Reaching out to Mandarin-speaking nursing students

Aug 2013    

Holy Covenant Methodist Church (Chinese Annual Conference)
Fairfield Methodist Secondary School Auditorium, 102 Dover Road
Sunday services: 9 am (English), 11 am (Mandarin), 2 pm (Hokkien)
Contact: 6270-7804 or email hcmc.sg@gmail.com

AT 15, you could say that we are a relatively “young” church. Yet we have been on the move quite a bit.

We first branched out from Telok Ayer Chinese Methodist Church. From there we moved to Telok Blangah Chapel before going on to Grace Methodist Church and finally settling in our current premises at Fairfield Methodist Secondary School about 10 years ago.

We have three congregations – English, Hokkien and Mandarin. Our Mandarin service is the fastest-growing, due largely to the many China-born nationals who are serving passionately in the Grace Fellowship, which seeks to care and provide nurture for Christians, seekers and newcomers from their home country.

Our church, which sees a weekly attendance of more than 220 people, aims to lead people into God’s covenant, worshipping Him and building each other up in loving fellowship and mutual accountability, using God’s Word as our foundation and strength, and to be equipped for service as disciples of Christ.

Our mission field is the schools and universities. We are seeking to reach out to a community that includes faculty staff, graduates and post-graduates in our local universities, nursing students and nurses, IT and other professionals, particularly those from China.

One particular ministry stands out. Our ministry to Chinese nursing students started in 1999, but we had to terminate it in 2002 due to constraints in space and human resources. We restarted this ministry in 2010, reaching out to about 30 Chinese-speaking nursing students through a fortnightly small group meeting in a member’s home.

This is through the auspices of the Singapore Nurses Christian Fellowship (SNCF) that assigns nursing students to different local churches. However, there may soon be a change to this policy, which may affect our outreach to this group.

It was amazing then that God answered our prayers for a way to overcome the challenge of space constraint and to sustain this ministry in a more meaningful way.

Sometime last year the Women’s Society of Christian Service (WSCS) of the Chinese Annual Conference (CAC) indicated that Ruth Home, a building which they manage, was available for churches to lease for Christian ministry.

After much deliberation and prayer, we seized this opportunity and entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the WSCS to lease the premises for use as a hostel for female nursing students.

In July 2013, the Ruth Home ministry together with its hostel, worship hall and building were dedicated by our CAC President Rev Dr Chong Chin Chung in the presence of other CAC leaders and members.

Ruth Home, located at Wishart Road, about eight minutes’ walk to Telok Blangah, can accommodate up to 45 residents at subsidised rates in single or twin-sharing rooms. Funding relies on donations from church members, the CAC WSCS and the Johnny and Nancy Fund under the CAC Board of Missions.

This is my second year as Pastor-in-charge of Holy Covenant MC. I am both excited and proud to be a part of this church. It is unique, as we come together as a “covenant people” to move forward for Kingdom purposes. I am confident that our hostel outreach ministry through Ruth Home can win many souls for Christ in a practical and sustainable way. I think it will be very exciting, and I welcome Kingdom and Gospel partners to join us in this new venture and ministry.

The dedication of the Ruth Home hostel ministry was held in July this year.
The Rev Dr Alex Chng, Pastor-in-Charge of Holy Covenant Methodist Church, leading church members in corporate prayer.

SPREAD * the news about Ruth Home, especially if you know of female nursing students or nurses on the lookout for below-market-rate accommodation.

CONTACT * Ms Chen Xiaodong (Local Ministry Staff) at 9675-4715, or Mdm Zhang Hui (Part-time Ruth Home Administrator) at 9233-6695.

The Rev Dr Alex Chng Peng Lian is the Pastor-in-Charge of Holy Covenant Methodist Church.


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