Serve 2018

Serve 2018

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1 June 2018

Serve 2018

and edited by Karen Wong


 

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SERVE is the Diocesan Youth Board’s signature discipleship programme designed to develop youths spiritually and equip them for ministry. It runs annually for three months, from January to March. This year marks its 20th run!

The Programme consists of lectures and a retreat that aim to cultivate various aspects of the youth’s Christian walk. It also gives the youths opportunities to serve both locally and overseas through attachments at our Anglican Community Services centres and through missions in our deanery countries. This year’s cohort consisted of 28 youths from 11 parishes.  

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Graphic Design elective in progress
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SERVErs in the Contemporary Dance elective

A new component in this year’s programme was elective modules on Contemporary Dance, Graphic Design, and How to Lead Praise & Worship. DYB Coordinator Mr Ivan Ong said, “I hope these practical service skills would give the youths exposure to skills that they could use as they serve in their parishes.” The SERVErs did indeed find these elective programs enriching. “They opened up new ways for me to serve the Lord,” said Natalie Lim (SJSM). Nathanael See (COGS) agreed, “It exposed me to different ways I can serve in church beyond being a musician.”

“We also introduced Group Time,” said Mrs Cherlie Cheong, the other DYB Coordinator. ”These were weekly sessions with the mentors to process and discuss what the SERVErs were learning during the lectures. Group Time also allowed the youths to forge deeper friendships. We were so delighted to see how the SERVErs took the initiative to organise lunch outings together. These outings brought about an unexpected, eye-opening cultural exchange when the Chinese youths experienced eating with their hands during their Indian meal in Little India, and the Indian youths tasted chicken feet and Korean galbi for the first time.” 

It was a joy for Cheong to journey with the 28 youths this year. “We feel very blessed by the testimonies of what God has done in and through the lives of the SERVErs past and present! May God continue to use the seeds sown in their lives to bear fruit for His glory!” Here are excerpts of some of their testimonies:

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 “SERVE increased my knowledge of our Anglican heritage and the Christian Faith.” said Ashton Chang (SJSM). For Gloria Chan (COR), “The lessons helped me clarify questions I had about my faith. It made me more confident to tell my friends that I am a Christian.” “SERVE allowed me the time and space to sit at the Lord’s feet, to be sensitive to His voice and focus on listening to what He has to say to me,” reflected Chloe Phua (COR).

For Ignatius Jeeva (COE), SERVE helped him deal with his fears. “God helped me overcome my stage fright through the weekly group duties and my fear of talking to new people. He also gave me courage to share His Word to patients in St Andrew’s Community Hospital during my attachment.”

Other youths agreed that their attachment experiences were eye-opening. Samuel Ng (SMC) shared that his time at St Andrew’s Autism Centre helped him understand and love people with autism. Kristen Mah (CCK) found it meaningful to have the opportunity to give back to the community. She was also touched by the patients’ personal stories. “I learnt things that cannot be taught in a classroom,” said Pamela Chan (COR). For Sarah Liew (COR), she learnt the importance of humility and kindness in serving others, especially those looked down upon by society.

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The team teaching English in Batam

For Caleb Jabaseelan (COE), his mission trip to Batam strengthened his faith. He and his team learnt to turn to God in prayer while experiencing spiritual warfare. “When we did (that), our team mates recovered (from various setbacks and ailments) and the Lord used us to minister to the locals,” he shared. “While we were ministering, the Spirit of God moved. I learnt to depend on God’s strength instead of my own.” He also learnt the power of prayer. “Without prayer, our relationship with God is dead.” He added, “This mission trip also taught me to listen and value differences in others, do away with preconceived notions and have courage to embrace new challenges. I had to get out of my comfort zone to do manual labour. This trip taught me gratitude, patience, diligence and perseverance.”

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Teaching in a local school in Chiang Mai

For Jessica Tang (COR), her mission trip to Chiang Mai revealed God’s continuous providence. “We were truly blessed by the relationships we built with the students and the staff team in Thailand who provided us endless support. It was a joy to be able to share my testimony with others and experience how God used me to show His love even in the smallest ways. I was touched to see the children genuinly interested in what we shared and I am excited to hear how God continues to work in their lives.” Jessica now feels more prepared and confident to go out to serve others in her community and overseas. “With the (training) in SERVE, I look forward to seeing where and how God continues to lead me in the future!”

A big plus point of SERVE was the bonding and friendships formed. “I got to meet brothers and sisters in Christ from different parishes and form friendships that encourage me in my walk with God,” said Sarah Liew (COR). 

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“Joining SERVE was the BEST decision I have ever made!” said Jerlin Aruldass (Christ Church). “The topics taught were very useful to help me face the real world and the lessons made me think with new perspectives. And making new friendships in SERVE have been greatest blessing ever! I am thankful to everyone who made my SERVE experience a very meaningful journey.”

