LOAVES + FISHES
MICA (P) No: 104/03/2013
The Covenant Community Methodist Church Magazine
The Journey of
A New Way
Commune with God in the setting
of His natural provision
quiltsalad CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Michele Solmi CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Church Camp 2014
A WHOLE NEW WORLD
GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN
Frederick J. Work
Go, tell it on the mountain,
Over the hills and everywhere
Go, tell it on the mountain,
That Jesus Christ is born.
While shepherds kept their watching
Over silent flocks by night
Behold throughout the heavens
There shone a holy light.
The shepherds feared and trembled,
When lo! above the earth,
Rang out the angels chorus
That hailed the Saviour’s birth.
Down in a lowly manger
The humble Christ was born
And God sent us salvation
That blessèd Christmas morn.
6-9 June 2014
Speaker: Dr Tan Lai Yong
ROCKER_44 CC BY 2.0
SANTA, CANDY CANES
& THE PARTRIDGE IN
THE PEAR TREE
The meaning of popular
learn to walk in jesus' steps
DISCIPLE BIBLE STUDY 1
Wednesday nights, starting 8 Jan 2014,
GRACE NG –
A REFLECTION OF
OUR LIFE JOURNEY
Ask Abigail 33
Crafts for Kids (pull out)
Good Things 42
Manga Hero 40
News Bites 38
Songs & Singers 32
Food for Thought 34
To the Point 23
Punctuality of our congregation boils down
to whether each of us is punctual. How many
times did you get to church on time in the last
Reflecting on making
time with God
Practise these tips regularly, especially on
Sundays, so we can honour God with the time
He has given us.
1. Make a commitment to arrive slightly
ahead of time.
2. Plan for real world delays and give yourself time to spare.
3. Find creative ways to use pockets of time
created by being early.
Good and Faithful 12
Well done! 10
A bit more effort, please 9
don't be complacent 6
Prepare breakfast on 3
Get a new alarm clock 0
Loaves + Fishes is published
quarterly by Covenant Community
Level 4, Methodist Girls’ School
11, Blackmore Drive
Tel: 64669652 Fax: 64667470
MICA (P) No: 104/03/2013
Printed by Oxford Graphic
Printers Pte Ltd
Rev John Benedict Foo
BG David Koh
Goh Eck Kheng
Chong Cheh Hoon
Michael & Christina Chia
S Michael Houdmann
Rev Khoo Kay Huat
Tan Ming Ying
Rev Canon Terry Wong
ON THE COVER
Lenard and Leanne Patiselanno
with their sons, Eli (left) and
n these weeks leading up to Christmas, our thoughts are
turned to giving. We are beginning to or are already busy
with Christmas shopping, thoughtfully choosing appropriate gifts for family members and friends. For some, this
giving extends to the less fortunate of society; we prepare
comfort boxes and toys to help spread good cheer.
As Christians, we are also deeply aware in the Advent
season of God's gift of Jesus. On that first Christmas, God gave
mankind his Son as a helpless little baby, human and vulnerable. By being one of us, he was truly Immanuel – God with
us. And as a man, he remained with us, suffering death cruelly on the cross to bear the sins of the world, rose again from
the grave, till he ascended into heaven. As much as we have
received this greatest gift of all, we can and should desire to
share it with others. "Go, tell it on the mountain," so the carol
encourages and challenges us.
Another aspect of giving to consider is what we can give to
God. Perhaps the better perspective is to ask what God wants
of us. We take this approach when we choose gifts. We ask,
"What would my daughter like? What would please my wife?"
So, this Advent, take time to be alone with God to ask Him
what He would like from you. What is He calling you to do?
Who may He want you to help? Which aspects of your life does
He want you to resolve for His sake?
As Mary chose to give what God wanted of her – to be the
mother of Jesus – she became a blessing to all people. So, as
you give to God, he will open ways for you to make a difference
in the lives of others.
That is a thought that gives sweet anticipation. Children
feel that excitement when they feel and rattle gifts tagged with
their names. God has a gift he wants from you, a gift that will
in turn bless others and yourself – for as you give, so you will
May God bless you richly in the reading of this issue and so
move you to want to be a blessing in the lives of others this
Rev John Benedict Foo
SANTA, CANDY CANES
& THE PARTRIDGE
IN A PEAR TREE?
GOH ECK KHENG
explores the meaning of
popular Christmas symbols.
Ann Gordon CC BY-SA 2.0
any truth in
There are a number of accounts of
the origin of the candy cane, including one which attributes it to a devout confectioner from Indiana, USA.
He wanted to make a candy that
would be a witness for Jesus, so he
incorporated several symbols for the
birth, ministry and death of Christ
in his new treat. The pure white
of his candy symbolized the virgin
birth and sinless nature of Jesus. Its
hardness was a reminder of Christ
as the Foundation of the Church and
the firmness of God's promises. The
candy maker made this candy in the
form of a 'J', the initial of the name
of Jesus. It also represents the crook
used by the 'Good Shepherd' to save
his sheep. For decoration, he used
stripes of red to symbolise the blood
which Jesus shed for us.
Another similar account with a
stronger ring of truth sets the origin
in 1672, in Cologne, Germany. The
choirmaster at Cologne Cathedral,
wishing to stop the children in his
church from making noise during
the Nativity pageant on Christmas
Eve, asked a local candy maker for
some sweet sticks for them. In order
to justify the distribution of sweets
during the worship service, he asked
the confectioner to add a crook to
the top of each stick to help the children remember the shepherds who
visited the new-born Jesus.
Holly and IVY
The prickly leaves of the holly represent the crown of thorns that Jesus
wore at his crucifixion. The berries
are the drops of blood he shed because of the thorns.
That ivy has to cling to a support
as it grows reminds us that we need
to always cling to God in our lives.
This symbolism of the holly is
developed fully in the English carol,
The Holly and the Ivy, that has been
traced to 1710:
The holly and the ivy, when they
are both well grown, of all the trees
that are in the wood, the holly bears
The holly bears a blossom as
white as lily flower, and Mary bore
sweet Jesus Christ to be our sweet
The holly bears a berry as red
as any blood, and Mary bore sweet
Jesus Christ to do poor sinners good.
The holly bears a prickle as sharp
as any thorn, and Mary bore
sweet Jesus Christ on Christmas
Day in the morn.
The holly bears a bark as
bitter as any gall, and Mary
bore sweet Jesus Christ
for to redeem us all.
Jason Hickey CC BY 2.0
Garedening in a Minute CC BY-NC 2.0
Hannesseibt CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
It seems to be an open-and-shut
case. Popular – some would use the
word 'commercialised' – symbols of
Christmas do not appear in Biblical
That may be true, but many of
them do originate from historical
facts or legends that sought to
inspire faith. Let's look again at the
things commonly associated with a
secular Christmas. Perhaps you will
Here is an old Mexican legend about
how poinsettias and Christmas came
to be associated:
There was once a poor girl
named Pepita who had no gift for
the baby Jesus at the Christmas Eve
service. As she walked sadly to the
chapel, her cousin Pedro tried to
cheer her up.
"Pepita", he said "I'm sure that
even the smallest gift given from the
heart will make Jesus happy."
So Pepita picked a handful of
weeds from the roadside and made
them into a little bouquet. Still,
she felt embarrassed about the
smallness of her gift. As she knelt
to present the posey at the Nativity
scene, the weeds suddenly burst
into the bright red flowers of the
poinsettia. From that day on, those
flowers were known as 'Flores de
Noche Buena', or 'Flowers of the
The shape of the poinsettia are
sometimes thought as a symbol of
the Star of Bethlehem. The leaves
(yes, they are leaves), if red, symbolize the blood of Christ and, if white,
represent his purity.
12 Days of Christmas
The 12 Days of Christmas refer to the
period that starts with Christmas day
and ends on Epiphany (6th January).
In 1979, a Canadian hymnologist,
Hugh D. McKellar, invented the idea
that the gifts are symbolic of the
tenants of the Christian faith, and
that the 'true love' of the song refers
to God, the true love of the world.
The true story of Santa begins with
Nicholas, born to wealthy parents
in the third century in the village of
Patara, now in Turkey. Nicholas was
raised as a devout Christian, and
when his parents died in an epidemic, he obeyed Jesus' words to "sell
what you own and give the money
to the poor," Thus, Nicholas used
his whole inheritance to assist the
needy, the sick, and the suffering.
Illumined candles represent Christ as
the light of thre world.
God is described in the Bible as
“resplendent with light” (Ps 76:4)
and “wraps himself in light as with
storebukkebruse CC BY 2.0
day in between, a small red candle
was positioned and lit. In this way,
he created a visual aid to help the
children count the days to Christmas,
and draw their attention to the parts
of the Christmas story.
a garment” (Ps 104:2). As a result of
sin, Adam and Eve, and all mankind
after them, were banished from
the presence of God and cast into
spiritual darkness. God chose to deal
with sin and reconcile mankind to
himself by brining humanity “out of
darkness into his wonderful light”
(1 Peter 2:9). This he did by entering
the world as a man – as the baby
Jesus. As the Gospel of John 3:19
records, “Light has come into the
world.” Jesus himself proclaimed,
“I have come into the world as a
light, so that no one who believes in
me should stay in darkness” (John
Jesus' death on the cross and his
ressurrection on the first Easter, conquered sin and death and returned
light to those who trust in him.
Thus, it is appropriate that Christmas events be filled with lit candles
as we celebrate Jesus, the Light of
A possible source of the Christmas
tree is the German medieval religious play known as the “Paradise”
play. It began with the creation of
man, the narration of the first sin,
and showed Adam and Eve being
banished from the Garden of Eden
– represented by a fir tree hung
with apples (the symbol of sin) and
surrounded by candles. The play
closed with the promise of a coming
When religious plays were suppressed in Germany, the popular
symbol of the Paradise play – the
tree – made its way into the homes
of Christians. By the 15th century,
these trees were not only decorated with apples but also with small
white wafers which symbolised the
body of Christ. These wafers were
later replaced by pastry cut into the
shapes of stars, angels, bells, and
other Christian imagery.
The connection between the tree
in the Garden of Eden and Christmas
is profound and important. The first
sin comitted in the Garden of Eden
was disobeying God by eating from
the Tree of the Knowledge of Good
and Evil. God addressed the consequences of this sin by becoming
a man – Jesus – that we might be
saved through his death and ressurection.
