FacebookTwitterRSS FeedPinterest

Scripture Memory: Faithfulness.
VERSE : Proverbs 11:13 
"A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter."

* * *

O Worship the LORD in the Beauty of Holiness

23 June 2013
8 am & 1045 am Worship Service:
Rev Colin Wong (Victory through Spiritual Restoration,Jas 5:19-20)
6:00 pm Evening Service:
Rev Calvin Loh (Christ, the World’s Greatest Ruler)

30 June 2013
8 am & 1045 am Worship Service:
Rev David Wong (O Grave, Where Is Thy Victory? 1 Cor 15:50-57)
6:00 pm Evening Service:
Rev Charles Seet (Do You Honour Christ? Jn 8:48-59)

* * *

TESTIMONIES FROM VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL 2013

Introduction

The Vacation Bible School (VBS) was held from 5th to 7th June 2013 and I thank God for His blessings upon this outreach. We had an average of 160 students on each day, and a total of 90 helpers/teachers serving. Praise God for keeping the children safe and granting us good weather every day.

The theme was "Happiness is the Lord!" based on Luke 15:10 and we taught the children lessons on the Lost Sheep, Lost Coin and Prodigal Son. It was an exciting time for the kids and a blessed time for the teachers. Those who served as teachers were blessed with the opportunity to share the gospel with the children through personal interaction or using gospel tools (wordless book, gospel gloves, etc.) to share with the entire class. Those who served in Logistics labored behind-the-scenes to keep the area clean and to provide the necessary aid for the teachers. We pray that all of us who helped in VBS were also able to demonstrate the gospel through our actions.

Many parents who came to fetch their kids after VBS shared that their children enjoyed VBS tremendously and they were glad to have sent their child to join us. It was a joy to see the kids beaming from ear to ear as they waved goodbye to their teachers. Indeed I am thankful that God gave us the privilege to be a blessing to these kids and their family. I pray that the gospel seed that was sown may take root and they may turn their hearts to Christ one day.

We received many love-gifts too from grateful parents who desired to give back to the church for the work we were doing. I realize that we must "praise God from whom all blessings flow" for it is He who enabled us. As I reflected on VBS the morning after the last day, I thanked God for granting strength and wisdom to serve Him in this ministry. I was also led to see that there is much work to be done in the Lord’s Kingdom and remembered this song:

To the work! To the work! 
We are servants of God;
Let us follow the path that our Master has trod;
With the balm of His counsel 
our strength to renew, 
Let us do with our might 
what our hands find to do
.

I want to thank you (readers) too for your prayers and support for the VBS, especially those who stepped forward to serve. Every bit of your contribution matters and the Lord will not forget the cup of cold water that you have given and your labour of love (Heb 6:10). Below are some testimonies written by those who served in VBS. I hope they may encourage you to serve with us next year too.

I end with a letter sent from one of the parents:

"Hi Russell, We would like to thank the church for giving us the opportunity to enrol our son in VBS, including the transport arranged by church. (Thanks for helping to make the arrangement)

He enjoyed himself very much and learnt from bible stories, games, etc. Such meaningful three days activities and programme for him and he would like to come again next time!

Thank you so much. Thank everyone who is involved in making this vbs a success! Appreciate it very much."

Indeed all praise and glory be unto God!
Russell

Testimony by Tan Ling Ling (Juniors HOD)

"And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptised shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." Mark 16:15-16

The Great Commission is not an option to be considered, but a command to obey and I thank God that all of us in the Juniors Department had the opportunity to play a part in this gospel outreach.

It was a privilege for me to serve the Lord in VBS 2013 again, and indeed it was a great pleasure to co-labour with other Lifers in the committee as well as the Juniors Department. We started off the preparation work from scratch, but God guided us through every step of the way. As registration for both helpers and children commenced in April, we saw the number gradually climbing. All praise and glory to Him who gave the increase! A total of 79 preschoolers were registered with VBS 2013 as compared to 56 in 2012.

VBS 2013 kicked off on 5 June. The children had loads of fun both in and out of their classes. They answered the questions with enthusiasm and sang their hearts out to God. When I saw the smiles on their faces, I felt that the hard work put in by all of us had really paid off.

