The Teck Whye outreach ministry is first and foremost a ministry of grace. Why do I say that?
It has all the same struggles, disappointments, heartaches and sorrows that are common to us all. We get it wrong often. We are weak in many areas. At times we see people fall away. Sometimes we run evangelistic endeavours and nobody comes!
Yet together with all of these “normal” difficulties and many more, we have seen God do some wonderful things in us and through us. By His grace we have seen lives turned around, sins forgiven and our Lord Jesus Christ glorified through the new birth of His children.
By God’s grace, we now have sufficient helpers for our Tamil service to be held every Sunday, where previously it was held only fortnightly. Though we are excited, there are still some challenges that we face.
On the third Thursday of every month, a few of our volunteers faithfully visit the families living around the church vicinity – listening to their problems, praying and encouraging them in the Word. Some of our volunteers are from Jurong, West Coast and Telok Blangah, and most of them make their way to the visits after work. It can be physically demanding as at times they have to walk around the estates.
“Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. To this end I also labour, striving according to His working which works in me mightily.”
Colossians 1:28-29, NKJV
Almost all the families to whom the volunteers are reaching out have needs one way or another. It is a challenge to meet these needs as some require help from government agencies. Most of them are elderly and require help in meeting the relevant agencies and producing necessary documents. Others might not turn up for worship service due to pressure from their families, and volunteers have not been received well when they go on their visits.
In spite of all these challenges, there have been positive signs of some coming closer to God through our monthly cell group meetings.There are currently three houses which host cell groups. We have seen believers maturing in their walk with the Lord. Such growth continues to motivate our volunteers in the midst of all these challenges.
To assist the Rev Philip Abraham, Pastor-in-Charge of Pasir Panjang Tamil Methodist Church which started the outreach ministry, Emmanuel Tamil Annual Conference has posted Pastor Stephen Shadrak to help out with the Teck Whye ministry this year. The frequency of visits has increased. Sermons have been simplified so that pre-believers can relate to them.
Challenges are everywhere and it all depends on how we see them. Outreach ministries pose different kinds of challenges. We should get involved in this ministry as an expression of our love and gratitude to our Lord, understanding that it is only through praying, caring and a loving attitude that we can “present every man perfect in Christ Jesus”.
“Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. To this end I also labour, striving according to His working which works in me mightily.” (Colossians 1:28-29, NKJV)
In addition to profiling local churches from our three Annual Conferences of The Methodist Church in Singapore, we also begin profiling ministries. As we come to have a better understanding of each other’s history and ministry, we may discover more opportunities to forge cross-church partnerships and collaborations.
PRAY * for the Teck Whye ministry in its efforts to minister weekly to Tamil speakers in the area.
Photos by Andrew Prabagar
Andrew Prabagar is a Lay Delegate of Pasir Panjang Tamil Methodist Church who helps out in the Teck Whye ministry.