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Not Done Yet

18 May 2022

Dear Church

What is the gospel to you?

I recently attended a funeral of a powerful man of God, the retired Judge Richard Magnus. There, they played 3 of his favourite songs –  Old Rugged Cross, Amazing Grace, How Great Is Our God. 

As I listened to these 3 songs, I came to a realisation: people who are able to live powerfully for God are people who are able to see themselves as who they really are, and able to see God for who He truly is.

Who are we really? We are but sinners, saved by grace. No matter how powerful or how esteemed we are in society – we are saved only because of His Amazing Grace, because of what Jesus has done on the Old Rugged Cross.

Who is God really? We are not just worshipping a god that is here to meet our own needs, or put food on our tables. We worship a God who spoke the entire universe into being! How great is that?

Only when we are able to understand these 2 things, can we have both humility and confidence. Humility – because we know that apart from God, we are nothing. Confidence – because the God that we worship is all powerful, all sovereign and all loving. 

If we focus only on humility, we might live a self-condemned life, denying ourselves the opportunity to participate in God’s redemptive work for the world. We might be a nice person, but we might not have fulfilled our destiny in God’s Kingdom.

If we only focus on confidence, and not have the correct perspective that we are but sinners saved by grace, we might be confident to attempt great things for God, but we might also become complacent, to a point we start to serve ourselves or even think we are God! 

To live a life worthy of Jesus’ sacrifice, we need BOTH humility and confidence.

The last 2 years have been plagued with a worldwide pandemic, numerous disasters and a war that is impacting the lives of many. In this troubled world, more than ever, we need people who are courageous to attempt great things of God, and to make their one life count for Jesus. 

Apostle Paul said this best, “by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.” I pray that we will all be people who would take the best shot with the one life that God has given for us.

Conference is coming, and this year’s theme is Not Done Yet. God is not done yet with us, with our life group, with our city, with our nation. I believe God is going to pour out so much more to us and I’m praying for each and every one of us to have the spiritual hunger and thirst for the work of the Holy Spirit in and through us.

In Christ,

Senior Pastor Jeff Chong

“Why follow Jesus, even at the cost of your life?”

Growing up, I took pride in doing well in school and pleasing my parents. I would top my class without having to work hard and I believed I was just really smart. 

I realised how wrong I was when I was 13. In my school I had to work really hard just to barely make the mark. I started becoming very anxious about my performance to a point my body would dry gag. I eventually did so badly I was kicked out of the school programme that guaranteed me a straight path. I felt so much a failure, I wanted to end my life.

I pushed on eventually, with the motivation to prove everyone wrong. Though I went on to achieve my goals, my anxiety worsened. I was so afraid to fail, to fall behind, to disappoint.

Jesus came into my life the year I turned 17. I started to learn that I can trust God to take care of me. In Christ, I found unconditional love whereby I need not work to earn anything to prove myself to Him, He loves me even when I have nothing to offer. I experienced God’s peace, and found that I was free from that severe anxiety that caused me to throw up!

When the Ukraine war started, I had this nagging question at the back of my mind “Should God call me to go, would I say yes?” I disregarded that thought, but someone really extended an invitation to me. I started wrestling with God, “What if I lose my life? I have just graduated, I have a promising life ahead of me.”

Then God asked me “How valuable is the renewed purpose in Me? Why follow, even at the cost of your life?” I was reminded of how I led my selfish, pointless life with no direction and no purpose, and I was so touched that God not only reached me then, He is even inviting me to live out a life of purpose in Him.

I said yes, and left Singapore to Ukraine, arriving just in time for Good Friday. In the short span of time I’ve been there I have been able to make friends, bring practical help to the refugees such as distributing resources, and helping them get phones, and share the needs on the ground to the people in Singapore so that they can very specifically finance the work. I was able to share about the Good News and witness 6 people responding to know Jesus more!

Under the leading of the Holy Spirit, I have also since moved to France to pioneer a Ukrainian-speaking church for the refugees, together with a Ukrainian family. God is still writing the story, and He is not done with me and the work here yet!

Wesley,
Hope Singapore Ablaze

“God broke my heart for what breaks His. And now I boldly proclaim His name.”

I am a third generation Christian. But in secondary school, I was a good Christian on weekend, and a school bully on weekdays. When streaming time came, to my horror, i was moved from the top class into the what I called the “dumb” class. All the people I hated were in that class!

But it was also there where God showed me how peoples’ lives would be like, if they do not have God. I got to know some of my classmates, and found out that a lot of them came from broken families. Some were physically and sexually abused, some abandoned. I was so heartbroken to hear that I remember I broke down crying in class. It was as if the line in “Hosanna” came real – that God was breaking my heart for what breaks His.

From then on, the desire to boldly proclaim the Good News grew. During the end of my Secondary 3 syllabus, the teachers allowed us to do whatever we wanted in class. I gathered whoever would listen, and I handed out First Steps in class. I would share the bridge diagram, and prepare teachings to go through. Some of them were Sunday Christians, and they grew in their understanding of who God is. One of my classmates received Jesus and is now still serving with me as a core team in my group. Some from other classes heard about it and joined in. I spent more time ministering and outreaching during my Secondary 4 year than actually preparing for my O levels.

Till date, wherever I am placed, I would ask God “who do You want me to share to?” When the pandemic started and physical gatherings were minimised, the Youth group I led started meeting online. One time, we very randomly managed to connect to a group of Pakistani boys when we were playing online games. We even started a Zoom call with them. God used that to show me that there are great opportunities online.

I started looking at every app and platform I was on, and tried to find ways to make new friends. My core team caught on to the vision, and we started using all we could to reach out – penpal apps, social media ads, private messaging everyone who liked our posts – just so we could start conversations.

We started having locals from Nigeria, Myanmar, Canada join us, and soon we formed an international online group. It was hard work managing the timezones. We made adjustments to suit their timings and sometimes that meant waking up at 3am for Life Group. But it is all worth it. Now the spirit of going global has started spreading in Youth Ignite. This year we are forming teams to look at how to grow the “e-church” and more people are now willing to step forward to serve. It is crazy that God would choose to use me and use Youth Ignite in this way, and I’m just really excited for what God is going to do through us.

David,
Hope SG Filipino Ignite

“God showed me the real value of my life is this – to serve him.”

In 2012, I was introduced to Hope, and here I grew in my understanding of God’s word.

I started serving as a Life Group Leader, and in 2017, I got diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer. When I first got the news, I was devastated and very afraid. The same terrible disease took my mother away. But through prayer and devotion, God strengthened me and gave me the hope to face the road ahead.

The entire treatment took about 8 months. I spent a lot of my time speaking to God and hearing from Him. The great thing about this was that I grew closer to God. When I was undergoing treatment, my husband attended the Hope conference, and God spoke to him to “feed His flock”. That sowed the seed in him to come full time to serve the church.

In 2019, my husband was once again reminded of the call to come full time. This time he decided to obey and spoke to the pastors at Hope Singapore. At first, it was really a struggle financially. My husband used to be in business, and we could afford to live more comfortably, without too much concern about money. Coming full time after my cancer treatments meant that as a family, we had to learn to be very careful with money. As an individual, I feel that it’s not a big deal for my husband and I to live simply, but I looked at my 3 children and I ask myself sometimes if I am shortchanging them, or not giving them the best I can.

But God showed me the real value of my life is this – to serve him. Our commitment and promise to God to serve the church wholeheartedly brought a different dynamics and growth – we see life change, we see more people stepping up to take ownership and leadership roles, and we see the boldness and fire for evangelism. This fire is contagious and it motivates us on as well!

My children also learnt to value the essentials of life, and they learnt that they do not need to chase after what the world has. I am very thankful to God that through the decision of faith we took, they grew in their character, and also learnt how to steward what God has given us.

In this pandemic, we see people buying food supplies to give out to their neighbours, we have a hairdresser who gave free hair cuts to the people in her estate, and we have groups who move their board games night online just so that we can have the opportunity to be God’s light and to share the Gospel

Life is always unpredictable, we never know what tomorrow would bring, but God’s love is unfailing, His Good News is unchanging. We get to choose how we live our life – do we live our lives based on what the world is telling us, or do we live our lives based on God’s truth? I am so thankful that living with God has given me so much purpose in this life!

Chloe,
Hope China

2022年5月18日

亲爱的教会:

上帝带给您的福音是什么?

我最近参加了一位有影响力的圣徒的葬礼,他就是退休法官 Richard Magnus。葬礼上演奏了他生前最喜欢的3首歌-《古旧十架》、《奇异恩典》、《我神真伟大》。

当我听到这3首歌时,我意识到:能够为神精彩而活的人,就是能够看到自己真实的面目,能够看到神真实的模样的人。

我们到底是谁?我们不过是被上帝的恩典救赎的罪人。无论我们在社会上有多么强大,或多么受人尊敬-我们被救赎都是因为神的奇异恩典,因为耶稣在古旧十字上所承受的一切。

上帝到底是谁?我们崇拜的不仅仅是一个满足我们需求或者为我们提供食物的神。我们敬拜的神创造了整个宇宙!这是多么伟大?

只有当我们能够理解这两件事,我们才能既谦逊又自信地活着。谦卑-因为我们知道,如果没有上帝就不会有我们的一切。自信-因为我们敬拜的神是全能的、至高无上的和慈爱的。

如果我们只有谦卑,我们可能会过一种自我谴责的生活,剥夺自己参与上帝为世界所做的救赎工作的机会。我们可能是一个好人,但我们可能没有在神的国度里完成我们的使命。

如果我们只有自信,没有正确的观点,也就是我们不过是被神的恩典救赎的罪人,我们可能会很自信地替神完成伟大的使命,但我们也可能变得自满,到一定程度我们开始为我们自己而活,甚至认为我们自己就是神!

为了过上配得上耶稣牺牲的生活,我们需要既谦卑又自信。

过去两年里,我们的生活充斥着全世界大流行病、无数的灾难和影响许多人生活的战争。在这个混乱的世界上,我们比以往任何时候都更需要勇敢的人替上帝完成伟大的使命,让他们的生命具有耶稣的意义。

信徒保罗说得好:“我之所以成为今日的我是神的恩典,他对我的恩典不是徒然的。不,我比所有人都努力不是我,而是神的恩典与我同在。”我祈祷我们都能成为这样的人,用上帝赐予我们的唯一生命去尽力尝试完成我们的使命。

基督爱中
张富裕主理牧师

随着长大,令我自豪的事情是在学校的良好表现和满足我的父母。我不必努力学习就能在班里名列前茅,我相信自己非常聪明。

我13岁的时候意识到我是错的。在我们学校里,我必须要非常努力地学习才能勉强取得成绩。我开始对我的表现感到非常焦虑,甚至身体出现干呕。最终,我表现地非常糟糕,我被能保我一路直线攀升的学校项目开除了。我感到非常失败,甚至想结束我的生命。

最终,我继续努力,想要证明所有人都错了。尽管我实现了我的目标,我越发焦虑。我很害怕失败,害怕落后,害怕失望。

耶稣是在我17岁那年走入了我的生活。我开始明白,我可以相信上帝会保佑我。在基督里,我找到了无条件的慈爱,我不需要用自己的能力争取任何东西来向他证明自己,即使我没有什么可以奉献,他依然爱我。我体验到上帝给予的平安,让我走出焦虑!

当乌克兰战争开始时,我的内心深处里有一个挥之不去的声音:“如果上帝召唤我去,我会答应吗?”我漠视了这个念头,但有人真的向我发出了邀请。我开始向上帝祷告,“如果我失去了生命怎么办?我刚毕业,摆在我面前的是光明前途。”

当时上帝问我“新的使命对我有什么价值?为什么要追随,甚至要付出自己生命的代价?”我想起了我是如何过着自私、毫无意义的生活,没有方向、没有目标,我很受触动,那时上帝不仅在我身边,还召唤我在他的保佑下实现了有目标的生活。

我答应了,然后离开新加坡去了乌克兰,到达乌克兰时刚好是耶稣受难日。很快我在那里交到了朋友,给难民带来了实际的帮助,如分配资源,帮助他们有手机可用,向新加坡人告知当地的需求,获得他们的资金支持。我在那里能够传播上帝的福音和上帝的慈爱,一次的分享中,有6个人决定要更多地来认识耶稣!

