia from Colombia. “The conference spoke to me on several levels through the daily devotions and during the course. I gained knowledge on
the importance of administrating a cell-based church as well as how to implement it.” “The process of discipleship is never-ending and happens on all levels, all the time. Salvation is free but discipleship has a cost.” This statement was the take-home message for Pastor Kaloyan from Bulgaria who has not only implemented the TCC Cell Church Model in his church but has also seen tremendous growth. He shares, “I came for the conference because I wanted to build a strong cellbased church. At the session with Pastor Dominic and Pastor Jeffrey, I acquired a new level of understanding, knowledge and confidence.” Many of the delegates gain knowledge from the teaching sessions, but more importantly, they saw it being lived out in our services and our carecell meetings. Thank you Trinitarians for hosting them and showing them the life and strength of a cell-based church!
MISSIONS CONVENTION 2015
Every year Trinitarians gather at the Missions Convention to receive God’s passionate heartbeat for the nations. At this year’s convention from March 13 to 15, 2015, Trinitarians saw the rewards of sowing their talents, time and monetary gifts. We also learned that despite these blessings, there continues to be great need around the world, which means there is more to be done. The congregation also committed total of $8,215,270.26 of faith promises to missions. By Rebecca Vinod. At this year’s Missions Convention, guest speakers Pastor Dikran Salbashian, Senior Pastor of New Life Assembly in Jordan and General Superintendent of Jordan Assemblies of God, and Pastor Jules Jules, Senior Pastor of New Life Church in Baghdad, Iraq, gave Trinitarians a fresh perspective of the situation in the Middle East. Pastor Dikran explained that a mighty harvest of souls is possible only if we, as the people God has called, take the first step of sowing through giving and serving. Pastor Jules also reminded us that we, the Church, are the light of the world and we are to go forth and break through the darkness.
The Missions Rally highlighted the needs of a dying world, and gave us some food for thought. Pastor Dikran told the compelling story of a prince who gave up his throne to follow Christ. If even a prince would willingly give up his riches and vast empire for the kingdom of God, what more us? To what extent are we willing to give of ourselves to further God’s will? In this season of Jubilee, what would your choice be – to remain in your comfort zone, or to step out in faith and carry out God’s Great Commission?
Trinitarians share how they’ve been impacted at the Missions Convention: Missions giving is important for our family. Rev Jules’ Sunday morning sermon reminded me how being too comfortable can result in apathy and hardening of hearts to obey God’s call. I was particularly encouraged by the good work in Thailand with the children. I hope to be able to go for an education missions trip in Thailand one day. June Tan I was truly inspired and encouraged by Pastor Dikran’s and his wife’s passion for the lost in the Middle East. We are blessed to be able to live in a country like Singapore where we can worship freely, and yet we take so much for granted. His sharing has encouraged me to seize even more opportunities to share Jesus with those around me. Will Yong I was humbled by how Pastor Jules gave of himself and am awestruck by God’s amazing grace! His surviving prison truly testifies to our Lord’s sovereign power. I’m challenged by his courage and what God can empower us to do for His Kingdom. Daniel Koh I give every year to missions because I believe in Trinity’s vision of helping children through The Champions homes, rescuing women and empowering nations. Since I can’t go on every mission trip, I give to support missions so that I can affirm my support and sow into the ministry. Missions work is definitely something God’s heart beats for. Adeline Ang 71
Even before the official launch of the Ministry and Mentoring (M2) program, our Senior Pastor Dominic Yeo had already personally walked alongside different pastors in both their ministerial journey and personal lives. Read about our catch-up with one of them – Pastor Eric Lau, Senior Pastor of Bethany Church in Malaysia. Share with us how you’ve benefited from the M2 Network thus far. Trinity has been a great blessing to Bethany for many years. As our Church Advisor, Pastor Dominic has provided strategic counsel to our board on key church matters. For example, the Trinity team led by Pastor Dom played a critical role in ensuring our Senior Pastor transition was successfully executed in 2011. The team diligently walked us through every step of the way during this critical season in the life of the Church. Pastor Dominic has undoubtedly played a major role in helping Bethany move to a higher level in our calling and potential as a local church. His strategic insight and prophetic foresight gives him the ability to provide spot-on advice that has enabled us to make the right decisions over the years. With his encouragement, we took a step of faith and finally moved into our new Church premises recently. This has proved to be a wise decision that has resulted in further growth. As part of the M2 Network, we understand you are invited to our conferences and camps. How have they benefited you? 72
Easter Service I have been greatly blessed by the events organized by Trinity, such as the Pastors’ Conference and Church Camp. The teachings and spiritual impartations have certainly enriched and encouraged me to be more effective in leading the Church. What is something you deeply value from this Network? Above all, what we value most is the relationship that we share with Trinity. Personally, Pastor Dominic has been a great influence in my life. As a spiritual father and mentor, God has used him to bring clarity and affirmation to my calling as senior pastor of the church. Through the years, his wise counsel and pastoral leading has brought strength into my life and ministry.