Thus, trees play a significant role
in the arc of the Christian story: The
forbidden fruit, the eating of which
brought sin into the world, hung on
a tree. The act of salvation from sin
was Christ cruxified on a cross made
from a tree. Furthermore, when sin
entered the world through the disobedience of Adam and Eve, all mankind were no longer allowed to eat
of the tree of life. However, Christ’s
work on the cross will give us “the
right to eat of the tree of life” once
again (Revelation 2:7).
Brida Anderson CC BY 2.0
The 'eight maids a milking' are
the eight beatitudes taught by Jesus
The 'nine ladies dancing' are nine
fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians
The 'ten lords a-leaping' are the
Ten Commandments (Exodus 20).
The 'eleven pipers piping' are the
eleven faithful disciples of Jesus.
The 'twelve drummers drumming' are the twelve points of the
Melissa Gutierrex CC BY-SA 2.0
Xavier Romero-Frias BY Wiki Commons
According to McKellar:
The 'partridge in a pear tree'
is Jesus who died on the cross. In
ancient times a partridge was often
used as mythological symbol of a
divine, sacred king.
The 'two turtle doves' are the
Old and New Testaments - another
gift from God. Doves also symbolise
The 'three French hens' are faith,
hope and love - the three gifts of
the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 13).
The French hens can also represent
God the Father, the Son and the Holy
The 'four calling birds' are the
four Gospel books.
The 'five golden rings' are the
first five books of the Bible also
called the Pentateuch.
The 'six geese a-laying' are the six
days of creation.
The 'seven swans a swimming'
are the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit.
(1 Corinthians 12:8-11, Romans 12,
Ephesians 4, 1 Peter 4:10-11).
He dedicated his life to serving God
and was made Bishop of Myra while
still a young man.
When the Roman Emperor Diocletian ruthlessly persecuted Christians, Bishop Nicholas suffered for
his faith, was exiled and imprisoned.
After his release, he attended the
Council of Nicaea in AD 325 when
the Nicene Creed was adopted.
He died on 6 December, AD 343 in
Many stories and legends have
been told of Nicholas' life and deeds.
One story tells of a poor man with
three daughters. He had no money
for their doweries, and they were
therefore destined to be sold into
slavery. On three different occasions, Nichloas tossed a bag of gold
through an open window, which
were said to have landed in stockings
or shoes left before the fireplace
to dry. This led to the custom of
children hanging stockings or putting
out shoes, eagerly awaiting gifts
from Santa Claus.
Christmas wreaths hark back to
advent wreaths which were first
used by Johann Hinrich Wichern
(1808–1881), a German Protestant
pastor who pioneered urban mission work among the poor. One of
Wichern's many acts of social service
was the founding of a home for destitute children in Hamburg. In 1839,
Wichern began to use a wreath as
a tool to teach the children about
the approach of Christmas. For each
Sunday of Advent, he lit a large
white candle in a wreath made
from a cart wheel. For every other
ince Lenard and I got
married, we have always
stayed with my folks.
We thought we’d move
out eventually but since
Zachary, 6 and Eli, 3 came into
our lives, we quickly abandoned
that plan in favour of staying put!
It is a rarity these days for two
generations to live under one roof,
much less three (such as our case),
and we are grateful to be able to have
the children grow up close to their
grandparents. Bringing them up
in my childhood home also means
there is always good company and
willing babysitters! The blessing
of having the children live with the
grandfolks is even more apparent
when Christmas comes around.
Christmas is hands-down our
household’s favourite season and
the one we collectively live from
year to year. Even though it’s forever
summer in Singapore and Jack Frost
is nowhere in sight, there’s still a
discernable change in the air as the
year draws to a close. Everything
seems to slow down a little, we
start feeling more sentimental and
the desire to be with our loved ones
seems more pressing than ever.
In our home, Christmas officially begins after the American
Thanksgiving for the simple reason
that my mum starts decking the
halls around that time. Somewhere
in the end of November, the
yuletide decorations come out of
storage and the house resembles
Santa’s workshop as my mumslash-decorator-extraordinaire
decides where everything should
go. While Christmas carols sung
by the crooners of decades gone
by play in the background, every
hand in the house, small and grown,
works to put some bit or bauble
in place. The 'scent of Christmas'
provided by Yankee Candle wafting
in the air makes this event less like
work and more like play. Up goes
the Christmas quilt, hand-made by
mum, mounted on the wall, along
AND THE ONE WE
FROM YEAR TO
with all the crafts and handiwork
amassed over the years from our
many trips to visit relatives in
America. Each piece is treasured
for the memories tied to it and
the loving care in which they were
selected (by mum), packed (by dad)
and trucked home. The stockings
are carefully hung in their place
complete with a photo of each
corresponding family member’s
first Christmas photograph. Our
electrician is booked way in advance
to make sure the fairy lights draped
on the archway of our gate and on
the frangipani trees are set up in
Since my sister and I were little,
we always looked forward to see
what new Martha Stewart-esque
ideas our mum had for trimming
the tree and getting the house all
gussied up. It is no different for my
boys since each gets wide-eyed in
excitement when the first signs of
Christmas descend on our house.
God gifted my mum with a creative
imagination and a great eye, so the
house always looks spectacular.
The recent decade has seen her up
the ante in transforming our living
room into a visual masterpiece. For
the years we had weddings, there
were butterflies in the tree, and
when babies were born, toys were
the theme. Those in-between years,
our tree has donned everything
from peacock feathers to birds to
sunflowers. Mum makes it work!
While interior décor remains
my mum’s area of expertise, I sadly
did not inherit that gene. However,
in recent years, I have been able to
put my personal stamp on family
tradition by way of the hearth.
Before Eli was born, Lenard,
Zachary and I lived in Barcelona,
Spain, for two years while Lenard
completed his MBA. It was in España
that I discovered my inner-Nigella
and came to love experimenting in
the kitchen. Being able to cook and
feed my family brought me great
joy but I was even more thrilled to
(Clockwise from left) Harold
Tan, Lenard Pattiselanno,
Eli, Leanne, Zachery,
Kenneth Tan, Melanie, Lin.
(( WE HAVE
IT IS ALL A
finally be able to contribute during
the holiday season after we settled
down again in Singapore.
In the month of December, it is
not uncommon to host up to five
or six gatherings including our
family dinners on Christmas Eve,
Christmas Day, and New Year’s
Eve. Leading up to party season,
I work through each meal plan,
dog-earing the recipes to try out
and figuring out the ingredients
for our dinner-table mainstays.
The menu is typically a balance
of American tradition (turkey,
ham, cranberry sauce, stuffing
and the like) and local goodies
(satay, mee siam, and more). While
outsourcing is a necessity, I always
make it a point to make the stuffing
and accompaniments myself. In
addition to our main meals, our
oven is kept very busy with batches
and batches of fresh brioche, cakes,
cookies and other sweets to be
served as dessert, given as gifts or
eaten just because no one can say
"no". Decorating sugar cookies has
become something the boys really
look forward to so I make sure to
have some stashed in the kitchen
as post-dinner entertainment for
the younger bunch while the adults
have their meal and catch up over
drinks. No one is in a hurry to end
the festivities, unless, of course, it’s
Christmas Eve and the children are
expecting a visit from jolly old St.
Nick. Zachary in particular
makes sure he hits the
sack as early as possible
because he believes
it’s a surefire way to
get Christmas Day to
come quickly and come
We have always maintained
the tradition of Santa’s visit even
though the adults know it is all a
ruse. Even after my sister and I
knew that Santa was make-believe,
we still loved the anticipation of
not-Santa’s visit as much as our
parents still enjoyed feeding into the
fantasy. Just as we put out cookies
and milk plus freshly cut grass in
our Christmas stockings (for the
reindeer, of course) for years of
our childhood, my children now
do the same. The awe painted on
their faces when they see the empty
glass and plate and squeals they
elicit at the sight of the mountain of
presents is a gift in itself and wellworth the effort of conducting this
As spectacular and dazzling as
all these traditions are, is Christmas’ meaning to me and my family
defined merely by special foods, a
be-decked tree in the living room
or even a plump guy in a red suit?
Is Christmas not Christmas when
you strip all that away? Do the traditions we keep demonstrate to
those looking on God’s amazing act
of perfect love that first Christmas
Having been brought up in a
Christian household and having
gone to a Christian school for 12
years, I was always able to give a
Sunday School textbook answer to
the true meaning of Christmas.
Now that I have two precious
children who are slowly forming
their idea of who God is and who
He ought to be to them, I find
myself asking these questions more
seriously and thoughtfully as the
year winds down.
I recall Romans 12:2 calling
for us to “not be confirmed to this
world”. As believers, what sets us
apart during the holiday season that
demonstrates how truly amazing
God’s gift and sacrifice really is?
How can I show my children and to
others how Christ has completely
changed my life if I honour Him at
Christmas by doing what everyone
else does? I’ve found my heart
stirred with a frantic desire for them
to look past the fancy packaging of
“commercial Christmas” to see the
bigger picture – that “… God so loved
the world that he gave His one and
only Son, that whoever believes in
Him will not perish but have eternal
life.” John 3:16.
As they grow with each Christmas season, my prayer is that God
will grow the seeds we as parents
lovingly plant into our children’s
hearts and that by our actions,
they will come to love the Lord our
God with all their heart, soul and
mind. We pray that as they mature,
they will see with new eyes what it
means to receive this gift and what
God wants us to do with it. This
Christmas let us all experience with
our families how God can use us as
His salt and light to share the good
news of what happened that Christmas morning.
Leanne is a self-confessed Christmas
enthusiast married to a sports lover,
and mummy to two active little boys.
(( DO THE
THOSE LOOKING ON
ACT OF PERFECT
LOVE THAT FIRST
Effective Social Enterprises
By CHONG CHEH HOON
A social enterprise is an
organisation that applies
business strategies for a
social cause. Its primary
aim is to maximise
improvements to human,
environment, healthcare, education
and so forth, and is not driven
by profits to benefit the owner
or shareholders. Hence, the
commitment to the diverse social
causes and its goals is the driving
vision behind the business. Any
surpluses that result from the
business are reinvested to achieve
higher social objectives.