在圣灵的带领下,我已从乌克兰转移到法国,并开始在法国为乌克兰的流民建立教会。神的带领仍不断,日日仍有新更新,新工作,让我们继续跟随,直至生命完全!

Wesley
新加坡青年事工 (Ablaze)

我是第三代基督徒。但在中学时,我只在周末做个虔诚的基督徒,而平时在学校里横行霸道。令我惊恐的是,学校调班时,我被从顶尖班级转到了被我称为“愚蠢”班的班级。我讨厌的人都在那个班级!

但也正是在那个班级,上帝让我看到,如果没有上帝,人们的生活会是什么模样。我认识了一些同学,发现他们中的很多人都来自破裂的家庭。有些同学经受着身体和性虐待,有些同学是被父母遗弃的。听到这些时我非常悲伤,我记得我在课堂上哭了。这就好像“和散那”里的那行歌词变成了现实-即上帝为让他心碎的事也让我感同身受。

从那时起,我大胆传播福音的愿望更加强烈了。在我中学三年级的教学课程结束时,老师允许我们在课堂上做任何我们想做的事情。我召集所有愿意聆听的同学,在课堂上分发《新脚步》。我想要与他们分享福音桥,和他们传福音。其中一些同学是礼拜天基督徒对上帝的理解不断加深。我的一个同学接受了耶稣,现在仍是我们小组的核心团队和我一起服侍。其他班的一些同学听说了,也参入我们的社群。在我中学四年级期间,即使是我考O水准的时候,我依然乐意地用更多时间去侍奉和传道。

直到今天,无论我身在何处,我都会问上帝:“你想让我将福音传给谁?”当全球疫情开始,要求减少聚会时,我领导的青年组织开始在线聚会。有一次,我们在玩网络游戏时,很偶然地联系上了一群巴基斯坦男孩。我们还与他们打了Zoom电话。上帝借此告诉我网上有很多机会。

我开始浏览我使用的每一个应用程序和平台,试图找到结交新朋友的方法。我的核心团队将此作为主要渠道,我们开始尽一切努力通过-笔友应用程序、社交媒体广告发帖子,给每个喜欢我们帖子的人发私信 – 我们正是通过这种方式开始了交谈。

来自尼日利亚、缅甸、加拿大的当地人开始加入我们,很快我们便成立了一个国际在线组织。管理时区很难。所以我们根据他们的时间做了调整,有时小组成员要凌晨3点起床。但这一切都是值得的。现在,这“走出去”的精神已经开始在“Youth Ignite”中传播。今年我们正在组建团队,研究如何发展“线上教会”,现在有更多的人愿意站出来服侍。上帝会以这种方式选择用我、用Youth Ignite,通过我们来完成使命。这项使命令我振奋!


David,
新加坡菲律宾青年组

2012年,我被介绍到了希望教会,从那时起我对上帝的话语有了更深的理解。

我开始担任Life Group 的领导人。2017年,我被诊断为乳腺癌3期。当我第一次听到这个消息时,我非常不安和害怕。我母亲也是被这个可怕的疾病夺去了生命。但通过祈祷和做礼拜,上帝赐予了我力量,给了我面对前方道路的希望。

整个治疗过程约8个月。我大部分时间都在祷告,聆听他的声音。让我高兴的是我离上帝更近了。我在接受治疗时,我丈夫参加了希望教会的会议,上帝对他说“牧养他的羊群”。这在他心里播下了种子,让他来全职服侍。

2019年,我丈夫再次被召唤做全职工作。这一次他决定服从,并与新加坡希望教会的牧师交谈。一开始,我们真的是有经济困难。以前我丈夫是做生意的,我们可以生活得更舒适,不用太担心钱的问题。他在我癌症治疗不久之后踏入全职的决定,意味着我们作为一个家庭,必须学会节省用钱。从个人角度来说,我感觉朴素生活对我和我的丈夫而言没什么大不了的,但当我看着我的3个孩子时,我有时会问自己,我是否在亏欠他们,或者没有给他们最好的生活。

但上帝让我看到了生命的真正价值-服侍上帝。我们对上帝承诺会全心全意地服事教会,这给我们带来了不一样的动力和成长-我们看到了生活在改变,看到了更多的人担起主人和领导的角色,看到了福音传道的勇气和热忱。这种热忱富有传染力,也同样激励着我们!

我的孩子们也学会了珍惜生命的关键,知道他们不需要追逐世界上拥有的东西。我非常感谢上帝,通过我们用信心做出的决定,他们在人格上也有所成长,学会了如何管理上帝赐予我们的一切。

面对疫情,我们看到人们购买食品,送给邻居,我们组织里的一位理发师,她免费给她周围的人理发,我们的小组把桌游改为晚上在线进行,这样我们可以有机会作为上帝的光芒,分享上帝的福音。

生活总是无法预知,我们永远不知道明天会发生什么,但上帝的慈爱是永恒的,他的福音不会改变。我们可以选择如何生活-是按照世界告诉我们的方式生活,还是服从上帝的真理生活?我非常感激我与上帝同在,给我的生活带来了很多目标!


Chloe,
希望中国

Nov 2021 - Jan 2022

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One Life At A Time
9 November 2021

Dear church,

In this pandemic, I have seen people lose their loved ones. Some grew more convinced of the gospel while others grew bitter. I’ve seen people lose their jobs. Some foreigners left Singapore and started planting churches; others left Singapore and the vision altogether. I’ve seen people lose their income. Some used this opportunity to joyfully bless people; others just worked harder to make money. 

Some drew closer to God; others lost their zeal for Him. Some grew to cherish church and gatherings while others grew cold and began to do their own things. Many also experienced family, marriage and children issues. Some took the opportunity to work through issues and grew, while others grew bitter and angry.

The truth about challenges is that they reveal issues that already existed in our lives, which then should direct us to God as we invite Him to transform us. Since the beginning of COVID, it is clear to all of us that even though we are going through uncertain times, God is still in control. He will use all things to work out His ultimate purpose for our lives.

Romans 8:28-29 (NLT)

28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. 29 For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.

We see things in bits and pieces, but God sees everything. God sees the end from the beginning. He allows us to go through tough times to reveal what is already inside us and cause us to draw closer to Him.

This year, I believe that God is bringing about a reset, a reboot, and a recalibration to do His refining work in our church. God is looking for His end-times remnant people to bring about His end-times harvest. The Focus of our church for 2022 is ‘Not Done Yet’ – God is not done with us yet!

Just as the Great Commission is not done yet, God is also not done with us yet. May God find all of us faithful as we trust Him and continue to pursue Him and His vision and mission in our lives!

In Christ,
Senior Pastor Jeff



The sermon ‘Not Done Yet: Off The Fence’ really spoke to me, especially when Ps Jeff shared about God giving us free will to choose whether we want to obey or disobey Him. 

I think many times one would claim that they are committed to God, but when tough times come they choose to dwell in their valley lows instead of trying to understand what God is trying to teach them through it. When I encounter difficulties, I tend to focus on the situation I’m in rather than having faith and trusting in God, because I want to fix things humanly though I know that God may be trying to mold me through those valley times. 

As much as I would say that I am trying to be more like Christ in the things I do, I am still human and still fail. But in the sermon, I was reminded that God is a gracious God. Though He knows that we still fail, wanting to fix things ourselves instead of trusting in His ways, He still gives us the choice knowing that we may turn against Him. I also had flashbacks of God’s faithfulness in my life where He brought me past the valley lows when I thought I was ‘alone’. I don’t have a very good relationship with my family. Everyone is pretty tense, so at times I will feel lost and lonely because there is no one at home who I can pour out my thoughts and emotions to. But in those times, God would reach out to me with 1 Peter 5:7, reminding me I’m not alone and I can turn to Him because He cares about me. Knowing this makes me even more convicted to recommit my life to God, knowing that He has never once left me and He is worthy of it all!

Bella
Hope Singapore LYTE

There was a time where I was very close to falling away from the faith because of some painful circumstances. I could not seem to make sense of why God would allow such things to occur in my life, and even thought He was playing a cruel joke on me. I had to wrestle with God to find a satisfying reason for not quitting on Him.

When Pastor Jeff shared about the importance of ‘getting out of the furnace without forgetting God’ in Focus 2022 sermon, I realised that it’s in such furnaces that not only my faith is tested, but authenticated too. When I contemplated leaving God, I initially decided to stay because I was afraid of losing my salvation forever. But God used that season to teach me many valuable lessons, for example, Jesus choosing to fully submit to God in the Gethsemane despite knowing the pain and grief of being separated from the Father because of our sins. I was reminded that troubles are a part of life, as even Jesus, being God, was not spared from such daunting troubles. I was also encouraged that it is because of Jesus’ obedience that there is a Cross to save me and that I can put my hope in for this life and beyond.

Looking back, I’m thankful to God for that season, and that by His grace, I had the capacity to still be considerate enough to not allow my emotions to hurt others. His plans for my end goal is to prosper me and not to harm me. May I always remember and be convinced of His divine purpose, so that I may approach every crisis with an active hope in Him instead of a passive resignation to defeat.

Jacob,
Hope SG University

When Pastor Jeff shared about Refiner’s Fire, I was reminded of my tendency to choose the more manageable and comfortable route. This was especially true when it came to fellowship, outreach and serving opportunities. What would allow me as a young parent to feel less tired or weary? What would accommodate my children’s nap times and bedtimes? What would minimise face-to-face interaction and thus minimise exposure to COVID-19? Over time, I made choices out of fear, thinking that entering the crucible – uncomfortable situations – would make my life harder. 

Through the sermon, I realised that I had been prioritising my personal comfort over God’s desire to refine my character and faith. God assured me that even if the flames of the crucible are blazing hot, He as the refiner has his eyes on me the entire time. It might hurt and it might be challenging but His refining work in me is necessary. This year, I hope to continually surrender my need for comfort and control as I step out to love and serve the people He loves.

Tracy,
Hope Singapore Adults

I was dissatisfied with how much I was earning and made a lot of hasty career decisions, like absconding from each company. In 4 years, I have changed 7 different jobs. The sense of “I” in my life had grown bigger than God’s presence. I carried a “I did this” and “I bought that” attitude. I wanted to live life on my terms. I hardly spent time with God, giving excuses like no time, too tired or had some other plans.

I am currently working in a big company that pays me on time and even covers all COVID-related expenses as medical insurance. But instead of recognising this as God’s providence, I was holding on to a false sense of “job security” and the mindset that “getting paid” during the pandemic was what my company should be doing for me. But through the Focus 2022 message, I realised that being employed or getting paid on time was all God’s awesome acts for me and not by any of my actions or decisions.

Pastor Jeff’s sponge analogy in the sermon ‘Not Done Yet: Through The Fire’ spoke to me. It was only when I was squeezed out by the challenges of not being able to fellowship together or serve in church for a long period of time, that I realized that my relationship with Jesus had taken a backseat. I would justify to myself that coming for LG could replace my quiet time with God. I would go for Grow Class just because my leader asked me to, not because I wanted to know God more. Now, I am being refined just like silver and all my impurities are being melted away in the furnace. Surrendering areas of my life to God, like finances, ownership and making Godly decisions instead of going with the flow, won’t be easy. However, I see now that it is for my good. I will take heart that God is constantly watching me during this refinement process and as long as I am alive, He is not done with me yet!

