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December 2019

CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS! FROM OUR PASTOR The Promise At Christmas COVER STORIES Christmas At Berseh, Cathay And The Fort MISSIONS Experiencing God's Grace And Provision REPORTS October Friendship Night VOICES OF WESLEY YOUTH Issues Young People Face Today


Wesley

CONTENTS |

DECEMBER 2019

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From Our Pastor The Promise At Christmas

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Cover Stories Ι Christmas@Berseh Ι Christmas@CATHAY Ι Christmas@THE FORT

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From Our Pastor The Promise At Christmas

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Cover Stories

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10 Missions Ι Trip To Timor-Leste 12

Reports Ι October Friendship Night and Evangelistic Outreach Ι A Special Experience Of Tart Making And Packing Ι An Opportunity To Serve Ι Doubly Blessed To Serve Together

17 Voices Of Wesley Youth Ι Issues Young People Face Today 18 Bible Quiz l Word Search 19 My Colouring Page Ι Transitions

Missions Trip To Timor-Leste

Voices Of Wesley Youth

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Issues Young People Face Today

20 Calendar Ι Be A Blessing This Christmas!

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Reports October Friendship Night and Evangelistic Outreach

Bible Quiz

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DIRECTIONS 2020 Ι 2019-2020 IMPACTING THE WORLD • Be a Witness • Be a Blessing • Be a Steward of God's Creation Read about DIRECTIONS 2020 - https://wesleymc.org/directions2020 For your Daily Bible Reading Drive Verses & Wesley's latest happenings!

Editorial Team Peggie Chan, Tan Kee Cheong, Alvin Tay, Kevyn Lai, Lui Yanzhen, Yeo Su Chen, Julia Tan and Ong Joo Hiang Wesley TIDINGS is published monthly by Wesley Methodist Church, Singapore for internal circulation to members of the Church. | Views expressed in the Wesley TIDINGS are the contributors’ and do not necessarily reflect that of the Church or the Editorial Board. | Materials in the Wesley TIDINGS may be reproduced with permission from Wesley Methodist Church or the authors. | Unless stated otherwise, all scripture quotations are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. Designed and printed by Londonbob Design. Permit No MCI (P) 080/11/2019 Contributions and enquiries are to be addressed to: The Editor, Wesley TIDINGS, 5 Fort Canning Road, Singapore 179493 The Editor reserves the right to make changes to the contributions if necessary.


FROM OUR PASTOR

The Promise At Christmas Rev Adrian Ng

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14)

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grew up with a love for chocolates. My childhood appetite for chocolates was constrained by two major barriers — love and cost. My mom's underwhelming love for chocolates meant that I almost never had my chocolate indulgence. I was on my own when it came to fulfilling my chocolate cravings. With my daily allowance, I could only afford simple unbranded chocolate snacks from the local provision stores.

Empty Sock Christmases were delightful times as I look forward to my special ‘empty sock’ moments. On Christmas eve, my mom would put an empty sock beside my bed and told me that if I had been a good boy, the sock would be magically filled in the morning with something I had wished for. The night was often torturous with anticipation as I kept looking at the empty sock, wondering about the good and bad deeds I had done that would determine the contents of the sock. Time passed slowly as I drifted off to sleep, still thinking if my wishes would come true. As morning broke, true enough, my Christmas morning would beam delightfully with a Cadbury's Bar Six chocolate (age spoiler here!) peeking out of the sock! Yup! Regardless of how naughty and disobedient I had been throughout the year, I was considered a good boy (so I believed) and I believed that wishes did come true! We love gifts and good news, especially when things haven't been that great for us. In the times of Isaiah the prophet, things hadn't been great for Israel. In fact, the Assyrians, being amongst the worst enemies of Israel, were coming close to overpowering the Jews. With Israel already a divided nation, coupled with a series of bad kingships, both the incumbent kings of Israel and Judah knew that the anticipated Assyrian incursion would cease their reigns and sever the future eras of Israel and Judah. With devastation already foreseen all around, they wondered if there was any hope.

Good News The good news in Isaiah 7:14 foretold that the nations and kingships of Israel and Judah would cease, but that wouldn't be the end. God would give a sign and turn things around. There would be a time when a virgin would conceive and give birth to a son, and will be called Immanuel [God-(is)-with-us]. Of course, to the people mentioned in Isaiah, this prophecy wouldn't mean much comfort because all they could see was their immediate hopelessness and devastation. The prophecy in fact confirmed their worst fears that destruction would come and history informs us that it did come — in 722 BCE, Jerusalem fell to Assyria. December 2019

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FROM OUR PASTOR | The Promise At Christmas

But history also informs us that although the walls of Jerusalem fell, the people of God didn't cease to exist but were preserved. It seemed that there was another chapter to a story waiting to be uncovered. Like my empty sock experience, the people kept looking for a time when the prophecy would come true. And here's where Christianity shined at its brightest revelation — history has been well documented through the gospel accounts that a male child called Jesus Christ was born through a virgin named Mary, in fulfilment of this ancient prophecy (Matthew 1:22-23). Jesus was God-incarnate (John 1) and would eventually emerge as Messiah who would establish an ever-lasting kingdom of peace without evil and suffering (Revelations 21). For the Christian believer, our hope anchors on the fact that the prophecy came true and this will be what makes all foretold prophecies true too because God is a promise-keeper. The empty sock will be filled!

