ENVISION TRINITY@BANGKOK THE OFFICIAL LAUNCH
UP CLOSE REAL LIFE MIRACLES MEDICAL MESS MEETS A MIRACULOUS GOD
ENVISION GETTING THROUGH THE MESS
WWW. T R IN I TY . S G
TOUGH QUESTIONS IS GOD GENOCIDAL?
Join us as we remember the reason for the season.
A Quarterly News Magazine by Trinity Christian Centre
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OUR MESS, HIS MIRACLE! The mission, the irony, the exchange, and the result
PEACE ABOVE STORMS Finding calm in the midst of life’s storms
GETTING THROUGH THE MESS Encountering God in the midst of trials
UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL WITH TRINITY’S BOARD Leaders in the ministry and marketplace
68 42 REAL LIFE MIRACLES
WHAT TO DO WHILE YOU’RE WAITING ON GOD The importance of active participation
72 BEING THERE IN THE MESS How to journey alongside the hurting
28 The blessings of our mess
MISSIONS AT A GLANCE An overview of Trinity’s missions outreach from January-September 2018
VISION MONTH 2018 Enlarging our vision, expanding our faith
77 MISSIONS REPORT A highlight of Trinity’s missions efforts from July-September 2018
78 THANK YOU TRINITARIANS FOR GOING TO THE NATIONS! Missions trips that happened from July-September 2018
20 TRINITY@JAKARTA TURNS ONE! Celebrating the place of new beginnings
84 ANTHEM ‘Till the whole world sees
24 TRINITY@BANGKOK The official launch
THE LOST CHILD DiscoveryLand’s Children’s Day event
A NEW LEASE ON LIFE IN THEIR GOLDEN YEARS CCSS
88 MORNING PRAYER Starting the day right by starting with God
90 TOUGH QUESTIONS Is God Genocidal?
SENIOR PASTORâ€™S MESSAGE
e f i l r You of
y n o m i t A s e S t A OF hope 1 2
DEAR TRINITARIANS, As we reach the end of 2018, we celebrate another year of God’s divine favor upon this church. As Trinity stepped out in faith, He has been faithful to release divine provision, opening doors and turning situations around for greater expansion. Besides celebrating Trinity@Jakarta’s first anniversary (pg 20), our spiritual family continues to grow with the launch of our second regional center, Trinity@Bangkok (pg 24). Over the past few weeks, Pastor Joyce Lim has been supported by our AlphaTrackers to care and connect with the people. We praise God that their efforts have seen 12 people make decisions for Jesus! Know that God wants to continue pouring divine favor into our lives. He wants to use our lives as a testimony of hope. As people who have been blessed by God, we are indeed blessed to be a blessing! Life doesn’t have to be perfect before we can start blessing others. Maybe you’re in a mess right now, a situation so dire that there doesn’t seem to be a way out. I want you to know that your mess is of tremendous value to God because God is in the business of miracles.
When our strategies lead to brick walls, God’s plans can lead to a breakthrough. When experts tell us that the situation is impossible, God’s hand can make all things possible. God is all-powerful, all-present, all-knowing, and all-loving. That’s why He desires to turn our tests into His testimonies and our messes into His miracles (pg 28-75). When we put our hope in God, a divine exchange takes place where He turns our mourning into dancing and our ashes into beauty. While we might never know why He permits the messes of our lives to take place, you and I have absolute assurance that He will be with us every step of the way. As we move into 2019, know that God’s has much more in store for us. Keep strengthening your spiritual foundations. Keep walking forward in faith. In this Decade of Expansion, dare to be a spiritual giant so that your life projects and injects faith into the lives of others. See you at Watchnight Service on December 31!
VISION MONTH 2018 By Imelda Lie
During Vision Rally and Vision Weekend (September 21-23), a mix of age groups – from students to working professionals to families – streamed into the Sanctuary for one purpose: to embrace God’s vision for Kingdom expansion through Trinity. Guest speaker Pastor Arif Multi reminded Trinitarians on the importance of being a sower: to live out God’s Kingdom here on earth, prioritize Him, answer His call, and express gratitude because all things come from Him. Trinitarians committed to live out those principles by committing a Vision Faith Promise of $9,982,565.81 so that Trinity could continue expanding to be a place for everyone. Two Trinitarians share how participating in Trinity’s vision of expansion has enlarged their own visions and impacted their faith journeys with God.
Nancy Yow from West District made Trinity her home church 20 years ago. Through her faithfulness in obeying God’s vision and imparting this value to her children, three generations of her family are serving in God’s house and sowing into God’s vision for expansion.
How did you prepare for this year’s Vision Weekend? I prepared by coming with an open mind and an open heart, allowing the Holy Spirit to speak and reveal the different ways He wants me to sow into the vision. Truthfully, this is not difficult for me because I believe that the church’s vision has been given by God. I am blessed that I can be involved in God’s vision.
What stood out to you about Pastor Arif’s sharing? Two words: “Thank you” It’s so easy to take things for granted and presume blessings to be entitlements. Once we learn to say thank you to God, we become more grateful and recognize that what we have are gifts from Him. His sermon reminded me what we have is all given to us for His greater purpose – we are blessed to be a blessing.
How has Trinity’s vision for expansion motivated you? I see God’s hands in expanding Trinity over the decades. What started as a church with a few hundred members has now become thousands. From being nomads, we now own three properties in Singapore. From being a local church, we have expanded to two regional centers.
This is not what man can do alone. It is truly the work of God. It has been an encouraging journey to see His vision come to pass and His faithfulness is leading us all the way.
How has the Decade of Expansion enlarged your personal vision? The Decade of Expansion gives me the courage to believe what God can and will do through each Trinitarian. Over the years, our family has experienced the wonders of God in many ways. I hope that our family will continue to love and serve God for many generations to come.
What does the redevelopment of Trinity@Adam mean to you? The redevelopment of Trinity@Adam marks our entrance into the Decade of Expansion. What God has planned for Trinity is now taking place. He is going to continue to bring supernatural, abundant harvest into all our worship centers. I see the new Trinity@Adam is going to be a very exciting and vibrant place for the younger generation to worship in. I am excited that my grandchildren will be able to enjoy this new space as a place that they can call their own.
Sarah Han is a living legacy of what pioneer Trinitarians have sown into. A second-generation Trinitarian serving as a carecell leader in IGNYTE, she is not satisfied with hand-me-down faith. Instead, she forges forward to have a personal relationship with God and aims to be a trail blazer in this season of expansion.
How did you feel when you saw the photos of the new Trinity@Adam?
What is your vision for the new Trinity@Adam and the regional worship centers?
When I saw the pictures of the new Trinity@Adam, it made me think of the faith of the early Trinitarians who sacrificed so much so that we could be where we are today. Seeing the new building brings a sense of newness – a new season that requires us to move out of our comfort zone.
A friend recently reminded me of a Vision Month Instagram post where we were asked “What do you see?”
Trinity@Adam has a special place in my heart because my family went there when I was born until the opening of Trinity@Paya Lebar. I hope that everyone who walks into the new building will experience the love and touch of God just as I did.
What stood out to you during this year’s Vision Rally and Vision Weekend? When Pastor Arif shared the line “with vision comes provision,” it made me consider what I envision in my spiritual journey with God. With that came the truth that envisioning comes from asking God for a bigger mountain to scale – something that Pastor David Sashi said during an IGNYTE service. I need to have a vision before I can ask God for the provision to overcome the mountains. 1 6
I see a new generation of believers that will get to know Christ as a personal God, believers who understand that He is omnipresent and will be with us wherever we go. Expansion means that more people will know Christ – more people will get the opportunity to experience our powerful God.
What have you done for this Decade of Expansion and will continue to do? I think it’s more of what God has done in my life (laughs). This year, I’ve really gone back to basics, rediscovering my love for the Word. The Lord has also expanded my ministry in so many ways, multiplying the things I do for Him. What I’ve learned to do more and more is to say “yes” to Jesus and to choose Jesus in everything I do.
On the weekend of September 1-2, DiscoveryLand asked our youngest Trinitarians why they are proud to be part of this spiritual family. Read what they have to say!
What are you looking forward to in this season of expansion? Two years ago at the IGNYTE Camp Unleashed, I responded to the call to full-time ministry. When will I step into that call? I’m not sure. What will I do in that call? I’m also not sure. I’ll be graduating from ITE soon and I remain confident that God will determine my steps. The verse that I hold tightly is 2 Corinthians 4:7-10. Though the future may be tough and full of uncertainties, I know I will never be crushed or in despair. I know that God will always walk with me. Though I don’t know exactly where I’m going, I’m very excited for what’s ahead because it’s an adventure with God! “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
I am proud to be a Trinitarian because…
...I can remember and understand the lesson in a fun way! — Jodi Seah, age 4
...I have friends here who care and pray for me when I am sad. — Alexis Choo, age 9
...I learn new things every week! — Dana Chang, age 7
…we can help one another to grow in God. — Matthew Goh Jun Xiong, age 9
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 8
We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.” 10
– 2 Corinthians 4:7-10
...we always work together to make new people feel welcomed and help others in need. — Poh Jo-ni, age 10 ...we are willing to share the Gospel. I want to join in sharing the Gospel too! — Isaac Wong, age 10
...I feel a sense of belonging and I am able to learn to encounter God. — Evelyn Phua, age 12
...I get to serve God and be a part of an awesome church where everyone is active in serving! — Nathan Loh, age 12
The winning entry of the Trinity@Adam Stained Glass Completion was also revealed, designed by Kelvin Ho of South District.
The stained glass design is based on the creation story. God created the heavens and the earth. He created the light and the sun. The stained glass is a closer examination of the visible light spectrum from the sun and other stars that reveal a flow of colors. The use of a three-sided polygon was to represent the idea of the Trinity â€“ Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The clustering of polygons shows the seamless flow of unity among Trinitarians. While the fourth panel was originally a crown of thorns, it has been updated to a royal crown to represent Jesus as our risen King. â€“ Kelvin Ho
TURNS ONE! Celebrating the place of new beginnings By Jessie Chew
Anniversaries are special because they commemorate something worth remembering. They are times to reflect on what has passed and look forward to what is ahead. When Trinity@Jakarta celebrated its first anniversary (August 25-26), it was a time to commemorate the fruitfulness of our first regional worship center â€“ a place of new beginnings for many in Jakarta.
In a short address before Saturday’s celebration dinner, Rev Stefano Bramona (Assistant General Superintendent, Assemblies of God Indonesia) affirmed our presence as part of a growing trend of Englishspeaking churches in Indonesia. With over 300,000 English-speakers in Jakarta, Trinity@Jakarta is a place that will make a lasting impact in the city. In a time of fellowship and food, one first-time visitor shared how much he enjoyed the atmosphere of Trinity@Jakarta. “I feel like I’m back home,” he shared, “I feel like I’ve found a family.” With stomachs filled and spirits high, every attendee left the dinner with a bag of Trinitarian treats, including a commemorative magazine that documented every milestone, victory, and breakthrough over the past year.
Scan this QR to read about Trinity@Jakarta’s first year
The first-anniversary celebrations continued during Sunday morning service. In a display of incredible unity, many wore Trinity@Jakarta’s anniversary batik, dotting the room in red and blue. As the commemorative video played, cheers erupted throughout the hall as the congregation saw how far they had come in their journey of faith. With greetings from Hosting Pastors, AlphaTrackers, and members of the Creative Ministry, the congregation was reminded of the many people who sowed their time, talents, and treasures to build the foundations of the place they call home.
“Trinity@Jakarta started as a prayer and we thank God for answering our prayer.” Pastor Allen Loh, Missions Director 2 1
In a celebration of things to come, Pastor Dominic welcomed 10 people into Trinity’s global family in Trinity@Jakarta’s second membership service. Trinity@Jakarta started as an activation of faith, an act that unlocked the provision of God. As the congregation moves into its second year, they would transition from being a fellowship of
believers to being Gospel-sharers, disciple-makers, and strategic leaders. In order to fulfill their God-given destiny, Pastor Dominic exhorted for faith to arise, for each of them to move forward in growing and strengthening their faith. As Trinity@Jakarta moves into new areas of ministry, Trinitarians must be ready for God to use them as channels of national blessing.
“This yayasan is committed to being a bearer of hope for all people, regardless of race, religion or background, to give people a chance to move from potential to fulfillment, and discover their purpose in life.” Senior Pastor Dominic Yeo
Trinity@Jakarta’s celebrations culminated with the official launch of its community services arm, Yayasan Peduli Pelayanan Masyarakat, with Guest of Honor Pak Sandiaga Uno (Deputy Governor of Jakarta). To give it a good start, IDR 20,000,000 was sown into the yayasan so that it can begin to meet the needs of various communities in Indonesia.
God has done great things in Trinity@Jakarta’s first year. With a vision to expand into more worship centers in Indonesia, we hold fast to the foundations that have been laid and press on to God’s expansive plans for this regional center.
Soundbites from members of Trinity@Jakarta
I am proud to be a Trinitarian because… …this is a happening place where the presence of God is. Prayogo Martha
…Trinity is a place where we can be together. Ramadihardja Elisabet Lisa
…of the vibrant atmosphere!
INVITE YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY LIVING IN JAKARTA TO JOIN US! CELEBRATION SERVICE SUNDAY, 10AM CENGKARENG BUSINESS CITY, LOT 21 TOWER M, LEVEL 3
Oktavianus A Tumbel
…this is my family. Wedha Setyawan
I love Trinity@Jakarta because… …we meet people from different backgrounds and cultures. Lisa Koestaryo
Get connected to a fellowship carecell! +62 812 1240 9494 Stay up-to-date on everything that’s happening at Trinity@Jakarta! Search for “Trinity Christian Centre” on your phone’s App store.
TCCIndo www.trinity-indo.asia email@example.com
…it is a place where we can grow and share our faith experiences. Limowa Chrisjanty Ita
THE LAUNCH OF A call to obedience, a journey of faith By Faith Lee and Alivia Kan, members of AlphaTrack Batch 51
“Are you able to go to Bangkok for a few weeks?” A sense of excitement filled the room as we realized what was happening. Instantly, what seemed like a fixed AlphaTrack schedule suddenly became fluid. We were now given an opportunity to serve through the plant of our second regional worship center! In this
Decade of Expansion, what better way to catch God’s passionate heartbeat than with a six-week missions trip! Our hearts were buzzing with great anticipation and uncertainty as we started to prepare for Bangkok. While our experience with local harvest outreach prepared us for the street evangelism, our times of fasting and prayer reminded us that the spiritual work ahead could not be taken lightly. God had chosen us for such a time as this. While we didn’t know what to expect in the days ahead, we were fired up to press on, ready to go wherever He sent us. Six of us arrived in Bangkok on October 16 and immediately got to work by praying for the city and passionately sharing the Gospel. It was a time of stretching, yet God orchestrated many moments where
we could share our stories and invite people for service. We thank God for the opportunity to lead three people to make decisions for Christ through this time of street evangelism. A week and a half later on October 28, over 100 people gathered at the Mandarin Hotel Bangkok for the launch of Trinity@Bangkok! It was a glorious morning as Trinitarians from Singapore partnered with the AlphaTrackers to prepare the function room. A vibrant atmosphere surrounded the reception area as Celebration Hosts and pastors welcomed the early birds. Little cards of blessing that we had prepared were given to everyone as a keepsake of God’s promises. As worship began, God’s presence filled the hall with every hand lifted up and every mouth praising His powerful name. Senior Pastor Dominic Yeo shared a message on how we can become men and
women of fulfillment who walk in the success and blessings in Christ daily. By sharing how God transformed his mess into a life of purpose and abundance, he reminded everyone of the truth that, “Anyone or anything that is touched by the Master turns into a miracle.” Beyond recognizing God’s presence in our lives, every person was called to place themselves into God’s hands and to come to Jesus in full surrender. All glory to God for the five people who chose to give their lives to Him that day! Not only were the people fed with spiritual food, a lunch buffet was also provided for after the service! As people fellowshipped and enjoyed the spread of local delicacies, the hall was filled with laughter and chatter, amplified with a surprise birthday celebration for Pastor Dominic. Singing birthday songs in English and Thai, the Trackers specially prepared this moment to honor him for being a blessing in our lives.