2022年2月22日

亲爱的教会:

在这疫情当中,我亲眼看见有些人失去至亲。为此,有些人对福音更坚定,有些却心里苦毒。有些外国人离开新加坡以后开始在中教会,有些离开新加坡的同时也放弃了大使命。我看到有些人在疫情当中收入削减;教会中有人把握机会祝福需要的人,有些人更努力赚钱。

有些人更亲近上帝,有些人失去心中的火热。有些人更珍惜教会的聚会,有些人心冷了,开始忙自己其他的事情。很多人在家庭、婚姻、养育小孩上都出现了挑战,有些人尽力解决,有些人心中愤恨。

其实,生活中的挑战只不过揭示了我们生命中原本就存在的问题,问题应该让我们转向上帝,邀请祂来改造我们。自从疫情开始以后,我们或许意识到虽然世界充满不确定性,但祂仍掌权。上帝会使万事都互相效力,塑造我们,成就祂的终极旨意——效法基督。

罗马书8:28-29

28 我们晓得万事都互相效力,叫爱神的人得益处,就是按他旨意被召的人。 29 因为他预先所知道的人,就预先定下效法他儿子的模样,使他儿子在许多弟兄中做长子

我们所看到的都是碎片化的,但上帝看见一切,祂的眼目包含从创世之初到最终故事的最终回。祂允许我们经历挑战,是让我们看见我们的内在的同时,更亲近祂。

今年,我相信上帝要让我们重启、校准生命中的基线,继续炼净教会。上帝瞩目末世的子民带来末世的丰收。今年的主题是: 直到生命完全 ——上帝的工作还没有完成!

就像大使命没有完成一样,上帝对我们炼净也还没有完成!愿我们成为信实的教会,继续相信祂、追随上帝和祂的大使命!

 

基督爱中
张富裕主理牧师

上帝通过张牧师’直到生命完全 – 不再犹豫’的讲道跟我说话:我们有自由的意志选择顺服或偏行己路。

我们很多时候觉得自己跟随的心是坚定的,但遇到困难时却在谷底自怜自艾,不问上帝祂的旨意。当我遇到困难时,我往往注目情况,而不是坚定信心,我比较想去除痛苦、解决问题,虽然我知道上帝可能是在塑造我。

虽然我很想说我想事事更像基督,但我还是个很有限的人。通过讲道,上帝提醒我,虽然祂知道我们仍然会失败,也知道我们更多着眼于解决问题多于信靠祂,但祂是充满恩典的。虽然知道人会背叛祂,祂还是给我们自由的选择。我也回想其上帝在我生命中的多处恩典,就算我曾经认为我很孤单,但祂仍带我走过低谷。我和家里的关系不太好,经常气氛很凝重,我经常觉得无助,因为家里无人听我倾诉。但是通过这些时候,上帝通过彼得前书5:7与我说话,提醒我我不孤单,我可以转向、依靠他,因为祂顾念我。知道这真理以后我更坚定要将生命重新交托道祂手中,因为祂不曾离弃我,跟随祂——值得!

有段时间我因为生活困苦,近乎离弃信仰,我不知道上帝为什么要让这么痛苦的事发生在我的身上,我觉得祂和我开了一个残忍的玩笑。我需要与上帝‘摔跤’,寻找不放弃的理由。

当张牧师分享,‘离开火炉时,不要忘记上帝’,我发现只有在火炉里我的信心不仅仅得到试炼,也得到进一步的‘鉴定’。当我想着离开上帝时,我最终决定留下是因为害怕永远失去救恩。但是上帝使用这个季节,教了很多宝贵的功课。耶稣在客西马尼园里虽然知道因为我们的罪将与天父分离的痛苦,也将自己全权交给祂。上帝提醒我,苦难是生活中的一部分,就算是耶稣是 神,也没有避开苦难。因为耶稣在十字架上的顺服,我得到了今生且超越今生的的盼望。

现在回望,我感恩那段季节,还有上帝的恩典,让我就算心里痛苦,也没有让我的情绪去伤害别人。祂最终的旨意是赐平安的意念,不是降灾祸的意念。愿我会一直铭记祂的旨意,在遇到困难时可以保持活跃的信心,而不是气馁和认输。

当我听到张牧师的‘直到生命完全 – 穿过火焰’的讲道时,我被提醒我一直选择容易、舒服的方式来敬拜、侍奉、团契和传福音。我是个年轻的妈妈,我怎么样才可以不这么累?怎样选择侍奉、团契才可以配合小孩子睡觉的时间?我怎么避免面对面的见面,减少遇到病毒的风险?渐渐的,我做的决定都是出于害怕,我拒绝进入火炉(不理想的情况)因为这会让生活变得艰难。

通过讲道,我发现我把自己的舒适摆在了比上帝建立我的品格、信心更重要的位置。上帝给我信心相信就算火炉烧着熊熊烈火,上帝炼净者的眼目一直瞩目着我。虽然会有痛苦和挑战,上帝的炼净是必须的。今年,我希望我能够更多的顺服上帝,放弃对舒适生活的控制欲,选择爱,侍奉上帝也爱的人!

我曾经不满意自己的收入,从而匆匆地做了很多决定了事业上的决定,不断地换工作环境;4年内我换了7份工作。“我”在我的生命中比上帝和祂的同在更重要。我经常有“我做了这件事”、“我买了那件物品”的态度,我想以自己的方式过生活。我不与上帝沟通,为自己找各种借口:“我太累了”、“没时间”或者“我还有其他的计划、其他的事情要处理”。

我现在在一所大公司工作,薪水不拖欠,包含一切关于新冠病毒的医疗保险。但我曾经并不觉得这是上帝的供应,我紧紧抓住虚假的“就业保障”,我觉得公司在疫情中给我发薪水是理所当然的。但是通过讲道,我发现有一份工作,公司不拖欠薪水,全都是上帝奇妙的供应,并不是通过我的行为或任何决定所得到的。

张牧师的讲道中举出海绵的例子,当我不能参加团契、在教会侍奉时,我发现我与耶稣的关系已经退居二线。我会找借口,觉得参加团契了就不需要灵修了。我参加GROW CLASS不是因为我想更认识上帝,而是因为我的领袖叫我参加。

现在,我觉得我像银一样,被炼净,所有的杂质在火炉当中被去除、融化。将生命当中的各个领域:钱财、控制欲、决定权交托于上帝是不容易的。但上帝让我看见,这是为了我好。这个炼净的或称中,上帝的眼目一直瞩目这我,所以我可以放心。只要我还活着,上帝在我生命中的工作就还没结束!

Aug 2021 - Oct 2021

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One Life At A Time
9 November 2021

Dear church,

Have you ever wondered if what you do means nothing at all?

I too feel small at times. Remember how Jesus took a little boy’s lunch to feed the thousands? I think about that boy often. All I have are 5 loaves and 2 fishes. What good would they do?

Living in a world that is filled with so many challenges, we may wonder if we can really make a difference. This is especially so in the face of a worldwide pandemic that has upended millions of lives and livelihoods. 

Yet the truth is this: Everyone can make a difference. Everyone matters. 

When I was a young believer, I came across this tagline that remains in my head until today: “Won By One. One By One.” We are saved and redeemed by Jesus, the One true God. And through the Great Commission, God has called us to make a difference to the people around us, one life at a time. 

In Hope, life transformation happens not just in life groups, but also in mentoring. I want to unpack 2 passages in the Bible that reflect these qualities of a Christian mentor – 1) Motivated by Love, and 2) Committed to Truth.

Motivated by Love (John 21:15-17)

Jesus gave Peter an opportunity to examine the strength of his love towards Jesus. Jesus commands that our love for Him would translate to feeding His sheep – to mentor and take care of God’s people.

In the same conversation, Peter was also hurt because he remembered how he had failed Jesus and the reminder was both painful and humbling. Even though he had failed Jesus, Jesus restored him in front of the other disciples and entrusted him with His most precious possession: people.

God does not use perfect people; He uses people who have been touched by His grace and have this deep desire to love Him back. God will use us in our imperfections for His glory.


Committed to Truth (2 Timothy 1:13-14)

Timothy was facing various challenges. False teachers were causing chaos with their teachings and he had an inherently timid personality. Apostle Paul wanted to strengthen Timothy to carry on the mission of preaching the gospel and making disciples. 

Apostle Paul reminds us that spiritual leadership must be committed to sound doctrine. Rather than sounding interesting or getting others to agree with us, we are to feed God’s people with spiritual truths so they can grow spiritually strong in Christ. We can determine if our doctrine is sound by looking for consistency with key themes of the Bible, checking other reliable sources, and discussing our understanding with leaders and mature believers.

Finally, we do not just impart God’s truth through intellectual knowledge, but by role-modelling the teachings we have received with faith and love in our lives. In today’s world, people can get information from anywhere. They don’t need mentors to know the solutions to all their problems. Rather, it is the life-example of someone who walks with Christ and lives out their beliefs in their lives that win the respect of the people.

Church, the task of mentoring God’s people is daunting. We are, after all, very small and very flawed. But remember: Jesus did not just command us to do the Great Commission; He also gave us the Holy Spirit to empower us to fulfil it. When we’re weak, we lean on the Holy Spirit for strength and empowerment – He is the one who gives us the power we need to make disciples. When we’re unsure, we lean on the Holy Spirit for wisdom and guidance – He is the one who guides us in all truth and helps us lead our mentees. When we’re stuck, we lean on the Holy Spirit to illuminate the truth – He is the one who uncovers the lies and shines His light on the situation.

In my own journey as a mentor, there were times where I was proud and graceless in relating to the people around me. Looking back, I am amazed that Jesus did not give up on me. He knows how flawed I am, and yet still entrusts me with His people. Jesus is so gracious to me and it inspires me to grow and be a better mentor – may His love for you inspire you too. These are His sheep; He has a plan for their lives, and we’re just privileged to be a vessel that God pours out His love.

In Christ,
Senior Pastor Jeff

Under Coleman’s mentorship, I have grown to adopt a Godly perspective towards trials that I face. After enlisting into NS this year, I was placed in a unique environment that I struggled to adapt to. I found it hard to bond well with the community there and struggled to keep up with the program especially when I was given a leadership role. As I shared with Coleman the details about my struggles, Coleman encouraged me and pointed me to James 1:2-4. He reminded me that trials were opportunities for us to grow and mature. He also pointed me to Philippians 4:12-13 to remind me that even though I lacked friendships in camp, I can be content in any situation because Christ strengthens me.

I am currently 7 months into NS and even though my circumstances have not really improved, I am able to go through each day with a Godly perspective by holding on to these truths that Coleman shared!