Healing Rally In regard to ministry, Pastor Dominic has always gone the extra mile to provide the necessary assistance to ensure we are successful. His humility to serve and sincerity to bless has made a powerful impact on Bethany. Let’s pray together with our M2 Network Pastors for: i) God to anoint, lead and protect Senior Pastor Eric Lau as he leads Bethany Church ii) Divine covering, unity and wisdom upon the leadership team (Church Board, Pastors and other leaders) iii) God to use Bethany to effectively evangelize and reach out to their community iv) A fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit that will cause an increase in miraculous healings, signs and wonders in Bethany
HEARTBEAT God Centered • Life Transforming • Culturally Relevant
School of Counseling Postgraduate Diploma in Counseling Master of Arts in Counseling Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling School of Creative Arts Continuous Learning Program Creative Arts Workshops Trainings and Consultations School of Theology English Department Certificate in Ministry Diploma in Theology Bachelor of Theology Graduate Diploma in Christian Studies Master of Arts in Intercultural Studies Master of Arts in Ministry Master of Divinity
神学系（中文部） Chinese Department
圣工证书科 Certificate in Ministry
神学文凭科 Diploma in Theology
神学学士 Bachelor of Theology
圣工硕士 Master of Arts in Ministry
道学硕士 Master of Divinity
Global Recognition, Global Partnerships • Asia Theological Association • International Registry of Counsellor Education Programs • Singapore Association for Counselling • Theological Seminary of the Assemblies of God of Spain (Facultad De Teologia Asambleas De Dios, Spain)
Master of Theology 249 Paya Lebar Road #03-11 Trinity@ Paya Lebar SIngapore 409046 www.tca.edu.sg • 6304 7602 • firstname.lastname@example.org 74
这是关顾自闭症儿童的讲座。帮助我们更有效 地以基督教信仰的角度结合专业带领孩子走出 自闭的世界。 Obtain an essential understanding of Children with autism. This seminar will explore the professional approaches in conjunction with the Christian faith, to better guide and develop these children.
神学系中文部 学术讲座 Soar High, My Child! (this seminar is conducted in Mandarin)
日期: 星期六, 7月4日 (Sat, Jul 4) 郭秋成老师拥有NIE/NTU 特殊教育硕士学位。她对 学前教育有超过十八年 的经验。目前她是ECH Training & Consultancy 的总经理，也是一所私 立学院的兼任学前教育 讲师。郭老师曾编写了 “Quick Start Series”，也是“Magnetic Teaching Aids”的设计者，都是在市场上畅销的教 育工具。
晚上7点30分至9点30分 新亚学院，249 巴耶利巴路 圣所1M楼礼堂2 入场免费
报名截止日期：2015年7月1日 请将填妥的表格邮寄至： TCA College, 249 Paya Lebar Road, Trinity@Paya Lebar, #03-11, S(409046) 或电邮：email@example.com (司爱云姐妹） 询问电话：6304 7602/6304 7670
By Jaena Teo, Senior Case Worker at Care Community Services Society
That Transcends Mark had just become a father to an adorable boy when he was brought in to the Drug Rehabilitation Centre (DRC). This wasnâ€™t the first time Mark had served time in DRC. In his adolescent years, Mark was heavily involved in drugs, though he stayed clean for more than five years after being incarcerated. Unfortunately, circumstances changed when he fell in love with his wife. They struggled to gain approval from their parents for their
relationship. In spite of this, they got married. Things went downhill from that point, as they struggled with getting their finances and relationship with their respective in-laws on the right track. This series of events began to take a toll on Mark and paved a way for his relapse. The immense pressure he felt, and his seeming inability to make everyone happy led Mark to feel like a failure, and he succumbed to alcohol and drugs to escape from all his problems. Being on drugs let him become the â€˜victimâ€™, so that people around him would stop making demands of him.