In the Christian context, social
enterprise is aligned to the call
by God to help the poor and
needy. Consider the following
verses – Zechariah 7:9 "This is
what the Lord Almighty says:
'Administer true justice; show
mercy and compassion to one
another”. Philippians 2:4 "Let each
of you look not only to his own
interests, but also to the interests
of others." Isaiah 25:4a "For you
have been a stronghold to the
poor, a stronghold to the needy
in his distress, a shelter from the
storm and a shade from the heat…."
Galatians 6:2 "Bear one another's
burdens, and so fulfill the law of
In Singapore, social enterprises
follow the four broad models
listed in the table below although
increasingly, there are hybrid ways
in which social enterprise can
The objective of these social
enterprises is to generate profit
to fund the social programmes of
their affiliated or parent charities.
This helps VWOs or charities
reduce their reliance on donations
and enhance their financial
Subsidised Services Model
These social enterprises provide
subsidised services to needy
and/or disadvantages clients,
and charge commercial rates
to mainstream customers. This
ensures that the people who could
not usually afford certain services
have access to such services to
improve their quality of life.
Work Integration Model
The Work Integration Social
Enterprises (WISEs) provide skills
training and/or employment
opportunities to the needy
disadvantaged (i.e. those who
have higher than usual barriers to
employmemt, such as ex-offenders)
as a means to reintegrate them
into society and encourage them
to be self reliant. They give an
opportunity to people who may not
find employmement on the open
Social Needs Model
These social enterprises are
designed to serve society's social
needs or address certain social
issues. These issues can include
community bonding, family
bonding and racial harmony.
Supporting a social enterprise
helps to further a social cause by
enabling funds to be channelled
directly to its beneficiaries
– such as the marginalised
sub-groups in societies. It also
provides them with a platform
to voice social concerns and to
advocate for changes that can
impact the betterment of its
people, environment and issues.
Sustainability for social enterprises
can only happen when citizens
come alongside to endorse its
message, products and services.
It's a meaningful and satisfying
way to reach out to help the needy
On the following pages, we
feature a few social enterprises
that you might go to for gifts this
(( IN THE
ALIGNED TO THE
CALL BY GOD TO
HELP THE POOR
ARE PAID AN
FOR THE PREPRODUCTION
THE SEWERS GET
FROM THE SALE
OF THE BAGS.
SEMBAWANG FAMILY SERVICE
CENTRE Banner Bags PROJECT
SFSC is committed to assisting
its clients attain eventual selfsufficiency. One pressing issue
for clients who are home-bound
because of child- or elder-care
responsibilities, especially the
housewives from low-income
families, is the need to work
towards self-reliance and feel
empowered by generating some
income for the family. It was
with this need in mind that SFSC
embarked on the Banner Bags
Project with the guidance of CCMC
Used event banners donated
by organisations such as NEA
and People’s Association are
transformed into lovely bags
of various sizes and designs,
catering to customers’ different
needs. For example, during last
year’s SFSC Sunday, many of the
smaller banner bags were snapped
up for use as Bible carriers!
Organisations like Woodlands
Evangelical Church and Methodist
Girls’ School have placed orders for
banner bags to use as goodie bags
or door gifts for their events.
The SFSC clients’ role in this
project is to take up the duties
of cleaning, selecting and cutting
out appropriate portions of the
banners, and finally to sew them
into bags. Clients are paid an
hourly rate for the pre-production
process while the sewers get the
proceeds from the sale of the bags.
SFSC currently has five
committed sewers. One of them,
Ms Irene, shared: “I’m grateful for
the flexibility this programme as
I’m able to work at my own pace
and schedule while juggling family
commitments. The additional
income earned goes a long way to
supplement my family’s expenses.
Also, I get to milk my creative
juices when choosing the material
and coming up with design for the
banner bags. This Banner Bags
Project is indeed very rewarding.”
Banner Bags, especially
the bigger ones, are useful for
delivering gifts to families and
Call 67547050 or email
email@example.com to get the bags.
TeddyThotz ‘n’ OneKind
This home-grown social enterprise
produces quirky and creative
handcrafted products. They range
from unusual teddy bears to
common everyday things made so
creatively that they become special
What’s different about this
enterprise is that everything that
it sells is hand-made and homemade by individuals and families.
This practice is deliberate as
TeddyThotz’s mission is to harness
the talents of the ordinary and
disadvantaged people to generate
business and income for them.
The result is a unique range of
creative and quality handcrafted
products that are socially
meaningful at the same time.
These include an adorable
collection of hand-crocheted owls,
rabbits and hoody bears; brainy
bears and textile doggies made
from lovely fabrics; and bears and
bunnies made from recycled jeans.
Other popular products include
beautiful hand-painted earrings
and artistically shaped wire art
bracelets and rings.
The makers of these products
are working mothers, housewives,
farmers, rural folk, and crafters.
favourites are it’s traditional items
made by the elderly which often
elicit a feeling of nostalgia among
customers – patchwork blankets in
many designs and sizes to choose
from, beansprout husk pillows
and bolsters, and the traditional
children’s game, Five Stones.
TeddyThotz’s products are
available at Path Market, a social
enterprise bazaar at VivoCity, Level
1, Lobby A to C area, from 14 to 23
December, 11am to 10pm.
Find out more at facebook.
com/teddythotz.sg and teddythotz.
IS THAT EVERYTHING THAT IT
The Singapore Anglican
This umbrella organisation runs
three social enterprises: The
Mother and Child Project, MOSES
and Something Old Something New
The social enterprises are
non-profit making and were set
up to enable clients to have an
opportunity to earn an income,
be encouraged in their journey of
recovery and to raise awareness of
social issues like mental illness and
Dr Sally Thio, then Director of
Hougang Care Centre, asked Ms
Anna Tsang, a fashion designer,
to help set up Something Old
Something New in 1997. It started
as a vintage store. Currently, there
are three outlets located in Simei
Care Centre, in Bedok North and
in Pasir Ris, which are run as thrift
stores providing employment
opportunities for clients. At the
same time, the items on sale are
reasonably priced to bless lower
income families and many foreign
workers. SOSN runs a flea market
and a garage sale every year at
Simei Care Centre.
At SOSN, clients are taught to
evaluate and sort donated items,
arrange them and shelve them
for display. Clients with higher
capabilities price items and work
SACS runs a sheltered workshop
named MOSES (Members Own
Social Enterprise Services) which
produces corporate gifts and gifts
for sale at retail outlets. It began
in 2006 and operates from Simei
Care Centre. MOSES aims to create
sustainable training and work
opportunities for people with
mental illness in their journey to
recovery. MOSES thus becomes a
bridge to rehabilitate and integrate
them into the community.
At the MOSES Workshop, clients
improve their motor skills and
learn Art and Craft making.
products for the shop.
The Singapore Anglican
Community Service has a pop up
shop at CityLink Mall (B01-07A)
named MOSES where items from
all three social enterprises are
Contact details for SOSN and
MOSES are as follows:
10 Simei Street 3
Tel: 6781 8113 (Augustine Tham,
ext 1306, for donation of items)
The Mother and Child Project
produces a wide range of products
for the home, clothing and
It was birthed in 2005 at
a crisis shelter when Anna
Tsang decided to marry both
her passions – working with
disadvantaged woman and
fashion design. She started to
train disadvantaged women to
sew and make a range of products
which she designed. Many of
these ladies were single mothers,
retirees or women recovering from
psychiatric illness, and their newly
acquired skill became their source
Initially, Anna faced challenges
in finding material for the ladies
to sew and work with. She and her
supporters scavenged for remnant
cloth and donated materials.
Hence, some of the items sold
by Mother and Child Project are
patchworks or use fabrics upcycled from denim jeans and
jackets. There are also high-fashion
reversible jackets and skirts with
sleek lines and structure.
Her first design was a tissue
pouch. She went on to conceive
the bestselling cheerful Samsui and
Peranakan women as doorstops,
paper weights and card holders.
By providing sewing contract
work under the Mother and Child
brand, the project provides homebased work for disadvantaged
mothers and their children in
Singapore so that they can become
Efforts are made to ensure
that a large percentage of money
earned from each product goes
back to these women. The aim is
to empower women-in-need with
a regular income while allowing
them to take care of their children.
By helping one mother, an average
of four people are helped as most
of these women have two or three
children. These mothers are trained
in sewing, assigned work according
to their level of skills, and are paid
above market rates.
Befriending services are also
provided to meet their social needs.
Over time, many of the women
regained their confidence, managed
their family situations better, and
found higher paying jobs outside
the programme. Some of them have
even taken up the design of new
Blk 89, Bedok North St 4, #01-91
Tel: 6242 9248
SOSN Pasir Ris
Blk 534 Pasir Ris Drive 1, #01-266
Tel: 6582 2335
10 Simei Street 3
Tel: 6781 8113
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org OR
After more than 50 years of aid to Africa, there has been
no significant change in the poverty landscape. Economic
data shows that though aid has increased, the GDPs of the
recipient countries have decreased. There is therefore no
direct relationship between aid and poverty reduction.
In my opinion, business and enterprise is a better, if not
the only way, for long-term sustainable transformation and
poverty reduction in developing countries.
To be clear, there will always be a role for aid in meeting
humanitarian, short-term crises. But for long term, sustainable transformation, aid is not the solution. Here, I highlight
two issues that are seldom discussed in poverty reduction.
In developed countries, the small medium enterprise
(SME) sector contributes more than 51% of GDP, while the
informal sector – like home-based business – contributes
13%. In developing countries, this is reversed with the
informal economy contributing more than 47%. With such
a large informal sector from which no taxes are collected,
no wonder governments in developing countries have to
depend on aid to run essential services. Increasing the tax
base is the way out of poverty, and the way to enlarge the
tax base is through enterprise-creating jobs.
Since the backbone of the economy in developed countries is the SME sector, activities that do not enlarge this
sector condemn the country to poverty. To address this, we
need to build the ecosystem to develop and grow SMEs.
I believe that enterprise-building can also address the
human social issues that come with poverty. Investments
can be made with the intention not only of a financial
return, but also a social and an environmental return by
building commercially sustainable SMEs that create jobs,
empower the poor to improve their livelihoods and address
their social and environmental issues.
