IT WAS AN EXPERIENCE many of us would remember for a long time. Held from July 23 to 24 this year, the mission trip to Alor Gajah (Malacca) by the team from Sembawang Tamil Methodist Church (STMC) had a very packed itinerary. Although the timing was tight, we were able to complete all our programmes according to schedule. The Lord led us through in a magnificent way.
During the home visitation, we experienced the “kampong spirit” of olden-day Singapore in the Alor Gajah estate. Some people live in wooden-walled homes where rain leaked in through the roofs. Social needs are the basic concern of these people. But we observed that the underlying need is spiritual in nature. Many are beset by worries, joblessness and health concerns. They needed to rise above their present circumstances.
We talked with the household members. eir basic complaint was the lack of funds to support the family. Some breadwinners were also not taking enough responsibility to support the family. Some families were dysfunctional, with single or divorced parents.
Our team members prayed and communicated with them. We led them to recognise the root causes of their problems and to surrender all their matters to God, and encouraged them not to give up but to continue to fight the good fight of faith. In addition, we urged them to attend church regularly and also to have family and personal devotion.
Ms Joyce Rebecca reflected: “In the home visits, the poor people were blaming a generational curse for their plight. I was challenged to liberate them through God’s word that He has taken away our curses (Galatians 3:13).”
At the Home for the Elderly, our team conducted a session of singing, testimonies and prayer. Gifts were given to the residents at the end of the session. Many of them welcomed us and felt very comforted.
We were also able to visit some Indian patients in a hospital. Many were in helpless and dismal conditions. Due to their sickness, they suﬀered from general debility. ey needed the comforting and aﬃrming words of our Lord. They not only needed physical healing, but also healing of the soul, psyche and emotions.
Mr D. Irwin, Lay Leader of STMC, said: “During the hospital visit, I was moved to show love and compassion to the patients. I remembered how Jesus showed genuine compassion to a dead person and revived her (Mark 5:41).”
We gave them tracts and gifts and assured them that God understood their conditions. He is able to walk with them and promised to meet their needs as they surrender their lives to Him. They were greatly comforted and encouraged and some pledged to follow Christ.
That Sunday, we attended the MYF Sunday service conducted by the youths. e church in Alor Gajah had a vibrant youth team. We were amazed at how they used their gifts in singing, dancing, prayer, drama, music and giving testimonies. It was an eye-opener for our team as we were challenged to revive our own youth ministry to be more lively and active.
Ms Irene Pakialeela, the Missions Chairman of STMC, Mr Prem Kumar and Ms Praima Joanna from our team shared their testimonies at the service. ey presented a song item.
I shared the word of God. People came in numbers for individual prayers and it was a great blessing for us to minister to them.
Shared Ms Irene: “ is trip increased my passion for the lost. I was challenged to encourage the church to go, as the harvest is still plentiful (Matthew 9:37).”
On the whole, our team was inspired by the trip as it was a first-time experience for many of us. We hope to continue to go on such trips to bless others as well as contribute to the people in a meaningful way. We were moved by the hospitality we received, which helped us to do our ministry well, and made it a fulfilling trip.
All praises and honour and glory to God Almighty for this wonderful and memorable experience.
Pastor Isaac Raju is an Assistant Pastor at Sembawang Tamil Methodist Church and Chairman of the Emmanuel Tamil Annual Conference Board On Evangelism.
MCS responds to African drought
THE METHODIST CHURCH IN SINGAPORE (MCS) has responded to the plight of the hungry and sick in drought-hit Africa by sending relief funds to the Horn of Africa through two agencies.
According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the Horn of Africa (specifically Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia) is experiencing its worst drought in 60 years. Due to this dry spell, UNICEF said, more than 13 million people, including 2 million malnourished children, need food urgently.
Trinity Annual Conference, through its Crisis Relief Fund, has channelled $50,000 to the aﬀected areas through World Vision, and the Chinese Annual Conference, through its Board of Social Concerns, has galvanised its members to donate $20,000 to the World Methodist Council “Stop Hunger Now” programme.