Mark’s wife, Callie is 12 years his junior, but they see their marriage and love for each other as one that transcends differences in age. Having had to battle postnatal depression while holding on to a part-time job means life hasn’t been easy for Callie, but she chose to stay by Mark’s side in spite of the circumstances. She took charge of her situation, seeing a counselor who helped her through her post-natal depression and finding a job so she could provide for her family. She chose love and their marriage, despite the challenges she faced. During his time in the DRC and the sessions he had with me, Mark only had one goal – to be free of his addiction to drugs, and the desire to use it as a form of escape and victimize himself. As his case manager, I addressed the challenges that led to his relapse through two types of interventions: 1. Couples counseling addressed conflict management methods, and how to deal with expectations from demanding in-laws who don’t like the client’s spouse or his/her family 2. Psychoeducation provides coaching for individual stress management, delayed gratification and emergency strategies for when the temptation to take drugs strikes
After six months, Callie was the first to notice the positive changes she saw in Mark. This led to her willingness to come forward to work together on issues with Mark. Since his return home, she has witnessed Mark making an effort to stay clear from drugs and working hard every day despite a meager salary. She realized Mark was serious about staying clean and was genuinely struggling to deal with her mother’s expectations and the conflict between the two families. Callie came onboard, expressing willingness to mediate the situation between both families. This decision changed the dynamics of the marriage, making it teamwork so that Mark would not have to bear the burden alone. The family now has two incomes and tackles in-law issues together. They also came up with a division of labor when it comes to household chores and learned to manage their own conflicts with humor. With all this improvements in his life, Mark realized he no longer needed alcohol or drugs. He is now living a life with a renewed sense of purpose. He has the marriage he had envisioned, and a job that not only lets him spend more time with his wife and his son, but also provide for the family.
About CCSS We are a registered charity affiliated to the National Council of Social Service. We are also an Institute of a Public Character (IPC). At CCSS, we are not content simply to see someone helped; we want to see individuals and families transformed and become empowered people who then become channels of blessing for others in the larger community. In partnership with the Singapore Prison Service, CCSS’ team of social workers and caseworkers from Prison Care Services help ex-offenders reintegrate into their families and society to start life afresh. This project is an after-care program and includes case management support and counseling for inmates from Drug Rehabilitation Centres (DRCs) and their families. If you would like to partner with CCSS, please contact the office at 6304 7604 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Find us on @ www.fb.com/ carecommunityservicessociety You can also become a partner by making a donation to support CCSS’ work! • Online donation by credit card/eNETS via www.sggives.org/ccss • Make a donation by check, payable to “CCSS” • Fill up the GIRO form on our website: www.carecom.org.sg *All donations made from 1 January 2012 to 31 December 2015 will enjoy 3 times tax deduction.
IGNYTE Apart from weekend services, Carecell meetings and Definytion classes, IGNYTE also hosted a Valentine’s Day event to share the love of God, a powerful camp for polytechnic students and their very first Water Baptism service! Read more about it here.
14 & 15
Valentine’s Day Event
Just The Way You Are By Ben Voon
It’s the time of the year when love is in the air – imagine balloons, chocolates, hearts, and a boy band serenading girls and melting their hearts...in church! That’s right: Valentine’s Day is celebrated pretty much the same way in IGNYTE ministry, at least for the most part… with a special twist.
The highlight of the special service came next, as the emcee invited one of our IGNYTERs to share her life story, one that is unfortunately laden with pain and hurt, and yet filled with grace, hope and God’s unfailing love. Through this testimony, we learned that while people may hurt and fail us, God’s love never will.
As the doors opened, a bunch of excited youths and firsttime visitors (FTVs) flooded in, eagerly expecting something special to happen. The service started off with the emcees engaging everyone in a highenergy icebreaker and before long, everyone was making new friends. Following this, the youths were pitted against each other in a contest of wits to see who could solve a crossword puzzle in the shortest span of time. The atmosphere was lively and vibrant, and it was incredible seeing how much fun everyone had, sharing laughs and getting to know new people.
