Volume. XXI, No. 31
Sunday, 28 January 2007

From the pastors heart: some thoughts

My mission trip to India this time was both special and more relaxing than before.  It was because my itinerary was not as tight as before, and I had better accommodations.  Besides, I had more opportunities to meet up with more people and to learn more about missions.  It was also a good opportunity to learn Indian church history.  Having completed the trip, there are a few things I’d like to share with you about God’s church and His people in India.  Firstly, the evangelistic zeal of Indian Christians is very impressive.  I must say that they are very patient and sincere in their beliefs and practices.  On Sunday (January 21), I was with an evangelical church.  The Lord’s Supper was ministered, and there were lots of singing and praying times.  All together, from the beginning till the end, it took about 4 hours.  During the whole service, little children were present with their parents, and I did not hear much noise.  Most of us in developed countries are time conscious.  We want to know that Sunday services are finished by a certain time.  However, both adults and children in India were so patient that they sat through the whole service.  I thought it should be a challenge for many of us who are not patient enough even during Sunday morning worship.  Children were very well-disciplined and trained by their parents, and they did not disturb the service at all.  Maybe it is a good example to some of us with little children.  Secondly, I was touched by the way that they received the elements from the Lord’s Table.  Those who were baptized members of the church came forward to the front and bent on their knees on the provided mats.  Their ministers placed the bread on hands eagerly waiting for the distributions.  When their ministers approached they opened their mouths, and the ministers poured from the cup into their mouths.  There were lots of people, and they used only one cup.  As a result, the ministers carefully emptied the cup by pouring the contents into their mouths.  All the partakers were praying as they prepared themselves for the elements.  Quite a number of people put their hands together and eagerly prayed and wept.

Thirdly, the Indian churches are self-supporting and self-governing.  It is because they have not been influenced by foreign missionaries.  The members themselves have made contributions to the church ministries and projects.  Lots of their members are working in the Gulf countries, and sending their tithes and offerings to their home churches.  Through these contributions, the leaders have been able to build local churches and church community halls.  They have sent out their own missionaries to Hindu dominant areas.  We should be able to learn lessons from them.  It is true that quite a number of churches among BP churches in the overseas have received support from other churches and individuals.  It is time to stand on their own feet.  Obviously, Hope Church is not an exception.  We have received spiritual and financial supports for many years in the past.  It is time to be fully self-supporting and self-governing.  In this regard, the members of Hope church must not be surprised by the announcement made last Sunday about my future.  I’ll elaborate on this point in the future.  There was a time for consecration during worship in India.  Both young and old came forward to consecrate themselves for the full time ministries.  There were a few very young ones, whose mothers stood behind them and prayed for them during this time of consecration.  It moved and touched my heart greatly.  Fourthly, this is my first time I’ve ever been entertained by people in the mission field in terms of rest and relaxation.  A couple from a local church cheerfully took me and two others with me for river-boating.  I was in the boat for more than three hours.  Of course, it was not purely a tour, but also a time of discussions over some important matters.  However, I was quite touched by their hospitality and generosity.  I hope that we are hospitable people, too.

Fifthly, like last year, I met a few lady missionaries.  They were all from local churches and consecrated themselves for missionary work.  They were sent two by two.  And of course, all of them were unmarried.  Their way of praying and sharing God’s Word truly moved my heart.  They have small living quarters in their headquarters.  However, when they are sent out from there to other places, they do not have anywhere to stay.  The general secretary of the church convention told me that they would provide land, if the building cost could be covered.  These ladies need places to stay when they are away from the home office.  Each building construction costs them about 6,600 US dollars.  I thought it is a worthy cause to spend our money, if we can.  These ladies made vows to remain single for the rest of their life.  There are old ladies as well as young ones.  I thought that the Hopefuls may be able to build at least one building for them.  The building will be used as their office as well as living quarters.  If we send out our own missionaries, it is a very expensive maneuver.  Besides, they have to learn the local languages and customs, which is a real difficult task to achieve.  Therefore, by helping these ladies, we may do more work for the Lord in this case.  There are also fine young men who have the desire to go into the ministry. In most cases, they need three to four years of further education.  One thousand US dollars will cover one student’s tuition and room and board for one year.  If any one of you wants to spend money for a worthy cause, would you consider helping by supporting these students?  It does not have to be 3-4 year-long pledge. A one-year pledge at a time is good enough.  You may do so in commemoration of your beloved ones in the Lord.  When these trained men go into the ministry, they will become soldiers for Christ.  Some of these candidates have post-graduate degrees.

