words of encouragement,
first-hand from the field of what we do
words of encouragement,
first-hand from the field of what we do
“Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession.” (Psalm 2:8 NKJV)
In Psalms 2, after God notes the rebellious state of the world and ridicules their pride, He affirms Jesus’ Kingship and Sonship, laying out this grand Messianic promise for the great end-time fulfillment – nations will be reconciled to God and the ends of the earth will come to know Jesus as Saviour and King. This theme of “Nations for Your Inheritance” rings consistently throughout the Bible – the Abrahamic promise in Genesis 12:3, to the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19, and through to Revelations. God is knocking on our hearts, calling for our attention to His great promise for the nations. Are we responding?
The exciting news for sons and daughters of God is that we are seated “together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6). Guess what, God is inviting us to be a part of His plan in bringing the nations back to Him for His inheritance! We don’t need to sit on the sidelines with popcorn and soda, watching this great promise unfold, and miss out on the epic action. God is calling us to ASK, contend, play our part to evangelize, and disciple the nations alongside with Jesus! What a privilege and honour He is offering to us, His children!
Missions to the nations have always been the core of who we are at Cornerstone. Right from the beginning, God laid on Pastor Yang and Pastor Daphne’s hearts that Cornerstone is to be a missions-sending church. Over the past 8 years, through our flagship Cornerstone Couriers annual programme, we have sent almost 3000 people on over 400 short-term mission trips around the nations, reaching tens of thousands of people, preaching the gospel, praying for and healing people, training up leaders and encouraging various local ministries.
This year is no exception. We are launching our Couriers programme this April! You can be a part of Couriers, as we plan to send out more than 400 people on 51 short-term trips into 11 nations. You can sign up by visiting our Couriers booth after our weekend services, or online via missions.cscc.org.sg/couriers. You can sign up either as an individual or as a cell group. Be a part of contending for the nations, for Jesus!
Besides our Couriers programme, we are introducing 3 new mission programmes to deepen our missions scope in Cornerstone:
1. Builders: For mature Spirit-filled believers with a passion for nations. Sign up to be a Builder to a specific nation or ministry, join a core group of Builders, and commit to 1-2 short-term mission trips per year for the next 2 years. Come alongside our nation pastors and local churches to build and strengthen the local ministries, with the various ministry and practical gifts God has put in you. As you go on our Couriers trip this year, do seek God about being a Builder to a nation in 2018.
2. Apprentice: Formerly known as “Cornerstone Overseas Volunteer Programme” (COVP). For mature Spirit-filled believers with a call to long-term missions. Go, serve in one of our local ministries in a nation, for a time period of 3-12 months. Learn from the local ministry leaders and experience what life as a full-time missionary is like. This is a key stepping stone to answering the full-time call to missions!
3. Heart: Calling all medical practitioners in Cornerstone – doctors, dentists, chiropractors, nurses, pharmacists, etc. Go, bless the local communities through our short-term Heart medical clinics on the fields, alongside our prayer and evangelism teams. “Bless Santiago 2016” has been a successful example of the power of combining God’s supernatural and medical healings in community outreaches, where hundreds of people encountered and received Jesus while being physically healed at our medical clinics.
God’s nations call to Cornerstone is loud and clear, through Heidi Baker’s New Year message and the various messages over Kingdom Invasion of Singapore’s destiny as “Antioch of the East”. It’s time for us to get out of our nests and soar into the nations, to ask, contend and disciple the nations, for Jesus and His inheritance!
God is calling. Are we responding?
Cornerstone Community Church
In February 2017, Pastor Daphne, Aileen, Priscilla, Annie and Zoie, visited the Akha Outreach Foundation in Chiang Rai, Thailand, to minister at their annual Akha Women’s Conference. The conference seeks to empower the Akha women and to serve as a time of refreshing and encouragement for many of them. Each year when we return, we hear of testimonies from the Akha women about breakthroughs that they receive the year before and the greater things that they are expecting the Lord to do!
