Romans 1:16-17, ‘For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith’
As we reflect these 4 years of ministry we are overwhelmed with joy and gratitude to God. Our God is sovereign and He does all things to His own glory. Maranatha BP Church has been an English Service for more than 2 decades. There were Chinese visitors who came from time to time and we had translation for them at one stage but it was less than ideal. It was by the higher hand of God that in September 2007, with fear and trembling, we finally launched this new ministry of the Chinese outreach. It was not the work of man but the initiative of God. At that time, we had a few Chinese visitors who came to the English service and we had translation for them from English to Chinese during our main service. One of them asked if there was a Chinese service nearby that he could attend instead. We prayed and were burdened of the Lord to start our own Chinese ministry. On the first Sunday of September 2007, as approved by the session, we started with friends and a few members on Sunday after service at 1.30 pm at the office room behind the pulpit with Pr. David Weng sharing the word.
The attendance was just about 5-8 people initially and we were discouraged but some how we trusted in the Lord and we pressed on in the strength of the Lord and the work turned for the better in God’s own good time. In September 2008, we prayed about having the service on Saturday night instead, as many of them work on Sunday could not attend services on a Sunday. We started in October 2008 to have it on Saturday night at 7.30pm and thank God that it was the right decision, as many Chinese workers were able to attend. With outreaches to the dormitories, the ministry grow to about 20 people.
God gave the Increase
With evangelism and outreach by the leaders, the attendance increased steadily. In early February 2009, we went to the Chinese living quarters in Loyang to distribute tracts and to invite the Chinese male construction workers to come for the fellowship. The initial outreaches were met with some disappointment as many were distracted by other activities and not interested but we did not give up. By the mercies of God, later with much prayer and outreach again, 10 of them came to join us as we also drove the van there to pick them up and send them back. Now more of them are coming from the Tampines dormitory as evangelised by Andrew Lai, Seow Li fang, Seow Zhi Fa, Kee Hong, Dn. Royce Yeo and Pastor. Galatians 6:8-10 says, ‘For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.’ Over the past 4 years, we have seen many Chinese friends who came to know the Lord as their personal Lord and Saviour and more than 10 of them were baptised in October 2010. They have been attending the meetings regularly, be it at the Sunday service or in house churches as some were back in China. It is good to hear from them that they are continuing and faithfully in serving the Lord. We also started the Saturday night catechism class by Pastor or Pancy Siam. God has opened a new door of opportunity for us to reach out to the Chinese workers in Singapore to witness or evangelise to them and many of them are here working in Singapore. New Chinese tract were printed and given out to many peradventure some may fall on good ground and bear fruit in due time. We thank God that Pancy Siam and Yeo Choon Pio had translated many articles in Chinese for the edifying of the Saints and today there are testimonies by our Chinese members as well.
In December 2010, the committee prayed and deliberated to change the meeting form Saturday to Sunday from January 2011 onwards into a full fledged Chinese Worship Service at 6.30pm with holy communion held on the second Sunday of every month. Today, an average of 40-50 would attend every Sunday night worship service and we thank God for blessing this gospel work to the glory of His name. There is also the fellowship dinner after the meeting and we thank God for all who have helped with the food, transport or in one way or another including our pianist in Fong Jing Heng, Tan An Yan, Jennifer Liu and Seow Li Fang.
Is there any one burdened for the Chinese people and keen to witness to them and to learn the Chinese language so that we can be more effective for the Lord? We have a wide and ripe mission field right here as there are about 500,000 of mainland Chinese here either studying or working in Singapore and Maranatha BP Church has become a base in the east for us to minister the gospel to them. We have also given out more than 50 bibles and numerous gospel tracts to our Chinese brethren. Let us continue to pray for this Chinese ministry and let us co-labour together and bring them in as the gospel tracts in Chinese language are distributed to the saving of souls as done by members every Sunday at 5pm at the Tampines Dormitory, Hougang, Kaki Bukit and Ang Mo Kio locations as well.
Calling onto Full Time Ministry
Jeremiah 1:4-5, ‘Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.’ God is sovereign and He answered our prayers for a Chinese worker and pray for our brother Song Xi Hai as he trains for the ministry for the next 3 years.
We thank God for bringing back to us Song Xi Hai of Fujian who is called of the Lord and is studying full time at Chin Lien Bible Seminary and serving in the MBPC for the next 3 years. His initial application was rejected by the authority and we prayed and appealed to the Lord and the authorities and the application was finally approved in mid July 2011 by the higher hand of God. God is sovereign and He overrules and guides us when we trust and wait upon Him patiently. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, ‘Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.’ Song Xi Hai is burdened for the Chinese workers and outreach of His people and do pray for him. The Chinese Service Committee comprising Dn. Royce Yeo together with Chen Ching Hong, Pancy and Siam Chai Chew, Andrew Lai and Angie Sin; not least Seow Zi Fa and Li Fang, Song Xi Hai and Kee Hong have prayed and supported the work. We covet your continued prayers for us to persevere in this evangelistic work for the Lord that more will be saved and strengthened in the faith. Pray with us and do make a conscious effort to come and support and join us every Sunday evening for our Chinese Worship Service.
Praise the Lord for a most wonderful thing that happened last Sunday night as ordained of the Lord. One of the Chinese (Sun Jin Hua) worker came early to church and we spent some time sharing with him the gospel together with Siam Chai Chew. He has attended our service for a few times and is seeking but have not committed himself to Christ yet (i.e. he had the impression that attending church is good enough). We shared of the sinfulness of men and the need to embrace faith in Christ as our personal Saviour and to repent of our sins. He admitted that he is a sinner and that he needs Jesus as his redeemer. He believes that Christ died on the cross for his sins and that He is the only way and there is no other. At the end of the session, he was committed to believe and accept Christ as his personal Saviour and Lord.
With simple faith, he prayed with us in Chinese, the Sinner’s Prayer. it is such a joy to witness a soul coming to know the Lord and be saved forever. Luke 15:7 says, ’I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.’ Our labour is not in vain the Lord. All praise to God alone.
There will be no baptism this evening at the 4th Anniversary Chinese Service as the candidates have not completed the shorter catechism taken by Song Xi Hai and me and it is better for them to be properly grounded in the faith before we baptised any for we take baptism seriously and not flippantly as in some charismatic or liberal churches. The baptism will take place on 25 December 2011 (Sunday) instead as the Lord leads some to confess faith in Him in the sacrament.
Pray for the 4th Anniversary Chinese Service this evening. We thank God that some members have indicated that they will provide moon cakes and others will cook dishes for the occasion with special dinner. We will have a short testimony by Seow Zhi Fa and Song Xi Hai (he will transfer his membership at the English Service instead in end October 2011), a Powerpoint presentation of the Chinese ministry, a song item before we have the gospel message by Elder Su Ching Chun. Pray for us and we will be chairing the Chinese Service and for a uplifting time of praise and worship and thanks giving to the Lord together and let us all come to rejoice with the Chinese brethren.
We want to thank God for all who have prayed and served Him faithfully in the Chinese Worship Service all these 4 years and may we continue to do so in the days ahead of the Lord tarries. Romans 15:5-6 says, ‘Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.’