The Church is the hope of the world –Singapore - 16 March 09 (Dawie)

When we arrived in Singapore I asked the Lord to direct as to a Spirit led Church. I was tired after two months of travel in Europe only visiting churches as museums and not representatives of the risen Christ. Paul said to Timothy to stay away from those who have "a form of godliness but denying its power" (2 Tim 3:5)

I visited the websites of various different churches, but this story caught my attention:

(I made a copy of it for you from the website…you can read so much more on the website yourselves)


The Call of God

In 1989, Kong felt the call of God to enter into full-time Christian service. Kong had, by then, graduated with a degree in Computer Science from the National University of Singapore and was working for a publishing house.

Having held several small, but successful, evangelistic campaigns in Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines, Kong wanted to become an itinerant evangelist to assist the churches in Southeast Asia.

In April that year, he left the Anglican church he was attending since he was a child and set out to become a staff evangelist with "Christ for Asia," a Singapore-based missions organization.

The Birth of CHC

After leaving his local congregation and embarking on a walk of faith in the mission field, a group of young people that Kong had previously ministered to gathered around him.

They wanted him to be their shepherd, to pastor and lead them. With the support and encouragement of numerous senior pastors in the city, Kong decided to pioneer a new work, and hence, put aside his desire of becoming a traveling minister.

Today, City Harvest Church has more than 25,000 attendees in its weekend services and is still steadily growing. Locally, the church has 36 ministries for its members to volunteer actively in.

Overseas, CHC has 27 affiliate churches and 10 Bible schools in the Far East. The Malaysian Harvest Fellowship Kong co-founded has another 17 affiliate churches in East and West Malaysia.

In 2001, CHC built a 2,300-seater, titanium-clad church complex in Jurong West Street 91 for S$48,000,000. Apart from that, it has offices and schools in five different locations.

CHC is effectively a multi-site church with worship services at multiple sites, conducted at various times. Its main English language services are held every Saturday and Sunday at the 8,100-seater Singapore Expo Hall 8.

The Vision of Our Pastor

Kong is known throughout Asia as a dynamic speaker, communicating the message of faith in a very relevant and contemporary way. He has a strong vision to train 21st century leaders who would plant strong local churches everywhere in Asia.

Each week, his half-hour television program "Harvest Time" is broadcasted many times in 145 countries through 13 television networks.

With effect from 1 November 2005, Kong has asked to be taken off the church payroll indefinitely. He is now officially a pastor strictly on an honorary and volunteer basis. These days, he travels around the world as an entrepreneur, educator and conference speaker."

For the past two weeks we had the privilege to visit the City Harvest Church, three times, here in Singapore.

Let me just highlight a few aspects we have learned from the church:

  • Kong Hee founded the church with a few youngsters in 1989
  • Their current membership is more than 25 000 people
  • Just less than a 1 000 active small groups are functional
  • On weekends up to 50 000 people attend their services
  • Their yearly income from donations are more than N$200 million
  • They have more than N$180 million in the bank
  • They spend more than 50% of their total income on ministries "to the outside"
  • More than 1000 people are in the process of signing up for their yearly Bible School (extensive discipleship training)
  • In 2008 they recorded more than 10 000 new (from the street) salvations
  • They currently focus (as I see it) on spirit led weekend services, small group participation, strong families, discipleship, leadership development, cultural diversity, being relevant in a recession and a technical world, being involved in the need around them and to fulfill the great commission
  • Their weekend services are well planned, transferring lots of biblical knowledge and the application thereof, strongly supported by drama, music, technical (audio, video, DVD), worship and fellowship.

What can I add? They are not playing church. They ARE church..and they are changing lives and impacting their city and country.To Jesus all honour and glory.

Bill Hybels said: "there is nothing like the local church ,if the local church is working right!" But then the local church should work right! Paul said in 1 Cor 4:20 "For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power"

Leadership and to see God's glory shine in Namibia and Africa is my passion, but every time when I see the local church that is working well (or not),something strange is happening in my deep inner being…some day , maybe some day….

Amazing Singapore - 16/3/09 (Dawie J)

Singapore is probably one of the nicest places we've been so far.Why I say this: The people are kind and it feels as if your'e in a rainforest. Also because Ouma came to visit.

We go to swim everyday, because there is a big pool near our apartment. Even my mother swims!

With all the sightseeing and mall-crawling, it is a very nice place to be. Ouma went everywhere we went. Although I do not like shopping, walking in all the different malls is quite an experience.

We've also been to Sentosa. It is an island attached to Singapore. We went there by cable car, even my grandmother.(the last time she went on a cable car, was when she was in grade 5, and she is now 72!) Me and my 2 brothers went on the Sentosa luges, it was great fun! We also visited the beach and ate Singaporean food. I liked the food very much. We also went to the Merlion. We went back by train.

2 Other places we visited were China Town and Little India. It is different than the rest of Singapore: it is dirty and there is small, cheap shops.

We live on the 6th floor of a 23 storey apartment building. The treetops are higher than our windows! It rains a lot! Without Singapores good water drainage system, it would have been flooded many years ago.

