The authoritative Word of God in Deut 15:11 commands, “For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land.”
The gracious Lord has provided for and sustained our church, Gethsemane B-P Church, Singapore (GBPC) throughout our existence over the past 35 years. He has, in different ways, blessed and increased our resources progressively. GBPC has always expended these resources judiciously, especially in extending ad-hoc financial support over the years to brethren (both in Singapore and in our mission churches) in times of their great personal need. These critical needs have resulted from different exigencies, for example, untimely hardships from sicknesses, afflictions or natural calamities.
Right across all the mission churches that GBPC supports presently – namely the two churches in Ethiopia (located in Addis Ababa and Alem Gena), the five churches in the Philippines (located in Cebu City, Bohol, Bogo, San Antonio and Pangasinan) and the church in Vizag, India – there are some extremely poor and needy brethren. Owing to their extreme poverty and other family circumstances, the leaders and their mission churches extend small but meaningful financial gifts and support to these brethren from time to time. These gifts would typically help towards providing for food, medicine, transportation and children’s schooling needs (for families with young children).
We praise the Lord for moving the hearts of our Pastor and all in the Board of Elders, with the conviction that it is now expedient for our church to step up the effort to financially support more of such needy and deserving brethren in these mission churches. In the BOE meeting held on Monday 28 August, the BOE unanimously approved a proposal to implement a Charity Programme in the various mission churches listed above.
It is envisioned and hoped that this initiative would not be a one-off event, as the matter of poor and needy brethren “shall never cease” (Deut 15:11a). To ensure sustainability of the Charity Programme, several elements of administration will be instituted. These relate to the matters of Programme ownership, support by the mission churches’ leaders, ease of administration, and accountability. The administrative efforts associated with the Programme will be structured with these factors in mind.
The Lord commands, as we read in the latter part of Deut 15:11, “I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land.” May we all render our support in giving, and in praying fervently for the poor and needy in our mission churches.
Elder Mah Chin Kwang
(On behalf of the Gethsemane Mercy Ministry)
It was indeed with joy and gratefulness to the LORD that we took this opportunity to visit our mission station in Ethiopia. Nobody from our church has visited Ethiopia since 2018, mainly due to the COVID-19 travel restrictions. However, we managed to have Rev. Ephrem and Pr Engida come to Singapore to attend our various meetings. When we were organising the BW Israel Study Tour, we looked at the possibility of going through Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) to visit our mission station. We then planned to use the 11 hours of transit at Addis Ababa to meet with Rev. Ephrem and his team at Gethsemane B-P Church, Ethiopia, in Alem Gena, about 20 km from the airport. We were joyfully received by all the full-time workers, their families, and some of GBI’s present and past students. After a walkabout in the premises, we met in the church building for worship and fellowship, followed by a sumptuous Ethiopian Lunch.