As the altar call was given, many hands were raised, indicating their wish to receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior. It was clear that the love of God tugged at the hearts of these young people, leading them to come forward in faith and allowing the Spiritual Parents to pray for them and guide them in their decision. We’re excited to announce that 1,048 youths turned up for this event and 46 of them made the decision to make Jesus Christ their Lord and Savior! Praise God! As the service came to a close, I came to realize one thing: The world but as Christians, we celebrate Valentine’s Day to honor the love may celebrate Valentine’s Day and understand love in a worldly sense, of Jesus in our lives!
Polytechnic Camp 2015
Camp Brave By Chelsea Chew
The theme for the camp was simple, yet strong. God had called for the 53 polytechnic students who attended the camp to be Brave – to Step Out, Lead, and Overcome. From the first moment through to the last day of camp, the youths rose up to take the lead in praying, motivating their peers, serving and encouraging one another, and helping one another overcome different mindsets, attitudes and habits that may be holding them back. Their attitudes and perseverance were truly inspiring as they kept themselves true to Joshua 1:9 (Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.) They understood God’s heart for their generation, and began to allow God’s movement and transformation into their lives. Here are some of the testimonies that showcase God’s work in our lives! God told me during the altar calls that even though I may have as little as five loaves and two fishes, He can still use me. Christopher Chan, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Year 2
He sent three people to speak into my life and all three prayers were similar, revealing to me that it was fear that was holding me back from being a spiritual parent. Joel Tan, Singapore Polytechnic, Year 2
God spoke to me about letting go of my fears of getting rejected, to just be brave and step out to proclaim the Kingdom of God at all times regardless of how the world may see me. Kristine Teoh, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Year 3
This camp has changed me because it was the first time after four years that I truly experienced God’s presence and was able to dwell in it even though I felt tired. Damien Chee, Temasek Polytechnic, Year 1
I received forgiveness and was set free from my guilt. I also received God’s promise and
assurance that I’m not alone in the things that I’m facing right now and I don’t need to rely on my own strength. Daphne Koh, Nanyang Polytechnic, Year 3
I learned how to trust in God and not be afraid to step up to pray and worship, and most importantly, not to be ashamed of my faith. Karena Yeo, Singapore Polytechnic, Year 1
Even though I may not know what lies ahead, God has assured me that He will be with me, and that’s what faith is all about. Charity Chong, Singapore Polytechnic, Year 3
PULSE IGNYTE Happenings
IGNYTE’s Water Baptism Service
Going Through The Waters By Ben Voon
There was something different about this water baptism service compared to the ones we always have…why did everyone look so young? That’s right! Tonight marked a significant milestone in IGNYTE history as we debuted our very own water baptism service! At 7:15pm, people were already flooding into the chapel, complete with celebratory gear (balloons, posters) and cameras, all ready to celebrate the youths’ declaration of faith. 29 young men and women had answered the call this month to follow Jesus as their Lord and walk in obedience by taking part in this water baptism. The service kicked off with our very own IGNYTE worship band leading the congregation in a highenergy praise song. Brother David, our host for this service then 80
invited the candidates to share their testimonies individually. While some of them roused the congregation to laughter with their hilarious stories, others shared life-changing encounters that left us in awe of God’s goodness. One of the youths shared a testimony of his colorful past and his experience of being held in a lock-up for two nights, not knowing whether he would be released soon. When he prayed and asked Jesus for help, He was there to make a way – the next day, he was let go unconditionally! There were other testimonies that pulled at our heartstrings and reminded us that even when we feel like giving up or giving in, God never gives up on us. Another youth shared how she was bullied a lot in primary school, to a point where she couldn’t even get out
of bed to attend school. But after a divine encounter with God, she began to trust that He is with her wherever she goes and that nothing is impossible for God. The water baptism service was made especially significant with the presence of the parents and friends of the baptismal candidates. We are elated to share a praise report of two rededications made to Christ! Praise God! The night ended with families and friends having a time of refreshment and fellowship at the church summit. The great time everyone had is a testament to the community of believers we have. As a ministry, we will continue to welcome and accept new brothers and sisters in Christ and grow together as one big family!
o o t
! s n o i s s i M r o F
Here at Trinity, we believe everyone can make a difference, including our children. Over two weekends in March, our children (aged 4 to 12 years) had the opportunity to learn about and give toward missions at the Missions Faith Promise Weekend and Missions Carnival. By Carol Lim, mother to an eight year-old who attends DiscoveryLand.