It was sad when Charlie and Ouma left us. It was really nice to see Ouma again.

One big choice I have made recently, was to give thanks in everything. Also to buy a book, instead of a controller(for a computer game) I read often.

Singapore - 15 March 2009 (Chrisna)

It's 2 weeks since we've arrived in Singapore. It was a blessed 2 weeks.

Singapore is for sure the cleanest, and I think safest city/country there is. This is the result of a government implementing rules and regulations, fines and education on not littering and keeping crime at the lowest possible rate. Even chewing gum is against the law. The wonderful site of NO moving, chewing jaws ! (I know of a few Namibians that will suffer not being able to do the futile chewing passtime!) I realized once again that we must put more effort in educating our people in not littering, it is not something that comes naturally for many people.

This is also a city, like London and Paris, where one gets along easily with public transport (buses, trains and taxis). The only difference here is that it is clean. We are pro's by now by knowing the best routes to almost any place in this city, which is also the country. A big benefit of this transport is that we have to walk a lot. The departure point is never from your front door step! We really follow the rule of healthy living by "adding steps to your day". We also excercize daily by walking in the park next to our apartment building(block of flats) . During such an outing one loses at least 1 litre of sweat, not because the excercize was so vigorous, but because of the heat.
After the walk , we take a refreshing swim, even me(who almost never swims back home).

The city planners took a lot of effort to create open spaces, parks and playfields, which is wonderful as there are thousands of apartment buildings everywhere. There are also more malls in Singapore than churches in Rehoboth- and you know how many there are!! People shop as a way of living, shopaholics originated here. Everything is also very expensive, except for eating out at the local foodcourts. These are big halls where there are different foodstalls (all with local food) and tables and chairs to sit and eat. Singaporeans eat out as a way of life, because these places are so cheap. We are brave and comfortable in eating (some) of the local food, which is RICE /noodles with something on top of it. I must admit that we have not tried the pig intestines yet!

The good news is that I still make most of our meals, although it is challenging. This time we do not have an oven. We have a rice steamer, a gas stove and microwave. The supermarkets also do not have many "western" food. We eat rice with chicken,noodles with chicken and if we want variety: potato with chicken!
(a note for any one back home who want to treat Charlie: give him MEAT, not chicken!)

This is also the first place on our tour where we go to church and God is there!(we went to many churches -where God went in with us, where people go just to see what the inside look like, but here people enter to have a meeting with God.) Oh what a blessing it's been to attend a service, praise and worship with fellow believers and get a very good Wordbased message. Also a blessing to see it is people who look different, who has a different culture and habits, but we are one body, brothers and sisters because we worship One Living God. Our housechurch was always very special, but this is God really spoiling us. We attend the City Harvest Church together with 9000 other people in 1 service. They have 4 such services on a week end.

My blog is getting too long now, but I do not have the computor often,so while I have, I'm using it! Feel free to continue reading later.

Last Sunday was a very special day. It was Charlie's 15 birthday and My mom arrived the previous evening for a short visit and We were invited to a barbeque with the Prins's and other friends of theirs and We ate lamb for the first time since 30 December. It was a special day!

The braai was in a public park next to the seaside. The sun was shining and a breeze helped to break the heat. The people we met are wonderful people living in Singapore, all Christians. It always amazes me that although we are strangers,we start on the same page because we have the same Father! A blessing for the children was ... a rugbyball! They had great fun playing rugby with teams of all shapes and sizes. Charlie, being the birthday boy, had a Singaporean party! They sang to him in English and Mandarin. We all really enjoyed the day and say "Thank you" to our special friends. It was great!!

Back home we had our own celebration with Charlie. Dawie J baked a chocolate cake and we had chips and cookies. We prayed for Charlie and praised God for his life. 13,5 years ago he drowned and was dead, but God gave him back to us. We will continue to praise God for that and are grateful that Charlie's life glorifies God!

On Wednesday Charlie flew back to Windhoek for 2 months. This was what God showed Charlie during October 2008. It was hard to say goodbey to him, but we know God has a plan. We also know that no pain is wasted pain for the Lord. We all must just be faithful during these 2 months of seperation and God's Goodness and bigger plan will unfold.

My mom's visit of 1 week was also a true blessing. You can imagine how she spoiled us all. There were sweets and cake to eat, there were cooldrink to drink and we even visited Pizza Hut for pizzas! We went all over to do site seeing, that way not only us, but Ouma and Charlie could experience Singapore with us. We, Ouma included,walked many kilometres . We did a lot of talking and sharing, enjoying being together. She left yesterday. Praise God that she had a mission leaving us: to take care of Charlie for the next 2 months.

We've sent 35kg of clothing and books back to Windhoek with the 2 of them. It is all our winterclothes and even summer clothes as well. We realized that we do not need that many clothes. We actually need so much less than what we have...

And then there were 4... That is where we are now. But the 4 of us are 100% sure that it is not time to go back yet, not time to end this journey. We will miss them, but go full out,listening and following where God is taking us. Learning what He wants to teach us. Enjoying, knowing how blessed we are.