Poverty is a complex problem. Its causes are multifactorial, but we have focused for too long on these causes.
Perhaps we should spend more time focusing on the causes
of wealth creation and economic development. This is
the journey we need to take from aid and philanthropy to
a world view
BY KIM TAN
Pictures show Kuzuko Lodge, a social
enterprise safari game park in South Africa.
(( business and enterprise
is a better, if not the
only way, for longterm sustainable
Kim Tan is the founder chairman of SpringHill Management Ltd
(UK), a fund management company in biotech and social venture capital investments. He is also a board director of companies in Malaysia, India, the UK, South Africa and the USA.
Ms Grace Ng comes from her
position as Deputy Director at
the Guidance Branch, Student
Development Curriculum Division,
Ministry of Education, to assume the
role of MGS Principal starting from
16 December 2013.
Ms Ng is no stranger to the MGS
culture and ethos. A Christian, she
first taught at her alma mater, Paya
Lebar MGS, before being promoted
to Vice-Principal in 1997. She was
then appointed Principal of Juying
Secondary School before a stint as
Superintendent for a school cluster.
Ms Ng has played a significant
role in shaping the schools and
places where she has been in charge,
setting clear goals and directions,
and nurturing those she works with.
Loaves+Fishes conducted this
short interview with Ms Ng.
Why did you become a teacher?
I think it was really God’s calling.
He knew way ahead the person I
am and my inherent strengths and
how being a teacher would allow
me to reach out to young lives.
INTERVIEW BY GOH ECK KHENG
What is the one thing that you will
never tolerate in a student?
The lack of integrity. To me,
integrity is an imperative – a
must have – without which,
society, organization, family and
relationships will fail. Our young
must understand the importance
What is your strongest memory of
your school days?
I have very good memories of my
school days. Till today, they remain
etched in my mind.
The teachers… my CCA
experience… being a part of
the NPCC… chapel… cheering,
and running for my house
on Sports Day, are but a few.
What is important is that these
experiences made me feel a part
of my school and that I belonged
there. My loyalty and love for my
alma mater had its genesis from
these innocuous activities and
experiences of school life.
Who was the teacher that made an
impact in your life, and how so?
It must be Ms Ruth Ho, my
Secondary 3 History teacher who
impressed upon me the importance
of good communication and
pronunciation. She would use
every teachable moment to
illustrate or show us how a word
should be pronounced. Till today, I
continue to make a conscious effort
to hone my skills in this area.
out the best in them and help them
grow. When our people grow, the
organization improves and our
children will be the beneficiaries.
Every single child has the
potential to become someone we
can be proud of.
How do you spend your free time and
Weekends are reserved for church
and family. In my free time, I do
some sports and also browse the
social media to keep up with what’s
happening. It's also having time
alone, for me to recharge.
(( EVERY SINGLE CHILD HAS THE POTENTIAL TO
BECOME SOMEONE WE CAN BE PROUD OF.
What do Singaporean parents
misunderstand and least understand
This is only based on my
interaction with parents I
come across and may not be
representative. Parents tend
to focus their energies on the
attainment of outcomes by their
children. Inadvertently then, the
focus would be on the outcome/
product and little on the process
of learning. Education is a life-long
endeavor and every experience
good or bad, tough or easy, can
provide pivotal learning for our
children. If parents, teachers and
all involved in the lives of our
children can see the inordinate
potential of teachable moments to
educate, then our children would
truly be educated in the real sense
of the word.
What foundation principles have you
gained from your years of teaching,
school management, and work in the
Ministry of Education?
People are key. An organization is
nothing without its people. Bring
What is your favourite verse in the
I have a couple but at this point of
time, my top of the charts must be
Let your work appear to
Your servants and your glory
to their children
And let the beauty of the
Lord our God be upon us
And establish the work of
our hands for us:
Yes, establish the work of
What is a good way of preparing the
hearts of children for the start of a
new school year?
I would like to do some of the
• Prepare the children
psychologically, and help them look
forward to the new experiences
that can come with a new year, like
• Pick a song that they can hum on
their way to school.
• Pray for them and do pray with
ANTON & DOROTHY CHAN
Grace, Love and Fellowship
S: 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Love is patient, love is kind. It
does not envy, it does not boast,
it is not proud. It is not rude, it is
not self-seeking, it is not easily
angered, it keeps no record of
wrongs. Love does not delight in
evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts,
always hopes, always perseveres.
O: It is impossible to practice such
love. God's kind of love is directed
outward toward others, not inward
toward ourselves. It is totally
unselfish, and it goes against our
A: Pray and ask God for His kind of
love to be manifested in us. But we
need to be humble and obedient.
A: Grace reminds us that each day
is lived by the mercy of God. We
are always loved by God no matter
how others treat us. And to enjoy
this grace and love we must walk
in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.
The theology of grace, love and
fellowship with one another come
from the Trinity. May we be blessed as we truly embrace his grace,
his love and communion with the
Holy Spirit each day.
P: Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for
your grace which allows us to enjoy the love of our God, our Father.
O: People are born for trouble as
readily as sparks fly up from a fire.
A: We need to study the Word in
order to better understand the
painful truths in life. Listen to God's
counsel, and apply it to ourselves.
P: Lord, help me appreciate all the
painful lessons in my sinful life on
earth. Knowing that if I'm faithful
till the end, you will restore all
good things to me in your eternal
O: This is a common closing prayer
or benediction we hear at the end
of Church service. The trinitarian
benediction prayed by Paul is for
us to rejoice with, aim for restoration, agree with one another, and
live in peace. We are sinners saved
by the grace of The Lord Jesus who
loves us and paid the price for our
sins on the cross. The love of God
has been poured on us because of
what Jesus did for us on the cross.
The communion of the Holy Spirit
is to help us to fellowship with
God. Why did Paul pronounce the
benediction in the order of grace,
love and fellowship?
S: Job 5:17, 18
“But consider the joy of those
corrected by God! Do not despise
the discipline of the Almighty when
you sin. For though he wounds, he
also bandages. He strikes, but his
hands also heal."
CCMC MEMBERS ARE APPROACHING THE MILESTONE FIRST YEAR
OF USING THE SOAP FORMAT
FOR DAILY DEVOTIONS. WE
ENCOURAGE THOSE WHO
DO NOT HAVE A DAILY BIBLE
READING PROGRAMME TO TRY
SOAP. as many will confirm,
it is easy, meaningful, and
S: 2 Corinthians 13:14
The grace of The Lord Jesus Christ
and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
No such thing as bad karma
P: Gracious God, you have given us
an impossible task. We earnestly
seek your help to set aside our
own desires and instincts, so that
we can give love while expecting
nothing in return.
Help us to walk in fellowship of
the Holy Spirit to love one another, to rejoice, to aim for unity, and
to serve the Church to which we
Worship Him in awe and reverence.
C hr is tm
S: Matthew 4:4
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man
shall not live on bread alone, but
on every word that comes from the
mouth of God.’
O+A: We are called to lead a balanced Christian life for our body,
mind and soul. The Scripture is God
breathed and provides our daily
manna. We cannot read the Bible in
an erratic manner.
P: Lord, we thank you for Your daily bread. We praise You. Amen.
To The Point
The Hope of Salvation
THE HOPE OF ETERNAL LIFE
hope IN TROUBLED TIMES
1 Peter 1:3
Blessed be the God and
Father of our Lord Jesus
Christ! According to his
great mercy, he has caused
us to be born again to a
living hope through the
resurrection of Jesus Christ
from the dead.
1 Corinthians 15:19
If in Christ we have hope in
this life only, we are of all
people most to be pitied.
One thing have I asked of
the Lord, that will I seek
after: that I may dwell in
the house of the Lord all
the days of my life, to gaze
upon the beauty of the
Lord and to inquire in his
temple. For he will hide
me in his shelter in the day
of trouble; he will conceal
me under the cover of his
tent; he will lift me high
upon a rock.
For in this hope we were
saved. But hope that is
seen is no hope at all.
Who hopes for what they
Paul, a servant of God and
an apostle of Jesus Christ, for
the sake of the faith of God’s
elect and their knowledge of
the truth, which accords with
godliness, in hope of eternal
life, which God, who never
lies, promised before the ages
The Lord your God is in
your midst, a mighty one
who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by
his love; he will exult over
you with loud singing.
by PASTOR KHOO KAY HUAT
hope for the future
1. Apply glue carefully to the top, bottom and right
sides on the blue border. Glue together.
2. Use a hole puncher to punch out the holes on the
top of this side of the calender.
3. Thread a ribbon through the holes and make
a bow for hanging.
4. You are now ready to open each peforated box as
you countdown the days to Christmas.
Box designs from http://littletree-blog.blogspot.sg/
Nativity characters from http://madebyjoel.com/
WHY WE HOPE
For I know the plans I have
for you, declares the Lord,
plans for welfare and not
for evil, to give you a future
and a hope.
TO ASSEMBLE YOUR ADVENT CALENDER
Be joyful in hope, patient in
affliction, faithful in prayer.
God Does Not Lie
God is not man, that he
should lie, or a son of man,
that he should change his
mind. Has he said, and will
he not do it? Or has
he spoken, and will
he not fulfill it?
There is surely a future
hope for you, and your
hope will not be cut off.
God is Our Strength
Fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am
your God; I will strengthen
you, I will help you, I will
uphold you with my righteous right hand.
God is Our Portion
I say to myself, "The
Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him."
God's Word Brings Hope
Remember your word to
your servant, for you have
given me hope.
God's Wisdom Brings Hope
Know that wisdom is such
to your soul; if you find it,
there will be a future, and
your hope will not be cut off.
Hope in God Purifies Us
1 John 3:3
All who have this hope in
him purify themselves, just
as he is pure.
May the God of hope fill
you with all joy and peace
as you trust in him, so that
you may overflow with
hope by the power of the
Be strong and courageous.
Do not be afraid or terrified
because of them, for the
Lord your God goes with
you; he will never leave
you nor forsake you."
Hope Is A Result Of
Therefore, since we have
been justified through faith,
we have peace with God
through our Lord Jesus
Christ, through whom we
have gained access by faith
into this grace in which we
now stand. And we boast
in the hope of the glory of
God. Not only so, but we
also glory in our sufferings,
because we know that
suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.