Christmas answers that question emphatically — yes! Christmas shouts out that God loves you and no more empty sock, no more empty promises! You are wonderfully loved and worth the great cost! Now that's good news to wake up to any day! Many of us look forward to Christmas because it is a time to celebrate goodness and well wishes. But deep down, I believe there are many people looking to fill the empty socks of their hearts with something good. This year, Wesley has magnificent opportunities to share the story of Christmas, to fill someone's empty sock in life with the greatest Christmas gift ever — the good news of Jesus Christ. Bring a friend — in fact, bring many friends to celebrate Christmas with us at Christmas At The Fort, Celebrate Christmas At The Cathay and our Christmas services! The good news of Christ is simply too great to be contained! So, let us share it emphatically!

Promise Fulfilled Today, Christmas is the time when Christians continue to celebrate this miracle-birth event. In fact, God isn't just a promise-keeper, He is also a loving God who isn't worried about cost. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). At Christmas, God punched through the veil of hopelessness, destruction, waiting and anticipation to show that He loves us by being with us (Immanuel!). For those who wonder if God is real and worry if they are good enough,

Remember my friends (my paraphrase of Matthew 5:14-16) — We are the light of the world. A church set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let our light shine before others, so that they may see our good works and give glory to our Father who is in heaven. Let's Celebrate Christmas together, let empty socks be filled!

The best thing of all is — God IS with us! John Wesley

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Wesley Tidings


COVER STORIES | Be A Blessing This Christmas!

CHRISTMAS @ BERSEH

by Daniel Tong

Vice Chairperson Wesley Community Projects, COSC

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n the blink of an eye, Christmas is upon us! It is that time of year that we remember the birth of our Saviour Jesus Christ and bring the reason for the season to the heartlands at Jalan Berseh. The community at Jalan Berseh remains close to the heart of Wesley Methodist Church, as we have been working in the community for more than 10 years through the Wesley Youth Centre (WYC) and MWS Wesley Senior Activity Centre.

CHRISTMAS AT JALAN BERSEH CARNIVAL Date : 15 December 2019 (Sunday) Time : 2 - 5.00pm Venue : Kelantan Court, Jalan Berseh

Christmas@Berseh this year will be, as usual, the time we bring Christmas joy to the community. We are in the midst of planning an exciting lineup of activities that we hope will be a blessing to both young and old in the community. The Creative Expression Ministry will share the Christmas joy in song and the Berseh community’s children will be performing in a skit. This skit, based on the theme of ‘turning bullies into buddies’, was conceived by the children themselves this year while attending the OWL Reading Programme run by our volunteers. There will also be a mini exhibition showcasing all the many events and activities (such as artlogue, TGIFridays, talks for parents, tuition, etc.) run by WYC for the residents. In addition, there will be an exciting lucky draw for the residents, and on the fun side of things, we will have a carnival area where there will be fun games (such as Mini Golf, Nerf Range, Knock the Cans, Wobbly Man and Ring Toss) managed by our Wesley volunteers, and yummy snack stalls — popcorn, cakes, kachang puteh, etc.! We will also be including a Bouncy Castle and photo booth for the residents to enjoy as a community. The event will be graced by our guest of honour, Ms Denise Phua, Member of Parliament for Jalan Besar GRC. It will truly be a time for Wesleyans and the Berseh residents to come together for a time of celebration this Christmas season!

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COVER STORIES | Be A Blessing This Christmas!

CHRISTMAS @ CATHAY

by Suzanne Yong

Associate Pastoral Team Member Wesley@Cathay and The Saturday Service (TSS)

CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS AT THE CATHAY Dates : Time : Venue :

19 - 21 December 2019 (Thursday-Saturday) 5 - 9.00pm (19 - 20 December); 12 - 9.00pm (21 December) The Cathay (Atrium)

CHRISTMAS AT THE CATHAY Date : 22 December 2019 (Sunday) Time : 9.30am Venue : The Cathay, L6, Grand Cathay

Celebrate Christmas At The Cathay And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8

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he Celebrate Christmas At The Cathay team thanks the Lord for the opportunity to once again partner with Celebrate Christmas In Singapore (CCIS) and The Cathay to bring the Christmas story to The Cathay. CCIS has been faithfully bringing the true meaning of Christmas to the general public on the Orchard shopping belt in front of Wisma Atria and ION Orchard for the past 15 years. Our inaugural Celebrate Christmas At The Cathay last year was able to reach out to more than 600 visitors over three evenings with nightly stage performances and various interactive activities. This will be our second outing at The Cathay, Handy Road. We recognise and continue to treasure this important window of opportunity to touch lives with the hope of Christmas. We praise the Lord for the addition of yet another partner — Overjoyed, an art, crafts and stationery store based at The Cathay. Together with CCIS, The Cathay and Overjoyed, Celebrate Christmas At The Cathay seeks to bless the community by:

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Wesley Tidings

sharing the Christmas story and hope with a Christmas market, stage performances by local and overseas artistes, and various arts and crafts activities and workshops;

gathering local artists, designers and craftsmen, and providing them with the avenue to showcase and share their work and crafts; and

inviting the general public to the various Christmas events at church.


The Christmas Market Hours and Venues

Christmas@Cathay

19–20 December 2019 Thursday–Friday, 5–9.00pm

21 December 2019 Saturday, 12–9.00pm

The Cathay Atrium and Basement

The celebrations culminate on Sunday morning, 22 December 2019, 9.30am with Christmas@Cathay at Level 6 The Grand Cathay. Come and join us as we share the Christmas hope and love with a special service and after-service party!

