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Scripture Memory: Protection.
 VERSE : Psalm 118:6 
“The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?”

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O Worship the LORD in the Beauty of Holiness

24 August 2014
8 am & 1045am Worship Service
Rev Charles Seet (Watch and Be Sober!, 1 Thes 5:1-8)
6:00 pm Evening Service:
Rev Ho Chee Lai (God’s Outpouring Love, Rom 5:5)

31 August 2014
8 am & 1045am Worship Service
Pastor Tan Soon Yong (Why Is the Gospel Good News? Rom 5:6-11)
6:00 pm Evening Service
Rev Charles Seet (Walk in Newness of Life, Rom 6:1-14)

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Migrant Outreach Ministry 

Introduction

Rev Daniel Khoo started the Migrant Outreach Ministry. He was previously involved in the similar ministry in his previous church.

In obeying the Great commission, Rev Daniel Khoo formed a committee to reach out to the foreign Chinese workers for Christ. The first Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) for the migrant workers’ meeting was held on 10 November 2013.

How the reach out were conducted

1.    Canvassing

In August 2013, Rev Daniel Khoo (and Lifers) with Pastor Joshua Wong of Pasir Panjang Christ Church, conducted a canvassing at Soon Lee Recreation Centre’s dormitory at Pioneer North, Tuas. The canvassing included an invitation to attend the free medical (health) screening exercise and the 10-week English class recruitment. Both events were conductedon Sunday 7-10pm near Soon Lee Recreation Centre’s food court.

2.    Medical check up

A medical screening was conducted over 2 Sundays. The screening included blood pressure, sugar level, eye sight check and eye inspection. At the end of the screening, each worker was interviewed by Lifers who, besides looking through the medical result, shared the gospel to as many as possible. Gospel tracts were also given to those who are willing to accept them. A clear instruction was given not to proceed with sharing the gospel should the participants were not comfortable.

3.    10 week English Class

There were classes for Basic English and Advanced English. Bible classes were conducted for believers. Lifers were responsible for Basic English class comprising mainly of workers from Bangladesh, Thailand, Myanmar and India. PPCC was responsible for Advanced English comprising mainly of workers from Bangladesh, Thailand, Myanmar and India. Separate classes were conducted for the Chinese to learn Basic and Advanced English. There is also a Bible study class for Chinese believers.  Some Lifers were stationed at the Chinese workers classes in order to harvest a relationship with them. At one time, more than 50 Lifers were involved in that ministry.

PPCC has developed detailed syllabi for the English classes.

After 10 weeks of English training, a graduation ceremony cum evangelistic meeting was conducted on 3rd November 2013 at PPCC. Rev Daniel Khoo spoke during that event to the Chinese participants. He informed the Chinese workers of our desire to start a service in Life BP Church.

Background of Migrant Workers in Singapore

With economic development in Singapore, a high number of workers are needed in manual and high labor intensive industries such as Oil and Gas, construction and marine industries. Some of these workers work as electrician, carpenter, crane operator, fitter, welder, machinist, construction worker, fork lift driver and odd job laborer.

A migrant worker is a person that moves from one region, place, or country to another in order to pursue work and earning an income. Total work permit foreign workforce excluding foreign domestic workers was 319,000 as of end December 20131. These low skilled workers come from India, Thailand, China, Myanmar and Bangladesh.

Plight of Migrant Workers

Due to the economic situations of the poorer third world countries, many poor people are unable to look for jobs in their own countries. They are forced to look for alternatives opportunities to make a living. Many leave their countries for Middle East and Asia.

Foreign workers are in an extremely vulnerable situation due to their unfamiliarity with local laws and language, their indebtedness to agents and even employers, their reliance on the employers for food, shelter and pay, and the lack of social supports in Singapore.