And hope does not put us to
shame, because God’s love
has been poured out into
our hearts through the Holy
Spirit, who has been given
OZinOH CC BY-NC 2.0
n 27 April 2011, in a sombre voice, Noel told us that
he had to be admitted to
NUH. It was a moment of
great anxiety and fear and Mike texted our small group, Blest West Too,
for prayer support. The next day,
the oncologist told us that Noel had
a very big malignant mediastinal
germ cell tumour (yolk sac type),
and from the CT scan, the size of the
tumour was 18.3 x 18 x 12.6 cm, and
it had compressed his left lung. The
success rate of chemotherapy treatment for germ cell tumour, we were
told, was 50/50 – but the oncologist
did not reveal that the success rate
for yolk sac type is very low.
We were totally devastated and
asked God why. However, instead
of giving in to fear, we turned to
the Lord for help and prayed for his
healing grace. Rather than looking
at the cup as half empty, we saw it
as half filled.
Noel started chemotherapy immediately. Each course of chemotherapy lasted five days and each
cycle was for a period of three
weeks. Usually after the first week
of chemo, we walked in Bukit Batok Nature Park so that Noel could
gain his strength. It was also a time
when we would 'prayer walk' to
ask God to heal Noel completely,
for the effectiveness of the chemo
drugs, and to minimise the side effects of chemo. Our cell group gathered around to support us in prayer,
brought fruits and food for Noel and
Noel bore the whole process of
the four chemo cycles very well and
he never complained of pain, side
effects etc. Each night before we left
the hospital, we prayed for God to
heal him and to send his angels to
encamp around him to protect him.
After four cycles of chemotherapy, the cancer marker dropped
from 12599 points to 10 points
(normal was <15 points) and we
were elated. The oncologist then
A reflection on our life journey with
by Michael & Christina Chia
arranged for surgery to remove the
tumour on 18 August 2011. After
six hours of surgery, we praised
God that the whole operation was
a great success. After six days, Noel
was discharged as he regained his
health quite fast. We had prayed
constantly, believing that God was
with us and that He would never
leave us nor forsake us and He has
great plans for Noel as in Jeremiah
29:11 – "For I know the plans I have
for you,” declares the Lord, “plans
to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future."
We were so assured that God would
heal as things were generally going
On the advice of the oncologist,
Noel continued another two cycles
of chemo until 1 Nov 2011. However, in mid-December 2011, there
was a relapse as the marker went
up again and the oncologist then
proposed stem cells transplant with
three cycles of high dosage chemo.
The dosage of the chemo drug was
three times higher than the norm
and Noel had to be isolated for 63
days over this whole period in view
of his low or nil immunity. He suffered much side effects.
We had earlier wanted to delay
the treatment as we wanted to celebrate his 21st birthday which was
on 3 Feb 2012. However, the doctor
advised us to commence treatment
as soon as possible.
God answered our prayers for
the extraction of stem cells as Noel
managed to extract sufficient stem
cells for the transplant even though
his bone marrow had been badly affected by the earlier cycles of
On 29 Jan 2012, we celebrated
Noel’s 21st birthday in advance and
had a party at home – the doctor
had permitted him to go home for
a short break. Noel had suffered so
much; confined to his hospital bed
and subjected to intensive medical
treatment. We thanked God for all
(( each night
before we left
we prayed for
god to heal him
and to send his
angels to encamp
around him to
(From left): Christina, Nicole,
Noel, Nick and Michael.
(( In the midst
of all these, in
June 2012, Noel
to NTU to read
prayed that this
would be the
sign that God
would heal him
as he has given
him great plans
for his future.
His provisions, and the One Community Youth (OC) and friends for
making this celebration possible.
The OC had to wear face masks because of Noel's low immunity but
the happy and special day was a
very enjoyable and memorable time
for Noel. It was also very meaningful for him and a testimony of God’s
goodness and love for Noel. On 3
Feb 2012, his 21st birthday, the
nurses also celebrated Noel's birthday in his hospital room.
After the high-dose chemo,
Noel's medical condition improved. We thanked God and were
very hopeful of full recovery. Yet, a
month later, the marker went up.
Noel went through blood test and
PET-MRI/CT scan but he did not
complain. Mike shared Psalm 59:16
with Noel: "God is our refuge in
time of trouble."
It was a difficult time for Noel.
He went for further chemo, two
rounds of radiation and another
surgery of his hip bone area. Each
time we prayed together, we would
try to remind him that “God is faithful and God is good”. Though we did
not understand, we just had to trust
in His plans for Noel.
In the midst of all these, in June
2012, Noel was accepted to NTU to
read Engineering. We prayed that
this would be the sign that God
would heal him as he has given him
great plans for his future. The doctors and radiographers had scheduled his radiation in the morning;
we arrived at the hospital before 8
am and completed the radiation before 8.30 am and then we sent him
to NTU for his studies.
In all, Noel went through 16 cycles of chemo, two operations and
two rounds of radiation. He had
never complained of pain nor did
he refuse treatment because of the
side effects. Even when the nurses could not find the veins for the
chemo treatment, he would just
bear the pricking stoically.
Unfortunately, in Sept 2012, the
oncologist advised us that there
would not be further chemo treatment as it was not helping and the
disease was spreading. Noel texted
Kim Pong (OC mentor) and Supra (a
brother from Cornerstone Community Church who had been praying
for him) and asked them to pray.
When Kim Pong asked how he was,
Noel replied that he felt at peace
Noel continued his studies and
attended lectures daily in NTU and
even studied for exams when his
health and strength were deteriorating.
Noel went for his first OC camp
on 7 to 9 Dec 2012 even though he
was suffering as he was experiencing shortness of breath and was
very tired. He was very encouraged
when the OC youths and pastors
prayed for him so fervently. On the
night of 8 Dec 2012, the power of
the Holy Spirit was experienced in
an amazing way! OC was empowered! So many youths and at least
four pastors prayed for healing of
Noel. Noel felt the warmth of the
Holy Spirit working in him! Hallelujah! By His stripes, Noel was healed!
When Kim Pong asked all to stand
to sing the last song at the close of
the session, Noel was able to stand!
God was amazing! God was awesome! We were also very encouraged that Nick, our younger son,
was singing and praying as well!
Noel’s last days were difficult as
he could not sleep at night due to
shortness of breath. The week before he passed on, Chris was sleeping in the same room to look after
him. One night, at about 4 o'clock,
Noel looked at Chris and said, “I
love you, mummy”. Chris hugged
him and told him that she loved him
That Saturday afternoon, while
we were praying together, Noel
prayed in a loud voice to thank us
for looking after him and he prayed
that God would look after us. We
were very touched by Noel’s love.
Mike assured Noel that he should
not feel bad because God first loved
us and he has to love and take care
of him, more so because Noel is his
On Sunday, Noel dressed for
church but as he stepped out of
his room, he sat down. He did not
have the strength even to walk. He
cried as he so much wanted to go to
church to worship and to give his
offering. He then passed a note of a
big value to Mike to give as offering
Noel waited for his sister, Nicole,
(who was studying in Manchester
University) to come home during
her vacation break on the night of
18 December. That day, at 5 in the
evening, after two bags of blood
transfusion, Noel asked to have Bible Study with the OC youths in our
home. Though he had to use an oxygen mask and was very tired and
uncomfortable, he was attentive
and wanted to know more about
God. In retrospect, God was gracious to allow Noel to spend his
last hours on earth in fellowship
with his OC friends. According to
his friends, the song Still touched
Noel’s heart. In Psalm 46:10: God
says, “Be still, and know that I am
God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
Surrender to God
On 19 Dec 2012, as Noel was feeling very uncomfortable with shortness of breath, he agreed to go back
to hospital. He asked the doctor if
there could be further treatments
(whether radiation or chemo)
to fight the disease. That night,
our friends from Faith Methodist
Church’s Intercessory House of
Prayer came to worship and sing
praises to God and to minister Holy
Communion to Noel. Chris stayed
overnight in the hospital.
Noel was not able to sleep well
over the previous week and the
nurses gave him morphine to help
him rest. Finally, he was able to
sleep but he had to sleep while sitting cross-legged on the bed with
his head on the table. After four
hours of rest, at about 4 am, he
woke up feeling much refreshed
and he asked for his prayer cards
Pastor Peter Wong visited Noel
in hospital at about 7.30 am on 20
Dec 2012. He saw Noel was still
having his devotions and reading
the scripture cards. Noel was still
praying in his last hours on earth.
Pastor Peter encouraged Noel to
trust God and told him that even
Lazarus was raised from death.
Noel was still hopeful that God
was going to heal him and he was
determined to fight on, despite the
pain, tiredness and difficulty inbreathing.
By noon, Noel’s condition had
deteriorated so quickly. We did
not know why this happened. In
the midst of pain in our hearts and
through tears, God gave Mike the
courage to share with Noel Psalm
23:6 “Surely [God’s] goodness and
love will follow me all the days of
my life, and I will dwell in the house
of the Lord forever” and Romans
8:38-39: “For I am convinced that
neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers
. . . will be able to separate us from
the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Mike said to Noel that if it was
God's will to call him home to be
with him, he should just go as God
would take care of him and God has
provided a room for him in heaven.
Mike further assured Noel that he
should not worry about us as God
would take care of us and he (Mike)
would take care of mum, his sister
It was very hard to surrender
our beloved Noel whom we shared
(( God’s plans
for Noel was
hard for us to
had faced such
a storm of
life, we asked:
“God, are You
You Real? Why
our lives with for at least 21 and a
half years, not counting the 9-plus
months in his mother’s womb. In
hindsight, it must be the Holy Spirit who gave Mike the courage and
God’s wisdom to share about eternity with Noel.
At one moment, while seated on
the bed, Noel asked for Chris’ arms
to support his head. Mike withdrew
his arms thinking that Noel wanted
only his mum to support his head.
Noel pulled his arms back! We
knew that Noel indicated that he
really loved us and forgave us of our
mistakes and wanted to be reconciled with us!
Noel refused to increase the dosage of morphine and tried to keep
awake to meet his three National
Sservice buddies for the last time.
