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.
Tamil outreach work in the Teck Whye area of Singapore began as a confluence of God’s leading for two pastors from different Annual Conferences – Emmanuel Tamil Annual Conference (ETAC) and Trinity Annual Conference (TRAC). The resulting collaboration has been a wonderful glimpse of unity in the Body of Christ.
In early 2013, Pasir Panjang Tamil Methodist Church (PPTMC) had been praying and seeking God’s leading to start an outreach point in the Teck Whye area. At that time, the only church in that area was the Methodist Church of the Incarnation (MCI), a TRAC church.
On 17 March 2013, when I was on leave, my wife and I decided to attend the MCI Sunday Service. The Pastor-in-Charge of MCI, the Rev Derrick Lau, welcomed us joyfully. We had a chat during fellowship time, and arranged to meet up the following day.
In that subsequent meetup, the Rev Lau mooted the idea of starting a Tamil outreach in Teck Whye, as he said there were a number of Indians who reside in the area. His church was a prime place for such a ministry as it was surrounded by HDB flats – nestled in the heart of a residential area. I was stunned as I had intended to request the Rev Lau for a place in MCI to start Tamil ministry. We were both encouraged by the leading of the Lord.
I informed the Local Church Executive Committee of PPTMC about the open door for us to start a ministry at MCI. I saw the joy and enthusiasm of our leaders in pioneering this work.
The church geared up and began planning. The first planning meeting was held in my home on 20 June 2013 with some of our church leaders. We began groundwork like putting up a banner, going on prayer walks and distributing flyers, prior to the beginning of the service.
With the approval of the Rev Lau and the leadership of MCI, we started our first Tamil ministry service in Teck Whye on 28 July 2013. We remain heartily grateful to MCI for opening their doors for the expansion of God’s Kingdom.
We began worship services monthly, on the fourth Sunday of each month from 5.30-6.30 p.m. Starting from March 2015, we have been able to hold services fortnightly, due to support from ETAC as our ETAC President Rev R. Prabhu appointed the Rev V. Isaac Raju to assist me at the Teck Whye ministry this year.
We have started holding Care Group sessions in participants’ homes every last Friday of the month. After two years of ministry, there are about 20, mostly pre-believers, in the group. One is getting ready for baptism.
A regular attendee at the Teck Whye ministry, Mr Kunasegaran, said: “It’s a good service.” Another, Ms Athiletchimi, shared: “I feel the presence of God.” Ms Malliga, also an attendee, commented: “Good service but time is so short.”
To further enhance the ministry, we are planning to increase Sunday Services to run every Sunday. We face some challenges in getting more regular volunteers to help as musicians and leaders. The current Committee of Evangelism headed by Mrs Rosalind Michael and the team have a special passion for this ministry amongst Indians. They are recruiting more volunteers to come on board to serve at the Teck Whye outreach.
Hopefully in years to come, this outreach at Teck Whye will shape up to become a local Methodist church. Please keep us in your prayers. To God be the Glory! n 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 u for the Teck Whye ministry in its efforts to minister weekly to Tamil speakers in the area.
The Rev Philip Abraham is Pastor-in-Charge of Pasir Panjang Tamil Methodist Church, as well as Jurong Tamil Methodist Church.