Written by Jeremiah Sim
As the Gethsemane Seniors’ Ministry commemorate 13 years of God’s faithfulness, love and care upon this ministry, we rejoice in echoing the words of the psalmist in Psalm 105:1 – “O give thanks unto the LORD; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people.” Indeed, may the Lord’s name be magnified and glorified.
This year, we are thankful to hold our first Seniors’ retreat at Tropical Inn, JB, Malaysia in conjunction with our 13th Thanksgiving Anniversary of Gethsemane Seniors’ Ministry. Joy overflowed from the hearts of our seniors, who had earnestly looked forward to this 3 day-2 night retreat. Unknown to most, behind the scenes were lots of laborious effort and logistical arrangement, as well as much planning put into the organisation by brethren who truly laboured with much love. Thank God for the smooth execution of the entire retreat.
When the day arrived, we made our way with joy and excitement to the Woodlands train station, where we took the train to Johor Bahru Sentral Railway Station, Malaysia. From there, some brethren walked to the Tropical Inn whereas the rest hailed down the cabs. We sought the Lord for protection throughout our travelling, as majority of the brethren in this group are elderly folks. Praise God for His divine help to bring us safely to the hotel as well as for our return to Singapore after this retreat. Truly, this calls us to our remembrance the apostle Paul’s words in Philippians 4:6 – “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God”.
After our sumptuous dinner that first evening, our service began at 8pm with the elderly raising their voices to praise God with their singing. Thereafter, we had our first message on the topic, “Biblical Doctrine on the Elderly”, where Pastor Koshy preached from Psalm 71:9 to exhort us to trust and seek God in prayer. After the service, we had fellowship over our refreshments, encouraging and exhorting one another in the Lord.
On the second day of the retreat, we had our second message in the morning at 9am. The topic was on “Godly Living by the Elderly”; Pastor ministered to us from Psalm 71:17-19 and taught us to be prepared always to declare the Gospel and God’s marvellous works to the people of this generation. We truly thank the Lord for these two messages, which not only assured and strengthened us, but further reminds us that as God’s children, we have this incomparable privilege to declare His truths, as well as seek refuge in Him. When we proceeded for our refreshments, we saw some seniors attempting to put into application what they were taught by Pastor by sharing the Gospel with the unbelievers in our midst. All glory be unto God for such zealousness of these seniors to evangelise!
We also want to thank the Lord for Eld Mah and Pr Jeremiah Sim who ministered to the seniors in the morning and night devotions. In addition to these meetings, we had a prayer meeting. It was a joyous moment to hear many of our seniors interceding with thankful hearts for various items. On the last day of the retreat, we gathered in the morning and gladly sang spiritual songs led by Pr Jeremiah. That was followed by testimony time, where 6 seniors, namely sisters Jessie Ng, Miriam Wong, Lily, and brothers Mickey Lee, Francis Tan, Lee Jong Lee, gratefully testified of the Lord’s grace and mercy upon their lives. Their encouraging testimonies have indeed stirred the hearts of many elderly to give glory and honour to God too. After our lunch, we checked out from the hotel at 12 noon and arrived back, safe and sound, at Singapore around 3pm. Certainly, we thank the Lord for His protection throughout in our travelling. All praise be unto God!
Testimony of Bro Francis Tan
Thank God for the fruitful 3 days of retreat. The Lord has been gracious to us in granting us good health and strength, enabling us to attend this retreat in JB. I would like to thank the Lord for faithful preaching of God’s Word, as well as the Seniors’ Ministry committee and all who have helped in one way or another, that we may come together to learn and be reminded of how we ought to live for Christ in our old age. May the Lord continue to use this ministry mightily, that we may “consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works” (Hebrews 10:24).
Personally, I would like to thank the Lord for the provision of such a ministry in the church, where brothers and sisters in Christ can come together to study God’s Word, pray, sing hymns of praise, and worship God. For it is written in Hebrews 10:25 – “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” May the Holy Spirit work a good work in us, that we may understand and do God’s will. God willing, now that I am retired, I hope to attend the Seniors’ Ministry regularly, serving God and living a life pleasing unto Him.
All glory be to God!
(More testimonies next week…)