Noel had great difficulty in breathing after noon. We were really helpless. His three friends finally came
after 1 pm.
About this time, Mike saw that
Noel was struggling very hard to
breathe. After what he called the
“first breath”, Noel closed his eyes
and Mike thought he was leaving us.
He opened his eyes again and said:
“I am not going". After the "last
breath", with his eyes half closed
and struggling to breathe, Noel said
to us: "I saw Jesus. He is waiting
for me. I am going now." Noel then
closed his eyes and collapsed into
Mike’s arms. Helplessly, Mike held
Noel’s right hand and felt he was
still warm and we fervently prayed
that God could grant a miracle to
The staff nurse (who is a Christian, and who had sung and prayed
with Noel in the morning) also
confirmed Noel’s parting words to
Chris. Noel clearly had a strong desire to live and fight on but when he
met Jesus, he surrendered to Him.
Our beloved son, Noel, had fought
the good fight! We thank God that
Noel had 'spiritual eyesight'!
We truly could not have imagined that Noel, our beloved son, a
strong and healthy young man who
joined NS in 2010, whose friends
called 'gentle giant' because he was
1.86 metre and weighed 96 kg was
gone. He was looking okay on 19
Dec 2012, albeit tired, and yet the
next day, was gone.
God’s plans for Noel was hard
for us to comprehend. Like many
parents who had faced such a storm
of life, we asked: “God, are You
there? Are You Real? Why didn’t
You answer our prayers?” But Noel
confirmed it for EVERYONE. He
shared a rare glimpse into eternity.
What a precious legacy, affirmation
and blessing he left for the living, in
It was like Jesus' last moment
as a man on earth as recorded in
John 19:30: “So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is
finished!” And bowing His head, He
gave up His spirit.”
When Noel saw Jesus and knew
that the Lord was waiting for him
in heaven after his last breath, Noel
surrendered to the arms of the
Lord! During the wake, Mike’s mum
comforted us, saying that Noel's
parting words were from the Lord
Jesus to us as the words were very
clear and distinct.
Going Through Life's
Storm and experiencing
the Grace of God
Throughout the 20 plus months
of Noel's illness, we could see that
God was gracious to Noel and to us.
Noel’s faith had grown and deepened. We had hoped that with fervent prayers by so many friends,
pastors and ourselves, Noel would
be healed physically by God. James
5: 15 says: The prayers offered in
faith will make the sick person well.
At times, we had doubts whether
there was lack of faith on our part.
Like most people confronted
with pain and suffering, we asked
God many questions and cried to
Him: Why did God allow such a
disaster? What wrong had I done?
What sin had I committed against
the Lord our God? We searched
frantically for answers. We told God
that we will ask the whys when we
are in heaven but the most important thing was to heal Noel.
We went to many healing services to pray for God’s mercy and His
healing hands to reach out to touch
Noel. We prayed that Jesus would
reveal His face to Noel to embrace
him as He would embrace a lamb
and to heal him. Jesus did appear to
Noel and healed him spiritually and
walked with him through the valley
of death so that Noel would not be
This life storm really tested us
and is still testing our faith in God.
As of now, we cannot truly say that
our faith has grown stronger and
deeper. No doubt our faith was
shattered. We prayed and cried a
lot through those 20 months. Mike
shared with our small group during the 'Thanksgiving, Reflection
and Prayer' led by David and Soon
Leong on 4 January 2013 that the
intensity of his prayers and cries to
the Lord were far more than that
for the past 50 years before Noel
was diagnosed with the disease. We
really could not understand why a
healthy young man like Noel had to
suffer so much.
In the midst of all the pain and
suffering by Noel, Mike often asked:
“Does God really love us?” He was
reminded of Romans 8:32:“He who
did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all – how will
He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?” Mike recalled how the speaker in a healing
service that we attended in middle
of 2011 described vividly what it
was like for Jesus to be pierced by
the thorns of the crown and the
nails. God gave up His Son to suffer
and die on the cross for us. God still
On 19 March 2013, Pastor John
Benedict Foo preached on 'The
True Older Brother'. The sermon
reminded Chris of the question:
'Are we worshipping God for what
He can do for us or are we worshiping God for Who He is'. Where is
our heart? Chris was angry at God
as she felt that God should answer
our prayers as we have been 'good'.
The prayer of confession that
day reminded Chris that she was
reluctant to set aside her hurts, her
anger and disappointment. In the
prayer of thanksgiving, she was reminded that 'all things come from
You and with gratitude, we return
to You what is Yours.' We are stewards of our children. We love them
but we know that God loves them
We thanked Jesus for coming to
Noel as it helped to remove our feelings of guilt – whether we should
have done more for Noel medically or emotionally or spiritually. We
knew that this was in His plans.
On 13 March, Chris attended the
Women’s Breakthrough weekend
organised by Covenant Evangelical
Free Church. She had prayed that
God confirm that He was in control and that He was the First and
the Last and the Beginning and the
End. During the quiet time that
very afternoon, God revealed to her
in Revelations 22:13 that He is "Alpha and Omega, the First and the
Last, the Beginning and the End." In
heaven, there is no more tears and
no more suffering. It is the land of
perfect holiness, and therefore of
complete security. Noel is therefore
safely with Christ Jesus and in His
In the book 10 reasons to Believe in
a God Who Allows Suffering, the author concludes: “You are not alone
if unfairness and suffering of life
leaves you unconvinced that a God
in heaven cares for you. But considering again the suffering of the One
called by prophet Isaiah (Isa 53:3).
Think about His slashed back, His
bloodied forehead, His nail-ripped
IS NOT A
A GIFT to all
who put their
trust in him.
hands and feet, His pierced side,
His agony in the Garden, and His
pathetic cry of abandonment. Consider Christ's claim that He was suffering not for His sins but for ours.
To give us freedom to choose, He
lets us suffer. But He Himself bore
the ultimate penalty and pain for all
our sins (2 Cor 5:21; 1 Pet 2:24; Roman 10: 9-10).”
Through this journey with Noel,
we have learnt that the forgiveness
and eternal life which Christ offers
is not a reward for effort but a gift
to all who put their trust in Him.
We must therefore pray more so
in times of pain and suffering. E.M.
Bounds once said "...the prayers of
God's saints are the capital stock of
heaven by which God carries on His
great work upon earth". It involves
us partnering God.
In The Purpose Driven Life by
Rick Warren, the learned author
said: “Life is a temporary assignment.” Job 8:9 reads, “our days on
earth are as transient as a shadow”. Rick adds, “Compared with
eternity, life on earth is extremely
brief. Earth is only a temporary residence”. Philippians 3:20 states, “…
our citizenship is in heaven. And we
eagerly await a Saviour from there,
the Lord Jesus Chris”. Noel is in
heaven where the Lord Jesus lives!
When Mike asked our youngest
son, Nick, how he felt about our
loss, he had a philosophical way of
describing it, akin to a life game:
There are 2 levels. We are at level
1 (i.e. on earth). Noel is at level 2,
the pinnacle (i.e. the heaven in eternity).
We have learnt and are still
learning to go back to the basics
and the Truth in the Scriptures to
know that even though Noel was
not healed physically, he was healed
spiritually. God is still faithful, a redeemer and He loves us.
Noel went into distress in Chris’
womb and, by the grace of God,
Noel was delivered safely through
Caesarean operation. During the
late evening hours outside the Mt
Alvernia Hospital chapel, Mike
prayed and thanked God for the
safe delivery and the safety of Chris
and for the gift of Noel.
Chris asked God to help her to
be a good steward to raise Noel.
God allowed us to share our lives
with Noel for over two decades.
Though, like many parents, we had
many expectations and hopes for
our son’s life, but, at the end of it all,
God is Noel’s Heavenly Father and
He is the Master and Mike knows,
as Noel's earthly father, he must
yield to God’s will for Noel.
Noel, you were truly a fighter
and God’s warrior. You were and
still is our good boy and son. Surely
we will meet you in heaven one day,
and you, together with many loved
ones who had gone before us, will
be at the Heavens’ gate to welcome
us. In the meantime, we have to say
grudgingly, “Goodbye. See you, son.
Love you and miss you Noel, Dad &
David Lloyd-Jones in a book
adapted by Nancy Guthrie said,
"(We) may not understand what is
happening to (us); it may seem, to
(us), all wrong. Trust (ourselves)
to Him. Believe when (we) cannot
prove. Hold on to His constancy,
His justice, His eternal purposes for
(us) in Christ. Regard these as absolutes, which can never be shaken, build (our) case logically upon
them, remain steadfast and unshaken, confident that ultimately all will
be made plain and all will be well."
Michael and Christina Chia are
members of CCMC.
How the Course Works
The emphasis is upon exploration and
discovery in a relaxed and informal
environment. Each session begins with
a meal. This is a chance to get to know
others participants. Then there is a
short talk which looks at a different aspect of the Christian faith each week.
This is followed by a time of discussion
in the small groups where everyone is
welcome to contribute their opinion,
ask questions and discuss with the rest
of the group.
What is Alpha?
The Alpha Course has been running
for over 26 years.It began at Holy
Trinity Brompton in central London,
United Kingdom in the late 1970s.
The Alpha Course spread during the
1990s internationally as more church
and groups found it a helpful way to
answer questions about the Christian
faith in an informal setting. There are
now over 60,500 courses worldwise in
Who is it for?
It is for everyone interested in discovering what Christianity is about and to
explore the meaning of life together.
People attend Alpha for a wide variety
of reasons - some want to investigate whether God exists; others are
concerned about what happens after
death. Some have particular questions about faith that they would like
to discuss; there are those who want
to understand other peoples’ beliefs
or would like to explore the purpose
of life. Many guests have never been
to church, others may have attended
The course is based around small
groups of 8 to 12 people, hosted by
one or two leaders who facilitate and
encourage discussion. The composition of members of each small group
remains the same for the duration of
the course so they can get to know
each other, continue discussions and
deepen friendships. The whole course
lasts for 10 weeks, and each session is
about 2 hours long.
Alpha at CCMC
CCMC's Wtness and Evangelism Committee will be running an Alpha Course
every Saturday from 22 February to 3
How to participate
If you are interested in attending or
bringing a friend, please fill in the form
and sbmit it to the Information Counter on Sundays or mail it to: Covenant
Community Methodist Church, The
Alpha Course, c/o Jospeh Lim, Level 4,
Methodist Girls' School, 11, Blackmore
Drive, Singapore 599986.
