Written by Pr Jeremiah Sim
It has been my great privilege that the Lord has called and directed me to serve in the Prison Ministry. The objective of the Prison Ministry is similar to any other ministries, that is, to bring honour and glory to the Lord Jesus Christ. We, who serve in Gethsemane Prison Ministry, desire and endeavour to reach out to the inmates of Changi Prison with the Gospel message and thus to lead them to Jesus Christ, the only Saviour, for their salvation.
Nonetheless, we do face enormous challenges because quite a good number of them are physically, mentally and, most of all, spiritually impaired. Most of them struggle to deal with ‘the outcast’ stigma in the society, as well as to order their lives well. The circumstances of their lives have become so troubling that, from time to time, they think of their lives as futile and meaningless. Not only that, there are also many inmates who have long inculcated the ideology of gangsterism. They are behind bars due to various heinous crimes that they had committed.
Although the challenges of this ministry are numerous, we thank God that the preaching of the Gospel “… is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16). Therefore, I find great joy and comfort as I witness to even hard-core prisoners. This is especially the case, when they are ready to turn to the Lord Jesus Christ in repentance and acknowledgment of Him as their Lord and personal Saviour. Those who have turned to Him, gather together once a week to be taught God’s Word by a group of zealous and dedicated preachers and brethren who persevere to regularly visit them in the prison. Every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Sunday, they minister the Word to the inmates with joy and love.
I covet your earnest prayers for our Prison Ministry, particularly, for those brethren who are entering the prison to minister the Gospel to the inmates. Pray for more labourers in this regard, that the Lord may impress upon their hearts to serve in this ministry. How wonderful is the encouragement in 1 Corinthians 15:58 given to us – “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”! May our Lord’s name be honoured and glorified. Amen.
Written by Pr Kelvin Lim
“This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24).
Since 2011, our preachers and some members of Gethsemane Bible-Presbyterian Church, together with other brethren from our affiliated churches, have been entering Changi Prison Complex (CPC) – under the umbrella of Singapore Anti-Narcotics Association (SANA) – to conduct Bible study on weekdays for inmates. These inmates have been incarcerated because of drugs offences. Over the years, some former inmates have joined us on the Lord’s Day for worship occasionally, while a few have come to The Gethsemane Care Ministry (TGCM) for their rehabilitation programme. One or two have even become our church members. But none of them had ever applied for a prison pass to join our preachers and associates in the Prison Ministry thus far!
Thanks be unto God, on the 18th May 2022, Pang Yee Hong, aka Wayne, partnered Pr Kelvin Lim and joined him in our Prison Ministry. Bro. Wayne, as he is affectionately called, was one of those who had been incarcerated for drug offences in 2018. He had sat in Pr Kelvin’s weekday Bible study sessions for more than a year till his release in 2019. He was convinced through the teaching of God’s perfect Word that the tongues-speaking of today’s modernistic churches is not biblical! Upon release from CPC, he felt convicted to draw closer to Pr Kelvin.
Bro. Wayne is a member of Bethesda Hall (situated at Depot Walk) and worships there with his children and his sister’s family. But he is very supportive of TGCM, and joined our brethren for morning devotions on Mondays, from June 2020 till February 2022 (when we moved on from Ponggol 17th Avenue to our current location). Besides, he was instrumental in bringing two of his acquaintances to TGCM for rehabilitation during the pandemic. Furthermore, he would attend our evening teaching service occasionally, just so to introduce some of his friends to our church.
Since his release from CPC, he had started attending theological classes in the Far Eastern Bible College (FEBC). He began with the course on “The History and Theology of the Bible-Presbyterian Church” in May 2019, and he has been growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Recently, he graduated with a Certificate of Biblical Studies from FEBC, and would be continuing in studying towards a Diploma in Theology. Please remember him in your prayers.
In this regard, pray also for Bro. Ong Kian Ming, Benjamin. He had been with TGCM for a very brief duration in 2007 when we were at 40 Jalan Malu Malu, but he left without completing his programme. During his latest incarceration in CPC, he had met Pr Kelvin at the weekly Bible study. After his release since September last year, he continued to meet with Pr Kelvin for personal Bible study and prayer. He was encouraged to learn more about the LORD through systematic study of the Bible, and subsequently has enrolled himself for some online FEBC courses. God willing, when FEBC reopens in the next semester, with the resumption of on-site classes in the evening, he and others would be able to attend so that they would be built up in their most holy faith. May our ministry to inmates in CPC continue to lead men to God and establish the faith of the saints, for the glory of the LORD our God!