HEARTBEAT MISSIONS SPECIAL 2017
ENVISION STRENGTHENING THE STAKES
UP CLOSE REAL LIFE MIRACLES FROM DEATH TO LIFE
WWW. T R IN I TY . S G
TOUGH QUESTIONS A SIN IS A SIN. OR IS IT?
In Step With Jesus The Journey. The Discovery. The Experience Israel Pilgrimage 2018 November 24-December 7 Estimated cost per person^ Adult twin-sharing SGD 4,700 Adult single SGD 5,685 ^ Prices are for reference purposes and subject to change. Potential pilgrims must be at least sixteen (16) years old to join.
More information about Israel Pilgrimage 2018 will be released through Trinityâ€™s weekly bulletins.
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UP CLOSE 38
REAL LIFE MIRACLES Starting Afresh
48 MISSIONS SPECIAL 2017 An overview of Trinity’s Missions Endeavors from January-December 2017
90 MENTORING PASTORS Meeting leadership needs, one pastor at a time
MISSIONS AT OUR DOORSTEP Trinity’s Language Ministries
REAL LIFE MIRACLES From Death to Life
EMBRACING THE DECADE OF EXPANSION Filipino Ministry’s breakthrough events in 2017
THANK YOU TRINITARIANS FOR GOING TO THE NATIONS! Missions trips that happened from January-December 2017
96 FIVE YEARS OF FAITHFULNESS Japanese Ministry’s Milestone Events
SENIOR PASTOR’S MESSAGE The Decade of Expansion in Missions
BREAKING THE CYCLE OF POVERTY, ONE CHILD AT A TIME Trinity’s Sponsored Children in 2017
UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL WITH OUR MISSIONS DIRECTOR Pastor Allen Loh
STRENGTH IN NUMBERS Pastor Joanna Teoh joins the Indonesian Ministry
SUNITA’S STORY Project Rescue India
A NEW SEASON Pastor Misael Cornelio joins the Spanish Ministry
TRINITY’S MISSIONS ENDEAVORS Meeting needs around the world
56 MISSIONS AT A GLANCE An overview of Trinity’s missions outreach from JanuaryDecember 2017
57 MISSIONS REPORT A highlight of Trinity’s missions efforts from JanuaryDecember 2017
60 TRINITY’S GLOBAL IMPACT IN 2017 A local church’s worldwide reach
ENABLING TRUE FREEDOM AND RESTORATION Project Rescue Spain
82 TRAINING AND CONSULTATION Empowering Churches, Expanding the Kingdom
84 TRINITY@JAKARTA Enabling Spiritual Breakthrough Beyond Singapore’s Shores
86 LEADERSHIP REFIRED The Silver Force
DECADE OF EXPANSION: BACK TO BASICS Watchnight Message 2017
FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTH Empowering and Equipping the Thai Ministry
MINISTRY INTERNSHIP Developing the Call
108 TCA COLLEGE Equipping the Next Generation of Leaders
110 LOVING OUR NEIGHBORS CCSS
CHRISTMAS 2017 8 Opportunities for a Miraculous Catch!
MARVELOUS CHR1STMAS DiscoveryLand’s Christmas Event
20 FAMILY COMMUNION 2017 A Tradition of Thanksgiving and New Beginnings
WATCHNIGHT SERVICE 2017 Entering into the second year of the Decade of Expansion
THE MISSIONS FUND AND HOW TO GIVE Doing Our Part in Kingdom-Building
STRENGTHENING OUR STAKES Preparing for future enlarging, stretching, and lengthening
FIRST PRAYER MEETING OF 2018 Starting the Year Off Right
CAMP STRIKE FORCE DiscoveryLand Camp 2017
116 RADIATE IGNYTE Camp 2017
120 SOAR Campus Leaders’ Camp 2017
TOUGH QUESTIONS 122 TOUGH QUESTIONS A Sin is a Sin. Or is it?
QUOTABLE QUOTES 128
SENIOR PASTORâ€™S MESSAGE
f o k c a B s c i s a to B
DEAR TRINITARIANS AND FRIENDS, 2017 was an exciting year for Trinity. As the church stepped into its first year in the Decade of Expansion, many dared to break out of limitations both personally and professionally. Testimony after testimony affirms of how God positions different ones with bigger responsibilities and greater arenas of influence. As a church, we expanded our spiritual family with the launch of Trinity@Bukit Batok and Trinity@Jakarta. God has greater things in store for us. He wants to bless us and make us fruitful by giving us expanded influence and fresh victories, greater prosperity and new power. Before He can pour all these blessings into our lives, He needs to make sure that we have the capacity to contain them. That means going back to the basics of faith, foundation, and formation. We must be renewed and recalibrated so that expansion can continue to happen in and through us. That is why the prophetic word declared over Trinity at Watchnight Service 2017 (pg 24) has implications on how we live out the year. God is calling each of us to enlarge the place of our tent, to stretch out our tent curtains wide, to lengthen our cords. That means taking personal responsibility for our role in this Decade of Expansion.
We do this by first strengthening our stakes (pg 32) so that the blessings of expansion do not corrupt or burn us out. This year, be intentional about your prayer life, Word life, and spirit life. Develop these disciplines so that God’s expansive plans rest on a solid spiritual foundation. As Trinity continues to expand her influence locally, regionally, and globally, our missions endeavors will similarly expand. From caring for children to training up future ministers, your partnership in 2017 has enabled us to impact thousands of lives by meeting their greatest needs (pgs 48-113). While we have achieved much, there is still more to do in the years to come. This year, we will embark on a new endeavor as Pastor Sabrina Chow leads Trinity’s first church plant. We will continue to do more in the areas of social justice and social enterprises. As we prepare ourselves for Pastors’ Conference 2018 and Missions Convention 2018, it’s time to make His heart our heart so that we can continue to bring forth the change that Jesus started over 2,000 years ago. Trinitarians, let’s get ready to see a mighty move of the Spirit in our lives, families, communities, and nations. It’s time to be enlarged, stretched, lengthened, and strengthened for His glory!
We must be
renewed and recalibrated so that expansion
can continue to happen in and through us.
BY NYON YIT AN
Christmas 2017 was abuzz with 8 opportunities to lay hold of a miraculous catch: 4 Christmas Presentations, 3 Christmas Services and 1 Island-Wide Christmas Party â€“ allowing a total of 339 people to make decisions for Christ during the holiday season!
“Christmas isn’t Christmas till it happens in your heart… During the finale of the production, tears began to well up in my eyes as I started singing these words. This was the song that led me to find out more about who Jesus is and eventually unlocked the door of my heart for Him to come in. Christ is the reason for Christmas. Thank God for a Christmas that is so special with opportunities to serve alongside my two boys, be in the first Trinity ensemble, and bring my oikos to experience the love of Jesus!” 418 cast and crew worked together to present the drama-musical, The C.H.R.I.S.T.M.A.S Story. Original songs and Christmas carol favorites were performed by an ensemble of 21 instruments, a 100-member adult choir, and a 50-member children’s choir. It is heartening to see Trinitarians young and old come together to contribute their time and talents to share the Christmas story.
– Joy Khau, violinist
At the Christmas Eve Service in Trinity@Paya Lebar, Sister Eveleen Ng got the congregation going with a Christmas quiz. Roars of laughter erupted as the congregation jumped out of their seats to answer. Eager to give away gifts to the fastest respondents, pastors squinted to spot them. Though only three got physical gifts, the message was a reminder that God’s gift to everyone was His son, Jesus Christ. At Trinity@Bukit Batok, Pastor Melvin Lim reminded the congregation of the promise of Christmas.
For to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called
Everlasting Fat her,
PRINCE OF PEACE. – Isaiah 9:6
On Christmas morning, the Sanctuary was packed with Trinitarians young and old coming together for Family Christmas, filling the room with joyful celebration. When Pastor Victor Toh and his daughter Raena sang “Manger of My Heart,” the duet touched many hearts with its reminder of God’s great love for humanity.
The miracle of Christmas is God’s love making the
Impossible Possible, the
NATURAL SUPERNATURAL, and the
– Senior Pastor Dominic Yeo
Empowered to carry God’s heartbeat for the lost, 203 carecells took part in the Island-Wide Christmas Party. All of the planning and preparation paid off with 1,685 oikos attending these Care Witness events held throughout the nation. In a time of fun (and food!), God was at work touching the hearts of the oikos. Through these times of testimony sharing and a short Gospel message during the parties, 158 people made decisions for Christ!
“The Holy Spirit was evident during the sharing of testimonies and God’s Word. One of our oikos cried during altar call and rededicated her life to Jesus.” – Eunice Cheng, South District
“We had oikos from China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, and Thailand. We thank God for opening their hearts. Carecell members were enthusiastic about sharing the Gospel and testifying of God’s goodness, allowing five of them to make decisions for Jesus!
“Two weeks before our party, we had no confirmed oikos and almost wanted to cancel the event. With our Section Leader's encouragement, we went ahead in planning and encouraged the carecell members to take ownership of this party. One week before the party, we had one confirmed oikos. The day before the party, we had nine more confirmed! Beyond such a great turnout, one oikos made a decision for Christ during the salvation call! It is amazing and encouraging to see the carecell work together for this party and how God turned the situation around. Indeed, He is a God of the impossible!
“When we booked the caterer one week before the event, we had only 10 confirmed invites. When we stepped out in courageous faith, God increased the number of oikos to 29! The program went smoothly and the oikos listened attentively to the testimonies and Gospel message. While there were no salvations during the salvation call, seven oikos agreed to attend The C.H.R.I.S.T.M.A.S Story during our time of SALTing. One oikos even asked for a Bible so he could find out more about our faith. God is good and we thank Him for the opportunity to sow seeds for His kingdom! – Sharon Tan, North District
– Soo Weng Teck, West District – Grace Leow, East District
(Testimonies have been edited for clarity and length.)
BY CHERYL LEE
On December 23, 2017, DiscoveryLand presented a Marvelous Chr1stmas, an evangelistic event filled with many songs and activities. “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young,” Paul wrote to Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:2, “but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” In this same spirit, the Christmas committee empowered the children to be examples on what it means to serve the House of God and lead people to Christ. And serve with passion they did! 27 children, ages 5-12, led 451 children (including 116 first-time visitors (FTVs)) through a time of Christmas carols and worship songs. As they sang and danced, others were inspired to do the same.
I learned about God’s love and marvelous gift today. I hope people can come to church to learn about God. LINA TAN, AGE 9
Nine-year-old Hillary Wee was glad for the opportunity to express her love for God this way: “I learned many dance styles which has prepared me for this Praise Team opportunity. I was very encouraged to see the other children following me in praising God!” Another Praise Team member, Evan Lee (age 11) shared that this experience allowed him to bond with his younger sister, Eriel (age 8) as they practiced daily for the event. Through the practices, he also learned about discipline and gained confidence from serving.
We thank God that Marvelous Chr1stmas was an opportunity where 172 children made decisions for Christ! As our children continue to put Jesus 1st in their lives, we believe that they will bring more oikos to encounter Jesus!
“Leading was an awesome experience!” shared Sabella Kwan (age 9). “Before I went on stage I was nervous. As soon as I began praising God, the fear was replaced by joy! During the second service, I knew that God was with me and that I need not be afraid!” In the spirit of gift-giving, the children decorated cards that will be given to future FTVs – a colorful reminder that the FTV is fearfully and wonderfully made by God. (Testimonies have been edited for clarity and length.)
y l i m a F munion m o C
7 1 20
rad it io AT
n of T h a n k fu l ne s s a nd N ew B e g i n n i ng By Ko h Z h i G u o Da n i e l
“While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to His disciples, saying, ‘Take it; this is My body.’ Then He took a cup, and when He had given thanks, He gave it to them, and they all drank from it. ‘This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.’” – Mark 14: 22-24
When Jesus commemorated Passover with His disciples, He used it as a time to institute a new tradition. How interesting that the Last Supper was also the First Communion. Leaving 2017 behind for 2018, Trinitarians came together on December 30 and 31 for Family Communion – a time where they could reflect on the past year, give thanks to God, and commit their hopes to Him.
“I had a cancer scare in 2016,” shared Sally Choo. “Thankfully, the tests came out clear but I knew things couldn’t remain status quo.” Amid heavy commitments at work and home, 2017 was a year where she adopted a healthier lifestyle with regular exercise and adequate rest.
One of the milestones in 2017 was the planting of our first regional center – Trinity@Jakarta. They, too, joined in this Trinitarian tradition. Sally also thanked God that her two teenagers were active in church. “I don’t take it for granted that they look forward to being at IGNYTE every week and serving God actively. As parents, it gives us great joy to see them grow steadily in this church with us.” She along with her husband, Alan Sim, also joined their carecell to partake in communion with their spiritual family. “We’re new to the carecell and we had 30 chairs during the Communion!” she exclaimed.
"During Family Communion, I saw the importance of coming together to honor God as a family unit – to give thanks for His goodness and to prepare ourselves for the new year. I am thankful for the prophetic word Pastor David Chng spoke over our family, lifting my spirit to enter 2018 with great expectation in the Lord. Trinity@Jakarta is here for a reason and purpose – to expand so that many lives can be touched. That starts by having an intimate relationship with God, soaking ourselves with the Word, building up our prayer life, and allowing ourselves to be led by the Holy Spirit. As we become a discipling church, my hope is that God will continue to work in all our lives, going back to basics, so that we can continue to be His salt and light." – Budi Haryanto
On New Year’s Eve, thousands gathered at Trinity@Paya Lebar to ring in the New Year at Watchnight Service 2017. Lines snaked from the Sanctuary hallway, the Level 2 foyer, and up to the Lecture Theaters as Trinitarians waited expectantly for their seats. With a live stream to Trinity@Jakarta, truly everyone in the Trinity family could be a part of the most exciting event of the year. Watchnight Service 2017 is off to an explosive start as our IGNYTErs took the stage, setting the tone for a night of celebration, declaration, and anticipation. Ten Trinitarians took to the stage to share powerful testimonies of healing, provision, transformation, and breakthrough – giving glory to a God that enables us to break out of limitations.
In the spirit of expanded Kingdomimpact, Trinitarians prayed over and blessed Pastors Wilson Teo and Sabrina Chow as they prepared to embark on a new season of ministry outside of Trinity in 2018. As Trinity entered into the second year of the Decade of Expansion, Senior Pastor Dominic revealed God’s direction for the church to go back to basics – faith, foundation, and formation – so that the church could continue expanding for His glory (read Watchnight Message 2017 on pg 24.) Trinitarians, let’s make 2018 a year where we move forward to greater levels of faith!
S AG T MES
YE O IGH IN I C N M H O C RD WAT ASTO IO R P N BY SE
At last yearâ€™s Watchnight Message, I shared that Trinity was entering into the Decade of Expansion. 2017 was a year that we broke out of our limitations (2 Kings 6:1-6) so that we could step into expansion. Scan this QR code to read/hear Watchnight Message 2016
In preparing for this year’s Watchnight Message, I sought the Lord for a specific direction in this second year of the decade. One night as I was falling asleep, I was jerked awake by an inner voice so loud that it sounded like the audible voice of God. “Back to basics!” it shouted. Immediately, I was led to read Isaiah 54:2 – God’s word for us this year. “Enlarge the place of your tent,
Stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; Lengthen your cords, Strengthen your stakes.” This year, God wants to take us through a season of enlarging, stretching, lengthening, and strengthening. To do all these, you and I must come back to the basics of faith, foundation, and formation.
FAITH IS THE MASTER KEY THAT WILL UNLOCK THE DOOR FOR EXPANSION IN OUR LIVES.
The Primary Key to Expansion “‘Sing, barren woman, you who never bore a child; burst into song, shout for joy, you who were never in labor; because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband,’ says the Lord.” – Isaiah 54:1
In Isaiah 54:1, the barren woman was asked to sing and shout in anticipation of a child, to enlarge her tent in preparation for a growing family. These actions represent faith that the promises of God will come to pass.
Similarly, if you and I are going to move into the expansive plans of God, we must reach a point where we put our entire weight – our trust and our lives – into His hands. We must have a disposition of faith for faith is the master key that will unlock the door for expansion in our lives. This year, God will call us to do things that we have never done before. We will be challenged to move into unknown territories, to step out even when we don’t know where the final destination is. It is in these moments that we must exercise faith in God – assured of His nature, promises, and faithfulness.
FOUNDATION Theological Concepts in Expansion While faith is the master key to expansion, it must be based on a strong foundation. That means you and I must reinforce our theological understanding. Without it, we will move forward blindly and in the wrong spirit. Proverbs 29:18 warns us that, “Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint” This revelation is much more than a vision from God. Revelation is also rooted in a strong understanding of His Word. Without it, we lose the guidepost that navigates us forward. Let’s uncover the importance of strong theological foundations for expansion in the context of Isaiah 54:2.
“Enlarge the place of your tent…”
WHERE HUMANITY ADDS, GOD MULTIPLIES.
In Hebrew, the word enlarge is rahab ( “ – )בחרto expand or widen.” Each of us has been entrusted with a place – spheres of influence and arenas of authority. When it comes to expansion, it’s important for us to understand that we are called to enlarge these places. When the Israelites set about enlarging their physical tents, they would do so by sewing one leather piece at a time. Not so with God for where humanity adds, God multiplies. He’s in the business of exponential growth! Just look at the miracles of Jesus. In Matthew 14:1321, five loaves of bread and two fish didn’t feed a handful of people – it fed thousands! It wasn’t a miracle of addition, it was a miracle of multiplication.
As we endeavor to enlarge, know that we will come across resistance from existing strongholds. As the strongholds fight to retain their ground, press on! Profess faith in God’s nature, promises, and faithfulness. Hold fast to the God that brings about enlargement by multiplication. Do not be satisfied with the normal additions. See with eyes of faith and believe in exponential enlargement that happens through God.
“…stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back…” In Hebrew, the word stretch ( – הטנnatah) is “to pull.” While a physical tent may be made of many pieces of leather stitched together, the tent needs to be pulled tight in order to be an effective shelter. In order to “enlarge the place of [our] tent,” we must thrust out our tent. Of the four verbs, stretch is the only one with a command: do not hold back ( – ְךׁשחchasak). The reason is very simple. If we don’t stretch, we can’t take new ground. If we don’t stretch, we can’t expand. If we don’t stretch, we can even shrivel and shrink. To illustrate the need for stretching, consider fishing by net. For a net to be effective, it must be thrust out into the sea – stretched to cover as much surface area as possible. If a fisherman doesn’t exert great force when throwing out the net, he won’t catch any fish.