Our carecell was so excited about the launch of Trinity@Bangkok that the few of us who were able to take some time off arranged an impromptu trip to go. When we were asked to serve at the inaugural service, I was really glad to be able to be part of this milestone. I was awed by the hunger for God that was evident in the crowd coming in, worshipping, and responding to the altar call. As I witnessed how God is moving in this Decade of Expansion, I felt a deeper sense of call and commitment personally as well as for my family to be part of this God-given vision.
Janice Ng South District
Committed to helping people discover find a fun-filled purposeful life, Trinity@Bangkok continued to reach out to the people of the city through street evangelism and various care and connect events. Starting with the launch of F4, the Trackers worked hard to plan the program and invite young people to spend their Friday nights at Too Fast To Sleep Café. At its launch on November 2, 18 people gathered for a time of fantastic friendships, cultural exchange, and coffee where they can improve their command of English. We praise God that one person has made a decision for Christ through these care and connect events!
F4 was a good event and I made many new friends. The way it was organized really matched the audience. Good job!
Everyone that I met at F4 treated me very well and I felt very welcomed. I really enjoyed the activities like learning about the slang used in Singapore.
With Pastor Joyce Lim (Trinity@Bangkok’s Hosting Pastor) taking the lead for Potential to Fulfillment seminar series that started on November 4, we have already seen three people make decisions for Christ through these powerful times of impartation. Let’s believe that God will continue do a mighty work in the hearts of the people of Bangkok and the land of smiles.
(Testimonies have been edited for clarity and length.) 2 6
When we were first told about Bangkok, I had mixed feelings. On one hand, I was excited to be part of the regional center plant. On the other, I was nervous at what was to come. The lack of preparation and details was a bit unnerving, but I held on to the truth that we were going as God’s vessels for the expansion of His kingdom. When we were doing street evangelism, God also orchestrated divine meetups and opened hearts to hear the Gospel. Through this process, I felt that God was working in my life as well. Little by little, God showed me how He was working in the background. And through all these little things, God reminded me that I was doing His work. As His, all I had to do was to act in obedience and let Him work through me.
Benedict Teo AlphaTrack Batch 51
INVITE YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY LIVING IN BANGKOK TO JOIN US FOR ALL OF THESE EXCITING EVENTS THIS DECEMBER! SUN
SERVICE WITH SENIOR PASTOR DOMINIC YEO REASON FOR THE SEASON
POTENTIAL TO FULFILLMENT SEMINAR
Upon hearing that we would be mobilized to pioneer Trinity@Bangkok, my heart was overwhelmed with excitement and awe at this privilege to serve God at such a scale.
It was amazing to see God’s hand every step of the way. Through our prayer walks, God granted us revelation upon revelation on how we could reach out to the people. As we followed His lead, we saw how He divinely orchestrated conversations and meet-ups that allowed for seeds to be sown into the hearts those we reached out to.
(Information is correct at time of print and subject to change)
During the launch of Trinity@Bangkok, God moved powerfully and touched the hearts of many. My heart is filled with anticipation for all that God is going to do in and through Trinity@Bangkok.
Stay up-to-date on everything that’s happening at Trinity@Bangkok! Search for “Trinity Christian Centre” on your phone’s App store.
+66 97 250 7875 www.trinity-thai.asia firstname.lastname@example.org
Tashia Yang AlphaTrack Batch 51 2 7
Life is messy. While you and I can try to predict every outcome and prepare for every situation, the reality is that we will eventually find ourselves in a mess. No one likes to struggle. Yet, the reality is that life will always be filled with setbacks and disappointments, frustrations and pain. No amount of planning can ensure a desired outcome. No extent of preventive measures can stop accidents from happening. No amount of preparation is enough when faced with the unexpected. Life is messy. While you and I can clean up some of the messes, the reality is that some messes are beyond our ability to sort out. No one likes to struggle. Yet, the beauty of our messes is that these are powerful times where we can see and hear God a lot more. These are times when we can see Him in action. God is in the business of miracles. He is all-powerful, all-present, all-knowing, and all-loving. He waits for the right moment to turn our situations around.
When experts tell us the situation is impossible, God’s hand can make all things possible. While we might never know why He permits the messes of our lives to take place, you and I have absolute assurance that He will be with us every step of the way. By putting our hope in God, you and I can hold on to the promise that He will turn our mourning into dancing and our ashes into beauty (Psalm 30:11; Isaiah 61:3). That’s why you and I can come out of the fire of life refined instead of roasted, resilient instead of resentful, and better instead of bitter. When we are down and out, God is there to lift us up. When we face a dead end, God is there to give us a way out. When we are fearful of what’s ahead, God can give us peace that surpasses all understanding. Read on to find out how God can turn our tests into His testimony and our messes into His miracle.
When our strategies lead to brick walls, God’s plans can lead to a breakthrough.
Our Mess, His Miracle!
Peace Above Storms
Medical Mess Meets a Miraculous God
Getting Through the Mess
What to Do While You’re Waiting on God
Being There in the Mess
72 2 9
By Senior Pastor Dominic Yeo
Life can get messy. While I wish that none of us would experience any mess in life, the reality is that messes will happen no matter how best we try to prepare or prevent them. As believers, this may sometimes feel like an irony. The Bible says we are blessed. Yet, how can we be blessed if we are in a mess? Can we really be blessed when life is a mess? 3 0
The messes that happen in our lives are not Godâ€™s final place for us. Whatever the enemy intends for evil,
God meant it for good (Genesis 50:20). Romans 8:28 also declares that all things work together for the good of those who love Him. In other words, there is a miracle awaiting us in our mess! The questions we need to ask ourselves are these: What do we do in the meantime? How do we grapple with being blessed while being in a mess? For us to understand this irony, we first need to recognize the blessings that God has for us as His Sons and Daughters. When Jesus began His ministry, He choose to read from the scroll of Isaiah 61:1-2. It was a declaration of the anointing and the blessings that God wants us to walk in. A study into Isaiah 61:1-2 reveals God’s six-cord blessing. It begins with Christ’s mission to walk in and release this blessing. That Great Mission is now given to us as Sons and Daughters of God. However, it is also intertwined with a Great Irony. This is important for us to understand this so that we do not remain in limbo and miss out on the Great Exchange and the Great Result that God has for us.
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent Me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, 2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, 3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor.”
Isaiah 61:1-3 3 1
“The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He has anointed Me...” – ISAIAH 61:1A
God anointed Jesus to release a six-cord blessing, one that enables people to experience the power of God in every aspect of their lives.
The Six-Cord Blessing of ISAIAH 61:1-2 “proclaim good news to the poor” Hope “bind up the brokenhearted”
“proclaim freedom for the captives” Liberty “release from darkness for the prisoners” Freedom “proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor”
“comfort all who mourn” Comfort This anointing of blessing has also been passed down to us, Sons and Daughters of God! In Ephesians 1:3, Paul writes that we have been blessed “with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” This is first and foremost our position with Christ. We are anointed to be blessed in these six areas.
“…to proclaim good news to the poor…” – ISAIAH 61:1B
The biggest need in our world today is hope. We need hope. People give up when they lose hope. Hope gives us strength. Hope allows an invasion of heaven into our situation because Jesus is our hope.
The good news we have is that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13). Through Christ, we can overcome hopelessness. When we become believers, the hope we have is an unshakable, unchangeable, and undefeatable hope in Christ!
“…He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted…”– ISAIAH 61:1B
Hurt and heartbreaks are a fact of life. At some point, we will face rejection. At some point, someone will break our trust or betray us. At some point, we will face loss and experience a broken heart.
As believers, we have God’s healing balm. He’s come to bind the brokenhearted, to close our wounds, and allow complete healing to take place. This healing balm is available for us as we open our hearts and allow God to do a beautiful work in our lives.
“…to proclaim freedom for the captives” – ISAIAH 61:1B
We all have areas about ourselves we want to improve – habits we want to break and attitudes we want to change. The reality is that some of us are so trapped in destructive habits that we are unable to set ourselves free.
The good news is that God has anointed us to be liberated from the chains that hold us back – our bad habits, our sinful habits, everything that seeks to keep us from fulfilling our God-given destiny.
“and release from darkness the prisoners…”– ISAIAH 61:1B
When Isaiah speaks of the release of prisoners, it’s a description of people who are so deep in darkness, so deeply bound in sin that they don’t know the way out. They are bound and trapped to the point where they have been accustomed to darkness. They do not see a need for the light or a desire to get into the light.
God promises us the Holy Spirit who brings conviction. He shines His light into our lives so that we are not abandoned to the darkness.
A PROPHETIC PROCLAMATION
“…to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor…”– ISAIAH 61:2A
There is power in our declaration! We have been blessed to speak a word that will shift our lives and others into God’s destiny and favor! We need to understand this is the authority we have as Sons and Daughters of the Most High God! God
wants to give us His divine favor. He wants to release provision, resources, protection, and rest into our lives. It is not a “name it, claim it” theology. It is about understanding our rightful place and our inheritance from God. It’s about letting our declaration of faith shift things into alignment with God’s plans and purposes.
“…to comfort all who mourn…” – ISAIAH 61:2B
When we experience pain or loss, Psalm 23:4 assures us of God’s presence as we walk through the valley of the shadow of death. I’m so grateful for this promise because it means that you and I can run into the arms of our Daddy God for comfort and strength.
Regardless of what we go through, He is there to comfort us. No matter the frustration or setback, He will never leave us and He will never forsake us.
In Isaiah 61:2-3, Isaiah mentions that He comforts all who mourns and grieves in a place called Zion. What does Zion signify? Beyond a physical location, Zion represents for us the place of God’s providence, the place of God’s presence, and the place of God’s perfect will. 3 4
Zion: The place of God’s
Providence goes beyond the supply of God (provision) and refers to His constant intervention in our lives. Providence is where He engages with us in every situation and
circumstance. He is in the business of orchestrating events that demonstrate His sovereignty, supremacy, and presence in our lives.
Zion: The place of God’s
In the Old Testament, the Temple of God was also referred to as Zion – the place where God’s presence dwelled with His people. Though the Temple is long gone, that doesn’t stop God from being in our midst and moving among us.
When Psalm 42:7 writes that, “deep calls to deep,” the psalmist was referring to the spiritto-spirit engagement we have with God – the inner recesses of our being that calls out to and interacts with Him. Anytime we gather in His name, He promises to be with us (Matthew 18:20). As the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19), you and I can have access to the presence of God whenever and wherever we are.
Zion: The place of God’s
As Christians, we are often told that God has a wonderful plan for our lives, plans to prosper and not harm us, plans to give us a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). How do we know if we are operating in God’s perfect will?
One indicator is the convergence of God’s providence and presence. When we experience unprecedented favor, when we feel a deep sense of peace, all these things assure that we are exactly where God wants us to be.
Here is where the Great Irony comes. If Zion is such a great place, how is it that Zion has people who are mourning and grieving? How can we be in a place of blessing and yet have mess? There’s a belief that life is smooth sailing when God is at work in our lives. That is wrong theology! The presence of God isn’t a force field that shields us from experiencing bad things. We can be following the plan of God to a tee and still be in a place of pain. Isaiah tells us so!
You can be in Zion and still be
“….and provide for those who grieve in Zion…” – ISAIAH 61:3A The moment we receive Jesus into our hearts, we begin to live in two worlds. We have one foot in heaven where we experience the providence, presence, and the perfect will of God.
Our other foot is still in the world - a place of brokenness and sin. That is why you and I continue to experience setbacks, disappointments, and pain while we are on this earth.
You can be in Zion and have
If you’ve ever seen a building destroyed by fire, you’ll see a landscape filled with ash – a reminder of the structure now gone. For some of us, Zion is a place where we have experienced loss.
Whether its material possessions or something more intangible like a relationship, experiencing loss can be devastating because we are separated from something (or someone) that is valuable to us.
You can be in Zion and be
When life hands us ashes, it is natural to go into a state of mourning – a time where we have to process the loss and adjust to a new normal. There is pain in the ashes as we go through the grieving process.
Without proper handles for the pain, the loss can feel so great that we withdraw from life.
You can be in Zion and have
While we can suffer as a result of other people’s actions, we can also suffer as a result of our own actions. When bad decisions lead to bad consequences, the reality of our selfinflicted wounds can weigh heavily
upon our hearts. We can go as far as entering into a despondent state. Our mistakes and feelings of failure so can weigh us down to the point where we stop moving forward.
“…to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair…” – Isaiah 61:3a
While there is an irony, God is not content to leave us in our mess. God is in the business of turning our mess into miracles – to engage with us in the Great Exchange.
A CROWN OF BEAUTY for ashes In Old Testament times, a person who was mourning would place ashes on their head as an outward demonstration of their inward condition. By placing a crown of beauty upon our heads, God seeks to cover the ashes of our lives so that when people see us, their focus is on the beauty instead of the mess.
The crown of beauty is also referred to as a tiara. I like that because it demonstrates how our messes are of tremendous value to God. Though we may not understand why we have to go through the messes – the bad and ugly parts of life – we can be assured that He will turn it around for His good.
The OIL OF JOY for mourning Oil’s function is to act as a lubricant, an agent that eases friction. For a car to generate movement, its pistons have to move up and down to generate energy. If the pistons are not lubricated, the friction will create so much heat that it will ultimately destroy the engine.
As you and I go through life, we will also face a lot of friction. That’s why we need the oil of joy so that the friction and heat do not overwhelm us. The Bible also tells us that God will pour upon us the oil of joy into our lives to ease us through our messes while we wait for our miracles to come to pass.
A GARMENT OF for despair
When bad things happen to us, it’s very easy to enter into a state of despair, to wear our sorrow and hopelessness and allow it to bring us down. However, God is calling us to put on a garment of praise. He doesn’t just want to place it on
our shoulders. He wants us to put it on – to be people of praise in all situations and circumstances. That’s why Hebrews 13:15 calls it a “sacrifice of praise” because it’s not just something we do only when we feel like it. Praise is a lifestyle that we live from morning to night, in good times and in bad.
“They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor.” – ISAIAH 61:3B
As we exchange our ashes for beauty, our mourning for joy, and our despair for praise, a few things will begin to happen.
TESTING WILL BECOME HIS TESTIMONY
When we grieve in Zion, how we handle the grief is very important, turning every test into a testing ground for our faith. Instead of becoming bitter, we can become better. Instead of getting roasted, we can come out refined. By allowing God to put a crown of beauty upon our heads, to pour the oil of joy into our spirit, and to clothe us with the garment of praise, our testing will be transformed into His testimony. 3 8
When we face the messes of life surrounded by God’s presence and praising Him despite the trials, our lives will attract the attention of those around us. They will be inspired by our journey, confident that if we can do it, they can do it too! That’s why the passage calls us “oaks of righteousness.” Just as oaks are large trees, our testimonies will also be big testimonies that testify of God’s might and power. The largeness of the oak also represents our maturity as God uses our messes to refine our character.
MESS WILL BECOME HIS MESSAGE
A few months ago, I received a message that the General Superintendent of the Thailand Assemblies of God had stepped down. He had been diagnosed with terminal cancer and was told he had eight months left to live. I immediately flew to Bangkok to find out how he was doing.
When I heard those words, tears started to well up in my eyes. He went on to share how he was living in the best time of his life. By passing the baton of leadership to the next generation, he could focus the remaining months of his life on doing things that he never had the opportunity to do.
“Dominic, you’re a man of faith and so am I,” he started sharing, “While faith means trusting God for healing, faith also means trusting God for grace to get through this difficult time. Faith is also about knowing that when God takes me, He will take me home and that I’ll be in a better place.”
Wow. God certainly turned his test into a testimony and his mess into a message. Instead of ministering to him, he ended up ministering and praying for me!
