Happenings

New agency to strengthen faith and family life

May 2002    

CAC launches Family Life Education Centre

GOD so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him shall have life and have it to the fullest. It would be sad and disappointing to God if we were to believe in Him, yet not live the life that He has given us.

Many believers blame the world for being too corrupted for them to live the life of a believer. Some even find it difficult living among fellow believers because of their differences in personality traits and cultural backgrounds.

The Kingdom of God is within us. We should live the Christian life through practising our faith within our community and families. If a person cannot even live out his faith within the Christian community and family, how can he be the light and salt to the world?

 

Sad to say, these days more and more believers are finding difficulty practising their faith within their homes. Some experience spousal unresolved conflicts, which lead to a “cold war” and end up with bitterness and divorces. The Christian faith thus becomes a social status for the believers instead of being a transforming factor to their value systems and attitude towards life.

To remedy this situation, we need to strengthen the family life ministry in our church to enable members to integrate their faith with family life.

Our last Chinese Annual Conference Session in November last year resolved to establish the Oasis Family Life Education Centre as an agency to promote family wellness programmes and provide help to dysfunctional families. Let us therefore pool our resources together and pray that the newly-established centre will fulfil its mission effectively.

We must recognise that the more our family life is challenged by the uncertainties of the future, the more we need to integrate our faith with our family lives. The Scripture has emphatically shown us that living the life of faith is the key to security in an uncertain world. That was why Moses prepared the Israelites before they entered the Promised Land, saying, “If you … carefully follow all His commands, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God” (Deut 28:1-2).

The Lord commanded His disciples to teach the believers to obey everything He had commanded them in order to experience the presence of the Lord to the very end of the age. He also warned them, saying, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 7:21). To live out our faith by doing what the Scripture teaches is the key to counter the changes and uncertainties of our future. Let us empower all individuals to begin living out their faith within their respective families.

It is difficult to integrate our faith with our daily family lives, yet it is the very basic thing that a believer should do. Therefore, the Oasis Family Life Education Centre at 63 Wishart Road has an enormous task ahead – that is, to provide programmes to assist believers integrate faith with family life at the various transitional stages of life. The programmes aim at:

Affirming the identity of Christian men and women among young adults or youths through a three-day intensive group experience and continual growth group meetings.

Facilitating premarital couples to discover the significance and application of Christian principles for marriage through intensive group experience, followed by monthly support group programmes to encourage and ensure that they will continue their marital relationship with the guidance of Christian beliefs.

Equipping young parents through Family Education camps or seminars and following up with regular Family Covenant Group meetings for effective Christian parenting and marriage enrichment.

Encouraging mid-life parents to take stock of their lives through Weekend Group Retreats to renew their Christian marital vows and reinforcing the development of Christian lifestyles for their spiritual maturity through regular support group meetings.

Restructuring dysfunctional families through reinforcing the Christian values and beliefs in the process of family therapy.

The Rev Dr Francis Ngoi is the Clinical Director of the Oasis Family Life Education Centre.

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