God’s heart for families

Gloria Wong is the Communications Manager at Focus on the Family Singapore, and has been happily married to Billy since 2011.

Far left, left: Focus on the Family aims to help families at different phases of life. Right: A father showing affirmation to his daughter at a “Date With Dad” event.

What keeps us going at Focus Singapore is the perspective that Family is God’s design, and that we need to be faithful in rebuilding the walls of Family just as Nehemiah rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem.

It was just another news report about child abuse in America, but not for Mr Tan Thuan Seng, Founder of Focus on the Family Singapore Ltd (Focus Singapore). The report, about 70 per cent of American children being victims of sexual, verbal or physical abuse, tugged at his heart for months.

“I sensed it was God’s way of showing me His heart for families, and knew I had to do something,” Thuan Seng says.

Thus, Focus Singapore was started in 2002, with a vision to build a national family life ministry, regardless of race or religion.

Dedicated to helping families build stronger, more loving homes with the aim of bringing about a positive transformation of society, Focus Singapore embraced the ethos of Dr James Dobson, Founder of Focus on the Family US, who said: “When a nation made up of devoted, responsible family units, the entire society is more stable, healthy and resilient.”

Eleven years on, Mr Jason Wong, the current Board Chairman of Focus Singapore, had a similar experience while meditating on Malachi 4:6 (NASB): “The hearts of fathers need to be restored to their children, and the children’s hearts turned to their fathers. I am involved with Dads for Life, but I sensed God wanted me to do something more.”

Seizing opportunities
Since taking over the chairmanship from Thuan Seng in November 2013, Jason has been working with the team to turn various ideas for helping families into pragmatic action. (See sidebar)

“This is an unprecedented opportunity for us to build and lay a strong foundation for the generations to come,” Jason says. “It’s no coincidence that this is just before Singapore’s Jubilee birthday. We must rise up and continue doing the work of building families in Singapore – the foundation of a strong nation.”

Ms Joanna Koh-Hoe, Focus Singapore’s CEO, admits: “The work of Family has not been without challenges, especially with pop culture and the way society has evolved. But the values that we promote are universal and timeless – the same ones that our government recognises as necessary to keep a society together.”

Focus on the Family Singapore Limited is a local charity with Institution of a Public Character (IPC) status dedicated to helping families thriveSM by:
Promoting strong families through experiential and differentiated family life education
Partnering like-minded organisations and individuals to journey with families through life’s different stages
Protecting the institution of family by being a trusted and compassionate voice

Date with Dad and Adventure with Dad
Fathers have an irreplaceable role in shaping their children; they directly impact their daughters’ future relationships and their sons’ self-perception. These events are specially designed to enable fathers to build deep relationships, engage in meaningful conversations and create fun memories with their children.
* www.family.org.sg/datewithdad
* www.family.org.sg/adventurewithdad

Marriage Mentoring
Marriage Mentoring is marriage discipleship that complements and enhances the discipleship processes in the church. We seek to equip married couples to assist younger couples in building a strong foundation during the first five years of their marriage by befriending, encouraging and guiding them through sharing their own lives.
* www.family.org.sg/marriagementoring

Parenting with Confidence
Parenting with Confidence is a positive, practical and fun parenting workshop that provides practical tools and timeless principles for raising children in each unique age group, from newly-minted parents to those riding through the turbulent teenage years.
* www.family.org.sg/pwc

If you are interested in any of the key programmes and events highlighted above, please leave your contact details to enjoy priority access for registration.
* www.family.org.sg/mmpriorityaccess


What keeps us going at Focus Singapore is the perspective that Family is God’s design, and that we need to be faithful in rebuilding the walls of Family just as Nehemiah rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem.

As it was in Nehemiah’s days when he had people working alongside him, Focus Singapore considers it a privilege to work together with many individuals and organisations that share a similar heart and vision for families.

Anyone – be it grandparent, parent, godparent, spouse, young adult or youth – can take up his or her position at the wall and partner Focus Singapore in protecting and promoting Family.

Focus’ passionate volunteers celebrated and appreciated during Volunteer Appreciation Day.
A father and son participating in a scavenger hunt during “Adventure with Dad”.
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JOIN the family
* Subscribe to our monthly E-newsletter for issues that families face and receive faith-based insights and practical tools to pass on to your loved ones. * www.family.org.sg/subscribe
* Volunteer with Focus * www.family.org.sg/volunteer
BE EQUIPPED in family matters

* At the Faith at Home – Seminar for Dads this September 13, the Rev Mark Holmen will equip fathers with age-appropriate tools for sharing their faith with their children and building a vibrant faith in their lives. * www.family.org.sg/faithathome GIVE to the work of Family
* Your gift to us allows us, as a donor-funded ministry, to reach many families in Singapore. u www.family.org.sg/donate

Photos courtesy of Focus on the Family