Name: Dr / Mr / Mrs / Ms
Age: [ ] > 20s [ ] 20s [ ] 30s
There is no charge for attending the
[ ] 40s [ ] 50s [ ] < 60
What topics will be discussed?
Besides the sharing of personal stories
and a talk on "Is there more to life
than this?", topics are:
Who is Jesus?
Why did Jesus die?
How can I be sure of my faith?
Why and how should I pary?
Why and how shouldn I read the
How does God guide us?
Who is the Holy Spirit?
What does the Holy Spirit do?
How can I be filled with the Holy
How can I make the most of the
rest of my life?
How can I resist evil?
Does God heal today?
Why and how should I tell others
about the Church?
If invited, may we know by whom?
Person's mobile no.:
[ ] I am seeking to know more
[ ] I am a Christian
FREDERICK J. WORK
I cannot recall any hymn about
Christmas stockings. Can you help?
GO, TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN
I certainly can: While shepherds
washed their socks at night...
BY GOH ECK KHENG
The origin of the words and tune of Go, Tell It on the Mountain is unclear,
although it is generally accepted that it originated in the United States as a
spiritual sung by the slaves of the deep south.
The carol is widely said to have been collected shortly after the American Civil War (1861–1865) by John Wesley Work Jr (picture left), an African
American from Nashville, Tennessee. The choir director had begun to collect the songs of freed slaves to help his church members better understand
However, William Studwell, a professor emeritus from Northern Illinois
University, recognized as one of the foremost experts on Christmas carols,
thinks otherwise. Studwell is of the view that the carol was written by Frederick Jerome Work (1880-1942), a black composer, teacher and scholar, and
uncle of John Wesley Work Jr. Studwell believes that the latter arranged and
popularized the song.
Go, Tell It on the Mountain was first published in 1907, but the carol was
little known until the 1920s when the Fisk University Singers performed
it. The college was where John Wesley Work Jr studied and taught. He also
founded the Fisk Singers that presented the songs he collected and published.
The carol steadily gained popularity because of its driving rhythm and
its spirited call to Christian action. The tune and lyrics soon moved to the
forefront of popular music, and has since been recorded by a wide variety
of famous singers including Mahalia Jackson, Simon Garfunkel, Peter
Paul Mary, Frank Sinatra, Dolly Parton, James Taylor, Anne Murray, Garth
Brooks and and Sheryl Crow. It's title was also used by James Baldwin as
that of his semi-autobiographical novel about the church as a source of repression and moral hypocrisy, inspiration and community in African-American society. The 1985 film adaptation of Baldwin's book by Stan Lathan
also used the same title.
Said Studwell: “Most carols of the 20th century are not so enthusiastic.
This is more like some of the older carols, like Joy to the World or O Come All
Ye Faithful in that regard.”
The carol begins with its simple refrain that is drawn from Isaiah 52:7
- “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good
news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation,
who say to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’”
The song exhorts us to proclaim the Gospel – tell it on the mountain,
over the hills and everywhere – that Jesus Christ is born.
Bobby Gilles, worship leader, song writer and Christian communicator,
has highlighted the effective use of adjectives in the carol. Humble Christ;
Lowly manger. Blessed Christmas morn. The words work together to proclaim the desired message.
The folksy, fun meter of the verses gives it a different feel from traditional hymns and carols. It makes the carol exciting and attractive. It is the
perfect vehicle to tell the story of the Nativity and encourage the telling of
its significance to all mankind.
I wrote to you some months ago
about getting my girl into MGS. You
said then that being a CCMC member
does not give extra priority. I understand that the school will have a new
principal soon. Has the priority policy
for P1 registration for CCMC members also changed?
I know the principal designate's
name is Grace but, no, CCMC members will not be given extra grace
for school admission.
Love and Peace,
Christmas is coming and I haven't
started shopping for gifts. Help!
Dear Presently Panicking,
See pages 14-18, and 42-43.
I want to prepare a traditional Christmas dinner for my family this year
and don't know if the appropriate
bird to serve is goose or turkey.
I remember from my favourite
Charles Dickens story, Christmas
Carol, that Master Peter Cratchit and
the two younger Cratchits went to
fetch their Christmas goose from the
However, when the Pilgrim Fathers landed in America and discovered loads of big-breasted fowl that
could feed more than 10 people, turkey became an Americvan tradition.
The Lebonese serve turkey, as
do the Irish, Canadians, Mexicans,
Australians, of course the Americans,
and even the Islandics!
But the Austrians, Danes, Germans, and British (who also claim
turkey as traditional) serve goose.
Looks like the world is as confused as I am.
Dear OCD Foodie,
It's sauce for the goose and sauce
for the gander. But if you serve
turkey to your guests, they'll gobble.
(Waiting for your invitation)
Next year's church camp is in Cameron Highlands. I really want to go
as I have never missed a camp but
I am concerned about the long and
Here are some travelling tips:
1) Imagine you are going to your
favourite ski resort.
2) Praise the Lord with worship
songs as you travel upward.
3) Remember that Moses climbed
Mount Sinai on foot.
4) Travel by 30-seater luxury coach.
5) Use the gently curving route
from Simpang Pulai.
6) If you insist on taking the old
Tapah road, practice by driving up
and down multi-storey car parks.
Don't let the venue put you off from
a mountain-top camp experience!
Climb every mountain,
Food for Thought
RETREAT TO ADVANCE
BY TAN MING YING
27-29 March 2014
Pulai Springs Resort, Johor
Dr Chia Wen Chien with Kristy Ng
Times of extended retreat
give us a chance to come
home to ourselves in God's
presence and to bring the
realities of our life to God in
utter privacy. This is important for us and for those we
serve.... On retreat we rest in
God and wait on him to do
what is needed. Eventually
we return to the battle with
fresh energy and keener
~ Ruth Haley Barton
-------------------Action and contemplation
are very close companions;
they live together in one
house on equal terms. Martha is Mary's sister.
~ Bernard of Clairvaux
-------------------One must not always think
so much about what one
should do; but rather what
one should be. Our works do
not ennoble us, but we must
ennoble our works.
~ Meister Eckhart
Spiritual retreats are a time away
from our normal activities to be
reacquainted with God, to examine
the priorities of life and to make
concrete and practical resolutions
for improvement. Retreats can be
a powerful step toward personal
conversion. They are generous
commitments to friendship with God
who delights to be with his family.
Before Our Lord began His public
ministry, He spent 40 days in the
desert praying and fasting as a way
to prepare for the important work
ahead (see Lk 4:1-13). Those were
days of retreat.
During His three years of public
ministry, Jesus would sometimes
invite His disciples to come away by
yourselves to a deserted place and
rest a while (Mk 6:31). Again, days
When Jesus entered forcefully
into the life of St. Paul, He directed
him to rise and go into the city,
where he would be told what to
do. For three days St. Paul neither
ate nor drank, preparing himself
to receive the spiritual direction of
Ananias (see Acts 9:1-9). Those, too,
were days of retreat.
Every invitation to retreat is an
invitation that calls us home. Home
to refresh, to rest, to recreation and
to restoration and renewal. Home to
peace and serenity and afﬁrmation.
Home to hope and friendship and
openness. Home to acceptance and
intimacy and joy. Coming home,
home to God.
A spiritual retreat is simply a
matter of going into a separate place
to seek God and Christian growth in
a disciplined way. Retreat offers us
the grace to be ourselves in God’s
presence without self-consciousness,
without masquerade. Retreat
provides the chance to be both
physically and spiritually refreshed. It
is the blessed opportunity to spend
time generously in the presence
of God. In such a time, God helps
us to empty ourselves of cares and
anxieties, to be ﬁlled up with Love
and Wisdom that restores and
Approach the retreat with
openness and simplicity. Come with
your expectations and desires but
have an openness to receive grace in
unexpected ways. Making a retreat
requires a certain kind of trust. We
need to trust the Spirit.
We don’t know what God has in
store for us but we are open to risk
what we will ﬁnd out because we
know that He desires only the best
for us. We come in simplicity to leave
behind the clutter and attachments
that have made our journey home so
difﬁcult or stolen our attentiveness
from our Divine Lover.
Register with Yeo Hwee Lan
Be still, and know that I am God…
Therefore, I will now allure her,
and bring her into the wilderness,
and speak tenderly to her, From
there I will give her her vineyard, and
make the Valley of Achor a door of
hope.There she shall respond as in
the days of her youth as at the time
when she came out of the land of
Egypt. ~ Hosea 2:14-15
n 10 October 2013, I
took my first holiday
with God. It was the
first time going on a
spiritual retreat and I did not know
what to expect.
There were nine of us, including
our facilitators, Chia Wen Chien
and Kristy Ng. In a convoy, we
made our way across the border
to Pulai Springs. On entering the
resort, we immediately sensed how
serene the place was.
Pulai Springs had set aside
a room for our sessions at their
activities centre. The view was
great. There was a golf course that
took over the scenery. It was the
perfect setting to spend valuable
time reading and meditating on
That Thursday felt quiet and
not busy at all – very suitable for
us to start our sessions on deep
breathing. Yes, that’s right: breathing. I came all the way to JB to learn
about breathing? I decided to let go
and went with the flow. Yes, taking
in deep breaths and learning how
to breathe in and out slowly.
Listening to my breathing
helped me accomplish a few things.
Reflecting on making time
to be with the Creator.
Breathe in, breathe out.
It helped to calm my soul.
Breathe in, breathe out.
It helped me to take a moment.
Breathe in, breathe out.
It helped me to be in touch with
I was to discover that this
would help in getting us back in
solitude with God. Something that
I don’t do enough, with work and
The group met every morning,
afternoon and night. We went
through various exercises to help
us meditate on the Word. Wen
Chien and Kristy were great in
facilitating the sessions. Trying to
explain what we went through is
difficult but I will try.
There was one exercise called
Lectio Divina. It is a contemplative Bible study method that has
been used for over 1500 years.
