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Pastoral Exhortation - Series of 2011

6th Anniversary Of The Gethsemane Care Ministry

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On 9th of August, there will be a special thanksgiving gathering to commemorate the Lord's goodness towards The Gethsemane Care Ministry for the last six years. It has pleased the Lord to use our church in His hand to provide the Gospel lifeline to scores of men who were sinking into the depth of crime and drug addiction.

Some people believe that drug addiction is just a social problem and it is a result of a person’s faulty social lifestyle. They hold on to the idea that a person becomes a drug addict when he associates with drug addicts; or when he is exposed to or lives in an unhealthy environment where drugs are rampant. Thus, they believe that “by correcting the social frame of the drug addict, to enable him to relate well with others and adhere to the norms of society”, they can remedy the problems of a drug addict. But what about those people who have no problem with their social life and yet they are deeply enslaved in the bondage of drugs? Drug addiction is more than just a defective social lifestyle, it is a sin.

Social work, to some extent, may accomplish the work of reforming a drug addict with regard to his social relations but true transformation can only be made possible through the power of the Gospel of Christ. As a Gospel-based ministry, we believe in the transformation of man through the preaching of the Gospel - “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17), and we are committed to share the Word of God and bring the recovering drug addict to the saving grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Through the sharing of the Gospel and the Word of God, we pray that a person would come to know that he is totally depraved and is destined to suffer the punishment for all his sins in hell (Revelation 21:8), he must also come to know of the way wherein he would be saved from that eternal damnation (Romans 5:8), repent and turn to God (1 John 1:9), only then will he experience a regeneration – the work of the Holy Spirit in the salvation experience that produces a new life in the believer (John 3:3-7).

What joy it will be to hear the testimonies of men who have been gloriously transformed by Christ's redeeming Gospel. I would like to urge all the members and friends to come on the 9th of August and praise God together with these men who have much to tell us of their personal experiences of God's grace. After the service, there will be dinner, during which you can interact with them to encourage and spur them on to live and shine for the Saviour.

2 Corinthians 3:5 “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.”

Cultivating a deep knowledge and appreciation of the allsufficient grace of God made available to all His people, is pertinent to living a vivacious and victorious Christian life.

It is not uncommon that Christians feel troubled that they struggle to fulfil their Christian calling to live a holy and God-pleasing life. Are you feeling inadequate and helpless to overcome the struggles in life and ministry? Do you feel that Christian life and ministry are beyond your human abilities and powers? Do the challenges and goals before you appear very daunting?

Feeling inadequate, doubtful and anxious about fulfilling our Christian life and ministry is typical of everyone who cherishes a genuine desire to do the will of God and please Him. Such was the Apostle Paul’s concern; so he asks in 2 Corinthians 2:16, “And who is sufficient for these things?” In fact, that great hero of faith, made repeated assertions about his insufficiency. “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves” (2 Corinthians 3:5a; 4:7).

Paul’s sense of his personal insufficiency was an allpervasive view of his life. He wrote, “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves.” It was his total inability in the matters of Christian life and ministry that Paul was attesting.

There is no greater folly than to think that we possess within ourselves the power to attain the supreme spiritual heights. Wise is the man who acknowledges – “O how little is my sufficiency!”

“But our sufficiency” says Paul, “is of God” (2 Corinthians 3:5b). “Who is sufficient for these things?” The answer is: all who trust in the Lord are made sufficient to serve the Lord fruitfully. This is the truth that is explained by the words, “Our sufficiency is of God.”

In God we have all sufficiency: In Him is all the wisdom, all the thought, all the love, all the power, all the conquering energy which a devoted and serving Christian needs.

That our sufficiency should be of God is infinitely better than if it were of ourselves; for then our sufficiency cannot be questioned, cannot be suspended, cannot be exhausted.

If you had to bear on your own all the burdens and challenges, you might soon be devastated. But now you are like a child that travels with his father, and his father pays for everything. Like a child who draws all his needs from his father’s constant provision, we can now draw upon the inexhaustible resources of God for all our needs.

