I praise God for a wonderful, fruitful 3 months (April - June 2016) spent as an intern in my home- church - PSPC. In these 3 months, I have witnessed nothing short of His faithfulness as I took part in generational ministries in our church; attending to people from as young as children to the elderly. I can witness to the fact that His faithfulness endures through all generations!
In my time spent as an intern, I was attached to our Sunday School, Boys' Brigade and Girls' Brigade Ministries. I helped with the planning of small activities, and mostly executing the activities. I also spent time at Sarah Senior Activity Center as a volunteer, and was exposed to Lighthouse Ministry as a mentor. In the meantime, I also began my first year as a member in YACHT. Of course, one major highlight of MET was my first Mission trip – English Presbytry Japan Mission (EPJM). It is the very window through which I saw God’s hands in the world outside of Singapore. A hand greater than ours is pushing and prompting, comforting men and wrecking the plans of the evil prince of this world.
The best part for me was my closer relationship with God through MET. I took prayer walks more often and had long Bible studies in MET. In my opinion, MET has been a hands-on experience to mature in faith and deepen my love for my Lord and Saviour. This deepening of love has its roots in spiritual disciplines (praying and submitting to God moment by moment + reading the Bible daily) which I had to go through, not only as an intern, but also as a young adult maturing in the faith. The one thing that made it easier was this curiosity about our "crazy" faith and the mysterious God we serve. Through this period of spiritual growth, billions of 'whys' came, some drove me up the wall and some were solved through wise counsel from spiritual mentors. I truly have more questions than I have answers for. Albeit the seeming conundrum, I found peace and sufficient understanding to say, "God, You are God, and I am not." Who can fathom what the God of the universe plans in His divine nature? No man can. I call this the 'wide-eyed and mystified' position of the human heart, where I gaze upon His beauty, His grace and I rest my case against pain and suffering, in Christ on Calvary. I definitely grew deeper in my knowledge of God, and understood my reason and responsibility in serving God. May this manifest into a greater participation in His Kingdom work, for God never wastes any lessons.
MET has taught me the need and possibly a framework to make the gospel relevant to people. In Boys’ and Girls' Brigade, we use their CCA time to teach them biblical values. We bring it to their level and stir receptiveness through group activities and questioning them. We pray for each of these kids who have the chance of hearing the message of Christ, to inquire more about the goodness of Jesus even at their young ages. I myself have not been aware of how CCAs can be a mission field, but BB and GB proved it to be true. Perhaps God is inviting you to learn more about BB and GB too as you read this. It is such a good and accessible platform to see what God is doing in the young generation of Singapore.
Working in the church office also made me a tougher Christian and inculcated in me that above all circumstances, we should ask God for wisdom. He will give us wisdom without finding fault. (James 1:5) We, as astute Singaporeans trained in rigorous systems, are good at finding fault. We are really good at that! We often come into any situation with our own idea of things, preconceived ideas and past experiences. You can foresee how nasty that will turn out if not for the grace of God. Only in view of His grace and mercy, we can begin to understand others' situations, speak to them patiently, with respect and care for people's needs and be discerning of our utterances - to love them altogether, while we are sinners ourselves.
There are outsiders who come into the office to ask for money. What shall we do then? We ask God for help and see if we can refer them to their embassies if they are foreigners and local police/NGOs if they are locals. When we need to turn people down, we do so, knowing that they will only receive true help when the root of their problem is solved. While the church is not a charity in the sense that outsiders can come any time and receive money from us, we are certainly called to practice kindness. In other words, to be charitable and wise, both at the same time. In any way possible, we journey with these people to find their root problem. Such incidences have opened my eyes of common misconceptions outsiders have, regarding the church. We are called to love our neighbours as ourselves, but at the same time, we ourselves are sinners who need the wisdom of God, and we are called to be good stewards of all that He has placed in our hands - we have a heavy responsibility. My takeaway is that only in view of His mercy on us, can we endeavour to do good, and doing good requires His wisdom.
There were many life skills and godly values I picked up from MET, so you may ask me when you see me! The best of all is: Only by His grace, we can press on the upward way.
Siau Ek Hwee