Below is a short recount from Annie Boon, who is currently volunteering in church, about her trip with us to the conference:
When Aileen first asked if I would like to join Pastor Daphne and a team of ladies to minister at the Akha Women’s Conference in Chiang Rai, I did not know what to expect but was excited. To prepare for the trip, I asked Aileen a few questions beforehand as I felt that I needed to manage my expectations; particularly on accommodation, whether we would be staying in the village or in a hotel.
This trip opened my eyes to see missionaries reaching out to the tribes; it really encouraged me to see missionaries that were so obedient to the Word of God! As I have never visited a tribe before this, it was amazing that God is showing me how He is using available vessels for His good work to serve Him. It was heartwarming to see the Akha women coming together for the conference from their various villages. I could sense such a freedom in worship in these women and their strong trust in the Lord. They were being set free and filled with the Spirit of Joy! I will always remember their joyful hearts and the smiles on their faces.
I could see that the conference was a brilliant avenue for these ladies who come from the different villages to bond and encourage each other in the faith. Looking back, I realized that it was the simplicity of these women’s trust in God that causes them to receive God the most. This is especially pronounced when there is very little access for medical help in the villages so they have to depend on God and trust that He will heal them.
It is a privilege to be able to join this trip as I had learned many things about missions, the culture and what the Lord is doing in a nation apart from Singapore. As long as you are an available vessel, God can use you! Go, expose yourself to missions and see what God is doing in the nations!
Video by: Zoie Esther Tan
From the Desk of Solomon Independent School
In appreciation of Cornerstone Courier Team – unto the uttermost part of the earth in Cambodia
1-5 December 2016
When I heard that Cornerstone Church Singapore would be sending a “Courier Team” to Solomon Independent School, my first thought was that the Church might want to donate used clothes, old shoes, toys and leftovers through the services of DHL Courier. Thank God, things turned out even better. The Church sent a team of 13 members to the school instead. They arrived on 1 December 2016 by plane – not DHL Courier – and came in obedience to God’s calling to bless our children, pray for the sick, minister to the poor and needy and share the Gospel in Cambodia.
The Courier Team ministered, first and foremost, to the children of Solomon Independent School, through lively and meaningful activities. Parents and children were invited to celebrate Christmas together in school, where the Gospel was widely preached. We also had a wonderful time of fellowship with the local youths. The team further divided themselves into four groups and dispersed to visit many villages, giving out rice and dry rations as love-gifts. Our Cornerstone Couriers brought the Love and Blessings of the Lord to the doorsteps of the young and old, the poor and needy, the ailing and the lost. The sick received prayers of healing in Jesus’s name, and the Gospel was shared to many families.
We appreciate very much the video posted by Joanne, which presents a beautiful picture of the eventful time that the team spent with our School.
6-9 December 2016
Together with three Cambodian Pastors – Pastors Kea, Mok and Rom – Team Leader Luke and I extended our trip to Kampong Preah An, situated by the Mekong river, facing Laos. It took us several hours to arrive at the three villages there. The villagers were invited to assemble by the Mekong river, where we distributed rice and other rations. There, I supported Luke who was preaching by the Mekong river, in the footsteps of Christ preaching at the sea of Galilee. About 190 villagers from the three villages gathered to celebrate Christmas as one. Many came, and were given physical and spiritual food; many prayed the sinner’s prayer and received Jesus into their lives.
Our new believers soon faced some persecution: they were barred from drawing water from the well owned by non-believers. And so upon our return to Singapore, with the Church’s blessing and under Luke’s leadership, a sum of USD1,000 was raised immediately from Luke’s cell group. The money was sent over and has been used to build a new well – where ALL who thirst can come and draw the Living Water from the well. I believe the well-water must taste especially good, since Pastor Kea has just received requests from two other villages, Kampong Poh and Commune Selaumi, for us to build similar wells for them.