However, what encourages me most in every VBS is the commitment of the teachers and helpers to give of their best in the roles that they have been assigned. Their joy of service speaks volume of their faithfulness and love for Christ. In fact, due to the shortage of main teachers this year, a few of our teacher assistants were approached to take on teaching roles, something they agreed almost immediately and did it wholeheartedly. One teacher came well-prepared with her own teaching aids to enhance her explanation. Another sister gladly stepped forward on her own initiative to help train our young musicians who were serving for the first time. I thank God that everyone in the department worked selflessly and cooperatively. They complemented each other’s role in class and some even stayed beyond VBS hours to help out in the preparation work for next day. It was a heart-warming sight to see God’s people co-labouring together with a single purpose.

I also feel that VBS is not only a ministry to reach out to non-Christian children, but also one that encourages family bonding through service. A noteworthy fact to mention, family members were signing up together to serve in VBS, albeit not in the same area of service! There and then, as I looked on, I was really inspired and prayed that soon one day, my children will be willing to do their part in this ministry too!

The three days of VBS whizzed by. The 79 children came and left. But the gospel seeds had been sown and it is our earnest prayer that God’s word would be hidden in their hearts and He will continue to do a great work in the children’s lives.

"And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus" 2 Timothy 3:15

Testimony by Lee Shuyi 
(Asst Teacher, Primary Dept)

In 2nd Samuel 24, David was asked to set up and buy an altar from Araunah the Jebusite. Araunah offered David to take the threshing floor, oxen, and threshing sledges for free. "No," said the king, "...I will not offer to the Lord my God whole-offerings that have cost me nothing..."

David’s attitude towards His God reminds me of my own failures to do likewise. In the month of May leading up to VBS, I had tried to arrange my schedule with my boss so I could serve in VBS, but there were conflicting factors. I gave up on it and promptly went on with other things, partly because I also knew that I would be very tired if I were to have to fulfill work duties and balance VBS. Then I was contacted personally to ask if I could serve and I knew that God wanted me to serve. I tried a little harder to negotiate and could serve in VBS. I think that this was God’s way of showing me that I could not offer to God my left-overs. I had to offer God things that cost me something- my comfort and time. VBS served as a reminder to me of how often I did not regard serving Him as a privilege.

The second thing God touched me with was the realization that we were once all lost sheep and prodigal sons. God has no need of us yet He sought us out and found us. While I was sitting in the MPH listening to the storytelling, I realized the beautiful image that we who have been so blessed to have heard the living Word were now bringing it to the children, whom Jesus said "suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not". Salvation is truly a work of God and not something that can be produced out of human effort. And the amazing thing about salvation is that it strikes whoever God chooses, not whoever we think has the capacity to understand the five points of Calvinism. The profession of faith by two of the non church-going boys in my class struck my heart that salvation is God’s work, and this is just the beginning of God’s hand in their lives. It brought me to cherish my salvation and God’s own work in my life and also to greater faith in God’s plan and purpose both for me and for the people around me. God knows everything, and understanding and obedience to Him is the true wisdom. In the past year since starting my university education I have been distracted by the pride of life and enraptured by both academic achievement and the promise of success. VBS reminded me that above all, God is sovereign and holds eternity.

Testimony by Charmaine Low 
(Pianist & Asst Teacher, Primary Dept)

I thank God for the opportunity to serve in VBS as pianist and assistant teacher in the Primary department this year. Initially, I did not expect much from serving in VBS, since VBS is targeted at the "younger ones". However, I later realized that there is still much that we can learn through serving in this ministry. Aunty Rachel’s story-telling sessions on the Lost Sheep, Lost Coin and Lost Son were timely reminders for me to be humble and acknowledge my sinfulness and helplessness before God. The children’s songs sung at VBS also served to bring out simple but important truths that many of us "older ones" tend to neglect and forget, such as finding joy in the Lord and reading our Bibles daily so that we can grow spiritually. Finally, most importantly, being a part of VBS was an opportunity for us to obey God’s commandment of sharing the gospel with those who have never heard the good news before. Many of the children in my class are already attending church but had questions about God, so we had the opportunity and privilege to clarify and answer them. I urge more young people to sign up as VBS helpers in the future, as it is an opportunity to grow, serve and obey God.

