Posted by:
10th Jan 2021

2020 DVBS Report

2020 was a year of changes! However, what has remained constant is the preaching of God’s Word in the Gethsemane Children Ministry (GCM). The Daily Vacation Bible School (DVBS) is an annual event of the GCM during the school vacation for our children to be nourished in the Word of God and to reach out to their friends, both within and without the church of Christ. Despite being nearly hindered from ministering to children due to the invasion of the coronavirus worldwide, especially with the implementation of the “Circuit Breaker” in Singapore (April – June 2020), we are thankful that the LORD is good to us! “We were troubled on every side, yet not distressed . . . cast down, but not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9). We were able to adjust quickly and GCM went online, with technical support from our brethren. All glory be to God!

With 2 sessions of GCM meetings held every Saturday (11am and 2pm), we were led to the idea of running our 3-day DVBS online for 2020. When restrictions on physical gathering and studio recordings were eased, the GCM committee decided to hold DVBS in a hybrid manner both physically and virtually! Instead of hosting the event via Zoom from our homes, the event was hosted in BWMM Studio in Gethsemane Media Centre (GMC). In doing so, some local children were able to physically participate in the event while others joined virtually, especially those abroad!

The conventional programmes of our DVBS were tweaked to suit the live-interaction on Zoom’s platform, which included the singing of hymns and choruses, the preaching of God’s Word and an activity time. Each day had two sessions: the morning session was for younger children (P2 and below), whereas the afternoon session was for the older children (P3 to P6). We thank God for the wisdom to adapt and adjust according to the needs, and for brethren who willingly offered their service for the smooth running of DVBS 2020, whose theme was “Christ of the Bible”. The children were taught on 3 names of Christ in the Old Testament: “The Seed of the woman” (Genesis 3:15), “Shiloh” (Genesis 49:10) and “The Stone of Israel” (Genesis 49:24). God willing, for future DVBS, we will continue with the same theme and teach our children more names of Christ from the Law of Moses.

On behalf of the committee, I would also like to thank the respective parents for their unstinting support and cooperation in sending their child(ren) to GMC on time for the morning and afternoon sessions over the 3 days (16-18 December) of DVBS.

Jesus had said, “Suffer (allow) the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God” (Mark 10:14). I thank the LORD for sending us participants from near and far, (locally and globally). More than 50 children joined us in total! This is truly the goodness of the LORD upon our church and her endeavours to propagate the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ! Included herewith are some testimonies from the participants:

Testimonies from Children

Thaddeus, child of a regular worshipper since CB
I enjoyed the singing most. God is so good to me and I am saved. Jesus is my Saviour. I also enjoyed the Bible lessons. Thank you, Brother Cornelius and Aunty Luan Kheng!

Johan & Hannah
Thank God for allowing us to join this year’s DVBS. Even though we were not able to join together physically, we thank God for online-DVBS. Teacher Cornelius taught us from the Book of Genesis, on the topic: “Christ of the Bible”. In three days, we learned 4 names of Jesus Christ from Genesis – her Seed, Shiloh, Shepherd and Stone of Israel. Secondly, thank God for all the efforts of GCM committee to teach us the Word of God. We pray to God that many children will be blessed by the GCM. All glory to God. Amen.

Esther and Naomi (Cebu City, the Philippines)
I praise God that my sister and I were given this opportunity to join the DVBS 2020 – through Zoom. We thank God for the blessed and fruitful time spent together with children all over the world, learning and growing in the faith of the Lord. I pray that as we grow older, we may be able to keep in mind all the lessons that we have learned in DVBS 2020. All glory be unto Him!

Ryan Skariah
Thank God for the opportunity to attend DVBS 2020 – live at GMC. During the lessons, I learnt about Christ of The Bible. Thank God for giving Pr Kelvin the wisdom to teach us and nurture us in His wisdom. During the messages, I learned about “the Seed of the woman” mentioned in Genesis 3:15, the “Shiloh” mentioned in Genesis 49:10, and “the Stone of Israel” mentioned in Genesis 49:24, which are clear references to Jesus Christ. It is so wonderful to know that the promise of a Saviour is prophesied clearly in the first book of the Bible. Praise God also for all the singspiration leaders, for Aunty Luan Kheng who never failed to remind us to be attentive to the messages, for the AV crew who made sure that the programme could be brought to those at home, as well as for the games-leader, Bro Amoz. All glory be to God!