Similarly, if you and I want to experience expansion, we must be willing to go all the way. We must be willing to be stretched, pulled, and thrust beyond our limits so that God can do great things. Many of us want to experience the supernatural but never do. It's because we hold back, just in case He doesn’t show up. When we hold back, we lose the opportunity to see God do the miraculous. That is why the Christian life is a “total life” – we must totally trust God and cast our entire lives into God’s hands. We give our all or give nothing at all. When we look at lengthen
“…lengthen your cords…” ( – ְךראaϽrak) – “to endure or prolong, to make long by being taut” – it demonstrates a posture of endurance. Having tension in a tent is important because it prevents the structure from collapsing in the wind – there is strength to stand upright even in challenging situations. Without a posture of endurance, you and I will also collapse when the storms of life come. When we allow slack to develop in our cord by taking our walk with God for granted, we will be caught off guard. We will slip into apathy and even sin.
ENLARGE (rahab) expand, widen by
multiplication LENGTHEN (aϽrak)
endure or prolong, make long by
“…strengthen your stakes.” If we are going to build a strong and large tent for God, we need to keep our cords taut – to be on our guard and be strong. Moreover, the more we lengthen our cords, the greater the influence we can exert. The more we lengthen our cords, the greater our influence becomes, thus enlarging our spheres of influence and arenas of authority. Finally, to strengthen ( – קזחchazaq) is “to grow firm” or “to grow powerful by establishing.” By growing, it means that you and I are continually engaging with God, constantly reinforcing our spiritual life so that we are grounded in the Truth. To be strengthened is to be established, to make a stand, and to live with a conviction that will not be easily toppled by views around us. That is why we can never come to a place in our faith where we feel that we’ve “made it.” We must keep strengthening our stakes so that we are not burned out from the enlarging, stretching, and lengthening that God has planned for us.
IF YOU AND I WANT TO EXPERIENCE EXPANSION, WE MUST BE WILLING TO GO ALL THE WAY.
Chazaq applies to our everyday life in a variety of ways. Find out how on pg 32.
STRETCH (natah) pull or spread by
STRENGTHEN (chazaq) grow firm, grow powerful by
FORMATION Spiritual Formation for Expansion While faith is the key, and while it is important for us to understand the foundations God has given us in this Decade of Expansion, we also need to grow in our spiritual formation. Just as a vehicle needs to undergo regular maintenance to keep it at peak performance, God requires us to regularly maintain and strengthen the formation of our inner being. Expansion will always add stress to our lives because it involves being in a constant state of enlargement, stretching, and lengthening. That is why Isaiah 54:2 tells us that we must strengthen our stakes. That has to do with having a strong spiritual life. In order to have a strong spiritual life, we need to strengthen to lengthen and engage in strategic withdrawal.
STRENGTHEN TO LENGTHEN There are three stakes in our lives that must be strengthened in order for us to be lengthened: our prayer life, Word life, and spirit life.
Prayer Life When we think of the prophet Elijah, we believe that he was supernatural because of the many signs, wonders, and miracles he performed during his lifetime. Yet, James 5:17-18 tells us that, “Elijah was a human being, even as we are.” Elijah was ordinary but became extraordinary. What set him apart was his strong prayer life (“He prayed 2 8
earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.”) Through a strong prayer life, Elijah heard from God, engaged with Him, and acted according to His will. When you and I have a strong prayer life, we will go from ordinary to extraordinary, from the natural to the supernatural, because the Lord will enable us. More than intercessory prayers or petition prayers, the prayer life I’m referring to is one of close intimacy with God. If prayer is a conversation with God, it cannot be limited to prayer requests. Imagine what would happen to our relationships if every conversation with other people was just a laundry list of needs! If we are to grow in our intimacy with God, it will require us to take our prayer lives to another level to seek His heart and dwell in His presence. This year, let’s go back to the basics by strengthening our prayer life.
Word Life In John 15:7, Jesus promised us this: “If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” Sometimes, our prayers are not answered because the Word does not abide in us; we know it in our minds
Spirit Life but the Truths have not penetrated into our hearts. We need to allow the Word to saturate and invade our lives – to take a hold of us. We need to respond to the Word and allow it to transform us from the inside-out. God’s Word cannot remain as knowledge, it must be one that is a lamp upon our paths. Many people search for a kairos (special) Word, but we need to understand that it only comes when we have internalized the logos (general) Word. A 2012 study done by Christianity Today shows how often regular churchgoers read the Bible.
Daily A few times per week Once a week Once a month Rarely/never
<20% 26% 14% 22% 18%
When we see these percentages, it’s no wonder American churches have weakened their stand on controversial issues! Without a strong foundation in the Word, we become Christians who build their houses upon the sand, ready to collapse when we encounter the rains, floods, and winds of life. Be enriched in the Word so that we will know how to navigate through life’s challenges. Start engaging in the Word and live according to its principles and parameters.
“Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit…” – Ephesians 5:18 In Greek, the words used for “drunk” (methýsko) and “filled” (pleróo) are similar but not the same – “to become intoxicated” versus “to make full or to fill up.” This demonstrates how you and I are called to be intoxicated in the Holy Spirit, so consumed and deliberately filled that we no longer live according to our own desires. Rather, we live according to the desires of God, influenced by the leading of the Spirit. That’s why Scripture tells us to build ourselves up by praying in the Spirit (Jude 1:20) so that we become men and women marked by the Spirit of God. The world we live in requires us to be discerning. Otherwise, we will be tossed to and fro, from viewpoint to viewpoint. When the 12 spies were sent to scout out the Promise Land, it was a place flowing with milk and honey. Yet, 10 spies focused on the giants of the land. Only Joshua and Caleb saw the land for what it was – their inheritance from God. What are we sensitized by? Do we make decisions based upon the reports of the world or do we allow the Holy Spirit to lead us? We need to grow in hungering and being consumed by the Holy Spirit. We need to recognize His voice and leading so that we can align and yield to Him and step out with His empowerment. That is why the 2 9
ENVISION LEAD courses Holy Spirit and I and Prophetic Ministry exist – so that all of us can be trained and sharpened in the Spirit!
Strategic Withdrawal “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where He prayed.” – Mark 1:35 “When Jesus heard what had happened [the beheading of John the Baptist], He withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place...” – Matthew 14:13
One of the strengths of Trinity is that we are a church of action. That strength can turn into a weakness if we do not take time to withdraw to seek the Lord. When we look at the ministry of Jesus, we find Him frequently
THROUGH STRATEGIC WITHDRAWAL, OUR PRAYERS BECOME TIMES WHEN WE SEEK THE LORD’S HEART, WILL, WISDOM, AND
STRATEGIES. 3 0
withdrawing from the crowds, the hustle and bustle of life, in order to pray. He also interrupted his “normal schedule” in order to reflect, renew, and recalibrate. Let’s consider another analogy. All sports involving balls need a backswing, a withdrawal of the limbs, in order for the ball to go far. The backswing is not a retreat or a backing down; it is needed for generating a potential to launch the ball forward. Similarly, you and I need that spiritual backswing, taking time to withdraw from the hustle and bustle of life. Through strategic withdrawal, our prayers become times when we seek the Lord’s heart, will, wisdom, and strategies. When we know exactly what He wants us to do. When we become charged up in the Spirit, we gain confidence and strength to launch forward into greater expansion.
OF E D A C E D N EXPANSIO
FOUNDATION • Enlarge
FORMATION • Strengthen to Lengthen
Spirit Life • Strategic Withdrawal
As we go forward in expansion, we need to go back to the basics: faith, foundation, and formation.
Pastor Dominic Yeo is the Senior Pastor of Trinity Christian Centre. Hear this message, and other sermons, at www.trinity.sg (Media > Sermons) Follow him on social media at @PDomYeo
We all need faith for “without faith, it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6). To have faith in God we must have strong foundations in His Word. To stand strong in God, we must strengthen our stakes so that enlargement, stretching, and lengthening do not break us. That requires spiritual formation so that the blessings of expansion do not corrupt or burn us out. Let 2018 be a year where we believe God for the impossible and move forward into greater levels of faith. Be renewed and recalibrated so that expansion can happen in and through us. 3 1
THE PLACE OF YOUR TENT
LENGTHEN YOUR CORDS
YOUR TENT CURTAINS WIDE, DO NOT HOLD BACK
O PAST NIO R
M IN R DO
I C YE
The prophetic word declared over Trinity at Watchnight Service 2017 (pg 24) has implications on how we live out the year. God is calling each of us to enlarge the place of our tent, to stretch out our tent curtains wide, to lengthen our cords, and strengthen our stakes. That means taking personal responsibility for our role in this Decade of Expansion. Scripture tells us that God wants us to have the abundant life. He wants to bless us and make us fruitful by giving us expanded influence and fresh victories, greater prosperity, and new power. We all want good things but too much of a good thing can kill us. Expanded influence can inflate our ego. Victories can give us the illusion
STRENGTHEN YOUR STAKES
of self-reliance. Fruitfulness and prosperity can corrupt us. Before God can pour blessings into our lives, He needs to make sure that we have the capacity to contain them. Before we can enlarge, stretch, and lengthen, we must first strengthen our stakes. That has to do with having a strong spiritual life. Just as a vehicle needs regular maintenance to keep it at peak performance, God requires us to engage in regular “spiritual tune-ups” so that we operate at peak performance in our everyday lives. The Hebrew word for “strengthen” (chazaq) is about more than reinforcement. Below are five other definitions and how they apply to us today.
1. TO ENCOURAGE When we think of a tent, we imagine one that is lightweight, portable, and temporary. These are very different from Old Testament tents which were heavy and semi-permanent. Instead of nylon and polyester, these tents were put together using layers of leather. Groups of stakes had to be laid down together so that the tent would remain firmly on the ground.
about it alone. That’s why carecells are so vital, for “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17). Through the carecells, we inspire and encourage one another. Through the carecells, there is mutual edification and support. Ecclesiastes 4:9 and 12 remind us that, “Two are better than one…a cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
In the same way, you and I must operate in a group so that we help each other hold our ground. Life is tough. Don’t make it tougher by going
If you’re not in a carecell, join one this year. Choose to meet regularly with like-minded people so that you can be encouraged, nurtured, and discipled.
2. TO BE COURAGEOUS Courage talks about a quality that you and I are called to have. It is about an attitude of resilience despite and in spite of the tensions of life.
When God seeks to stretch our faith, He requires us to be courageous. When He leads, He wants us to remain confident that He will provide.
Without courage, we will quit when the going gets tough. Courage must spring up, especially in the midst of fear. The moment we let fear get to us, we do the opposite of expansion by shrinking.
Do not be fearful of the tension points in your life.
When God gives us a big assignment, it is human to start doubting. Did I hear correctly? Will God show up? God must be crazy! Many characters in the Bible expressed fear at the assignments of God, including Joshua. But remember what God commanded him to do: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:9)
Do not quit when the going gets tough.
LIFE IS TOUGH. DON’T MAKE IT TOUGHER BY GOING ABOUT IT ALONE
Do not be fearful of the expansion He has for your life.
Keep going because expansion is waiting for you!
IN THIS AGE OF GREAT UNCERTAINTY AND UNREST, WE NEED THE HOLY SPIRIT MORE TODAY THAN EVER BEFORE.
3. TO HOLD FAST When a stake is firm in the ground, it becomes immovable even when storms beat against the tent. The same is true for us. When our spiritual stakes are not firm, the storms of life will cause us to collapse. That is why we must hold fast to the promises of God, to strengthen our stakes by spending regular time with Him in Word and prayer. To hold fast also means to “establish” – to make a stand. In an age of false doctrines, fake news, and controversial issues, you and I must be able to stand up for what we stand for. Otherwise, the winds of public opinion will sway us to and fro.
Do not allow the world to dilute or waver your faith. Do not be a yo-yo believer whose understanding of God is defined by the circumstances of life. Ephesians 6:10 and 13 reminds us to “…be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power…put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground.” This year, choose to grow in your Time Alone With God so that you become immovable and established, holding fast to the truth of God’s Word.
4. TO GROW FIRM While growing firm may seem synonymous with holding fast, it is really about “going deep.” Let’s go back to the tent. A two-man tent only requires a stake that’s six inches long. Tents used for outdoor functions require metal piquets that are at least three feet long, hammered all the way into the ground so that it holds the structure securely in place.
The deeper our stakes are, the sturdier we become. The sturdier we become, the more expansion we can handle. That is why you and I must grow deep in the Word of God so that we can be ready for enlargement, able to carry all that God wants to give us. Allow God to use you for His great plans by digging your stakes in deep, increasing your capacity to withstand the increased tension that comes from expansion.
5. TO OVERCOME When a stake is hammered into the ground, it must hold fast despite the elements above and the erosion below. What can you and I do to strengthen our stakes against the challenges, temptations, and attacks the enemy wants to throw our way? First, it is to strengthen our prayer life. When life gets busy, one of the first things to get cut is prayer. Theologian Martin Luther believed otherwise: “I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.” We need to go beyond mealtime prayers, beyond intercession prayers or petition prayers, to prayers where we grow in intimacy with God. It is in these times that we will draw the strength, wisdom, and favor needed to overcome all challenges and obstacles. The second thing we can do is to grow in our Word life. In John 15:7, Jesus promises that, “If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” This speaks of the Word permeating into our lives, saturating us to the point where it becomes the light on our path. When we grow in our Word life, we become the man who builds his house on the rock – on strong foundations that can withstand whatever challenges that come our way.
The third and final thing we need to do is to build our Spirit life. In Acts 1, Jesus told His disciples to “wait for the gift my Father promised,” (verse 4) power that would enable them to be “witnesses in Jerusalem…and to the ends of the earth.” (verse 8) In this age of great uncertainty and unrest, we need the Holy Spirit more today than ever before. We need to be sensitive to its prompting so that we do not become desensitized by the world. When we let the world determine our thoughts and actions, we forget to walk in the Truth and we will be swayed left and right by what the world presents to us. However, when we are led and empowered by the Spirit, we will go from success to success despite the odds. In order to develop these fundamental spiritual disciplines, you and I need to make room for God. Meditating in the Word cannot be done through short devotionals or a pop-up verse. Prayers cannot be sound bites that are only done before meals.
Pastor Dominic Yeo is the Senior Pastor of Trinity Christian Centre. Hear this message, and other sermons, at www.trinity.sg (Media > Sermons) Follow him on social media at @PDomYeo
If we want to be serious about strengthening our stakes, we must take stock of the things that draw us away from Him. Give room for the Word to be internalized. Seek times of intimacy with the Lord through prayer. Abide in Him so that we can become firm, immovable, and unshakeable.
If we want to see a mighty move of the Spirit in our lives, families, and communities, we must have an increased hunger and thirsting for God. Take responsibility for your role in this Decade of Expansion. Prepare yourself so God can pour every blessing into your life. Choose to strengthen your stakes so that you can be enlarged, stretched, and lengthened for His glory.
Prayer Meeting of 2018 First
BY LOH DAN LIN
On January 5, Trinitarians packed the Sanctuary for the first prayer meeting of the year. An annual tradition, it began with songs of praise and worship as Trinitarians sought God for an outpouring of His presence. "After a busy time of celebration in end-2017, I thank God for the opportunity to gather as a church for the First Prayer Meeting to align our hearts with God’s for 2018. It was great soaking in God’s tangible presence as we prayed for one another to expand ourselves for God’s purposes." Melvin Wong, engineer
Pastor Melvin Lim and Pastor Wendy Chang tagteamed in exhorting Trinitarians to seek God for areas where He wants them to enlarge, stretch, lengthen, and strengthen.
THE PLACE OF YOUR TENT
LENGTHEN YOUR CORDS
YOUR TENT CURTAINS WIDE, DO NOT HOLD BACK
STRENGTHEN YOUR STAKES
Like the barren woman in Isaiah 54, Trinitarians were exhorted to look past their own limitations and see through the eyes of faith. “We wanted to start the New Year engaged in prayer as a carecell and as a church. Both of us wanted to seek God’s vision for us this year and to renew our commitment to grow in our relationship with Him. December was a busy month so the First Prayer Meeting was a timely reminder for us to go
back to basics, remember who God is and that He should be the one driving our agenda. We were refreshed in His presence. The message of obedience and spiritual discipline spoke deeply to us. God reminded us to continue to avail ourselves to Him and carry joy and His presence as we serve. God also reminded us that we should not limit His plans with our human reasoning and fear of the unknown. God is weaving a bigger tapestry, beyond what we can see. We just have to trust and obey, knowing that His magnificent work will come to pass.” Lim Tuang Hin and Stephanie Sim, public servants
Pastors prayed for the chains of past failures and disappointments to be broken so that Trinitarians could begin stepping out in God’s promise of expansion in their lives. “God showed me a vision where I was scooped out from muddy clay and placed in a float spinning in a rapid stream of water. As I looked up, I was mesmerized by the amazing view of the sky. However, my ride suddenly became bumpy. As I looked down, I realized the float had bumped into rocks. The rocks had the word ‘disappointment’ written on them. God reminded me that He has placed me where I belong and there will be no lack. There is no need for me to be afraid of the rocks because He is like the float that is carrying me and protecting me. I know that God
is in control. I am reminded to focus my eyes on Him and surrender my all to Him.” Agnes Goh, stay-at-home mother of 3 young children
From Board Members to Spiritual Parents, Trinitarians also prayed for and dedicated the leadership of the church to God, asking Him to fill their lives with His manifest presence and abundant favor. “I came to the prayer meeting to catch God’s heartbeat and vision for my spiritual family and I am excited for what He has in store for the church. My faith was built up as I prayed. God spoke to me about persevering in faith, trusting Him to do what He promised and to be bold and courageous because He is the Lord Almighty and He is always with me.” Jaclyn Ng, teacher and Section Leader
For me, the First Prayer Meeting was a time for for me to align myself to the vision that God has given Trinity Christian Centre. I prayed for God to bring me back to the basics for I know that expansion built on weak foundations will fizzle and burn out. I asked Him to fill me with a hunger for Him and sensitivity to the Holy Spirit so that I will only go where He wants me to be. May we all persevere in growing in our prayer and spirit life – enlarged, stretched, lengthened, and strengthened for the Decade of Expansion! (Testimonies have been edited for clarity and length.)
S tarting Afresh And on that day when my strength is failing, The end draws near and my time has come, Still my soul will sing Your praise unending 10,000 years and then forever more…
I trusted that these words were on the lips of my late husband as he began to slip away from me, bidding goodbye to his cancer-ridden body on October 29, 2016. Richard was my soul mate. We met when I was 18 and he was 19. In the 38 years we were together, we had intertwined our lives to one another. Like a pair of chopsticks, we were always seen together side by side. I had the privilege of standing beside Richard when he accepted Jesus as His Savior in 1985. His spiritual journey was not consistent but by God’s grace, he grew through life’s many trials and triumphs.