MESS WILL BECOME HIS MIRACLE
In life, we will face trials and pain. That is the reality of living in a broken world. The beauty in the mess is that we have access to the Great Exchange. The beauty is that God will turn our testing into His testimony, our mess into His message, and our mess into His miracle. If you are in the midst of a mess, don’t turn away from God. Learn to turn to Him. Exchange your ashes for a crown of beauty, your
mourning for the oil of joy, and your despair for a garment of praise. As you hold on to God’s six-cord blessing for your life, believe that He will give you everything you need to experience His power in every aspect of your life.
Pastor Dominic Yeo is the Senior Pastor of Trinity Christian Centre. Hear this message and others at www.trintiy.sg (Watch > Sermons) or on the Trinity APP Follow him on social media at @PDomYeo
As you experience God’s sixcord blessing, dare to help others experience by being conduits of God’s goodness – to be agents in the Great Mission so that the world can experience heaven here on earth.
By Kristine Lee
Itâ€™s hardly ever always still and calm in life. But while we canâ€™t weatherproof our lives, God promises to be our peace in the storms. Read about how God met Christopher Choo and Eric Wan in the storms in their lives. Scan each QR code to watch them share more!
I became depressed. I was emotionally, mentally, and physically drained. I desperately wanted and needed a change in my life.
Christopher Choo REAL ESTATE AGENT
My last 18 years as a property agent has been challenging. Finances eventually went into the red and bills were piling. There were days I would look at the household bills, tax bills, and even handphone bills, to decide which to pay for first. Life was hard and my wife had to start working. I was both saddened and ashamed to see my wife become the sole breadwinner of the family. In search for a breakthrough, I turned to temples, idols, and even changed my name for better luck. Nothing worked.
At the same time, I kept seeing Facebook posts of high-achieving fellow property agents praising God. I also started hearing testimonies in my interactions with them. I finally mustered up some courage and asked my colleague to bring me to her church, Trinity Christian Centre. In the service, I cried out to God to save my family and me. That day, I received Jesus into my heart and experienced God in miraculous ways.
Scan this code to watch Christopher share how God turned his mess into a miracle.
In 2017, a colleague whom I confided my problems in invited my daughters and me to Trinity. I thought it might be a good environment for my daughters so I brought them to DiscoveryLand.
My 10-year marriage ended with a sudden divorce. I was left to look after our three young daughters.
I attended the adult service and I felt an indescribable peace and comfort. Even though my circumstances were no better, there was this strange calm assurance. That day, I gave my heart to Jesus.
Half a year later, while still trying to get my life in balance, I was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor. Within weeks, life took another hit and I suffered from retina degeneration.
My family have been attending service regularly since. We have a spiritual family through the carecell that has been a great support for my daughters and me. And God has since done marvelous works in our lives!â€ƒ
I was overwhelmed with all that was happening. I was sad, angry, worried, lonely, and shocked. Why me? Why did all these happen to me? I became very depressed and was unable to sleep well and was often in a daze.
Scan this code to watch Eric share how God turned his mess into a miracle. 4 1
By Loh Dan Lin
Prostate cancer. A silent heart attack. A high-risk pregnancy. A slew of bad reports nearly overwhelmed Jane Yen-Laiâ€™s family within a span of four months. A tough journey filled with many ups and downs, read on to find out how God intervened in a powerful way. 4 2
When I was a student, my aunt invited me to watch Heaven’s Gates and Hell’s Flames at Trinity@Adam in the 1990s. Though I reluctantly accepted the invitation, God touched me during the presentation and I gave my life to Him that day. As a first-generation Christian, I faced a lot of resistance for living out my faith. My parents were not open to the Gospel and rejected every invitation I extended to them to go to church events. As a young
believer, these were especially tough times but I thank God that He gave me the strength to persevere. My carecell came alongside me with encouragement and prayer. They kept reminding me to honor my parents and set aside time for them. Acts 16:31 tells us to “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved – you and your household.” For 20 years, I prayed for the salvation of my parents and often doubted God’s promise for my family.
The first crisis strikes In May 2017, my father was suddenly diagnosed with prostate cancer. Still recovering from the sudden loss of our maternal grandmother just six months prior, it felt as though our world had
come crashing down. He was especially shocked to hear that the cancer was highly-aggressive and may have spread to his bones. A man of good health and stoic demeanor, the news reduced him to tears.
A divine interaction Later that month, I invited him to hear Teddy Hung’s testimony at Trinity@Paya Lebar. My father didn’t respond to the altar call but when my mother-in-law ministered to him at his seat, he broke down in tears. At that moment, he decided to trust God with his life. He told me later that fear and dread left him as God filled his heart with peace. He was no longer fearful of going for his medical appointments.
A few weeks later, he went for a detailed bone scan to determine whether the cancer had spread. Praise God that it remained localized and had not reached his bones! With that, he began a six-month regimen of medication and radiotherapy. Though it was a worrying time, we kept praying as he was undergoing treatment. While it seemed that things were going well, our family’s peace was short-lived.
The second crisis strikes In August, my mother suddenly collapsed and was rushed to the hospital. There, she was diagnosed with a silent heart attack that had occurred several days prior. Doctors tried to balloon the blood vessels of the heart but the procedure was unsuccessful. Some of the muscles in her heart could not be saved.
A woman with no pre-existing health conditions, the heart attack was a shock to the entire family. As an active woman, her whole life turned upside down as she became bedridden and spent the next two months of her life going in and out of the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
A light in the dark Though the situation seemed bleak, it was in this darkness that God’s light shone so brightly in her life. In September, my mother had a dream where she was surrounded by black apparitions. Terrified, she shouted, “Jesus, Jesus!” and they immediately disappeared. A fire in her dream that was in the background was also instantly put out.
With that dream came a revelation. Just as Jesus was the one who put out the flames, she finally recognized that it was God’s awesome power that saved her husband from cancer. She awoke and decided to give her life to Jesus, sealing her commitment by getting baptized in her ward the following week. Two weeks later, my parents decided to have their house cleansed and removed all the idols within.
Fighting for survival We thought that things would finally pick up. However, the joy of my mother’s salvation was short-lived when her health took a turn for the worse in October. One night, her heart failed and doctors rushed to perform an emergency resuscitation. Though she was revived, this incident proved too much for her body. With dangerously low blood pressure, the doctors inserted a temporary balloon into her vein and started her on medication in hopes that her blood pressure would rise. She suffered from internal bleeding and other organs in her body began to fail. Her kidneys were the first to shut down. Those dark days saw my sisters and I sitting outside the ICU ward feeling helpless, powerless, and worried about the future. Every phone call from the hospital was received with dread as we feared feared getting the the worst possible news.
Every doctor’s meeting was met with inconclusive assessments. As the days went by, a creeping doubt began to set in and we began to mentally prepare ourselves that my mother would not pull through. I comforted myself that she had given her life to God. In the moments of fear and anguish, I admit that there were times when my faith wavered. On top of that, I was also pregnant with twins. During that time, I was in my second trimester. The twins were were beginning to weigh me down as they grew in my belly. Having to juggle work, travels up and down the hospital, and being constantly on edge edge were taking a toll on me and my body. My body, mind, and spirit were stretched as I juggled work, family, and frequent hospital visits.
I had to care for my kids – my husband Aaron and I were already parents to Ruth (7), Ariel (5), and Annette (2). I had to manage the household. I had to deal with work. I had to make so many big decisions at the hospital. As the eldest child, I had to meet the needs of my parents and siblings. There were so many moments where I felt that I had reached my limit. Carrying twins was already considered a high-risk pregnancy. I was worried that the stress I was feeling might affect my unborn children. After days of observation and treatment, the doctors called us in to suggest moving my mother into palliative care. They were essentially telling us that they had exhausted all avenues and were giving up. I distinctly remember sitting at the hospital lobby after that session, lost in my thoughts amidst the
hustle and bustle of the hospital. After trying all avenues, we were now at a loss and unsure of what else to do. Yet we were unwilling to accept the doctor’s verdict. Somehow, I felt that inner prompting and peace that it was not my mother’s time yet.
Miracle after miracle Our family decided to seek a second opinion. Finances would be an issue if we pursued private care and I wasn’t sure if her insurance would be able to cover the costs. I approached my uncle-in-law and he connected us with a doctor-friend of his who tapped on his own network of doctors. Moreover, we got in touch with our insurance companies. The feedback we got was that the policies I bought for my parents would come through. This was an encouraging development. We went to another hospital to discuss with the recommended cardiologist. His confidence in the situation and suggested course of action revived our hopes for her condition. Two days later,
she was transferred to this new hospital and underwent an operation to insert a left ventricular assist device into her weak heart. As it was a major operation, we were naturally worried. Yet, I felt a sense of peace. The hours seemed to drag that morning. What should have been a four-hour operation dragged to 10 hours. You could imagine our anxiety! However, we were also praying during those long hours. In the end, we were so thankful that the operation was a success. From then on, my mother made slow but steady improvement. After a few weeks, she was transferred from the ICU to a normal ward. Now that her heart was working again, it was time to focus on the other parts of her body.
UP CLOSE Months of lying on hospital beds had caused her muscles to waste away. Many of her organs were still in a dormant and severely-weakened state. Her kidneys remained non-functional and she required regular dialysis. Though the nephrologist was not hopeful that her kidneys would recover, God gave us another miracle in January when He touched the kidneys and they sprung to life, so much so that she could come off the dialysis machine. Even the medical staff were stunned by her quick recovery!
Through it all, I knew that it was God who sustained me throughout my pregnancy. Once while praying, God told me that He would keep my mother through her illness. I held on to that promise and to His Word. God also sent people to support me during those challenging times. My close friends and carecell members visited and supported me in prayer. My husband also encouraged me by sharing bible verses and supporting me in the running of the household.
Bundles of faith When the twins were born prematurely in January 2018 (a common occurrence for multiple births), they had to spend some time in the neonatal ICU. I thank God that they were born healthy, grew quickly, and were able to come home after a few weeks.
Aaron and I decided to name our daughters Faith and Faye (a variant of Faith) to reflect this new season in our lives. We would need lots of faith to raise five daughters! At the same time, I could not help drawing parallels between their birth and the season God had been bringing our entire family through. Names were important to us and we felt as though their names were meant to be.
Young, yet mighty Only faith in God could have seen my family through such a difficult season. When my mother experienced the silent heart attack, I was so worried that my father (a one-month-old Christian then) would be angry at God and turn away from Him. How wrong I was!
When her condition was deteriorating, when doubts and negativity threatened to overwhelm us, my father kept encouraging the family to believe
that God would pull her through. Each time we got ready to leave her bedside, he would ask to pray for her even though we were all so tired. He was the youngest believer in the family, but his faith was most assuredly not the least! His entire outlook on life changed when he accepted Christ. God had lifted his burdens. For the first time in his life, he felt true freedom in the Lord â€“ an overwhelming sense of release as he allowed God to take control of the situation.
At that time, he was still battling his cancer, but he remained cheerful and had a spring in his step. “God is in control,” he would tell us regularly, “just pray and all will be well.” He believed with all of his heart that God would heal our mother. I believe God, in His great and tender mercy, chose to meet my father’s desire.
Strength to strength After 10 months of hospitalization, my mother was finally discharged on May 2018. From being on the verge of death, she can now recuperate in the comfort of her home. We praise God that she is on the road to recovery – an outcome that is nothing short of miraculous. As for my father, the six-month regimen of medication and radiotherapy brought his cancer into total remission. A regular at worship services since he accepted Christ, he has grown steadily in the Lord and even invites his oikos to join him! Though those months were challenging for our family, I thank God that He sustained us through it all. God was our rock and fortress, our ever-present refuge and strength. Through these trials, my prebelieving sisters witnessed the power and love of God for our family. Though they have not made decisions to accept Christ, I believe that the seed of faith has been planted deep in their hearts.
If you need a healing touch from the Lord, my father has these words of encouragement for you.
WHEN WE ARE IN DIFFICULT OR STRESSFUL SITUATIONS, IT IS EASY TO LOSE HOPE AND GIVE UP. PRESS IN TO BELIEVE THAT GOD CAN DO MIRACLES. HAVE FAITH THAT HE IS A GOD WHO HEALS.” All glory to God for His faithfulness!
For those who are still waiting for the salvation of loved ones, I encourage you to keep praying. Don’t give up and never stop believing in God’s promises for your family! Believe that God will intervene and that things will never be the same.
As God’s appointed shepherds, our pastors have walked individuals and families through life’s many challenges. We ask them for practical ways to get through some of the messes in our lives.^ Read how various Trinitarians have also encountered God in their messes by scanning the various codes.
^ The advice provided in this article are general in nature, requiring customization based on each person’s circumstances. In addition to reading what our pastors have to say, we also encourage you to seek other third-party help (e.g., spiritual leaders, counselors, family therapists) for objective advice and practical next steps. For more complex issues, consider seeking the services of mediators, arbitrators, lawyers, and law enforcement. 4 8
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Financial challenges can come in two ways – those that you get yourself into (e.g., borrowing, over-spending, agreeing to be others’ guarantors, or poor/impulsive decision-making) and those that you have no control over (e.g., loss of job due to company closure/restructuring, sudden turn of health, urgent family needs). While going through financial challenges is tough and may bring you to your wit’s end, I want to assure you that it is not the end of the world. God is a God who loves you very much and He will see you through. It may be tempting to find a ‘quick fix.’ However, do not make rash decisions such as turning to loan sharks, borrowing against your credit card, asking friends/family members to ‘bail you out’ (if you are in the habit of doing so) or, worse yet, physically harming yourself. These actions will only make things worse for you and your loved ones.
The first thing you can do is share your financial situation with people you trust: your spouse, loved ones, or close friends. If that is not possible, talk to your leader or pastor. They can pray for you as well as guide you through what you can do, including taking stock of your finances, assisting in budgeting, and pointing you to various channels of help available from church and government/social service agencies such as Care Community Services Society.
FACING FINANCIAL DIFFICULTIES
Be willing to come up with next steps to see this through. Yes, you have to face the consequences, the debts will still need to be settled, but there is always a way out.
“And my God will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus,” says Philippians 4:19. Claim this verse because God’s promise is true.
Pastor Edward Lim
Scan here to read how God restored Ken and Aileen’s finances.
“In 1997, many people in Singapore were hit by the Asian financial crisis. We, too, were not spared and suffered massive losses. It was a very difficult and painful time for us. As our businesses failed, we felt like failures and were disappointed with ourselves.”
For those of us waiting for the salvation of loved ones, be assured of Jesus’ great love for them. Do not be misled into thinking that the lack of progress means that God has given up on them. Instead, remember 2 Peter 3:9 which teaches us that God is patiently waiting for them to return to Him. “The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. Instead He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” – 2 Peter 3:9 Keep praying and interceding for your loved ones. Recognize that you are in a spiritual battle (Ephesians 6:12). Pray that the Holy Spirit will bring conviction of their great need for Jesus (John 16:8; Acts 2:37). Ask God to remove the
blindfolds that keep them from understanding the Gospel (2 Corinthians 4:4) so that they may turn to Christ and receive salvation (Acts 3:19). Use your life to share Christ with them. Evangelism is so much more than inviting oikos for church services or evangelistic events. It takes place in daily interactions as people see how Jesus has transformed you. Make conscious and consistent efforts to demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit. Your living living testimony remains one of the strongest tools for bringing people to Christ. Continue to press on and do not lose heart. My mother waited over 60 years for her mother (my grandmother) to receive salvation at the age of 82. God worked a miracle for this to come to reality. I pray that you will receive your miracle too.
Pastor Dennis Lum
“Whenever there was an evangelistic event, we would invite our parents to come. In times of known difficulties, we told them we were praying for them...My brother and I never gave up and continued to pray for our parents...There was a deep confidence that He would make everything beautiful in His time – that one day, our entire family would know Jesus.” It all started with her older brother. Slowly but surely, Jasmin’s entire family got to know the Lord. Scan here to read her Real Life Miracle.
“As a first-generation Christian, I faced a lot of resistance for living out my faith. As a young believer, these were especially tough times but I thank God that He gave me the strength to persevere. My carecell came alongside me with encouragement and prayer. For 20 years, I prayed for the salvation of my parents and often doubted God’s promise for my family.”