Finally, I thank and praise the Lord for people who have prayed for my trip.  It was a good trip in terms of preaching opportunities.  I had plenty of opportunities to preach and speak to various people.  I do thank the Hopefuls for their patience during my frequent absences.  At the same time, I thank the Lord for those who have made financial contributions to my trips.  Their sacrifices have enabled me to go on and do more for the Lord.  Though I do not want to name them, I’d like to recognize them by thanking them through this article.

Thank the Lord for the good leadership in Hope Church.  I am ever thankful to the Session members who have taken up a great deal of responsibilities to lead the church during my absence.  Thank the Lord for their willingness and capability to preach from the Word.  I am truly sorry to the Hopefuls who have been deprived of their opportunities to be ministered due to their pastor’s frequent trips.  However, no one has yet brought any complaints to me, but rather everyone has been very understanding.  Thank you for your prayers and support always.  May the Lord bless Hope Church continually!

With thanks,

Your Pastor

More Lively Hope



Shorter Catechism Question  81: What is forbidden in the tenth commandment? The tenth commandment forbiddeth all discontentment with our own estate, envying or grieving at the good of our neighbour, and all inordinate motions and affections to any thing that is his.

Please pray for health & God’s healing: Rev George & Sis Nan van Buuren, Rev Peter Clements, Rev David Koo, Rev Timothy Tow, Dr S H Tow, Preacher Zhang, Dn Yaw Chiew Tan; Bros S Dhamarlingam, Makoto Kobayashi, Raphael Ng’s father, & Winston Selvanayagam; Sisters Sheila George, Myung Ki, Alice Lee’s father, Aranka Rejtoe (Hampstead), Chrisanthi Selvanayagam, Juanita Tong, Susan Veradi, & Giok Yeo’s sister-in-law; Auntie Oei & others in affliction. "Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you” (1 Pet 5:7).

Please pray for – a) Cambodia Missions - Rev Luke Kim & Ministry (Veal Renh); b) Laos Missions - Bro S Dhamarlingam; c) Pastors & believers in India & Pakistan; d) Sketch n’ Tell Ministry - Bro H S Lim; e) Journey Mercies - Ps Ki & family (Moonta Bay), Elder Michael & Sis Alice Lee & family (S’pore/Malaysia); Mrs Lee, Bro Tae Yul & Sis Moon Ok Lee (Moonta Bay/Korea); Bro John Wong (Adl); & others travelling during the summer vacation; f) Hopefuls & worshippers overseas & interstate.

Praise and Thank God for – a) AFG Bible Study & YAF Prayer & Bible Study; b) Journey mercies - Ps Ki, Dn David & Sis Giok Yeo & family, Auntie Oei, Mrs Lee; Bros Paul Chung & Jason Tan (Adl); Bro Tae Yul & Sis Moon Ok Lee (Syd/Gold Coast/Adl); Bro Joseph & Sis Chrisanthi Selvanayagam & family; Sisters Min Yen Chia’s mother (KL), Sheila & Smrithi George & Shilsa Ninan; Gillian Ong (Adl), Ayli Chong (Syd); Su Sim Toh (S’pore); Bro Peter Post & family (Cootamundra); Elder Michael & Sis Alice Lee & family (Kuching) & all those travelling during the summer vacation; c) Ministry in India - Ps Ki; d) Sunday School Outing on Friday. Special thanks to organisers and parents; e) Working Bees yesterday.

Joy Neighbourhood Bible Study group: There is no Prayer Meeting and Bible Study on Saturday.

Please note: As announced to all members on 21 Jan, Ps Ki will not stand as a candidate for Session Election in July 2007.

Working Bee: Special working bee on Saturday, 10 February.

Flowers’ Roster: Still a few spaces to be filled. Please serve the LORD by adding your names on the roster.



© Hope Bible-Presbyterian Church
14 Bedford Square, Colonel Light Gardens, South Australia 5041