Stage Performances •

19 December 2019, 6–9.00pm — Live Demo: Pentel In Artworks, Sheila Ann Smith (Canada) and Rachel Wong (Youth Ministry)

20 December 2019, 6–9.00pm — Jaryl Wee (Youth Ministry), His Sounds (Philippines) and the De Lanerolle Brothers (Sri Lanka)

21 December 2019, 2–8.00pm — Carolling with MHI, Live Demo: Painting by Thain Lin, Pudgy Music and The Continentals (Korea)

Free Admission Activities (look out for more details in the Wesley Weekly): •

Christmas terrarium/ mossarium

Paint a ginger-bread man

Simple ink-sketching

Paper craft collage — create animated creatures from paper off-cuts

Watercolour shapes — explore watercolour techniques on paper

Colouring competition for children

Christmas photo booth

Here are several ways in which you can get involved to be a blessing and to impact the lives of those around you: • Mark your calendar. Help to spread the news of the events. •

Invite family, friends and colleagues to the events listed above.

Support and encourage the local artists, designers and craftsmen.

Look out for the registration details in the Wesley Weekly and sign up for the free activities and/or workshops.

Sign up to volunteer at Celebrate Christmas At The Cathay at https://bit.ly/christmascathay.

Pray for Jesus, the hope of Christmas, to be made known to all who participate in the events.

Let’s be a blessing to the community. Spread the love, joy and hope of Christmas at The Cathay!

Workshops (look out for more details in the Wesley Weekly): •

Christmas Wreath Hand Embroidery

Watercolour Galaxy

Discover YOUth: Self-Discovery Through Art

Explore the Hope, Joy and Peace of Christmas through Art Experiential Session

“To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Colossians 1:27

DATE

TIME

VENUE

EVENT

19 December 2019 5–9.00pm The Cathay Atrium (Thursday) 6–9.00pm and Basement

Christmas Market Stage Performances - Live Demo: Pentel In Artworks - Sheila Ann Smith (Canada) - Rachel Wong (Youth Ministry)

20 December 2019 5–9.00pm The Cathay Atrium (Friday) 6–9.00pm and Basement

Christmas Market Stage Performances - Jaryl Wee (Youth Ministry) - His Sounds (Philippines) - The De Lanerolle Brothers (Sri Lanka)

21 December 2019 12–9.00pm The Cathay Atrium (Saturday) 2–8.00pm and Basement

Christmas Market Stage Performances - Carolling with MHI - Live Demo: Painting by Thain Lin - Pudgy Music and The Continentals (Korea)

22 December 2019

Christmas@Cathay

9.30am

Level 6

(Sunday) The Grand Cathay

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COVER STORIES | Be A Blessing This Christmas!

CHRISTMAS @ THE FORT

by Charis Lim

Chairperson Christmas At The Fort Organising Committee

CHRISTMAS AT THE FORT Date : 19 - 22 December 2019 (Thursday-Sunday) Time : 4 - 10.00pm Venue : Fort Canning Green

Preparing To Be A Light On A Hill

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n just a few weeks, the historic Fort Canning Hill will come alive as we bring Christmas to the Fort Canning Green from 19–22 December 2019!

Rising and Shining as a Church We are excited as a church because we believe that God is going to use us as a great blessing to impact the world for His glory! Since we started our planning in March, we have witnessed God’s mighty hand moving in miraculous ways. We praise God for the over 1,700 volunteers who have availed themselves to serve, far exceeding the original 1,000 faith target we set for ourselves. A big thank you to all of you who responded to the call to serve! The theme of the event is ‘A Light on a Hill’, whereby we hope to rise and shine as a church to celebrate and share the ‘spirit of giving’ by being a blessing to our community, our nation and the world. We felt that a music festival that celebrates the spirit of giving and the values of charity and generosity would act as an occasion which all can enjoy and take part in during the year-end festive season.

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Wesley Tidings

Hosting and Welcoming Beneficiaries Rev Stanley Chua often reminds us that one of the great hallmarks of the early Methodists, as encouraged by our founder John Wesley, is their involvement in practical works of kindness, hospitality and generosity to bless the community. This Christmas, we hope to continue this Methodist tradition of being a blessing to our community and beyond. We plan to invite and host up to a total of 3,000 of our beneficiaries over the four-day festival. We see this as a wonderful opportunity to give them a memorable Christmas experience to enjoy good music and festivities together as we seek to celebrate and promote the spirit of giving and sharing. We will also be sponsoring the goody bags and food vouchers that will allow them to purchase the food and beverage options available at the event. If you happen to see them during the event, do extend to them a big Wesleyan welcome!

Working As One This is a mammoth project and we can only do this if we work together as one! We need all Wesleyans to be involved. As we prepare to set up the tentage for Christmas At The Fort (CATF), God is calling us to be a


tent of blessing welcoming the world into our fellowship and showing the world what the oneness of God is. And may our oneness point to the One who is the greatest gift of Christmas! As CATF is an event in a public space and open to people from all walks of life from Singapore and beyond our shores, let us remember to be a good host and to be extremely respectful and sensitive towards people of other faiths and religions. We want everyone to be blessed and to experience the love, joy and peace of Christmas through our hospitality. Fellow Wesleyans, let’s rise up this Christmas. Let’s not hold back. Let’s bless generously because we have been blessed!

What Will Be Happening This festival, held in support of the Singapore Bicentennial celebrations, is organised by Wesley Methodist Church and co-organised by nonprofit arts and culture organisation The RICE Company Ltd (TRCL).

Musical Performances We have sought to create an event which will involve the community, as well as feature a line-up of performances that ranges from unique and up-and-coming musicians to well-known acts. The event will feature Singaporean musicians such as Charlie Lim, Haneri, Olivia Ong and Joanna Dong, each anchoring a day of the four days, as well as performances by different musical groups across our community.