You experience God by meditating
on scripture in as much time and
space as you need. You get to contemplate the words in the scripture
text while in the arms of God. First,
you begin with the reading aloud of
a short scripture passage, followed
by meditating on a word or phrase
that you are drawn to. Then by
asking for a response by God and
asking Him where He is leading
you to. This ends with a prayer
to help you remain in silence as
He reveals Himself to you. Each
message is personal and relevant
to each of us.
or any activity that will help you to
On the last evening of the retreat, the group gathered at a point
of the golf course. We each had
prepared an ‘altar’ with stones that
represented issues or events in our
lives. We had to stack the stones up
in a pile to visually represent that
God is rebuilding our lives from
the rubble. After that, we gathered
together to offer God a prayer of
thanksgiving. It uplifted the group
and brought us close together with
The message that we each received is personal and from God.
For me, I left the retreat feeling
rested, blessed and knowing how
much God loves me. From this, God
reminded me to savour all the
lovely things around me, and I’m
(( I LEFT THE RETREAT FEELING RESTED,
BLESSED AND KNOWING HOW MUCH GOD
LOVES ME.… I REALIZED THAT I WAS ABLE TO
BRING THIS BACK AS I CAME HOME.
Imaginative Bible reading is
slightly different, and yet helps us
to experience God in an equally
meaningful way. It helped me to
experience the story and personally hear and see and touch
Jesus. Through this method, you
get a deeper understanding of the
story from the Gospels. You get to
imagine yourself as a participant in
the story, like the smell, sights and
sounds. Then as the story is read,
you look out at what God is trying
to say to you.
At the end, you are to take the
‘feel’ of the experience and present it to God and ask God what it
means in your life. All this is done
in a quiet spot that you have found
for yourself. At the end of the
exercise, you go for swim or a walk,
not talking about the good food
and Teh Tarik from the resort, but
appreciating the sights of nature
surrounding us, the sounds of the
chirping birds, and the touch of the
Since then, I realized that I have
brought this home. Everything is
a blessing from Him and I plan to
savour the many blessings that He
has put in my way.
Miriam is a worship
leader in the 9 am service.
When I heard about the Slugs
Bugs concert coming to CCMC , I
was more excited than any student
in my CK class. On 27th October,
the MGS chapel was so crowded
that my friends and I had to go
on the 4th floor in order to sit
together to watch the performance
by Randall Goodgame.
Randall Goodgame is an
American singer and songwriter
from Nashville, TN. He has written
songs for other artists, including
the highly popular show, Veggie
The audience sang, clapped and
danced along. The songs told us
that God made everything in this
world, even slugs and bugs. The
songs were so fun and silly.
During his performance,
he told us about Choir 39. The
members consist of kids aged 9
to 12 from Africa. They were all
pulled straight out of poverty and
had either lost one or both of their
parents but amazingly each and
everyone of these kids are filled
with happiness and joy.
Hearing this made me feel so
lucky and grateful for what I have
in Singapore. By Elizabeth Fang
WELCOME BABY JADON
Ps Kin Yew became a father for a
third time, and Janine and Joyanne
proud big sisters, when Pamela
delivered Jadon on 9 November.
At 8.13 am, Wendy Yeap, who
had been keeping watch for the
good news sent a text message
announcing the safe delivery.
Later that morning, Betty Wee, our
church secretary, followed through
with details, stating that the baby's
birth weight was 3.06 kg.
These messages, however, was
just the tail end of a series of SMS
that began the day before.
At 9.10 am on Friday, 8
November, Wendy wrote: Please
pray for Pamela now. She is about to
give birth to Baby Jadon.
At 9.48, Ps Kin Yew messaged:
Just settled admissions. Contractions
every 5 minutes… Estimate arrival =
today afternoon. Just had a wonderful time of devotions with Pam.
Than at 10.42 he messsaged
again: … he's really taking his
time…. Praying for patience, peace
and endurance for Pam.
At 4.45 pm, Wendy sent this
message: Looks like Baby Jadon
wants to go to Movie Night :)
And so he did, in utero, for Pam
checked out of hospital with Ps Kin
Yew that evening and went to watch
Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story
in the MGS auditorium.
After the show, the pending mum
and dad returned to the hospital
at midnight. As it turned out, they
would have less than two hours
sleep as Jadon decided that it was
finally time to make his appearance.
At 7.45 am, Ps Kin Yew texted:
Baby Jadon is almost here :),
followed by a picture of the baby all
swaddled up at 8.05 am.
What a birth story! Jadon will no
doubt hear it again and again.
We congratulate the Ling family
for the new addition and praise God
for the safe and remarkable delivery.
MGS PRINCIPAL POSTED TO MOE HQ
The principal of Methodist Girls'
School, Mrs Shirleen Ong, will
end her six-year tenure with the
school on 15 December 2013 to
be Director, Education Technology
Division in 2014.
During her watch, MGS received
numerous awards, including
the Outstanding Character
Development Award (2009-2013),
the Outstanding PARTNERS
Award (2010-2015), the National
Education Development Award
(2010-2012) and the Schools’
Green Audit Orchid Award in
2012. In addition, the school also
received the Best Practice Award
for Teaching and Learning, the
School Distinction Award.
MGS reached many significant
milestones under Mrs. Ong’s
leadership. The school started
its Integrated Programme
in 2013, which leads to the
International Baccalaureate at ACS
(Independent). MGS Secondary
was also established as the Centre
of Excellence for Language Arts in
the West Zone, while MGS Primary
was awarded the Programme
for School-Based Excellence for
Language Communication. MGS
also established its Centre for
Another major development
is receiving the approval from
the Ministry of Education to
construct an Integrated Sports
Complex which will feature a 50 m
swimming pool and a practice pool.
Mrs Ong has championed
many causes that enrich the life at
school while cultivating a fruitful
partnership with parents, alumnae
and partners such as social services
and non-profit organizations, both
in Singapore and overseas.
OC LEADERS RETREAT TO ADVANCE
On Saturday, 12 October 2013, a
group of youth leaders from One
Community came together and
spent a day at Changi Cove for their
annual Core Leaders' planning
retreat. The day was set aside
for the OC leaders to get to know
one another better, discuss goals
for the coming year and identify
some specific activities to achieve
the goals. One of the key goals
addressed was how OC would be
aligned to the CCMC church vision Covenant Community.
In their discussions, the
youth participated actively, and
witnessed many enthusiastic
young leaders coming forward to
share their ideas about how each of
the leaders could impact the youth
community and its respective
ministries. Clearly, this retreat
had offered a great opportunity
for the youth leaders to bond
and discuss how OC can play its
part in contributing towards the
development and achievement of
In the first steps to achieve
this vision, two areas of focus for
the coming year was identified:
establishing a prayer ministry
in OC, and growing the youths
in discipleship through its Life
Through the new prayer
ministry, the aim is to grow the OC
into a prayerful community, and
forge a foundational pillar of prayer
on which its ministry will stand
upon. In addition, the Life Groups
ministry (of similar structure to
Small Groups) will be streamlined
as an avenue for discipleship by
growing through the Word, and
fellowship with one another.
With these as first steps forward
into the year ahead, OC trusts that
God will continue to shape it into a
warm and flourishing community
of God-loving and people-loving
The year ahead will be another
exciting one for OC, and the leaders
will pray for much more fireworks,
showers of blessings and sacred
anointing to come upon the One
Abram lived in the city of Ur with
his father, his brother and his
nephew, Lot. Abram was married
to Sarai but they could not have
children. Abraham’s father took
his family and set out for Canaan
but, instead, settled in Harran.
God told Abram to go to
Cannan where He would make
him into a great nation and
bless him. So, Abram went, and
took Lot and Sarai with him.
Three men visited Abraham in the presence
of God. One of them confirmed that in a
year’s time, Sarah would have a son. When she
heard this, Sarah laughed because she could
not believe that she and Abraham could have
children in their old age. [Gen 18: 1-15]
Manga by GILLIAN GOH
When there was a
famine in the land,
Abram decided to
go to live in Egypt.
On the way, he
told Sarai to say
that she was his
sister because he
was afraid that
would kill him and
take his wife away.
Abram and Lot returned to Canaan and they became very rich.
Their large flocks of livestock used the same pastures. To avoid
quarrels, Abram decided to part ways with Lot, allowing Lot to
choose where he wanted to go. Lot chose to go towards Sodom
while Abram went towards Hebron. [Gen 13]
God told Abraham that he will destroy
Sodom because it was a sinful city.
Abraham pleads with God to spare Sodom
because Lot lived there. God promised
that if just ten righteous people was
found in Sodom, he would spare the city.
However, not even ten righteous people
could be found, and God destroyed
Sodom. [Gen 18:16-33, Gen 19: 1-29]
There was a war in Sodom and Lot was taken captive. Abram
raised an army and succeeded in saving Lot. After his victory,
Abram met Melchizedek, the King of Jerusalem and the priest
of God. Melchizedek blessed Abram. [Gen 14]
The word of God
came to Abram
in a vision and
giving of the
and told Abram
that he would
as numerous as
the stars. Abram
and God then
made a covenant.
Sarai asked Abram to
take her servant, Hagar,
as his wife. When Hagar
becomes pregnant, she
began to despise her
mistress. However, when
Sarai mistreated Hagar,
Hagar ran away. An angel
told Hagar to return
to her mistress and to
name the son she would
give birth to 'Ishmael'.
When Abram was
99 years old, God
changed his name
to Abraham, which
means “a father of
many nations”. God
also gave Sarai a
new name – Sarah.
God promised that
Sarah would give
birth to Abraham’s
son. [Gen 17]
in the land of
and, once again,
Sarah was his
sister. The king
of the land
but God warned
him that Sarah
A year later, just as God
promised, Sarah gave birth to
a son, Isaac. On the day which
celebrated Isaac’s weaning,
Sarah saw Ishmael mocking.
She therefore asked Abraham
to send Hagar and Ishmael
away. Abraham was sad, but
when God assured him that
through Isaac his descendants
will be counted and that
Ishmael would be made a
nation, he sent Hagar and
Ishmael away. [Gen 21:1-21]
Some time later, God tested Abraham. He asked
Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac. Just as
Abraham was about to sacrifice Isaac, the angel
of the Lord stopped him. Instead, Abraham
sacrificed the ram which he found caught in the
bushes near by. For his obedience, Abraham was,
once again, promised numerous descendants.