A word from PJ

MAY 2022 - JUL 2022

Generations and Glory
10 Aug 2022

Dear church,

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.

  • The Welsh Revival began when Evan Roberts prayed from 1am to 5am for 100,000 souls to be won for Christ. Between 1904 to 1905, bars, casinos, and cinemas closed down, debts were repaid, restitutions were made, and relationships were healed. And 100,000 souls were indeed saved.

  • In 1972, students from various schools in Singapore were baptised in the Holy Spirit. In one school, a group of schoolboys gathered in their school’s clocktower every recess to pray, resulting in a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon them. With fervent prayer, Bible study, personal evangelism, and intense spiritual renewal, many boys came to Christ and several eventually became pastors in the Methodist Church of Singapore.

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!

In Christ,
Senior Pastor Jeff

Jeroi, HopeKids

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!”

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!”

Choosing the ‘more than enough’ mindset

Christopher, Hope SG LYTE

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.

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.

Capable through The Holy Spirit

Angelique, Hope SG Filipino

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.

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.

A word from PJ

Nov 2020 - Jan 2021

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

Framing each day in His Love

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)

Finding brotherhood in battle

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)

Igniting our faith through His Word

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

A Safe Space Amidst Uncertainty

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