VEIRO BY JENNIFER OLI
God led us to Trinity Christian Centre in 2008. Here, the depth of Richard’s faith and understanding of the Word grew even more. He loved the weekend services, the classes, and the many missions trips. He sang his heart out in the choir. He loved partnering with the Holy Spirit to serve and nurture others. He honored God by being a Section Leader. I had the privilege of serving alongside with him as one of his Associate Leaders. Looking back, I see how God planned Richard’s last decade to be fruitful, preparing him for life in eternity. The race he ran while
at Trinity Christian Centre was fast and passionate. Many marveled that cancer could not keep him still. He was confident that healing would come, especially when there were many fasting and praying earnestly for him. Despite the side effects of chemotherapy, he seized every opportunity to serve or share his testimony. Richard never lost sight of Jesus at the center of it all and I knew he was never angry or afraid of whatever the outcome would be. Nine months after the diagnosis, I stood beside Richard as he took his final breath. When his heart stopped, mine began to race. Even in the midst of this great loss, God’s peace was with me. Instead of grieving, I chose to cheer Richard on as he entered paradise. He had won the race and crossed the finish line with gusto. It was time for him to go home and take a well-deserved rest. To be honest, there were times I struggled with the devastation and disappointment of losing my friend, my companion, my mentor. I painfully wondered why God did not make this into yet another fabulous healing testimony to His Name. I even thought that I didn’t pray enough for Richard to get better. The evening after Richard’s funeral, God prompted me to take a walk in
Church Camp 20 14
my favorite park. It took so much to bring myself to do it because this was something I usually did with Richard. For the first time in 38 years, I would be walking in that park without him. With each step, the loss of my soul mate started to sink in. Before the grief of widowhood could overwhelm me, God started to do a deep work in my heart. As I dwelled in His beautiful creation, God began to heal my mixed emotions. He chided me for thinking I had lost when in fact Heaven had gained. In my feelings of inadequacy, God impressed me with a calm conviction that I had fulfilled my mission in being Richard’s wife and caregiver. As I began to heal, I began to look expectantly for my future to unfold.
I had fulfilled my mission in being Richard’s wife and caregiver. As I began to heal, I began to look expectantly for my future to unfold. 3 9
The sun comes up it’s a new day dawning It’s time to sing Your song again Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me Let me be singing when the evening comes...
Hiking in Nepal
As a new widow, my prayer was for God to open the right doors in this new season of life. As a 10-yearold Trinitarian I know I never walk alone. Barely a month after scattering Richard’s ashes, two good friends encouraged me to join them in the choir for Who Needs Christmas? It was a breakthrough to be with so many people and not feel raw, disjointed, or self-conscious – I intentionally wanted to focus on the Christ of Christmas. Serving in the Christmas production was God’s way of telling me not to hide in the shadows. I began the Decade of Expansion with a commitment to take on whatever God gives me. During a hiking trip to Nepal in January 2017, God used the trip to reveal His truth. Amidst the slippery slopes, God showed me that while my life journey may seem arduous, His desire was
for me not to focus on the distance; He wanted me to make every step count. It was an exhilarating trip as I conquered my personal mountains, claiming Matthew 19:26 into my spirit for “with God all things are possible.” After Richard’s passing, I had made a decision to take a year-long sabbatical from work. God made sure that I would still be busy with opportunities to serve in the Silver Force. While anxious and doubtful of my abilities, I remembered my commitment to God and I rose up to be a Team Leader in the inaugural Silver Force missions trip to Chiangmai in May. Five months later, I rose up again to serve as a Team Leader for a Wave to Trinity@Jakarta. Determined to make each ministry day count, my dependence on the Holy Spirit grew immensely as I learned to talk to Him and listen to His prompting.
On the way to Chiangmai
with the Silver Force
During Church Camp in June, I developed a strong conviction to attend Section Leaders’ Training 1. It was time for me to be equipped. It was time to grow as a leader and continue serving Him in a greater capacity. Now in my second year of widowhood, I praise God that the good days outweigh the bad ones. His blessings overshadow the bruising. While I may not know what my tomorrow holds for me, I definitely know who holds my tomorrows. I live each day focusing on what really matters in this life, taking on the very heartbeat of God and running the race He has set out for me.
Emboldened and Emp
owered at Church Cam
You’re rich in love and You’re slow to anger Your Name is great and Your heart is kind For all Your goodness I will keep on singing 10,000 reasons for my heart to find Bless the Lord O my soul, O my soul Worship His Holy name Sing like never before, O my soul I’ll worship Your Holy Name…
I praise God that the good days outweigh the bad ones. His blessings overshadow the bruising.
I encourage all of us to end each day; each year; with no regrets by focusing on what really matters to God. When we share His heartbeat, there is no fear, only comfort, joy, and life.
h t a De Life to
Smoking. Substance abuse. Self-harm. Attempted suicide. A criminal record. At the age of 12, that was the story of Bryant Toh’s life. What turned this hopeless juvenile to be a renewed young man? Lye Huixian finds out more about his amazing transformation.
My loveless, painful childhood I grew up in a troubled family with non-Christian parents. My earliest memory of home was seeing my father come home drunk and abusing my family members when I was five. When I turned six, he started abusing me as well. I was caned and beaten until he drew blood. Bruises dotted over my entire body. The emotional scars went far deeper than the physical pain inflicted upon my little body. Over time, I also found out that he was cheating on my mom with another woman. These experiences formed my perspective of a father as a man who was an abuser, a fake, a liar, and a cheat. Instead of being a source of comfort and strength, a father became someone who could not be trusted – someone distant and uncaring. When I was eight, my parents divorced. With one swipe of a pen, what little childhood I had was ripped away from me. Unlike other children around me, I didn’t have a father to run to for a hug, to have fun with, or to share my problems with. I asked God why other children had a complete family while I lacked a dad who loved me. I didn’t want to tell my mom about how I felt. She was already so stressed adjusting to life as a single mom to me and my two younger siblings.
Depressed and hopeless
God enters the picture
My broken family left me feeling hopeless. I felt so broken and alone. There was no one I could turn to for help. Worse still was the belief that I was to blame for my family’s break-up.
That year, my mom’s friend brought me to church. I went thinking that it was just a one-time visit. Instead, I went back week after week even though I wasn’t serious at all about God; I was just trying to find a group that would accept me. I had no intention to encounter this God that everyone talked about.
Desperate for relief, I turn to selfharming. I had seen my dad cut himself and I followed suit – a desperate attempt to find release. I cut myself again and again. I remember grabbing a pair of scissors in class and cutting myself in front of all my classmates. My teacher was so traumatized that I never saw her again. The school sent me for counseling but nothing seemed to help. The pain in my heart escalated and thoughts of suicide began to creep into my mind. I saw no meaning in life and wanted to give up. Soon, these thoughts began to plague my every waking moment. When I was nine, I closed my heart to everyone. I figured that if I didn’t allow anyone in, there would be no chance for them to hurt me. I had no friends. I suffered from depression and had dark thoughts every single day.
I was asked to say the sinner’s prayer, I did so without fully understanding its meaning. Despite “becoming a Christian,” my life was still the same. I still struggled with hopelessness and loneliness.
A juvenile criminal at 12 Over time, self-harm evolved from an occasional activity to an addiction. I even attempted suicide by slitting my wrists. When all these things failed to give the relief I so desperately sought, I resorted to smoking, substance abuse, and compulsive gaming.
I asked God why other children had a complete family while I lacked a dad who loved me.
If You are real, show Yourself to me.
To feed these destructive habits, I stole from my mom and grandmother. Desperate for a solution, my mom called the police on me. To our family’s embarrassment, the police came to our home, took mug shots of me and made a record of my criminal actions. At the age of 12, I had become a juvenile criminal. I was going through hell. Every single day held nothing but pain. I cried in secret because I didn’t feel loved. I had been ostracized by my classmates and teachers. My grades were terrible and I had given up on my studies. I hated life. I hated people. I even hated God. I would look up to the skies not in prayer but to curse Him. I felt that He wasn’t real, just a figment of imagination created to get everyone’s attention. “God, if you are real, strike me down and end my life right now,” I would shout. God didn’t strike me down. Instead, life took another turn – this time for the better.
The camp I never wanted to go for When I was 13, my juvenile criminal record grew. Even though I had stopped smoking and abusing substances, the thought of suicide remained strong in my mind. That year, my mom signed me up for IGNYTE Camp without my consent. She had been regularly attending Trinity after the divorce and thought that the camp would do me some good. I was furious with her but went only because she insisted on it. What she didn’t know was that I planned to commit suicide right after camp was over.
T he ni ght th at ch a ng ed ever yt hi ng During the first two days of camp, I went through workshops and services like a zombie. I completely shut down and nothing got through to me. I was so adamant to hate camp but on the third night, something unexplainable happened. “God, You know I hate You and I have no idea if You are real,” I said in my heart, “But right now, I am asking You this: if You are real, show Yourself to me.” That night, Pastor Ong Sek Leang laid hands on me for prayer. The power of the Holy Spirit knocked me over. When I awoke, I knew that I just had a personal encounter with God.
“Bryant, stop doubting and start believing.” When God said those words, I knew that He had heard my heart’s cry. He was there to show me that He was undeniably real. I went home with a new perspective of God. I realized that there is only one God – one Christ who died for my sins. More than that, I knew that God was interested in my life and cared so deeply for me. He wanted to meet my every need. He wanted to show me the Father’s love. He knew the pain I had been going through and wanted to help me out of it. God wanted to set me free. When I thought of death, God came to give me life. Instead of committing suicide after camp, I made a decision to get serious with God.
God’s gra dua l work in my life
still chose to die for me. God took the seed of faith that had been planted in me, nurtured it, and enabled it to grow for His purposes. “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” Revelations 1:8 is a constant reminder that God planned my future long before I knew Him. He has walked and will continue to walk me through every season of life, even the tough ones, because He has a destiny for me. I am so grateful that the pastors and leaders of IGNYTE were always there to guide me along. They prayed with and for me. They challenged me to grow and step up to serve others. When they saw issues, they brought them up in love. Through their encouragement and patience, I changed from being prideful to having a teachable spirit – to become more and more like Christ. Over time, the different issues in my life were broken.
God wanted to set me free.
Admittedly, a lifetime of bad habits doesn’t reverse overnight. I pressed on because my heart had experienced God’s awesomeness and power. Over the next few years, I continued to open my heart to God, allowing Him to change me from the inside-out. I grew to trust my Heavenly Father because I knew that He loved me despite my imperfections. Even though He saw the very core of who I was – my sinful, ugly nature – He
Freedo m in Christ
God’s sanctifying grace has restored me. He has forgiven me. He has called me His child. That alone defines me.
Today, nine years later, I stand free and loved. I no longer struggle with suicidal thoughts, depression, inadequacy, and self-harm. I am not afraid to love others and let others love me.
Today, I serve in the worship ministry and even lead a carecell! Though being a carecell leader is not always easy, it’s a constant reminder to demonstrate Relentless Belief, just as my leaders had Relentless Belief in me.
More than the blessings, more than the encounters, more than the good life, God has healed me.
I made the most important decision in my life and I gave my life to Jesus (you should do it!) God began changing me and since then, I’ve grown deeper in loving God and longing to be in His presence every week.
He has healed me of my past. He has healed me of my pain. He has healed me of my scars. I am healed by Jesus of Nazareth. When things don’t seem to go well and I feel as though God is far away, He isn’t. The reality is that all I have to do is extend my arms and God is there waiting. When I stumble and fall in the race, He picks me up and says “You are My child.” Nothing is impossible for God. No sin, no past, nothing in this world can separate us from the love of God. God is powerful enough to restore because of His work on the cross. “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.” – Isaiah 53:5
There is one verse that is etched upon my heart, Romans 8:38-39 “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Neither my past nor my mistakes define me for I am defined by the work Jesus Christ has done for me on the Cross. As Christ forgave me, I have found the strength to forgive my father.
Papa, if you are reading this, know that I forgive and love you. God didn’t make a mistake when He chose you as my father. I pray you will find God and experience His goodness too. Thank you for being my papa.
Indeed, we can never be separated from God’s amazing love. What’s more, He has the power to transform our lives. Today, I am no longer a slave to fear, suicide, ungodliness, wrong mindsets, hatred, or ungodly attitudes. I am free to be everything He wants me to be. All glory to God!
An Overview of Trinity’s Missions Endeavors from Jan to Dec 2017
The Decade of Expansion in Missions Senior Pastor ’s Message
Up Close and Personal with Our Missions Director
Trinity’s Missions Endeavors
Missions at a Glance
Missions Report 2017
Trinity’s Global Impact in 2017
Thank You Trinitarians for Going to the Nations!
Breaking the Cycle of Poverty, One Child at a Time
Sunita's Story: Project Rescue India
Enabling Freedom and Restoration: Project Rescue Spain
Training and Consultation
Leadership Refired The Silver Force
Mentoring Pastors: Updates from the M2 Network
Missions At Our Doorstep: Trinity's Language Ministries
Embracing the Decade of Expansion Filipino Ministry’s Breakthrough Events in 2017
Five Years of Faithfulness Japanese Ministry’s Milestone Events
Strength in Numbers Pastor Joanna Teoh joins the Indonesian Ministry
A New Season Pastor Misael Cornelio joins the Spanish Ministry
From Strength to Strength Empowering and Equipping the Thai Ministry
Ministry Internship: Developing the Call
Equipping the Next Generation of Leaders TCA College
Loving Our Neighbours CCSS
The Missions Faith Promise Doing Our Part in Kingdom-Building
112 4 9
BY SENIOR PASTOR DOMINIC YEO
The printing press. The telephone. Radio. Television. The internet. Each advancement in communication gives us greater access to the world around us. Today, the internet gives us instant access to the extent and severity of the problems that plague our world: widespread poverty, severe injustice, and countless lives torn apart by war and violence. With so much information available in the palm of our hands, there is a real and present risk that we will become desensitized to the many needs around us. We check-in and check-out, our hearts stirred slightly by news of a natural disaster before moving on to the latest internet sensation or trending video. As Christians, you and I cannot ignore the problems around us. We have not been given the option to check-in and check-out. Instead, we are to follow the example of our Lord Jesus Christ who came to “proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free.” (Luke 4:18; cf. Isaiah 61:1-2). When Jesus came to the world, His missionary journey was limited to
Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria. In issuing the Great Commission, Jesus entrusted the remaining missionary journey, the ends of the earth, to the Church. God needs us – our hands, feet, and heart – to bring forth the change that His Son started over 2,000 years ago. When it came to feeding the five thousand (Matthew 14:13-21), Jesus could have performed the miracle all by Himself. Instead, He chose to involve the disciples in meeting the needs of the people (“They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”) Like the disciples, it is human to question and doubt. In Matthew 14:17, the disciples expressed the physical limitations they faced (‘We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,’” they answered.) In Mark’s retelling, they also counted the cost (“That would take more than half a year’s wages! Are we to go and spend that much on bread and give it to them to eat?”) (6:37) Friends, God is not calling us to be practical or to consider the costs. God is calling us to rise up as His royal priesthood, to be people who dare to do great exploits for Him. That is
why embarking on the expansive, missional plans of God will require the church to take risks, to plunge into uncharted waters, and venture down untrodden paths. Venturing into the unknown is exactly what we did when we launched Trinity@Jakarta last year. Answering God’s call to plant this regional center meant that we could meet the spiritual needs in this city. That is why I am so proud of every Wave that went as men and women dared to walk new grounds and connect with new people week after week. Because we dared to step out in faith, we saw Trinity@Jakarta grow
I want to thank each one of you for partnering with us in the missions field. Your generous partnership and giving through the years has enabled us to expand our missions endeavors to what it is today. Find out more about the many ways we meet needs around the world in this section of the magazine (pgs 48-113). While we have achieved much, there is still more to do in this Decade of Expansion. This year, we will embark on a new endeavor as Pastor Sabrina Chow leads Trinity’s first church plant. Just as the disciples went from Jerusalem
at an unprecedented rate. In just six months, we have seen the Friday night Bible seminars grow into Celebration Services, the first Vision Faith Promise, a larger venue, the launch of the first fellowship carecell, the first water baptism, and the first church membership service (pg 84). As we started the first of many regional centers, the need for fulltime staff arose. I thank God for Trinitarians who decided to be a part of His expansive plans: Pastor Allen Loh (Missions and Human Resource Director) (pg 52), Grace Hee (Church Operations, Trinity@Jakarta) (pg 86), and Tang Soo Kum (volunteer bookkeeper, Trinity@Jakarta).
to Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8), we, too, will go forward to build and establish strong Assemblies of God Churches throughout Singapore – entities that will have their own identity and move mightily in their unique, God-given spheres of influence.
GOD NEEDS US - OUR HANDS, FEET, AND HEART - TO BRING FORTH THE CHANGE THAT HIS SON STARTED OVER 2,000 YEARS AGO
Trinity will continue to do more in areas of social justice by expanding our commitment to Project Rescue (pgs 78-81). The church will also work more closely with laity, especially members of the Silver Force to develop and launch sustainable social enterprises.
Join me as Trinity continues to engage in God’s transformative work in Singapore and beyond, for this generation and the generations to come. 5 1
Up Close and Perso
s n o i s s i M r u O D irector As the Missions Director, Pastor Allen Loh lives to impact lives for Jesus. Read on to find out his heart for missions and how we are all part of God’s call to make disciples of all nations.
My personal journey in missions My wife and I felt a call to missions over 15 years ago. At that point in time, we didn’t know how that call would unfold. We thought it would mean leaving Singapore and starting an orphanage once I retire from the corporate world. As I got more involved in Trinity’s missions endeavors, my eyes were opened to the scope of missions. Spreading the Gospel can happen in many ways. If we want to have a lasting impact, our missions strategy must go beyond becoming missionaries or setting up children’s homes. Pastor Dominic first approached me about becoming Missions Director in June 2016. After a series of conversations, I agreed to take on the position in November despite concerns of whether I was the right 5 2
person for the role. After discussing and praying about this with my wife, we ultimately saw this as a way of fulfilling the missional call God placed in our hearts so many years ago. To a great extent, I see God’s hand in preparing me for this role. In the marketplace, I traveled frequently to work with teams and partners outside of Singapore. These overseas dealings helped me understand the nuances of working in different cultures and operating in the international arena. There are many things to learn in this new position but I am glad that this is not a role that I take on alone. The support and guidance of our Missions Executive Group, Ambassadors, and administrative staff help me determine how Trinity’s missions endeavors should move forward.
Missions: the call of every Trinitarian Having a Passionate Heartbeat is a choice to sacrifice time, talents, and treasures in order to bring the love of God to the nations. When we dare to come out of our comfort zone and engage in missions work, it is a powerful testimony to those who receive our support – a desire to meet both their physical and spiritual needs.
for our Ambassadors and countless Trinitarians who do their part by praying, giving, and going.
