Written by Jeremiah Sim
Calling to Serve in the Ministry
It is solely by the grace and mercy of God that I was delivered and redeemed from the bondage of sins to liberty, and that enable me to bear witness for the Lord Jesus of His glory and His salvation to others.
My calling from God to be a preacher came in April 2004. I was then a volunteer at the newly set-up TGCM (The Gethsemane Care Ministry) under our church. While I was serving there, the Lord laid a heavy burden upon me to be a preacher through two verses from His Word. “Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no Saviour” (Isaiah 43:10-11). “Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest” (Matthew 9:37-38). I was perturbed that there are many lost souls who are without the true shepherd and are still outside the kingdom of God. Some of them are my family members, relatives and friends. Therefore,…”how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?” (Romans 10:14).
After seeking the Lord in prayer, I approached Pastor Koshy and Rev Paul Cheng (who was then a deacon), and shared with them my calling and the need to further equip myself in studying God’s Word. The Board of Elders interviewed me and I was enrolled at the Far Eastern Bible College (FEBC). I am also thankful to God for a supportive wife who encouraged and supported me spiritually in many ways. Having completed my theology courses at FEBC in June 2010, I was appointed to be a preacher to assist Pastor by helping to lead in the Gethsemane Seniors’ Ministry and the Lions Home Ministry.
In the same year, the Lord added another burden for me to reach out to the lost souls among the inmates who are confined within the prison cells due to their heinous crimes. With the blessing of Pastor and much prayer, God opened the door of the Changi Prison Complex for me to visit and minister to the inmates in December 2010.
In the year 2019, the Lord again moved me to serve in the Kababayan Bible Study (KBS). With Pastor’s blessing, the Board of Elders agreed to my desire to help and lead in the KBS.
Challenges in the Ministry
Gethsemane Seniors’ Ministry and Lions Home Ministry
The Lord has been my Overseer all these years as I serve Him in the Seniors’ Ministry. Even though much labour and endeavour are required to reach out to some of these seniors due to the infirmities that beset them, I regard it as an enormous blessing bestowed from God as I preach, teach and extend my right hand of fellowship towards them. In addition, His wisdom and charity also enable me to be patient by remembering the Scriptures: “Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up” (1 Corinthians 13:4). My heart is most exulted when the unbelieving old folks turn to God for salvation! I am thankful to God for my wife Gina who has been a great help in assisting me to coordinate the necessary arrangements in the Seniors’ Ministry.
The objective of the Lions Home Ministry is similar to that of the Seniors’ Ministry, where it is my desire and zeal to reach out to the elderly with the Gospel message and thus to lead them to Jesus Christ, the only Saviour. Having said this, I am aware that many of the old folks in those homes are physically impaired, and some suffer also from dementia. Their afflictions make them weary and sad too. As they often struggle to cope with their physical disabilities, some of them have come to think of life as futile and meaningless. In such a situation, I find it a necessity and privilege to encourage them with the knowledge of God’s truth that strengthens them with the promises of His grace. A team of brethren and I have rejoiced to witness several of them turning to Christ and thereafter looking unto Jesus as the Author and Finisher of their faith (cf. Hebrews 12:2).
Despite the tough demands and challenges of labouring in these ministries, I find immeasurable blessings and comfort to bear witness of God’s Word to those old folks who are overwhelmed by their ill-health and difficulties. The team of brethren and I take comfort and trust in the promises of God that “He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength” (Isaiah 40:29). We served continually among them, Sunday after Sunday (before the Covid-19 “circuit-breaker” was implemented), only because of His power and strength that are abundant towards me and my fellow co-labourers in the Lord.
The Prison Ministry
I consider it a privilege to be involved in meeting the challenges of proclaiming the Gospel to the “hardcore” convicted unsaved souls at Changi Prison since December 2010. The scope of the Prison Ministry is extensive and immense which requires much wisdom, long-suffering and the love of God to reach out to these hardcore criminals by bringing the Good News to them. I thank God for His grace and mercy upon me as I minister and attend to them with much care and love every Tuesday before the Covid-19 outbreak.
Sure, it is tough work in this ministry, trying to engage the inmates who have been entrenched in gangsterism. Nonetheless, “… it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16). Through this ministry, many have also believed and received Jesus Christ as their Saviour and some have diligently sought the Lord for direction upon their release. Some of these had also stayed in The Gethsemane Care Ministry and have been attending our church.
Kababayan Bible Study
I thank the Lord for the opportunity given to me to minister God’s Word to the brethren at the Kababayan Bible Study once a month. In this ministry, I have learned to know them better and forged a close bonding with them. In this regard, through opportunities given to my wife and me in visiting our Filipino brethren to exhort and pray for them, we thank God for the joy and privilege of fellowshipping with our Filipino brethren.
Carrying Out of My Duty in the Ministry
By the grace of God, I am what I am, being able to continue to labour and serve Him in these ministries. By God’s strength, I am also visiting brethren among the seniors and Filipino brethren (in their homes) to have a short devotion of learning God’s Word and praying for them. Occasionally, I also call our brethren to comfort and share God’s love towards them. God’s Word has constantly guided me while I carry out my duty as a preacher. I am always reminded and, at times, rebuked by God’s Word to carry out my duty as a preacher diligently, by always studying and meditating on His Truth and abounding in the work of the Lord (1 Corinthians 15:58). God has never failed to aid me when I cast all my cares upon Him, knowing that He cares for me (cf. 1 Peter 5:7). I am weak, but He is strong. May I continuously seek the Lord to empower me to labour and serve Him.
Lastly, I like to thank the Lord for Pastor, the Session and all of you who have been showering your love, care, and prayers towards me and my wife Gina. I am truly grateful and thankful to God for all of you, who have indeed been a great blessing to both of us in many areas of our lives. May the Lord bless Gethsemane Bible-Presbyterian Church abundantly for His glory.