We can now expect to live a peaceful and princely life; for our Father in heaven will provide for us from His all sufficiency. Our sufficiency is of God; let us practically enjoy this truth. Like Paul, let us also learn to live by drawing on the Lord’s ever-sufficient grace. Consider Paul’s testimony in 2 Corinthians 12:9: “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” We are poor, leaking vessels, and the only way for us to keep full is to put our pitcher under the perpetual flow of His boundless grace. Then, despite its leakage, the cup will always be full to the brim. “Our sufficiency is of God.”

We know we have no power to reach souls and save them. When it comes to evangelism or any other ministry, one might cry, “I do not feel able to win a soul. I feel it is a work too hard for me.” Let him also continue to remember the truth that “our sufficiency is of God”. Brother, if God sends you, he will go with you; and if God gives you a message to deliver, he will prepare the ear and the heart for that message. O how blessed are these words for every servant of Christ. “Our sufficiency is of God.”

 

 


Elder Mah

The fact that the Lord has kept and blessed the work in all the mission churches in Cebu City, Bohol, Bogo and San Antonio was cause for great rejoicing during the combined anniversary thanksgiving service, for which the Mission Team gladly looked forward to be part of. The inauguration of the latest endeavour for the Lord - the Gethsemane Bible Institute, adds a further unique reason for the Team’s visit to Cebu from 14th to 18th July 2011. Great was the excitement and expected blessings among the Mission Team as we left for Cebu City to rejoice, serve with, and encourage our Filipino brethren early Thursday morning, July 14, to be followed by a second team the next morning.

The Lord did not disappoint. He gave every member of the Mission Team great reasons for rejoicing and amazing opportunities to serve and encourage. Although our bodies were stretched somewhat, owing to the hectic and demanding programme schedule, the Lord kept the Mission Team well and in good spirits. During the trip, some had minor physical discomforts but none fell miserably ill or injured. All accepted their assigned tasks spontaneously and unreservedly served with joy. Praise God.

The Lord gave opportunities to every member of the team to serve in different ways and to encourage the Filipino brethren; and the team returned, blessed and encouraged by what they saw and experienced. The testimonies below capture in their own words how they have been blessed by their participation in this year’s Mission Trip. I believe these words of testimony from the Mission Team, written with sincerity and thankful hearts, are but glimpses of deeper feelings that cannot be adequately expressed. I trust that as we read them, we too will be touched and moved by the Lord’s goodness in the midst of His people who serve ever so fervently in Cebu. I pray too that their testimonies will then encourage us to support and uphold them in our prayers.

‘For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations’ (Psalm 100:5), and ‘the earth is full of the goodness of the LORD’ (Psalm 33:5b). May He ever be praised.

 


Aileen Tan

Praise God in enabling Elder Mah to lead a team of 22 brethren in this year's Mission Trip to Cebu. I praise and thank God that I can be part of this Mission Trip. By the grace of God, I had a very blessed and meaningful Mission Trip - my first Mission Trip.

The Lord blessed us with opportunities to make 7 home visitations - 2 in Cebu City, 3 in Bohol and 2 in Bogo. We were also able to visit and pray for Bro Bucio at his workplace. All the families were very hospitable and I thank the Lord for their earnest warm hospitality. Their enthusiasm in receiving God’s Word is a great encouragement to me.

Elder Mah gave the exhortation at each home visitation, preaching from the Book of John. He expounded clearly that Jesus Christ is God, the Word made flesh; in Him was Life and the true Light, and He is our Living Saviour and Lord. He also reminded us to have a correct perspective of the Lord Jesus – majestic, victorious and glorified.

During the family worship and devotion in each home visit, a brother led in the singspiration and another gave his testimony to encourage our Filipino brethren. Brothers John Peh, Low Chip Hung, Francis Lee and Kenneth Wong took turns to lead and give their testimony. God also enabled the Mission Team to present two song items “Rescue The Perishing” and “Jesus Saves” for the Lord. We thank the Lord for the opportunity to testify for Him in song.

Sisters Catherine Low and Ruth Low taught the children during the Children’s Programme in San Antonio while sisters Melissa Mah and Stephanie Lee taught in the Junior Worship on the Lord’s Day Worship Service in Cebu Mission Church. The children were so responsive when they heard God’s Word. They are indeed very endearing children.

