If the Lord be pleased to bless our plans for the mission trips to the Philippines at the end of May, our church shall see two teams of brethren from our midst making the journey to our mission stations in the Philippines. One group, led by Eld Mah Chin Kwang, will visit and minister to churches in Cebu and Bohol, while the other group, led by Pr Dennis Kabingue, will minister in Pangasinan.
Those who have signed up to join the abovementioned mission trips, will be notified of their contributory parts by the respective leaders of the mission teams. Duties for all the participants will be assigned by the team leaders, according to the spiritual maturity and experience of the team members. Whatever be the part you are assigned, please earnestly pray that your visitation will be a blessing to the believers in our mission stations.
I would like to urge all those who are participating in the upcoming mission trips to prepare their hearts early in prayer. As an encouragement to you, I would like to urge you to consider the words of Paul to the Roman believers that expressed his heart’s anticipation to visit them and minister unto them.
Paul wrote, “That I may come unto you with joy by the will of God, and may with you be refreshed” (Romans 15:32). This was one of the several personal requests that Paul made to the believers in Rome for their prayer. He appealed to them for prayer (vv. 30-32). Though he was a man of great faith, abundant wisdom, astounding courage and extraordinary success in his Gospel endeavours, he constantly solicited prayers of fellow brethren (Eph. 6:18-19; Phil. 1:19; Col. 4:3; 1 Thess. 5:25; 2 Thess. 3:1-2; Philm. 1:22; Heb. 13:18-19). Paul was acutely aware of his needs and weaknesses, and humbly sought the co-operation of his brethren to fulfil his desires in the LORD. Like a thriving businessman who is dependent on those around him, the apostle in his increasing “business” for the Lord sought the prayers of fellow Christians.
Paul asked them to pray for his upcoming ministry in Jerusalem, where there were many hostile unbelievers who could cause him serious harm. So he would have them to pray for his deliverance from the violence of the hostile unbelievers, and for his service to be accepted by the saints in Jerusalem. He then desired the earnest prayers of the believers in Rome concerning his plan to visit them. Even as he yearned to have the joy of seeing them and being refreshed by their fellowship, he knew there were many obstacles that could impede his intended journey to Rome.
To God’s servants like Paul, nothing is more reviving and refreshing to their hearts than the loving presence and communion of God’s people. How we ought to pray that we will be used of the Lord to minister joy and comfort to His servants who labour in His vineyard! We should not only pray for safety and success in their ministries, but also for us to be a means of spiritual and physical refreshing to His faithful servants. There is no better way to show our brotherhood and solidarity with the ministers of the Gospel than our prayerful availability and refreshing fellowship.
Though Paul desired the joy and comfort of their fellowship, he remained submissive to God’s sovereign will. So he asked them to pray that he “may come…by the will of God”. He trusted in the wise disposing of God’s providence. For Paul, God’s will mattered more than his own desires. He only finally arrived in Rome as a prisoner for the Gospel to testify before Caesar (cf. Acts 21:17–28:16; Phil. 1:12, 13; 4:22). Truly, man proposes, God disposes! God’s greater purposes must prevail in and through us.
Dear Rev Koshy and Sis Carolyn,
These are some photos taken at the Bible Seminar and Anniversary Thanksgiving Service last weekend. Thank God for your blessed ministry and fellowship in our midst.
May the Lord strengthen you and richly bless you and your ministry and your family.
Yours in Christ,