Eco-market, Stalls and Show We will also feature a market of eco-products curated for the occasion, a variety of food and beverage stalls, carnival activities, a multi-media show designed by Brian Gothong Tan (Multimedia Director of the Bicentennial Experience) showcasing 200 years of Christmas celebrations in Singapore, and a mass Christmas carol sing-along each evening.

CATF is expected to welcome more than 15,000 visitors over the four days. Wesleyans and their guests are encouraged to take public transportation to reach Fort Canning for their convenience and to avoid jams. As our teams are working hard preparing and training for the event, may the rest of us support CATF through our prayers, and play our part in inviting our friends and loved ones to the event. Let’s praise God for the following: • giving us the opportunity after 23 years to celebrate Christmas again at the Fort Canning Park; •

close to 2,000 volunteers, staff and event collaborators involved in this event;

our partners, namely NParks, The RICE Company and Global Cultural Alliance as we celebrate CATF in support of the Singapore Bicentennial celebrations.

Let’s ask God to use us as a blessing to the following parties: • over 15,000 members of the public we seek to be welcoming across the four days; •

3,000 beneficiaries we hope to invite and host;

friends, loved ones and guests whom we will be inviting to the event.

Let’s seek God to bless us with: • perfect weather throughout the four days; •

safety and protection over all volunteers, staff, vendors, collaborators and visitors;

His favour and anointing as we seek to impact the world for His glory.

Heritage Trail The festival will also celebrate the spirit of philanthropy seen in Singapore over the past 200 years with the use of a self-guided experiential walking trail application. It will highlight over 20 historical sites and charitable personalities as users follow a heritage trail around the Fort Canning precinct. These people and places had played a significant role in helping the less fortunate and improving the quality of life for people in general. Among the notable philanthropists are Karel Willem Benjamin van Kleef of its namesake Van Kleef Aquarium that once stood at the foot of Fort Canning, and Loke Wan Tho, the founder of The Cathay Organisation. This trail aims to create more awareness of the importance of the spirit of giving during this festive season. An initiative of co-organiser TRCL, the 'The Spirit of Giving' trail is downloadable on the free LocoMole app till 5 January 2020. People can begin the trail starting from the MRT stations close to Fort Canning Park: Dhoby Ghaut, Bencoolen, Bras Basah, City Hall and Fort Canning.

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MISSIONS | Timor-Leste

EXPERIENCING God’s Grace And Provision

by Lily Yang

Lily worships at the 9.30am Traditional Worship Service.

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team of six went on a missions trip to Timor-Leste from 3–8 October 2019. We flew to Bali and stayed one night there before flying off to Dili on 4 October, as there was no direct flight to Dili from Singapore. In Timor-Leste, we stayed at Sundermeier Home, located in Gleno, where we interacted with the residents and conducted a health screening session. We also held a health screening session at the St Paul Methodist Timor-Leste school.

Sundermeier Home Uncle Joe, our host, manages Sundermeier Home in Gleno with his wife, Aunty Grace. When we arrived at the Home, we were given a tour of their premises. The total area of this place is around 50,000 square feet. The garden was immaculate. Divided into small plots, the garden is the responsibility of the students, who take charge of the plants, fruit trees and flowers.

The home is organised in a systematic manner, and its residents share the responsibilities of managing it. All 31 students are assigned various chores like cleaning toilets, cooking, washing the car, checking the water tank, watering the plants and general cleaning. They take turns to conduct daily devotion and Sunday services as well. When we arrived, there was no electricity and water, as the electric pump was not working. Armed with plastic containers of various shapes and sizes, the students cheerfully took turns to collect water from a nearby stream. It was a reminder to us that we often do not appreciate the convenience we enjoy in our lives.

Games and Health Screening The next day, we played ice breaker games like Blow Wind Blow and Bingo with the students. They were then divided into smaller groups of six to do craft work and solve a jigsaw puzzle.

Sundermeier Home Ice breaker game in Sundermeier Home

My takeaway from these activities included the importance of listening, co-operation among team members and going to the right source for answers. A health screening was conducted in the afternoon. Stations to check weight, height, BMI, eyes, and blood pressure were set up, and the students moved from one to another station in an orderly fashion. The last station was a consultation given by Dr Fabian Ong, our team leader. Problematic cases that needed medication or further medical examination were surfaced to Uncle Joe.

Entrance of Sundermeier Home

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Wesley Tidings

We ended the day with a game of Tug of War, which was much appreciated and enjoyed by all, including students and team members.


Sunday Service

Training session by Dr Ong before the health screening

A Session of PRAY

St Paul Methodist Timor-Leste

That evening, Pauline, Pastoral Team Member of Missions, conducted a meaningful session on prayer with the students, leading them in the four-stage methodology of praying: P – Posture before God R – Relationship with God A – Authenticity of our conversation with God Y – Yes, willingness to listen and expect answers from God

On Monday 7 October 2019, the team held a health screening session at the St Paul Methodist School. The school provides formal education with Christian morals and principles for children from remote villages. Currently the school has 113 students in grades 1–10 (primary to high school).

When the lights were turned off, battery-operated candles were used to aid the students to focus as they prayed. With the soft humming of the song Kumbaya amidst the silence and darkness, the hall was transformed into a peaceful haven, with every student encouraged to talk to God without distraction. Students who needed someone to pray with them were encouraged to approach the team members. On Sunday, we attended the worship service conducted by the students. Our team members shared two testimonies. After this, we left Sundermeier Home to visit David Chan, the principal of St Paul Methodist Timor-Leste, and his family, and other volunteers in Dili.