Praise God for giving the Mission Team the opportunity to join our Filipino brethren in the service to commemorate the Combined Anniversary of the four mission churches and the Inauguration of the Gethsemane Bible Institute on July 17, 2011.

We also had the opportunity to meet and fellowship with many families during the fellowship dinner and meeting on Friday, July 15, as well as with Brother Eliezer Ortega and the Care Ministry brethren during the prayer meeting on Saturday, July 16, at TGCM premises. Bro Richard Tiu preached the word at the prayer meeting, exhorting brethren from Psalm 133. We also participated in the morning devotion with the brethren of the Care Ministry on Monday morning.

Together with the whole Mission Team, I thank God for Rev Reggor who preached to us during the Family Worship on Sunday morning and also ensured that we were very comfortable during the trip. We are also much encouraged by the faithfulness of Preachers Dominino, Edsel, Eliezer and Richard Tiu.

I thank the Lord for the spiritual feasts around His Word during the Mission Trip. The Lord is faithful and good in blessing me as a member of this year’s Mission Team and for a very meaningful and successful trip. I am made aware of the shortness of time on earth and therefore I ought not to procrastinate and waste time but to press on, serving our Living and True GOD.

 


Francis And Stephanie Lee

Last year, after the mission trip to Cebu, Brother John Peh and I asked each other “Are you coming back again?” We both answered, “Yes, God willing.” This year, Stephanie, Moses and I were able to go on the Cebu Mission trip again and we thank God for His sovereign will and grace.

The Lord granted all of us a safe and smooth journey to the Philippines and we were warmly received by Brother Richard Tiu at the airport. It was a joyful gathering as we met up with all the brethren in Cebu and we thank God for the renewing of Christian fellowship. We rejoiced to see Rev Reggor again, together with his wife, Sister Carol, and their daughters, Ruth and Naomi. We were also very happy to see Brother Richard Tiu’s parents, his wife, sister Grace and their son, Angelo. We were also glad to see Brother Samuel Mingo and Sister Marites, Brother Eliezer Ortega, Sister Arlaine and their children, Ellyn Joyce, Rezeile and Joshua. We thank God for keeping them and for their faithful labour in the Lord. We were touched by their kind hospitality and care. In addition, it was a great joy to have met up with new brethren whom we did not see last year. All the brethren warmly welcomed us during the fellowship meeting and dinner. Praise God for a blessed time of mutual encouragement in the Lord. We echo with the Psalmist: “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” (Psalm 133:1).

The next day, we set off early in the morning to visit the mission churches in Bogo and San Antonio. The trip to Bogo was long, winding and bumpy but we thank God for granting us a safe and uneventful journey. It was good to see Brother Dominino, Sister Sharon and their son Nehemiah again. We knew that although they were going through a trial of physical affliction, yet they continued to serve the Lord faithfully, with much joy and gladness. This brought much encouragement to our hearts. We also met up with a number of brethren whom we saw last year such as Brother Julito and his wife, Sister Josephine Narandan, and Sir Gervasio Daitol and his wife, mam Fely and many others. We thank God for the opportunity to visit Brother Julito and Sir Gervasio in their homes.

We were greatly encouraged to see Brother Julito and his wife continuing to serve actively in the Bogo Church and we thank God for their zeal and commitment. We also thank God for Sir Gervasio Daitol and his wife, mam Fely, for their service and support of the Bogo Church. Sir Gervasio shared with me that he loves to hear and sing hymns although he is hard of hearing without his hearing aid. So it was with great gusto that the Mission Team sang at his home, praising our Lord. We thank God for a blessed time of singing and sharing God’s Word in these homes.