The generous giving and partnership of Trinitarians over the years have seen thousands encounter God, enabled children to be nurtured and discipled in the ways of the Lord, and allowed future ministers to build their theological foundations and practical ministry skills. I thank God
While we have achieved much, there is still much more that God wants to do through us. In this Decade of Expansion, we can be sure that He will open many more doors for us to impact lives, build leaders, and make a difference for the generations to come.
As you continue reading this section of the magazine (pgs 48-113), I pray that God will open your eyes to the many ways Trinity is meeting needs both in Singapore and throughout the world.
Having a Passionate Heartbeat is a choice to sacrifice time, talents, and treasures in order to bring the love of God to the nations.
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AT A GLANCE
STATISTICS FOR JANUARY-DECEMBER 2017
IMPACT GO MISSIONS TEAMS (MITs)
COUNTRIES Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand
FIRST-TIMERS Trinitarians going for the first time
TO GO WAVES TRINITY@JAKARTA
DECISION 5 6
FIRST-TIMERS Trinitarians going for the first time
AND GO TRAINING CONSULTATION^
China, Indonesia, Japan, Poland, Romania, Spain, Taiwan, Vietnam
^ Does not include preaching and exploratory trips
DESTITUTE CHILDREN SPONSORED
MISSIONS REPORT 2017
Trinity’s missions endeavors to demonstrate a Passionate Heartbeat for God’s global agenda by empowering and equipping churches, organizations, ministries, ministers, and communities. This includes the establishment of, and/or support to, charitable and humanitarian works, as well as the equipping of pastors and church leadership. Every Trinitarian has a part to play when it comes to missions. When Trinity hosted the eighth triennial World Assemblies of God Congress from March 29-31, 362 Trinitarians availed their time and talents to host the nations. During our annual Missions Convention from March 3-5, Trinitarians young and old were challenged to Embrace God’s Passionate Heartbeat for the Nations by praying, giving and going.
MISSION IMPACT TEAMS In 2017, 258 Trinitarians – 85 going for the first time – sacrificed their time, talents, and treasures by going to Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, and Thailand to share and demonstrate God’s love. Closer to home, two mission teams partnered with Care Community Services Society to bless 30 elderly at CareElderly Senior Activities Centre and 46 children at the Eunos Carehut. In addition to participation by Trinitarians from the English adult service, there were missions trips organized and run by our IGNYTE (youth), Campus, Chinese, and Filipino Ministries. Find out more
about the different missions trips Trinitarians can embark on by turning to pg 66.
TRAINING AND CONSULTATION Trinity continues to equip churches around the world through training and consultation trips. In 2017, our pastors went on 23 trips to eight nations (China, Indonesia, Japan, Poland, Romania, Spain, Taiwan, and Vietnam), strengthening and empowering churches with the TCC Cell Church Model. Find out how Trinity equips churches to grow numerically and spiritually on pg 82.
TRINITY@JAKARTA REGIONAL CENTER PLANT Trinity@Jakarta is our first regional center plant in this Decade of Expansion, established to reach out to the English-speaking community in Jakarta. Reconnecting with Trinitarians who have returned or relocated to Jakarta, this church plant started with a monthly Church Prayer Meeting on August 2, followed by weekly Bible Seminars on August 4. The hunger for God was so strong that we launched Sunday services on September 3. During this period, we have seen many English-speaking Indonesians join us. Some have even made decisions for Christ! Anchored by two local congregation members, Trinity@Jakarta also started a Young Adults Program on September 16. It hosts bi-monthly Care and Connect events that reach the young adults in Jakarta. 5 7
In this Decade of Expansion, continue to be part of Trinity’s growing missions endeavors so that more lives can be touched and impacted for His glory. We were encouraged by the faith of this new center with their participation in its first ever Vision Faith Promise held on the same weekend as Trinity@Paya Lebar (September 24). During the Christmas season, members of Trinity@Jakarta lay hold of a miraculous catch by hosting three evangelistic Christmas parties. Praise God for one oikos who made a decision for Christ during the evangelistic presentation on December 22! As Trinity@Jakarta grows in numbers, we are encouraged to see its members grow in their commitment to God and the church. Read more about how Trinity@Jakarta has been a blessing on pg 84. On December 17, 15 people attended the Introduction to the Trinity Family course, their first step towards water baptism and church membership. The strong foundations that have been laid for Trinity@Jakarta could not have been possible without the 89 Trinitarians who have gone on the
eight waves to support this new regional center. Leading many of these waves were members of the Silver Force. Read more about their experience as team leads on pg 86.
LANGUAGE MINISTRIES Locally, Trinity continues to be a blessing to the Filipino, Indonesian, Japanese, Spanish, and Thai communities through our language ministries. On September 3, the language ministries, together with Chinese Ministry, staged the first-ever combined evangelistic event, I Am a Star, where they saw 65 decisions made for Christ. The language ministries continue to be a blessing as they Care and Connect with oikos, enabling another 310 people to make decisions for Christ this year. Read more about what they have done in 2017 on pgs 93-103.
SPONSORSHIP OF CHILDREN 1,970 destitute children in five countries (Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Thailand) are supported by the giving of Trinitarians. Through your financial support, these children have opportunities to develop intellectually, spiritually, physically, socially, and emotionally. Read more about the impact your giving has on pg 72. Besides giving, this year saw four missions teams go to India and Indonesia to bless children’s homes with programs and activities prepared just for them (pg 66).
HUMANITARIAN AID Your giving enables Trinity to bless the nations in practical and tangible ways. As part of our commitment to supporting education for underprivileged children, we sponsored the purchase of textbooks for 105 students in Berastagi, Indonesia. When massive flooding devastated 18 districts in Bihar, India this August, Trinity was able to sponsor the purchase of food for 1,000 flood victims. After Mount Sinabung erupted on Sumatra in December, Trinity sent financial aid so that relief work could be carried out on affected residents.
SOCIAL JUSTICE Trinity’s involvement in social justice continues to grow to greater levels of influence. This year, our Senior Pastor Dominic Yeo was elected to chair the newly formed Commission on Sexual Exploitation, Slavery and Trafficking of the World Assemblies of God Fellowship.
Keeping true to engagement in combating sexual exploitation, Trinity continues to be in active partnership with Project Rescue, an organization that exists to rescue and restore victims of sexual slavery. In addition to contributing specific ministry skills such as Divine Exchange and Wholeness (DEW) ministry, Trinity continues to support Project Rescue by helping to meet its daily needs. On pg 80, Project Rescue Spain shares about the way Trinity has met its need for transportation with the love offering of a vehicle for their daily use.
BE A PARTNER FOR TRINITY’S MISSIONS – PRAY, GIVE, AND GO! Trinitarians, thank you for giving your hands and heart to the missions field, both locally and abroad. In this Decade of Expansion, continue to be part of Trinity’s growing missions endeavors so that more lives can be touched and impacted for His glory.
PRAY “We think of missions happening in different areas from where we are. Trafficking is happening right next to everyone. [Through this Commission], we want churches to be aware of what is happening in their own backyard. We want every superintendent to be aware and to be an advocate. We want every pastor to be aware and to mobilize their congregation for engagement. We want every member to be an activist and advocate.”
• M issions Impact Teams: Journey mercy and God’s manifest power to be seen through their ministry • The Children: To know God intimately and to grow in favor with God and man • Ambassadors and Trainers: Fresh anointing and impactful, lasting ministry • Expansion Endeavors: Divine alliances and wisdom for our leadership
– Senior Pastor Dominic Yeo
United States of America Anaheim, California Fresno, California Garland, Texas Los Angeles, California Pebble Beach, California
Panama Panama City
Sweden Stockholm Poland Krakow United Kingdom Bebington Birmingham Coventry Doncaster Liverpool Romania Bucharest
Oxford Spain Madrid Seville Albania Shkodr
Sri Lanka Colombo Thailand Chiangmai Chiangrai Maerim
Malaysia Kepong Kuala Lumpur Sabah
West Bengal Japan
Phnom Penh Siem Reap Sihanoukville
Taipei Vietnam Singapore
Ho Chi Minh Hanoi Mekong Delta
Indonesia Jakarta Jogjakarta North Sumatra Padang
Sponsorship of Children
Missions Impact Trips
Regional Center Plant
Certain trips have been excluded from this map due to their sensitive nature.
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Trinity’s Mission Impact Trips in 2017
In 2017, 258 Trinitarians chose to be God’s hands and heart – 85 for the first time! Let’s continue to pray for the lives that have been touched and decisions made for Christ. May every seed sown be watered and nurtured to fruition! ABOUT TRINITY’S MISSIONS TRIPS Every year, Trinitarians have the opportunity to embark on missions trips both locally and overseas. OVERSEAS EVANGELISTIC In overseas evangelistic missions trips, Trinity partners with churches and organizations to engage in activities such as street evangelism, evangelistic rallies, and children and youth programs. Our partnership with local ministries serves to reinforce local evangelistic efforts so that the Gospel can be shared to greater numbers and groups of people. OVERSEAS HUMANITARIAN In overseas humanitarian missions trips, Trinity partners with churches and organizations to impact the community through acts of service. Whether we are building homes, providing medical care, or providing meals, our partnership with local ministries serves to start or reinforce local humanitarian efforts so that the local community can see and experience even more of Christ’s love in action. 6 6
LOCAL EVANGELISTIC In local evangelistic missions trips, Trinity partners with her language ministries to engage in activities such as street evangelism and evangelistic rallies. Our partnership with them allows the Gospel to be shared to greater numbers and groups of people. LOCAL HUMANITARIAN In local humanitarian missions trips, Trinity partners with Care Community Services Society (CCSS) – our social arm – to engage in extended programs with disadvantaged children and the elderly. Our partnership with CCSS allows them to organize more events, enabling the local community to see and experience even more of Christ’s love in action.
MISSIONS IMPACT TEAMS (EVANGELISTIC) MISSIONS IMPACT TEAMS (HUMANITARIAN) MISSIONS IMPACT TEAMS
YANGON, MYANMAR 274 LIVES TOUCHED 202 DECISIONS MADE FOR CHRIST Engaged in street evangelism onducted children’s programs, youth program, C and life skills seminar Number of team members: 12 Number of first-timers on the team: 5
COLOMBO, SRI LANKA 500 LIVES TOUCHED 208 DECISIONS MADE FOR CHRIST Conducted children’s programs E ngaged in street evangelism Number of team members: 11 Number of first-timers on the team: 4
APR 25MAY 1
KOLKATA, INDIA 1,520 LIVES TOUCHED 22 DECISIONS MADE FOR CHRIST onducted children’s program, youth program, C and meal program Number of team members: 8 Number of first-timers on the team: 5
PADANG, INDONESIA 5 FAMILIES TOUCHED Constructed five houses Conducted children’s programs E ngaged in home visits Number of team members: 9 Number of first-timers on the team: 2 6 7
CCSS, CAREHUT, SINGAPORE (ALPHATRACK) GUIMARAS ISLAND, PHILIPPINES 674 LIVES TOUCHED 242 DECISIONS MADE FOR CHRIST
HARYANA, INDIA 1,483 LIVES TOUCHED 111 DECISIONS MADE FOR CHRIST
Number of team members: 8 Number of first-timers on the team: 4
Number of team members: 10 Number of first-timers on the team: 5
E ngaged in hospital visits, door-todoor evangelism, and night rally Number of team members: 12 Number of first-timers on the team: 7
(SILVER FORCE) CHIANG MAI, THAILAND 57 LIVES TOUCHED 48 DECISIONS MADE FOR CHRIST Painted Champions@Chiang Mai home Conducted children’s program at Champions@Chiang Mai and Champions@Maerim Number of team members: 12 Number of first-timers on the team: 5
Conducted children’s programs
onducted children’s program and C youth program
onducted children’s program and C youth program
46 LIVES TOUCHED
SIHANOUKVILLE, CAMBODIA 1,050 LIVES TOUCHED 845 DECISIONS MADE FOR CHRIST Conducted children’s program and youth program E ngaged in street evangelism, door-to-door evangelism, and evangelistic rally Number of team members: 11 Number of first-timers on the team: 6
JOGJAKARTA, INDONESIA 550 LIVES TOUCHED Conducted children’s program onstructed shelter and painted C portions of a children’s home Conducted meal programs Provided care through medical camp
HYDERABAD, INDIA 1,485 LIVES TOUCHED 375 DECISIONS MADE FOR CHRIST
Number of team members: 14 Number of first-timers on the team: 6
onducted children’s programs, youth C programs, and life skills seminar E ngaged in door-to-door and street evangelism Number of team members: 12 Number of first-timers on the team: 8
KAOHSIUNG, TAIWAN KAOHSIUNG, TAIWAN 200 LIVES TOUCHED 20 DECISIONS MADE FOR CHRIST Conducted children’s camp Engaged in street evangelism Number of team members: 11 Number of first-timers on the team: 5
91 LIVES TOUCHED 51 DECISIONS MADE FOR CHRIST Conducted children’s program E ngaged in street evangelism and home visits
TAIPEI, TAIWAN 300 LIVES TOUCHED 60 DECISIONS MADE FOR CHRIST Conducted children’s program Number of team members: 10 Number of first-timers on the team: 3
Number of team members: 11 Number of first-timers on the team: 7
TAIPEI, TAIWAN ULAANBATUR, MONGOLIA KURNOOL, INDIA 149 LIVES TOUCHED 123 DECISIONS MADE FOR CHRIST onducted children’s program, youth C program, and food distribution Engaged in street evangelism
149 LIVES TOUCHED 130 DECISIONS MADE FOR CHRIST
165 LIVES TOUCHED Number of team members: 17 Number of first-timers on the team: 1
onducted children’s program C E ngaged in home visits, street evangelism, and youth rally Number of team members: 10 Number of first-timers on the team: 2
Provided care through medical camp Number of team members: 8 Number of first-timers on the team: 4
KEPONG, MALAYSIA 265 LIVES TOUCHED onducted children’s program and C youth program Engaged in home visitations Number of team members: 12 Number of first-timers on the team: 9
OCT 29NOV 4
(SILVER FORCE) CCSS, CARELDERLY, SINGAPORE 30 LIVES TOUCHED Conducted program for the elderly Engaged in home visitation and house cleaning Number of team members: 6 Number of first-timers on the team: 1
CHIANG RAI, THAILAND
347 LIVES TOUCHED 10 DECISIONS MADE FOR CHRIST
140 LIVES TOUCHED Constructed four homes
Conducted children’s program
Conducted children’s program Number of team members: 9 Number of first-timers on the team: 2
BIHAR, INDIA 659 LIVES TOUCHED 22 DECISIONS MADE FOR CHRIST onducted C children’s program Number of team members: 12 Number of first-timers on the team: 4
NOV 29DEC 4
Number of team members: 17 Number of first-timers on the team: 5
PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA 591 LIVES TOUCHED 388 DECISIONS MADE FOR CHRIST onducted children’s program, meal C program, life skills seminar, and night rally Number of team members: 8 Number of first-timers on the team: 7
CHIANG RAI, THAILAND 500 LIVES TOUCHED 418 DECISIONS MADE FOR CHRIST onducted C children’s program Engaged in home visits, street evangelism, and night rally Number of team members: 14 Number of first-timers on the team: 1
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Global Family Children Home Yangon, Myanmar The civil war left many children without one or both parents. Without a place like Global Family Children Home, their lives would be filled by constant hunger and the possibility of being trafficked to neighboring countries. Here, they have food to eat and an opportunity to get an education. In this big family, their sorrow turns to smiles because they have hope for the future as children of our Heavenly Father.
Johnâ€™s father passed away when he was very young. When his mother remarried, he stayed with his grandmother until she could not take care of him anymore. Community leaders tried to find a family willing to take care of him but could not find anyone. Thatâ€™s when he came to our home in 2014. Besides getting a free education and a safe place to call home, he also receives love and care from the staff here. John is a clever and active child. His aim in life is to become an engineer.
Maslandapur School West Bengal, India Maslandapur is a remote village in the state of West Bengal, India. Most of the people living here are daily laborers or work in agricultural lands who donâ€™t earn much. Thus, most parents cannot afford to send their children to school. Combined with a lack of good schools, most children end up working alongside their parents.
Children are taught various subjects according to their age. Children in lower classes learn the alphabet, numbers, and rhymes. Children in the higher classes learn Bengali (their mother tongue), English, mathematics, science, and social studies. Lunch is provided at 1:00 pm. and the children continue with classes until 3:15 p.m.
Child labor is a grave problem in this povertystricken village. That makes Maslandapur School vital to the local community. When children are well-educated, they can grow up and hold good jobs, breaking the vicious cycle of poverty.
Mouli comes from a very poor family. Her father makes very little working in a grocery shop. Since she was young, she dreamed of going to school. Though Maslandapur School, this dream can be fulfilled.
School starts at 10:15 am with morning devotion. Children are taught about Jesus and His amazing love for children. They are encouraged to memorize Bible verses and learn Gospel songs.
She is very happy here and enjoys learning. The hopelessness that once filled her heart has now cleared away. She hopes to become a teacher when she grows up.
Grace Mercy Center Haryana, India
Ashokenagar School West Bengal, India
Angels Home Kurnool, India
Home of the Champions Hyderabad, India
Sharon Seva Ministries Hyderabad, India
Sharansthan Boys Home, Home of Hope, Sharansthan Children's Home Nagpur, India Without a place of refuge, the rescue process can’t happen. Imagine yourself as someone who has finally found a way to escape from a brothel after being forced to live and work there for years. Freedom was just a dream. Now, it appears to be coming true. Yet one major obstacle stands in the way: finding a new place to call home. Without an alternative place of safety, a trafficked woman or child would feel extremely vulnerable and pressured to return to the only home they know – the brothel. For Project Rescue, refuge takes the form of the Sharansthan Charitable Society, established in Nagpur, India, to be that place of safety and refuge.
When children come to one of the three homes – Sharansthan Boys Home, Home of Hope, or the Sharansthan Children's Home – they are accepted, cared for, protected, and loved. For more than 100 survivors of human trafficking and sexual exploitation, the four walls of the homes are a shield against horrors and torture previously endured. The homes represent a place where new life is nurtured, cultivated, and ultimately grown into a hopeful future.
Andong Primary School Phnom Penh, Cambodia Rumah Anak Indonesia Children Home Jogjakarta, Indonesia New Box for Andong Learning Centre (Phnon Penh, Cambodia)
SPONSORSHIP OF CHILDREN
In addition to sponsoring homes, we have also established our own homes – The Champions@Maerim and The Champions@Chiang Mai City – where we give children opportunities to develop intellectually, spiritually, physically, and emotionally. As the children go through their daily activities, values are inculcated, characters molded, and disciplines instilled. More importantly, children have opportunities to know Jesus Christ. When they graduate from the Home, they leave with a strong foundation for the future so that they can be the Champion that God has intended for them to be. The Champions@Maerim Chiang Mai, Thailand
The Champions@Chiang Mai City Chiang Mai, Thailand
“Living here is very fun. I enjoy the worship, going to school, and playing games and sports with my friends. Here, I learn more about God and I have changed to be a better person. Before I came to this home, I could barely write the Thai alphabet. Now, I can read and write!