A tough journey filled with many ups and downs, turn to pg 42 to find out how God intervened in Jane’s family in a powerful way.
WAITING FOR THE SALVATION OF YOUR LOVED ONES
If you find yourself facing challenges and obstacles in the workplace, it’s tempting to see all these as “signs” that it’s time to move on. Talking to your spiritual leaders is good. It is also important to seek God and hear what He has to say about the matter. How you pray about work is also very important. If all you do is ask God to remove your challenges and obstacles, it keeps the focus on your problems and not on Him. Instead, ask God for a promise you can hold on to.
Understand His purpose for you in the marketplace. When you can hold on to God, when you are confident of what He wants to do in and through you, you are no longer fearful of the circumstances or the expectations of man.
FACING A TOUGH WORK SITUATION
When your mind is not filled with negativity or anxiety, God will enable you to see what your next steps should be. Instead of making decisions based on fear, you can start making decisions based on faith. That way, you are not tempted to make decisions that are outside of God’s purposes for you in that place for that season.
Pastor Alana Mah
“I felt myself burning out physically, emotionally, and spiritually. After a season of prayer, I decided to let [this job] go by tendering my resignation. ‘Was I a failure for not persevering? Didn’t God give me this job in the first place?’ I asked myself over and over again. ‘If I had stuck it out, could I have made a positive impact through my work?’” K . W O
K . W O
K. W O
Does work matter to God? After burning out from his dream job, Jared struggled to answer this question. Scan this code to read his journey to find the true purpose of work.
K . W O
As parents, it’s normal to question your ability to lead your children in the ways of the Lord. The truth is that you can’t shield them from the temptations, pressures, and distractions they encounter in their everyday lives. What should you do when your children walk away from their faith?
Spend time with them Whether it’s having a meal, going to a movie, or doing things they like to do, be intentional about spending time with your children. By creating good memories, it helps them remember the importance of family.
Affirm who they are in God The story of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32) is a great picture about what it means to demonstrate unconditional love to your children. For the day-to-day, I suggest for parents to consider the following.
Be generous with your words and constantly remind them that they are precious to God. In times of crisis, these moments will help them remember your love and the love of God.
Hold on to God’s promises Keep communication lines open Maintaining open communication is vital because it shows your children that their life and perspectives are valued. Ask open-ended questions. Be willing to listen. Don’t be quick to judge. At a certain point, they may feel safe enough to share deeper things with you.
Pray for them daily Prayer is the key to see breakthrough because only His supernatural love has the power to bring them back. Pray that they will learn to hear the voice of God and experience Christ’s redeeming love.
Pastor Gary Chia
While the situation may look impossible, believe in God’s plans and purposes for your children. Trust that He is constantly at work in their lives and that He will make all things beautiful in His time. I’ve seen parents who were relentless in praying and tangibly loving their prodigal children. As a result, their children are now stronger in the faith and serving in their areas of passion.
HAVING A PRODIGAL CHILD
When your children become young adults, they become people with their own values, convictions, dreams, and aspirations for the future. Release them to take responsibility for their own lives. Allow the relationship to evolve by changing your role to become their coach, cheerleader, and sounding board. Continue to care for them in tangible ways. I know of parents who make efforts to drive their children around and buy them their favorite food. Spend time with them. Find out what they’re doing and get to know their friends. Continue to share stories of God-encounters but be careful that you do not start to preach. Instead of saying “You should do this,” consider something along the lines of, “Think about what
I just shared.” Allow them to come to their own conclusions and make their own decisions. Take every opportunity to build the relationship as a way of communicating your love for them. At the same time, continue to draw boundaries. For example, if they have unhealthy lifestyles or bring friends with bad influences home, you can be firm and say no. Loving them doesn’t mean that you condone their wrong behaviors. Remember that your children ultimately belong to God. He loves them more than you ever could. Trust that He will not let them go and will pursue after them. Continue to pray that they will encounter the lavish love and generous grace of God.
Pastor Wendy Chang
“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.
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What would it take to turn Bryant’s life around? Scan here to find out how he went from death to life.
Desperate for relief, I turned to self-harming. Over time, self-harming 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.”
HAVING A CHILD WITH SPECIAL NEEDS It’s important for parents of special needs children to recognize that you are not the cause of your child’s condition. While it is natural to be troubled, be careful not to allow those negative emotions to lead you to selfblame, blaming your spouse or child, or even blaming God. Instead, come before God and cast your cares to Him because He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7). It is physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually draining to care for children with special needs. If you feel exhausted or you’re at a loss about what to do, seek help as soon as possible. Since a child’s early years are crucial times for learning, early intervention helps improve developmental delays and other concerns. Specialists can provide practical handles for your family and your child. If you or your spouse struggle with seeking outside help, allow God to help you overcome this reluctance. Is it because of pride? Is it because you do not want to accept the reality of a child with special needs? Regardless of your child’s condition, they are still a gift from God. You have been entrusted with them and they need your unconditional love and support to help them journey through life. When seeking a diagnosis for the condition, parents are often wary that doing so will cause their children to be labeled and, thus, marked as having a disadvantage. Instead, the diagnosis should be viewed as a way to identify the condition so that everyone (the child included) can understand their specific needs and take certain considerations into account.
Pastor Melvin Lim
Recognize and accept the additional roles you have in helping your child overcome his/her disabilities and difficulties. Ask God to reveal his/her God-given abilities and gifts. You will discover that children with special needs have other talents and abilities and are particularly strong in other areas. Most importantly, have realistic expectations of your child’s development. Resist the temptation to compare them with other children. Instead, choose to celebrate every achievement. In times when you wonder whether your efforts matter, be assured that everything makes a tremendous difference in his/her life. I would also advise parents to seek support groups. Finding other parents with special-needs children is a good place to start. A community of faith is also a great place to seek prayer and encouragement. Be open to sharing about your child’s condition and be willing to educate on how they can interact with your child in meaningful ways. Though the community cannot always help in terms of treating or teaching, they can be there for you as a listening ear and to offer emotional and spiritual support. In the midst of caring for your child, remember to set aside time for self-care and to strengthen relationships with other members of your family, including your spouse. Be intentional to give support, love, and encouragement to one another. Above all, remain committed to a deep and intimate relationship with the Lord so that you can live each day in His strength and wisdom.
“Growing up, Danielle’s parents would affectionately call her ‘precious.’ She often took it to mean she was special in a negative way. ‘Since I am so stupid, so dumb, what’s going to happen to me when I grow up?’ she often asked herself. Before the diagnosis Gabrielle remembered how the siblings thought Danielle was deliberately being difficult. During story time, she would read some words but never complete sentences. It wasn’t until they learned about Danielle’s dyspraxia that they understand that she had learning limitations.” Discover how Danielle and her family embraced life with special needs by scanning this code.
“One year after our son Daryl was born, my wife noticed a certain slowness in his speech. When things didn’t improve, we became concerned and started seeking the help of specialists and speech therapists. That’s when we learned that he had dyspraxia. It was a very challenging period for my family because we had no experience dealing with special needs. [It] was a turning point in my faith, as well as my wife’s. In the midst of so many uncertainties, it was a time when we started re-evaluating our lives, our priorities, and our dependence on God.” Read how God turned Kenneth’s faith around by turning to pg 96.
“Disability theories argue that ‘disability’ is actually more normal than we perceive since every person experience some form of limitation as an inevitable, essential part of his or her humanity. Seen another way, our prejudice and the condescending attitude toward disabilities is a disability in and of itself. Viewing those with mental and physical disabilities as ‘burdens’ or ‘very different from us’ is a thinking that incapacitates us from fully understanding the depth of humanity and, by extension, God Himself.”
How should Christians view the physically and mentally disabled? Read Rev Dr Babu Immanuel Venkataraman’s answer by scanning here.
FACING STRAINED FAMILY RELATIONS (IMMEDIATE) First and foremost, it’s important to lift every difficulty and the sensitivities of family dynamics to God. Many strained family relationships go through cycles and it takes time to see progress. When you persist in praying for your family – when you invite Him to reign in the situation – the more you desire for wanting God’s will to be done. Your dependence on God also increases because you recognize that only He knows the intricacies and the complexities of the situation. When interacting with family members, it’s important to do and to say the right thing. How often a wrong word (or wrong choice of words), or the right words spoken at the wrong time, add fuel to the fire rather than extinguish it. Seek wisdom from God through prayer, from reading/ studying His Word, and seeking godly counsel. When caught in a tense situation, do not rely on
your own wisdom or, worse still, react because of stirred emotions. Ask God to give you wisdom on how to respond in that moment. The Bible exhorts us to “live at peace with everyone” (Romans 12:18). Therefore, do what you can to seek (re)conciliation.1 I know of a family whose siblings engaged in “cold wars” with each other – an accumulation of misunderstandings that their mother had unknowingly caused because of certain comments she made in the past. The second son, a Christian, persisted in praying for the family for years. When their father passed away, God orchestrated events to bring the siblings together. I thank God that this sibling took the initiative and exercised wisdom to reconnect with his siblings. In time, the breakthrough of reconciliation came. Praise God that the siblings are now in constant contact and arrange meet-ups!
Pastor Kenny Sng
Disputes are common. However, the Bible exhorts us to “live at peace with everyone” (Romans 12:18). Rev Sam Kuna shares some practical steps we can take to make peace with our siblings and loved ones. Scan here to find out more.
Reconciliation refers to having good relationships and privileges restored to the state before the dispute(s) occurred. Conciliation refers to maintaining peace and harmony in the relationship.
FACING STRAINED FAMILY RELATIONS (EXTENDED) One piece of advice I give over and over again is not to burn bridges. Most of the time, you won’t interact with (or relate to) your extended family as much as you do with your immediate family. Therefore, it can be hard to gauge if or when such connections can be rebuilt. When situations become unpleasant, refrain from reacting or bearing grudges. Surrender the pain to God because God is the One who vindicates any “injustice” done to us. Instead, ask God for opportunities to build bridges. Verbalize a desire to make peace, apologize for any hurts you may have caused, and offer restitution where necessary.
Demonstrate sincerity in strengthening the relationship by speaking their love language. If they enjoy gifts, bring something for them during your next visit. If their love language is time, ask to meet with them for a coffee or meal. Make your best efforts and then lift the relationship up to God, trusting that He will bring peace into the family. Always remember that when you react negatively or engage in tit-for-tat behavior, bridges can be burned and you never know if relationships with your extended family can ever be re-built.
Pastor Kenny Sng
FACING INFERTILITY With couples marrying later and the stresses of life compounding, infertility has become more prevalent in society today.
Deal with the negative emotions and mindsets It is normal to experience any combination of shame, anger, guilt, and depression. Stress on the marriage is also inevitable, especially if there are family pressures to have children or when you see couples expanding their families.
Surrender the situation to God Infertility should not be misunderstood as punishment from God, lack of faith, or a belief that God has abandoned you. Instead of being consumed by the problem, surrender to the sovereignty and mysteries of God, even though the Bible tells us to be fruitful and multiply. Pray to be blessed with a child. The Bible shares stories of couples who also struggled with infertility – Elkanah and Hannah in 1 Samuel 1, Zechariah and Elizabeth in Luke 1. By God’s
grace and with earnest petition, they eventually were able to conceive. Hold on to the truth that God can do all things. If Jesus can be conceived from a virgin birth, then nothing is impossible for Him (Luke 1:37).
Seek medical advice and consider other options Practically, both husband and wife can seek medical advice to determine next steps, assured that there is no shame in seeking outside help. If infertility remains a reality, consider expanding your family through adoption or fostering.
See your family as complete Recognize that your family unit is complete, even without children. You and your spouse can still lead fulfilling, God-led, and purposedriven lives. Stay connected with a fellowship of believers where you can find mutual support and encouragement. Continue to build intimacy as a couple because marriage is the foundation upon which the family unit builds upon.
Pastor David Chng
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Tears flowed freely when the pregnancy tests indicated negative month after month...There were moments when we felt assured of His promise and the next moment, we would crash and burn...questioning if having children was really God’s plan for us.”
Read about See Yeong and Samie’s journey to parenthood by scanning this code.
“We thought it would be easy for Samie to conceive. Soon, a year passed. There was still no sign of a baby. Being in our 30s, we knew that it would be harder to conceive and it added to our anxiety.
DEALING WITH PEER PRESSURE In a world that seeks to sway us to the left or to the right, it’s extremely tempting for Christians to follow the crowd at the expense of our beliefs. Though you might be ridiculed, rejected, or considered unpopular, remember that you are called to be the salt and the light – to be different and not conformed to the world (Matthew 5:13-16; Romans 12:2). To deal with peer pressure, it’s important to know what you stand for. Why do you take a certain stand? What are your boundaries? Find out more about what the Bible has to say about contentious and gray issues – go to LEAD classes or read Christian books. Absorb godly teachings and allow God to speak to you and form your convictions.
Gather with people who share the same stand as you. Prayer groups and carecells are a great place to receive encouragement to stand up for what you believe in. 1 Peter 3:15 tells us this: “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” As you grow in your convictions, be ever-ready to explain your stand but do so in a way that does not come off as “high and mighty.” Choose to live a life that honors God. Be conscious and consistent about what you do and say. In time, people will come to respect you as a person of integrity and righteousness.
Think through exit strategies to get you out of sticky situations. If you still struggle to face these challenges, talk to your spiritual leaders and be accountable to them.
Pastor Wendy Chang
DEALING WITH BULLIES Bullying can come in many forms: physical, emotional, and through the internet (cyberbullying). When parents notice the following behaviors, they should consider whether their children have become the targets of bullying.
• Increased stress and worry
PRAY (4:4, 9)
• Frequent illnesses (stomachache, headache) • Sleeplessness and nightmares • Feelings of fear, helplessness, embarrassment, humiliation
Work together to come up with an action plan. Consider how Nehemiah and the Israelites responded to the threats of Sanballat and Tobiah in Nehemiah 4.
• Choose to forgive • Pray for their salvation and change of heart • Ask God for wisdom and courage to deal with the bullies
• Low self-worth/self-esteem
STAY FOCUSED (4:6, 21)
• Refusal or hatred to go to school
• Focus on doing well in school and building meaningful friendships with others
In all of this, there is self-isolation. Rather than talking about what’s happening, children would rather face the situation alone because of a fear that speaking up would make the situation worse. They may also (mistakenly) believe that no one cares about what’s happening or that no one knows what’s going on. Parents play an important role in helping their children process their emotions, build resilience, and develop practical handles to resolve this social problem. When talking to your children, give them something to LEAN on.
Listen Ask your child for his/her side of the story. Remain calm and allow them to finish sharing before seeking clarification.
Empathize and speak truth Ask how all of these things made your child feel and give them space to process their feelings. Remind them that they are valuable and loved. Assure them that God knows what’s going on and that He cares for them.
Pastor Chung Kah Fei 6 0
HAVE COURAGE, TRUST IN GOD (4:14) • Resist the urge to retaliate
• Trust that God will vindicate
REACT WISELY (4:9, 13, 16, 20) • For practical handles on how to deal with bullies, consider resources like bullyfree.sg/ or the book “Stand Strong (You Can Overcome Bullying)” by Nick Vujicic.
Notify Tell trusted adults/teachers of the situation so that they can help with the following. • Verify information • Reinforce the action plan • Create a safe environment for your child and other children
When I was in secondary school, I experienced bullying because of my faith in God. Having to face unjust actions, unkind words, and accusations on a regular basis was really hard during these growing-up years. The sad truth is that my experience is far from the exception. Every youth will experience some form of bullying in their lifetime and everyone will respond differently. Yet, Romans 12:17 exhorts us to be the bigger person, “Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone.” Here are some practical handles I recommend for those who are being bullied.
Keep calm Bullies want to have power over others. That’s why they revel in being able to upset or anger people. By consistently responding with noncommittal and kind words/actions, it signals to the bully that they can’t have power over you and they will eventually move on.
Know who to approach Have a list of people whom you can contact, both in school and outside of school, for moments when you encounter trouble, feel that your life is in danger, or need someone to talk to.