After the home visitations and fellowship lunch at Bogo Mission Church, we travelled down to San Antonio in the afternoon for the children and youth ministries. I thank the Lord for the opportunity to share God’s Word with the youths at San Antonio. I also thank the Lord for helping me to choose an appropriate topic ‘Godly Choices’ which the Lord had laid upon my heart to share from Genesis 13:1-13 and 1 John 2:15-17. Brother Dominino later shared with me that the message brought to the youths was apt and timely. Many male youths did not go to church because of the lure of the world. It was also sad to learn that some young sisters, who used to be zealous for the Lord, had left the church because of their unbelieving boyfriends. They were no longer in the church because they did not make “Godly choices”. We pray that the Lord will strengthen these youths in the face of worldly temptations and may the Spirit of God guide them to remain faithful unto Him and to make godly decisions that honour Him.

The day ended with the prayer meeting at Cebu Care Ministry in the evening. We thank God for the faithful labour of Brother Eliezer. Although there were only 3 residents in the Care Ministry, yet they persevere in their programmes and continue to serve the Lord with joy and gladness.

On Sunday, we attended the combined church anniversary service and the inauguration of the Gethsemane Bible Institute. It was wonderful to see the goodness and faithfulness of the Lord in blessing all the various ministries. James 1:17 “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” We praise God for all the song items rendered to the glory of His name by the various groups from all the mission churches. We were especially encouraged when Brother Edsel told me that 15 members of his congregation had come all the way from Bohol to render praise in spite of their fear of singing before a large congregation. Moreover, they did not mind the hardship of travelling overnight in a slow boat that would take them 8 hours to get home. The brethren in San Antonio and Bogo also travelled a long journey of at least 3 hours to attend this service.

They all reminded us of the psalmist that declared: “I will praise thee, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvellous works” (Psalm 9:1). Indeed, their love and dedication to the Lord have greatly encouraged us in our walk and service for the Lord. We also thank God for the exhortation by Elder Mah and the message delivered by Pastor Koshy on 2 Timothy 2:2. Their message brought much encouragement to all and reminded us to be steadfast and faithful in our service to the Lord.

The Lord had also blessed Stephanie with the opportunity to teach the children from age 7 to 12 at the Junior Worship during this combined meeting. A total of 23 children under this age group attended the Junior Worship. Their zeal to study God’s Word greatly encouraged and touched our hearts. They were attentive and eager to learn from the Word of God even though many of them are too poor to own a Bible. Stephanie shared with them from Acts 16:16-34 with the focus on the theme verse from Acts 16:31, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thine house.” At the end of the lesson, they had eagerly memorized the theme verse and brought home the lesson of 4‘P’s, namely Personal Salvation, Preach the Gospel, Persecution and Persevering in their faith. Later that evening, Brother Dominino also shared with Stephanie how one parent was brought to church by their believing daughter. Indeed, these precious young souls with their childlike faith can be used by the Lord to bring even their parents into His kingdom.

Moses also enjoyed his ‘first mission trip’ to Cebu and was greatly blessed. Indeed, our hearts are filled with thanksgiving to the Lord for His work in Cebu. We will continue to remember and uphold these mission stations and the faithful brethren there in our prayers. May we all, with the brethren in these mission stations, be encouraged as we remember 1 Cor 15:58: “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”

On our departure from Cebu, many brethren came to see us off at the airport and we were touched by their love and encouragement in the Lord. Brother John and I asked each other again, “Are we coming again next year?” God willing, we will and we pray that many more brethren from Singapore will be able to join us next time and be encouraged by the work of the Lord in these mission churches in the Philippines. All Glory be unto God!

 


Melissa Mah

Praise the Lord for His wonderful workings towards His people who love and serve Him. I thank God for allowing me to be a part of this mission trip to the Philippines. I have been blessed to see the providence of God in the gospel work, and in the lives of the brethren of Gethsemane B-P churches in the Philippines.

Not only have we renewed Christian fellowship in the Lord, our hearts have been much encouraged and strengthened to see His servants faithfully serving in the midst of various struggles and challenges of the ministry. Clearly the joy of the Lord is their strength (Neh 8:10). Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him (Ps 2:12)!

As the Lord extends His kingdom through Gethsemane B-P Church's ministries, may the Lord help each one of us to rise up in faith in support of the attempts to spread the Gospel, in the Philippines, Ethiopia and even to the ends of the earth.

‘For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth. And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region’ (Acts 13:47-49).