Mong came to The Champions@ Chiang Mai City when he was 10 years old. He was shy, timid, and cried over the little things.
Living here warms my heart – it is like living with family." – Jo, age 14
Most of boys here did not have a father figure in their hometown. Through the Home, they have a father figure in Brother Steven, who spends quality time nurturing the boys. Four years later, Mong has grown into a confident young teenager. He also learned how to play the guitar and is serving in the worship team. Mong is also very creative, having been selected by his school to compete in the yearly drawings competition. He excels in his studies and displays strong leadership qualities.
Abundant Love Children's Home Chiang Mai, Thailand
ChildCARE Plus Program Chiang Mai, Thailand
Kanshnok Home Chiang Rai, Thailand
For Project Rescue India, refuge takes the form of the Sharansthan Charitable Society, established in Nagpur to be places of safety, healing, and restoration.
For more than 100 survivors of human trafficking and sexual exploitation, the four walls of the homes are a shield against horrors and torture previously endured. The homes represent a place where new life is nurtured, cultivated, and ultimately grown into a hopeful future. Few people understand these truths more deeply than 23-year-old Sunita. At the age of four, Sunita was abandoned by her mother and left in the care of her grandparents. The two elderly people had no employment or support of any kind. They had to beg in the streets for food and money. For the next year, Sunita endured the effects of daily hunger, nutritional deficiency, exposure to the elements, and something far worse – constant fear. Fear of what would happen to her, fear of what would
happen if her grandparents sent her away, fear of others. After she turned five, Sunita’s mother suddenly reappeared. Terrible things had happened to her while she was gone. Her mother had become a prostitute, and lived with a group of other women who called each other “sisters” in a brothel. That was when Sunita’s grandparents decided to her go, and said to her, “At least your mother is working now. Go live with her. We can’t support you anymore.” When Sunita went to live with her mother, it was not a joyous reunion. There were no hugs or warm reception. There was not even a hope for having a normal family life. Sunita didn’t refer to her mother as “mother”, but instead called her by her first name, Asha. Sunita was not treated like a daughter. Instead, she was viewed as a laborer. “If I did not work, I was not given any food,” Sunita shared.
Her days started at four o’clock in the morning to fetch water, clean, and run errands. She never learned to play or have fun. She had no love, no friends, no education, and no hope. Sunita witnessed unspeakable things in the brothel, things that no child should ever see. She also endured constant verbal abuse from her mother and the “sisters.” “You are nothing.” “You are no good.” “Your only value is one day to join the flesh trade.” The flesh trade. That was Sunita’s destiny. In just a few years, Sunita’s virginity would be sold for a high price. As she grew older, her body would be sold over and over again at diminishing rates. Sunita knew her day to enter the flesh trade was approaching. In her heart, a small part of her still believed that she could be something else. She desperately wanted to go to school, learn to read, pick up skills, and escape the brothel. One day, Sunita learned there was a nearby place that offered basic classes to children like her. She was eager to find out if this was true but her mother refused to let her go. “You are worthless and useless,” Asha said. “Your only value is for the flesh trade.”
Despite the discouragement, Sunita wondered, “Why am I here? What is the purpose for living?” Sunita pressed on and went to the place. That’s when she learned about the Sharansthan Children’s Home. After telling the staff her story, they responded immediately, “Let’s go talk to your mother and see if she will let us help you.” By the grace of God, the Sharansthan staff was able to convince Sunita’s mother to let her come to the home and go to school. On one beautiful day, six-yearold Sunita took the hands of a Sharansthan staff, looked back at the brothel, and said goodbye forever. Sunita thrived at Sharansthan. She received a quality education, made many new friends, and became part of a loving family. In time, she also chose to make Jesus Christ her Lord and Savior. “When I came to Sharansthan, I discovered that I am something,” Sunita shared, “I can do something. I am not worthless.” Sunita has now grown into a beautiful young woman. She has completed high school, and earned a bachelor’s degree. Today she is one of the leaders at Sharansthan who ministers to the little “sisters” that have been rescued from the red light district.
I am something. I can do something. I am not worthless.
“God has blessed me. Words can’t express what Sharansthan means to me. To every Project Rescue staff and all of our advocates, I want to say thank you for supporting us.” 7 9
G N I L B A EN
m o d e e r F e u Tr n o i t a r AND Resto
E SPAIN U C S E R T PROJEC
W Project Rescue is an organization that exists to rescue and restore victims of sexual slavery. Through its holistic programs, Project Rescue addresses the multi-faceted needs of the whole person – body, mind, and spirit.
Without addressing the extreme mental and spiritual trauma brought on by abduction, rape, deceit, constant threats and verbal abuse, victims of sexual slavery remain trapped in a constant state of pain, fear, and oppression. That is why Trinity sends members of the Divine Exchange and Wholeness (DEW) ministry – our inner healing and deliverance ministry – to Project Rescue Spain to facilitate times of spiritual and emotional restoration so that these women can begin to experience true freedom in Christ. DEW has also provided training to the Project Rescue Spain workers so that they can continue the work of ministering to the women. In addition to contributing specific ministry skills, Trinity continues to support Project Rescue Spain by helping to meet its daily needs. Read on to find out how your giving has enabled us to bless them in a practical and tangible way.
Dear Trinitarians, Thank you for the generous love offering of a vehicle for the New Beginnings Home. We have been praying for this vehicle for a many years, especially as the need for transportation has become more pressing.
With the van, their travel time has been reduced from one hour to 20 minutes. The women are so happy to be able to journey together, giving them peace of mind that they will reach their destinations quickly and safely.
The New Beginnings Home is one of our safe houses – a highlyprotected environment where the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of rescued women can be met. During their time with us, the women are enrolled in vocational training and language courses so that they are equipped with the skills needed to establish a long-term, sustainable means of supporting themselves.
We thank God for His faithfulness and grace in 2017, including favor with local authorities and an important collaboration with the specialized police force. We have seen many breakthroughs in the lives of the women we minister to and rejoice that they are stepping into their God-given purpose and destiny.
Prior to arriving in the home, many of these women were under the control of mafia and secluded to small areas. When they arrive here, the women are faced with the challenge of navigating the intricacies of a big city. Since the home is in an area without easy access to public transportation, the women can walk several miles to reach their final destination.
We have seen many breakthroughs in the lives of the women we minister to and rejoice that they are stepping into their Godgiven purpose and destiny.
As we continue into 2018, we pray that He will enable our ministry to expand so that more lives can be touched and transformed for His glory. Trinity, thank you for your ongoing support. We are blessed to be in partnership with you.
& g n i n i a r T n o i t a t l u s Con C HE S, R U H C G N IN G D O M I K R E E H W T O G P N EM E XPANDI
Many can become
Few will become
disciples of Christ.
Though minsters have the heart to make disciples, they often struggle with how to effectively nurture members and raise leaders. Making disciples does not happen by chance. That is why churches must have a repeatable cycle and system to nurture members and raise leaders. How does a church transform the harvest field into the harvest force? By equipping local pastors and leaders â€“ who know the culture, language, and traditions of a community â€“ with the skills needed to become effective nurturers and disciple-makers.
Meeting leadership needs through the TCC Cell Church Model
TCC Cell Church Model Training Models
Over the years, God has used Trinity to develop and launch the TCC Cell Church Model to help ministries to fill in the gap between theology (what Christians know) and action (what Christians do). By doing so, churches become equipped to grow numerically and spiritually.
Through the TCC Cell Church Model, believers understand that they are called to relate to, live in, and be a part of a spiritual community (interdependence). They also discover and use each other’s spiritual gifts and strengths for Kingdom advancement (team ministry).
• Seven Steps to Transforming Your Church
Pastor Christina Onn, Pastor Margaret Tay, and many of Trinity’s ministers travel frequently to help churches transition into a carecell-based church through the TCC Cell Church Model.
We thank God for the multiplication of fruit. Today, several churches trained in the TCC Cell Church Model now partner with us to train other churches. Entire communities of faith come to understand, embrace, and live out Kingdom values – one that daily lives out the Great Commandment and Great Commission.
• Planning and Navigating Towards Carecell Multiplication
• Spiritual Parenting Training • Carecell Leaders’ Training • Section Leaders’ Training • Nurturing that Transforms Lives • Mastering the 5 Gs
Carecell Resources • Book of Life • New Beginnings • New Steps • New Choices • New Calling • Becoming a Person of Destiny I • Becoming a Person of Destiny II • Becoming a Person of Destiny III
Enabling Spiritual Breakthrough Beyond Singapore’s Shores In August 2017, Trinity followed God’s call to expansion by starting Trinity@Jakarta, our first regional center plant. The rapid growth experienced over the past six months is testament of the spiritual hunger of the English-speaking community in the city. Read on to find out how Trinity@Jakarta has become a channel of blessing and growth.
"After becoming a Christian in 2001, I became active in a church and served faithfully there. Over time, there was a prompting in me to look for a new church because I felt that God had something more in store for me. Despite visiting many churches in Jakarta, I still couldn’t find what I was looking for. After hearing that Trinity was starting a church in Jakarta, I decided to visit one of the Potential to Fulfillment seminars. At the seminar, Pastor Dominic shared from Isaiah 43:19: “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” When I read this verse two years ago, I didn’t understand it. Through Pastor Dominic’s sharing that night, I finally understood that it was about 8 4
God’s desire for us to experience new life and fruitfulness, new authority and dominion. With that prophetic revelation, something leapt within me. I felt God renewing my life’s purpose. I was energized and saw a divine shift taking place in my marketplace ministry. As a human resources consultant, I became mindful to impart godly values in client trainings. One of my clients actually observed a real difference in their team because of this new way of working. I am humbled by how God has used me, enabling me to thrive in all that I do. Today I’m part of the first fellowship carecell in Trinity@Jakarta. I believe God has greater things in store for my life, and for all of us here at Trinity@Jakarta!" Budi Haryanto
REGIONAL CENTER PLANTING
We celebrate with Trinity@Jakarta on starting the year with many firsts!
Just four months after the launch of Trinity@Jakarta, 11
We also welcomed 29 people into the Trinity family in the first
people publicly declared their commitment to God in the
membership service on January 28.
first water baptism on January 11.
Invite your friends and family living in Jakarta to join us! Celebration Service Sunday, 10am Hotel Aryduta Jakarta Mezzanine Level, Ambassador Room Tugu Tani, Jakarta Fellowship Carecell Friday, 7:30pm Email firstname.lastname@example.org or WhatsApp +62 821 2551 5144 for details!
The community of faith grows ever-deeper with the launch of the first fellowship carecell on January 25.
Praise God for a church that is growing from strength to strength!
Church Prayer Meeting First Wednesday of the month, 8pm Hotel Aryduta Jakarta Mezzanine Level, Ambassador Room Tugu Tani, Jakarta www.trinity-indo.asia 8 5
Silver force "With the Silver Force in place, we are calling for this generation to embrace a greater sense of purpose. This generation has much wisdom and life experiences to offer to the Lord. More than that, God wants to 're-tire and re-fire' this generation, releasing them to contribute towards Kingdom-building." â€“ Senior Pastor Dominic Yeo
Through the missions serving opportunity, several members of the Silver Force took their leadership to the next level by becoming team leaders on Trinityâ€™s missions trips. After a season of training, they were sent to lead missions impact teams both locally and abroad. One even found her missional calling by coming in fulltime for Trinity@Jakarta!
MISSIONS IMPACT TEAMS (HUMANITARIAN) MISSIONS IMPACT TRIPS (EVANGELISTIC)
REGIONAL CENTER PLANTING COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
"When Pastor Lee Mei Yee approached me about being a team leader to our children’s homes in Thailand, I was doubtful. I didn’t think I had the spiritual maturity to do it. At my first meeting with Pastor Beatrice Kang in August 2017, I caught her heartbeat for missions. When we were going through the interview process, I saw how she prayed for every single interviewee, teaching me that the missions trip starts long before we step into the missions field.
MISSIONS IMPACT TEAMS
Being a team leader has given me a new mindset on missions: if Jesus is in the center of all that we do, then we can be empowered to lead! Each of us has been given spiritual gifts so that we could fulfill the Great Commission. By actively and vigorously working together, we can be a symphony of service to God. I am grateful that Trinity has created the Silver Force. Indeed, I want my silver years to be the best years of my life.”
"After coming back from the first Wave to Trinity@Jakarta in August 2017, the leadership asked if I wanted to help with Trinity@Jakarta on a part-time basis. I took on the assignment because the timing seemed God-ordained; I had just resigned from my previous job in June. In October, I was asked to come in full-time.
Two days before leaving for my first stint to Trinity@Jakarta, members of the Army came to my home to talk about my younger son. At first, I thought something bad had happened but it was the opposite; they wanted to share about how well he was doing in National Service! I saw that as God’s reminder that He is watching over my family.
I hesitated because of my family. I have two children and though they are old enough to take care of themselves, I worried about them. When I prayed to God about this, He was very clear about going full-time but I struggled to obey.
Currently, I serve as a Section Leader in Trinity@Jakarta. Some of my carecell members are people whom I had led when they were living in Singapore over a decade ago! Never would I have imagined the opportunity to be their leader again. Indeed, the Trinitarian experience is something that people remember and come back to.
During a time of devotion during Wave 8 to Trinity@Jakarta, God led me to read Judges 6: “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior…Go in the strength you have…Am I not sending you?” These verses struck me because just like Gideon, I was also asking for signs. When we entered into a time of worship, the leader sent across the song, “More Than Anything.” When I heard the line “more than family,” I broke down and cried. I knew that it was time to surrender my children to God and come in full-time.
I am so excited to be a part of Trinity@Jakarta because I know that God is involved in the planting of this regional center. It has been amazing to see the congregation strengthen. I’ve also seen many regulars take steps to make Trinity@Jakarta their home church, serving in Ministry Expressions, going through Introduction to the Trinity Family and signing up for church membership.”
Sandy Tan Associate Leader, West District Team leader for the December 8-12 trip to Chiang Rai
Grace Hee Team leader for Wave 4 and 8 to Trinity@Jakarta Section Leader, Trinity@Jakarta 8 7
“When Pastor Dominic shared that the Silver Force would be leading missions trips, I was looking forward to serve in that capacity but I didn’t expect the opportunity to come so soon! I was honored that Trinity would trust me enough to ask me to be a team leader on the first Silver Force trip to our children’s homes in Thailand. At the same time, I was very apprehensive; I knew my limitations and I had never led a missions trip before. I overcame these fears by reminding myself that it is not about me or what I can do, rather, it is all about God and what He can do through me.
“Being semi-retired, I have been looking for new ways to be engaged in God’s kingdom-work. But when I was first asked to be a team leader, my initial thought was that it was someone else’s call to answer. After all I had doubts about whether I was ready or sufficiently equipped for the role.
Pastor Beatrice Kang was very patient in mentoring me and the team. From preparation to evaluation to administrative duties, she took us through every step of the process.
But since returning from the first Wave to Trinity@Jakarta in August 2017, I was still waiting for some form of expansion to take place in my life. Then it dawned on me that becoming a team leader was to be the start of my expansion. I tried to silence the prompting to be a team leader for Wave 5 but I could find no rest until I finally said yes. I am grateful for the regular meetings with Pastor Margaret Tay who guided me through every aspect of the trip.
The missions trip was a very rich experience, contributing much to my personal spiritual growth. Many of our achievements on the trip were not because of our abilities but because His divine hand was at work.
Answering God’s call has nothing to do with how equipped we are. Rather, it’s about obedience and a heart that’s ready to take on the assignments He has for us. When we choose to rely on God, He will equip us for every good work.”
I am honored to be part of the Silver Force. As long as I am healthy and able, I will continue to serve God. Indeed, none of us should stagnate in our faith. We should endeavor to strengthen it by actively serving.”
Richard Lee Section Leader, West District Team leader for the May 22-28 trip to The Champions@Chiang Mai and The Champions@Maerim
Adrian Tan Carecell Leader, South District Team leader for Wave 5 to Trinity@Jakarta
General Epistles & Revela�ion The General Epistles – Hebrews, James, 1 & 2 Peter, 1, 2 & 3 John, and Jude, provide wonderful promises, inspiration and practical advice for Christians in modern times. The Book of Revelation is one of the most baffling books as it looks at the end times and second coming of Christ. However this book is for us to live with a sense of hope as God reveals what He is going to do, and how we should respond in the light of all that He is doing.
Sat, Jun 23 & 30 10am - 4pm Trinity@Paya Lebar
Did you know? If you take a Bible Series course every quarter, you will complete the Bible in three years! Register and begin your journey today!
Leaders’ Empowerment and Discipleship
To Register: SMS: Send CR to 8481 4277 or 8481 4273 (select Epistles Rev) Online: Register online at www.trinity.sg Trinity’s iPhone app or Walk-in
HEARTBEAT Pastor Martin Storey
Many pastors lack spiritual mentors who they can confide in, often walking the path of leadership alone. With so many ministry demands, they often do not have opportunities to think about where God want to take their ministry. A strong leader is essential to building a strong church. To that end, Senior Pastor Dominic Yeo created the Ministry and Mentorship (M2) Network in 2014 where he and the leadership team personally disciple a select group of ministers in their ministerial journey and personal lives. Pastors Martin and Esther Storey have been part of the M2 Network since June 2014. Read on to discover how he helped their church, Christian Life Ministries (CLM), experience breakthrough in the area of extravagant giving. 9 0
Updates from the
M2 Network Pastor Esther Storey
During a leadership mentoring session in April 2015, Pastor Dominic asked us about the financial state of CLM. At that time, the church had a 25-year mortgage of £1,800,000 on a new, recentlybuilt facility. The repayments were over 20 percent of the church’s expenditure, greatly restricting our ability to carry out CLM’s Godgiven vision. After sharing this with Pastor Dominic, he challenged us to accelerate our mortgage repayment by holding a Vision Faith Promise. Though the church’s annual giving had increased from around £200,000 to almost £400,000 over the past three years, going beyond this seemed to be a huge challenge for us. We were unsure that the church would be able to step up beyond its current contributions.