Forgive and pray While it’s easy to hold grudges against bullies, remember that Jesus loved those who hurt Him. Instead of becoming a prisoner to your hurts, choose to release them to God. Forgive your bullies and go one step further by asking God to bless them. In this way, you grow in loving as Jesus loved.
Pastor Gary Chia
Chronic diseases are long-term medical conditions that are generally progressive.2 Living with a lifelong condition such as asthma, diabetes, hypertension, or rheumatoid arthritis can be a struggle. When things act up, you are not in your best form. Though you can do your best to take precautionary measures such as adopting a healthy lifestyle and taking medication regularly, there is always that anxiety about when the next serious “attack” will come.
“Where is my healing?” – these are times where God can pour into your life, to give you a verse, a vision, or a promise that you can hold on to. This song, Blessings by Laura Story ministered to me when I was recuperating. ‘Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops What if Your healing comes through tears
In the midst of these physical challenges and emotional ups and downs, what can we do to live life to the fullest?
Seek God It starts with a right understanding and perspective of God – who is God and what is God doing in your life. When we are afraid, God remains the stronghold. When we cannot make sense of what is happening now, God says “I know.” When we are uncertain of what lies ahead, God remains the One who holds our tomorrow. Spend time seeking God regularly in His Word and in prayer. When I was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in 2009, God didn’t seem to heal the way I wanted. But that didn’t change my perspective of God. I cannot deny God’s provision, love, and comfort seeing me through each day. Looking back, I grew so much in believing, embracing, and encountering God, my Heavenly Father personally. That’s why it’s so important to have a strong and intimate relationship with God.
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise Trust God for who He is and see His hand move in your life. I hold Psalm 27 close to my heart, especially verse 13 – “I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” Continue to declare who He is in your life and be confident of your identity as His beloved child.
Surround yourself with support It’s also important to surround yourself with people who can encourage and support you. It’s not about relying on false hope. It’s about people who are willing to journey with you through the difficult times, who will hear you out, cry with you, and pray for you. During the times when I had no faith, it was the faith of others that inspired me to keep going.
Prepare for the worst Even if your prayers are times where you’re pouring out your grief and frustrations – when you ask Him questions like “Why me?” and 2
If a chronic illness might take a turn for the worst, consider your feelings and perspectives about death. When I was coping with cancer in
https://www.healthhub.sg/a-z/diseases-and-conditions/96/topics_chronic_diseases 6 2
LIVING WITH A CHRONIC ILLNESS
2009, I started to “fear” death. Though I knew that I would be going to heaven, death was still in the realm of the unknown. Am I prepared to die? Am I afraid to meet God, if this is really the time? Bring these questions before God. Allow Him to help you through these concerns and give you the assurance and confidence. It’s also important to prepare your loved ones for life without you. While I worried for myself, I was even more concerned about my husband and daughter and how they would go on without me. While conversations about death can be uncomfortable, emotional, and taboo, find opportunities to talk it through sensitively with your immediate family and close friends. Plan for things like finances and childcare arrangements. Consider drafting your will and advance medical directive so that they are aware of your final wishes and next steps. While my husband was uncomfortable about talking through these things, it was a way for both of us to accept what could happen. By having a plan in place, I was also reassured that my loved ones would be well taken care of.
Live in the present When my cancer relapsed for the first time, I was surprisingly calm about what happened. Perhaps it was the familiarity of the situation so I knew what to expect. It was the second relapse that hit me hard because of the reality that my illness could come back again and without warning. When I shared this anxiety with my friend, she helped to bring a new perspective to the situation. Even without cancer, each of us faces a future full of unknowns – we will never know when our last day on this earth will be. What I’ve learned is this: instead of being fearful for the future, choose to focus on the present. Count your blessings because every day you have is a gift from God. Keep a positive attitude and add humor to life. Make every moment count and treasure every memory. Prioritize your time and invest in meaningful relationships. Share your experience with others who are going through the same/similar situation. Live life to the fullest and continue to pursue God’s purpose for your life.
Pastor Chang Wai Wai
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At 23, it felt like a death sentence.”
Joshua was just starting his adult life when a severe back injury threatened all hopes for the future. Scan here to read his five-year journey to God’s miraculous healing.
“During a training session in May 2012, I felt a sharp pain shoot through my back. Hoping that it was just a back sprain, I tried to force my body to continue on. An MRI scan showed a prolapsed, herniated disc at the L4-L5 spinal segment.
LIVING WITH A TERMINAL ILLNESS For those in the midst of a terminal health condition, know that you have not lost the battle. Your illness does not define you and does not define your last days. While planning for death is not something that most people want to think about, it is an important way of processing what is happening and accepting what is to come.
Rely on God Continue to keep your relationship with God intimate and vibrant. Daily declare who He is in your life and remain confident of your identity as His beloved child. Hold on to His goodness and rely on Him for comfort and strength. In moments where fear and dread threaten to overwhelm you, pray for the shalom peace of God to fill your heart and guard your mind. Remember that God is over all. He is still in control. As the author and finisher of your faith, believe that He will enable you to fight the good fight and finish the race (Hebrews 12:2; 2 Timothy 4:7).
Make peace with death As Christians, be assured of your salvation and that you are going to be with your Heavenly Father – a place where there will be no mourning, or crying, or pain (Revelation 21:4). If you are still fearful of death, lift that anxiety before the Lord. Speak to your leader or pastor. It’s important to work through your feelings and perspectives about death so that you can make the most of every day you have left on this earth.
Pastor Chang Wai Wai
Make your final wishes known Ensure that your final wishes are known by preparing your will and advance medical directive. Plan for things like finances and childcare arrangements. While such conversations can be uncomfortable and emotional, it will prevent unnecessary stress when you are no longer able to make your own medical decisions or after you have passed on. Talk things through with your immediate family and close friends so that they know what to expect and do not have to second-guess what to do when the time comes.
Make every moment count Instead of concentrating on the things you cannot do, consider all the things you can do. Stay positive. Focus on tying up loose ends and leaving positive memories behind. Spend time with loved ones. Reconnect with old friends or people you couldn’t spend time with in the past. Tell people how much you love and care about them. Seek and extend forgiveness. Share memories. Rejoice in happy moments and milestones. Share your testimony and inspire people to pursue God’s destiny for their lives. In this way, your last days can be moments that your friends and loved ones can keep with them long after you’re gone
LIVING WITH MENTAL ILLNESS If you even suspect that you’re suffering from mental illness, the first thing to do is to seek help. The sooner this can be done, the better. This increases the effectiveness of treatment and reduces the risk of mental crashes. Given the complexity of mental illness, you might require a multidisciplinary treatment: psychiatrists to provide medication, psychologists and clinical counselors to help process emotions and suggest coping mechanisms, pastors and spiritual leaders to facilitate inner healing. The order of treatment will vary from person to person – there’s no “one-size fits all” approach. Sometimes, mental illness stems from an imbalance in brain chemistry that requires medication for treatment. Unlike medicine for physical ailments, brain medicine may require constant adjustment and diligent consumption, taken until one’s doctor reduces the medication
and brings consumption to a full stop. When the medication is first taken, you might suffer from the medication’s side effects (nausea, headaches, and the like) for 2-3 weeks until the body adjusts to the medication and builds up enough potency for its long-term, positive effects to be felt. If the side effects can be tolerated, persevere. If the side effects are intolerable, see your doctor to adjust the medication. Continue to work with your doctor to see if the medication needs to be reduced, eliminated, or switched. More importantly, do not stop taking the medication because you “feel better.” Allow your doctor to make that determination in order to reduce the risk of crashes. Don’t suffer in silence and don’t go through it alone. Help is available if you are willing to seek it. Speak up. Talk to a pastor about what you’re going through so that they can advise on the next steps.
Pastor Johnathan Lee
LIVING WITH ABUSE AND THE CONSEQUENCES OF ABUSE Abuse happens in many contexts and across social strata. However, such behavior is not justified, can be stopped, and does not have to define you.
Safety first If you are currently in an abusive situation, recognize what’s happening and take action to protect yourself and your loved ones (such as children) from further damage. That means speaking out about what’s happening and removing yourself from the situation as soon as possible.
Speak out It is common for victims of abuse to stay silent because of fear, shame, embarrassment, or a desire to protect one’s aggressor. However, letting things remain as-is keeps you and your loved ones in a dangerous situation that could get worse over time. If left unresolved, individuals and families find themselves caught in a cycle of abuse that can pass down from one generation to the next. Children who are victims or witnesses of (ongoing) abuse can believe that such behavior is normal and acceptable.
Record everything In instances of sexual or physical abuse, such acts are considered criminal offenses under Singapore law. Therefore, I advise you to
Pastor Johnathan Lee
ensure that there is a record of each situation (e.g., medical report, police report). While you may not file charges, these records are essential if the situation escalates further. The thing to remember is safety first. If a personal protection order is needed to keep you and your loved ones safe, consider getting one. Involving the authorities shows the perpetrator the gravity of their behavior and your desire to put a stop to it.
Seek inner healing Living with abuse and consequences of abuse is not God’s plan for your life. While recovery from such trauma is possible, it requires survivors to go through a season of counseling and/or inner healing. Through the DEW Ministry (Trinity’s inner healing ministry), we’ve seen God bring emotional and spiritual healing to abuse survivors, helping them restore their self-confidence and live rich, meaningful lives. Know that you are precious to God and that He desires for you to live life to the fullest. If you are (or have been) a survivor of abuse, seek the guidance of your pastor, professionals, and/or community service centers that can advise you on how to move forward.
What to Do WHILE YOU’RE
Waiting on God By Linda Green
My five-year-old granddaughter asked me how long it would be before her family moved into their new house. Since six weeks is hard for a five-year-old to grasp, I took her to a wall calendar and showed her how long until moving day. Now, each day, as she marks off calendar squares one by one, she can see how long before the waiting is over. I don’t know anyone who likes to wait. Do you? (I didn’t think so). Waiting is hard work and, at times, can even test our faith. It’s especially difficult when there are no guarantees that our waiting will ever end in this lifetime. Desires we long for, prayers we’ve been praying, and news we’re waiting to hear can tempt us to be impatient, discouraged, to worry, and even to wonder if God cares. Perhaps this is why the Bible talks so much about waiting. God wants us to know that waiting is far from a passive activity in which we do nothing. In fact, Scripture teaches us that God wants us to actively participate in the work He desires to accomplish. Waiting strategically can cultivate good fruit in our lives such as patience, perseverance, and endurance. It also draws us closer to our Savior and points those who are watching us to the Gospel. To that end, here are 10 things to do while you wait.
BELIEVE THAT THE GOD WHO SAVED YOU HEARS YOUR CRIES (Micah 7:7)
Have you ever felt like your prayers are bouncing off the ceiling? Perhaps, like me, you have prayed for years about a concern, but God has seemed silent. That’s where God demonstrated His love and mercy towards us when we were still His enemies.
“He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him graciously give us all things?” – Romans 8:32 In other words, the Cross is our guarantee that God is for us and is committed to give us everything we would ask for if we knew everything He knew. We can be content with that and wait patiently for His answers.
WATCH WITH EXPECTANCY BUT BE PREPARED FOR UNEXPECTED ANSWERS (PSALM 5:3)
While God has been faithful to answer many of my prayers, it’s often been in far different ways than I would have anticipated! God knows that the only way to do what He and I both desire will, at times, involve varying degrees of discomfort in my life. Growing in humility means pride has to be done away with. Learning to love like Jesus requires
PUT YOUR HOPE IN HIS WORD (PSALM 130:5-6)
We can be tempted to put our hope in things that may disappoint us in the end. We can hope that a doctor will heal us, a teacher will pass us, a spouse will love us, our employer will reward us, or a friend will help us. But it is only when we put our hope in Christ that we can wait with confidence and know we will not be put to shame.
It seems that God allows us to experience disappointments in life to teach us that nothing else will truly satisfy or provide us with a firm foundation to stand upon. God’s Word alone is unshakable. We can wait for the Lord knowing that, no matter how dark the night is, His light will break through in our lives, bringing abundant joy through a more intimate relationship with Christ.
TRUST IN THE LORD, NOT IN YOUR OWN UNDERSTANDING (PROVERBS 3:5-6)
Why is it so tempting for us to depend on our own wisdom rather than the wisdom of our all-wise God? What makes us think that we know better than He does what is best for us? Scripture speaks clearly about how to live life
us to say no to self’s constant demand for selfish ambition, wanting our own way, and putting ourselves first. Growing in patience inevitably involves some form of waiting, whether in a long line at the grocery store or a lifetime for a loved one to come to Christ. When we lay our requests before Him, it is by faith that we wait and watch in anticipation of God’s good work in us and others.
abundantly forever with Christ; yet, all too easily, we justify our sin, declare distasteful commands irrelevant, and do what is right in our own eyes. Seasons of waiting reveal where we are placing our trust.
RESIST FRETTING, REFRAIN FROM ANGER, BE STILL, AND CHOOSE PATIENCE (PSALM 37:7-8)
It’s easy to say we trust God, but our response to delays, frustrations, and difficult situations exposes where we are actually placing our hope. Are we convinced God is listening? Do we believe He’s good?
Do we accept that our circumstances are sovereignly ordained? Do we doubt He really cares about us? When we choose to wait quietly and trustingly, we not only honor God but encourage others to put their hope in Him as well. 6 9
BE STRONG AND TAKE COURAGE (PSALM 27:13-14; 31:24)
I’ve found that one of my biggest battles in long seasons of waiting is fighting fear and all its buddies like anxiety, fretfulness, and worry. A voice in my head asks, What if this happens? What if God doesn’t answer my prayers? It is the Gospel that has taught me that enduring strength and courage will never be found in myself but in Christ. I am empowered to be courageous when
• I remember that my “light momentary affliction
is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison” (2 Corinthians 4:17). Jesus said, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” Ever. He is Immanuel, God with us. That’s a promise that will sustain us while we wait for answers to prayer, but even more, as we wait for His triumphant return!
• I meditate on the sovereign rule and power of
God and His abundant goodness in sending a Savior to set me free from sin.
SEE IT AS AN OPPORTUNITY TO EXPERIENCE GOD’S GOODNESS (PSALM 27:13; LAMENTATIONS 3:25)
When my focus is on my problems and what God has or has not given me, I am prone to grumbling, complaining, discontentment, bitterness, and selfishness. When I define goodness by what brings me the most comfort, happiness, and gratification in this life, then anything that threatens these things will tempt me to question God’s love and goodness.
WAIT FOR GOD’S PROMISE INSTEAD OF GOING YOUR OWN WAY (ACTS 1:4)
Scripture offers plenty of examples of saints who got weary of waiting for God and chose to do things their way. I’ve given way to that temptation as well.
God demonstrated His goodness when Christ absorbed the wrath of God that we deserved, making a way for us to be set free from the power of sin and our enemy Satan, who seeks to steal, kill, and destroy our eternal joy and peace. For those who have eyes to see, seasons of waiting offer countless opportunities to witness God at work in and through us for our eternal good and His glory.
God’s goodness is promised for those who wait patiently for Him! No matter how long. Regardless of how hopeless things appear to us, even when it seems to cost us everything.
“God is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to His power at work within us.” – Ephesians 3:20 When we wait for Him, we will never be disappointed.
CONTINUE STEADFASTLY IN PRAYER, BEING WATCHFUL WITH THANKSGIVING (COLOSSIANS 4:2)
Another temptation we face when God does not seem to be answering our prayers is to stop praying, stop expecting Him to act, while giving way to a spirit of cynicism, rather than thanking God for who He is and all He has done for us.
While God may not answer in our timing or in the way we expect, He will accomplish His good purposes in our lives when we wait for Him and persevere in prayer.
REMEMBER THE BLESSINGS YET TO COME (ISAIAH 30:18)
As long as our hope is set on this life and things that gratify our flesh, we will likely feel frustrated, discouraged, and even hopeless. Jesus Christ came to offer us eternal joy and freedom from sin and, although we have been set free from sin’s power, sin’s presence is still at work in and around us. Thankfully, the Gospel assures us, as believers, that God is for us and works all things together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).