Much love and blessings,
28 Nov – 05 Dec 2016
Before the trip, I questioned why I was signing up for mission trip. I felt in my heart that was time for me to go for missions. Miri was not my first choice, however, as I was praying, God brought that to mind. He reminded me that if I do not go then who will; for the harvest is plentiful but the labourers are few. I am really glad that I obeyed God and I have no regrets going. It changed my perception and I learned how to see from the heart of the Father and learning to see from His perspective.
The trip was held at a village called Rumah Ampik where helpers come from Cornerstone Singapore, Cornerstone Miri and BEM Cornerstone (Borneo Evangelical Missions). Most of us from Singapore did not know Bahasa Melayu so the other two churches helped as translators for us, and the youth camp coordination. I felt the Lord telling me that He loves this place and He wants pour His Love on this people here in the village during one of our trips to visit the campsite before the youth camp began.
Throughout the camp, when Pastor Sabrina preached about vision and action, I was so happy that almost all of the children have dreams of what they want to be in the future. Pastor Sabrina asked them to write down their vision and action plan in the paper to remember what they dreamed to do. Truthfully speaking, I was really blessed to be part of this mission trip because not only did we give, but we also received much from the trip itself. During the last night of the camp, kids were testifying of their dreams. One of the children name “Jane” wanted to become an evangelist when she grows up and another wanted to become a worship leader. There were many more testimonies of the dreams of children wanting to go into ministry!
As I looked back, I believe God has a lot more in store for us and He wants to see us walking in deeper intimacy with Him, stretching our faith. He wants to do a work of acceleration in our lives and bring us to a place where we desire to come to a place of full maturity in Him!
Philbert Tan, Miri, Malaysia
19-27 Nov 2016: SRI 02
Our team of 7 members, began our mission adventure to Sri Lanka on 19th Nov 2016. For this trip, we were heading back to visit Shalom Home, in Maskeilya, where 5 of our fellow members had the opportunity to visit the year before. Hearing stories and anecdotes from these 5 members who had been to the girls’ home stirred up a sense of excitement and expectation in our spirits.
After a 4-hour journey from Colombo, we reached Shalom Home, nestled among the tea plantations. We were greeted by the girls who were eagerly anticipating our arrival – they presented us with fresh flowers, warm hugs and their brightest smiles. Later, they treated us to a performance of Sunday School Songs with actions that they had learned a year ago. It was a heartwarming feeling to know that they remembered what was previously taught! It reminded us of the verse in Matthew 21:16 – “Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies you have prepared praise”. The praises that came out of these children’s mouths was indeed of joy and praise to our heavenly Father!
During this time, we also had the opportunity to witness the love of Christ to a woman who was seeking refuge and shelter for her 3 sons due to family circumstances. Our team leader, Christopher, and Adrena ministered to her about the love of Christ and led her to Christ through the sinner’s prayer. As we had brought bags and clothing from Singapore to bless the girls, we offered some of these for her and her children. She was overwhelmed with emotion and gratitude, and mentioned later that she had never felt such love before. It reminded us of the command in the bible to take care of the fatherless, orphans and widows as in Psalm 83:3 – to defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed. Before she left the home, we reminded her to always fix her eyes on Christ and that God was her Jehovah Jireh, who will always protect and provide for all of her family’s needs. With the help of the supervisor of Shalom Home, we arranged 2 weeks’ provisions for her family from a nearby grocery store.
Projects at the home included painting a room that had been converted into a study room, teaching the older girls how to use the computer, and to sew with the new sewing machine from our project fund. We were also tasked with the opportunity to teach the older girls life skills such as budgeting. After the lesson, we brought them on a trip to the grocery store where we divided them into groups and accompanied them to purchase items from a shopping list. Through this experience, we hope to have helped instill the value of money to the girls which will be beneficial to them in future. The shopkeeper even treated us to free drinks when they found out that the girls were from the home!