EXERCISING FAITH THROUGH EXTRAVAGANT GIVING
Despite our doubts, we sensed God’s prompting and agreed to make plans for our first ever Vision Rally for the following year. As part of our preparation, we were invited to Trinity’s Vision Rally and Vision Weekend in September 2015. There, we had sessions with the leadership about logistics. We were inspired by the messages shared by Reverend Wilfredo de Jesús. We witnessed Trinitarians rise to new levels of faith through their giving. With each increase in the Vision Faith Promise figure, so, too, did our faith. We saw that it was possible to rally our members to sow into the vision of our church, to do their part so that God can do great things in and through CLM. Upon returning to the UK, we prayerfully began to make plans. Amazingly, we were able to
coincide Vision Sunday with our 80th anniversary on October 2016. Entitled Vision80, we believed it fitting to honor our past by sowing into our future. Pastor Dominic came to preach that weekend to stir the faith of our members. Initially, we had hoped to exceed £100,000 but on that unforgettable morning, we saw contributions and 12-month commitments exceed £400,000. The rejoicing in the church was amazing! Most people, from the children to our oldest members, had stepped out in faith. They did not know how their commitments would be fulfilled. The faithfulness of God met the faith of our people and in the following 12 months, hundreds experienced God’s personal provision in a new way. In addition to paying £470,000 off the mortgage, the church increased its investment in ministries and missions. “Almost half a million pounds!” was the phrase ringing around the church. No big donors, no high rollers, just a surrendered people learning to listen and obey! We felt as though a miracle had flowed from our hands. Indeed, CLM has moved forward as a church that gives extravagantly. On November 5, 2017 we held our second Vision Sunday and asked the church to take their faith to the Next Level by sowing into the season ahead. Once again, we were amazed as over £400,000 was given and committed for the 12 months ahead. We are believing to be debtfree by 2020.
THE GOSPEL IN COVENTRY AND BEYOND
The Lord has enabled CLM to do great things in our city and beyond. Since initiating City Praise and Prayer in 2013, we have had the honor of hosting this bi-annual prayer gathering. Nearly 80 churches from various denominations come together to pray over Coventry – a wonderful demonstration of the type of unity the apostle Paul sought among the Christian community. God has also positioned CLM to play a key part in developing many citywide compassion and evangelism projects. One such project was the establishment of a Winter Night Shelter to house the homeless in churches through the coldest months of the year. In March 2018, CLM will also be partnering with other churches to send teams into every high school in Coventry, to reach tens of thousands of teenagers with the Gospel. As the church steps into new levels of influence, CLM stands ready to exercise new levels of faith so that more lives can be transformed for His glory. We have no doubt that this growth was possible in large part to Pastor Dominic’s apostolic challenge, personal encouragement, and impartation of faith. We would also like to give a huge thank-you to Trinity and Trinitarians for your ongoing support and investment in our church, for encouraging our hearts, inspiring our faith and prompting us to greater kingdom impact in the United Kingdom for God.
AlphaTrack is a three-month full-time experiential training program that equips and empowers ordinary believers to become Harvest Warriors and Strategic Leaders.
Be immersed in the presence of God.
Transform your life in 2018
Be transformed by His power.
Want to find out more about AlphaTrack?
Be released to impact the church and marketplace.
Batch 51: September 10-December 7
â€˘ Pick up an AlphaTrack flyer at our Information Counters â€˘ Visit www.trinity.sg for more information (I want to Develop my potential > AlphaTrack > About AlphaTrack)
Don’t complain to yourselves that you can’t go to the missions field. Thank God for bringing the missions field to you!
– Andrew Van der Bilj, smuggled Bibles across borders during the Cold War
There over 1.3 million nonSingaporeans working in Singapore.1 Far from homes and communities, many struggle with loneliness and adapting to a new culture. Through the language ministries, Trinity meets these needs by enabling these individuals and families to be part of a strong community life, offering a support system they can rely on throughout their time in Singapore. It is in these familiar settings that real relationships are built and lives are transformed. Many are strengthened in the faith because they are able to
hear the Gospel, grow in the Word, and worship God in their native language. Given the transient nature of Singapore, Trinity’s language ministry pastors shepherd their flock knowing that many will return home. Though there is sadness when they leave, there is also joy because there is one more person who can take the Gospel beyond these shores. Read on to find out about the amazing ways Trinity’s language ministries have been making an impact in Singapore and beyond.
Embracing the Decade of Expansion
Filipino Ministry’s Breakthrough Events in 2017
Five Years of Faithfulness
Japanese Ministry’s Milestone Events
Strength in Numbers 1. “Foreign Workforce Numbers,” Ministry of Manpower Singapore, last modified October 19, 2017, accessed January 26, 2018, http:// www.mom.gov.sg/documents-andpublications/foreign-workforcenumbers.
Pastor Joanna Teoh joins the Indonesian Ministry
A New Season
Pastor Misael Cornelio joins the Spanish Ministry
From Strength to Strength Empowering and Equipping the Thai Ministry
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in 2017 gh Events u ro th k a re inistry’s B Filipino M The Filipino Ministry embraced the first year of the Decade of Expansion by embarking on endeavors that stretched and expanded them like never before.
Restored A Filipino Ministry evangelistic event On October 29, the Filipino Ministry partnered with actress and TV personality Donita Rose to host its largest evangelistic event to-date, Restored. Anchored by the Young Adults Ministry carecell, Restored was hosted so that the Filipino population of Singapore could hear of God’s restorative love amidst the brokenness and challenges of life. Over 70 volunteers persevered for two months through many uncertainties and challenges, demonstrating Passionate Honor as they sacrificed time and talents. Sundays were buzzing with rehearsals as dancers, singers, actors and testimony-givers came together for practice.
“I was so blessed because God completely restored me and He gave me the opportunity to share my testimony at Restored. He really changed my life, freeing me from the bondages of the past.” – Grace Andales
During the event, Donita Rose shared how she had found restoration and hope through Christ. Closing the time was Pastor Michelle Dolendo who shared that Jesus was still active in restoring lives. We praise God that over 700 people attended and 85 made decisions to be restored in Christ!
Touching lives in Cambodia The Filipino Ministry’s first overseas missions trip From November 29 to December 4, eight members went on the Filipino Ministry’s first overseas evangelistic missions trip to Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Challenged to step out and be a blessing to the nations, several dared to ask their employers for time off so that they could go.
Conducting children’s programs, a meal program, life skills seminar, and a night rally, the team demonstrated Incredible Unity as they worked together to be a blessing. The elders in one village shared how they were so happy that a team of foreigners took the time to visit them and showed acts of kindness to the community.
“As a recipient of missions in my hometown, I know the importance of serving others, especially if it’s in partnership with God. Though things like power shortages and broken vehicles can happen on a missions trip, they should not distract us from our purpose. As long as we have the Holy Spirit with us, the impossible becomes possible.” – Eric Villaroman
When they ministered in the same church where their team lead, Pastor Michelle, served as missionary 20 years ago, it opened their eyes to what God meant when He promised everlasting fruit: those she had taught in Sunday school were now leaders in the church! Praise God for the ability to touch 591 lives and enable 388 to make decisions for Christ!
Life Skills Courses Building bonds and empowering lives Seventeen years ago during a walk along Orchard Road, members of of the Filipino Ministry saw many domestic helpers spending their day
off without much to do. A desire to reach out to their kababayan (countrymen) gave birth to Life Skills Courses in 2001 as a way to make rest days more meaningful. In addition to gaining confidence in newfound abilities, Life Skills Courses offer a strong community life that gives foreign workers a support system they can rely on throughout their time in Singapore. For those who return to their homeland, many have used skills learned from these courses to engage in new professions or open small businesses, establishing longterm, sustainable means of supporting themselves and their families. We praise God that 2017 was a year where Life Skills Courses saw the largest intake to-date, providing 338 with the opportunity to learn new skills. May God continue to use this platform to reach out to the Filipino community in Singapore.
“I came to know of the dressmaking courses through my cousin. I signed up because I was very interested in making my own clothing. Though making patterns is very challenging, I am grateful for all the help and support my teachers and course mates have given me. They were very approachable and friendly. Now, I can make my own dresses and teach others to do the same.” – Felicitas Tungpalan
As a recipient of missions in my hometown, I know the importance of serving others, especially if it’s in partnership with God.
Filipino Invite your in us! friends to jo istry Filipino Min rvice Se on Celebrati Sunday, 11am Level 3, ter 2 Lecture Thea Lebar Trinity@Paya 9 5
July 2017 marked a milestone for the Japanese Ministry as it celebrated five years of God’s faithfulness. We praise God for the growth we have seen over the years.
“In 1999, I made my first visit to Singapore and my Singaporean friend brought me to service at Trinity. At that service, I saw a need for a local ministry to connect with the Japanese community here. Japanese families often relocate to Singapore because of a husband or father’s work commitments. Adjusting to this new environment can be difficult and stressful, especially because of the language and culture barrier. In 2008, Pastor Dominic approached me with the view of setting up a Japanese Ministry in Singapore. After much prayer, council, and the support of my family, 2011 was the year I decided to obey God, stepping up to lead the Trinity’s Japanese Ministry.” – Pastor Toyomi Sanga
JULY 15, 2012 Japanese Ministry holds it's first service at Trinity@Paya Lebar, held on the second and third Sunday of every month. What started with four regular Japanese attendees has now grown to 30.
DECEMBER 2012 One person recieves membership in the Japanese Ministry’s first membership ceremony.
JULY 20, 2013 Led by Gospel musician Ray Sidney, the J-Gospel Choir holds its first concert. After seeing many lives touched by God through songs, the Japanese Ministry formed the J-Gospel Choir as a way to reach out to prebelieving friends. 100 participants were on the stage and the floor, singing and dancing as one. At a special Gospel service on the following Sunday, three people made decisions for Christ! In July, Ray will return to lead the eleventh Concert.
SEPTEMBER 10, 2013 Parenting Seminars commence at The Japanese Association as a way to reach out to the community – caring and connecting with families by meeting needs and showing them God’s love. 18 people attend the first seminar. Today, it hosts over 50 attendees. Since January 2018, Parenting Seminars, have evolved from lectures to smaller, intimate settings that facilitate times of open sharing once a month.
SEPTEMBER 11, 2013 The first ladies small group starts, a platform where homemakers can gather for fellowship and strengthening in the faith.
“When I was in high school, I fell in love with the movie Sister Act and have longed to sing in a gospel Choir. In March 2016, I came across a gospel choir recruitment notice in a Japanese magazine that I seldom look at – just one day before the first practice! “This is it!” I thought and joined the practice. First gospel song I sung in the practice, “Kimiwa aisarerutame umareta” (“You are Born to Be Loved”), brought about a joy that I had never experienced in my life. Meeting Pastor Toyomi was also lifechanging. She is unlike anyone I had ever met. When she introduced herself as a pastor, I decided to go to the Japanese service out of curiosity. In Japan, churches are known as venues for weddings. At the Japanese service, it was as if I stepped into a different world. There was a band, lots of singing, and sincere prayer. At first, I had my doubts but there was no doubt in my mind that I would one day believe in God. There’s such a power in J-Gospel and the Japanese Ministry. Here, we can find amazing power, joy, and a lot of love. I know that I did not come here by coincidence. I thank God for showing me why I am here in Singapore for this season of life.” – Ayano Shingai 9 7
SEPTEMBER 13, 2015 Three ladies step forward to participate in the first water baptism.
“It was a struggle for me to proceed with water baptism; I felt I didn’t know enough about God. One day, my Christian friend told me that I could confess that I don’t understand but that I want to know Him more. After this prayer, God revealed that He simply accepts me for who I am. When I learned that truth, my heart gradually changed and I was finally ready to go for water baptism.”
JUNE 15, 2014
– Kumiko Watanabe
The first “Youth, Young Adults” (YYA) small group starts, a platform for those from their teens to their forties to get together and grow in Christlikeness. Today, seven small groups have become places where people can continue to grow in Christ – ladies small groups, YYA small groups, and bible seminars. This year, a J-Gospel small group will be birthed to bring together those with a common passion of singing. My daughter's water baptism, one year later
SEPTEMBER 10, 2017 JULY 9, 2017 Parents of Haru commit to raising her in the ways of the Lord in the first baby dedication. “In April 2017, we have received the most wonderful blessing in our life, our daughter Haru. We are thankful that Pastor Toyomi shared with us about the significance of baby dedication and agreed to do it. We wanted to give our daughter back to our Heavenly Father, committing to bringing her up in the faith. We also wanted to acknowledge that raising her will not be by our own work but by His grace.” – Kim Juhuak and Mariko Ueno
APRIL 15, 2016 Members of the Japanese Ministry come together for its first Prayer Meeting, held on the second Friday of every month. “When we prayed to see more Japanese come for our service, we saw pre-believing members of the J Gospel Choir come for service and make decisions for Christ. When we prayed for members to grow in their desire to know Christ, we saw more participants in the bible seminar. I believe that we will continue to see signs, miracles and wonders in Japanese Ministry as we come together at the Prayer Meeting with Audacious Fervor – boldness and zeal to ask largely for the impossible.” – Keiko Fukui
The Japanese Ministry celebrates five years of God’s faithfulness with an anniversary service and celebration party. Pre-believing friends were invited for a time of fellowship and testimony-sharing. “When the Japanese Ministry started in 2012, I felt that it was an answered prayer, providing me with a community where can pray and worship God in my native language. Although there were only few of us in the first service, the room was filled with joy for what God was starting in our midst. God had nurtured me through pastors and leaders so that I would be ready to serve in Japanese Ministry. When the YYA carecell started in 2014, I stepped up to be its carecell leader. So far, six members of the YYA carecell have gone through water baptism! This is very amazing because of how challenging it is to bring young people to churches in Japan. Since February 2018, the carecell has shifted its timing from Sunday afternoon to Friday evening Invite your ing to facilitate more regular eak Japanese-sp in us! gatherings. I pray that members jo friends to of YYA, including myself, will continue to build a good istry Japanese Min rvice foundation in 2018 so that we Se on Celebrati are ready to move forward in Sunday of 2nd and 3rdonth the Decade of Expansion.” the M tel Block , Level 1, Hos H1 – Takashi Moriyama om ro Class Lebar Trinity@Paya 9 9
Since January 2018, Pastor Joanna Teoh has been serving alongside Pastor Steven Tay in leading the Indonesian Ministry. Read on to find out more about her! Tell us a little more about yourself. I was born in Ipoh, Malaysia. At 16, I knew that I had a full-time call but didn’t know how or when it happened. In 1989, I responded to God’s call to study nursing in Singapore, a profession that would enable me to go to any country that God would call me to serve in. I came to Trinity in 1993 when my colleague, Pastor Melina Hee (when she was still in nursing) invited me to service. I made Trinity my home church because it was serious about disciple-making, something that I am also very passionate about. Once I decided to set down
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roots here, my spiritual growth accelerated. Through the carecell, I became a Spiritual Parent, Carecell Leader, and Section Leader. I went through the Ministry Intern Program where I served the West District. Since coming into full-time ministry, I’ve served in South District, East District, and AlphaTrack. I wind down by watching movies or reading. I also have a planted aquarium at home that I enjoy tending and watching the plants grow. Since I love the outdoors, I exercise by going for walks at the parks. I am also very passionate about food. Durians, crabs, ice cream are some of my favorites, and I will go the distance to get the best food!
What do you enjoy most about being a pastor? I enjoy seeing people make decisions for Christ and grow in their relationship with God. I believe discipleship is a lifestyle, first being a disciple and then becoming a disciplemaker – equipping people to become Harvest Warriors and Strategic Leaders. I also enjoy the privilege of being allowed into lives, walking with them in their journey of faith. There is great joy in seeing lives transformed by and for Jesus. What are some things that encourage or inspire you about the Indonesian ministry? I am very encouraged by the pride the Indonesian Ministry has in being Trinitarians. When some members only have two rest days a month, it is very encouraging to see them choose to spend that time with the community of God, being built up on the faith and being equipped to serve Him. If you want to see Acts 2:42-47 in action, come join us after the 11:00am Sunday service! You will find a community that does everything together: break bread, study God’s Word, fellowship, and evangelize.
What are some words of encouragement you would like to give to the Indonesian Ministry? As someone who has come from a neighboring country, I believe it is God’s divine purpose and timing that every single one of you is in Singapore right now. I believe that every single one of you is here to be equipped before He sends you back to Indonesia or the next destination. Take advantage of every opportunity to grow! Every moment spent here counts for eternity because you will be empowered to reach out to your family, friends, and whoever God places in your life. To every leader in the Indonesian Ministry, thank you for sowing relentlessly into the lives of every member. What you do impacts not just your countrymen but the households where different ones have been strategically positioned. I am proud and happy to serve alongside you as we empower Indonesian Ministry to be a Harvest Force for Jesus!
I enjoy seeing people make decisions for Christ and grow in their relationship with God. Invite your ds frien Indonesian us! to join inistry Indonesian M rvice Se on ti ra eb Cel Sunday, 11am Level 3, ter 1 Lecture Thea Lebar Trinity@Paya 1 0 1
HEARTBEAT TELL US A LITTLE MORE ABOUT YOURSELF
J O IN S N E L IO E L C O R IS T R Y A IS M R H M IN PA S T O S PA N IS
I'm from the Dominican Republic, a beautiful island located in the Caribbean, Central America. It is a country blessed by great beaches and the friendliest people in the world. My parents have been serving as ministers with the Assemblies of God in the Dominican Republic for the past 45 years. I thank God for such a blessed childhood, growing up in a culture of prayer meetings, mission trips, and evangelistic crusades, that instilled in me a heart for serving and loving people. I am married to Debora and in September 2017 our family expanded with the addition of a beautiful baby boy, Benjamin Eilam Cornelio. My favorite pastimes are reading and jogging.
HEARTBEAT - Spanish Ministry
Since January 2018, Pastor Misael Cornelio and his family have come to Singapore to lead the Spanish Ministry. Read on to find out more about him!
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Debora and I have been serving in Asia as church planters and missionaries for the past ten years – from India, to Bangladesh, to the Philippines – deepening our love for God and the people of Asia. We prayed for opportunities to continue serving in Asia and a year later, the World Assemblies of God Fellowship Missions Commission extended an invitation for me to be the Spanish Ministry Pastor at Trinity. We saw this as God’s way of meeting the desire of our hearts by giving us the opportunity to serve two groups of people who are very dear to
us. After another season of praying, we made the decision to move to Singapore and start this new season of ministry.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY THE MOST ABOUT BEING IN THE MINISTRY? What I enjoy most is being able to, through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, empower people in ways that will help them grow in the Lord and be the salt and light of their places of influence. As missionary to India Leslie Newbigin once said, “It is the whole Church which is called to be, in Christ, a royal priesthood… every member of the body is called to the exercise of this priesthood…to be exercised in the daily life and work of Christians in the secular business of the world.”
given of their time and talents to be a blessing to the Spanish-speaking community in Singapore. They are part of a new generation that will join forces with us to go forward as local missionaries to reach thousands of Ibero-American people.