These workers are sometimes subjected to abuse. They are often recruited through their countries’ agents and have to pay a fee, sometimes amounting to 9 months’ pay. When these workers entered Singapore, the agents will match make them with companies here. Their high recruitment fee is a subject of discussion among Christians community here. A survey of 104 Bangladeshi workers showed that each paid an average of $6,500 to get here and it took up to 17 months to repay their loans. Anyone sent home within his first year returns to big debts. Many felt that it is unfair to the workers. Recently, a non-profit Christian recruitment organization was formed. Its intention is to provide a fair recruitment fee to these workers to reduce their financial burden. Its target is to reduce the 9 months payback period to 4-5 months or less.

In addition to the high recruitment fee, the workers may not find suitable jobs here in Singapore. This is because the forecasted demand and supply changes as a result of the job being awarded to companies. Some ended with “unsuitable” tasks that are mismatch with their skills. The workers have no choice but to take the job.

The salaries that they received are high relative to their base countries. These salaries are low in Singapore due to the high cost of living. As a result, the workers are very frugal in the meals and spending. Most have to send monies home to their families. Some workers are not paid for months and were unable to address them for fear of losing the jobs. Injured workers are sometimes put into a spot as they are not paid because they are unable to work. Without income and waiting for healing, they can be very depressed. The compensation, if any, to their injury may takes months to realize. 

Leaving their families at home and leaving for a new country for at least 2 years poses societal challenges. They have to first adapt to the Singapore culture; the people and food. They have to adapt to their needs be it social or physical or spiritual. Many workers have resorted to drinking to drown their sorrows and despairs. 

There are still many workers who stay at the worksites. Their lodgings are made from 20-foot containers structure and 8-10 workers live in a single container at sites. Each worker has to find a way to find an electric fan to keep his area cool. The walk path is always wet and dirty. In the environment that they live in, they cook for themselves to save cost. The government has made great progress in this area. Most workers now stay at proper dormitory. 

Obeying and Evangelism for Migrant Workers

As early as a decade ago, many churches (particularly the Indian, English and Chinese congregations) in Singapore saw the opportunity that God has open in Singapore. Instead of travelling to far away land to reach the nationals, and spending a lot of money and time and human resources, God brought these foreign workers to our door step. Many believe that the Lord has brought many nationals into our country for His salvation purpose.

In the blessings to a prosperous Singapore; the church leaders feel that God has put the responsibility to evangelize to the workers to them. Several churches came together seeking the Lord’s direction for churches in Singapore to reach out these workers. The strategy is reversed mission compared to traditional missionary endeavors. These workers are evangelized and taught (well disciple) so that they can bring the gospel back to their home countries subsequently. Some testimonies here testify to migrant workers who become believers and subsequently committed their lives to enter bible schools and serve God full time in their own country. 

The salvation of a single soul makes the outreach to these workers worthwhile.

There are two strategies that churches employed in this ministry.

1.    Many churches provide free transport and use buses on every Sunday to bring large number of single national to their churches. They use canvassing and employ other tactics to draw the crowd. The belief is in herding effect. Crowd draws people. Having them congregate in their church, they preach the gospel to the national. The comers are then broken into smaller group to allow more personal contact evangelism and bible teaching to be conducted. Most provide at least a meal to the comers.  

2.    Another strategy is to bring in small groups giving them the personal touch and time to reach up to them with the gospel. Since the group is small. Finer attention and personal training can be more effective administered. 

Life BP Church Migrant Outreach Ministry

Committee

The Committee includes:-

Rev Daniel Khoo  

Yeo Sew Hoon

Ong Beng Hong 

Lee Chee Weng

Desmond Chow

Activities

The regular helpers in this ministry are:-

Teacher (Bible class)

  Rev Daniel Khoo  

  Tan Thiam Hong

  Tan Boon Kwang

Chairing

Tan Thiam Hong

Betrand Lam       

Colin Chan         

Seow Cheong Kiong

Desmond Chow

F&B

Gladys Sng         

Irene Ong

Yeo Sew Hoon   

Michael Sim

Ong Beng Hong 

Bernard Fan

Faith Ong

PA System

Desmond Chow

English Teaching

Simon Cheng     

Lee Chee Weng

Desmond Chow 

Tan Boon Kwang

Tan Thiam Hong

Ministering of Lord’s Supper

Eld Sng Teck Leong         

Rev Daniel Khoo

Others

Robin Kwek        

Roland Chiam

Note: There are others who came to help occasionally.