It was a daunting prospect to examine 130 students with only one medical doctor in the team. Thanks to our leader’s quick thinking, a strategy was implemented — a few of us were ‘promoted’ to be his MOPA (medical officer personal assistants) to speed up the consultation process. The health screening was carried out from 12.45pm to 7pm, with only two ten-minute breaks throughout the day. We were thankful to God for sustaining Dr Ong, who also conducted health checks for five teachers, in addition to the student population.

Enjoying a home-cooked meal at Sundermeier Home before departure

St Paul Methodist Timor-Leste

We returned to Singapore on 8 October, grateful for God’s protection and provision, and definitely thankful that we were given the opportunity to participate in this missions trip. Throughout the trip, we enjoyed the camaraderie and felt God’s presence. Team members with Uncle Joe (extreme right) and Aunty Grace (3rd from right)

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MISSIONS | Experiencing God’s Grace And Provision

REFLECTIONS FROM TEAM MEMBERS

REPORTS | Mandarin Ministry

OCTOBER Friendship Night and Evangelistic Outreach

by Esther Low

Esther is a member of the Mandarin Ministry (MM) main committee, and is a guitarist and keyboardist in the MM worship team. She also serves in Crisis Relief Wesley. Team members wearing souvenirs from St Paul Methodist (L-R) Paul Koh, James Phoen, Lily Yang, Pauline Yek, Dr Fabian Ong, Alison Wong

photos by Henry Lim

PAULINE YEK: There is always something new that God is showing me in every trip. Isaiah 43:19 reminded me to pay attention to God and learn to discern what God is already doing in the missions fields. Although the land looks quite dry in most parts of Timor-Leste during this season, the vegetation and greenery at Sundermeier Home stood out as a place where one can find hope and light! The picture of the sunset as a backdrop behind Sundermeier Home is clearly His glory to behold! He is the God who is making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. I feel hopeful about what God is doing in the lives of the youths at the hostel. ALISON WONG: The most memorable event of this trip for me was the health screening, because it was my first time being a part of this type of missions (and also because we saw over 100 students). I think it was really a testimony of how God gave the team strength and made something that seemed impossible possible. I was very encouraged and also learnt throughout the trip that God reminds us of His great commission to go and make disciples of all nations through the work of missionaries. Beyond that, through listening to David’s testimony, I also realised how important it is to keep praying and seeking God because only then can God reveal His plan for you. JAMES PHOEN: I am truly touched by the commitment of the full time volunteers like David and his family, to give their time and life to serve the Lord and manage the place in such an undeveloped location. One key lesson to take away in this trip is the team work of the trippers. All of us need to learn to take order from the team leader and work closely as one team. FABIAN ONG: This is my second missions trip to Timor-Leste. I am grateful to God for blessing us with a great team of people. With God’s grace, we managed to accomplish a lot during this trip, especially the health screening at St Paul Methodist. This would not be possible without God, and without the Timor-Leste pastoral staff and the team putting their efforts together. Timor-Leste has so much potential and the people there made us feel so welcomed, especially Uncle Joe, Aunty Grace and the students from Sundermeier Home. Missions trips like this always remind me that we are each called for a purpose. Each one of us is blessed with a gift or a skill that God can use to do something good for the people whom we are reaching out to.

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Wesley Tidings

Altar Call

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he Mandarin Ministry (MM) was tasked to organise Acts of Kindness (AOK) events during the month of October 2019. An ad-hoc committee of five was formed as early as December 2018, to brain-storm ideas and discuss the events and programmes to run. October AOK was then organised with the following objectives: • to be a blessing to The Hiding Place (THP), migrant workers, domestic helpers and tourists, by purchasing 5,000 pieces of pineapple tarts (pineapple is a symbol of blessings and sweetness); •

to provide a platform for church members and families to feel a sense of belonging as they participate and volunteer in church activities and activities at THP;

to organise a Friendship Night cum Evangelistic Outreach event, for pre-believers to listen to testimonies.

October AOK events included the following: • Pineapple tart baking at THP on Saturday 12 October 2019 •

Packaging and distribution of the tarts and invitation cards to Friendship Night in areas in the vicinity of our church (Jalan Berseh, Plaza Singapura, Little India, etc.) on Saturday 19 October 2019

Friendship Night cum evangelistic outreach event on Friday 25 October 2019


Full house at Sanctuary

Performance by Rhythm of Praise and Le' Luke

Ice-breaker

Planning We planned for 1,000 attendees, a mix of 400 church members, 400 friends and 200 volunteers. As this was also an evangelistic outreach event, we wanted to reach out to the masses, and so we wanted people who are in the public eye to testify. As early as February 2019, we started to contact various artistes to check on their availability. It was a period of waiting. Finally, on 6 May 2019, Mediacorp artiste Rayson Tan accepted our invitation to share his testimony. It was also on this day that we had a meeting with THP’s Pastor Philip Chan to express our interest to purchase 5000 pineapple tarts from THP and to discuss our plan to involve our volunteers to help with the tart making process.

Spiritual dance performance

Praying for Volunteers Volunteer recruitment started in July 2019. After one month, we only had 17 volunteers for Friendship Night. We were monitoring the response weekly but the numbers were very discouraging. Thanks to the 11 September Wednesday Wesley Prayer Intercession, we started to see an increase in volunteer registration every other day and finally, on 25 October, we met our target of 200 volunteers (including Sunbeam Choir and the Rhythm of Praise team).