Benjamin
Hope Singapore Youth Ablaze

I have the privilege of having a few mentors in my Christian journey, with my current mentor as Lay Choo. I would describe Lay Choo as an introvert like me, but her love for God and people makes her go out of her way to befriend pre-believers in the hope of sharing her faith with them. Another trait I wish to emulate is her love for God’s word. Two years ago, I did a career switch which enabled me to free up more time to study His word by enrolling in Bible Study Fellowship and attending Grow classes and seminars. Lay Choo recently went through with me what she learnt from Tung Ling Bible School, “The Signs of End Times”. We also went for an external study of Genesis when we missed the one conducted in Hope. The study of Genesis opened my interest to study the Pentateuch. Apart from reading God’s Word, Lay Choo also challenges me from time to time to mentor LG members, facilitate LG discussion, and teach in Hope Yangon service. Thank you Lay Choo for investing your time to mold and grow me to love God and people. Let’s continue to spur each other on towards love and good deeds, encouraging one another as we see the day approaching! Bellina Hope Singapore Axis Adults
  When the pandemic struck in 2020, I worked 16-hour shifts a day and had conflicts with my team. The worst was being separated from my daughter due to the Malaysia-Singapore border closure. I had so many unanswered questions and wondered if God could really hear me. As I prayed for the border to open, I kept hearing bad news one after another until one day, I just shut down. I stopped talking to everyone; even God. I created a bubble where I could be alone with my own thoughts and had trouble eating and sleeping. It was months later when I realised that I had shunned everyone in my life. Coincidentally, my mentor and Life Group leader, Noreen, texted me to ask how I was. It was my first real conversation in a long time. It was funny how she knew to text during my long nights. She also invited me to her house, reassuring me that it’s fine to visit even at midnight. So during one of those nights, I decided to go. Noreen and her husband, Bryan, welcomed me in the warmest way possible. They let me play with their baby and we talked like we were old friends. I asked why faithful Christians suffer when God can easily remove their troubles. Bryan was very patient in answering me and shared from Daniel 3:17-18. That was when God’s Word dawned on me. God saves His children from their turmoil, but even if He does not, they remain faithful because they are just pilgrims on a journey and this world is not their final destination. Bryan and Noreen encouraged me to give all my feelings to God because He can handle our discouragement. That night, I cried out to Him and rekindled the unexplainable joy in His Presence. I felt at peace more than ever, even though my pass still wasn’t renewed. 2 weeks later, I received my travel pass back to Malaysia and can finally be with my daughter. It was nearly impossible because I do not hold a Malaysian passport. As I let loose of my worries, God worked! In the process of waiting, I learned to not rely on my own strength and to never isolate myself. I am blessed that as I bring my emotions into light, I have my Christian family to hug me and remind me that God is always the solution and He is always good! Astrid Hope Singapore Filipino
It was easy for me to catch up and eat with my mentees. However, I realise this became a routine and my mentees weren’t growing in their relationship with God. However, I struggled to confront them on their walk with God as I wasn’t good at asking hard questions or making crucial conversations. For years, I struggled to speak God’s truth to my mentees out of the fear of hurting them or them perceiving a wrong idea about me. God spoke to me in this area through my mentors and leaders. They would ask me hard questions and make crucial conversations pertaining to my personal flaws just to help me grow. God also reminded me in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 that His word is to be used for teaching, training, and rebuking in righteousness so that every believer will be equipped for His work. I saw how my life was transformed through God’s truth spoken to me through my mentor and leaders, and was reminded of how He had called me to plant churches and fulfill the Great Commission. I decided to learn how to mentor from leaders around me, and eventually plucked up the courage to talk to my mentee about an area he was struggling in for some time. God enabled me to share how I struggled with a similar weakness, which helped my mentee realize that a mentor is not a superhuman but someone who has weakness in life. This brought my mentee closer to me and also to God. My mentee was able to see that God can forgive and mend our brokenness, and that He is not someone who looks for our accolades but helps us become more like Christ when we surrender our struggles and weaknesses to Him. We all go through disappointments in ministry, especially when our mentees leave church, stop growing, or develop a bitter relationship with us. During such times, it is important to remember that God continues to call us to His good work which is getting the gospel out to the world and He will help you go through the dry seasons. Like in Philippians 1:6, may we not give up on God or on people, because we are anchored in the gospel and confident in the good work Christ is doing in us! Shibu Hope Global India

一次,一个生命
2021年11月9日

亲爱的教会:

你是否有过这样的疑问:我做的事情到底有什么意义?

有时候,我觉得自己很渺小。但记得耶稣是怎么用小男孩的午餐喂饱了上千人吗?我有时候也会想想这个男孩。我只有五饼二鱼啊!到底有什么用呢?

生活在这个充满很多挑战的世界,我们可能会想自己是否真的能有所作为。尤其是面对已经在全世界颠覆数百万人的生命与生计的疫情时,我们更加迷惘了。

然而,真相则是:每个人都可以有所作为。每个人都很重要。

我还是初信者的时候,我看到一句话,直到今天还在我脑海中挥之不去:胜利是由一而来,一个一个来(Won By One. One By One)。 耶稣是唯一的真神,救恩唯一的来源;通过大使命,上帝呼召我们每一个人,用我们每一个人的生命一个又一个地去影响其他人的生命。

在希望教会,生命的转变不仅仅发生在小组里,个人的牧养也很重要。下面,我希望通过圣经中的两段经文反映基督徒牧者的品质:以爱出发、扎根真理。

以爱出发 (约翰福音21:15-17

耶稣曾经给予彼得一个机会审视他对耶稣的爱。耶稣命令我们对他的爱要转化为喂养他的羊指导和照顾上帝的子民。

在同一次谈话中,彼得因为他想起了自己是如何让耶稣失望的而感到伤心,这种提醒既痛苦又惭愧。尽管彼得辜负了耶稣,但耶稣在其他门徒面前重新呼召了彼得,并将他最宝贵的子民也托付给彼得。

上帝不使用完美的人;他使用那些被他的恩典所触动,并从心底深处想要来爱他的人。祂会在我们的不完美中为他的荣耀使用我们。

扎根真理 (提摩太后书1:13-14

保罗写这封书信时,提摩太面对各样的挑战。那时有许多的人传异教,提摩太也是个性比较胆小的人。使徒保罗想加强提摩太的力量,继续完成传福音、造门徒的大使命。

使徒保罗提醒我们,属灵的领袖必须致力于正确的教义。我们要用属灵的真理喂养神的子民,使他们在基督里有属灵地成长,而不是听起来很有趣或让别人同意我们的观点。我们可以通过寻找与圣经主题的一致性,查找其他可靠的资料,并与领袖和成熟的信徒讨论我们的理解,来确定我们的教义是否合理。

最后,我们不只是通过知识来传授上帝的真理,而是通过我们生活中的行为体现出上帝的爱和我们的信心。在今天的世界,人们可以从任何地方获得信息。他们不需要导师来了解所有问题的解决方案。相反,与基督同行并在生活中践行其信仰的人的生活榜样才能赢得人们的尊重。

弟兄姐妹们,教导上帝子民的任务是艰巨的。我们很渺小,也有很多的缺点与不足。然而,我们需要记住:耶稣并不只是将大使命给我们,他还赐给我们圣灵,使我们有能力完成这个使命。当我们软弱时,我们需依靠圣灵给的力量来造门徒;当我们不确定如何教导我们所需要牧养的信徒时,我们同样需要依靠圣灵给予我们的智慧与指导来造门徒。当我们陷入困惑时,我们依旧依靠圣灵来显示出真理揭开谎言并照亮前方的黑暗。

在我自己作为牧者的经历中,有几次我在与周围的人相处时很骄傲,毫无风度。回想起来,我很惊讶,耶稣没有放弃我。他知道我有多大的不足,但仍然把他的子民托付给我。耶稣对我如此有恩,这激励我成长,成为更好的导师愿他对你的爱也能激励你。这些是他的羊;他对他们的生活有一个计划,而我们只是有幸成为上帝倾注他的爱的容器。

在基督里,
Jeff主任牧师

通过Coleman的牧养,我改变自己面对困难的心态。我今年开始国民服役,在独特的环境中,不管是履行职责还是建立人际关系,我都难以适应。更难的事,我还要在当中扮演领导的角色。跟Coleman分享的过程当中,他鼓励我,并且指向雅各书1:2-4. 他说,困难与挑战是学习、成长的机会。他也指出腓立比书4:12-13提醒我虽然我在服役的环境中缺乏朋友,我也可以知足,因为靠着耶稣给我的力量,我凡事都能做。

我现在已经服役7个月了,虽然我的境况并没有明显的改善,但感谢Coleman与我分享上帝的话语,我现在能用正确的视角面对每一天。

Benjamin

希望新加坡青少年事工(Ablaze)

我感恩信主的这些年来,得到不同的牧者的帮助。我现在的牧者是 Lay Choo. 她和我一样,是内向的人,但她对上帝的爱让她超乎寻常和还没有信主的人分享她的信仰。

她热爱上帝的话语这点也是我很希望学习的。两年前,我换了一份个人时间比较充裕的工作,让我有机会参加国际查经团契(Bible Study Fellowship) 和教会里的成长(Grow) 查经班。Lay Choo 也和我分享她在东岭圣经神学院(Tung Ling Bible School)所学,末日之兆的课程(The Signs of End Times)。由于我们错过了教会里的创世记课程,我们也一起去参加了外办的课程。通过课程,我对摩西五经更加感兴趣了。除了一起读经,Lay Choo也经常鼓励我牧养小组成员,带领小组讨论,和在希望仰光’ 的聚会中讲道。

谢谢 Lay Choo 花时间培养我更爱神、更爱人。让我们一起加油,彼此鼓励,在生命里活出更多的爱与善行

Bellina
希望新加坡成人组

去年当疫情来到新加坡的时候,我一天轮班16小时,和同事有摩擦。我与女儿也因为新马两国的边境封闭无法见面。我心里有好多没有答案的问题,也时常想上帝到底有没有听到我的祷告。我一直祷告边境开放,但坏消息接二连三地到来。因此,我进入了自我封闭的状态,我与所有的人断绝了联系,也不在祷告。我沉溺于自怜,也无法正常地吃饭睡觉。

几个月后,我发现我屏蔽了所有人。就在那时候,我的小组组长兼牧者Noreen通过短信联系我,问我最近怎么样。这是我很久以来第一次与人沟通。说来也奇怪,她仿佛知道要在漫漫长夜通过短信联系我。她也邀请我到她的家里,并强调即使半夜也可以来。就在某个夜晚,我到了她的家中。

Noreen和她的丈夫Bryan 热烈地欢迎我。他们让我和他们的小宝宝玩耍,我们也像老朋友一样畅谈。我问他们,为什么基督徒要经历苦难?上帝明明有能力把苦难挪走。Bryan耐心讲解,分享但以理书3:17-18。我顿时明白了上帝的话语。上帝把他的孩子从动荡中拯救出来,但即使他不这样做,我们仍然可以存留信心,因为这只是朝圣者的旅途,这个世界并不是他们的终点。

他们鼓励我把所有的情绪交托给上帝,因为祂可以应对我的失望。那晚,我呼求上帝,祂也重新点燃我心中依靠上帝所得的无法解释的喜悦。我感到心中有平安——虽然我还没有去马来西亚的准证。两个星期之后,我收到了批准让我到马来西亚去的证件,这是几乎不可能的——因为我并没有马来西亚的护照。随着我把一切焦虑交给上帝,祂动工了!

我学会了在等待的过程中不要依靠自己的力量,也不要与世隔绝。我感恩当我选择把自己的情绪敞开分享且带入光中时,上帝安排了属灵的家人拥抱我,他们也提醒我上帝永远是解决问题的方法——祂是信实的!

Astrid 新加坡希望教会菲律宾组

我和我牧养的信徒们吃饭谈天是一件相对容易的事,这很快就成了一种习惯,但我发现他们缺乏成长,没有增进与上帝的关系。我内心陷入了纠结,因为我知道是我自己无法开口,提及某些敏感话题,或者问出一些看似会得罪人的问题。多年以来,我一直在内心挣扎,无法对他们说出真理,深怕伤害他们,也怕他们误解我。

上帝通过我自己的牧者让我正视了这个问题。他们会问我一些关于我生命的问题,指出我的不足——即使有些时候这些话题会难以开口。上帝也通过提摩太后书3:16-17说:圣经都是 神所默示的,於教训、督责 、使人归正、教导人学义都是有益的,叫属神的人得以完全,预备行各样的善事。

我看到我的生命是如何被我的牧者口中所说出的上帝的话语改变的,也被提醒祂如何护找我建立教会完成大使命。我决定学习我的牧者,鼓起勇气和我牧养的信徒们沟通。上帝让我分享我自己类似的经历,让他们看到牧者也不是完人,大家都是有缺点的。我们因为这样,所以关系更好了,两人与上帝的关系也更亲近了。我们一起看到上帝如何原谅我们的过错、修补我们的破碎,也更明白上帝不是看重我们的成就,而是通过交托我们的挣扎和弱点,帮助我们变得更像基督。

我们在侍奉的过程中,一定会有失望,尤其是当有我们牧养的信徒离开教会、不成长或与我们的关系变差时。在这些时候,我们更要记住上帝仍然在呼召我们完成祂的大使命,祂也会帮我们度过难熬的岁月。如腓立比书1:6所说,我们不要放弃上帝、也不要放弃人,因为我们扎根福音,让我们有信心——在我们心里动了善工的,必成全这工,直到耶稣基督的日子!

Nov 2020 - Jan 2021

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OUR MANNER AND MISSION IN LIFE 
9 February 2021

Dear church, 
I hope that you are having a blessed new year!  
After 10 months of living in this new norm, I’ve observed that some of us continued to gather momentum and thrive for God, while some of us began to lose momentum and dwindle in our faith.  I believe this difference is due to our life manner. Therefore, I’d like to encourage us with this word that the Lord has spoken to me regarding how we are to live as we pivot upon God in this new year.

One day, an angel of the Lord appeared to the wife of Manoah, an Israelite, telling her that she will be expecting a child. Manoah asked the angel, “what is to be the child’s manner of life and what is his mission?” (Judges 13:12)

This is a crucial question for all of us – after knowing Christ, how should I live (life manner) and what should I live for (life mission)? There are two observations here. 

