For All People
18 Nov 2022
In September, some services in Hope Singapore taught about sexuality. We chose to teach this important lesson as the Singapore Government works towards the repeal of S377A so that consensual sex between males will no longer be criminalised. There are a lot of other social policies that needed ringfencing when S377A is repealed.
It was a beneficial sermon series for those that sat through it.
As I was listening to Pastor Dennis speak about how the church should relate with people with SSA (same sex attraction) or even homosexual lifestyle, God dropped a word into Pastor Claudia’s and my hearts.
This is what the Holy Spirit said, “We cannot reach people that we do not love. And we cannot love people that we do not know. Expand our hearts to grow our churches.”
This clearly does not only apply to any one group of people. This applies to all groups of people that we have prejudices against. It may be the rich as we unconsciously think that all rich people are bad. It could be people from a particular nation or people of a specific skin colour. We may deem them as cunning, proud or lazy. It may be the young. We may think that they are not respectful and are not serious about spiritual things.
As Christ-followers, we need to ask God to have a clean lens as we look at them. Whatever background they may come from, every one needs Jesus. The universal issue of all humanity is sin and everyone needs a Saviour. His name is Jesus!
26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
The book of Revelation paints us a picture of how heaven would be like. This is how the Apostle John describes it.
9 After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. 10 And they cried out in a loud voice:
“Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”
This is the ultimate true DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) that God and our movement are working towards.
Senior Pastor Jeff
Generations and Glory
10 Aug 2022
In our final Conference session, I shared about how the pastors in our church all had 1 common spiritual dream: To see revival happen in their lifetime.
I shared about various spiritual revivals in history where God moved in powerful ways. There was conviction of sin, hunger for God’s word, exuberance of joy, fervency in prayer, boldness in outreach, and commitment to missions.
Our God is the God of generations – past, present, and future. He does not write unconnected short stories, but writes one long story with different chapters. One chapter would add on to another in order to His story love and grace; of search and rescue.
Young people, I challenged you to take your call to reach your generation seriously. To respond to God with all your hearts, to have an uncommon hunger and thirst for the Holy Spirit, and to fulfill the Great Commission in your schools and campuses. Adults, I challenged you to own your God-given mission field. To make a difference in your blocks, workplaces, and families, and to pray, encourage and role-model for our young generations.
And at the end of the session, hundreds of you responded and made the same prayer that Billy Graham made as a young boy:
“Do it again, Lord! Do it again and would You do it again through me.”
It has been 2 months since Conference. It is easy to get caught up in the daily grind and forget our response to God. But let’s continue contending for more of God and for His revival to happen in you and through you, your Life Group, and our church. God is not done yet because the Great Commission is not done yet!
Senior Pastor Jeff
Hope Singapore is looking to pioneer the Northeast Student Service next year. Before Conference, Pastor Jasmine challenged some Primary 6 Northeast HopeKids to pioneer this instead of transferring to the Ablaze youth group. Jeroi was the only boy that was asked and he prayed about this over 2 weeks and during Conference. Here is how God spoke to him!
“When I was asked to stay back in HopeKids to pioneer, a few concerns came to my mind. Will I have friends? Who will be there with me? What does pioneering a LG look like? What do I need to do? Does that affect my secondary school choice? Can I do it?
But after meeting the other children pioneering with me, I realised I am not alone. My parents explained to me what it means to “pioneer” and that helped me to understand more about this thing which was asked to me. I also understand that I should obey God, so I decided to say yes even though I still have those fears and concerns in my heart.
I pray that I will hold on to this truth that God is always with me. Since He is with me and for me, I will not be afraid when I face uncertainties and challenges in my pioneering journey ahead!”
“When I heard Ps Jeff share at Conference about Billy Graham praying for revival in John Wesley’s home on a school trip, something stirred in my heart. Billy Graham was just a little kid but he had such a big dream for God and was so desperate and genuine in wanting to see revival. What the heck was I doing with my life? I’m not enthusiastic about outreach, but I left Conference wanting to do something.
Right after Conference, I texted some friends to ask if they’d like to outreach with me in school. But no one was free. I was so scared to go alone. I never shared Christ with strangers before. What if I messed up? What if people judged me? In the end I went because I wanted to keep my word to God. I met 2 christians who asked what I was doing in school. I said I was here to outreach and asked if they would like to join me. They agreed and even taught me how to draw the bridge diagram and I managed to share the gospel to 1 guy.
Despite getting a few contacts, I felt a little guilty because I only went down a total of 3 days in 2 weeks. I felt like I wasn’t being faithful to my response and wondered if I could still keep this up until I enlisted for army. Then, one of my LG bros texted me to ask if I was outreaching because he wanted to do something too. Even though he had internship, he came after his work hours to outreach with me in school. And as we continued, we started to see more and more people joining us too. Praise God!
Despite my unfaithfulness, God was there to encourage me by sending people to outreach together with me when I felt like giving up – with those 2 Christians, my LG bro, and the rest of the ministry.”
“My husband and I initially wanted to return to Philippines after the Conference for a short vacation with our families whom we didn’t see for almost 3 years due to the pandemic. But a few days before the Conference, my husband received a prompting from the Holy Spirit to go for a short-term mission in Ilocos Norte. We prayed about it, and during Session 6, God said to me, “If you stop doing the Great Commission, how will your children and your children’s children get to know who I am? How will they know that Someone loved them so much that He laid down His own life for them?”. This confirmation convicted my heart to cut a few days from our family trip so we could visit the leaders in Ilcos Norte as well as the people they were discipling there.
The people in Ilcos Norte truly inspired us with their heart for God. Even with rising fuel costs, the members intentionally set their personal money aside to pump their tricycle with diesel so they could travel to different places to outreach. One couple leader also bring their 4-month old son with them as they visit respective Life Groups!
Life’s inconveniences, rejections, and difficulties do not stop God’s people from living out the Great Commission. I pray that my family and I will always choose to serve the Lord all the days of our lives, so that generations after us will still hear and know who God is and what He did out of love for everyone.”
张福裕主任牧师 （Senior Pastor Jeff）
但在见到其他和我一起做开拓者的孩子们后，我意识到我并不孤单。我的父母向我解释了 “开拓者 “的含义，这帮助我更多地了解这个要做的事。我也明白我应该顺服上帝，所以我决定答应，尽管我的心里仍然有那些恐惧和担忧。
当我在特会上听到Jeff 牧师 (Pastor Jeff)分享葛培理(Billy Graham) 在学校旅行时在约翰–卫斯理(John Wesley) 家中为复兴祷告的事时，我的心被触动了。葛培理只是一个小孩子，但他对神有如此大的梦想，他是如此迫切并真诚地希望看到复兴。我的人生到底在做什么？我并不热衷于外展，但我离开特会时想做点什么。
Not Done Yet
18 May 2022
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.
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!
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.
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!
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》。
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！
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。
One Life At A Time
9 November 2021
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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
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！
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。
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。
One Life At A Time
9 November 2021
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.
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!
Hope Singapore Youth Ablaze
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。
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！
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。
OUR MANNER AND MISSION IN LIFE
9 February 2021
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:
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.
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!
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!
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!
Hope Melbourne & Adelaide
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。
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。
Larry & Kelly,
Hope Singapore Adults Axis
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！
Hope Singapore Tertiary (NS)
Hope Singapore Filipino
Hope Melbourne & Adelaide
10 November 2020
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!
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!
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
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。”
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。
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！
Kushal (Hope Delhi)
11 August 2020
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!
Senior Pastor Jeff Chong
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.”
“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!”
“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.”
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
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！”
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。”
“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！”
“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。”
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！