Pastoral 2012

Our Ministry To The Seniors

Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 15 April 2012

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A special thanksgiving gathering was held by our church’s ministry to the seniors on last Thursday (12th April). About forty brethren gathered to praise the Lord. Elder Mah Chin Kwang led the meeting. There were special song items by elderly folks to praise the Lord and two testimonies of the Lord’s blessings through Gethsemane Seniors’ Ministry. During this gathering, I had an opportunity to recount the history of our church’s ministry to the elderly. It was with much joy that I narrated the Lord’s unfailing guidance and help. For your information, thanksgiving and prayer, I would like share briefly the story of the Lord’s guidance of Gethsemane Seniors’ Ministry.

In 1997, after I had read several newspaper reports about the increasing number of elderly folks in Singapore and their struggles with loneliness and depression, the Lord laid on my heart a burden for a Gospel outreach to such to the sisters in our church informed me of a new home for the elderly in Bedok South. When I went there (Lions Home for the Elders, Bedok South) and sought permission to minister the Gospel to the elderly, I was joyfully welcomed by the matron of the home. Thus we set up the “Ministry to the Elderly”; and its first Gospel service was held on 13th May 1997. In the following years, several old folks from this home have come to know the Lord, and were baptised in our church. Some of them had attended our church during the period of 1998-2000. Most of those elderly folks who attended our church had gone home to be with the Lord. Since 2001, the residents of the Lions Home for the Elders were not allowed to be brought to the church because of their health and safety reasons. But we were allowed to continue to visit the home and hold fellowship meetings for the interested residents. To date, we have regular weekly meetings in that home and its branch in Toa Payoh. In recent years, Bro Stephen Yap and a team of Gethsemaneans have laboured regularly to minister God’s Word on Sundays. Now meetings in these two homes are held on Sunday afternoons (3.30pm-4.45pm). We thank God for the leaders and members of our church, who tirelessly labour to minister His Word to the elderly folks.

In 2005, by God’s grace, I began a Bible study cum fellowship for the seniors. In the first meeting held on April 13, 2005, Mr and Mrs Wong Ah Yi and Sis Diana Koh were the only three seniors who attended. The rest were those who came to help – Dn Paul Cheng, Jeremiah Sim and Miriam Wong. Since then, we have met regularly on Thursdays in different venues. Soon after that, we saw the Lord adding new older members to our Chinese and English services, which resulted in the increase of the number of the participants in Seniors’ Ministry. As for me, it had been a great joy to minister to the old folks almost every week until 2010. Preacher Daniel Lim’s help was invaluable in establishing a regular gathering of the seniors. Preacher Lim co-laboured with me not only to fetch the seniors week after week, but also to interpret the sermons into Mandarin. Besides Preacher Lim, Eld Mah Chin Kwang also rendered his help after his retirement to teach whenever he was available. I am also particularly thankful to other preachers, like Dennis Kabingue and Kelvin Lim, who availed themselves to minister the Word to the elderly, whenever I had to attend to other matters of the church and missions.

Since August 2010, Preacher Jeremiah Sim has been appointed to lead all our special ministries to the elderly. He now leads the Sunday Gospel ministry in Lions Home for the Elderly and Thursday gathering of the seniors. These two efforts are the present major ministries of Gethsemane Seniors’ Ministry. We thank the Lord for Preacher Jeremiah’s zeal in reaching out to the senior folks in our church and also in bringing the Gospel to unbelieving senior folks outside the church. Let us also praise the Lord for Preacher Daniel Lim and Elder Mah who co-labour with him to efficiently guide this ministry forward. Please pray for the edification and strengthening of the senior folks in our church. I would also like to urge you to introduce senior folks to this ministry.