 


John and Katherine Peh

My wife and I visited Cebu as part of the Mission Team last year and it was with much anticipation that we looked forward to the mission trip this year. I thank God that my whole family was able to be in the mission team this year.

My family was very much blessed by this mission trip. In the home visitations, we had sweet fellowship with brethren who opened their homes. The sharing of God’s Word by Elder Mah and some brethren of the Mission Team was very encouraging. Elder Mah’s sharing of God’s Word on the person of Christ was particularly refreshing and apt for the brethren who were from the Roman Catholic faith. We had a very blessed time singing spiritual songs and encouraging each other. It was very heartening to see every member of the Mission Team having a part to play in this mission trip, whether it be teaching the children, sharing the Word, playing the guitar, preparing refreshment or even just saying some encouraging words to the brethren in Cebu.

The inauguration of the Gethsemane Bible Institute was a very momentous event. It was indeed an honour and privilege for the Mission Team to be able to witness the event. About 200 brethren from the 4 churches of Cebu, Bogo, San Antonio and Bohol witnessed the inauguration. Pastor Koshy preached on 2 Timothy 2:2, charging the teachers of Gethsemane Bible Institute to commit the Word to only faithful men and also the need for teachers to be faithful themselves. It is most moving to see that God has raised these men from the bondage of sin to be teachers of God’s Word. It is my prayer that God will raise up even more men to study in Gethsemane Bible Institute and later to be labourers in the field.

My family and I are looking forward to next year’s mission trip to Cebu. We pray that God willing, we can go for the mission trip yet again. The fellowship with the saints of Cebu, the preaching of God’s Word, the inauguration of Gethsemane Bible Institute and the blessed experience we had in the mission trip have left indelible memories on our mind.

 


Matthew Peh

I thank God for the opportunity to go to the Philippines from the 14th to 18th of July. Truly it was a great blessing to be able to witness the anniversary of the various mission churches in the Philippines, as well as the inauguration of the Gethsemane Bible Institute (GBI). I thank God for giving me the opportunity to serve as the photographer for the mission trip as well.

Seeing the various developments in the Philippines, it is indeed heartening to see how the churches in the Philippines have grown in numbers and in faith. The fervency of the brethren there in learning God’s Word is truly amazing.

I’m also reminded to be thankful to God for all things. Seeing how the children there are so easily contented – a simple balloon, a simple photo makes them happy – made me realize how blessed we Singaporeans are. We ought to be thankful for everything that God provides. The children in San Antonio are a great encouragement to me. They are so easily contented with the food that the mission team prepared, and the balloon sculptures that Uncle Kenneth and I made for them. Truly, we need to learn to give thanks and complain less.

May God continue to bless the mission churches in the Philippines, and may the GBI serve as a stronghold to equip faithful men and women with the truth of God’s Word.

 


Nicholas Low

I thank God that I was able to join the Mission Team to Cebu; He has blessed me exceedingly. There were new experiences, fellowships and joys which I have never come across. I have truly been blessed by God during this visit to Cebu. I was deeply encouraged by the brethren in Cebu for their zeal and love in worshipping God. It is not easy to share the Word of God with the people as they are mainly Roman Catholics but I can see the brethren persevering.

I can see the love in them and this verse, Deut 10:12, comes to my mind: “And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul”.

Let us search ourselves and pray that God would use us for the extension of His kingdom. I have indeed immersed myself with these words “God gave us a message to share, don’t keep it to ourselves. Share it with the world. The purpose of sharing God’s truth is to profit others; not to prosper ourselves.”

I truly believe that God’s answer to our prayers may exceed our expectations. Trust God. He can make miracles out of what seems insignificant. All glory to God.

 


David Low Chip Hung

I am grateful to God for the opportunity to be part of the mission team to celebrate the anniversary of the Gethsemane Mission Churches in the Philippines and in addition, to witness the inauguration of the Gethsemane Bible Institute. Truly, the five days in the Philippines have been spiritually fruitful, though with much perspiration.

