Features, Highlights

God’s purpose prevails over Covid-19 obstacles

“We humans keep brainstorming options and plans, but God’s purpose prevails.” (Prov 19:20, The Message)

The Trinity Annual Conference Women’s Society of Christian Service (TRAC WSCS) invited Dr Aw Swee Eng in 2019 to speak on events of the End Times. He agreed and based on Matthew 24:37, suggested the title “The Endtime events of the present days of Noah”.

By February 2020, the COVID-19 situation had worsened. As COVID-19 numbers increased, the TRAC WSCS executive committee prayed about whether the talk should be held. The venue was changed to Pentecost MC to ensure safe distancing for participants, and all 250 registrants were notified. On 11 March, the World Health Organisation declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic and Dr Aw advised that the event be postponed.

However, God’s work and Word can never be kept down by any obstacle. In early June, there emerged a plan to take Dr Aw’s talk online. Dr Aw was game to try. At the time, we had little experience and co-opted various people to help. Eventually, 11 July was decided upon and posters were sent out for TRAC WSCS’s very first webinar.

To our surprise, registration climbed to the point where the webinar licence had to be increased from 500 to 1000. As the webinar was free, those who registered for the March event generously donated their registration fees to Methodist Welfare Services’ Donate-to-Bless project.

Other obstacles, including technical ones, came our way, but they were nothing for our Almighty God. He brought Lum Chee Kin to help with the recording. Advice on streaming licenses, copyright issues and credits of the worship songs came from Lynn Tan, MCS and TRAC staff, the Rev Kow Shih Ming and Ralph Chua of Paya Lebar MC, and the Rev Benjamin Lee of Wesley MC. Pianist Kaeyan Wong; singers Raquel Cardano, Joanne and Samantha Ho; and Justin Cheong provided lovely music while Jasmine Wong and Chris Cardano ably handled post production.

When the day came, nearly a thousand had registered. We continued to face difficulties as quite a number could not log in. Praise God that more than 600, some from as far away as the USA, UK and Australia, were able to join the webinar. If the talk had been in a physical location, the overseas participants would have missed out.

Dr Aw spoke for close to two hours. In the first part, quoting Scriptures and showing photos, Dr Aw recounted natural disasters in the news. Earthquakes, volcanoes, sinkholes and tsunamis form one category of end times events. Also, climate change causes floods, droughts, forest fires, which in turn lead to conflicts and wars over food and water. Locusts and plagues, including COVID-19, are yet another sign. Then there are terrorism, societal unrest, fake news, information overload and various addictions.

In the second part, Dr Aw moved on to the call to faith and perseverance. Based on Matt 24:37—“As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man”—Dr Aw shared that great sins on earth start with the desire to create immortal super humans to usurp the throne of God the Creator. One reason for the flood of Noah’s day was the genetic manipulation by the Nephilim. Such manipulations are happening today. Dr Aw described attempts to modify human beings through genetic engineering. Transhumanism and efforts to achieve immortality are part of a sinister side of science.

Persecution and contempt of Christianity are all signs of the times. Rather than despairing, Christians can draw encouragement and comfort from Scriptures such as Romans 8:35, John 10:28, 29, and 1 John 5:19–21. Dr Aw repeated warnings of false teachers who speak “perverse things, to draw away disciples after themselves” (Acts 20:29–31) and those who “will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths” (2 Tim 4:4).  Concluding with the parable of the ten virgins, Dr Aw highlighted that it is almost midnight—we must watch and pray (Matt 25:6).

Shortly after the webinar, numerous requests for a recording were received. It was decided for the webinar to be repeated later, on 25 July. Despite the short notice and limited publicity, more than 800 signed up.

We are thankful to the Lord for speaking through Dr Aw, who spent many hours with us preparing for the webinar. It is with grateful hearts that the TRAC WSCS ladies give God all the glory. He is forever faithful!

A worship session at the beginning of the webinar
A worship session at the beginning of the webinar
Those who paid registration fees when the event was first scheduled for March generously donated the fees to MWS’ Donate-to-Bless project
Dr Aw Swee Heng, the online speaker

Feedback from participants

  • “Excellent presentation by Dr Aw. Very insightful information with lots of warning signs. Equally good is the overall flow of the programme. Thank you, TRAC WSCS.”
  • “Time with God and His servants is better than time spent elsewhere. Thank you for organising this webinar and thank you, Dr Aw.”
  • “It was an awesome and insightful sharing by Dr Aw.”

Angela Goh is the TRAC WSCS D&N coordinator. / Event visuals and photos courtesy of TRAC WSCS