During long (or even short) seasons of waiting, our hearts will be encouraged to remember that the best is yet to come! One day sin will be no more! We will be free from self’s demands and temptations and experience everlasting joy. So, “Set your mind on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.” – Colossians 3:2-4
YOU WILL NOT BE ASHAMED Susannah Spurgeon, wife of Charles Spurgeon, counseled her own heart with these words: “The Lord has strewn the pages of God’s Word with promises of blessedness to those who wait for Him. And remember, His slightest Word stands fast and sure; it can never fail you. So, my soul, see that you have a promise underneath thee, for then your waiting will be resting and a firm foothold for your hope will give you confidence in Him who has said, ‘They shall not be ashamed that wait for Me.’” “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him; those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land; But for you, O Lord, do I wait; it is you, O Lord my God, who will answer.” Christ is the answer! He is your rest and the treasure you seek. Wait for the Lord.
Linda Green is the director of women’s ministries at Arlington Heights, Illinois, USA. She blogs at Chosen and Called (https://chosenandcalled.com/). © Unlocking the Bible by Linda Green. Used with permission from www.unlockingthebible.org.
How to journey alongside the hurting By Jessie Chew
When the people experience crisis, the Bible calls us to “bind up the brokenhearted” (Isaiah 61:1) and “carry each other’s burdens” (Galatians 6:2).
Since every mess is unique, how we come alongside the hurting will depend on what they’re going through. Regardless, here are some basic principles on how to show genuine care and concern.
l o ss c yc l e
Crisis is experienced in stages. Understanding what generally happens at each stage helps us in interacting with the person at any given time. Generally, the first reaction is shock and disbelief. No matter what “advice” we want to give them, they will not be able to absorb it. Therefore, our presence and acts of care become more important than our words. Over time, the person will cycle through denial and bargaining. Anger, shame, rejection, and frustration are common emotions that they will
express, asking questions like, Why is this happening to me? and God, where are You? While we hope for their recovery to be quick and linear, the reality can be very different. Often, they can go back and forth through each stage. Exercise godly wisdom on how best to walk with the person towards the next phase. Give them time and space to work through their thoughts and emotions. If all things go well, the person will move to acceptance and begin to consider how to move forward.1
o learn more about emotions and why they’re important, search for Alfred & Shadow’s T “A short story about emotions” on YouTube.
yo u r r o l e
While it’s tempting to want to solve their problem, understand the difference between helping versus walking with a person through tough situations. Do not become a crutch, especially if they’re engaging in destructive behaviors. Helping can create the impression that such behavior is acceptable because there is always someone there to bail them out.
When that happens, be prepared to exercise grace and patience as they go through this situation. Recognize what God is trying to do and ask Him what part to play in it. Keep them in prayer. Always remember that God is in charge and in control. He can make a way for them to come out of the darkness.
While God can miraculously bring people out of tough circumstances, sometimes, He will permit them to go through it.
Be tAhNDe r e ow c a r e sh Where possible and if permitted, seek to be there physically. Don’t feel the pressure to say anything. Your presence is enough to bring comfort and show them that they are not alone. Refrain from broad phrases such as, “Let me know if you need any help.” Beyond sounding disingenuous, it puts them in charge of figuring out ways for us to help them. Be on the lookout for opportunities
to show care and concern, especially for immediate needs like running errands or getting something to eat. If you know their love language, speak it. Plan activities to help them take their mind off the situation. When you can’t meet, message them every few days to find out how they’re doing. Small acts of kindness show that there are people who they can turn to for support.
L i sAtNeDne m pa t h i ze When people go through crisis, it’s normal to feel out of sorts. This is especially true for mature Christians who know in their minds that God is good and that they should trust God. Yet, they cannot help but question what’s happening to them. Sometimes, all they need is a listening ear – an outlet for their frustrations and emotions. Let them air out their feelings without judgment. Create a safe environment for them to identify and process their emotions. If possible, ask questions that help them to reflect through the situation: How do you feel now? What’s going on in your mind? Why do you feel this way?
Seek to understand what they’re going through. Acknowledge their feelings and empathize with their suffering. Exercise discretion on how to give a word of encouragement or lead them in a time of prayer. Whatever we say, our words should not dismiss their pain or trivialize their circumstances. While their situation may not seem like a big deal to us, it is a big deal to them – the pain and suffering they are going through right now is real and raw.
o learn more about the importance of empathy, search for “Brené Brown on Empathy” T on YouTube.
DoAnPRtOBBLEEM-SOLVER It’s in our nature to be problem-solvers. We start quoting the Scriptures or speak clichés like “trust God” and “everything happens for a reason.” Besides sounding superficial or dismissive, these “quick fix” answers sometimes do more harm than good because they are not practical. The person who’s in crisis has no way of putting this “advice” to action. Sometimes, we offer a comparative story in hopes that it will lift their spirits (“My colleague went through a situation like yours”). This should be used wisely and with prudence. While useful in some situations, they can also have the opposite effect. First, every crisis is different. By sharing someone else’s experience, it creates the
impression that we do not care about the person’s unique situation. Moreover, those in a depressive state might believe that their situation is hopeless – they have enough trouble putting one foot in front of the other. Remember that you don’t know, and might never know, all the facts of the situation. Instead, consider asking guiding questions that allow the person to process their emotions and come to their own conclusions. If they are Christians, help them find their hope and strength in God – to see where He is in the situation. Advise with discretion. Share your thoughts only when they initiate counsel and if they appear receptive to hear what you have to say.
wa t c h f u l
When a person is in the midst of crisis, it’s easy to slip into a depressive state. With many negative thoughts swirling in their head, they can go down the path of believing that life has no purpose or meaning. It’s fine if the person wants to seek solitude. Moments of grief or crying are also normal. However, be watchful if they continue to isolate themselves from others. Alarm bells should also go off in your mind if their grief doesn’t improve or gets worse.
If possible, ask people in their family/ social circle to observe them for any changes to their behavior. If there is concern that they are unwilling (or unable) to move towards acceptance, seek the help of spiritual leaders who can meet with them and better assess the situation.
My heartfelt appreciation to all of the Trinity Christian Centre pastors and TCA College lecturers I interviewed for this article.
AT A GLANCE STATISTICS FOR JANUARY-SEPTEMBER 2018
IMPACT GO MISSIONS TEAMS (MITs)
(Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Taiwan)
189 77 18 72 1,642 FIRST-TIMERS Trinitarians going for the first time
1,496 DESTITUTE CHILDREN SPONSORED
(in India, Indonesia, Myanmar, and Thailand)
AND GO TRAINING CONSULTATION^
COUNTRIES (Albania, China, Columbia, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, Taiwan, USA, Vietnam)
^ Training and Consultation trips are counted by the number of destinations and does not include preaching and exploratory trips.
MISSIONS REPORT JULY – SEPTEMBER 2018
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 equipping of pastors and church leadership. Whether it’s praying, giving or going, every Trinitarian has a part to play when it comes to missions!
TRINITY@JAKARTA REGIONAL CENTER PLANT The third quarter of 2018 was an exciting time for Trinity@Jakarta with the celebration of its first anniversary. During the celebration dinner on August 25, over 100 people came together to commemorate this place of new beginnings. The celebrations continued during Sunday morning service when we received 10 people into the Trinity family during Trinity@Jakarta’s second membership service. As the congregation moves into its second year, Senior Pastor Dominic Yeo exhorted the people to continue stepping out in faith with the message entitled “Faith Arise.” August 26 also marked the launch of Trinity@Jakarta’s community services arm, Yayasan Peduli Pelayanan Masyarakat, with guest of honor Pak Sandiaga Uno. Read about all of Trinity@Jakarta’s first year celebrations on pg 20. With a vision to disciple strategic leaders, Trinity@Jakarta held its second Spiritual Parenting class to equip more people to reach the lost.
TRAINING AND CONSULTATION Trinity continues to equip churches from around the world through training and consultation trips. This quarter, our pastors went on eight trips to five countries to strengthen and empower churches in China, Columbia, Malaysia, Taiwan, and the United States.
SPONSORSHIP OF CHILDREN The financial support of Trinitarians allows us to sponsor 1,496 destitute children in four countries (India, Indonesia, Myanmar, and Thailand) giving them opportunities to develop intellectually, emotionally, physically, spiritually, and socially.
BE A PARTNER WITH TRINITY’S MISSIONS — PRAY, GIVE, AND GO! Trinitarians, thank you for blessing the nations by praying, giving, and going! 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.
MISSION IMPACT TEAMS In the third quarter of this year, 95 Trinitarians (36 going for the first time) went to Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, and Taiwan on missions trips. Two teams partnered with Care Community Services Society (CCSS) to bless the elderly at the Senior Activity Centres on Circuit Road and Merpati Road.
• M issions Impact Teams: Safe travels and God’s power to be seen through their ministry • T he Children: To know God intimately and to grow in favor with God and man • A mbassadors and Trainers: Fresh anointing and impactful, lasting ministry • E xpansion Endeavors: Divine alliances and wisdom for our leadership 7 7
a r t i i a n ns i rT FOR GOING TO THE
In the third quarter of 2018, 95 Trinitarians chose to be God’s hands and heart – 36 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!
JULY 4-10 KAOHSIUNG, TAIWAN
NUMBER OF TEAM MEMBERS
DECISIONS MADE FOR CHRIST
NUMBER OF FIRST-TIMERS ON THE TEAM
• Conducted children’s program • Engaged in street evangelism and youth rally
JULY 26-28 C CSS, SINGAPORE (SILVER FORCE)
NUMBER OF TEAM MEMBERS
DECISION MADE FOR CHRIST
NUMBER OF FIRST-TIMERS ON THE TEAM
• Conducted program for the elderly • Engaged in home visitations, house cleaning, and home painting
JULY 26-28 C CSS, SINGAPORE (SILVER FORCE)
NUMBER OF TEAM MEMBERS
DECISIONS MADE FOR CHRIST
NUMBER OF FIRST-TIMERS ON THE TEAM
• Conducted program for the elderly • Engaged in home visitations, house cleaning, and home painting
NUMBER OF TEAM MEMBERS
DECISIONS MADE FOR CHRIST
NUMBER OF FIRST-TIMERS ON THE TEAM
: 13 :4
• Conducted children and youth programs • Engaged in home visitations and street evangelism
NUMBER OF TEAM MEMBERS
DECISIONS MADE FOR CHRIST
NUMBER OF FIRST-TIMERS ON THE TEAM
• Conducted children, youth, and adult programs • Conducted program for the elderly
SEPTEMBER 4-9 K EPONG, (IGNYTE) MALAYSIA
NUMBER OF TEAM MEMBERS
DECISIONS MADE FOR CHRIST
NUMBER OF FIRST-TIMERS ON THE TEAM
: 10 :7
• Conducted children, youth, and adult programs • Engaged in home visits and night rally
NUMBER OF TEAM MEMBERS
DECISIONS MADE FOR CHRIST
NUMBER OF FIRST-TIMERS ON THE TEAM
: 10 :6
• Conducted children, youth, and adult programs • Conducted meal program and evangelistic rally
J OGJAKARTA, INDONESIA
NUMBER OF TEAM MEMBERS
DECISIONS MADE FOR CHRIST
NUMBER OF FIRST-TIMERS ON THE TEAM
• Conducted children and youth programs • Conducted meal program • Painted and tiled portions of the children’s home
PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA
NUMBER OF TEAM MEMBERS
DECISIONS MADE FOR CHRIST
NUMBER OF FIRST-TIMERS ON THE TEAM
• Conducted children and youth programs
NUMBER OF TEAM MEMBERS
DECISIONS MADE FOR CHRIST
NUMBER OF FIRST-TIMERS ON THE TEAM
• Conducted children and youth programs, and evangelistic concerts • Engaged in home visits and delivery of food care packages 7 9
HEARTBEAT Your generous contributions have enabled CCSS to reach many individuals like Madam Chan and Uncle Steven (pictured at the bottom), giving them a new lease on life in their golden years. Here’s how you can partner with us to make a difference in lives of the community through PayNow just by using your mobile number or Singapore NRIC/FIN. Simply enter CCSS’ UEN number S96SS0195L to donate.
A New Lease on Life IN THEIR GOLDEN YEARS By Sherlyn Tan Open six days a week (from Monday to Saturday), Care Community Services Society’s CareElderly Seniors Activity Centres (SACs) organize meaningful activities to keep seniors active, empowering them with a renewed sense of purpose so that they can become channels of support to others in the community.
four times a week as an elderly volunteer for the past two-and-ahalf years. Before he got to know of the SAC through a Christmas party outreach initiative in 2013, Uncle Steven recalls life as a retiree as mundane and without meaning. When he lost two of his four brothers to illness, loneliness was a very real issue in his life.
This year, our staff and volunteers have conducted more than 90 workshops across our three SACs, helping seniors acquire new skills that help them stay active in their golden years.
Through the encouragement of CCSS’ staff and interactions with volunteers and peers, he now lives a transformed life. He no longer battles with negative thoughts because he has found a strong supportive community. Formerly reserved and quiet, he is now cheerful and always willing to lend a helping hand. At SAC, he assists with sign-in attendance, organizes refreshments, and encourages his friends to take part in the center’s activities. Volunteering has given him more to live for. “The greatest satisfaction in life is to be able to interact with others, bringing smiles to people’s faces,” he shares, “When they are happy, I am happy too!”
“I have learned to play the ukulele and angklung,” shares Chan Har Moy (age 82), “Such activities keep me active. Being in this community brings me great joy and purpose.” Madam Chan is not only a beneficiary of SAC but also an elderly volunteer. For many of our senior beneficiaries, SAC has become more than a place to take part in active aging activities. Scan QR code for instructions on how to donate to CCSS via PayNow.
Steven Chew (age 71) has been coming to the SAC at least
Be Empowered for Ministry! School of Counseling • Master of Arts in Counseling • Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling
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School of Theology (English Department)
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Lee By Zoey
On the night of September 2, Trinity@Paya Lebar was buzzing with excitement. People from all walks of life had come as early as 6:30pm to be a part of ANTHEM. The massive lines forming outside of the Sanctuary were a testament to the 1,938 people who were ready to encounter God in praise and worship. Effortlessly breaking the ice, Sister Faith Makinen and Brother Boon Jia Hao cheered game participants on as they rushed to complete timed challenges. Laughter and cheers flooded the hall as the audience warmed up for what was to come.
Lights dimmed to black, ANTHEM began with a bang as the dance ministry rushed to the stage. Dressed in white, they raised their red flags high, a symbol of our hearts’ cry to lift up God’s name ‘till the whole world sees. Led by Brother Boaz Koh and Sister Tashia Yang, the ground trembled and the roar of praises filled the air as different ones danced, sang and celebrated the greatness of God. Through a candid and relatable sharing of his life, guest speaker Pastor Andrew Yeo (The City Church), reminded everyone of how their lives are not defined by their past – each of them had the power to change their present and future by choosing Jesus.
ANTHEM was an unforgettable experience as I could feel the loving touch of God and His resounding voice in my heart! The songs of praise also created an atmosphere of worship among my friends and me. The presence of God was just so saturated in the event!
Daryl Tang, age 15 8 4
Pastor Andrew was not the only one with a powerful transformation testimony. Fellow IGNYTE Bryant Toh took to the stage to share how God gave him a new lease of life – a story of God’s relentless love and sanctifying grace.
Read Bryant’s testimony by scanning this QR code
What is God’s ANTHEM? It is a declaration of the hope found in Jesus Christ. When the call for salvation and rededication was given, we praise God for the 73 who chose to receive the hope of Jesus into their hearts. Yet, ANTHEM was far from over. Pastor Gary Chia took to the stage to speak over our generation, charging the young people of today to rise and lift their banner high ‘till the whole world sees.
Many flooded to the front as an act of surrender and recommitment. Dreams were born and convictions set in place. Hearts were re-ignited to start revivals in our schools by setting up prayer groups and reaching out to oikos. To close the night, Pastor David Sashi led the audience in the Iceland cheer, a prophetic act of unity and boldness to declare who God is into this generation. Though ANTHEM has come and gone, we will continue to declare His ANTHEM wherever we go, and commit to raising His banner ‘till the whole world sees.
