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Pastoral Exhortation

Looking Forward To The Church Camp!

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There has been much enthusiasm among our brethren about the upcoming church camp (to be held 6-10 June, 2016). If the Lord permits, 217 brethren will gather at The Saujana Hotel Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The camp committee, led by Dn Francis Lee (Camp Master) have made all the arrangements and will continue to labour to ensure a smooth running of the camp.

Even our children are excited about the church camp. During last Tuesday prayer meeting, as I sat with our young children to pray, I asked them whether they were looking forward to the church camp. Their enthusiastic reply of “Yes! Yes!” was very heartening, and we prayed together for the camp’s blessings. May the Lord use this camp to bring salvation and spiritual growth to our children. During the camp, our children will be ministered to by Pr Joshua Yong, Sis Ng Boon Choo and Sis Ho Xiao Wei (full-time workers from Calvary Pandan and Truth B-P Churches). Pr Kelvin Lim and the Gethsemane Children’s Committee will be at hand to help the children during the camp as well.

All our preachers, elders and deacons will also be at the camp to minister to you. Pray for those who chair the meetings and preach, that the Spirit of God would empower them to minister His Word to us. Let us pray that all of us will be greatly edified and that great joy may fill our hearts.

I would like to encourage you to make full use of the time and opportunity to learn God’s Word, to pray with one another, and minister to one another with joy and love. Please be courteous and helpful to one another. One very important aspect of the church camp, to which every participant should give utmost attention, is holiness in our private and public conduct. Godly conduct is crucial to a peaceful and happy time of fellowship and learning of God’s Word. So, let us be watchful to flee all temptations and consecrate ourselves to worship Him “in the beauty of holiness”.

Therefore, please adhere to the following advice:

Some Important Advice for the Camp

  1. Go to the camp with a prepared and ready heart to receive His Word –
    • Take time to pray that you will know God’s will concerning your life, that you will grow spiritually, and that you will learn to enjoy His joyful presence in your life.
    • Bring along your Bibles and writing instruments. Papers for note-taking will be made available for you.
  2. Clothing worn at camp must be modest, even during games and sports activities –
    • During meetings, no shorts and slippers are allowed. Skirts and dresses must be below the knees.
    • Campers will be asked by Pastor, the Session members or the Camp Committee members to change their clothes if they are deemed inappropriate.
    • Inappropriate apparel include spaghetti straps, midriff/ belly shirts, backless and strapless tops and cheerleading shorts.
    • A rule of thumb for all sports shorts is that the length should be below your fingertips when your arms are resting at your side while standing. Do not walk about in inappropriate apparel.
    • Clothing that is offensive or advertises alcoholic beverages, drinking establishments, tobacco or rock music is forbidden.
    • Male campers must keep their shirts on at all times, except when they are inside the pool.
    • Ladies are advised to have decent one-piece swimsuit for swimming. Do not walk about in your swimsuit.
  3. The use of alcohol or tobacco products of any kind is absolutely forbidden. Do not visit or hang around the pubs or other worldly entertainment facilities at the resort or in its vicinity.
  4. During free time, if you are not resting, please engage in prayer, fellowship or personal devotion. Do not waste your time watching ungodly movies and programmes on TV, or listening to secular music.
  5. Do not leave the premises without informing the Camp Master or Camp Committee members.
  6. Conduct and speech exhibited at camp must be in keeping with Christian principles.
  7. Be always ready to encourage and help one another.

As we gather together in His presence, may the Lord make us rejoice with great joy! ■

 

 

Mission Pangasinan 2016
Mah Chin Kwang

“Relying on God’s Promises” was the theme of the mission trip to the church in Dagupan City, Pangasinan, the Philippines, held recently from 20 May (Friday) to 24 May (Tuesday). The Scripture text underlying the entire planning and execution of the trip was taken from Hebrews 10:23b – “for He is faithful that promised”. Hence, the theme song selected for the trip was “Standing on the Promises of God”. For the 19 members of the mission team, the Lord has been most faithful, as we experienced God’s goodness in all that we undertook and through all that we saw and experienced.

It was a short trip. Excluding the 2 days of travelling (which took us 8 hours over a 2,400 km-journey), the team had 3 days of fast-paced but joyful opportunities to worship, serve the Lord and to fellowship with brethren in Pangasinan. We visited 3 homes, which essentially form the nucleus of the mission church. They are from the family and relatives of Sis Cecile Batrina, who is from our midst in Gethsemane Filipino Fellowship. We subsequently attended a Saturday fellowship meeting, participated in the Lord’s Day Worship Service, followed by a “Question & Answer” forum and a short retreat comprising 4 messages preached by Pr Dennis Kabingue.

Most of the brethren in the mission church live considerably far away, having to travel by jeepney along congested roads and narrow country roads or by a small boat across the river. A large group of family members and friends of Bro Jomart Tindaan (another of our Filipino brethren) had actually travelled all the way from Manila (a distance of some 200 km, which is about 3 hours by car) to join us. Having gathered this large group of participants at considerable costs (of both time and expenses), and coupled with the fact that some of them are not believers as yet, we felt it necessary to take every opportunity available to share the Gospel and to teach them the Word of God.

Overall, the group of about 80 (including children and infants) were “fed” a total of 10 messages / devotions. The children were also concurrently taught 7 Bible lessons. After the lessons, the children readily started working on their arts and crafts, with many of them happy to bring back their proud handiwork to show their friends and families. Of further note is an interesting item in the programme in the form of an oral hygiene briefing conducted by Sis Elizabeth Poon. Needless to say, both adults and children were seen happily participating in the hands-on instructive session on the correct way of brushing of teeth!

The Lord has been pleased to bless us all, both brethren in the mission team and friends in the Philippines, during the mission trip. The Lord granted His grace to each of the 19 members of the mission team, such that we spontaneously agreed to undertake our various tasks with joy, unity and commitment. The Lord further afforded the team to learn great lessons from the hospitality, love and friendship of our hosts. To the brethren and friends in the Philippines, the Lord has surely encouraged their hearts through the preaching of His Word and the fellowship of God’s people, who came from afar to fellowship with them.

This mission trip has given the team great insights and experiences of the work that go on in the mission field, especially in Pangasinan. Of course, we are very appreciative of the Lord’s goodness in providing and sustaining His servant, Pr Donald dela Cruz, together with his wife Sis Sejin and young child Jesher, in their loving and dedicated service unto the Lord. How the brethren in the mission church continue to undertake for the Lord in reaching to their people near and far, with reliance on the faithful God, sets for us a worthy example to serve the Lord with commitment here in Singapore.

(A more comprehensive report to detail the Lord’s goodness in Pangasinan experienced by the mission team will follow in next week’s bulletin.)