Testimony by Rayson Tan

Friendship Night The programme on Friendship Night included the following items and performers: • Feast of Love buffet dinner •

Sunbeam Choir (Hokkien Worship Songs)

Rhythm of Praise (Worship Songs accompanied by Le’ Luke, the ukulele group)

Bilingual Worship led by MM Worship Team

‘When You Believe’ (theme song from The Prince of Egypt) sung by Nadia Kam

Spiritual dance performance

Testimony by THP resident, Matthew Chew

‘When You Believe’ (Chinese version) sung by PTM Alice Hsieh and MM Worship Team

Testimony by Mediacorp artiste Rayson Tan (see next column)

Altar Call

We did not meet our target of 1000 attendees, but we had an attendance of 576 people. A total of 10 attendees accepted Jesus and another 10 indicated that they would like to know more about Jesus. All attendees received a limited edition Wesley Methodist Church umbrella with the words ‘Love and Glory’ on it.

TESTIMONY OF RAYSON TAN

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ince Rayson Tan was 10, he had been actively engaged in the activities of his parents’ religion, believing that by doing ‘good’ and not harming others, his prayers for peace, health and success in his studies and career would be answered. But he was constantly in fear as there were many superstitious practices to follow. He questioned his purpose in life. In June 2008, Rayson was invited to attend a miracle service in a church in Woodlands. During the service, he experienced an unexplainable sensation which stirred his heart, and he felt God’s peace — he cried. That very night, Rayson accepted Christ as his personal Saviour. The same year, his wife, Chen Liping, and son also accepted Christ as their personal Saviour. His 80- year-old mother and 90-year-old mother-in-law subsequently accepted Christ as well. Through prayer, God healed Rayson from sciatica, a condition he had been suffering from for 14 years. God also changed Rayson’s character — since his conversion, he has stopped using vulgar words and buying lottery. Rayson continues to experience God’s peace, joy and hope despite the ups and downs in life. December 2019

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Sunbeam Choir

Food servers

Identifying guests with stickers

Feast of Love

Testimony by THP resident

A Special Experience Of Tart Making And Packing Tart Making at The Hiding Place A group of five from our Small Group (SG) car-pooled to The Hiding Place (THP), located in a very remote part of Singapore, on 12 October 2019. There we met up with the other Wesleyans who were also volunteering at the event. The staff and residents of THP were very hospitable and welcomed us warmly. Even before we started making the pineapple tarts, they offered us a sample of the delicious, buttery tarts. We learnt that THP actually runs a small cottage industry that makes these tarts for sale during the Chinese New Year (CNY) season. Orders for a bottle of 25 tarts ($23.80) can be received online or through the phone. They also encouraged us to come about one month before CNY, to help make these tarts. As this visit did not give us sufficient time to learn well the tart-making process, we contemplated taking them up on this offer. It would also be an opportunity to see the good work THP is doing in rehabilitation. The tart making was really fun and efficient as we had an assembly line where one section used a mould to press out the dough, and another section filled another set of moulds with the specially cooked pineapple jam. A third section scooped out the jam to place onto the tart casing. There was even a quality control section that ensured that the pineapple jam was neatly trimmed and placed onto the tart casings! They were then placed into the oven to bake for about 20 minutes. At the end of our shift, we were treated to a lovingly prepared lunch of lontong with crispy spring rolls as a bonus. We also saw our finished products which were baked to perfection!

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Wesley Tidings

The volunteers at The Hiding Place

Tart making assembly line

by Upper Paya Lebar SG


THP’s tagline is that these tarts are ‘made with love’! Indeed, we could feel the warmth of a loving and caring environment and experienced the joy with which we were taught, and thereafter, each of us set about working on the job we were tasked with. Thank you THP for allowing us amateurs to help make the tarts and enjoy a most unique experience!

Tart packing at Wesley Methodist Church THP delivered 5,000 tarts to Wesley at around 8am on 19 October 2019. Our packing was scheduled for 9am till 12 noon. But several ladies who arrived at 8.30am had already started packing, under the patient, organised supervision of Mdm Soh Ah Kee. The 30-odd packers, cramped in the church pantry, quietly and efficiently placed the tarts into packs of three. What was heart-warming was that the average age of the packers was about 55 years old! This proves that it is a joy to serve the Lord and age is no limit and no task is too menial. The packers were so efficient that all the 1,600 packs were ready by 10am — a clear record! Thus, the distribution to nearby places like Singapore Management University (SMU), Plaza Singapura and Peninsula Plaza could start early. The rest of the distributors came at the designated time of 1.10pm and went to Chinatown, Little India and Jalan Berseh. The distribution was all completed by 4pm that day. Praise the Lord!

An Opportunity To Serve

by Monicca Yan

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Kindled For Christ SG

ith the publicity push on the church initiative, Acts of Kindness (AOK), a few of my SG members registered for these activities and it was a great opportunity to serve together as a SG, to get to know members from other SGs, or church members whom we would not meet if not for this opportunity. The whole activity — from the making of the pineapple tarts and packing, to the distribution — had been very well planned by the organising committee, who looked into the minute details of transport, location of the venue (THP), and reminder to bring sunblock, hat and water, much needed for the distribution of the tarts. Residents from THP mingled well with all of us, patiently guiding us in the making of the tarts; there was much fun and laughter as we put together the pineapple tarts with the ingredients the residents had prepared ahead for us. There was much joy in the air despite many of them having to come on a Saturday. I was initially very apprehensive about having to give out pineapple tarts and extend the invitation to our Friendship Night to complete strangers in the Little India area. We were paired to do the distribution but decided to split up from my partner to reach more people outside the MRT station. The experience turned out to be a pleasant one though many rejected the tarts when approached. What made the experience calming for me was knowing that we were merely doing the leg work of reaching out to the people God had put in our path, but that it was the Holy Spirit who will make them accept the invitation.

