November 14, 2021

Testimonies of Nominees for Deaconship (II)

Written by:
Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy

The BOE has nominated 6 brethren to be appointed as deacons, having prayed and deliberated for more than a year. They will join Dn Lok Kwok Wah, who has been serving as a deacon since 2007. They have been interviewed by the BOE before confirming their nomination. Let us remember them in our prayers as they prepare themselves to serve the Lord in our midst upon their appointment.

My Testimony of God’s Calling to Serve as a Deacon

Benny Skariah

While I was growing up as a young boy, my parents’ love for the Lord Jesus Christ deeply affected me. They were humble and genuine in their practice of their faith. Though they were very busy in bringing up their 7 children, they found time to pray unto the Lord every morning and evening. From a very young age, I have trusted the Lord for the forgiveness of my sins and desired to live a life pleasing to God. From my childhood, my heart was taught to live a life in faith and obedience to God’s Word, the Bible. This kept me from living a rebellious life of sin. In this regard, I want to particularly thank God for the faith of my parents, their prayers for me, and a blessed Christian upbringing.

After my studies in India in 2002, the Lord graciously gave me an opportunity to come to Singapore to work, and He led me to Gethsemane B-P Church. It was a turning point, both in my life, and later in my family’s. I was delighted to meet Pastor Koshy here, who also came from the same denomination of my home church in Kerala, India.

For the last 18 over years, I have been part of Gethsemane B-P Church, for which there are so many things I am thankful to the Lord for. Through the faithful preaching and teaching of God’s Word during worship services and other meetings, our lives have been spiritually restored. Personal holiness became a chief passion of our lives. Our family life was greatly blessed as we have been taught to live under God’s rule as a covenant Christian family. The story of my life is that of God’s providential guidance and mercy. Many times, I had wondered: How could my family and I, coming from a small village in Kerala, India, end up in Gethsemane B-P Church, Singapore? There is only one answer – God’s good providence has led us all the way. God, in His great mercy and faithfulness, has led me throughout these 45 years of my journey on earth.

In Gethsemane B-P Church, I was given opportunities to serve in the Malayalam Fellowship, the Adults’ and Men’s Fellowships’ committees, the Usher Ministry, the Church Camp planning committee, etc. When Pastor Koshy asked me to serve as a deacon in GBPC, even though I feel myself not worthy, the Lord nevertheless strengthened me with His Word, “But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life” (Romans 6:22). I count it as a great privilege to serve my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in your midst. It is my prayer that I will be faithful and diligent in serving Him.

God is good, and His mercy endures forever. Indeed, I testify without any shame or doubt that the Lord has remembered me in my lowly state, rescued me from the hands of my enemies – even from the greatest enemies, Satan and death – and blessed me with everlasting life through the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. He has also provided for all my needs, both physical and spiritual. Because of God’s grace, I experience every day in my life the real joy of eternal life. Therefore, I gladly utter what the psalmist says, “O give thanks unto the God of heaven: for his mercy endureth for ever” (Psalm 136:26).

All glory be to God through Christ, my Saviour!

Calling to Serve as a Deacon

Norefel Resuma

“Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory” (Psalm 73:24).

Redeemed by the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, and by God’s providential arrangement, I have been brought to a faithful and thriving church, where the Word of God is preached faithfully. Surely, there is no better response other than praising the Lord and serving Him wholeheartedly, according to the biblical counsels. And this has been my burden since I joined Gethsemane B-P Church in 2009. In God’s perfect timing and providence, the Lord granted me the privilege to serve Him full-time. Thank God for the opportunity to serve Him unreservedly, with the undergirding conviction: “…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” (1 Corinthians 15:58).

When Pastor Koshy spoke to me about being appointed as a deacon, my immediate answer was: “It is too high a calling because I know my inadequacies, and perhaps not necessary as I thought I can continue serving the Lord even without becoming a deacon.” But Pastor advised me that the office of a deacon would enable me to act as a delegate of the BOE in carrying out the duties assigned to me (cf. Acts 6:1-7). So, I was urged to pray about the matter, that I may discern God’s will. And in one of the Tuesday night prayer meetings, when Pastor preached (on Numbers 27) about God instructing Moses to take Joshua as his successor, he mentioned that if God’s appointed servants in the church, after much prayer and consideration, come to you, it’s not for your negotiation but for you to yield. I just felt the Lord speaking to me. That night, the Lord convicted me to obey Him through His appointed servants (namely Pastor and the elders), who had prayed and sought the Lord in the matter of church leadership. Yes, I may still be fearful, but I surrender all and humbly trust the Lord that His grace will see me through. I just prayed, “Lord, here I am, use me for Thy glory.”

I truly believe that God’s providence moulded and prepared me for a greater work ahead, and my earnest plea is for the Lord to equip and use me effectively for His glory. Brethren, I sincerely request for your prayers, that my family and I be sanctified and exemplary as we serve the Lord. “If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work” (2 Timothy 2:21).