We ministered to the kids through activities such as bible stories, games and craft. It was a joy to see the girls’ faces light up with delight as we engaged with them. One takeaway that we had learnt as a team was the beauty of simplicity – it didn’t take much for the girls to express their joy. On a particular night during the trip, we pumped balloons to entertain the little ones, and soon they were laughing and running around with one another in excitement and popping all the balloons! It was very reassuring and a joy for us to hear from the matron of the home, that after every bible lesson, the girls would share with her what they had learnt. What a great comfort this was as Proverbs 4:21 reminds us not to let the commandments of God escape from our sight and to keep them within our hearts.
Throughout the trip, we were blessed by the girls at Shalom Home, and we could see how they were ever passionate for Jesus. From our conversations with them, we found out that some of these girls wanted to be pastors in their future vocation. During one of the sharing sessions, we gave them the task of praying for one another and it was evident that they were prayer warriors as we witnessed them interceding for each other through the prayer list that they had made. Their zeal for Christ stirred within our hearts.
Being part of missions is indeed a joy and privilege as we are the salt and light of the earth and the world for Christ. This trip has indeed reminded us to continue to show the immeasurable love of Christ to his beloved children, and in return, we were blessed by the simple faith and actions of the girls from the home. We are indeed blessed to be a blessing to these girls and to others!
Vera Tan, Kandy, Sri Lanka
7-12 Dec 2016: PHI 15
“Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the LORD rises upon you.”
As we gathered at the airport to pray before our departure to Marikina, Isaiah 60:1 was given from the Lord to us. Upon hearing that, we could see that the Lord’s hand was upon us as we headed out into the mission fields. This verse spoke to many of us, especially for me as it builds up our confidence and strength to reach out to the lost souls in Philippines even more.
Day 1 — After landing in Philippines, we met up with Pastor Kathy (PK) and her team who showed us to our accommodations. That evening, we got to minister to the “surrenderees” (drug addicts who turned themselves in to the government). Being led by the Lord to prepare on a topic just a day before we departed, I stood out in faith and shared my testimony as I felt it was for them. It was also my first time sharing and I did not know what to expect. However I could feel the peace of the Lord within me and the message was delivered smoothly! The Lord also led Ann to share a message on true repentance, and we saw around 20 decisions for Christ that night. Even the police officers responded! We also got to pray for everyone individually.
Day 2 — The team started off the day heading to the provincial prison, where we held a Christmas celebration service for the detainees. We organised a concert for them and played charades with them. They had so much enthusiasm that they literally ran to the stage even before we described the game! Darren and Joshua also shared their testimonies with them.
Later in the afternoon, we went to a village for “Porridge Patrol”, where we gave out food to young children. As we drove into the village, it started to rain heavily, but we proceeded to set up for our outreach. Miraculously, as we started to worship, the rain stopped! After worship, we also taught them a song about the Holy Spirit and performed a skit on Jesus saving us from the devil and sin! Thereafter, Shawn and Hannah shared her testimonies with the kids and we ended with prayer and food! This was an eye opener for me because I was amazed by how a service could be held in the open with just two shelters, a speaker, a microphone and a guitar. It took me a while to soak in the environment and how blessed we are on every weekend services.
Day 3 — The team headed out to the old folks home for a Christmas program, but before the program, we were allowed to walk around the compound and talk to some of the elderly, even praying for them. During the Christmas program, it was a joy to see some of the elderly putting up a dance for us, and later on, Beth shared a message about being fruitful in old age and Angeline shared her testimony. We distributed a mid-morning meal for the elderly and had a clothes giveaway. Later in the afternoon we came back to minister to the staff where we played some games, and performed a skit for them. Stanley also shared a message about being joyful in circumstances.
Day 4 — While praying in the morning, we got words from the Lord regarding “new grounds” and salvations. We headed out to the Boys’ Home, where we sang a Tagalog worship song (Mahal na Mahal Kita Panginoon) and Counting on God, with the chorus translated to Tagalog. We included actions for the boys, as they loved to dance. We then put on a skit about being special in God’s eyes, and Darren shared his testimony and gave a salvation call. We saw around 40 kids who raised their hands for salvation and we got to pray for all of them individually.
