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Scripture Memory:Care for the Poor.
VERSE : Proverbs 19:17 “He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the Lord; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.”

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O Worship the LORD in the Beauty of Holiness

15 December 2013
8 am & 1045am Worship Service:
Rev Charles Seet(Are You Obeying the Great Commission? Mt 28:16-20 )
6:00 pm Evening Service:
Rev Colin Wong (RSVP, Mt 22:1-14) 

22 December 2013
9.30 am Combined English Christmas Service
Rev Colin Wong (Christmas Is..., John 3:16-18)

6:00 pm Evening Service:
Dn Joel Seah (The Gifts of Faith, Mt 2:1-12)

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THE HISTORY OF CHRISTIAN MISSIONS (Part 3)

(Extracted from Jerusalem to Irian Jaya – A  Biographical History  of Christian Missions, by Ruth A. Tucker)

Charles David and Hans Egede

Apart from Count Zinzendorf, the individual most involved in the founding of the Moravian church was Christian David, who was responsible for bringing exiled brethren (Unitas Fratrum) from all over Europe to Zinzendorf’s estate. David was born in Moravia in 1690 into a Roman Catholic family. As a youngster he was a devout Catholic, zealous in his observance of rituals, holidays, and in his adoration to the Virgin Mary. In 1717, at the age of 27, David was converted, and soon after that, through the encouragement of his devoted wife, Anna, he became a traveling lay preacher.

Although he was a carpenter by trade and had been effective in recruiting settlers, Christian David was eager to become involved more directly in evangelism, and in 1733 his opportunity came. He, along with two other Moravians, was commissioned as a missionary to Greenland to revitalize the mission work there. Two years before their departure for Greenland, Zinzendorf had heard rumor that Lutheran missionary Hans Egede was about to abandon his work there, and it was this erroneous information that prompted Zinzendorf to come to the rescue. He immediately called for volunteers among his Moravian following to fill the gap, and David was chosen to be the leader.

The arrival of Moravian missionaries came as a surprise to Egede. He welcomed them, but almost immediately problems and misunderstandings arose. Both Egede and David were hard-hearted and stubborn, and a language barrier further complicated matters. Egede, a native of Norway, had difficulty understanding the German spoken by the Moravian newcomers, and they could not comprehend his Norwegian tongue at all. David and his companions, however, quickly realized that Egede had no intention of forsaking his mission.

Hans Egede and his family had been in Greenland for more than a decade when the Moravians arrived; and despite setbacks, they remained wholly dedicated to the mission. Since his childhood Egede had heard tales of Greenland and of the Christians who centuries before had migrated there from Scandinavia. These stories, combined with Pietistic missionary fervor, impelled the young Norwegian pastor to pursue the possibility of beginning a mission to Greenland to those “poor people, who in former times had been Christians and enlightened in the Christian faith, but who now for lack of teachers and instruction had again fallen into heathen blindness and savagery.” With no mission board to sponsor him, Egede sent a proposal “for the conversion and enlightenment of the Greenlanders to the King (of the joint kingdom of Denmark-Norway) and to church authorities, but a war being waged with Sweden delayed action on his request for a number of years.

In the meantime Egede confronted strong personal opposition to his plans. His mother-in-law was incensed when she heard the news, and his wife, Giertrud (thirteen years his senior), was stunned and hinted that she regretted ever marrying him. Her attitude soon changed. After she and her husband prayed together about the matter she became his most faithful supporter, and they moved forward together in what now had become a joint calling.

In the summer of 1718, Egede, along with his wife and four children, left his parish in the North and sailed south to the seaport at Bergen, where he hoped to secure passage to Greenland. This first leg of the journey, along the treacherous Norwegian coast, turned out to be a perilous nightmare that might have crushed a weaker commitment.

After more than two years of delays and uncertainty in Bergen, the Egedes obtained passage through the Bergen Company and arrived in Greenland in the summer of 1721. After hastily building a dwelling to shelter his family during the cold months ahead, Egede settled down to the very unromantic life of being a foreign missionary.

Communication was not the only cultural barrier that Egede had to overcome. The lifestyle of the Eskimos was so vastly different from his own. They lived in primitive dwellings, four to six feet high, often overcrowded with several families in one dwelling and torturously overheated in the winter. The sickening stench of spoiled meat and fish, combined with the repulsive odor of the urine tubs (for soaking hides) made the atmosphere almost unbearable for the Norwegian preacher, but home visitation was his only effective means of contact with the Eskimos during the long winter months.

Egede’s ministry to the Eskimos got off on a slow start. While his young sons, Paul and Niels, quickly picked up the difficult language as they played with their friends, Egede struggled for years with the complexities of the grammar, and even then he found it very difficult to communicate spiritual values. He depended heavily on Paul and Niels, and they proved to be a tremendous asset in his ministry. Egede’s most effective method of winning the friendship and audience of the Eskimos during his early years in Greenland was through music. According to his biographer, Louis Bobe, “he won their hearts by singing to them.”