To God be the glory.

Calling to Serve as a Deacon

Gan Chin Hwi

I was fearful, when the Lord first called me to serve the Almighty, for I regarded myself as being not adequately equipped with the Word of God, nor ready to humble myself to do the service of the Lord and serve others. Notwithstanding, the Lord has been very patient and merciful with me, for He called me again to serve Him through Pastor Koshy.

The Lord caused me to quit my previous job, which had become my “comfort zone”, having been working there for the past 20+ years. The Lord had indeed blessed me much while I was there, but this had also caused me to be complacent. My new job pursuit, however, is not entirely plain sailing. On many occasions, I have to pray more fervently, with increased humility and patience, trusting and waiting for the Lord’s provisions each day. Though I am weary, I never will despair, for I know my Lord is leading me through this journey to teach me to trust Him more, and to cast my burden unto Him. When I remembered the Lord’s goodness and provisions in the past, I was very much comforted and encouraged that the Lord is still with me today. Thus, I must continue to trust and obey Him.

As I looked back, whilst I “shied away” from Him, the Lord did not forsake me. Instead, the Lord has been graciously preparing me and directing my paths for His use, in spite of myself. Through my changing of job, I learned to trust and lean unto the Lord with all my heart, exercise greater humility and patience, and work with increased submission and reliance on my Lord. These, I realise, are what I needed to be firmly grounded for my service unto the risen Saviour. During this time, the Lord had also freed up more of my time from my work. I am now blessed with more time pursuing the Word of God, and thus walking closer with the Lord. I am able to spend more time with my family and, as an added “bonus”, even improve my health through exercising. The Lord has indeed prepared me for this calling to deaconship.

My Lord, through His longsuffering and mercies, has yet again called me to serve Him – how can I continue to resist? I greatly rejoice, and humbly submit myself, as the clay in the potter’s hand, and let the Lord mould me to fit me for the Master’s use.

I am yet to know exactly what is ahead of me serving as a deacon. Notwithstanding, I am no longer fearful, for I know that “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him” (Psalm 28:7). Amen!

Calling to Serve as a Deaconess

Diana Chan

Since July 2020, Pastor Koshy had been preaching on the life of Moses in the Tuesday night prayer meetings. In one of the messages, Pastor shared, “So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD” (Deuteronomy 34:5). I was challenged by the question of whether I would like to die as a “servant of the Lord” or to die as a servant of a mere human institution. Deep in my heart, I want to serve as a servant of the Lord till the end of my life.

A few days later, Pastor sent me a message to meet with him and Sis Carolyn for a chat. Pastor spoke with me that he, together with our elders (Eld Mah, Eld Choy, Eld Ng and Eld Francis), would like to appoint me to be a deaconess. One of the areas of service is to encourage and pray with our sisters in the church. Pastor added that one of the criteria for the appointment is that I am above threescore (i.e. sixty) years old (cf. 1 Timothy 5:9). He asked if I would consider accepting the appointment, to which I requested to be given some time to seek the Lord in prayer on the matter.

In my personal time with the Lord, I prayed to God for His grace and wisdom in helping me to understand the calling. Most of all, whether I am deserving of the appointment because of my weaknesses. I communed with the Lord on the following:

  1. I am already so senior in age. Will I be able to serve the Lord effectively in this role? Then I remembered one of the criteria in the Word of God for the appointment is that the age should be above sixty. Moreover, when God called Moses to serve Him, Moses was 80 years old! I recalled a message that it was not about using our physical strength to serve the Lord. It is about doing our best to serve God with our heart and in humility.
  2. In my experience serving in the GYF, engaging in Youth visitations, and praying with sisters in the GYAF “small group prayer meetings” on Sunday afternoons, I realise that I have the desire to do more work with the sisters. I would like to pray with them, and encourage them in their faith in the Lord. This is in tandem with what Pastor has spoken with me, concerning one of the key areas of service in the appointment.
  3. During those times of praying and seeking the Lord, I was brought to remembrance of how the Lord had preserved my life all these years. I had many close shaves with death. I met with a car accident, a motor-bike accident when I was a child. I experienced earthquakes, hotel bomb threats, and other dangers in my working years. I thank God for preserving my life. Truly, the LORD is my keeper (cf. Psalm 121:5)!

I have tasted and seen the goodness of God in my life. I am convicted of God’s calling, by the grace of God, to yield myself to serve “our Father which art in heaven”. Please pray for me, that I will be “a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work” (2 Timothy 2:21b).

All glory and honour be to our Almighty God.

Gethsemane Bible-Presbyterian Church adheres to the system of faith commonly known as the “Reformed Faith” as expressed in the Westminster Confession of Faith together with the Larger and Shorter Catechisms.
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SingPost Centre
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