VOLUNTEERISM is alive and well at Fairfield Methodist Church. More than half of the congregation are involved in outreach to the local HDB flats and one eighth volunteer with the church’s registered social service programme, Yong-en Care Centre.
Blessing Project (BP), an outreach ministry of Fairfield MC, involves 450 members and friends who adopt and befriend residents among the several HDB blocks at Kreta Ayer precinct.
In addition, 95 members volunteer with Yong-en Care Centre (YCC), which provides a full range of community services in Chinatown for the elderly, families, children and teens.
Fairfield MC began the work of YCC in 1986, but it was formally registered with the Ministry of Community Development and Sports as a social service centre in 1996.
Fairfield MC has discovered God’s vision to reach out to the Chinatown community. The Lord commanded its church members “to go and make disciples of all nations in the context of loving them as we love ourselves”, said a leader. Serving the community with acts of kindness is one way to “let our work so shine before the community that they may see our good works and give glory to the Father in heaven”.
With the support of the Rev David Wee, the Pastor-in-Charge, the church’s ministry has continued to flourish.
Fairfield MC mobilises its carecells (cell groups) to reach out to the community with the love of God through BP. Every carecell has been assigned to adopt floors in a particular block in the Kreta Ayer precinct, which consists of six HDB blocks.
YCC, a community service arm of Fairfield MC, provides a whole range of services to the elderly, adults, teens and children in Chinatown. It undertakes this work through 180 volunteers, including 95 from Fairfield church and 20 from Telok Ayer Chinese Methodist Church.
The pincer arms of Fairfield MC, the BP and YCC have bonded the church and the community together.
As a result, there has been an obvious positive change in the spiritual climate of the community. As a testimony to God’s faithfulness, the church has seen unprecedented support from the community in its celebrations in the past few years:
· Church Anniversary celebrations: more than 300 came in 2001, 600 in 2002, and 850 in 2003 (the Gospel was shared).
· Christmas 2002: about 800 came from the community and the church.
Ben Chan is the Executive Director of Yong-en Care Centre and Chan Siew Leong is on the pastoral staff of Fairfield Methodist Church.