Firstly it is manner before mission. If we live the manner of our life right, we will also live the mission of our life right. If we are only concerned with our mission – busying with our studies, work, serving, and family – but not working on our life manner, we will have what the Bible describes: ‘a form of godliness but denying its power’. (2 Timothy 3:5a) We still do what we are supposed to do, but if our true love for God is gone, what is left is just an empty shell. Therefore, we must build our life manner strong.

Next, it is both manner and mission. We cannot divorce our life mission from our life manner. If we claim to have the right manner, our mission must follow suit. Our mission is the outflow of our manner. It is not manner or mission but both manner and mission.

As we begin this new year, I’d like to bring us back to the basics of building a strong foundation for our life manner:

  1. Keep your daily appointments with God – God wants us to know Him deeply; it’s in these moments that He will speak to you and refresh you directly. Come daily before God; open bible and open hearts.
  2. Schedule regular times of solitude and community – Find time to withdraw from people in order to enlarge our soul with God AND also find time to fellowship, carry each other’s burdens and encourage one another in the ways of God.
  3. Surrender yourself to God daily – Our hearts are prone to wander away from God; be intentional to come before God and surrender our lives to Him on a daily basis.

Just like how God has used these fundamental things to help me walk with Him through the highs and lows the past 20 plus years, I believe that He will use them to help you walk strong with Him as well. As your pastor, I truly love you. I want us to live our lives in proper biblical fashion, so we will have both life manner and life mission right. This 2021, let us commit to get our basics right, and live a life that is both fruitful in God and fruitful for God. 

In Christ, 
Senior Pastor Jeff

 

Since the Circuitbreaker period in April 2020, we have been working from home. With the flexibility from telecommuting, we realised that while mornings were less hurried, there was a tendency to sleep in more.  Hence, we had to be disciplined to wake up slightly earlier so that we could still set aside at least 15 mins to read God’s Word before we began our work. In the morning, I (Larry) also began to develop the habit of kneeling down and praying to God, to make it my first discipline. I find that the posture of kneeling helps my focus on praying, frames my day right in God’s love, and see things through His perspective. I find myself less anxious and become more aware of God’s presence during stressful situations at work. 

Working from home was also a time where we found it easy to gain weight due to less physical activity. Hence, we decided to eat just 2 meals a day (breakfast and dinner) and have fruits for lunch.  With the change in our lunch habits, we decided to channel the time for personal devotion in addition to mornings, where we could carve out about 45mins to worship God, read His word, or tune in to online resources to enrich our faith.  Not only were we able to upkeep our physical health, we also received spiritual refreshment regularly. Though we didn’t always manage to keep to this lunch devotion 100% of the time, the habit is now ingrained into our lifestyle.

Besides personal devotion, we also partake in weekly virtual fellowship with our workplace Christian group and remain connected with our Hope spiritual family through small group and 1-on-1 meetups, as well as with pre-believers. We also had opportunities to connect with neighbours better where we collaborated together to build a mini community garden, and became good friends with another young family with children as they come to our house regularly to play board games. While being intentional to reach out to our neighbours, we enjoyed the process of building relationships with them. As we seek to refresh them, we find ourselves refreshed as much!

All in all, we are thankful to God that through this season, He has provided us with the opportunities to build deeper relationships, with Him, and with people around us!

Larry & Kelly
(Hope Singapore Adults Axis)

This Life Group, to me, is truly God-given. It has allowed me to have a solid brotherhood to keep each other accountable for our battle with temptations and lust. Shout out to them for being so supportive and loving in encouraging me to chase Christ in not just fighting for purity, but in surrendering other guy-related struggles in my life like pride to God. The unusually long and encouraging text messages from my leader and calls late at night from my LG mates to stay pure, help me know that other people deeply care about how I’m walking with God.

Every Christian man really needs to have a group of trusted brothers to share and do life with; to train us in putting down our egos and admitting our flaws. As guys, it’s so easy to fall into the temptation of keeping our sin private to maintain our outward image. In that same way, having brothers that platonically love each other creates an environment of authenticity and real brotherly love where our vulnerability isn’t taken advantage of and isn’t ridiculed. Choosing God isn’t easy as it’s not in our nature, but thank God He helps us to choose Him!

Ashley
Hope Singapore Tertiary (NS)

At the start of the pandemic, my sub-district members expressed their doubts and fears about what was happening, hence we quickly jumped to online interactions so we wouldn’t feel alone in this journey. However along the way, some members stopped attending Life Group with excuses like work matters, poor connection, and shifting schedules. It was evident that they have neglected to feed themselves with God’s word daily and were sliding away from Him. That was when God prompted me to gather everyone for group devotions on a weekly basis. 

Our devotions focused on igniting our faith through the life of Job, Joseph, Moses and Joshua. Initially only the Life Group Leaders and core team came, but with constant follow-ups and encouragement in the LG chats, members started attending too. 

Through this group devotions, we see many members fully connected into the Word of God, with some even taking the lead in the discussions! We were also able to encourage a new believer who joined us in December 2020. She was having a difficult time, but through the group devotions her faith was reignited, and she now fully commits her time to LG and services. 

Right now, our sub-district’s prayer and worship life has completely evolved and we can evidently see it in the growth of our people. We’ve had 4 water baptisms during this pandemic, even in our bathtubs. We have members who have grown in their discipleship journey, from A to B, and B to C. Members are sharing more and more devotions in the LG chats, and constantly inviting friends from all over the globe to join our online / hybrid LGs. Prayer requests such as new jobs, approval of passes, healing and provisions have been poured out generously by God. We are really pressing in for more because with Jesus, there is always more for us and more to come! 

Deniece
Hope Singapore Filipino

When COVID-19 struck, we in Hope Melbourne were immediately thrown into a state of uncertainty. It became increasingly difficult for international students and fresh grads to stay in Melbourne. Even locals and residents lost their employment and people had to move out of the city. As a Life Group, we needed to find a new way to stay connected. 

We moved our gatherings online and started to livestream services together. We share our learning from the Word regularly and get very real about our prayer requests. We also have crazy times of games which are both hilarious and competitive to the point of shouting over each other on Zoom (and my parents knocking on my door). We persist in meeting together and at the end of every LG session, our hearts are full to the brim. 

The pandemic might be a disruption, but it did not stop God’s work. Prior to that, we were just meeting as Hope Melbourne. But across 2020, we meet virtually across Melbourne, Canberra, Adelaide as well as Singapore. As part of Christmas celebration, we even played Secret Santa and sent each other gifts across the continents!

More importantly, I can see how God’s hand is on His community. Even though we gather over Zoom, Hope Aussie has become such a safe space for us to share vulnerably about our struggles in our walk, to embrace and uplift each other when some of us are in doubt or afraid, and to pray and proclaim truth over each other as we look to God above the challenges.

Truly, Hope is better together. Hope Aussie became my home away from home, and I thank God for it every day! 

Grace 
Hope Melbourne & Adelaide

我们的生活方式和使命 
2021年2月9日

亲爱的教会,
希望你们过着蒙恩的新年!

在这个新常态中生活了10个月后,我观察到的是我们其中的一些人继续为神而积蓄动力而过着兴旺的生命,然而也有一部分人则开始失去动力并逐渐失去信心。 

我相信这种差异是由我们的生活习惯所致。 因此,我想通过神的话语来鼓励我们。这句话是关于我们在新的一年中应该要如何以上帝为中心点而转折。

士师记第十三章十二节中说到,有一天,一位耶和华的使者向一位以色列人玛挪亚的妻子显现,告诉她她必怀孕且生一个儿子。 玛挪亚问使者:“这个孩子的生活方式应该如何,他后来的任务又是什么?”

这个问题对于我们所有人都是至关重要的 – 认识基督之后,我应该如何生活(生活方式)以及我应该为了什么生活(人生使命)? 这里有两个观察结果。

首先是任务前的生活方式。 如果我们拥有正确的生活方式,我们才得以正确地活出我们生命的使命。 如果我们只关心我们的使命 – 忙于学习,工作,服务及家庭 – 而忽略了我们自身的生活方式,我们过的正是圣经所描述的:“有敬神的外表,却否定敬神的实质”。 (提摩太前书第三章第五节)。就算我们仍照着应做的去做,但若我们对上帝的真心消失了,剩下的只会是空壳。 因此,我们必须建立坚强的自身生活方式。

其次,我们要知道重要的既是生活方式也是使命。 我们不能将我们的人生使命与我们的生活方式割开而论。 如果我们声称采取正确的生活方式,我们的使命就必须紧随其后。 我们的使命是我们的生活方式的外流。 不是在生活方式和使命之间选择其一,而是举止和使命都是关键。

在新的一年开始之际,我想带领我们一起为自己的生活方式打下坚实的基础: 

  1.  每天持守和上帝会面 – 上帝要我们深刻认识祂; 正是我们静下心来聆听圣灵的时刻,上帝必会与你直接说话并清新你。 每天到上帝面前来;打开圣经,敞开心扉。
  2. 计划固定时间独处及参加团契 – 抽出时间穿透喧嚣和聆听上帝声音能让我们扩大属灵的内心。同时也要抽出时间参加团契,担负彼此的重担,并通过上帝的指引互相鼓励。
  3. 每天把自己交托给上帝 – 人的心容易远离上帝。我们必须有意识地来到上帝面前,每天重新选择将我们的生命献上于祂。

过去的二十多年,上帝使用了这些基本的教诲指引我无论处于高山或低谷都一样与祂同行。我相信上帝同样的会使用它们来帮助你们与祂同行。作为你们的牧师,我真切的爱护你们。我希望我们活出合上帝心意的生命,好让我们在于生命方式及活出使命两者得利。这个2021年,让我们致力于掌握合上帝心意的生活方式,并结出属上帝及为上帝的果实。

在主里,
张福裕牧师

自2020年4月的封城时期以来,我们一直在家工作。 有了远程办公的灵活性,我们意识到虽然早晨不如往日的匆忙,却也因此有了迟起的习惯。 我们开始自律的规划,每天稍早起床才能预留15分钟的时间阅读神的话语,然后开始工作。早晨的时间,我(Larry)也开始养成屈膝祷告的习惯,使之成为我的定律。我发现屈膝的姿势可以帮助我专注于祷告,在神的爱中构建起我即将过的一天,并从上帝的角度观看事物。我发现自己少了焦虑,在工作压力大的时候也更深切的意识到上帝的同在。

在家工作的时期也使我们体力活动减少而容易增重。 因此,我们决定每天只吃两顿饭(早餐和晚餐),而午餐只吃水果。 随着午餐习惯的改变,我们决定除了早上以外,在其他时间投入个人灵修的时间,在那里我们可以用大约45分钟的时间来敬拜上帝,阅读祂的话语,或者收听在线资源以充实我们属灵的信心。 我们不仅能够保持身体健康,还定期获得属灵的滋养。 尽管我们不是100%地做到中午的灵修,但这种习惯现在已经根深蒂固地融入了我们的生活方式。

除了个人灵修以外,我们也每个星期定时参加工作场所重的基督徒团体在线团契,并通过参加教会小组及一对一聚会与希望教会的弟兄姐妹们保持联系;我们甚至以同样的方式与非信徒保持联系!因为封城的关系,我们也又更多机会与邻里建立关系。我们合作建立了小型的社区花园,并通过定期的棋盘游戏与另一家有小孩子的家庭成了好友。在致力于和邻居家庭传达福音的同时,我们也很享受与他们建立友好关系的过程。我们在祝福他们的同时,自己也蒙福了!

总的来说,我们感谢上帝在这个季节给了我们机会;无论是与祂或是我们身边的人,建立更深入的关系!