Current Plan

It is the intention to keep the ministry small so that the team can concentrate on personally evangelizing the individuals.  This allows the team to spend more time with the workers. The team feels that this will be more effective than having a big crowd.

Progress Report

•   The weekly worship service is conducted from         7.00-8.00pm.

•   Dinner is served at 8.00-8.30pm

•   Bible and English class is conducted from 830-900pm.

•   Average attendance: 5-12 workers per week

•   Highest attendance: 30 workers

•   Regular attendance includes Chinese foreign workers and brethren from Toa Payoh

•   Dinner is provided at a budget of S$4.50 per worker

•   The bus fee is S$160 per trip per week.

•   Some of the helpers are also chairing the meeting.

•   In the absence of Rev Daniel Khoo, pastors from Jesus Saves Mission, Zion BP Church (Bishan), Tan Thiam Hong and other guest pastors are invited as speakers.

As a result of this ministry, 4 brethren were baptized on 9 Feb and 16 March 2014 . Currently one person is preparing for baptism. 

What we had done with other workers centers?

We had visited several work sites along Bukit Timah and Dunearn Road. We had visited work sites at Kaki Bukit.

We had visited Kaki Bukit Home Stay. This is a place that house 8000 workers with 60% Chinese workers. Apart from reaching them from outside the gate, we have no access to their dormitory. The only way to reach these workers is through engagement with the management with creative means. One way is to conduct English class as was done at Soon Lee Recreation Centre. To do that we need more helpers to restart the medical (health) screening and the 10 weeks English class. There is no plan to do that at the moment.

Future Plan

We are open to the Lord’s leading in this ministry. How will the foreign workers scenario in Singapore develop over the next few years? Will there be less Chinese workers coming to Singapore as their country’s economy is getting better? We do not know. We will continue this ministry as the Lord’s will. We are open to the worshippers who mainly converse in Mandarin and dialect from Toa Payoh to worship with us in this ministry.  

Conclusion

We choose to obey the Great Commission commanded by the Lord Jesus Christ.

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen2.

We encourage you, as you read this news that, you pray for the Lord’s harvest. Pray for the committee to be constantly encouraged of the good Lord’s command to love our neighbors. The greatest gift of love to our neighbors is eternal salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord.  May the Name of God be sanctified.

Prepared by:

Migrant Outreach Ministry Committee

2nd July 2014

Footnotes:

1http://www.mom.gov.sg/statisticspublications/others/statistics/Pages/ForeignWorkforceNumbers.aspx

2 Matthew 20:19-20

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GOSPEL SUNDAY

Date: 31st August 2014

Time: 8 am & 10:45 am

Topic: Why is the Gospel Good News? (Rom 5:6-11)

Speakers:
Pastor Tan Soon Yong (English Service)

Rev Tang Chee Keong (Mandarin/Hokkien)

Members are encouraged to invite their friends and relatives.

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1) Members can collect their hard copies of the new THEN SINGS MY SOUL next Sunday (31 Aug 2014) after the 1st and 2nd worship services at the front of the sanctuary.

2) Infant Baptism on Anniversary Sunday, 19 Oct 14. Parents who intend to have their infants baptised must register by next Sunday. Please call the Church Office (6594 9399) or email Yin Chan giving child’s name, date of birth and parents’ names and contact.

3) Chinese Vacation Bible School (CVBS), 3 - 5 Dec 2014. Registration Forms for Helpers and Children are available outside the Sanctuary. Completed forms can be deposited into the collection box. Forms are also available online @http://www.lifebpc.com/cvbs. Closing date for Registration is 16 Nov 14. For enquiries, please emailThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Vision & Mission

 

To build a united church family that is committed to making disciples through Salvation, Sanctification and Service, to the glory of God.

Verse for the Week

December 3 & 10 - Holy Living

Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, 2 Peter 3:11