It started with a few weeks of sowing into the hearts of the young ones in Children’s Service. Sermons shared during these weeks focused on teaching the children all about missions. Their hearts were well-watered well before Missions Faith Promise Weekend rolled around. During Missions Faith Promise Weekend, the children learned how blessed they are and that they could make a difference in the lives of other children around the world, in spite of their age. That weekend, the children, including my eight year-old boy, gave in faith as they learned about God’s passionate heartbeat. It didn’t matter whether they gave $5, $50 or $500. They knew their giving would make a difference and promptly wrote down their missions faith promises as they prayed and heard from God. The next week the children returned to church armed with coupons for the Missions Carnival. The atmosphere at the Missions Carnival was exhilarating. The service halls were turned into fun-filled, adrenalin-charged and electrifying 82
powerhouses. Laughter, cheers and claps exploded at the game stalls where the children pit their skills against each other, excited footsteps filled the air as they raced to buy their favorite snacks and the movie-goers queued impatiently waiting for their turn to watch the show! There was nary a dull moment that day. Most importantly, the children knew in their hearts that they were sowing into missions, with proceeds from carnival coupon sales going toward the Missions Fund. As a parent observing the whole episode, it’s clear to me that children are never too young to understand or participate in their Heavenly Father’s business.
I asked my son a few weeks later why he wanted to give to missions, and he said without hesitation, “I love God and I want to help the poor children.” The fact that he responded to my question almost immediately made me realized that he had learned something so important that it was now part of his values.
My little boy wasn’t the only one who caught God’s heartbeat. Here’s what some of the other kids had to say. “I hope to bless those in needy countries through my giving to missions funds raising.” - Giselle Lim, 5
“I will pray for poor countries to have a better environment.” - Clement Low, 11
“God has touched me to help other countries and to be thankful for what we have.” - Hannah Pang, 10
“When I grow up, I want to go on missions to help other people.” - Elisha, 7
“I learned that it doesn’t’ matter how much you give to missions, because every cent counts. I will take some time to share the Word of God with needy people during MIT trips.” - Daryl Tang, 12
WAS JESUS’ RESURRECTION PHYSICAL OR MERE VISIONS? By Babu Immanuel Venkataraman, TCA College
That Jesus rose again from the dead is a belief held almost unanimously by Christians, but the question of it was a bodily resurrection or a mere vision can be quite unsettling. Let us attempt to answer this question based on two critical and interrelated subjects: 1) the sources of information and 2) the criteria for evaluation. THE SOURCES OF INFORMATION I. DOCUMENTARY SOURCES The following are the three primary sources that inform us about the resurrection of Jesus: 1) Tradition: The earliest written declaration of Jesus’ resurrection is found in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians: “For what I received I passed on to you…(Jesus) was raised on the third day…” (1 Cor 15:3, 4, 12-19). The Greek terms denoting receiving and passing have to do with tradition. This means that the earliest source of information that Paul had was a tradition that Jesus rose bodily from the dead. 2) The writings of Paul (Rom 4:24; 8:11; 10:9; Gal 1:1; Eph 1:20; Col 2:12)
II. HISTORIANS Josephus Flavius Josephus, a Jewish historian, born in Jerusalem just about four years after the crucifixion of Jesus in Jerusalem (A.D. 37 – 100), confirms that Jesus appeared alive again on the third day (Antiquities 18.64). Josephus’ proximity to Jesus in terms of time and place makes his report about Jesus’ resurrection reliable. Luke Luke, the author of the third Gospel and the Book of Acts, is generally acclaimed as the first-ever Christian historian. He claims that he himself had “carefully investigated everything from the beginning…so that [Theophilus] may know the certainty of the things…” (Luke 1:3-4). We can draw two conclusions from this: The first is that Luke’s records of Jesus’ resurrection were carefully investigated accounts. Secondly, as a historian’s accounts, they are historically verifiable and reliable. THE CRITERIA
3) The four Gospels (Mark 16:1-8; Matt 28:1-7; 11-15; Luke 24:1-6; John 20:1-10)
We must now ask whether there are criteria by which we can affirm that the resurrection of Jesus was physical and not merely hallucination. I suggest three criteria: 1) Verifiability, 2) Physicality and 3) Objectivity.