What I have taken away from these 5 days are:

  1. The opportunity to witness the work of the Lord in the 4 mission churches. God has been good to bless the work of Pastor Reggor, Bro Edsel, Bro Eliezer, Bro Dominino and Bro Richard Tiu.
  2. Mutual encouragement through the sharing of God’s Word and fellowship that we had received from the home visitations of the brethren from the various mission churches.
  3. The blessing of hearing God’s Word from the preachers and brothers. One of the key lessons learned from Elder Mah’s exhortation, taken from Ps 33:1-12 during the combined anniversary and inauguration service, was to rejoice in the Lord always despite the odds in our life.
  4. Not forgetting the warm fellowship with the Filipino brethren from all the mission churches.

Indeed, God has been good to grant us safety, smooth running of programme and pleasant fellowship between the brethren from the mission team and the mission churches. Thank God for enabling Elder Mah and Rev Reggor to plan a good and well-organized trip which is manageable and fulfilling.

 


Low Siew Lian

When Chip Hung mentioned about joining the mission trip, I was quite apprehensive as I am currently pursuing a course. It was not possible to obtain the timetable to check whether I would be available during that time. However, by faith we signed up. When the timetable was finally out, I realized that I was unable to fulfil the absentee quota and have to retake the module which means my course will be extended. By God’s grace, I approached my course provider and after consulting the lecturer, he decided to combine two modules to solve my problem. Thank God for answered prayer.

I have experienced the reality of Psalm 133:1: Indeed, it is “good and pleasant for brethren to dwell together in unity.” Though we may be miles apart, yet when believers unite, distance does not pose a barrier to our fellowship and mutual encouragement. I was blessed by the love, care and hospitality of the people in the Philippines.

My objective for this trip was to encourage brethren in the foreign lands. Hence, taking initiatives and constantly trusting God to lead me proved fruitful. I thank God that though I was there to bless, I was in turn blessed by their brotherly love and sharing of God’s Word.

I was delighted when Elder Mah approached me to teach the children in San Antonio on Saturday. Despite having to fulfil my course assignment, I thank God for time to prepare the lesson, craft and shop for stationery for the children.

It was indeed an eye opener for me to teach these ‘spiritually hungry’ children. They were responsive and expressive. Through questioning, I was able to determine their understanding of the lesson conducted. I met the children again on Sunday, during the worship service for the combined anniversary and inauguration of the GBI. Two girls whom I had taught on Saturday gave me a pleasant surprise as they approached me to sing a Christian song. I was touched and moved that God has showered my trip with abundant and unspeakable blessings.

 


Jerah Tan

Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers – Eph 1: 16.

Many thanks to God for granting me this opportunity to attend the Combined Church Anniversary and Inauguration of Gethsemane Bible Institute in Cebu City, the Philippines. It was indeed a fruitful trip for me as this was my first exposure to mission work in the Philippines.

The Lord opened my eyes to witness the great poverty in this land and the deep need of the Gospel for these people. When I saw the little children’s great zeal for the Lord, it put me to shame. I am praying for the little children of Gethsemane B-P Church (Singapore) to have the same zeal.

Making a trip to the churches in Bohol, Bogo and San Antonio to worship God took 2 ½ hours each and often on uneven and congested roads, yet it never deterred the worshippers from worshipping God. This testimony truly impacted my life. Living conditions are really bad over there compared to the comfort zone I’m enjoying here. It taught me an important lesson to give thanks to the Lord and count my blessings, one by one. Most importantly, it left a deep impression on me when I witnessed the people living in poverty and yet hunger for the Word of God.

I also want to give thanks to God for Elder Mah Chin Kwang who led the team and all the brethren who travelled with me for their encouragement and fellowship. The Gethsemane Care Ministry (Cebu) presently has 3 residents and my prayer is that more will come to know the Lord and be delivered from the bondages of drug addiction. Lastly, I want to thank God for Rev Prabhudas Koshy in raising up brethren like Pastor Reggor, Bro Dominino, Bro Richard Tiu, Bro Edsel and Bro Eliezer to pioneer Gethsemane Bible Institute and their dedication to channel what they had learnt to others, for the propagation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. To God Be the Glory!

“If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land; But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword; for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it" (Isa 1:19-20).

 


Marcus Peh

Thank God that I was able to join the mission team this year. When my mother told me that I would be joining the mission trip, I was very excited. I thank God that He allowed me to go despite the fact that I would have to miss two days of school.

