Happenings, News

Singapore hosts DISCIPLE Trainers’ Event – first outside US

A DISCIPLE Trainers’ Event was held in Singapore – the first to be conducted outside the United States – from Aug 15 to 19, 2005.

Sixty trainers from Malaysia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Taiwan, Britain and Singapore took part in the event, held at the River View Hotel in conjunction with the 10th Anniversary of The DISCIPLE Agency (DA) in Singapore.

The plan to hold the DISCIPLE Trainers’ Event in Singapore started in 2001. However, due to the Sept 11, 2001 tragedy in the US, it had to be postponed.

After several years of seeming lull, in September 2004, the DA Executive Committee again revived the plan for the DISCIPLE Trainers’ Event to be held in Singapore. After discussions with Cokesbury and Mrs Wini Grizzle, the event was set for August 2005.

Mrs Grizzle, who had since retired in 2003 as Director, Training Seminars, with Cokesbury, had been involved with DISCIPLE since its conception. She was responsible for the design and presentation of materials, as well as the training of trainers and leaders.

Mrs Grizzle and her husband, George, led in training trainers for Disciple 1-4 – transmitting their passion for DISCIPLE in making God’s Word our Home.

The participants were also treated to a taste of “Christian Believer” and “Jesus in the Gospels” – both of which are the second generation studies of DISCIPLE.

We are thankful to Bishop Dr Robert Solomon and other General Conference and Annual Conference leaders for their support – in particular for making time to join us for the Official Opening dinner programme on Aug 16.

We are also thankful to Mr Neil Alexander, President and Publisher of The United Methodist Publishing House, as well as Bishop Richard Wilke for sending their greetings and support in writing.

All praise and thanks to God for making this event possible – so that more lives can be transformed.

The Rev Paul Nga, Pastor-in-Charge of Aldersgate Methodist Church, is Chairman of The DISCIPLE Agency

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ONE TRAINER’S REFLECTION

‘A joy to know DISCIPLE working mightily’

WHAT a joy it was to meet so many similar-minded people from various countries, deeply passionate about the DISCIPLE Bible Study programme. From the first day, when I registered and entered the room where Mr George Grizzle and his wife Wini were conducting the Orientation session for “new” trainers, I knew that this workshop would speak volumes to me.

My heart was strangely warmed throughout the five days of workshops. This despite Mrs Grizzle’s relentless push for proper and efficient coverage of the six Bible Study programmes and careful time management. She was charming, gracious, but absolutely focused on getting us all ship-shape on time.

I was surprised, delighted and truly enjoyed the two celebrations that were held – one was the Official Opening Dinner graced by Bishop Dr Robert Solomon and leaders of The Methodist Church in Singapore, and the other was the Closing Event and Worship evening.

The worship, sharings, messages, and words of encouragement for the DISCIPLE effort touched me. I was particularly excited by the sharings and reports from the representatives of the various countries, describing how DISCIPLE has grown and multiplied, and how the DISCIPLE trainers have taken the initiative to take it further through translations, creative applications, etc. There is so much joy and enthusiasm for doing the Lord’s work.

We were all so delighted to know that through DISCIPLE, the Holy Spirit has transformed lives mightily. This certainly encouraged all of us to stay the course.

Through all the days, we delighted in participating in the DISCIPLE modular exercises around our tables. We grumbled and mumbled that Mrs Grizzle did not give us more time to share at greater length, yet we still wanted to go deeper into the discussions.

And we got to know our group-mates quite well, enjoyed their company, and shared jokes with them.

What did we learn? All the non-negotiables in the DISCIPLE Process – be clearer about staying true and faithful to the design and trusting the process – be reminded that we are “clay jars” relying on the Holy Spirit to work in our groups – that however exhausted we are, the good Lord will enable us to stay up late each night to complete our reading assignments before we meet Mrs Grizzle the next morning.

This workshop was most timely, helpful and re-energising for me, and I am sure, for most others as well. We look forward to the DISCIPLE Agency getting the Disciples together more often – to celebrate, to encourage and to share how our Lord has worked mightily in more countries through the DISCIPLE Bible Study programme.

Kwok Aie Bee is a member of Barker Road Methodist Church.

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