Larry & Kelly,
Hope Singapore Adults Axis

我的小组,对我而言,真的是来自上帝宝贵的一份礼物。它使我有牢固的兄弟情谊,可以在面对诱惑及情欲的时候可以彼此勉励。在这里想感谢他们那么有爱,也那么真切的鼓励追逐活出像耶稣基督的生命,不仅仅为个人的纯洁而战,还有我生命中各种的挣扎,如傲娇也要降服于上帝。这段时间,我的领袖及小组也会通过短讯及深夜的通话来鼓励我保持纯正。他们使我体会我的兄弟深切的关心我是否活出合神心意的生命。

每个男生都需要有一群值得信赖的弟兄互相分享彼此的生命并且在生命的旅程中与彼此同行;好让我们训练如何放下自我而勇于承认自己的缺陷。作为男人,很容易陷入罪恶却又保持私密,好让我们能够保持我们的外在形象。 而若拥有彼此真诚相爱的兄弟则会营造一个让彼此能够交心的环境。在这样的环境中我们示众的软弱并不会被嘲笑伙计风, 好让我们可以坦诚相待。选择以上帝的旨意生活并不容易,因为这不是我们的本性,但是感谢上帝,祂帮助我们选择祂!

Ashley
Hope Singapore Tertiary (NS)

在疫情刚开始的时期,我的小组成员们对于当时状况表示怀有疑虑及恐惧。因此我们迅速的开始了在线小组,好让彼此不会再这段时间感到孤独。然而在过程中,一些小组成员因为各种借口,如,工作忙,网络差,等原因停止参与小组活动。很显然的能观察出这些小组成员开始忽略聆听神的话语,而渐渐的远离上帝。那是上帝促使我每周一次召集大家参加团体灵修的时候。

我们的团体灵修专注于以了解约伯,约瑟夫,摩西和约书亚的人生,并从而点燃我们的信心。最初,只有各组的小组组长及核心团队参与团体灵修。但渐渐通过彼此的鼓励,成员也开始参加团体灵修。

通过团体灵修,我们看到很多成员更深入的了解神的话语,甚至有成员开始牵头讨论!我们还通过灵修鼓励了一位于去年12月加入我们的新信徒。她那时候正处于一段艰难的时期,但通过团体灵修,她的信心重新燃起。现在,她都有固定参加小组聚会及周末礼拜。

现在,我们分区的属灵生活完全进化了,在人们的生命中也结出了成长的果实。在疫情期间,我们见证了4场洗礼,即使在各自的浴缸中仍然进行。我们也见证了成员在门徒训练的旅程有所成长;从A到B,从B到C。成员们在线上的小组聊天室中分享自己从个人灵修的所学,并不断要请来自世界各地的朋友参与我们的线上小组团契。有些人正申请新工作,申请通行证,寻求医治及实体供应;而上帝也丰盛的满足了众人的祷告。我们还是要恳切的渴慕更多,因为在耶稣里,我们有着莫大的盼望!

Deniece
Hope Singapore Filipino

当疫情刚开始的时候,我们在墨尔本的希望小组陷入了不安的状态。对于留学生及毕业生来说,留在墨尔本越发困难。甚至墨尔本当地居民都失去了工作,导致人们不得不搬出城市。作为教会小组,我们需要找到一种保持联系的新方法。

我们开始了线上聚会,也开始一起在线上参加敬拜聚会。我们也定期分享各自在圣经中的启示,并坦诚和彼此分享自己的祷告需求。我们也会有非常疯狂的游戏时间,既搞笑又富有竞争性。有时候我们甚至在线上喊叫,使得我的父母会敲门询问到底发生什么事。我们坚持聚会,而在每一次的团契后,我们各自的心里都很满足。

冠状病毒疫情看似是干扰,但并没有阻止上帝动工。在疫情发生之前,我们只限于墨尔本这个城市。但在2020这一年期间,我们的聚会横跨着墨尔本,堪培拉,阿德莱德以及新加坡举行。庆祝圣诞节活动的一部分,我们甚至互相往各地送礼物给对方!

更重要的是,我能确切的看到上帝如何保守祂的子民。既是我们在线上聚会,希望澳大利亚也已成为了一个让人感到安全的空间,好让彼此可以真实的分享途中的挣扎,也能够在彼此感到怀疑或恐惧是互相鼓励,并未彼此祷告也宣扬真理,一同在困境中仰望上帝。

确实,同心协作,更为美好!希望澳大利亚成为了我家以外的家,我也每天为此感谢上帝!

Grace 
Hope Melbourne & Adelaide

Aug - Oct 2020

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10 November 2020

Dear church,

I hope you have been keeping well in the Lord!

We had such a great time recounting and celebrating the victories we have experienced in Christ as a church in the year 2020. It truly warms my heart to see many of you persevering and experiencing God’s peace and presence in this confusing and uncertain season!

While Focus 2020 has ended and we are preparing for Focus 2021, it is no surprise that we will still meet challenges and uncertainties as the pandemic continues. Because of this, we must always keep our hope in Christ in every season. And as the Apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 1:11-14, we can do this through the Holy Spirit!

Just like how seals carry a meaning of authentication and ownership on shipping and letters, the Holy Spirit is the seal given by God as evidence that we are truly His children. We belong to God not because of what we do, but because of what He has done for us. And because we belong to God, we can have hope even in the worst of times. God is committed to us; He watches over us. So whenever we feel alone or afraid, or whenever we feel that we need the assurance that God is with us, I encourage you to pray in the Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is also a deposit assuring us of our inheritance, which is our total redemption and the promise of God’s future glory when Jesus returns! In the present climate that we are living in, it can be difficult for us to see how the inheritance that God has promised can come to pass. In that light, let’s learn to wait patiently and continue to pray in the Spirit, trusting that even though we may not understand our situation fully, God does. 

So if you have experienced victories in certain areas of your life, thank God and share these stories to as many people as possible. For those areas that you have yet to experience victory, let’s not lose heart. Let’s continue to pray in the Spirit and keep our hope in God. Those that hope in God will not be disappointed!

In Christ, 
Senior Pastor Jeff

   

It wasn’t easy transiting from NS to Uni. I struggled with the rigour of school and face-paced lessons. At that time, I also just became a Life Group Leader and was still getting used to leading my LG and conducting meetings. It was exhausting juggling my school work and leading the LG, and soon fear and uncertainty crept into my heart. My constant tight schedule stressed me and I seriously doubted if I could ‘make it’ in this life station.  

The word ‘victory’ seemed so far from my reality. But as I wrestled with God, He reminded me of His first victory in my life, which is on the Cross. Because He conquered death and gave me a new life, even with my inadequacies, I am already living a life of victory in Him. I am here to give my best in what I can do and trust in His plans!

And indeed, God delivered me in my anxiety. One night, I had only two hours to study for a next-day test, as my day was packed with lectures and planning for LG. As this test carried a high percentage of my grade, I started to panic. I could only say a short prayer to trust God and revised with whatever time I had. The test questions turned out to be really difficult, but to my surprise, I was tackling them with ease and confidence. Solutions just came to me and amazingly I was one of the few people in class that managed to finish the paper!

I was just in awe of it all. It was impossible to complete the test with so little revision. God had shown me His providence over my life as I chose to honour Him with my time. Victory in my life has become much clearer in my current life station – as I give God my 5 loaves and 2 fishes, He never shortchanges me but multiplies what I gave for His glory. In this exams period, I saw how God was with me in every step of the way; how much He cared for me and how faithful He was. The same God that brought me through my NS journey and is now with me in my Uni journey. He is a God of all seasons, never failing in His love and faithful through it all!

James (LYTE)

There was a lot of strife between my parents as I was growing up. Quarrels were a daily affair, which sometimes turned physical. Because of this, I’ve always held a grudge against my dad. Even when I became a Christian, I’d either ignore him or shout in my replies. Despite praying and deciding in my heart to forgive, I was afraid to do so because hating him was what I’ve known my whole life. 

With more time to reflect during Circuit Breaker, I found that the only thing stopping me from forgiving him was myself. As we always pray the Lord’s Prayer, “Forgive us our debts as we have also forgiven our debtors,” I realised that if Love keeps no records of wrongs, why am I living as though Christ has not died and risen for my sins to be forgiven? So one night, I decided to talk to my dad. I walked in and out of his bedroom a few times while he read the papers. Awkward and afraid as I felt, I finally sat down beside him and said, “Daddy, erm, I just wanted to say I forgive you… for everything that happened in the past and just everything. And thanks for taking care of us too. I know it’s not easy these 20+ years, especially now.”

He looked up to listen and paused for a short while before replying. We then had a short but comforting chat. My family isn’t the touchy type, but when I placed my hand on his I could tell he was comforted. Some time later, he hurt his leg and it swelled a fair bit. I hesitated to pray for him but with my aunt’s encouragement, I asked and he said yes! It was miraculous as he used to bar my sister and I from going to church and even ensued a cold war when I invited him to an event.

Today, our relationship is a lot more relaxed. I share with him about my work and we discuss the news together. He also greets me affectionately when I come home. My sister is also more receptive towards him and talking more with him now. As 1 Corinthians 3:16 goes, I am convinced that God is working behind-the-scenes. And because Christ has won for us, He’s waiting for us realise it and walk with Him in victory, even though sometimes it looks nothing like it!

Jaslin Goh (Adults)

On 17 April, I lost my job of 6 years and was given same-day notice. I was caught off guard and tears just fell uncontrollably. How can I find a job during the Circuit Breaker? If my visit pass expires and I have to return to the Philippines, when can I come back again to be with my husband? I couldn’t sleep that night and asked God to strengthen my heart. As I poured out, the Holy Spirit impressed on me that my husband and I should worship at dawn. The self-pity party was over – time to wipe my tears, get up and move on from what I have lost. 

Over the next few months, I soaked myself in prayer, worship and declared God’s Word to remind myself about His promises. God deposited new hope into my heart and gave me new ideas. I applied actively, posted vlogs to encourage viewers to press on in this season, received new anointing in leading the sub-district, and renewed my passion in outreach. In those months, only 1 company called me for an interview but they did not agree to my negotiation for Sundays off. I knew that my ministry will be compromised, so I told God that while I was so desperate to find a job, my prayer was not just to be hired but let His will be done. Eventually, I was not hired.

There were many times I was about to give up, but my husband and leaders cheered me on and declared that I will surely find a job. The overwhelming support from the community boosted my faith to believe God for a miracle, and His favour eventually showed up in my husband’s company. There was initially no position and I did not have the relevant experience. However after a month, my husband’s boss decided to hire me. Praise God for making a way!

God has the intention of replacing what you have lost with something greater. I used to miss some services and church events, and returned home late. Now, I am earning a higher salary and with a better schedule, I now have more time to serve God and be with my husband! A prayer that we have been waiting for has been answered during these tough times because God wants to show His glory and power to us!

Krizzel Ann Gabi

Kirti and I have been close friends since 2010 when we were schoolmates. When I became a Christian and shared about Jesus with her, she didn’t listen and rejected each time I shared. A few years later when I joined Hope Delhi in pioneering a Life Group, I invited Kirti to the LG. It was initially difficult to share with Kirti about Christianity as she believed that all gods are the same. However she was attracted by the love, care, and acceptance she received from the LG despite her insecurities. She became curious to know more about Jesus and came regularly to LG. After a few months of personally experiencing the reality of God’s love for her, Kirti accepted Jesus as her Lord and Saviour and now is able to address her insecurities with faith and confidence in Christ! As Kirti comes from a conservative family, it’s a big deal for her to be given permission to leave the house on Sundays and attend LGs. During the COVID season, we started having LG online. Her mum observed her during that time and asked her out of curiosity what this was about, so Kirti shared what she learned. Gradually, her mum started sitting next to her and listened to the teachings of God’s word! Now whenever we have gatherings at Kirti’s place, her mum is very excited to see us. She has also stopped asking Kirti to practice in the idol worship that the family does, and even sends prayer requests every now and then! Kirti’s testimony has actually moved my heart. Seeing how she has denied Jesus so many times in the past, but now choosing to follow Him, it really shows that it is the love of Christ that chased her heart and how contagious His love is! Kushal (Hope Delhi)

2020年11月10日

亲爱的弟兄姐妹们,

希望 你们这阵子在主里有平安!