FOCUS TOUGH QUESTIONS ANSWERED
1. THE CRITERION OF VERIFIABILITY Are the claims of bodily resurrection recorded in the Bible just stories or are they verifiable? What conclusion do they lead to in relation to Jesus’ resurrection? The following table may provide some leads. OLD TESTAMENT STORY
The son of the widow of Zarephath (1 Kings 17:17-24)
The widow of Zarephath to Elijah: “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the LORD from your mouth is the truth.” (v.24)
The son of the Shunammite (2 Kings 4:32-37)
The Shunammite came in…. took her son… (v.37)
The dead body of a man comes back to life and stands on his feet when it touches Elisha’s bones (2 Kings 13:21)
NEW TESTAMENT The son of the widow of Nain (Luke 7:11-17)
They praised God. “A great prophet has appeared among us,” they said… (v.16)
Jairus’ daughter (Mark 5:21-43; Luke 8:40-56)
Lazarus (John 11:38-45)
…many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him. (v.45)
Tabitha (Acts 9:36-42)
This became known all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord. (v.42)
Eutychus (Acts 20:7-12).
The people took the young man home alive… (v.12)
We can make some extremely important observations on the basis of this table: 1. In all the instances described, the rising was physical, not hallucination. The dead experienced bodily resurrections. The audience reaction follows the bodily nature of the raisings. 2. Although the dead were raised by human agents, it was actually God who raised them. 3. In the stories listed in the table, the audience reactions attested to the credibility or the reliability of the agent who brought the dead back to life. Their reliability as God’s agents was based solely on the verifiability of the event (e.g. 1 Kings 17:24). If not for this, the agents would be mere charlatans and the stories would be mere hoax (cf. Acts 8:9-11).
2. THE CRITERION OF PHYSICALITY At the Pisidian synagogue, Paul affirmed, “But God raised Him from the dead; and for many days He appeared to those who came up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem…who are now His witnesses…” (Acts 13:30-31). Based on the table above, we can reasonably conclude, as Paul does, that it was God who raised Jesus from the dead and that it was physical. All the Gospels emphasize the physicality of Jesus’ resurrection: Jesus is a living human being (Luke 24:56; Acts 1:3-4a): he is physical; he is not a ghost (Luke 24:37-43). He has hands and feet (Luke 24:30, 35, 38-39; John 20:20a; 21:13). He walks (Luke 24:15), talks (John 20:18; 21:12), stands (John 20:14, 19, 26; 21:4), eats (Luke 24:42-43; Acts 1:4), takes bread (Luke 24:30; cf. v.35), breaks it and gives it to his disciples (Luke 24:30, 35; John 21:9-13). He is able to cook breakfast (John 21:9-13). His disciples could see him as he stands among them and touch him (cf. 1 John 1:1). The idea of the empty tomb too confirms the physicality of Jesus’ resurrection. N.T. Wright, a noted New Testament scholar argues , “If the tomb had been found empty but Jesus had not appeared, it would have been assumed that someone had stolen the body. If people had reported appearances of Jesus but his body had still been in the tomb, the disciples would have believed they had seen a ghost or a vision. Only the combination of the missing body of Jesus and the appearances of Jesus could have founded the early Christian belief.” All this makes it incontrovertibly clear that the notion of a disembodied resurrection of Jesus is logically absurd.