Later, we found out from Tontie (our host) that he had not met most of the boys before as they were relatively “newer” and so may have not had the chance to know Jesus yet. While we initially thought that the word about “new ground” was referring to a new home where PK and her team were just given permission to minister to that week; later we found out that we would not be able to visit the new home on our trip. It turned out that the prayer for “new ground” and salvations was linked and was pointing to these boys! Indeed God never fails!
Day 5 — On Sunday, we attended the Cornerstone service and had a great time of worshipping God as one body, followed by a sermon by PK. After the main service, we had a youth fellowship with the youths (Geners). We played some games, had lunch together, and then we had a time of worship. Shawn shared about the dreams and burdens that the Lord has placed in each of us and led us in an activity in which the Geners took post-its and wrote down their dreams and prayer requests and then pasted them on the floor. We all corporately prayed over the dreams and then challenged the youths to take home someone else’s post-it to keep praying over it. While praying, we received the word “run fast” and “acceleration” and prayed it into the group. Tontie then mentioned that acceleration is actually the group’s theme for the season. We also got to pray for each Gener individually.
Day 6 — As we left with a heavy heart, we bid goodbye and prayed for each of the staff at Marikina. It was indeed a memorable mission trip and even more so for me, given that it was my first mission trip. During the trip, there were many times that the team did not know if our sharing was appropriate. However, outreach after outreach, we have been hearing stories of how our sharing spoke to them in the midst of everything that they were facing. It is indeed encouraging and we could see that the Lord’s anointing is upon us!
The team had such big hearts that I believe we should all yearn for each and every day. Their personal testimonies will definitely be always remembered and will be eagerly waiting to see them when they visit Singapore!
Jia Jie, Marikina, Philippines
2 – 7 Dec 2016: INDO 06
Our mission team, consisting of 12 people, went to Yogyakarta, Indonesia from the 2nd to 7th of December. We ministered in LivingStone Church and Buah Hati Orphanage Pastoral Home. Many of us were going to the mission field for the first time; we were nervous yet excited and went with expectancy of what God was going to do in our time there.
On 2 Dec evening (Day 1), we went to Buah Hati Orphanage Pastoral Home, where the meetings, with the exception of the main service, were held. Our team leader, Angel, shared on prayer during their prayer meeting.
On 3 Dec morning (Day 2), we visited a bakso shop that was opened by a couple serving in the church, Wahyu and Anya, and Pastor Sister-in-Law, Elly. Our visit was a divine appointment because the owners were experiencing a spiritual attack on them and the shop as they felt worry, headaches and laziness despite the shop opening a month ago. The business had suddenly worsened and they have been having strange things happening in the shop house. There were suspicions that it was the work of black magic, a common occurrence in Jogjakarta. As we worshipped and declared His Lordship over the shop, joy came over Aunty Elly first. After doing a prophetic act, we declared words of multiplication, a hedge of protection, evangelism, peace and prosperity. The shop owners joined hands in prayer as our team leader narrated an open dream of multiplication to them and Matthew anointed them with oil, after which, Jasper presented them a seed offering from the team. Everyone was flowing with the Spirit; be it in worship, prayers or releasing prophetic visions.
The miracle happened right after we left; a lady had walked into their shop. The owners had just seen us off and had not cleared the tables, so they told the lady they were not open for business yet. However, the lady insisted that she wanted to order food and she was ok to take the food that was leftover but was still fresh; this is the first order. In the evening when both owners left the shop to attend our children party in the night, it was reported that there are 3 cars of guests coming to their shop. 1 car had parked far away and walked to their shop in order to have a meal. This had never happened before since their shop opening! On the same day after we prayed for the shop, even though it was opened for 4 hours, they made an income of 218 thousand rupiah; the highest they had since the spiritual attack! It’s a testimony that the spiritual heaviness in the shop was lifted. The next day during Sunday service, they gave testimony of the good report and the team, together with the owners, sealed the testimony by the blood of Jesus. On Monday, which is a full day of operations for the shop, the owners reported that even though they wanted to close shop at 10pm, there were still queues forming so they could only close the shop at 12am, earning 320 thousand rupiah that day! To Jesus, be the glory!