Edward Liaw (SJSM) said, “Through SERVE, God challenged and humbled me, and led me closer to Him. I thank God for the group mentors who were such great friends and role models for us to follow. I really want to encourage all who have the time to come and join the SERVE Programme!”

SERVE alumni (2017) Samuel Lee from St James’ Church shares that he is still serving in his parish and growing in the Lord a year after graduating from SERVE. He exhorts this year’s SERVErs to “be the light of Christ in the world filled with darkness; hold firm to the Word of Truth… It may be challenging but let’s not be shaken and give in to the world. It helped me when I set myself to be intentional in being Christ-like.” He quotes Mark 10:45, that says: For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. 'May God give us the grace and help us (to serve).'

DYB Chairman, Revd Christopher Chan recognised that the team was building on the work done in past years. Yet, to raise the standard and improve effectiveness, the team implemented changes that they hoped would benefit the participants. He said, “We received a lot of positive feedback from this batch of SERVErs… and from the SERVE alumni! Furthermore, many of the teachers and trainers had good things to say about this year’s cohort.” 

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The mentors (L-R): Mr Henry Yeo, Ms Jean Yeo, Mrs Cherlie Cheong, Mr Ivan Ong

Revd Chan acknowledges that there is still much room for improvement in the programme. The challenges were part and parcel of the SERVE learning experience and the opportunity for growth. He thanks the DYB staff who worked tirelessly to plan and execute the programme, and served as mentors as well. The SERVE team thanks the very dedicated mentors: Mr Henry Yeo (Youth Pastor @ St James’ Church, Ms Jean Yeo (Youth Pastor @ St John’s Chapel), Mrs Cherlie Cheong and Mr Ivan Ong (DYB Coordinators); as well as these contributors who taught on the following topics at SERVE 2018:

REVD JONATHAN WONG, Priest @ Church of the Good Shepherd
// The Lordship of Christ

MR CALVIN WEE, Pastoral Staff @ Marine Parade Christian Centre
// The Heart of a Worshipper

REVD JAMES SINGH, Pastor @ Eagles Nest Church (AOG) and Lecturer @ Tung Ling Bible School
// Prayer

REVD WILLIAM THAM, Vicar @ Light of Christ Church Woodlands
// Personal Bible Study

MRS CHERLIE CHEONG, DYB Coordinator
// Character Formation

MR LIM WEI YI, Youth Pastor @ Yishun Christian Church (Anglican)
// The Authority, Clarity, Necessity and Sufficiency of Scripture
 
CANON YEE CHING WAH, Associate Director of Missions, DOS
// A Biblical Overview

REVD CHARLES TEWER, Vicar of My Saviour’s Church
// Old Testament Book Study on Micah

MS SHIRLEY BONG, Pastoral Staff @ Chapel of the Resurrection
// Arts & Worship

REVD DAVID LEE, Associate Vicar @ Chapel of the Resurrection
// The Person & Work of the Holy Spirit

MR JASON WONG, Board Chairman @ Focus on the Family, and Founder of Dads For Life & Yellow Ribbon Project
// Identity and Destiny (SERVE Retreat) 

REVD TIMOTHY EWING-CHOW, Vicar @ Chapel of Christ the King
// Breaking Bondages

REVD DANIEL TONG, Vicar @ St Andrew’s Community Chapel
// Worldview & Countercultural Living

MR IAN CHEW, Youth Pastor@ Chapel of the Resurrection
// Holiness & Fear of the Lord

MR CALVIN TAN, Youth Pastor @ St Hilda’s Church
// Christian Community

MR RYAN KAM, Youth Pastor@ St James’ Church
// Heart of a Mission Tripper

REVD CHRISTOPHER CHAN, Priest @ Chapel of the Resurrection & DYB Chairman
// Apologetics

REVD BERTRAM CHEONG, Priest @ Westside Anglican Church
// Anglicanism

REV PHILIP HUAN, Founder of ChurchLife Resources
// Personality Types & Conflict Resolution

MR NELSON LEE & MRS GINA LEE, Chaplaincy staff of Chapel of the Holy Spirit, husband & wife team trained by Focus On The Family
// Sexuality & Marriage

REVD JOSEPH YOU, Priest @ Church of Our Saviour
// Singlehood

REVD DARREN CHOO, Priest @ All Saints’ Church
// New Testament Book Studyon Philippians

MR JAMES TAN, Head of Missions Department, DOS
// Mission Trip Preparation

MR AMOS TAN, Youth Pastor @Chapel of Christ the Redeemer
// Evangelism & Disciple Making

The team is also grateful to the five community service centres of SACS/SAMH:
Anglican Care Centre (Hougang)
Anglican Care Centre (Simei)
Anglican Family Centre
St Andrew’s Autism Centre
St Andrew’s Community Hospital

Revd Chan said, “I will look back on this year’s SERVE programme with fond memories. I pray that each SERVEr will bring back to their parishes things they have learned, to be a blessing to their church communities and in other spheres of influence, and that they continue to grow in the Lord.” 


This article is included in the May 2018 issue of the Diocesan Digest.