21 March 2021 was CAC’s Social Concerns Sunday, when churches collected a Second Offering for beneficiaries identified by the Board of Social Concerns and Outreach (BOSC).
BOSC supports various social concerns programmes hosted by Methodist Welfare Services (MWS) or CAC churches. They include befriending programmes and social activities to engage seniors; school ministry through the Boys’ and Girls’ Brigades; free tuition for low-income families; mentoring and character-building programmes for students; as well as food blessing and community projects. On top of supporting the organisations providing help to persons struggling with drugs, gambling and other forms of addiction, BOSC is also involved in prison ministry.
For 2021, the beneficiaries and allocations are:
|1. Ang Mo Kio Chinese Methodist Church-MWS Kebun Bahru Senior Activity Centre (SAC)
2. Changi Methodist Church Punggol Preaching Point ministry
3. Charis Methodist Church MWS-Charis Activity Centre for Elders (ACE)
4. Geylang Chinese Methodist Church-MWS Greentops SAC
5. Sengkang Methodist Church (MWS SAC and Oikos Ministry)
6. One Hope Centre
7. Prison Fellowship Singapore
|10 per cent each|
|8. MWS Chaplaincy||20 per cent|
|9. Breakthrough Missions Ltd
10. BOSC General Fund
|5 per cent each|
|Watch our Social Concerns Sunday 2021 video to learn more about these 10 beneficiaries and their ministries! tiny.cc/SCSunday2021|
Visit to a foreign worker dormitory
Initiative of CAC BOSC and QCMC
The COVID-19 pandemic thwarted the plans of many to travel home for their Chinese New Year (CNY) family reunions. Even though they missed their loved ones and felt lonely, they could not return home due to pandemic restrictions, soaring air travel costs, family burdens and other factors. Among them were people who have contributed greatly to the construction of Singapore, the people we call “migrant workers”.
God commands us to love others as ourselves, and we chose to respond by showing care and concern for these workers. On the evening of 7 Feb 2021, and with BOSC’s coordination and encouragement, QCMC’s pastor, preacher and several staff paid a visit to the 300 migrant workers in a dormitory at Neythal Road.
In the spirit of CNY, we expressed our well wishes and blessings for them with tangerines. Gift bags were also specially prepared for the 90 Chinese workers there. The gift bags included items such as tangerines, cookies, Lao Gan Ma chili sauce, bak kwa, peanuts and more.
As they received their gift bags, we could sense their joy from their smiling eyes and courteous nods of thanks, even though we were all masked and could only greet each other with a simple “Happy Chinese New Year”. While no gift can eradicate their homesickness, there was no doubt the little gift could help them feel a sense of warmth, comfort and love from God!
God is love, His children are loved, and we are called to respond to His love by sharing it. Our dear brothers- and sisters-in-Christ, who can you share God’s love with today?
Note: This initiative fully adhered to the COVID-19 regulations and Ministry of Manpower guidelines, thereby ensuring everyone’s health and safety.
Project Samaria: Charis Methodist Church’s ministry to the homeless
On 18 Apr 2020, the Social Concerns Ministry of CMC sought the Lord’s guidance as we considered the request from BOSC and the Government’s appeal to help house the homeless during the COVID-19 circuit breaker.
Acts 1:8b (“and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth”) was the Lord’s answer. He impressed upon our hearts to reach out and share the Good News with family (Jerusalem), friends (Judea) and strangers (Samaria). Thereafter, Charis derived the name “Project Samaria” for our initiative to assist our homeless brothers.
When the Lord calls, He is faithful to provide resources. Project Samaria took shape swiftly. Charis’ House of Peniel building was approved as a Safe, Sound Sleeping Place (S3P) by the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF), and Project Samaria’s first two guests arrived on 7 May 2020.
We thank God for providing us the right contacts at MSF, and to the local charity Homeless Hearts of Singapore, as well as Pasir Panjang Hill Brethren Church’s Pastor Tang Kok Fai, who shared with us their ministry of housing the homeless.
Project Samaria supported up to eight guests. Our primary purpose was to show God’s love by providing safe housing and food in the hope that they may encounter Jesus and come to salvation.
Our medical and volunteer befrienders also offered healthcare assistance and fostered a sense of well-being, connection and community support. The medical team screened the incoming guests before admittance and was on call for ad-hoc medical consultations. Our volunteer befrienders provided social support and shared the Gospel with our guests, some of whom were even open to our pastors, the Rev Lui Yuan Tze and the Rev Daniel Teoh, praying for them. We pray that the seeds planted will continue to grow in their hearts and bear fruit one day!
Due to the renovation schedule for the House of Peniel, we had to bid farewell to our guests on 1 July 2020. At the farewell dinner, our guests were given a surprise treat of durians and a video featuring messages from our church, songs by our Sunday School children, as well as prayers of blessings. They were visibly touched by the love and warmth they received.
All glory to God for all that He has accomplished through Project Samaria. We thank God for His hand of protection and keeping our guests and volunteers safe and healthy throughout the period.
Though our guests have moved to other S3P locations, God has given us a foretaste of the homeless ministry through Project Samaria. Many from the team sensed that God may intend for Charis to build this as a long-term ministry after we return to our redeveloped church premises in 2022. In February 2021, the Samaria Ministry was approved by the LCEC as a new initiative for Charis’ Social Concerns Ministry. Please pray with us that as we expand the Samaria Ministry in time to come, that God will transform CMC, both physically with the church redevelopment and also spiritually as a disciple-making church, and that we may grow to be a more attractive faith community!
By the Chinese Annual Conference (CAC) Communications Team / Photos courtesy of CAC