Testimony by Chen Weiyan 
(Song-leader & Asst Teacher, Juniors Dept)

When VBS 2012 ended, I realised how much deep-set joy I felt from serving as an assistant teacher, and I found myself looking forward to VBS the next year. So when Ling Ling asked if I could serve for VBS 2013, I was quick to agree, and was extremely excited to be tasked with a new role of being a song leader for the juniors department. I’ve always had a secret desire to lead the children in songs and praises; I’ve always had fond memories of singspiration sessions from way back when I was little. These songs that speak of God’s greatness, goodness, and love are always the first to come to mind whenever the going gets tough. God knows my desires and I was more than happy to have Him use me in any area that the church / VBS committee needed help in. Ling Ling also asked if I was up for taking on an assistant teacher role (instead of a teacher role which I was at first set on taking) so as to not feel overly stretched as it would be the very first time juggling a duo role position which I felt was very thoughtful.

One would think that preparing for song leading wouldn’t require that much effort and practice (or so I thought), but I spent nights praying over the right songs to pick, and my wonderful musicians - Perrie, Yee Shin, and Auntie Hui Chuien, spent hours practicing on the keyboard. We had to make many mental notes to not speed up while the song is being sung / played, note keys were adjusted so that the song could be sung within a comfortable vocal range for the children and for easier playing (documented on makeshift score sheets by Auntie Hui Chuien). A lot of work and effort went into the playing of every song, and preparing for the music slides.

On the same week of VBS, there was suddenly a lot to settle at work and I found myself dreading having to take time off for 3 consecutive mornings, and feeling very frustrated with the situation. If only I did not agree to VBS... If only VBS weren’t happening this week. But God is full of grace and love, at my weakest and my most tired state, He brought me back into His presence with a desire to seek Him and to cast my cares to Him, and He filled me with an assurance that He will surely see me through my days even when it seems so humanly impossible.

It definitely was not easy in the beginning. There was also a lot of self doubt that crept into my thoughts; I had little experience with four year olds. What if the kids don’t sing along?, How am I to manage so many children during singspiration at once? What if I’m too tired to teach during class time? Am I even the right one for the job? And then I realised that these doubts were all about me, me me; I was relying on my own human strength and flesh, and not on God at all. I was thinking about what I CAN’T do, over what I CAN do with Christ. It was a humbling lesson, and also a very timely one. Every time I stood in front of the children and had no idea how to get them to quieten down, inside of me I felt my heart surrender to God. Lord, these are your children, help me to love them and to guide them closer to you. Use me, let me be your tool and your messenger. God never fails to come through. Even during day 2 (also the noisiest day), God provided the words to say, the perseverance in my actions, and the comfort at the end of the day.

I was also very blessed to have been partnered with two very lovely co-teachers in my teaching class N2A. There’s so much you can learn about teaching from mothers - they are nurturing, they have endless patience, and they always know what to do! I learnt so much about interacting with children at this age group from Julia and Eng Eng. I feel like God knows exactly what it was that I needed to learn, to witness and who I needed as my mentors. I felt (and still do feel) so loved!

Coming together with the rest of the VBS juniors department team at the end of every day was always heartwarming to see everyone so driven to make things better for the next day. Ling Ling and Rhoda were always ready to listen, always striving to make things better, always beaming with encouragement for everyone. The love everyone had for Christ was very much reflected in the effort they were putting into their roles for VBS. I often had lunch, feeling very encouraged, and very edified, and very loved by God for giving me such an awesome opportunity, and the privilege to serve Him together with His children.

Happiness is about being found, being a new creature transformed with the Holy Spirit inside of us, and being wholly dependent on Him. Happiness is the Lord!

Testimony by May Heah 
(Teacher, Juniors Dept)

I heard so much about VBS over the years but never had the opportunity of serving in one until this year.

It was such a blessing to see so many generations of Lifers, young teens from LTF to retirees like me, serving harmoniously together. The younger ones took care of the heavier tasks allowing the older ones to do the less strenuous preparation work. Some had taken leave from their work to serve.

The efforts put into preparation and briefing ensured that everyone knew exactly what to do on the first day.

I was in the Junior department and saw how teachers and assistants alike lovingly taught the Gospel to the children. Some of the younger helpers were themselves VBS students not too long ago! I am reminded of Proverbs 22:6, "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."

It was truly encouraging to see the preschoolers absorb the Gospel and Christian songs. Many seem to know their Bible stories. We may think the kids are sometimes too young to understand, nevertheless, the Gospel seed is planted.

May the Lord continue to bless this ministry.