Packing the tarts

Appreciation

I prayed that many who received the invitation would come to experience the love and hear the testimonies of how God had changed lives. May the word planted transform their lives and may they who hear begin a new walk with Him.

We could feel the love of Christ among the volunteers. We would like to record our appreciation to the following parties: Esther Low, who patiently answered all of our queries, updated the volunteer list continually and performed a host of other duties with such grace and kindness. Justin Ong, who was most prayerful and encouraging and he was present at all the events from tart making, to tart packing and distribution and Friendship Night. All the organisers who graciously gave of their best, showing truly what a servant leader is like. December 2019

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Doubly Blessed To Serve Together by Anthony Hay Salt & Light SG

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Serving food at Friendship Night

od truly blessed our Small Group (SG), Salt & Light, in the month of October, with two opportunities to serve. To be able to come together as a group, I felt that we were doubly blessed.

Making Tarts Together The Hiding Place (THP) is a halfway house, tucked away in a secluded area in the north-western part of Singapore. Residents work on the farm as well as make pineapple tarts as part of character building, and discipline and perseverance instilling. Our task on a rainy afternoon was to be part of the pineapple tartsmaking group. We worked alongside the residents and volunteers at different stations, which included dough making, shaping with moulds, inserting the fillings into the moulds, etc. It was really an eye-opener for some of us as it provided an opportunity for us to interact with the residents and learn how God had impacted their lives. The Salt & Light team at The Hiding Place

Serving Food at Friendship Night During Friendship Night, Salt & Light volunteered as food servers. Yap Tsok Kee, who helped with serving the food, said, "We stood behind the trays of food, and the crowd started streaming in. With all smiles, we piled the delicious food on the plates and prayed that the harvest for Jesus would be great. With aching legs and arms, we continued with our simple labour of love for Jesus and at the end of the night, we felt great as we were able to do that little bit for Christ. We pray that what little we did touched someone that evening." Like always, God showed us His generosity and His blessings were manifold. Besides serving, some of us brought family and friends. One member, Woo Sook Yee, shared: “I thank God for my pre-believing friends who turned up. Although they did not respond to the altar call, I know that God would follow-up on them in His intriguing ways like what He did with Rayson Tan. In Mark 4:26-29, The Parable of the Growing Seed, God's grace is described thus — "the seed sprouts and grows"." It was truly a blessing to be able to serve the Lord in both events and I believe my fellow SG mates feel the same way. Margaret Kwan, who came with her husband, Sng Siak Keng, has this to share: “Keng and I felt very blessed to be able to serve at these meaningful events. We were especially touched to see some of us involving our family members (young and old). Through these events, our SG had demonstrated not just the spirit of serving for the glory of God, but also the willingness to step up and assume additional responsibilities when needed.”

One member of our SG, Leslie Ho, has this to say about the day: “I met young men who spoke well and behaved courteously. They are residents of the home, still in rehabilitation. It was refreshing to learn that God is very much a part of their lives. What an inspiration it was when I learnt that it was more important for them to be able to speak the words and grace of God to the residents than to gain Institution of a Public Character (IPC) tax status.”

I praise God for giving my family an opportunity to serve together. My 11-year-old son, who was serving the Lord for the first time in such a setting, surprised us and we were very proud of him and very grateful to the Lord who showed us that he was able to contribute in both events. All glory to God!

Having heard Mathew’s testimony during Friendship Night, about his struggles with the gambling addiction and how THP has helped him, I felt that his testimony further endorsed and emphasised the important work THP is doing for the marginalised. I can see and feel God’s hands all over the work that they do. Friendship Night

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Wesley Tidings


VOICES OF WESLEY YOUTH |

Issues

Young People Face Today

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eing a teenager is a rather awkward phase in church — we are transitioning from being a kid in Children’s Ministry to Youth Ministry, and also attending the occasional main service with adults. In this state of self-exploration, we realise that there are dozens of new things to adapt to all at once, identities to find and a million expectations that come with them. Most of the time, for most of us, it’s also a period of discovering and trying to grow closer to God. However, it can be hard to juggle all these new commitments while putting God first, and there are many different issues that contribute to this. First, one issue that young people face today is the fear of being wrong or judged, especially in church. We fear raising our hands to praise God, or even feel inadequate to offer suggestions because of our lack of experience in a certain sub-ministry or in our Youth Small Group. When given the chance to lead a prayer, we may be afraid of saying the ‘wrong things’ that would often lead to embarrassment. However, 1 Timothy 4:12 (NLT) reads: “Don't let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.” This immense fear may be because we often forget the main reason why we serve in church — to serve God and God only. Seeking God’s

by Lian Rei Yean

aged 15

boundless love is never wrong, and God has blessed us with everything that we need. Although we may lack knowledge, wisdom or experience, God sees our intentions and the motives of our hearts. Therefore, the least we can do for Him is to praise and serve Him with a whole heart, even if it’s hard sometimes. Second, another major issue faced by young people is academic pressure. All of us have taken, or are bound to take, a major exam during this period of our life — be it the PSLE, O- Level, A-Level or IB. Despite being told that our results don’t determine our future or the schools we go to, it’s inevitable for us to feel like a failure when we don’t perform up to expectations, especially because we live in a society in which an individual is often defined and characterised by their intellectual ability or, in other words, the grades they attain in school. Therefore, this often leads to feelings of demoralisation and insecurity, of never being good enough for worldly purposes, instead of setting our “mind on things above” (Col 3:2). On top of this, a disdain for these emotions of insecurity, disguised as the notion of remaining focused or staying strong, often causes us to focus entirely on the academics during the exams period. The long and late hours spent studying and attempting to understand academic concepts often result in us neglecting God instead of looking to Him for comfort or leaning on Him for support.

