Happenings, News

Ministering to people through education and social work

The three-storey Joy Community Services Centre in ChenDai. — Methodist Missions Society picture.

Official Opening Ceremony of the Joy Community Services Centre in ChenDai, China

The three-storey Joy Community Services Centre in ChenDai. — Methodist Missions Society picture. A GROUP of Methodist pastors, leaders and supporters led by Bishop Dr Robert Solomon went to China to witness the official opening of the Joy Community Services Centre in ChenDai, YunXiao County, in the Fujian Province of China.

Accompanying them were a group of professionals who conducted an “English Teaching Skills and Methodology” Seminar for the teachers from YunXiao No. 2 Secondary School.

About 100 leaders from the surrounding churches and Chinese government officials attended the Official Opening and Thanksgiving Service for the centre on June 21, 2002. The centre, set within a community of 360,000 people, is a two-hour drive away from Xiamen.
The atmosphere was filled with excitement and joy. The service began with the singing of a Hokkien hymn led by the Rev Ng Khoon Seng, a Chinese Annual Conference (CAC) pastor, following which Bishop Dr Solomon delivered the sermon.

He said that Christianity would always be accompanied with good works, and this was how the love of God was being extended to people around us. The Methodist Church in Singapore has always believed in ministering to others through education and social work.

The Rev Dr Clarence Lim, the Director of Missions of the Methodist Missions Society (MMS), gave appreciation to Mr and Mrs William Koh and family for donating to the building of the centre. The Rev Khoo Cheng Hoot, President of the CAC, and the Rev Ng were also mentioned for their assistance in establishing the centre.

Special mention must also be made of the Rev Tan Cheok Kian, MMS China Mission Coordinator, for his tireless dedication in the setting up of the centre. He has been ministering to the churches around the centre for the last 12 years.

The centre will be used to reach out to the community through:
The ministry of spiritual and social needs of the surrounding communities;
Providing counselling to the families and workers;
Enhancing the skills of the people through seminars and training;
Providing medical consultations and health check-ups;
Conducting English language and computer courses; and
Establishing a resource library.

The centre is equipped with a multi-purpose hall, a library, a kitchen, classrooms and some guestrooms.

The Singapore team members went on to visit the churches in the surrounding areas of DongShan, YunXiao, TongLing, SiPu and ChengKang in the following days ahead. They had useful discussions with the leaders of the various churches and a time of ministry in singing and the preaching of the Word.

Raymond Sim is a member of Cairnhill Methodist Church.