The experience at ANTHEM was just groundbreaking. Nothing but the presence of God being so real – shown in praise and worship, the altars for salvation and revival. God was so real and ANTHEM was another time where I cannot deny His reality and goodness.
Grace Lee, age 18 ANTHEM was a breathtaking manifestation of God’s love and presence and I was awestruck by how God moved beyond our expectations as I served Him in the committee. Indeed, all glory to God!
Vanessa Tang, age 17
Being part of the ANTHEM committee was a huge privilege and an amazing stretching season. Through the three months of preparation, I learned something from everyone in the committee. One prominent thing I took away would definitely be a heart that desires to spark a revival wherever God calls me to!
David Soh, age 18
PULSE “I was reminded that God loves me no matter what. The skit was amusing and I liked it. It was a powerful service where I felt God’s presence!” Leia Sim (age 12) was one of many children who shared a similar testimony of what God did during our Children’s Day event on October 13-14. In our very own production, The Lost Child, our children had tremendous fun with games and balloons. “Doctor!” “Teacher!” “Pastor!” Cheers were constantly heard in our service halls as they enthusiastically tried to guess the occupations of our hosts.
By Hannah Tan
The highlight was neither the balloons nor the games. As the event unfolded, 866 children (including 71 first-time visitors) engaged in an interactive presentation where they helped Prince Keith and his trusty sidekick Alice navigate through the world after he runs away from home. Stumbling into the Dark Lord’s challenge, they competed with Prince Keith and Alice to build the tallest tower out of cups. When Prince Keith discovered that his
tower was not tall enough, he traded his robe, ring, and sandals with the Dark Lord for more cups. “Nooooooooo!” “Don’t do it!!!” the children protested. Though Prince Keith gave up his prized possessions, all was in vain as his tower collapsed to the ground. With no chance of gaining back what was lost, Prince Keith was punished to feeding the Dark Lord’s pigs as the penalty for losing. With nothing left to call his own, he returns home to his father. Relating Prince Keith’s story to the prodigal son of Luke 15, Pastor Johnathan Lee, Sister Brenda Lee, and Sister HuiEn Ong took to the stage to share a message of love and reconciliation. Though Keith went home expecting to become a servant, he was met with joy and was restored by his father, the King! Indeed, God moved mightily in the hearts of the children, assuring them of His mighty, everlasting, relentless love. We are so thankful for the privilege to lead 180 children to decisions made for Jesus Christ this weekend!
“I learned that God loves me no matter what I do.”
Eliana Chng, age 10
“The skit was funny and interesting. I learned that we are precious and valuable in God’s eyes.” Reina Yeo, age 12 “I learned that our Father loves us very much.” Davyon Lau, age 9
“I brought my friends to church and they enjoyed it. “ Carine Tan, age 10
“I learned that we can also go back to God even though we make many mistakes and that we are favored by God.” Isabel Ong, age 10
Starting the day right BY STARTING WITH
With days starting as early as 5:00am, Trinitarians from all walks of life gathered to seek God during Morning Prayer (November 12-16). It was a powerful time of dwelling in Godâ€™s love, remembering His promises, and being fortified for His purposes.
Rebecca Lincoln EDUCATOR
“I’ve come every day this week because I see the value in seeking God and learning to trust in His leading. It was great to be in an atmosphere of unity where everyone was here for the sole purpose of seeking Him. For one of the mornings, Pastor Melvin asked us to reflect on what God has done in our lives the past year. By drawing the focus back on Him, I am reminded of His faithfulness. Rather than turning on my phone and checking social media/ emails in the morning, Morning Prayer was a reminder of how vital it is to start my day with worship and prayer to God.”
“On the second day, we were asked to recall the victories God gave us this past year. I sat there and tried to remember but couldn’t. When asked to share with someone beside us, I had nothing to say. I felt so defeated. It was as if I did not grow at all this year. The next day, God revealed that I was in a season of molding and forming. At the altar, Pastor Gary gave me a vision of a stale and moldy bread – an image I instantly identified with. He continued with his prayer by saying that the image was from the enemy. God the Baker was making me into fresh and good bread! I am very blessed by Morning Prayer, a time where God touched me in this dry season. The many prophetic prayers ministered to and encouraged me deeply. I am reminded once more that God is with me. Though this season is tough, I know that I will come out strong!”
“For the past two years, I wondered why my life lacked joy despite being faithful in all that God has asked me to do. On Tuesday night, God revealed the reason – a fear that I had allowed to rule my perspective and emotions. I went to Morning Prayer the next day with a heavy heart, questioning why He was bringing this up now. When Pastor Melvin reminded us of the truth that we could be vulnerable with God, the tears flowed as I started to admit how lost and scared I felt. That was the start of a divine exchange where He filled my heart with peace. The next morning, He filled me with strength as I reclaimed the days and months that had been had taken away from me. Though facing my fear was difficult and painful, this week was a reminder that I never face my fears alone. I am so grateful that God used Morning Prayer to bring breakthrough into my life.”
“The five days of waking up early shifted my perspective on the need to make prayer a discipline. The initial mornings were difficult but as the days went by, the “training” helped. God also empowered me with the energy to survive a full day of work and carecell thereafter! Praise be to God for the timely reminder based on King David’s life. During one of the mornings, Pastor Melvin shared from Psalm 57 and how King David still praised God even though he was going through a difficult time. This was very relevant to me. As I transition into a new job and work starts to become more demanding, I know can give praise to God and trust that He will deliver me!” 8 9
IS GOD GENOCIDAL? By Rev Joseph Tan, TCA College
The Oxford English Dictionary defines genocide as “the deliberate and systematic extermination of an ethnic or national group”—an act condemned in many nations today. Yet, several texts in the Old Testament speak of God commanding the Israelites to destroy the Canaanites. Is God genocidal? How can He demand the killing of innocent lives? Why did He insist for the Israelites to kill even children and infants (1 Samuel 15:3)? Is God, as some critics claim, a “genocidal, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser, and capriciously malevolent bully?”1 How can we reconcile the God in the Old Testament who appears to be so different from Jesus in the New Testament? 9 0
A look into the
To begin, we need to analyze God’s specific instructions to the ancient Israelites, the covenantal people of God, in Deuteronomy 7:1-6 2 prior to their conquest of Canaan. When the Lord your God brings you into the land where you are entering to possess it, and clears away many nations before you, the Hittites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Canaanites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and stronger than you, 2 and when the Lord your God delivers them before you and you defeat them, then you shall utterly destroy them.
You shall make no covenant with them and show no favor to them. 3 Furthermore, you shall not intermarry with them; you shall not give your daughters to their sons, nor shall you take their daughters for your sons. 4 For they will turn your sons away from following Me to serve other gods; then the anger of the Lord will be kindled against you and He will quickly destroy you. But thus you shall do to them: you shall tear down their altars, and smash their sacred pillars, and hew down their Asherim, and burn their graven images with fire.
For you are a holy people to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. – Deuteronomy 7:1-6
Let us observe these verses in detail. 1. As part of His covenantal promise
to Abraham, God brought the Israelites out of Egypt so that they
could inhabit the land of Canaan. God promised the land as a gift of inheritance to Israel (e.g., Joshua 11:23; Judges 2:6); and the Promised Land had clear and specific boundaries (cf. Genesis 15:18-21; 28:13; Exodus 23:31; Joshua 1:3-5). The promise to Abraham was repeated in the book of Deuteronomy, along with specific instructions on how to claim it. God gave this promise only to His covenant people, not to any other nation or ethnic group, at a particular time in history. 2. God limited the destruction to
seven nations occupying the land of Canaan (“When the Lord your God brings you into the land where you are entering” –Deuteronomy 7:1). Since peoples such as the Hittites and Hivites were not part of Canaanite tribes, the term “Canaanite” likely refers to any tribe dwelling in the land of Canaan. God also prohibited the Israelites from attacking some of the surrounding nations of Moab and Edom (cf. Deuteronomy 2:4, 9, 19; 23:7). This limited the scope of destruction to those dwelling in that region (i.e., not against any particular nation, race, or ethnic group). 3. God instructed the Israelites to
“utterly destroy” the occupants (Deuteronomy 7:2). This phrase “utterly destroy” is a unique Hebrew word ( ֵחֶרםhִeֿrem) which means, “to be devoted to the ban” or “dedicated for religious use.” The same word appears in the account of Achan who decided to
1. Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2006), 51. 2. All biblical references in this article will be from the New American Standard Bible (NASB).
take some of the devoted things (hִeֿrem), which resulted in the failure to capture the city of Ai (Joshua 7:1). The English Standard Version renders the phrase, “you must devote them to complete destruction.”
the inhabitants of Canaan (verse 3) was God’s way of protecting the Israelites from idolatry and moral decay (verse 4) – i.e., keeping them holy. As such, making covenants with them, showing favor, and intermarrying would incur the anger of God. The promise to “quickly destroy” the Israelites (verse 4) was a warning to God’s people of His judgment for failing to keep His commands.
The Mosaic law classified two types of persons to hִeֿrem: (a) those devoted to a pagan god and offered sacrifices to it (Exodus 22:20), and (b) those who led the Israelites away from Yahweh to serve other gods Therefore, God’s instructions were (Deuteronomy 13:12–15).3 specific to the Israelites at that point in history. God brought them Notably, the devotion of such out of Egypt, led them through the wicked persons to complete wilderness of Sinai, and prepared destruction appeared only within their journey into the land of the context of the conquest of Canaan. Based on the covenant with the Promised Land. There were Abraham, God promised to give the several related instances in the land of Canaan to Abraham and his Old Testament (e.g., Judges 1:1-18; descendants (Genesis 12:7; 15:18). 1 Samuel 15:3), but the hִeֿrem was They were going to possess the land never applied later in the New that God had promised them.5 No Testament. other nation, ancient or modern, received similar instructions from the 4. Chosen to be “a holy people” God of Israel. (Deuteronomy 7:6),4 the instructions against associating with
Did the conquest
For some scholars, God’s instruction to destroy the seven nations occupying the land of Canaan was a “harsh and inhumane” decision. Thus, a few questioned the need to fight the occupants of the land since God could simply remove them out of their land. In fact, a number of them proposed that there was no conquest at all! The so-called Israelites were actually peasants living in the land who revolted against their overlords. There was ostensibly no exodus, no Moses, and no need for the conquest. Others opined that these people were 9 2
nomads or semi-nomadic peoples who arrived over an extended period and peacefully took residence in the land.6 However, the biblical texts and some archaeological evidence of the destruction of Canaanite cities attested to a literal conquest. The Israelites fought the Canaanites and destroyed a number of cities in Jericho, Ai, and Hazor (Joshua 6:127; 8:1-29; 11:1-11). The conquest of Canaan did happen and the Israelites did settle in the Promised Land, even to this day.
Did the occupants of Canaan
deserve to die?
Even if the Israelites were divinely permitted to settle in Canaan, was it necessary for them to utterly destroy the Canaanites? If God is all-powerful, could He not have used His divine power to remove or relocate them? On a more worrying note, this divine instruction seems to go against the view of God as loving and merciful. What did the Canaanites do to deserve such divine judgment? Were they corrupt beyond redemption? To answer all of these questions, it is helpful to start from the beginning. The flood account of Genesis 6-8 was the first record of divine destruction during the days of Noah. Genesis 6:5 stated that “the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” As a result, God was “grieved in His heart” and decided to “blot man from the face of the land” (Genesis 6:6-7)— destroying humankind because of their wickedness. Yet, God spared Noah and his family because “Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time” and “walked with God.” (Genesis 6:9). Further along in Genesis 15:13-16, we read that God’s covenant to Abraham would involve Abraham’s descendants spending 400 years in a strange land (i.e., ancient Egypt). Their delay in returning to Canaan was because “the sin of the Amorites has not reached its full measure.” Some scholars suggested that God did not punish the Amorites (also known as “the people in the land of Canaan”) during Abraham’s time because the people of these lands
had not reached a level of wickedness that would incur divine judgment (cf. Leviticus 18:24-27; Deuteronomy 9:45; Amos 2:9).7 Others noted the evil incidents in Genesis are still insufficient to justify a reason for the extermination (e.g., Genesis 34:7). Thus, the suggestion that the sin of the Amorites had reached its full measure is reasonable. As Kenneth Matthews notes, “The extent of Amorite depravity is condemned in Mosaic legislation (Leviticus 18:24–25; 20:22–24; Deuteronomy 18:12; cf. 1 Kings 14:24; 21:26; 2 Kings 21:11) and illustrated by the violence and sensuality of their religious myths (e.g., Baal cycle from Ugarit).”8 God displayed grace in delaying His judgment on the Amorites but “divine temperance toward their iniquity reached an appropriate point of intolerance.”9 When reading Old Testament narratives of divine judgment, it is important to recognize that God always provides a season for people to repent, seek forgiveness, and pursue righteousness. The people of Noah’s time, as well as the Canaanites, had likely heard of God’s mighty wonders and inevitable judgment. For those who repented and sought forgiveness, God spared them from divine judgment. For Rahab the Canaanite, her faith in God ensured the survival of her entire household (Joshua 6:17, 23, 25; Hebrews 11:31). Even the wicked Ninevites were spared from God’s wrath when they heeded Jonah’s warning and repented from their evil ways (Jonah 3:4-10).
3. For further study on this law (regarding the death of a person proscribed to the ֵחֶרםin Leviticus 27:28–29), see Jacob Milgrom, Leviticus 23-27, vol. 3B, Anchor Bible (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001), 2391–96. 4. Paul Copan and Matthew Flannagan, Did God Really Command Genocide? (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2014). 57. They comment, “No other country in history was set apart for this purpose which included dispossessing the Canaanites.” 5. Ibid., 62-66. 6. For further study, see Iain W. Provan, V. Philips Long, and Tremper Longman III, A Biblical History of Israel (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox, 2003), 139–92. 7. Gordon Wenham, Genesis 1-15, Word Biblical Commentary, vol. 1 (Waco TX: Word Books, 1987), 332. 8. Kenneth A. Mathews, Genesis 11:27–50:26, vol. 1B, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 2005), 175. Their sins included child sacrifice, prostitution, bestiality and incest in which Copan and Flannagan, Did God Really Command Genocide?, 68, highlight that they would not be tolerated and may result in the death penalty today. 9. Ibid., 175.
What happened to the Israelites who failed to carry out the hִ eֿrem? While the Israelites had destroyed a number of cities in Jericho, Ai, and Hazor (Joshua 6:1-27; 8:1-29; 11:111), the Bible also records how they failed to drive out the Canaanites from many other cities (e.g., Joshua 16:10; 17:13; Judges 1:21, 28-33). This spirit of compromise could be seen in instances when the tribe of Joseph spared an informer and his family at Bethel (Judges 1:22-25).10 The Israelites’ disobedience to “clear away many nations” and “utterly destroy” the Canaanites resulted in God permitting the Canaanites to dwell in the land with the Israelites (Judges 1:27, 29, 32, 33, 35; 2:21-23). This failure to implement the hִeֿrem caused the Israelites to compromise
10. According to Barry Webb, this can be: “an agreement has been made with a Canaanite” – something God explicitly prohibited in Deuteronomy 7:2. See Barry G. Webb, The Book of Judges, New International Commentary of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2012), 114–15.