Last, and probably one of the most quintessential roots to most problems, is having the thinking that we are wise enough to battle problems on our own. Whenever we encounter a hiccup in our life, the first and most typical thought that comes to mind is to find a solution to the problem. Through the process of trying to understand, comprehend and solve the problem, it is so incredibly easy to not put God as a priority. We believe that we have the wisdom to solve all the problems that we face, convincing ourselves that we’ll come back to putting God first after we have finished a certain set of tasks. Because of this, we fail to realise that our God possesses wisdom that is far beyond anything we’ve ever imagined or could ever comprehend. Whenever I encounter a problem that I have absolutely no clue about how to solve, I remember one of the best pieces of advice I've received — ‘sign a blank cheque’ for God and put my full trust in Him. Because only then will we be able to find calm in a seemingly never-ending storm. Although every individual has a different and unique set of problems, some of which are less complicated than others, the one constant through all this is our omnipresent God. No matter how insignificant the problem may be, we should constantly remind ourselves that God wants to be there for and with us through every storm we encounter, and that we will never be alone through it all.

December 2019

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BIBLE QUIZ | Word Search |

Contributed by Julia Tan

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Wesley Tidings

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BIBLE TRIVIA -

Did you know The Bible doesn’t mention how many wise men visited Christ, only that they brought three types of gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.


Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14 (NIV)

TRANSITIONS

BIRTHS

WEDDINGS

BEREAVEMENTS

- OCTOBER

- NOVEMBER

- OCTOBER

21 Alexa, daughter of Mr & Mrs Koh Zhi Feng 29 Hannah, Daughter of Mr & Mrs Daniel Goh

2 9 16 16 23 23

28 Mdm Syn Chee Wan Margaret

- NOVEMBER

23 Asher, son of Rev & Mrs Anthony Phua

Mr Gerald Cheang Eu Seang and Miss Alicia Leong Yin San Mr Lin Risheng and Miss Choo Hui Lin Joelle Mr Dexter Thiam Si Huan and Miss Phua Shu En Georgina Mr Fabrizio Cola and Miss Teresa Lim Ching Ern Mr Tang Tien Wei Keith and Miss Alicia You Hongyu Mr Sun Tze Kwok Benjamin and Miss Mok Yi Jun Cheryl

- NOVEMBER

3 11 11 12 21 21 24

Mr Tan Soo Beng William Mdm Tan A Moy @ Tan Siang Hong Mdm Teoh Wong Chiang Mr Andreas Justesen Mr Jen Shek Ming Mdm Lee Sue Eng Mrs Stella Lee Eik Hong née Goh


CALENDAR |

Wesley Christmas Celebrations

BE A BLESSING THIS CHRISTMAS! Christmas @

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Christmas @

BERSEH

CATHAY

THE FORT

This Christmas, we have the opportunity to bless the Jalan Berseh community in which God has placed the MWS Wesley Senior Activity Centre and Wesley Youth Centre!

Celebrate Christmas At The Cathay We are once again blessed with the opportunity to bring the Christmas story to The Cathay!

In support of the Singapore Bicentennial, we have the opportunity to be a blessing! Experience Christmas in a unique way this December with Christmas At The Fort. This wondrous, multisensorial, four-day experience will transform the historic Fort Canning through a fusion of music, history, an eco-market place and culinary delights into a seamless tapestry of sight and sound.

The carnival will be a fun-filled event for an estimated 700 residents, with game stalls, food stalls and stage performances, to share the joy of Christmas with the community.

The three-day event will be filled with a Christmas market, stage performances, interactive activities and workshops. There will be nightly performances by local and overseas artistes, and local artists, designers and craftsmen will be showcasing their creative arts and crafts.

Christmas At Jalan Berseh Carnival

Come and join us to bless members of the general public with the hope of Christmas!

Date: 15 December 2019 (Sunday) Time: 2 - 5.00pm Venue: Kelantan Court, Jalan Berseh

Dates: 19 to 21 December 2019 (Thursday to Saturday) Time: 5 - 9.00pm (19-20 December 2019) 12 - 9.00pm (21 December 2019) Venue: The Cathay (Atrium)

Christmas@Cathay Christmas@Cathay on the Sunday morning of 22 December 2019 will bring the Christmas story and hope with a special service and celebration. Come and join us as we share and celebrate the love of Christ with those who come!

Date: 22 December 2019 (Sunday) Time: 9.30am Venue: The Cathay (Level 6 – Grand Cathay)

Begin your journey with an augmented reality app that will guide you on an evocative and inspiring heritage trail through the historic Civic District and Fort Canning — of places, and people who, through their individual acts of kindness, have changed the lives of those around them. The highlight will be a Christmas concert at Fort Canning Green that celebrates the beauty of creation. Featuring a line-up that ranges from unusual and up-and-coming musicians to wellknown acts, Christmas At The Fort will culminate with Fort Canning Hill being transformed into a colossal beacon in the night as we light up the hill and share the hope, joy and blessings of the season. This community project is brought to you by Wesley Methodist Church, in partnership with The RICE Company Limited and curated by Global Cultural Alliance.

Christmas At The Fort Dates: 19 to 22 December 2019 (Thursday to Sunday) Time: 4 - 10.00pm Venue: Fort Canning Green

Profile for Wesley Methodist Church, Singapore

Wesley Tidings Newsletter December 2019  

Wesley Tidings is published monthly by Wesley Methodist Church, Singapore

Wesley Tidings Newsletter December 2019  

Wesley Tidings is published monthly by Wesley Methodist Church, Singapore

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