Features, Highlights

Buona Vista residents blessed at Christmas get-together


MR LIM SWEE SAY, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, and Buona Vista residents came to a Christmas gathering at ACS (International) on Christmas Day and bonded with members from two churches in the vicinity.

Earlier, more than 800 worshippers attended the Combined Christmas Service there.

Barker Road Methodist Church Preaching Point @ ACS (International) was asked by St James’ Church to direct the Christmas@BV event. As a small congregation, the Preaching Point took on the leadership with fear, but with faith. After months of planning and praying, the Lord blessed us greatly. So we offer Him all our praises and thanksgiving!

From Dec 20, the rain had been pouring on and off. At our final briefing on Dec 24, it rained again and we prayed for the Lord to hold back the rain and give us cool weather the following day. This He did in marvellous ways. Many volunteers from St James Church and our Preaching Point turned up at ACS (International) from 7 am to find the sun smiling at us.

The worship service began at 9 am in the school field with participation from both the churches. The congregation heard God’s Word shared by Dr Tan Gee Paw of Barker Road Methodist Church. He said that in a time of giving and forgiving, “we must do so from our heart” and there is also the need to remember the “why” of Christmas, that is, Jesus Christ came “to save”. Each worshipper was given a specially designed batik bag to take home.

After the service, the worshippers enjoyed a simple but good lunch in the school canteen. It was a time to celebrate in humble ways – there were Ramli burgers, nasi lemak and a few other local dishes. Worshippers from both congregations exchanged greetings and had a time of fellowship.

From 10.45 am, our friends from the two main neighbourhoods in the Buona Vista constituency – Commonwealth Crescent and Holland Close – started arriving. They fellowshipped over peanuts and kropok. These are very special friends, whom both churches have been visiting and helping because of their individual situation and needs, especially during the difficult times of the world’s banking and financial crisis. About 170 people came with smiles to celebrate Christmas with us over a simple lunch.

Mr Lim, the Guest-of-Honour, arrived on time to be welcomed by the Pastors and members of the organising committee as well as the residents of the constituency. Mr Lim fitted in easily as he was familiar with many of the residents.

The Rev David C. S. Wee of Barker Road Methodist Church gave the welcome address, while the Rev Canon Terry Wong of St James Church led in saying grace for the food.

In his address, Mr Lim reinforced Dr Tan’s message regarding forgiveness, which, he said, must come from the heart and not from the mind.

Over lunch, he said “you all are lucky” and quickly changed that to “your God is good, giving us good weather today”. After lunch, he encouraged the church members to continue working together for the community.

Ten Citizens’ Consultative Committee (CCC) leaders came to join us for the Christmas@BV event. It was a good time to bond with them. We wanted them to know that more than just being neighbours, both St James’ Church and our Preaching Point want to be good neighbours.

Mr Mun Kwok On, the Vice-Chairman of the Local Church Executive Committee of Barker Road Methodist Church and Chairman of the Preaching Point Working Committee, presented Mr Lim with a donation of $10,000 from the church to the Buona Vista CCC Bursary and Welfare Fund to support families in the Buona Vista constituency who were going through difficult times.

Christmas Carnival
From 11 am to 5 pm, the school grounds were opened to the residents in Buona Vista. Weeks earlier, church members had gone to distribute flyers to the residents and to invite them to “Come, Celebrate Christmas” with us. ey came, the young and the elderly. It was a family outing and fun day for them. ere were seven activities, including the Giant Water Ball (the children’s favourite) and two game stalls. Free candy floss and pop corns were given.

At 2.30 pm, when the entertainment programme began, the rain came down. All the children scrambled to under the tentage for cover and at the same time, enjoyed themselves to a variety of programmes, including a puppet show.

The original plan was to hold the event in the vicinity of the residents near Holland Avenue, the location of the previous Christmas@BV event. But the idea to hold the 2009 Christmas@BV in ACS (International) premises came from one of the grassroots leaders. This turned out to be a blessing because now Mr Lim, the CCC leaders and many residents are aware of the existence of a church in the school.

Mr Mun shared these words of Scripture:

“For I am confident of this very one thing that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6). “And let the favour of the Lord our God be upon us; and do confirm for us the work of our hands; Yes confirm the work of our hands.” (Psalms 90:17). By David C. S. Wee

The Rev David C. S. Wee is a Pastor with Barker Road Methodist Church.