On the same night, we had a children’s party. Our mission team did a skit on the Prodigal Son. Aloysius, who acted as the prodigal son, came forward and shared about our identity in Christ. We went around praying for the kids and ministering the Father’s love to them by hugging them.
On Sunday morning (Day 3), we attended their main service. One of our team members, Matthew, shared a sermon on Hope. During the altar call, Aloysius was praying for a man and felt that he was not a believer yet. He led him in the sinner’s prayer and was saved that very day. Praise God! The next day, the man contacted the church and asked to be water baptised!
On 5/12 (Day 4), we did our first home visit near Mount Merapi. Weny’s husband had left her and refused to support her, leaving her to raise her two children singlehandedly. We prayed for financial provision and for her to thank God for the little things He has given. We shared visions and dreams regarding the sovereignty of God and the need to trust in His goodness. While ministering to her, Weny felt hope and joy rising within her, and we did a prophetic act by bringing her 2 children back to her again and affirmed to her that Christ in us, the hope of glory, and she should have hope as her 2 children are her hope for the future .
During our 2nd house visit, we met a family who was in debt. The mother, pressed for money, borrowed from their local money lender who charged exorbitant interest rates (similar to our loan sharks in Singapore). The family is on the run and her husband had rejected all his emceeing gigs due to fear and shame. Our team leader, prompted by the Holy Spirit, discerned that the lady’s act was not in submission to her husband and confronted her. Eventually, she was convicted and repented; the spirit of fear of lack and self-reliance was broken. She humbled herself and sought forgiveness from God and her husband. They reconciled and we prayed for wisdom to manage their finances to clear their debt. During our fellowship, we learned about their talent in music and their desire to serve in worship in church. A member in our team, Jie Hui, confirmed it through a vision she had. After encouraging the husband through a prophetic act, we left the family knowing that the family had received hope and joy!
On 6/12 our 5th day of ministry, we made an impromptu trip to our driver’s home. We only found out the day before that his daughter was diagnosed with brain tumour. His family were not believers and we saw this as an opportunity to share Christ with them.
We found out that his daughter’s head hit the ceiling when she was 5 years old and felt it was due to stress and anxiety that a tumour eventually developed in her head. A team member, Rystine, shared her testimony. She had a fall when she was younger and had epilepsy later on in her teens. She was healed after attending church. The daughter had pain at the back of her neck, where the impact was at 5 years old, hence confirming our hypothesis.
We declared victory over the sickness and His Name over the house. We found out that they have consulted the witch doctor thrice and hence, our team leader did healing and deliverance with the daughter. Shortly after, the black patch on the back of her neck began to fade. Even though she was still dizzy, she recounted feeling joy bubbling inside of her!
On our final night on 6/12 (Day 5), Jasper preached on the power of praise and worship as a spiritual warfare weapon. In the midst of the religious unrest against the Christians in Indonesia, we declared God’s plan for this nation. The Holy Spirit led us all to kneel down and cried out for the salvation of their nation because we believe repentance precedes revival in the nation. What a glorious night when the youths cried out in repentance for the sins of the land and the heavens were ‘shaken’, the word that Pastor daughter Sis Raissa received on 7/12 early morning when we were departing to airport for home .
This trip has been an eye opener for me despite it being my 2nd time to Indonesia. God has certainly moved powerfully in our short time here. There has been much unrest and shakings in this nation against the Christians, especially in the capital. No matter how bleak the news seem to report regarding Indonesia, we strongly believe in its destiny and calling in God.
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.
Indeed, whatever that was meant for evil, God can turn for good in the land of Indonesia. God is not done with Indonesia, until the day she reaches the fullness of her calling.