This proves that the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus were not isolated and mystical, but collective and therefore, verifiable. THE RESURRECTION OF THE BELIEVERS A necessary consequence of the truth that God raised Jesus from the dead is that Jesus’ resurrection is the first fruit and the resurrection of the believers is its result (1 Corinthians 15:22-23). If Jesus’ resurrection was non-material, then the believers’ resurrection too should be deemed non-material. This would then make the hope of the Church (“I believe in…the resurrection of the body” – Apostles’ Creed) a grand illusion. In summary, the case for the bodily resurrection of Jesus stands on two premises: Firstly, God raised him from the dead. Secondly, according to the earliest and the most reliable sources, it was a physical resurrection. Since no other logical explanation can be derived from the foregoing discussion, it is reasonable to conclude that the resurrection of Jesus was physical and not a mere vision or hallucination. Dr Babu Immanuel Venkataraman is a Faculty of the School of Theology (English) in TCA College. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Biblical Studies and teaches on the New Testament in general as well as Contextual Theologies.
3. THE CRITERION OF OBJECTIVITY The post-resurrection appearances of Jesus happened in full public view (cf. Acts 1:12-15; 2:32). In 1 Corinthians 15:5-7 we learn from Paul that Jesus appeared to Cephas, to the 12 apostles, more than 500 believers, James and finally to him. 87
Events, presentations, camps...there are plenty of opportunities for parents to serve and partner with the church to disciple the young! Meet Vincent Lee and Edward Tan, two parent volunteers who gave their time to volunteer at DiscoveryLand Pre-teens camp. By Rebecca Vinod Do you have a regular Ministry Expression? What prompted you to serve at camp? Vincent
I was serving in Nursery 2 as a core teacher for many years until January 2014. Sister Lorraine Chee asked me if I could serve at the camp and I accepted the invitation because I enjoy working with children and felt it was a good way to use my God-given gift to serve. My own children had attended DiscoveryLand camp before and told me it was a good and fun experience.
Edward I serve as a District Helper with DiscoveryLand. I was first approached by Pastor Ee Lin to help out at the Pre-Teens Camp (M2815) in 2013. I enjoy being with children, and believe strongly that the best time to inculcate Kingdom values is when one is still young and am glad to be able to assist in any way I can.
Have you made any personal sacrifice in order to serve? Vincent
Time is definitely a challenge. Being self-employed, it is easier for me to find time to serve at the camp. Even though my energy levels were drained by the end of the day, my time at camp was a lot of fun and Iâ€™m happy to be able to contribute to the lives of so many children.
Energy! I was knackered by the end of each day – keeping up with highly energetic pre-teens can be rather tiring. And of course, I had to give time that can be otherwise be spent with my family. I’m really thankful for a supportive wife who had to manage our three young children alone. Is there any quality/skill that would be an advantage for serving in the camp? Vincent
Kids have so much more energy than adults, so a love for children would be a definite advantage. Edward
A love for children would certainly be helpful, but every individual has a different strength that God can use to meet every child’s unique need. I don’t suppose there would be any skill set that would be particularly more advantageous than others. So I guess what’s most important is a willing heart, and availing oneself to be used by God. Any words of advice to those considering serving at the camp? Vincent Last year’s camp was my first one and I did not know what to expect. For those who have the time to volunteer, just come prepared to have fun with the children and have a refreshing encounter with God. Edward
Come and serve with an open heart! You’ll be surprised at how much you can learn from the lessons, and most importantly, from the pre-teens themselves! Will you be back at the camp this year? Vincent
“PARENTING 120”! by Daniel Koh Many of us remember the 120 children that sang their hearts out during “The Light of Christmas” presentations. As angelic as they looked and sounded, coordinating 4 to 10 year olds to put on a performance was no mean feat. Just imagine having to keep 120 children quiet backstage! “Part the Red Sea”, you say? 25 parent volunteers put their hands to the plough and learned to teach the little ones their parts to sing, choreograph their movements and shepherd the children to and from holding areas, and even to the toilets! Off-stage, many also contributed in other ways, such as sewing the choir robes and applying make-up on the performers. Jeremy Cheng and his mother, Jessie Chua came as early as 2pm on the days of the first two presentations to get the robes ready and set up the theatrette. Eoin Yankaya served as a parent volunteer, while his seven-year-old son Shadrach performed in the choir. His wife Phoebe, who was 7 months pregnant at the time, helped by looking after their active toddler daughter, Odelia. “All for Jesus!” they exclaimed. Truly it’s all about Jesus. There are many avenues to serve in this house of God. To sign up as a parent volunteer for events, inform your pastor or email connect@ trinity.sg.
Most definitely!! 89
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