Touching People Changing Lives

Certainly the business of touching people changing lives is an exciting one, and certainly, last night was a night when we saw people who are touched and have their lives changed for good, and we celebrated the 16th anniversary of one institution that has helped to bring about such changes, HOPE Church Singapore 16th anniversary.

I still remember last year's 15th anniversary at EXPO and I posted one super long post as below:

Yesterday saw the 15th anniversary of HOPE Church Singapore, since its inception in 1991, with just 5 members in the midst. Since then, the church has grown in membership and strength to a number of nearly 3000, planted numerous churches all over the world, changed tonnes of lives, one of those changed life is me. It's hard to imagine: a church that started when I was primary one, when I did not think that I would become a religious person or at least convert myself into another religion, and now I'm serving in that church.

It's really hard to imagine though, think only God can see that at the time when I was running around, running my own life, running my own business, thinking that I run the world. It used to be a time of perceived fulfillments and purposes, when I thought that my purposes in life seems to be .... I dun know what. I thought it may be the things which I want to do in life, that is the purpose of my life. I looked around, looked at all the girls, thinking maybe one of these girls is the purpose of my life. There was a lot of times when I thought I know how to live life to the full... yeah right. What a lot of people, or even myself did not know is that many times when I was alone, my heart was desolate, I didn't know what I was doing, though I thought I knew. And I was still running around. I didn't believe that any god can do anything, in the first place, there was a lot of doubts here and there. How do you know the thing that you are worshipping is really there, is really real? I tried to make sense of the rituals we have at home, till I was tired of it, but I did not realise. I tried to keep faith in the Bugis Guan Yin temple, but heck, why do I have to travel so far everytime I wanna pray to a goddess or whatever statue? I wanted to go to China, to Pu Tuo Island just south of Shanghai, but heck, why do people have to travel all the way there to pray?

Then along came the tertiary ministry of HOPE Church Singapore. Along came a bunch of people from supposedly Gen Acts International, who were organising a matriculation event for uni freshmen. To make the long story short (for those who are interested, you can browse through my 240 plus previous posts to get a better idea of what happened), this bunch of people eventually became the core of my spiritual family in HOPE Church Singapore. They brought me to come to know God. And after me, I began to see a new bunch of new believers together with me as well, such as Calyn, Kaili, HongTao, Yishyan, Zhenzhu, Yuan Tao, John, Jiahao, Xingchong, Yanteng, seeing them growing together, as I grow along with God. Today, I have grown to be a stronger believer in HOPE, taking care of Yuan Tao together with Qiaoping and Shuyi. I read the blogs of my brothers and sisters and I must say that I was very encouraged by God's power in their lives. Behind every faces in the ministry is a story of their own lifes, tells the story of God in their lifes. People may not see, people may not even wanna care, but behind each and every smiles is a story of how God transforms lifes to the better. The glares of all these eyes tell the story of this HOPE Church, tell the story of how people in this family struggled and pulled through till this day.

I thank God for these people in my life. I thank God for Claramae and Robert and Qiaoping for making the effort to bring me to know God, though ironically two of them were not around on that fateful day. I thank God for the caregroup, past and present for the wonderful few months I have had and for the wonderful months and years ahead. I thank God for Benaiah, my shepherd for his willingness to take care of me. I thank God for what You have done in my life, and other people's life. I thank God for Jesus. I thank God for the HOPE movement. Amen.

Your eyes is on the sparrow
And Your hand, it confoms me
From the ends of the earth
To he depths of my heart
Let You mercy and strength be seen
You call me to Your purpose
As angels understand
For Your glory
May you draw all men
As Your love and grace demands
An I will run to You
To Your words of truth
Not by might, not by power
But by the Spirit Of God
Yes, I will run the race
'Til I see Your Face
Oh, let me live in the glory of Your Grace

Looking back at the past one year, I sort of see people leaving and joining us. I have seen more people come to know Christ, and rededicate their lives to Christ. I have also seen a lot more experiencing a tough period with God and some ended up leaving Him. And I also see people rising up to take up leadership roles as people move on. Below are some people who have decided to take the step:

From left to right is Guanrui, ZZ, Swee Leong, Benaiah and me!!! These are brothers who have decided to rise up to take up the role God has ordained us for. Of course there are others not in the picture, such as Bowen and Hongdao.

And below is my new (not exactly also) cg, not exactly the whole thing. at the back row from left to right is me, Nicholas (a brother from SMU who has recently joined the cg), Ziwei, Ken (our freshman friend), and Hanes. At the first row stands Zhixin, Michelle and Thomas (a friend from France, his dad is a Chinese). Cg people who are not in the picture includes Shuyi, Michelle Yeoh and Angelina.

Indeed, the life trying to rise up from a normal member to a core team member to a CL is not an easy one. Certainly, the process takes place about half a year. Just about 4 months as a core team, I was informed that I would need to rise up to take over this lovely cg. In one of my private prayer in my private blog, I once told God that if need be, I will rise up as a CL in a year... He took the express course for me.

But of course, I have also began to take care of more people. Definitely, the cg is the bulk of the people under my responsibility now. Personally there are also Yizhong and Hanes whom I have slowly grown to love and develop a relationship with. Certainly two interesting sheep, and lovely ones too.

And definitely ministry involvement also increased. This year marked a very siong holiday, where I have to consecutively help to organise the Uni Camp and the Alpha, as part of the programming team, on top of pastoral responsibility. At the same time, I was also told that I would be serving in the capacity as an usher team leader. Busy... and busy... and still trying to figure out ways to cope with this.

I just wanna say that the opportunities to serve more have certainly opened my eyes up to more real life Christian problems, as I begin to see harsh reality in people's walk in God. I learned a lot, especially in the area of love and grace, as well as people management. It wouldn't have been possible without Hope Church Singapore, touching people and changing lives. It is certainly a place where I want to continue to serve in and continue to make greater impact in God's Kingdom.


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