Testimony by Stella Seet 
(Asst Teacher, Primary Dept)

"So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase." – 1 Corinthians 3:7

Thank God for the blessing to be part of the Vacation Bible School. It’s been a joy to serve God with Aunty Phoebe, Aunty Bee Teen and all the other helpers in VBS. When ministering to children, a possible concern, besides class management problems, is whether they truly understand the important gospel message that is being presented to them. Within the short three days of VBS, one may wonder, is it really possible to connect and reach out to these little ones? Would VBS make any difference in these children’s lives? Is it even possible for a child so young to understand the message of salvation?

When such questions come to mind, may we be encouraged to know that God loves, cares for and knows these little ones by name. It is by His power that minds are enlightened and hearts are changed in His time for His glory. We know and worship a God of limitless resources, a God in whom nothing is impossible for him, and a God who has the power to work in the heart of that most stubborn and mischievous child in your class. As we continue to serve and to bring God’s good news to our friends, our family and our various ministries, may we always plug into God’s unending supply of power, to trust in his sovereignty and to be compelled by the love of Christ in all that we do.

Testimony by Benedict Sim (Logistics HOD)

Thank God for VBS 2013. It was a family event as my two children attended, my wife as a teacher helper, myself in logistics. We had a group of enthusiastic helpers coming forward to serve, from the youthful to the seniors. The logistics team started two days earlier to prepare the premises for VBS. During the week, many youths stepped out as leaders, proactively, with much initiative taking up roles and responsibilities to lead the team and getting things accomplished. We had some old timers who returned annually to serve in logistics, and we had some new comers.

It has been a tremendous blessing serving alongside with the youths. I am greatly encouraged, and renewed every year in VBS especially in meeting new people and making friends. We are entrusted with the responsibilities to ensure all materials, rooms, furniture, equipments, cleanliness, hygiene, etc are all catered for to the children.

My children were very excited, jumped up early in the morning, even earlier than usual school days for VBS! They enjoyed the singing, the Bible stories, and the art & craft.

Indeed, all praise and glory be to Christ Jesus, for it is because of Jesus that we have VBS.

Testimony by Meilina (Logistics)

Thank God for giving me the opportunity to serve in VBS again this year. It is really a joy serving with the logistics team! As logistic helpers, we have to be alert at all times so that we are ready when any teachers need any help. Although we were doing work behind the scenes, every one of us served with a cheerful heart. Simple things like putting hand sanitizer for the children, bringing them to their respective meeting locations, and bringing them to the toilet lessen the teachers’ workload. As children were watching us, we have to always be careful of our speech and conduct, that we might be good role models for them. Thank God that VBS went smoothly!

* * *

GOSPEL SUNDAY

Date: 30th June 2013

Time: 8 am & 10:45 am

Topic: O Grave, Where Is Thy Victory?

Speakers:
Rev David Wong (English Service)

Pastor Willy Ng (Mandarin/Hokkien)

Members are encouraged to invite their friends and relatives.

* * *

ERBL LECTURES (JUL-NOV 13) : Expanded to Day Lectures!

Day Time Course Lecturer

Mon 7.30 - 9.30 pm OT Survey I Rev Charles Seet

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

Wed 10 - 12.00 pm Ten Commandments Rev Charles Seet

Thu 10 - 12.00 pm 1 Corinthians Rev Isaac Ong

7.30 - 9.30 pm NT Survey I Rev Ho Chee Lai

Fri 10 - 12.00 pm Christian Education Rev Dr Jack Sin

Closing date for ‘Early Bird Discount’ of $5 is TODAY! Lectures begin on 8 Jul 13. Please complete registration forms and place them in the box, together with payment.

* * *

EMMANUEL REFORMED BIBLE SEMINAR

The Art and Science of Understanding the Bible by Dr Edward Paauwe


24-29 June 2013 (Mon-Sat) at Beulah MPH

8.30 am - 1.00 pm (Mon - Fri)

7.30 pm - 9.30 pm (Mon, Wed, Thu & Fri)

Registration still open.

* * *

1) Catechism Class for Anniversary 2013 Baptism will commence on 7 Jul 13, 9.30 am at Rm 5-4, Beulah Centre. Those seeking baptism, reaffirmation of faith and transfer of membership must attend the Catechism Class.

Appointment: Rev Wong departs for London New Life BPC on 27 June 13, EK 433 at 0650 hrs; returning 17 Sep 13.

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