回顾2020年,我们教会的大家庭见证与庆祝了许多在基督里的胜利。尽管这个年头因冠病疫情显得混乱与不确定,看到大家在主里的那份坚定,并从而感受到神与我们同在并赐予我们平安,这叫我十分欣慰。

虽然展望2020已告一段落,教会也在筹备展望2021的事项,疫情当下,我们无疑还会面对各种挑战与不确定的因素。正因如此,我们更要时时在基督里有盼望。正如保罗在以弗所书1:11-14中提及,我们靠着圣灵一定能做到。

在运输过程或在书信上,印记代表了那样东西得到了认证,属于某某人。相同的,圣灵就是神赐予我们的印记,证明了我们是祂真正的孩子。我们属于神,并不是因为我们的作为,而是因为神为我们做的一切。正因为我们属于神,即便再艰难的时刻,我们都能有着盼望与希望。神承诺看顾我们,所以每当我们感到孤独或害怕,或觉得需要提醒自己神与我们同在时,我鼓励大家在灵里祷告。

圣灵也是我们得基业的凭据,而这基业正是我们的救赎,是耶稣归来时应许的荣耀。

我们可能在现今的生活里,很难理解神所应许的基业如何能够实现。即便我们不能完全了解自己的处境,让我们学着耐心地等待,并不断地在灵里祷告, 倚靠并相信全知的神。

如果你在生活的某方面得到了胜利的话,记得感谢主并把这些故事与他人分享吧!至于那些未得到突破与胜利的方面,我们也不要灰心。让我们继续在圣灵里祷告,在主里有盼望。

在主里,
张福裕牧师

   

服完兵役后开始大学生涯,一路走来不易。大学教育的严峻和课堂的步伐,让我感到吃力。同时,我刚当成为教会的小组组长,正在学习与习惯领导小组与小组会议。在兼顾课业的当儿领导小组,让我感到身心疲惫,我也渐渐地感到害怕与不安。排得满满的时间表给我带来许多压力,我也质疑自己是否能在这个人生阶段熬过去。

得到胜利,似乎遥遥可及。但当我在内心与神搏斗时,神提醒了我,祂在我生命中的第一个胜利。正因神在十字架上战胜了死亡,并给了我新生命,即便我有什么不足之处,我已经在主里得胜。我只需要尽自己的全力,并倚靠并相信神的计划。

不出所料,神果然将我从焦虑中救出。有一晚,因为当天有许多讲堂与筹备小组活动的缘故,我仅剩两个小时温习隔天的考试。由于那次的考试占学期成绩的大部分,我开始慌张起来。我只能祷告并倚靠神,并把握仅有的时间努力温习。隔天的考试着实不易,但出乎我的意料之外的是,我竟能从容并有自信地完成一道道题目。最神奇的是,我竟也是班里能完成考卷的少数学生之一。

我太惊叹了!在这么短的时间里温习并能完成考卷几乎不可能的。当我在时间安排上选择敬拜上帝时,神也使我生命中所需的得到充足。我也了解到,当我把手中的那五个饼两条鱼交给神时,祂不但不会亏待我,还会因为祂的荣耀而将其加倍。在我现今人生阶段里,在主里得胜这件事也因此明朗了许多。在考试期间,我见证了神与我同在,见证了神如何地关爱我,见证了神的信实。那个带我走过兵役时期的神,如今正带着我走着大学的时期。神在我们生命的不同季节,依旧慈爱、信实!

James (LYTE)

在成长的岁月里,我的父母感情并不是特别好。他们天天起争执,偶尔还会因此动粗。也因为这样,我一直对父亲怀恨在心。即便已经成为一名基督徒,我还是会经常不理睬他,或喊着回答他。尽管我试着祷告并下决心要宽恕父亲,我却害怕这么做,因为我这辈子只懂得怎么讨厌他。

阻断措施期间带给自己更多的反思空间,我发觉唯一阻止自己宽恕父亲的理由是我自己。就像主祷文里,我们常向神祷告“免我们的债,如同我们免了人的债”。我也从中明白,如果爱不计较过犯,我的生活方式 为何相似耶稣基督没有因宽恕我的罪而死而复生 。所以有一晚,我决定和父亲谈话,我在他在阅读报纸时走进了房间好几次。尽管自己又尴尬又害怕,我终于鼓起勇气坐在他身旁,说道:“爸爸,我只想说,有关以前发生的事情和一切,我原谅你……也谢谢你照顾我们。我知道这二十年来不容易,尤其是现在。”

父亲抬起头来,沉思了一会儿才回答我。我们接下来的谈话也虽简短但窝心。在我的家庭里,我们不善于肢体表达,但当我把手轻轻地摆在父亲手上,我感觉得到他的欣慰。在一阵子过后,父亲的腿部受伤,肿了起来。我当时犹豫着是否为父亲祷告,但在阿姨的鼓励下,我鼓起勇气向父亲提及,他也竟然答应了!想当年,父亲曾经不让我和妹妹到教会去,也曾因为我邀请他到教会的聚会而与我冷战,父亲教授祷告这事简直就是个奇迹。

如今,我们的父女关系也变得融洽许多。我能和父亲分享工作上的事,偶尔也会谈谈新闻。每当我回家时,他也会很亲切地问候。妹妹也比较能够接受父亲,也比以前更常和他谈话。就像哥林多前书3:16提到一样,我十分肯定神在幕后主宰着。正因为耶稣基督已为我们取得胜利,尽管我们有时不察觉,祂只是等着我们明白这点,并与祂一起在胜利里走着道路。

Jaslin Goh, 成人组

 

4月17日,我失去己经做了6年的工作,並且还当场被解雇。 我措手不及,眼泪不由自主地流了下来。我如何能在断路器期间找到工作? 如果我的长期探访准证到期而我必须返回菲律宾,那我什么时候能再返回来与我丈夫在一起呢? 那晚我彻夜难眠,只求上帝来坚定我的心。 当我倾诉时,圣灵给了我一个很深刻的印象,我和我的丈夫必须在黎明时崇拜。 自怨自艾的时刻已经结束了- 是时候擦干眼泪,起床并放开我已失去的而继续前进。

在接下来的几个月中,我沉浸在祈祷,敬拜中,并宣告上帝的话语,以提醒自己有关祂的应许。上帝将新的希望存入我的心中,给了我新的想法。我积极申请工作,也发布了微录,以鼓励观众在这个季节继续迈进,并在领导分区方面获得恩膏,也重新激发了我对宣教的热情。在那几个月里,只有一家公司打电话来给我面试,但他们不同意让我洽商主日休假。我知道这将会使我的事工受到妥协,所以我告诉上帝,尽管我非常渴望找到工作,但我的祷告不仅是要被雇用,而是要让祂的旨意成就。最终,我没有被录用。

我曾多次想要放弃,但我的丈夫和教会领袖为我打气并宣告我一定会找到工作。 团体极大的支持激发了我的信心,来相信上帝能赐我奇迹,而祂的恩惠最终显现在我丈夫的公司中。 最初他的公司里没有职位,而我也没有相关经验。 但是一个月后,我丈夫的老板却决定雇用我。 赞美上帝为我开路!

上帝有意用更优越的东西代替你所失去的东西。 我曾经错过一些崇拜和教会活动,並且很晚才能回家。 现在,我的薪水更高,时间表也更合适,我现在有更多时间事奉上帝并与我的丈夫在一起! 在这艰难的时期,我们一直在等待的祷告得到了回应,因为上帝要向我们展示他的荣耀和力量!

Krizzel Ann Gabi

自2010年我们成为同学以来,我和Kirti一直是密友。 当我成为基督徒并与她分享关于耶稣的信息时,她却不愿聆听并每次都拒绝我的分享。 几年后,当我加入德里希望教会来开拓新小组时,我邀请Kirti来参加生命小组。

最初我很难与Kirti分享基督教,因为她相信所有神灵都是一样的。 尽管她缺乏安全感,她却被生命小组成员们的爱心,关怀和接纳所吸引。 她变得好奇,想更多地了解耶稣,并定期地来参加生命小组。 当她亲身经历了上帝对她的爱的几个月之后,Kirti接受了耶稣作为她的救主,现在她可以用对基督的信念与信心来克服她的不安全感!

由于Kirti来自一个保守的家庭,因此允许她能在星期天离开家以及去参加生命小组是一件很重大的事。 在冠状病毒病疫情期间,我们开始透过网路在线上进行小组聚会。 她的妈妈在那段时间观察了她,并出于好奇而问她这是怎么回事,于是Kirti分享了她所学到的东西。 渐渐地,她的妈妈开始坐在她旁边,听取上帝话语的教导! 现在,每当我们在Kirti的家聚会时,她的妈妈都很高兴见到我们。 她也不再要求Kirti进行家庭中的偶像崇拜活动,她甚至还不时向我们发出代祷请求!

Kirti的见证真的让我很感动。 看到她过去曾多次否认耶稣,但现在却选择跟随耶稣,这确实表明,基督的爱一直在追逐她的心,祂的爱是多么具有感染力!

Kushal, 德利希望教会

Kushal (Hope Delhi)

May - July 2020

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11 August 2020

Dear church,

We have come to the second half of 2020 – while no one could have possibly foreseen how a virus can rock our world, I am so encouraged to see our churches staying united and in community during this challenging season. I have heard countless stories of Life Groups that are staying committed to grow deeper in God, looking out for those with financial and emotional needs, and reaching out and sharing the gospel to new people on online platforms.

Church, our lifestyles and methods may have changed, but the vision and mission of Christ remain the same. We are to stay focused and committed to Love Neighbours, Make Disciples, and Plant Churches and Life Groups, in Singapore and all over the world. Empowered by the Holy Spirit, we will continue to shine God’s light to darkness, so that more can come to know the saving hope of Jesus. In Christ, we have won!

With you, 
Senior Pastor Jeff Chong

Luis and Brenda

 

On 17 April, a member that we were reconnecting on Facebook asked us to pray for Luis, her friend who is living in the UK. He was facing health challenges and had been transferred to ICU. God prompted us to call his wife, Brenda, to offer comfort and prayer. We sensed her heavy heart and got her consent to pray for Luis as a community. We scheduled prayer meetings every night on Facebook, where we read Scripture, heard from God, and exercised our spiritual gifts as the Holy Spirit led us. 

As we came together in unity, we saw how the Word of God always confirmed the visions that the Spirit impressed on us about Luis being discharged from the hospital. One brother saw a vision of a man lying on his bed and standing up, and God led us to Mark 2:1-12 about the healing of the paralysed man who was brought to Jesus by his friends. Brenda was touched and acknowledged the presence of God in every meeting.

On 26 April, we declared by faith that Luis was healed by the power of God. The following day, Luis was indeed home and discharged from the hospital! On that day, Brenda and Luis, together with 3 of Brenda’s sisters, acknowledged that God is the Saviour and Lord and the Healer of our souls. 5 people came into relationship with our Christ through this. Glory to God!

God is a miracle worker and promise keeper. Even when we did not know Brenda, He was keenly aware about her situation and led us to call her in moments of desperation. Through praying for this couple, God taught us how to depend on Him and develop a spiritual fervour to see Him move supernaturally. We also personally experienced a deepened intimacy with Him and a strengthened faith, as we witnessed His divine intervention in their lives. Indeed, the pandemic will never stop us from advancing God’s kingdom – nothing is beyond His sovereignty and control. We believe by faith that God will continue to grow His church as we follow after His leadership!

Roger, Hope Wakefield

 

During this pandemic, many church members lost their jobs without any severance pay. Yet we saw how God provided for and through our church as we continued to trust and obey Him!

While we couldn’t physically gather for service, we had to continue paying rent for our venue, which takes up 70% of our monthly tithe. We didn’t raise additional funds for the service rental as our members were already tithing what they could. We could only pray that the venue owner would lower the rental fees. After 3 months of praying and negotiating, the owner graciously asked for only 20% of the fees till the end of quarantine – praise God!

With the reduced costs, we were able to financially help many members and their families. We started by sending food to their homes and giving love offerings to those who live far away. In June, we gave them seed money to start their own home business with whatever skills they have, so they could generate their own income. Renzo, one of our members, got retrenched and couldn’t pay his rent and support his family. But he makes really good burgers, so we encouraged him to sell burgers and gave him seed money for the ingredients. Just this month, he has made enough to cover his rent and his family’s expenses!