WHAT ARE SOME WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT YOU WOULD LIKE TO GIVE TO THE SPANISH MINISTRY?
Every person will be It is my profound conviction that this is expanded in a new season for the Spanish Ministry. Every person will be expanded in new new ways so ways so that God’s will can be done through each of them. that God’s will When the Lord called Abraham to can be done leave his homeland, He did it for at least two purposes: to (1) bless through each HEARTBEAT - bySpanish Ministry Abraham making him into a great WHAT ARE SOME THINGS nation, and (2) be a conduit of God’s THAT ENCOURAGE OR of them. blessings to the nations. INSPIRE YOU ABOUT THE SPANISH MINISTRY?
I believe this is a prophetic ministry established to help the Spanishspeaking community of Singapore. By creating a community where people can be rooted in the Word and empowered to serve, this is a place where men and women can grow in living out their God-given purpose, being real witnesses in the places He has placed them. One of the most exciting things I have seen is how many Trinitarians have
I believe that God has brought every member of the Spanish Ministry to Singapore to be blessed spiritually, relationally and this comes with a promise of multiplication. At the same time, they are called to be a blessing to Singapore and beyond, using the gifts He has given them to live out His purposes. As Apostle Paul shared in 2 Corinthians 9:8, “And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”
SpanishInvite your iends to speaking fr s! join u istry Spanish Min rvice Se on ti ra eb Cel Sunday, 11am Level 4, Classroom 7 Lebar Trinity@Paya 1 0 3
AI M IN IS TRY UIPPIN G TH E TH EQ D AN G IN ER EM POW
In preparing for the Decade of Expansion, 2017 was a year when the Thai Ministry focused on strengthening the people for the journey ahead. The first half of the year focused on growing in the Word life through Scripture memorization. Building on the Spiritual Parenting 1 course conducted in 2016, all members were encouraged to attend Spiritual Parenting 2 last year to catch God’s heartbeat for the lost. In the second half of the year, lay leaders grew in their commitment to the church and to one another through the newly-launched leadership carecell. There, they learned to work together and support one another in the ministry. In 2018, leaders will continue the journey as they prepare to attend Carecell Leaders’ Training 1.
"Initially, the Spiritual Parenting courses were difficult. I didn’t think I could become a Spiritual Parent. Despite these doubts, I persevered and after three weeks of lessons, I started to understand what was being taught. I even found the classes enjoyable! Spiritual Parenting taught me the heart and skills needed to share the Gospel. Now, I have courage to talk to others about God. Today, I apply what I’ve learned in the carecell, nurturing Spiritual Babies to grow in the Lord. By growing in my Word life – reading my Bible and having Time Alone With God everyday – I teach them how to grow in loving God by reading His Word." – Mana Srikhoad
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"I thank God for the opportunity to attend Spiritual Parenting 1 and 2. During the class, they emphasized the need to do our Time Alone with God. When I started doing that, I gained a better understanding of my calling and purpose. In 2017, I went on a missions trip to Thailand where I shared the Gospel with my family and neighbors. I thank God that we could lead 11 people to make decisions for Jesus. I know that I am changed for the better, yet, there are many more things to learn. May 2018 be a year where God can equip me to be a good and fruitful vessel.
"Through Spiritual Parenting 1 and 2, my faith has increased and I know what I am living for. I have learned about my spiritual authority in Christ, how to do Time Alone with God, pray with faith, and proclaim the Gospel. I have grown in the areas of patience, self-control, forgiveness, and showing concern to others. I’m also serving more actively and I have courage to share the gospel, lead someone to Christ and nurture them to grow in God’s way.
– Achara Yodphan
"I am glad to have attended the Spiritual Parenting courses. They were an answered prayer, a way for me to learn about God at a deeper level. Through it, I learned that I am a priest chosen by God, an intercessor standing between Him and prebelievers. I have made it a discipline to regularly pray that my oikos receive salvation just as I did. My soul is delighted to be a part of God’s mission with my brothers and sisters in Christ. While I am serving the Lord, I know that the Holy Spirit leads me. When I see miracles, I am reminded that God is alive and always leading me." – Jongrak Wong
I’m transformed into a better person but I know that there is more growth ahead. I’m thankful to my God who loves me, leads me, and helps me to grow stronger every day."
Spiritual Parenting taught me the heart and skills needed to share the Gospel. Now, I have courage to talk to others about God.
– Titima Boonkrut
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Recognizing the need to equip future ministers, Trinity created the Ministry Internship – a one-year training program designed to equip men and women with a full-time call to minister effectively as a pastor. Focused on formation and development of the minister (personhood, perspectives, practice), the Ministry Internship curriculum combines practical hands-on training with academic theological education. Luke Williams recently completed his year as a Ministry Intern (MI) in December 2017. Read on for his reflections about the program.
In September 2015, I began a voluntary year of ministry at my church, Christian Life Ministries (CLM) in Coventry, United Kingdom. As the year went by, I began to sense a call into full-time ministry – something that was affirmed many times by my family and church leaders. I trusted that God would enable and equip me to live out my call. Logically, I should have applied for bible schools in the UK but felt no peace when doing so. All I could do was to keep waiting on God, believing that He would direct my footsteps.
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In April 2016, Pastor Dominic and several Trinity pastors came to CLM for a time of ministry. That trip turned my whole world upside down when Pastor Dominic initiated a conversation with my Senior Pastors about me coming to Singapore for a season of training. Two
weeks later, Pastors Martin and Esther sat me down to tell me about the offer. I had never been to Singapore, let alone Asia, but I knew in my spirit that this was the journey God wanted me to embark on. I arrived in Singapore in August 2016 with no idea about what to expect from this season of equipping. I certainly was not ready for the heat and humidity! The Ministry Internship will certainly fast-track anyone who believes they have a call for full-time ministry. It’s a time where one will constantly battle the flesh, faced with the choice to give up or persevere so that Christ may shine more gloriously through our lives. Every MI’s experience is unique because he/she is attached to different ministries. I spent most of my time with IGNYTE
(Trinity’s youth ministry) and some time with the Campus Ministry. From carecells to large-scale evangelistic events, I was tasked to do many things. From preaching to hosting, planning for events to leading carecells – I had never felt so stretched and out of my league. Many times, I just felt like a little boy far from his mum!
scary-yet-brilliant times where we shared a message for the purpose of being critiqued. It can be tough to hear feedback but I’m grateful that we had an avenue to improve how we handle and deliver the Word of God. As a MI cohort, we went on a missions wave to Trinity@Jakarta to strengthen the foundations of this fledgling regional center plant – connecting with the local population (especially the young adults) and inviting them for service. I also had opportunities to serve in other ministries. In DiscoveryLand (the children’s ministry) I even got to act as Luke Skywalker for a Christmas evangelistic event. While being equipped to understand the subtleties of ministry was fantastic, the deepest and most significant changes I experienced were with my character and how I saw God. A huge portion of my time as an MI has been about growing deep roots. It wasn’t pretty, glamorous, or obvious but necessary for me to bear good fruit.
Despite the many challenges, I was blessed to be mentored by many pastors who cared for me and took the time to sow into my life. Indeed, Trinity is a church where you will never walk alone! As an MI, we are also required to take two TCA College modules each term. Though it was tough juggling ministry and school, I am grateful for the opportunity to increase my theological understanding. I will dearly miss the library! In our weekly MI impartation sessions, we were further sharpened as future ministers. The preaching clinics were
Before coming to Singapore, Pastor Martin shared about a revivalist that used to ask people this question: “How’s your fire?” As I write this reflection, my fire has been truly fueled for the things of God. Now, I live with a passion to see His Kingdom come and His will be done in Singapore and the United Kingdom. Trinity, thank you for an experience that has shaped and marked my life and ministry. Words cannot say how grateful I am for a church that is committed to raising leaders so that God’s Kingdom can be established to the ends of the earth.
A huge portion of my time as an MI has been about growing deep roots. It wasn’t pretty, glamorous, or obvious but necessary for me to bear good fruit.
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TO EXPAND, ONE MUST HAVE STRONG ROOTS. In 1979, Trinity Christian Centre started TCA College to provide higher education in theological studies and ministerial training so as to help future ministers expand and develop strong roots. Through its God Centered, Life Transforming, and Culturally Relevant learning environment, TCA continues to prepare students to be responsible Christian leaders that make an impact wherever God places them. One way that Trinity invests in the lives of future ministers is to provide scholarships for international students such as June Caroline Moses. Read on to find out how her time at TCA College prepared her for the ministry. 1 0 8
It was always my desire to study in a good bible college. Singapore was one of the countries where I wanted to study in. However, I was unable to afford the school fees. Just imagine my joy when God opened the door for me to study at TCA College on a scholarship. This meant that I would be equipped in order to effectively serve my local church and bible college in Myanmar. Through taking the various courses at TCA, I have learned how to understand, interpret, and teach the Word of God. There were many other classes which I took such as preaching, teaching, pastoral leadership, and systematic theology. All these shaped my understanding on being a faithful and effective minister of the Gospel. For example, in the course on Pastoral Counselling, I was taught that the objective of counselling is to offer hope for our counselees. In the end, I realized that ministry is about walking with people in this journey of faith and pointing them back to the hope, peace, and comfort of God.
As part of my field education, I was attached to the youth ministry in Trinity Christian Centre (IGNYTE). This attachment gave me many opportunities to put what I learned in the classroom into practical use, refining my skills, and increasing my confidence in ministering to the youth. Besides TCA courses, I also attended several of Trinity’s leadership courses. Through Spiritual Parenting 1 and 2, I experienced a breakthrough in the purpose of evangelism and nurturing lives. In Carecell Leaders’ Training 1 and 2, I sharpened my skills in leading the 5Gs (Gel, Glorify, Grow, Go, Gear Up) so that carecell meetings can be vibrant and purposeful. This will certainly be an effective means to train and nurture the next generation of youth leaders in Myanmar. No words can express how grateful I am today for the support given by Trinity and TCA. Trinitarians, thank you for being a channel of blessing to me and the churches of Myanmar.
Through taking the various courses at TCA, I have learned how to understand, interpret, and teach the Word of God.
Find out more about TCA College and the programs offered by visiting www.tca.edu.sg/en/. 1 0 9
Neighbors BY KRYSTLE FOO
Care Community Services Society (CCSS) was founded by Trinity in 1996 to enhance the welfare of the needy and disadvantaged in our society, by influencing and equipping individuals and families for empowered living through all generations. We are grateful for the many Trinitarians who volunteer with us, loving their neighbors by giving their time and talents in a variety of ways.
CareElderly Seniors Activity Centres Spending quality time with the elderly Located at Circuit Road, Merpati Road, and Serangoon North, the CareElderly Seniors Activity Centres (SAC) organize meaningful activities for the elderly, keeping them active and empowering them with a renewed sense of purpose. Over 100 Trinitarians volunteer at the three SACs as befrienders, conducting arts and crafts workshops, serving meals, and engaging the elderly in conversations. Volunteers who are medical professionals also bless the elderly by conducting free medical check-ups.
"I hope what I do can bring good cheer and brighten the lives of the elderly beneficiaries.” – Gigi Kuwan, physiotherapist, SAC volunteer since 2010
Rations Distribution A Yearly Tradition 150 Trinitarians, their friends and family members participated in this year’s annual Rations Distribution. Carecells even used this three-day event as a meaningful bonding activity with each other and their oikos. They participated in the following activities. • Distributing flyers to Block 1 and 2 Eunos Crescent on January 20, informing residents of the distribution of rations that will take place the week after • Lending their muscles on the evening of January 25 to organize the heavy rations, which include bags of rice each weighing five kilograms • Packing approximately 500 bags of rations, and delivering the rations from door to door on January 27
"This is the second year that my carecell has volunteered for Rations Distribution. We look forward to being a blessing to the community each year.” – Ben Chew, East District
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CareKids Student Care Centre Developing children to their fullest potential CareHuts are school-based student care centres which cater mainly to children from low-income and/or single-parent families. Parents have peace of mind knowing that their children are placed in a safe and nurturing environment after school under the close supervision of caring staff members. Connie Ng started volunteering at Eunos CareHut in 2010. As a stay-athome mother, she wanted to serve disadvantaged children by guiding them through their schoolwork once a week. Today, she is a full-time staff serving in the same CareHut centre, fulfilling a desire to give her life to serving others. Connie urges potential volunteers not to worry about not knowing what to do or how to help others. “All you need is a heart of compassion and a sincere smile for the beneficiaries,” she shares encouragingly.
MISSIONS IMPACT TRIPS
Local Missions Impact Trips Being the hand and heart of Jesus Since 2012, Trinity has collaborated with CCSS to organize local Missions Impact Trips, blessing CCSS’s beneficiaries with programs that span a few days. The love of Christ was shown through the thoughtful activities and heartfelt interactions with children and the elderly. The most recent local missions trip took place from October 5-7, 2017, at the SAC at Merpati Road. Revolving around the theme of Singapore in the sixties, the team brought the elderly beneficiaries on a trip down memory lane with familiar sights. From the comedies of comedians Wang Sa & Ye Fong to the songs of singers Teresa Teng and Kartina Dahari, the activity room was filled with familiar sounds and voices. In a “show and tell” segment, the beneficiaries brought photos of themselves and their family members, waiting anxiously for their turn to share their stories. The team ended the missions trip by writing notes of encouragement to the CareElderly staff, thanking them for their service to the elderly.
From children to the elderly, find a volunteer opportunity that’s right for you!
CareElderly Seniors Activity Centres (SAC) Befrienders, Activity Facilitators Monday-Saturday (except Wednesday) 9:00am-1:00pm Commitment: A minimum of once a week for three months Performing Medical Checkups (Physiotherapists, occupational therapists, doctors, nurses, ophthalmologists) Saturday 2:00-5:00pm (medical home visits) Commitment: A minimum of once a month for six months CareHut After-School Care Centres Tutors Monday-Friday 3:30-6:00pm Commitment: A minimum of once a week for 3-6 months Carefé Express Café Hosts (Raise money for CCSS by serving food at the café) Saturday 2.30pm-6pm Sunday 7am-12pm d’Klub – Mentoring Program Volunteer Mentors Monday-Friday 9:30am-12:00pm (Stamford, New Town, Queenstown d’Klubs) Saturday 2:15-4:30pm (MacPherson, Sembawang d’Klubs) Commitment: A minimum of once a week for one year
If you're interested or want to find out more, please contact Calvin Tay at email@example.com or +65 6304 7639.
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Promise Doing Our Part in Kingdom-Building What is a faith promise? As we enter into Missions Rally and Missions Weekend, God is inviting us to rise to a new level of faith through our giving through a Mission Faith Promise! God has given Trinity an incredible responsibility to take the Gospel to the nations. Let’s take courage to be used as God’s channel for blessing and provision.
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• A commitment, made in faith, between you and God • A time to ask the Lord how much He wants you to give towards a specific area of His Kingdom-work (e.g. Trinity’s missions endeavors) • An opportunity for God to provide to others through you A Faith Promise is not based on the finances you already have. A Faith Promise is based on the figure God has impressed upon your heart and with continued faith to believe that He will provide the amount in the year.
Where does my Missions Faith Promise go? Every Mission Faith Promise fulfilled goes into Trinity’s Mission Fund. According to Trinity’s Annual Reports, the Missions Fund is a restricted fund “established for the following purposes: • To fulfill the Church’s vision for missions through the provision of financial support to organizations and individuals, for ministry, church, and community development. • To finance and support charitable purposes, humanitarian, and disaster relief works. • To provide financial aid to needy people. • To finance and support the education, training, and development of church ministers and leaders.”
How do I make a Missions Faith Promise? Come to Missions Weekend on March 9 or March 10!
If you can’t make it for Missions Weekend
Collect a Faith Promise Card from one of our Celebration Hosts. When instructed, complete the Faith Promise Card and return the upper portion to our Celebration Host.
From March 11 onwards, collect and return your Faith Promise Card at the following locations • Trinity@Paya Lebar – Level 2 Information Counter • Trinity@Bukit Batok – Foyer • Trinity@Jakarta – Service hall
A Faith Promise is based on the figure God has impressed upon your heart and with continued
How can I fulfill my Missions Faith Promise?
faith to believe that
For those worshipping at Trinity@Paya Lebar and Trinity@Bukit Batok
He will provide the
By cash or check (made payable to Trinity Christian Centre) • Collect an Offering Envelope from our Celebration Hosts or Information Counter during one of our Celebration Services • Drop the filled Offering Envelope into the Offering Bag At AXS Stations • Select the “Community” tab and search for the Trinity logo • Follow the prompts and proceed with payment
amount in the year.
Via DBS iBanking • Log into DBS iBanking • Select Payment Services > Add New Billing Arrangement > Trinity Christian Centre • For the Consumer Reference Number, enter “1” for Tithes/ Offering, “2” for Mission Faith Promise, or “3” for Vision Faith Promise (Building) • Follow the prompts and proceed with payment
For those worshipping at Trinity@Jakarta By cash or check (made payable to GSJA Trinity Jakarta) • Collect an Offering Envelope from our Celebration Hosts or Information Counter during one of our Celebration Services • Drop the filled Offering Envelope into the Offering Bag Via telegraphic transfer • Beneficiary Name: GSJA Trinity Jakarta • BCA Account : 9620-7777-919
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To the world, children are often seen as small and weak. Our Lord Jesus saw them differently. He wanted them to come close and even declared that the kingdom of God belonged to them. This was the reality we saw during the recent children’s camp: Camp Strike Force! Held from November 28-30, Camp Strike Force was a camp birthed through prayer. When the DiscoveryLand teachers sought the Lord, there was consensus that He wanted to empower, equip, and release our children into the harvest field. After three months of planning, everything was in place for a sign-up of 194 children.
Empowered BY JOSEPH TEO
ome d re n c l i h c e der Le t t h ot hin n o d and om to me k ingd e h t r ch fo them, s t o su g n o l be of G od se . as the
– M a rk 1 1 4
On the first day, campers were led in a powerful time of worship where many encountered the presence of God. Following that, Pastor Chung Kah Fei taught how everyone could allow the Holy Spirit to empower them. When invited to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, many young hands shot up, responded, and received the baptism of the Holy Spirit!
Before I came to camp, I could not speak in tongues. But now, I can!” Emmanuel Chen, 9 years old
Equipped On day two, the campers engaged in various activities – from treasure hunts to Nerf battles – learning various ways to share the Gospel. In this time of equipping, every child learned to be a wielder of two powerful tools for evangelism: the bridge diagram and “God Loves Me” tract.