The slow progress of Egede’s mission work and the lack of commercial success of the Bergen Company combined to dim the early enthusiasm there had been for the Greenland venture back home. Then in 1730, King Frederick IV, a strong supporter of the Greenland missionary venture, died, and his successor, King Christian VI, came to power. The following year Christian VI decided to abandon the Greenland commercial enterprise, and the company officials and workers were recalled. Egede himself was permitted to stay, but even his residence there was in question. It was this situation that led to the rumor that Egede was giving up his missionary work and that prompted Zinzendorf to commission David and his Moravian colleagues to continue the work that Egede had begun.

The conflict between the two groups focused on the method of evangelism. To the Moravians, Egede was a rigid doctrinaire Lutheran who was more concerned with teaching his cold orthodoxy than with saving souls. How, they asked, could the Eskimos ever be expected to understand complex doctrine until God had given them light of salvation? Egede, on the other hand, viewed the Moravians as preaching a deplorably sentimental religion, with little concern for Christian doctrine and the eradication of heathen superstitions.

The first real breakthrough for Egede in his ministry to the Eskimos came in 1733, around the time of the arrival of Christian David and his coworkers. Good news arrived from Denmark that their new king had decided to continue the Greenland mission work. But with this good news came a converted Greenlander returning from a visit to Denmark, who had become a carrier of the smallpox germ. On his return he traveled from village to village, ministering with Egede and unknowingly spreading the deadly germ wherever he went. Soon the Eskimos were ravaged with disease and fighting for their lives, and it was only then that the tender warmth and sacrificial love of this otherwise stern churchman was clearly demonstrated to them. What could not be transmitted in words was shown through weeks and months of selfless service as the disease continued to rage.

After the danger had passed and a calm had returned to the region. Egede noticed a greater interest in spiritual things among the people. He had endeared himself to them, and the Eskimos were now seeking him out for spiritual counsel.

In the meantime, the Moravians had become established in their missionary work and soon began seeing tremendous success. In 1738 a revival broke out, and in the years that followed hundreds of Eskimos were converted to Christianity.

After the death of his wife, Hans Egede returned to Copenhagen and remarried. From there he supervised the mission work in Greenland and trained young men for missionary service, but he saw very little fruit from his labors. His greatest joy was seeing his sons continue in the work of evangelizing Greenland. His sin Paul in particular, carried out a very effective ministry in the area of Disko Bay, where religious revival broke out and people came from great distances to hear him preach.

Hans Egede died in 1758 at the age of 72, and Paul lived on another 30 years, supporting the cause of missions in Greenland to the very end.  (To be continued)

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Christmas Carol Service

24 Dec 13 (Tue), 8.00 pm

“Having Hope in a Hopeless World” (Lk 2:1-20) by Rev Calvin Loh

The offering collected will be designated to help the poor, needy and underprivileged through Christian ministries in Singapore and overseas.

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60th YF / 32nd YAF Anniversary 2013

Theme: King of My Life, I Crown Thee Now

Speaker: Elder Khoo Peng Kiat

Date: 31st December 2013, Tuesday (before Watchnight Service)

Time: 7 pm

Venue: Beulah Centre MPH

Other info: Everyone is invited to fellowship over dinner thereafter (dinner will be provided)

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ERBL LECTURES (JAN-MAY 14) : Expanded to Day Lectures!

Day Time Course Lecturer

Mon 7.30 - 9.30 pm OT Survey II Rev Charles Seet

Tue 10 - 12.00 pm Basic Greek II Rev Ho Chee Lai

Wed 10 - 12.00 pm Theology of Prayer Rev Isaac Ong

Thu 10 - 12.00 pm 2 Corinthians Rev Isaac Ong

7.30 - 9.30 pm NT Survey II Rev Ho Chee Lai

Fri 10 - 12.00 pm Nouthetic Counselling Rev Dr Jack Sin

 

Lectures begin on 6 Jan 14. Place completed registration forms with payment in the box.

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1) The Sunday School cordially invites all members and friends to the SS Christmas Thanksgiving Fellowship this Saturday at 10am, followed by fellowship lunch. The theme is “Jesus came, and He is coming again...” Please come and rejoice to commemorate Christ’s birth and His 2nd Coming.

2) The Life B-P Church Camp will be held from 16 to 19 June 2014 at Awana Genting, West Malaysia.  Dr John J Davis will be preaching on the theme “Called unto Holiness.”  Please book your leave early to avoid disappointment.   Registration begins early 2014.

3) Scripture Memory Verses 2014: “O Taste and See that the LORD is Good”. Memory verse booklets are available at the front counter.

4) Catechism Class for Easter Baptism on 20 Apr 14 commences on 5 Jan 14 at Beulah Centre Rm 5-4, 9.30 am. Those seeking baptism, reaffirmation of faith and transfer of membership must attend the catechism Class.

5) Life B-P Church Calendar 2014. Members who wish to have additional calendars as Christmas gifts for their friends and loved ones may request for up to 2 additional ones from the deacons.

6) Our condolences to Magdalene Foo & See Toh Yoong Chiang on the demise of her grandfather, Mr Tan Soo Peow (91 years old) on 8 Dec 13.

7) Congratulations to Mr & Mrs Jerome Lim on God’s gift of a baby boy on 6 Dec 13. 

Preaching appointments: Rev Seet  at  Thai BPC Service, 2.30 pm. Rev Wong at Life Evening Service, 6.00pm.

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

October 15 & 22 - The Cost of Discipleship

For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. Matthew 16:25