We also saw some members being faith-filled in their giving! This is Jeff’s story:

“I lost my job without any severance pay. With no income and little savings, I struggled to pay for my house rent and support my wife and 1 year old daughter. One night, I woke up from a dream where God told me to give financially to another family in need. I was so confused and fearful – I didn’t have a job and needed money to support my family; how can I give when I don’t have much myself? I couldn’t go back to sleep the whole night.

The next day at online service, we learned about God’s providence through five loaves and two fishes. God reminded me that He could feed so many people with so little. So I took a step of faith to send some money to the family in need. I felt so much pain in my heart, but I decided to obey God. Later that evening, my work supervisor called and said that he would pay for my rent and food. The very person who fired me is now providing for my family – this can only be the work of God!”

Indeed, whoever refreshes others will be refreshed (Proverbs 11:25). Many will only look out for themselves in difficult situations, but God calls us to be faithful to give and to be generous in meeting the needs of others, trusting that He will multiply and supply all our needs!

Siew Yee (Hope Chile)

COVID-19 has disrupted our lives in many ways – some experience loss of income or struggle with additional expenses for essential items. That’s why we have set up Hope Fund to financially help church members and regular attendees with these needs. And thanks to your generous giving, as of 22 July, we have collected $268,460 and have helped 133 people. Here are some of the stories of people you have blessed!

“I am a Malaysian studying in Singapore. Both my parents lost their job due to Malaysia’s Extended Movement Control Order. As a foreigner, I can’t take on part-time jobs here as well. Being stuck in Singapore, with rents and daily necessities to pay for, COVID-19 fund helped me to alleviate the financial burden greatly.”
Jonathan, Tertiary

“I stay in a rented house with a few housemates. Since April 2020, I have been asked to take No Pay Leave and risk of getting laid off by my company. Been trying to live on depleting savings through the past few months. COVID-19 fund supported my living expenses and I am grateful for the church!” 
Marchelyn, Adults


“I have been told that my contract will be terminated on 2 June. I received my April’s salary but was uncertain if my company will still pay me May’s salary. My husband is currently not working and I am the only one supporting my family, and my 6-month old son in the Philippines. Hope Fund was a surprised blessing. I am so thankful that we have a generous and very helpful church.” 
Jemabel, Philippines 

When Circuit Breaker first started, I felt very comfortable being in my own bubble. Midway into CB, God reminded me that there are people out there with very real needs in this season, and I was to show Christ’s love to others by caring for them. I started to ask some of my classmates how they were doing and discovered that they have either graduated or are in their last semester. Being part of the University group and in this campus, I realised I should reach out to freshmen and juniors.

It was so hard to make new friends online! None of the ways I was used to making friends before CB worked. I started to grow desperate to want to know freshmen and tried many ways to know new people. One day, I suddenly had the idea of tapping on online events organised by my school to connect to new people. This was something my LG hasn’t tried before, but I decided to be creative in connecting to people in that manner.

Before I went to one of the online school events, I prayed, “God, please lead me to people with open hearts.” Initially, it was awkward because no one turned on their video. But when we went into the smaller breakout rooms, people turned on their cameras one by one and started sharing more! At the end of the event, I made a bold move to text some of them to invite them to my Go LG. I texted 8 people and was just expecting just 1 or 2 replies as we all didn’t know each other well. But God really moved – 6 people replied that they were interested to come and one of them even invited his friend! 

In the end, most of my contacts couldn’t make it because it was the submissions and exams period. But my contact’s friend came for both our Go LG and for our Special Service in July despite it being the exam season! It was his first time attending a church service and it was a good first step that we were able to share more about Jesus with him!

The harvest is really plentiful but the workers are few. If we are willing to go to the harvest field, God will provide a way even when it seems so impossible. We can have the confidence to boldly try and be creative, and trust that God will definitely move in ways we cannot imagine. He is the Lord of the harvest!

Alonza, Hope Uni

亲爱的教会,

就这样,我们来到了2020的后半段-没有人会预想到,一个病毒对我们世界的影响能那么大。虽然我们现处在这么艰难的时刻,我很庆幸看到我们教会的团结、弟兄姐妹们同心合意地聚集。我听说了无数关于各个生命小组的故事:不论是积极恒切地在上帝里成长、在财务和情绪方面相互照应、或是在网上认识新的朋友,向他们传福音。

亲爱的教会,我们的生活作息虽然有所改变,但我们在基督里的愿景和使命仍然不变。我们得专注于在新加坡和世界各地爱邻舍,建门徒,立教会与小组。我们会继续借着圣灵的大能为上帝发光,让更多人认知耶稣的救恩。在基督里,我们已得胜!

与你同在, 
张主任牧师

Luis and Brenda

 

4月17日,当我们通过脸书(Facebook)和一位教友重新联系时,她恳请我们为她居住在英国的朋友路易斯(Luis)祷告。路易斯身体状况恶化、刚被转入加护病房。上帝提示我们打电话给他的太太布伦达(Brenda),给予她安慰与为她祷告。我们能感受到她的心情沉重,并得到她的同意一起为路易斯祷告。我们安排每天晚上在脸书上为路易斯祷告,我们也一起读圣经、聆听上帝并在圣灵的引导下使用我们的属灵的恩赐。

每当我们团结合一时,我们都会见证圣经确认我们的异象-根据圣灵,路易斯将会安全的出院。在一位弟兄的异象中,他见到一个本来躺在床上的男子站起来。上帝带领这位弟兄想起马可福音2:1-12中叙述的故事-耶稣医治了朋友们带到他面前的一位瘫痪的男子。布伦达非常感动,并在每次网上会面时都认知上帝与我们同在。

4月26日,我们以十足的信心宣告路易斯以上帝的大能被医治了。隔天,路易斯确实出院、回到家里了!就在当日,路易斯、布伦达与她家中三个姐妹承认耶稣为他们的救主与心灵的治疗师。经过这些波折,五个人接受了基督。让所有荣耀归于上帝!

上帝创造奇迹并信守承诺。在我们认识布伦达之前,祂已清楚她的逆境,并带领我们到她的身旁。上帝通过我们为这对夫妇祷告的经历教导我们凡事要倚靠祂,期盼祂展现超自然的大能。在见证到上帝为他们出乎意外的供给后,我们和上帝的关系与对祂的信心也都加深了。显然的,疫情不会制止我们扩大上帝的国度-一切都在主权的上帝的掌控中!我们相信在我们跟随上帝的带领时,上帝则会继续让祂的教会成长。

罗杰, 希望教会(韦克菲尔德)

 

疫情中,许多教会中的成员在没有得到遣散费的状况下失去了工作。然而,我们依然保持对上帝的信心、继续顺从祂。我们见证了上帝如何供应我们,也通过教会供应他人!

我们虽然不能聚集在一起崇拜,但是还得继续支付会场的租金。租金占十一奉献收入的百分之七十。我们知道成员们已经尽所能地奉献了,所以没有额外向他们筹集租金的费用。我们只能祷告,希望会场的房东会减低租金。经过三个月的祷告和协商,房东好心地答应我们在解封之前把租金减低为百分之二十-感谢上帝!

租金减低后,我们就有能力帮助教会中面对经济困难的成员与他们的家人。我们刚开始时通过送饭、给予爱心供给帮助他们。六月起,我们改发种子基金,让他们利用技能做生意,赚取收入。我们当中的一位成员伦佐(Renzo)本来被裁员后无法支付房租和养家糊口。但是,我们知道他做的汉堡很好吃,鼓励他用种子基金购买做汉堡的材料,试着卖汉堡。这个月,他已经赚取足够的钱,能够付房租和养家了!

我们还见证了一些成员的信心奉献! 这是杰夫( Jeff)的故事:

“我失去了工作,没有任何遣散费。 基于零收入和非常少的积蓄,我挣扎于支付房租并养活我的妻子和1岁的女儿。 某一天晚上,我从梦中醒来,上帝告诉我要以经济上捐助另一个有需要的家庭。 我既是困惑也是恐惧 — 我没有工作,还需要钱来养家;自己处于缺乏当中,要怎么帮助他人?我整夜都辗转难眠。

第二天,在线上聚会中,我们通过五饼二鱼的神迹学到上帝的丰盛供应。 上帝提醒我,祂可以用看似少的食物喂养那么多人。 因此,我迈出了信心的一步,向有需要的家庭寄了一些钱。 我内心感到非常痛苦,但我决定服从上帝。 那天晚上,我的公司主管打来电话,说他要为我支付房租和食物费用。 解雇我的那个人正是先在为我的家庭供养的人 — 这只能是上帝的作为!”

滋润人的,连自己也得滋润 (箴言11章25节)。多数人在困境中只会为自己着想,但上帝呼召我们要忠于奉献,慷慨满足他人的需求,相信上帝一定会加倍提供并满足我们所有的需求!

Siew Yee, Hope Chile

COVID-19 在各个方面打乱了我们的生活 – 有人经历了收入损失,或挣扎于支付额外费用。 因此,我们成立了希望基金,给予教会成员及定期参加者财务帮助。 因为你的慷慨解囊,截至7月22日,我们已筹集到268,460元并帮助了133人。 以下是你所祝福的人的一些故事!

“我是在新加坡念书的马来西亚人。 我的父母都因马来西亚的限行令 (Extended Movement Control )令而失业。 作为外国人,我也不能在这里兼职。 我被困在新加坡,需要支付房租和日常用品,而COVID-19 基金帮助我大大减轻了财务负担。”
Jonathan, 理工学院组

“我与室友住在一所出租房子里。 自2020年4月起,我被要求休无薪假,并有被公司解雇的风险。 过去的几个月让我的储蓄日渐消耗。 COVID-19基金支持了我的生活费用,我感谢教会!”
Marchelyn, 成人组

“我收到通知,我的合同将于6月2日终止。 虽然我领了4月份的薪水,但不确定我的公司是否仍将支付5月份的薪水。 我的丈夫目前没有工作,我以一己之力养家,在菲律宾还有六个月大的儿子。 希望基金是一个意外的祝福。 我非常感谢我们拥有一个慷慨而非常乐于助人的教会。”
Jemabel, 菲利宾成人组

当封城刚开始时,我处于自己的舒适圈而感到很自在。 进入封城的中途,上帝提醒我,这个时候有很多人有实际需求,而我可以通过实际关爱向他人表达基督的爱。 我开始问候身边的同学,询问他们过得怎么样,而发现他们已经毕业或是在校园生活的最后一个学期了。 作为大学团体的一员,在这个校园里,我意识到我应该多与新生和学弟学妹接触。

在线上结交新朋友真是太难了!在封城之前交新朋友的方式现在已经无效。 我开始拼命想认识新生,并尝试了很多认识新朋友的新方法。 有一天,我突然想到利用学校组织的在线活动来结识新朋友。 这是我的小组之前从未尝试过的,但是我决定要以突破性的方式与人建立联系。! 

在参加其中一项在线学园活动之前,我祈祷:“上帝,请祢引领我认识心扉打开的人。” 最初,真的很尴尬,因为没有人在线上打开他们的视频相机。 但是,当我们进入较小的分组讨论室时,人们一一打开相机并开始分享更多! 活动结束时,我大胆地发了短信给其中一些人邀请他们加入我的Go LG。 我给8个人发了短信,原以为只会收到一两个回复,因为我们彼此之间不太熟。 但是上帝真的动工了 – 一共6个人回复说他们有兴趣参与,而其中一个甚至邀请了自己的朋友!

最后,由于那是准备考试与提交作业的忙碌时期,这些新朋友大多没能参与聚会。 但是其中有一位新朋友所邀请的朋友,尽管是考试时期,仍参加了Go LG 以及教会的特备节目! 这是他第一次参加教堂礼拜,也是让我们能够与他分享更多关于耶稣的良好的第一步!

要收的庄稼真的多,做工的人却少。若我们愿意到庄稼田地耕种,上帝必然会在看似不可能当中打开新道路。我们可以大胆的创新尝试,并相信上帝一定会以我们无法想象的方式动工。耶稣就是庄稼的主!

Alonza, 希望教会新加坡大学组