Released Empowered and equipped, it was finally time to release them into the harvest fields. With great boldness and courage, our campers, accompanied by adult leaders, went from house to house inviting people for Christmas and sharing the Gospel. After the message about the Holy Spirit on the first day, Evelyn Phua had a vision of a short-haired girl in a pink dress. During street evangelism, she met this girl and proceeded to share the Gospel. When the girl was asked if she wanted to make a decision for Christ, she said ‘yes!’ One group spent over an hour and a half knocking on doors only to face rejection after rejection. Before knocking on another door, they decided to stop and pray. Unwilling to be discouraged, they tried one more time. Praise God that the resident made a decision for Christ! Although given an option to use the last 30 minutes for a break, they pressed on and enabled another three people to make decisions for Christ!
Over the course of two hours, our children led 102 people, including many adults, to make decisions for Christ! Camp Strike Force demonstrated how our children can be big and strong in the Lord. Praise God that our children can be empowered, equipped, and released for His glory!
Although there were a lot of rejections when we went SALTing, we had one decision for Christ!” Jonathan Huang, 9 years old
Today, we went out to share the Gospel. God had given me a picture of a child receiving Christ. In the end, two children made decisions for Christ!” Jayden Cheong, 9 years old
I had never felt the presence of God really touch me. When I joined this camp, I was hoping that God would touch me and show me a vision. On the first and second day, nothing happened but on the last day, when my team leader prayed for me, I actually felt God’s presence. All glory to God!” Faith Teo, 10 years old
I enjoyed the tracting. It empowered me and allowed me to be courageous.” Jan Wong, 10 years old
During those three days, I was really touched by God, especially during the morning worship sessions. I was very happy that we went SALTing as many people came to know God! Now I have the Holy Spirit with me, I am a more confident Christian!” Leia Sim, 11 years old (Testimonies have been edited for clarity and length.)
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By Joel Foo From December 27-30, 79 leaders from Campus Ministry came together in Johor Bahru for Camp Soar. With close to 100 percent sign-up across seven Campus sections, Camp Soar was the first leaders’ camp for many of our leaders.
Filled with workshops, engaging activities, and powerful services, soaring meant that leaders would have to spread their wings to catch the wind of God. For Camp Soar, the Camp Committee opted for a different mode of transport – train. Upon arrival at City Square Mall, the campers embarked on their first activity.
“The mall activity was a fun and creative way to kick-start the camp. For one of the stations, we had to run around looking for a “shelter.” I was reminded that we do not have to worry about such things in life because God is our everlasting shelter – the one we can always seek refuge in.” – Sarah Lim (Year 4, National University of Singapore (NUS)) 1 2 0
Juggling family, school, and ministry life can be tough. Through a workshop called “Living a Balanced Life,” campers discovered practical tips based on biblical principles. “These principles help me make decisions when responsibilities are in conflict and reminded me that, sometimes, it is okay to say no.” – Audrey Tan (Year 3, Nanyang Technological University)
During the first message of camp, “When Things Don’t Add Up,” Pastor Wendy Chang reminded campers not to see serving God as a formula. Things may not go our way and that’s when we must remember to focus on Him despite our circumstances. “When we understand and exercise authority in its full measure, we shall soar.” That was the truth shared by Sister Phebe Ngan on the second day in a sermon on the three S’s of authority: source, scope, and sanctity.
“God revealed that my authority as a leader truly does come from Him and cannot be removed by anyone. We do indeed have the full authority of God riding on our shoulders that empowers us to grow our ministry and do great things for Him!” – John Tim (Year 3, LASALLE College of the Arts)
No camp is complete without a time of games! The day continued with a multitude of games that revolved around the theme of soaring, showing leaders how God is always in the picture.
“The activities were simple, yet timely reminders of who God is in my life. There was a game where we had to build the tallest tower while blindfolded. That forced us to rely on the instructions of our group leaders. It reminded me that although we cannot see God in our current situation, we have to put our logical thinking and rationale aside and remember that He is bringing us to greater heights.” – Ryan Lim (Year 1, Singapore Management University) Praise God for what He has done in Camp Soar. As the Campus leaders dare to spread their wings, we believe that we shall soar higher than ever before!
When we understand and exercise authority in its full measure, we shall soar.
“Even when Things Don’t Add Up, we will soar to greater heights with the Authority that God has given us!” – Gabriel Ng (Year 3, NUS) 1 2 1
a SINIS a
Or is it? BY DR RICHARD GOETZ The concept of sin is an important theological topic that is not often discussed in the church. As a result, many Christians live with an incomplete picture of what it is and how it impacts their decision-making process. In this article, we will address several critical questions: what sin is, whether there is a hierarchy of sins, and what to do in instances of moral conflict.
What is sin? Humanity was made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26) and, therefore, expected to conduct themselves in a way that reflects His character. According to Erickson, God’s character can be classified into three basic moral attributes and broken down into 10 dimensions.1
The Character of God MORAL PURITY
God is separate from His creation, unable to tolerate moral wickedness and evil
God is real and exactly who He claims to be
God is concerned about our welfare and acts to meet our needs
God can only act in line with what is lawful
God is honest and true – He cannot contradict Himself
God supplies us with unmerited favor – we receive what we don’t deserve
God ensures that righteousness is administered – sin is punished without favoritism or partiality
God keeps His promises – He proves Himself to be true
God defers the punishment we deserve because of His compassion for us
Persistence God defers the punishment we deserve, providing opportunities for repentance and salvation 1 2 2
When a person acts in ways that contradict any of these attributes, he/she is no longer a reflection of God, thus engaging in sin. For instance, lying is a sin because it goes against God’s character of holiness and righteousness. Many believe that sin is merely what a person does, their actions. However, God makes it very clear that sin can occur in what a person thinks, their thoughts. In the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), Jesus expands sin to include emotions and attitudes such as anger and contempt (5:21), lust (5:27), hate (5:43), arrogance (6:5), and judgment (7:1). To an audience focused on outward actions, He was teaching them that God cares just as much about their thoughts (motives, desires, and intents). Similarly, Paul exhorts us to put to death our tendencies for evil
desires (Colossians 3:5) in order to cultivate the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-24). We’ll explore this in a later section of the article. In addition to sins that we do (known as “sins of commission”), we are also warned not to engage in the “sins of omission” – things we know we should do (because they reflect God’s nature) but choose not to do. This is illustrated by Jesus in the parable of the sheep and the goats (Matthew 25:31-46).
Every sin has a consequence for God’s moral purity compels Him to judge and administer punishment. In Romans 6:23, we learn that this consequence is death – an eternity apart from God.
If answered negatively, it implies a white lie is just as serious an offense as committing murder. So, how do we resolve this dilemma? All evil thoughts and actions qualify as moral evil because they are offensive to the nature and character of God. Similarly, all good thoughts and actions qualify as moral good because they are in accordance with the nature and character of God. That does not mean that every thought or action occupies the same level or status within their respective categories. I’ll illustrate this with a sports analogy. All people who swing a golf club on a golf course qualify for the general category known as “golfers.” That does not make all golfers equal in ability. There is a big difference between the skills of Arnold Palmer and someone who plays miniature golf once a year.
From telling a white lie to murder, any and all acts of sin – in thought, word, and deed – are offensive to God because they are in direct opposition to His infinitely perfect nature. Any and all sin will result in the consequence of death. But does this mean that God is equally offended by every sin?
Is there a hierarchy of sins? If answered positively, it implies that there exist levels of goodness and “bad-ness” – that God views some sins as more tolerable than others.
Let’s see how Scripture affirms this.
THE “GREATER SIN” When Jesus is being interrogated before Pilate in John 19:1-16, Pilate demands for Jesus to respond to the charges. When met with silence, Pilate asks Jesus this question: “Don’t you realize that I have the power to release you or crucify you?” Jesus responds by stating that Pilate would have no power if it were not given to him “from above” and that the one who handed Jesus over to Pilate (referring to either the high priest, Caiaphas, or Judas Iscariot) is guilty of a “greater sin.” Here, Jesus establishes that the high priest/Caiaphas/Judas’ illegitimate use of power (in condemning Jesus to death) was worse than Pilate’s legitimate, but mistaken, use of power (to release or put Jesus to death). This suggests a view that some sins were considered more offensive than others.
Humanity was made in the image of God and, therefore, expected to conduct themselves in a way that reflects His character. 1. Millard J. Erickson, Introducing Christian Doctrine, ed. L. Arnold Hustad, 3rd ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2015),. 98-104.
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impure thoughts and desires are sins because they lead to sinful actions
LOVING GOD, LOVING PEOPLE This concept can be found in the 10 Commandments of Exodus 20. The first four commandments focus on our relationship with God while the latter six focus on our relationship with people. While its purpose is not to rank the offenses (lying is just as bad in God’s eyes as stealing), it is to clarify that offenses committed against God are considered much worse than offenses committed against humans. Jesus affirms the same priority of loving in Matthew 22:37-38, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Jesus’ response is a restatement of the priority represented in the 10 Commandments. Since the highest good is to honor God, the inverse is true – the greatest sin is to dishonor God.
DISBELIEF AND DISOBEDIENCE Does that mean sins such as lying, cheating, stealing, murder and sexual immorality are offenses only against humans?
moment, humanity has been falling into the same pattern of disbelief and disobedience. That is why every sin we commit against another human being involves a prior sin against God.
THE FATALITY OF SECRET SIN Some Christians believe that as long as their actions are righteous, they can continue to entertain wrong thoughts. This failure to take authority of our “secret sins” allows Satan to push the boundaries of our minds and confuse our convictions. The apostle Paul often wrote to the churches about things which originate from humanity’s sinful nature. In Galatians 5:19-21, he lists inward sins of the heart (“hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, envy”) right between the outward sinful actions (“sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft… drunkenness, orgies, and the like”). In doing this, Paul establishes that both outward actions and inward thoughts are sins and come from our sinful nature. More specifically, impure thoughts and desires are sins because they lead to sinful actions.
Not really. Before you and I commit a sin against each other, it involves first rejecting our responsibility to reflect the character of God. In other words, we must first choose not to believe in God or what He says (disbelieve) and then choose to disobey.
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That is exactly what Adam and Eve did in the Garden of Eden: they first disbelieved God (that they were not like Him) and then disobeyed His command not to eat the fruit. Ever since that fateful
In Matthew 23, Jesus reserved His harshest condemnation and judgment not for the sexually immoral but for the Pharisees because of their habit of rationalizing their actions and motives. Their sin was not as obvious as theft, murder and adultery, but they were equally as insidious: arrogance, pride, and neglect of justice and mercy. In light of this, we must not take on the belief that the severity of our sin is proportional to the severity of its outward consequences. Objectively,
the consequence of lust is not as serious as committing adultery, nor thoughts of harming a person not as serious as murder. However, committing adultery always begins with first thinking about the action (lusting). Murder first begins with a thought or desire (usually in anger or rage) to harm someone. It comes as no surprise then that Paul instructs us to be transformed by the renewing of our minds for as we think, so do we act.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing, and perfect will.”
What happens if we have to sin in order to do good?
We need to be very clear that the midwives or Rahab were not blessed because they lied. Generally, disobeying a government authority and lying are wrong. However, they were blessed because they demonstrated mercy by upholding the higher moral law of preserving life. In order to do that, they had to suspend the lower moral law of Don’t just take my word for it. Scripture is replete with examples of truth-telling. Therefore, God did not hold a hierarchy of moral good. Let’s look them liable or accountable for lying to the at four examples to see what happens Pharaoh or the soldiers. when two moral goods collide or are in competition with one another.2 LIFE PRESERVATION OVER Before answering this question, remember that all good actions are good because they honor God by reflecting His character. Based on, and consistent with, our answer to the hierarchy of sin – some actions are more pleasing to God than others.
In Exodus 1:15-21, two Hebrew midwives disobey Pharaoh’s command to kill the newborn Hebrew baby boys, going as far as to lie about their actions. However, God does not condemn the Hebrew midwives. Instead, He blesses them with families of their own. Similarly Rahab, a prostitute in the city of Jericho, hides two Hebrew spies and lies to the king’s soldiers about their whereabouts (Joshua 2:1-20). She too, was rewarded by God with the rescue of her and her family when the city was besieged (6:25).
– Romans 12:2
In instances of moral conflict, are some acts more pleasing to God than others?
MERCY OVER TRUTH-TELLING
The prophet Jeremiah upholds the principle of life preservation over truthtelling (Jeremiah 38:14-28). After discussing the looming Babylonian conquest, King Zedekiah instructs Jeremiah to keep their conversation a secret, lest Jeremiah be killed by the officials. If asked, Jeremiah was to say that, “I was pleading with the king not to send me back to Jonathan’s house to die there.” (38:26) Sure enough, the officials asked Jeremiah about the conversation and, as instructed by the king, he “told them everything the king had ordered him
we must not take on the belief that the severity of our sin is proportional to the severity of its outward consequences.
2. See also Norman L Geisler, Christian Ethics: Contemporary Issues & Options, 2nd ed., (Baker Books, Grand Rapids, 2010), 100-106.
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May we choose to live our lives as a reflection of God’s character, demonstrating moral purity, integrity, and love in everything we say, think, and do.
to say.” (38:27) Jeremiah was never reprimanded by God for lying because he did so in pursuit of upholding the higher moral law of preserving life – his own. Another prophet who demonstrated life preservation over truth-telling was the prophet Samuel. In 1 Samuel 16:1-4, he was instructed by God to go to Bethlehem to anoint the boy David as the new king of Israel. However, Samuel feared that the current king (Saul) would kill him if he found out. God’s solution was for Samuel to take a heifer (a young cow) with him and say that he was going to Bethlehem to offer a sacrifice. While Samuel offers the heifer as sacrifice (16:5), that was not his primary reason for going to Bethlehem. He, therefore, deceives King Saul about his true intentions. It is important to note that the instruction to lie came from God so that Samuel’s life would be preserved. Thus, Samuel was never reprimanded by God for lying because he did so in pursuit of upholding the higher moral law of self-preservation.
LOVING GOD OVER LOVING MAN
3. I go into further detail about this in the Tough Questions article, “Why Would God Ask Abraham to Sacrifice Isaac?” (Trinitarian Issue 02/2016). 4. Matthew 12:9-14 – Jesus heals a man with a shriveled hand on a Sabbath Luke 13:10-17 – Jesus heals a woman crippled for 18 years on a Sabbath Luke 14:1-6 – Jesus heals a man with dropsy (tissue swelling due to excess fluids) on a Sabbath John 5:1-16 – Jesus heals a man who was an invalid for 38 years on a Sabbath John 9:1-16 – Jesus heals a man born blind on a Sabbath.
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The account of God asking Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac (Genesis 22:1-19) presents challenges to us because we know that taking a life is a sin. What’s more, Isaac was the miracle child, born to his wife Sarah when she was way past childbearing age (18:11). Under normal circumstances, human sacrifice would be considered immoral. However, Abraham was placed in a unique situation to heed a higher obligation – to love, honor and obey God.
Abraham carried his decision through until, in the very act of bringing the knife down to slay Isaac, he was stopped by God: “Do not lay a hand on the boy. Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.” (22:12) The command of God prohibiting the sacrifice of Isaac indicates that God never intended Abraham to go through with it because God knew Abraham’s heart. However, since Abraham didn’t know this, such devotion to God had to be demonstrated through his willingness to sacrifice, surrender, and give up that which was most precious and dear to him.3 What this account reminds us is that the ultimate test must demonstrate that our love for God surpasses our love for the things most important or precious in our lives. This requires the object of our highest desire, devotion and love be voluntarily surrendered, forfeited, and handed over to God.
JESUS: THE ULTIMATE MODEL FOR A HIERARCHY OF MORAL GOOD Jesus’ ministry constantly lived out the biblical truth of hierarchy of moral good, so much so that it was one of the contributing factors to His crucifixion by the Jewish religious leaders. Throughout the Gospels, Jesus performed miracles – healing the sick, raising the dead – to add credibility to His message, as well as demonstrate His love for humanity. Five of these miracle healings took place on the Sabbath4 – acts that were unthinkable in the Jewish culture because they were commanded in Exodus 20:8 to, “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy” (i.e., abstain from working).
Normally, observing the Sabbath is a good thing but Jesus correctly viewed it as lower in the moral hierarchy than doing good, healing, or engaging in other acts of mercy. Jesus affirms this when He declares in Mark 2:27 that “the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” Sabbath was meant to serve man as a vehicle to regularly take a break and acknowledge God as Lord over all, that He would still provide for them when they had one less day of work. What the religious leaders had done was view Sabbath from a legalistic perspective, demanding strict obedience to the day of rest rather than to the God who made the Sabbath. Every time Jesus healed on the Sabbath, He found Himself having to defend Himself before, or explain Himself to, the religious leaders. In doing so, Jesus severely chastises them for lacking any such moral hierarchy which prioritizes
mercy over keeping the Sabbath. Jesus goes so far as extending the requirement for mercy to animals, asking them in Matthew 12:11, “If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out?”
TOUGH QUESTIONS ANSWERED
After healing a man of abdominal swelling on the Sabbath in Luke 14:2, He directly challenges the religious leaders about this moral hierarchy: “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not?” (14:3) To the religious leaders, every command, law, and dictate existed at the same moral level with the same moral authority, and, thus, solicits the same moral indictment when violated. As a result, they were condemned by Jesus as uncompassionate, unmerciful, and hypocritical because they would not make moral distinctions between what is good, what is better, and what is best.
Dr Richard Goetz has been a professor of theology at TCA College since April 2010. He earned in Ph.D. in Philosophy (Systematic Theology) from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA. Dr Goetz’s teaching interests include systematic theology, apologetics, and church history.
Conclusion Any and all acts of sin – in thought, word, and deed – are offensive to God because they are in direct opposition to His infinitely perfect nature. Any and all sin grieves the heart of God and result in the punishment of death. “Indeed the safest road to hell is the gradual one – the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.” – C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters While all good actions are good because they honor God by reflecting His character, some actions are more pleasing to God
because of the hierarchy of moral good. Thus, it is imperative for us to understand the higher moral laws from the lower moral laws, so that when two moral goods collide or are in competition with one another, we are certain about what actions to take to please God. May we choose to live our lives as a reflection of God’s character, demonstrating moral purity, integrity, and love in everything we say, think, and do. Where we have sinned, may we remember Jesus Christ for, “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.” (Ephesians 1:7)
SOURCES CONSULTED Bloesch, Donald G. Essentials of Evangelical Theology. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2005. Erickson, Millard J. Christian Theology, 3rd ed. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic,2013 Geisler, Norman L. Christian Ethics: Contemporary Issues and Options, 2nd ed. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2010. Gill, David W. Becoming Good: Building Moral Character. Downers Grove: Intervarsity Press, 2000. Packer, J. I. Concise Theology: A Guide to Historic Christian beliefs. Wheaton:Tyndale House, 1993. Smith, David L. With Willful Intent: A Theology of Sin. Wheaton: Bridgepoint/ Victor Books, 1994.
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