I thank God that I was given the opportunity to play the guitar during the mission trip. I have not played the guitar in a group before but praise God that He had helped me. I felt very encouraged to be able to fellowship with the brethren and teens in Cebu. When I first arrived at Bogo for our first home visitation, many children were waiting excitedly at the doorstep. My brother, Matthew, gave me a balloon and asked me to pass it to them. When I reached out my hand, all the children ran towards me to snatch it from me. At that time I thought to myself “Even a balloon could brighten up their day. How blessed we are in Singapore!” This is indeed a blessed experience for me.

I hope to join the next mission trip, God willing.

 


Cayson Chok

Greetings in the Blessed Name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. I write this short testimony in order to testify of the Lord’s goodness. Firstly, I want to thank and praise the Lord for giving me this opportunity to visit our mission churches in the Philippines.

It was with much excitement and great joy as I prepared myself for this Philippines mission trip. I had reminded myself constantly that it was without a doubt that I went as an ‘encourager’ to my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ in our mission churches. However, it turned out to be the other way round! I was indeed overwhelmed and my heart was tremendously encouraged by the brethren's faithfulness, commitment and devotion to the Lord. Let me explain.

Upon arrival at the worship service for the combined anniversary and the inauguration of the Gethsemane Bible Institute, I noticed that the brethren from the various mission churches - Cebu, Bohol, Bogo and San Antonio, as well as from different parts of Cebu, were already there readying themselves for the service. This showed me that they had great zeal for the Lord’s work regardless of distance or time. They were united for Christ despite being in a predominantly Catholic country. I praise and thank the Lord for the beauty of the unity of the brethren; for even the Psalmist stated: “Behold how good and how pleasant it is for the brethren to dwell together in unity!” (Psalm 133:1).

In addition, I was truly moved by the way the brethren in the Philippines had gone about serving God and doing their best joyfully - in attending to us and helping us throughout the mission trip, during the home visitations, fellowship meetings and worship service. They did it all with gladness and love. As the Apostle Paul wrote, “... but by love serve one another” (Gal 5:13). Truly, this mission trip has encouraged my heart and strengthened my Christian walk, and built up my faith in Him.

Last but not least, in a country where the culture, language and lifestyle are different from ours, one thing is sure - that we serve the same God, the Living and True God. May His Name be praised!

 


Moses Lee

I thank the Lord Jesus for His goodness and mercy upon me. I am very thankful to Him that I was able to go to the Cebu Mission trip with my parents. It was indeed a blessed experience for me to see the growth of the churches and to play with the children there.

The last time I went to Cebu with my family was during the Second Missionary Conference in 2007 when I was only 5 years old. I remember Uncle Rev Reggor was just ordained and the church was small. During that visit, we also visited Uncle Rev Reggor’s church which was in a small building. This time, I thank God that the new church building is so much bigger and there are many more people in the church.

I also witnessed the combined service of the various churches in Cebu, Bohol and Bogo. The hotel conference room was packed with so many people from these churches who came to celebrate their anniversaries and to witness the inauguration of the Bible Institute.

I thank God that I also got to meet and play with many children in Cebu. Comparing with the children in Singapore, these children are very underprivileged and most of them live in poverty, especially those in San Antonio, Bogo and Bohol. Looking at them, I have learnt to be thankful for what I have in Singapore and not to take things for granted. I feel sorry for them, but I know with Jesus in their lives, they are happy and contented. I am especially encouraged when I saw them singing loudly and joyfully to the Lord. They really sang their hearts out to Jesus during Junior Worship. I did not see my mother having to remind them to sing louder like what she did with us when she led us in singspiration during GCM. They also listened to the lesson attentively and when my mother asked questions, so many of them put up their hands eagerly. They are so keen and interested in learning God’s Word. They also read the memory verses loudly and memorised them so quickly.

I noticed that many of the children do not have Bibles as they are too poor to own one. So when my mother told them to read their Bible and pray, many of them told her that they do not have a Bible. It is very sad that they cannot afford a Bible. I hope and pray that they can own a Bible soon one day. I would like to save up and start collecting Bibles and hope to bring them to the children one day.