Low Hui Juan, Jogja, Indonesia
CHI 03: 1-13 Aug 2016
In the months leading up to the trip, the team felt that God wanted to break through in the lives of the people of Guangxi. Thus, we decided on the theme “超越”, or “transcend”, for the youth camp that would be held from 4th to 6th August. We believed that God is going to bring greater breakthroughs in the lives of His people in Guangxi and set them free, transcending above their circumstances, their limits and to step into the destiny and calling that God has prepared for them.
Right from the start, God dared us to believe for more; to dare to dream of bigger things even as God brought about a miraculous increase in attendees, bringing the total number of campers to approximately 70, almost double that of the previous year’s. This was an outcome none of the team members had thought possible, but God is truly a God of the impossible. The youth camp was held over a period of two and half days, consisting of 5 sessions and various other activities. The 5 sessions were anchored by both members of the team as well as two local leaders.
Throughout the 5 sessions, the Word given by God impacted the youths as they learned to be secure in their identities as beloved children of God. They contemplated their motivations even as they grabbed hold of dreams which were once broken, but now restored by God. The last day of camp had a particularly powerful time of worship, as God’s thick presence fell upon the room and many had a personal and intimate encounter with God. Moreover, testimonies poured forth every night, especially on the last day of camp, greatly encouraging both the local body and the team.
The camp was largely headed and organized by the local team of leaders, a first for them. We had the privilege of seeing how God had raised them up and brought them into greater areas of ministry and responsibilities; we are anticipating for more!
*images have to be blurred for the safety of the congregation
In our time of preparation for the trip, God also impressed upon our hearts to reinforce the lessons of the fruits of the Holy Spirit that were taught to the kids in Sunday School. Hence, we decided to use the “Fruits of the Holy Spirit” as the theme of the children’s camp which was held during the second week of our trip.
The children’s camp was held over 3 days, with praise and worship, lessons and worship art as well. The lessons were taught by different members from both the Singapore team and the local church. It was accompanied by either a game or craftwork to reinforce their learning. We also had a live skit at the start of each day to exemplify the fruits of the Spirit in practical daily situations that the kids would be able to understand.
On the second day, we had a few kids coming up to share their testimonies followed by a salvation call. What an amazing joy it was to see many kids coming forward to give/rededicate their lives to Jesus! Among the 41 children attending the camp, 11 were newcomers of which 10 accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior for the very first time!
Another memorable segment was worship art, where we would play some soaking music in the background at the end of the day while we encouraged the children to draw on a piece of paper what God is speaking to them. Throughout the 3 days, we witnessed how God spoke to the children. By the third day, even some of the newcomers who did not know what to write/draw initially now had so much to write/draw.
Throughout the camp, the children displayed such hunger for the Word of God. Even as we taught on the fruits of the Holy Spirit, we ourselves were inspired by the earnest desires for the things of God. Members of the team who had been to Guangxi previously were also particularly encouraged by the growth that they see in some of the older children and how they’ve come to a greater level of intimacy in their walk with God.
Andrew Chong, Guang Xi, China
Phi 06: 31 Oct – 5 Nov 2016
The God of Small Things (Dental Missions)
By Joanne Hioe
You wouldn’t have guessed the person looking at your teeth, dressed in scrubs, would be half of a modern-day Priscilla and Aquilla – until you’ve met Jeremy and Ker Shin. This couple with the beautiful smiles love God, love missions, and best of all, they aren’t afraid to deal with life’s realities of head-on – such as pulling teeth.
Both dentists, who met at university (though they were not seeing each other at the time), regularly commit their time to serving God in the mission field through their professional skill – dentistry. Their willing hearts have brought them from Surabaya, Indonesia, to Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and most recently, to Santiago, in the Philippines.
“What impact can a short-term mission trip make?” ask many medical professionals, especially as one-time treatment for chronic diseases may do more harm than good. But for Jeremy and Ker Shin counter one question with another: “If I can help one person, why not?” Dental missions can still make a positive difference, the couple affirms, because what you see as a small investment may be of great help in the long term.
“There are people we serve in Cambodia who tell us that the last time they had a dental checkup was when we went one year ago,” said Ker Shin (possibly more often than many Singaporeans…).