I thank God for the opportunity to learn God’s Word in the online Daily Vacation Bible School (DVBS). Although I would have liked to attend it at GMC, I enjoyed all the online sessions. The DVBS’ theme was “Christ of the Bible”. I learnt the different names of Christ in the Bible.

Things I learnt during Brother Cornelius’ sessions:
1. There are names of Jesus Christ in the Old Testament – “Her Seed” in Genesis 3:15; “Shiloh” in Genesis 49:10; “Stone of Israel” in Genesis 49:24.
2. Jacob had many sons, and one of them is Judah, whom Jacob gave special blessings (in Genesis 49) – he shall: a) be praised; b) produce mighty warriors; c) be linked to “Lion of Judah”; and d) receive a sceptre and a crown.

Things I learnt in Preacher Kelvin’s sessions:
1. The Stone of Israel refers to Jesus Christ.
2. He does not come from the line of Joseph.
3. If you are heavy laden or weary in spirit, Jesus said, “Come unto me, and I will give you rest.”

I like the teaching of God’s Word. I also liked the activities and games that were conducted. May God help me to learn God’s words well so that He can use me to serve Him in time to come.

Testimony from Combined Retreat of GYF and GYAF

Tan Yeh Wen
I thank God for overseeing the smooth conduct of the Retreat and for His Hand of protection over us. Truly, by His grace, not only were the respective participants able to meet in GMC over 2 days, but the live stream over YouTube and prayer meeting over Zoom were also smoothly executed. Thank God for His enabling grace upon all who laboured, for the participants, as well as for the planning committee (for their patience and forbearance), in the light of the many changes that have happened. Surely, we are weak, but He is strong.

Thank God for empowering Pastor Koshy and Bro Cornelius in ministering to us – for the challenges and rebukes which I have received through the messages – as well as for Pr Kelvin and Sis Abigail in ministering to the children. The divine commissioning and appointment of leaders into the church leadership instil in my heart a great sense of reverential fear – this is not for man to appoint on his own, nor for any to foolishly appoint another. The Lord’s working must be seen in that man through his inner calling and its manifested evidence. Without this, no man can enter into the church leadership, regardless of his physical gifts or position in society. It is then foolishness to claim to be called but yet manifest no evidence, and thereby go against the Scriptural order.

Thank God also for the lessons on the expectations of church leadership, namely stewardship, stedfastness, studiousness, stainlessness, stout-heartedness, flexibility, and teamwork / cooperation. Are not these also expected of consecrated Christians? That we are to be servants of the Lord in all humility; that we are to walk and remain in His way; that we are to be like the noble Bereans searching the Scriptures; that we are to abstain from all appearances of evil; that we are to be strong in the Lord, holding faith and a good conscience; that we are to be able to bear one another’s burdens, seeing we are members of the same body; that we are to build up one another in the faith, supporting one another’s service in the Lord, and to esteem others better than ourselves – these too are some of the qualities which we as Christians should strive to have according to the Word. Surely, these are not qualities confined only to leaders; rather, these are what we should all aspire to have a part in.

I thank God for the instructions on how to read the Bible as well, and how to derive lessons from the truth written in the Word better. In particular, the lesson on John 21:1-14, where we were taught not to be distracted from what the Lord has called us to do, but to remain firm regarding what He has instructed through His Word. There are many things which may seem innocuous in my life (including entertainment), but if that should distract me from the things which the Lord has called me to do, then what does it profit me? Better to part with these things than to have my service hindered.

Truly, praise be to the Lord alone, who has richly showered us with many spiritual blessings over the 2 days, in a time when a famine of the Word is clearly seen. But the sacrifice of the lips, even thanksgiving, will not be accepted except the heart be first consecrated to God, and wholly devoted to Him. May God be merciful unto us, lest we heard God’s voice clearly but yet perceived it not, neither laid it in our heart nor manifested it in our lives. Let the Word which has been so clearly expounded take deep root in every heart instead, and may God be pleased to cause it to bear much fruit in Him in His good time. God be gracious unto us to grant us a God-fearing church leadership, and that every member of the church may offer up spiritual sacrifices, as commanded by the Scriptures.

Posted under 'Pastoral Exhortation'