What would Jesus do if He had a house in Geylang? That was the question God asked Youth With A Mission (YWAM) Singapore during our prayer retreat.
YWAM Singapore had been living and working within Geylang for 19 years, yet we failed terribly in our attempts to embody Missions, Mercy, Evangelism, Discipleship, Transformation, and Justice in this location where God has placed us. These “church words” have weighty implications, and when woven together in our lives, Christianity looks very different in our society. We needed a conversion and we met with God.
We had to unlearn our “Christianese” (Christian jargon) and learn how to “speak” the good news in a language broken people would understand. That discipleship process changed YWAM Singapore and how we shared Jesus with the poor and needy in Singapore.
• We learnt to be available late into the night so that we can sit with the homeless and share their stories.
• We learnt to express concepts like pain and forgiveness through ways other than words, to minister to “street ladies”, many of whom are illiterate.
• We learnt not to assume the broken community understands and cherishes the basic values of life and having hope for tomorrow. Most of them don’t even know when they will eat again.
• We learnt that the Church is the only expression of God to the broken world. If the Church does nothing, the broken will never see nor experience the immense love of God that is equally available to them.
God’s heart is also for all nations and peoples outside of Singapore. YWAM Singapore sees that God is worthy of our all, and the good news of Jesus must be heard and embraced by unreached peoples. We deploy outreach teams into Asia on a regular basis. We also mentor and prepare potential missionaries for long-term placement in Asia.
Here are a few stories of God’s work through YWAM Singapore.
Mr Wayne Sim (Singapore Life Church) was a fitness instructor. He was born and raised in a very committed Christian family but lived a wayward life. Like the story of the prodigal son, God the Father embraced him, restored him, and gave him a mission. Turning his commitment into action, he went to Hong Kong and pioneered a Discipleship Boot Camp for young men in China.
After two years of running 12 camps in six locations in four nations, he is now a staff with YWAM Singapore. He serves as one of the leaders of the Discipleship Training School (Mercy Focus), discipling and leading people to demonstrate God’s heart for the poor and needy in Asia.
Ms Desiree Choo (Antioch Centre for the Nations) was a tax consultant with Ernst & Young. During her Discipleship Training School (DTS) stint, God gave her a vision of flowers blooming in Geylang – the transformation of women in Geylang. At that point, Desiree was due to be married in six months. She felt compelled to invite the street ladies and the homeless community to her wedding ceremony. Her YWAM Leader told her that these people would never come to her wedding unless she went to them and became their friend.
For the next six months, Desiree visited the street ladies in Geylang and the homeless in the Bugis area. At her wedding, about 20 of them came. A homeless man performed a guitar solo while the couple signed their wedding certificate. Today, Desiree is on staff with YWAM Singapore.
No. 1, Geylang Lorong 23
Highpoint Social Enterprise Blk 8
Youth With A Mission is a global movement of Christians from many cultures, age groups, and Christian traditions, dedicated to serving Jesus throughout the world. Also known as YWAM (pronounced “Y-wham”), we unite in a common purpose to know God and to make Him known.
Started in 1960, our main focus was to get youth involved in missions. Today, we still focus on youth, and we also involve people aged eight to 80. We currently work in more than 1,100 locations in over 180 countries, with a staff of over 20,000.
YWAM Singapore started operating in 1980. We are an international discipling community committed to raising a harvest force of missionaries into Asia. We have three ministry arms:
We mobilise, train, place and go with churches on short-term mission trips.
TRAINING CENTRE – discipleship and mission preparation training courses
Discipleship Training School – a five-month training that consists of three months of lectures and two months of outreach in Asia.
School of Biblical Studies – a nine-month inductive Bible study that gives you a full in-depth study of the Bible.
School of Frontier Missions – a three-month Frontier workers preparation with a nine-month field internship.
FRONTIER MISSIONS CENTRE
We prepare and place potential field missionaries into Asia.
Asia Internship Program– a programme that helps potential missionaries to survive and thrive in the field.
Member Care – we provide pastoral care to field missionaries.
Photos courtesy of Youth With A Mission Singapore
Joseph Chean has been the National Director of Youth With A Mission (YWAM) Singapore since 2012. He worships at Chapel of the Holy Spirit, where he had served as a Youth Pastor and Chaplain’s Assistant to St. Andrew’s Secondary School for eight years prior to joining YWAM Singapore in 1997 as a missionary. Joseph is married to Kim and has two daughters, aged 11 and nine.