DEDICATION OF CHARIS METHODIST CHURCH AND ‘HOUSE OF PENIEL’
RAIN had poured down the night before Sunday Aug 31, 2003. It looked almost certain in dampening spirits at a celebration to be held at Charis Methodist Church the next morning, casting doubts if the event would proceed in the outdoors as planned.
Sunday morning dawned, and along came the strong beautiful rays of sunlight peering from behind the clouds, the singing of birds and the breath of fresh air that came after the rain. The anxieties and doubts left us and what God gave was a day of great jubilation at Charis Methodist Church.
This was a special Sunday to many Charisians, friends and well-wishers because on this day they saw the fruition of co-labouring with God and they rejoiced in the fulfilment of His promises. A strong gathering of more than 500 was present. Young and old celebrated the completion of Phase II of the Church Development Project and witnessed the Dedication of Charis Methodist Church and the “House of Peniel”.
Bishop Dr Robert Solomon and the Rev Khoo Cheng Hoot, President of the Chinese Annual Conference (CAC), were the Guests-of- Honour and delivered their messages at the English and Mandarin worship services respectively.
In his message, the Bishop said that the challenge for the Church is for it to be reminded that it is the bride of Christ, and therefore it should reflect on the beauty and holiness of Christ.
The Church, he added, must reflect on Christ’s coming again, and be ready for His return.
At the end of the worship service, the congregation adjourned to the open-air area between the church building and the “House of Peniel” for the Dedication Ceremony.
Back in the 1990s, Charis Methodist Church was a young church worshipping at Geylang Chinese Methodist Church. It was not long before the church was filled with conviction to plant a church in another part of Singapore.
The leadership was led to two lots of property at Koon Seng Road, which were then owned by Pentecost Methodist Church and available for sale. Pentecost MC is a member church of Trinity Annual Conference (TRAC).
With the price out of reach, the young Charis Methodist Church, with faith and conviction, nevertheless took the path leading to the purchase. After seeking God and through numerous negotiations with the property owners, the deal was sealed.
As the church grew and ministries expanded, the church began to run out of space. In 1999, the church embarked on a redevelopment project to rebuild the building at 97 Koon Seng Road.
Once again, the redevelopment cost was out of reach for a church that had only recently paid off the loans for the purchase of the two lots of property. However, through the Almighty hands of God, generous donations from members, friends as well as other people who were foreign to Charis poured in.
God’s guidance in the project was evident since day one. He led the various committees that managed the project through a series of difficult challenges. Charisians will remember the challenges posed by severe soil movements during the construction phase and delays to the project due to late shipment of materials.
The project financing had also been hit by the recession and economic downturn that is still lingering.
‘House of Peniel’ to be epicentre of Charis’ outreach
However, the positive end to it was that Charis MC managed to spend less than the budgeted amount for the project as a result of this. Isn’t God just wonderful?
The “House of Peniel” in Charis MC is a three-storey bungalow with a basement that sits just next to the church building. It is a place for people to have a personal encounter with God – a place where needs are met and blessings are received.
Inaugurated recently at the “House of Peniel” since its completion was A.C.E – the Activity Centre for the Elderly. It provides senior citizens with a facility to mingle with others and also activities for them to stay healthy and active. The “House of Peniel” will be the epicentre of Charis MC’s outreach to the community and beyond.
Samuel Tay is the Chairman of the Communication and Archives Committee of Charis Methodist Church.