Back to the
their faith and fall into idolatry— an outcome God predicted in Deuteronomy 7:4. The Israelites forsook God, worshipped the foreign gods, and assimilated into the Canaanite culture. So great was their abandonment of God that the book of Judges ends with the following statement: “Everyone did what was right in their own eyes” (Judges 21:25). After multiple divine warnings against idolatry and unrepentance through His prophets, God’s anger came to pass when He permitted the Babylonians to destroy Jerusalem and carry the idolatrous nation off into exile (2 Kings 24:14-16).
question at hand
Is God genocidal? Absolutely not! Did the Canaanites deserve divine judgment? Yes, but only those who had persistently done evil in the sight of God and reached a level of wickedness that would deserve divine judgment. However, God gave them ample time and opportunities to repent, seek forgiveness, and pursue righteousness. For those who had heeded the warning and turned to God, He spared them from divine judgment. Were there other ways that God could have used besides the implementation of hִeֿrem in the possession of the Promised Land? We will never know. Much ink has been spilled on the subject but it
remains a mystery. As Christians, we have to acknowledge that God’s ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts higher than our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9). This requires faith and trust in His wisdom. What we do know is God’s chief desire for His people to be a holy people set apart for Him. The instruction to “clear away many nations” is specifically given to the ancient Israelites, His covenant people, during a particular time in history. To reiterate, no other nation or ethnic groups, from ancient times to the modern day, have ever received such instructions from the God of Israel.
Further, Jesus never commanded the implementation of the hִeֿrem. On the day of His ascension, the apostles thought that Jesus would destroy the Roman Empire, deliver God’s people, and restore to them the kingdom of God. Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel? – Acts 1:6
However, Jesus had a different idea of restoration—that it would be the spiritual restoration of the kingdom through the power of the Holy Spirit. He envisioned His disciples as His witnesses to the world, proclaiming the Good News that His death had conquered over the battle over sin and death (1 Corinthians 15:55-57; Hebrews 2:14).
Learning points As modern-day Christians, we can learn much from this period of biblical history. 1. God’s unchanging desire for His people to pursue holiness. From the Old Testament to the New Testament, He constantly warns believers about the influences that seek to lead us away from Him. In quoting from Leviticus 11:44-45 and 19:2 and 1 Peter 1:16 we are reminded to, “Be holy, because I [God] am holy.” 2. God’s unchanging desire for His people to trust in His Word. In Deuteronomy 7:1-6, the Israelites had a specific command from God in a particular point in history. This command is not repeatable for two reasons. First, God never asked the New Testament believers to observe the hִeֿrem. Second, with
the closure of the biblical canon, no new instructions such as the hִeֿrem may be added to it. In accordance with the principles of Old Testament Law, each generation must learn to trust and obey His voice for their specific situations and circumstances. 3. God’s unchanging desire for His people to patiently reach out to the world. God is patient and longsuffering, not willing for anyone to perish (Exodus 34:6; 2 Peter 3:9). The hִeֿrem must be viewed from the perspective that there was more than enough time and opportunity for repentance before the judgment. Like God, we must also be patient with those who do not know Him, and use every opportunity to let them know of His love before the final judgment (2 Peter 4:17).
Rev Joseph Tan has been a faculty member at TCA College since July 2011. He earned his Th.M. in the Old Testament from Trinity International University in Chicago, Illinois, USA and is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Bible and Theology from the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary in Springfield, Missouri, USA. Rev Joseph’s teaching interests include biblical Hebrew, hermeneutics, and books of the Old Testament.
SOURCES CITED Copan, Paul and Matthew Flannagan. Did God Really Command Genocide? Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2014. Dawkins, Richard. The God Delusion. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2006. Mathews, Kenneth A. Genesis 11:27– 50:26, vol. 1B, The New American Commentary. Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 2005. Milgrom, Jacob. Leviticus 23-27, vol. 3B, Anchor Bible. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001.
Provan, Iain W., V. Philips Long, and Tremper Longman III. A Biblical History of Israel. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox, 2003. Webb, Barry G. The Book of Judges, New International Commentary of the Old Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2012. Wenham, Gordon. Genesis 1-15, Word Biblical Commentary, vol. 1. Waco TX: Word Books, 1987.
Up Close and Personal with
In the conclusion of this series, we ask Rosemary Yeo and Kenneth Tang (Board members since May) about their expereince stepping into this new level of leadership. Read on as they share their Trinity story, perspectives on work, and encounters with a God of miracles.
What is your Trinity story?
I was invited to Trinity in 1976 and attended a church service for the first time in my life. I vividly remember walking into Hotel Equatorial and encountering the presence of God during worship. Though that was my first experience with “speaking in tongues,” the “noisy” environment didn’t bother me at all. All I cared about was that God was there!
In those nomadic days, our worship hall moved from place to place. Many of the men (and even boys) helped to move the hymn books and musical instruments to wherever our place of worship was. We did all these things with one joyful heart because it was our privilege to serve the King and one another. God has been faithful to walk with us through each season of growth and development.
What kept me coming back to Trinity were the sermons by Pastor Dowdy and the warmth and personal attention that she gave to anyone who walked up to her after service. I always made sure I have my fair share of hugs from her!
In 1990, when I was abroad pursuing my masters, the Lord directed me back to Trinity. I remained here because God continues to take me on a journey where I learned to rely on Him more and more. I went from member to Section Leader (a role I took on in 2008), embracing the vision and values of the church.
My Trinity journey started when I was a young child, attending Sunday school while my parents attended the main service. I left Trinity in my youth but returned in the late 1990s with my wife Tammie and two children. Though the previous church we were attending was good, we were attracted to Trinity’s focus on family and missions.
During my time in the North District, I was active in cell and also served in a variety of Ministry Expressions: as a Celebration Host and as a DiscoveryLand Helper.
We joined the carecells and became immersed in the vibrant atmosphere and passionate heartbeat of this spiritual family. We have all grown tremendously in our faith as God has taken us on journey after journey. 9 6
2012 was another milestone in my Trinity story when I made the decision to move from the geographic cells to become a DiscoveryLand Teacher. I felt a shift taking place in the children’s ministry and sensed that God wanted me to be a part of it. Currently, I serve as a Teacher to the Pre-Teens. Over the years, I’ve seen God move powerfully in the areas
of discipleship and evangelism, strengthening our Pre-Teens so that they are ready to step into IGNYTE (Trinity’s youth ministry).
has always kept me and my family in prayer. He modeled what it meant to live and serve God. His steadfast love and faithfulness is a big reason of why I am serving in Trinity today.
I am grateful for the spiritual legacy of my parents (both early Trinitarians), especially to my father, who
Tell us more about what you do in the marketplace. After graduating from the National University of Singapore with a degree in mechanical engineering, I’ve spent my entire career as a civil servant. After spending several years developing my technical competencies, I transitioned into something completely different – human capital. Though it was totally outside of my comfort zone, God had already spoken to me about “stepping out of the boat.” Over time, I saw how God blended these two disciplines together as He led me into my current role. When it comes to marketplace ministry, it’s about how we can bring God into our workplace – how we let God speak through us and allow Him to influence the decisions we make on a daily basis. Over time, it becomes instinctual to bring God into every situation. One example is learning to ask for the favor of God. It is so accessible and, yet, many Christians
continue to toil in their own strength. Of course, we cannot swing to the extreme. We still have to be diligent in our work because we are serving God. But with God’s divine favor, His power is there to clear up misunderstandings, bring us into the right partnerships, and enable breakthroughs in areas where there were deadlocks. I admit that I didn’t always have this conviction. In my younger days, I often ran in my own strength and often had to come back to God asking for help. As I learned to live out biblical principles and see work through God’s perspective, I found meaningful, wholesome living that allowed me to see Him at work in my workplace. I learned to tap on the resources that God has given me so that I can be productive and give my best, so that men can see my good works and glorify my Father who is in Heaven (Matthew 5:16).
K After graduating from National University of Singapore with a degree in business administration, I started my career in a fund management house. I was faithful and loyal to that company, working there for 11 years before God opened the door to join a hedge fund. Within one year of working there, I was retrenched because of the global financial crisis of 2008. The entire industry suffered, and almost every hedge fund manager lost their job at the same time. It was such a painful experience and I remember questioning God about what happened. “This is
the job you gave me and now I lost it,” I remember telling Him, “How does that make sense?” In that time of struggle, I remember going to a service at Trinity@Adam where I already committed to responding to the altar call – our finances were dwindling and I was really desperate for a job. Lo and behold, the altar call was not about receiving but about giving. God prompted me to take out a blank check that I had in my wallet and write down a very large sum. For a moment, I thought I had heard wrongly, but the voice of God 9 7
K was so clear that I just obeyed. Within a month, I was asked to re-join the company and was the only one who was asked to come back.
about this in the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30) about the importance of maximizing our investments.
I’ve been in this industry for the past 22 years and really enjoy what I do. It’s something that I believe God has put into my DNA and into the DNA of His Kingdom. Investing in the marketplaces bears similar principles to investing in the Bible: sowing and reaping, making the best returns, investing for the long term. We read
One spiritual discipline that has kept me grounded all these years is the practice of tithing and giving. While some schools of thought believe that tithing is not required post-Old Testament, I believe that it’s a discipline that God wants us to maintain as reminders that everything comes from Him and that we are blessed to be a blessing.
What has your experience been in the Board so far?
When Pastor Dominic asked me to stand for election, I struggled for a while. Being on the Board would mean devoting even more time for the ministry. My family’s support was vital and I’m glad they have released me to take on this role. Though I’ve taken on more leadership responsibilities, the load doesn’t feel heavier. That’s the paradox of the Kingdom when we learn to rely on God’s strength rather than our own. It’s about how we let His power and wisdom flow through us.
at the career that God has brought me through, I have been very blessed and learned much about strategic leadership, development and implementation of good policies, and operational excellence. Indeed, God is always preparing and shaping us for the destiny and ministry He has prepared for us in each season of life.
Since coming into the Board in May, I’ve been serving as a member of two committees: Human Resources and Estate Management. As I looked back
In serving alongside other board members, I am amazed by their heart to serve. They are great role models and I have much to learn from them. As I work with the Board on the areas God has laid in our hearts, I believe that our efforts will help Trinity fulfill the destiny He has for us in this time and for this season.
Being on the Board these past eight months has been a very exciting journey for me. I admit that being nominated onto the Board was a surprise, especially since it was my first time putting my name up for election.
As a fund manager, I can speak on things like investments, fiduciary responsibilities, and risk management. That’s why they put me in all the Committees related to money: Finance, Investments, and Estate Management.
K Having spent more time with the Board, I have grown to have such deep respect for them. Each person brings with them great experience, great qualities, and most importantly, a great heart. I’m very humbled by their desire to serve. Along with
Pastor Dominic and the Leadership Team, I see that we have a very God-centered ministry that is focused on bringing about our God-given vision to pass. All of this has encouraged me to give my best to the Board.
How has being in the Board changed your perspective about Trinity? Being in the Board has given me a clearer perspective on where Trinity is heading. The church is at a point of inflection – we can either keep rising, start plateauing, or begin declining. We must always be a church that waits upon God and move when He leads. The mandate that God has for this church is one of leadership development. We need to find our place and fulfill our role in the body of Christ. We have to be people who are willing
to be discipled to become the strategic leaders wherever He places us. I believe that God wants to bless us so that the His blessings can extend into the nations. We are in a season of change and as we continue to open more regional centers, Trinity has to develop strategies and plans that will allow us to scale up. While we might not know exactly where we are going, I know that it will be an exciting journey because we know that God is leading the way.
K Whether we’re in the marketplace or the ministry, we are all called to make the best of what God gives us, both financially and spiritually. I’ve seen this played out tremendously over the past year as I stepped into Trinity’s Board. As Trinity continues into this Decade of Expansion, I see how God is positioning us to be a global church with a global agenda. I work in an industry where I meet CEOs and other highranking marketplace people on a regular basis. Yet, attending Trinity@Jakarta’s first anniversary and having the potential future governor of Jakarta (or President of Indonesia) as our guest of honor left me in awe of how God is taking this church into new levels of prominence and breakthrough (pg 20).
While I’m still learning and adjusting, this experience has already molded me into a better person, especially in the area of leadership. It’s not just about what I have done in the past or what I can do in the present – it’s about what I can do to for the future. I imagine that Trinity will be a very different church five years down the road – a Trinity for the next generation that will carry on this spirit of expansion. 2018 has been an exciting year where we’ve seen so many changes, including the launch of Trinity@Bangkok (pg 24). As the church gears up for its 50 th anniversary in 2020, I believe that next year will continue to be a fulfillment of God’s expansive plans for this church.
What makes Trinity a happening place at the end of the year?
I enjoy Christmas because it’s a license to share the Gospel. I get to tell my oikos about the meaning of the season and invite them to experience God for themselves! At the same time, everything we do in Trinity – from Life Skills Seminars to Celebration Services, carecells to conferences – are opportunities for us to invite our oikos because God is in the business of touching lives.
At the end of every year, I will take some time to reflect on what has happened over the past 12 months. I release pains and disappointments to Him while rejoicing over breakthroughs and victories. I also ask Him for direction and a specific Word for the year to come.
As the chair of the upcoming DiscoveryLand Leadership Camp Immovable, I’m very excited about what it will mean for our Pre-Teens. With all the activities lined up, I believe that this is a camp that will go beyond fun and games. It will be a time where our children will build up their spiritual endurance, to worship and praise God in their daily lives, and grow in their identity in God so that they can become the leaders of the next generation.
As our children gain greater exposure to the world through the Internet, it has become crucial to reach out to them at a younger age. As I look at everything that’s happened in DiscoveryLand over the past year, I believe that God is really empowering the ministry so that our children can experience greater breakthroughs in their faith. We are encouraged to have more Trinitarians approach us to become Helpers and Teachers, giving us more resources to build up the next generation of believers.
Everything comes to a climax at Family Communion and Watchnight. I love these traditions because it brings the whole church together in one spirit and one accord.
Complete the sentence: When life gets messy...
…keep your focus on God. It’s ultimately a matter of perspective. Sometimes, the situations we go through in life are meant to help us grow in learning to trust Him. When we learn to bring our situations before Him, He can help us declutter the messiness or give us the faith to walk through whatever is before us. In 2016, my husband Khoon Kheng was diagnosed with cancer. As he went through the journey of seeking treatment, God used it as a 1 0 0
turning point in his life. After being a Christian for so long, he finally yielded to God to walk in His ways and got water baptized. From there, I saw his faith grow as he drew closer to God. There were times when it seemed like things were getting worse. Yet, the faithfulness of God shows us that what we think was meant for evil, He will turn around for good. Not only did it bring my husband into a deeper relationship with the Lord, it was also a turning point for our entire family’s spiritual journey.
K …get messy with God. When things don’t turn out the way we want it to, the big question is always why God allows trials and tribulations to happen in our lives. It sounds so cliché to say things like “the blessing is the journey” but I believe this with all my heart. No one likes to get sick. No one likes to lose their job. Nobody likes to struggle. While we dread going through trials, they are powerful times because these are the places where we can see and hear God a lot more. If we learn to see our struggles from God’s perspective, it can be opportunities for us to build in us a spiritual endurance so that we can continue to run the race for God. One example I can share is something that happened to our family over 10 years ago. One year after our son Daryl was born, my wife noticed a certain slowness in his speech. At first, we thought he was a late bloomer and didn’t think too much about it. When things didn’t improve, we became concerned and started seeking the help of specialists and speech therapists. That’s when we learned that he had dyspraxia. It’s a condition similar to dyslexia but limited to speech impairment. It was a very challenging period for my family because we had no experience dealing with special needs. My wife was most impacted by this news because she really doted on Daryl. My eldest son
Dylan was five at the time and it also took him some time to figure out what was happening to his brother. My son’s dyspraxia was a turning point in my faith, as well as my wife’s. In the midst of so many uncertainties, it was a time when we started re-evaluating our lives, our priorities, and our dependence on God. It was during this time that we decided to surrender all things and re-dedicate our lives to God. Though we were attending another church at the time, I admit that we were not diligent in attending service and carecell. When my family rooted ourselves in Trinity, our carecell prayed earnestly for Daryl, believing that God would do a miracle in his life. Gradually, Daryl’s condition got better and in time, his speech was fully restored. Today, he’s excelling both academically and spiritually, serving God in IGNYTE. Looking back, I see how God used this situation to teach us about the importance of living life as faithful Christians. It changed my perspective on Kingdom-living. When His hand moved in my family’s life, as He gradually healed Daryl, I saw how God honors those who love Him and put Him first in all things.
While we dread going through trials, they are powerful times because these are the places where we can see and hear God a lot more. 1 0 1
Trinitarian Magazine Issue 4/2018