God is great and good, and His work is marvellous as I can see in the churches and the people there. I will remember them in my prayers and I hope to visit them again one day.

 


Ruth Low

In every mission trip, there is always plenty to thank and praise God for, for God is ever faithful and gracious. For this recent mission trip, I will highlight a few thanksgiving items I particularly have in mind:

  1. The unceasing and untiring effort of the brethren there to do God’s work despite bodily afflictions and/ or religious persecution. It is encouraging that God’s work is continued faithfully and fervently even though discouragement and setbacks come in the way. Bro Dominino for one, did not look too well due to his illness. He seemed weaker and somewhat thinner. The number of children attending his Saturday programme in San Antonio has also dwindled to about half due to other religious groups drawing them away. But I still see Bro Domi’s love for the people and the work, and Sis Sharon continues to be his faithful and cheerful supporter and helpmeet. Bro Edsel is serving God alone in Bohol, away most of the time from his fellow preachers and friends in Cebu. He also probably faces more religious persecution than them as Bohol is a staunch Roman Catholic area, but I thank God he remains steadfast and strong in the Lord.
  2. The opportunity to see the very simple lifestyle and living conditions. Some homes we visited were small but nonetheless clean and decent. However, we also passed by homes that were run down, tiny, dirty and very basic. It was in stark contrast to the abundance of luxury we have here in Singapore, and it brought to my mind both thanksgiving as well as shame, for I often murmur about this and that.
  3. The inauguration of the Gethsemane Bible Institute (GBI), and Pastor’s stirring and convicting message entitled “The Same Commit Thou to Faithful Men”, based on 2 Timothy 2:2 which is the theme verse of the institute—“And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.”

Besides addressing the lecturers, Pastor mentioned one thing which remains etched in my mind. Many of us are not lecturers, but quite a number are teachers of young children. He said to us, “Sunday school teachers, when you teach and pray for the children in your class, do not stop at seeing them as individuals you want to nurture, but go beyond that to those who will teach others in future.” I thank God for these words of wisdom which instruct us to leave behind a strong Christian legacy and generations of faithful teachers. This is vital in the ministry and Christ’s church at large. So may the Lord be pleased to use all of us—both in Cebu and Singapore—to continue His work,and abound in it!

All glory be to His name.

 


Kenneth Wong

Praise God for a fruitful and mutually encouraging mission trip. Praise God also for His goodness to the four mission churches (Cebu, Bohol, Bogo & San Antonio), for the past 7, 5, 3 and 2 years respectively.

When the news of a mission team's going for the inauguration of the Gethsemane Bible Institute (GBI) and to commemorate the anniversaries of the mission churches was first announced, I immediately signed up for the trip. Initially, we thought of going as a family, but as Zechariah is only 7 months old, we decided that I would go alone instead. Indeed, this was a blessed opportunity to witness the humble beginning of an Institution that many men who are called will be trained to spread His Word across the land. It will train generations of preachers and pastors in years to come. I was excited to be part of this milestone in the history of Gethsemane BPC.

We knew that our schedule would be tightly packed, back to back. Rising up early in the morning, travelling, making home visitations, sharing of God’s Word and fellowshipping with fellow brethren were our itinerary till we retired late in the evening.

I was truly and greatly encouraged by the mission work in Bohol. Bro Edsel brought us to three homes to visit as well as to encourage. Instead, I was put to shame by the faith they had. They were steadfast, unmovable, quiet and yet committed to serve the Lord. I remember particularly Bro Bucio's faithfulness in the Lord and Bro Edsel's fighting the battle alone, having the burden of the Gospel of salvation for his people on that island. Let us continue to uphold him in our prayer for the furtherance of His kingdom.

Lastly, I want to echo the hymn ‘Blest be the tie that binds’:

"Blest be the tie that binds

Our hearts in Christian love;

The fellowship of kindred minds

Is like to that above."

Truly, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! (Psalm 133:1). Praise God for the wonderful, sweet and ‘heavenly’ fellowship with likeminded brethren.

 

Pastoral Exhortation