Ministering as part of the larger body of Christ
For the duo, the experience of Bless Santiago was unlike any other. First of all, this massive team of 80 meant a greater capacity to reach out together. Unlike previous trips, where teams were sent out specifically for dental missions, Bless Santiago put the dental team in close contact with other ministries in the church. “The hands and legs team was amazing,” enthused Jeremy. “We only needed to explain what had to be done in the sterilization room in the morning, and by evening it was automatic.”
Each of the “body” complemented the other. With cross-ministry teams, the Singapore team could love the Filipino community in a holistic manner – body, soul and spirit. “Even while waiting for the doctor, the freedom ministry was on standby to pray for the patients,” Jeremy said. It helped to have the cheerful, irresistibly warm volunteers of the freedom ministry break the ice when a person in dental scrubs could appear intimidating.
In between moments of extracting teeth, there still were rewarding opportunities for dentists to minister Christ. “When we pray with them, we can share the gospel,” Jeremy said. Such spiritual deposits last longer than the effect of a checkup, because the person you share the gospel with will remember the work you have done later on, he added.
Going on mission trips helps Ker Shin rediscover her God-given passion for the profession – helping others, and education. “Going on mission trips helps me to remember the root of why I do what we do,” smiled the mother of two. Wanting to inculcate her passion for missions in her children, she is looking forward to bringing her elder six-year old daughter on a mission trip soon.
God is in the details – of teeth, children, and little seeds we sow for His kingdom. Nothing is too small for Him to use.
“I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow.”
– 1st Cor 3:6
What can I do?
Are you a dentist? Go! Given the technical expertise needed for dental missions, your willing hearts are most welcome.
You’re not a dentist? Don’t fret – there’s still much that you can do.
1. Public health.
With training, you can teach others the importance of oral hygiene and tooth-brushing techniques.
Oral hygiene is not highly valued in developing countries because of the urgent need for money to satisfy one’s day-to-day needs. On one particular trip, Ker Shin found that tiny toothpaste tubes they bought were out for sale in the market the next day. With your help, we can put a stop to this, and make oral hygiene a priority.
Dentists need far more equipment than doctors, including their chairs and tools. Thus far, Cornerstone has been supportive of the purchase of dental equipment. With your giving, it could go even further.
CAM 03: 3-11 Sept 2016
My team of five other members and myself landed in Cambodia on the 3rd of September 2016, which marked the beginning of a series of events that would leave an indelible mark on many of our hearts. Upon arrival, my team and I quickly took in the sights and smells of this new land before meeting the core leaders of a local church that Cornerstone is connected to for a prayer meeting. The prayer meeting saw a team of Cambodians eager to see God rain down upon their land. This got me excited about what would happen over the next few days; I was certainly not disappointed!
Our team of six people broke into two groups and went to different areas over the next few days; half of the team went to Solomon Independent School, and the other half went to visit Daughters of Cambodia.
Stella Kwan, a teacher on the Singapore team, was part of the group that went to Solomon Independent School. For three days, the team taught the students and trained the teachers. They also introduced Physical Education (PE) to them, which brought great delight to the little children. Being a seasoned school teacher herself, Stella was able to bring valuable insight as to how the school could be better structured so as to provide greater quality education to the children. While her contributions to the school were evident, Stella insisted that she was at the receiving end of the blessing. She recounts that “Phnom Penh has been a place of blessing; from having a cup of coffee while looking out into the green field, to hearing the sound of children strolling into class with their energized smiles. The children in Solomon Independent School are so naive and innocent, and are a grateful lot. They exuded a sense of contentment that was unfortunately uncommon in many Singaporean kids. I really enjoyed my time there with God in the midst of nature and also with the people of Cambodia, especially the children.”
While basking in the wonderful time shared with the children, the seasoned teacher was also able to quickly recognise the needs of the school and how Cornerstone Singapore could better assist them in the coming days. Stella noted that “while the Solomon International School has lots to offer, there seem to be many apparent and great needs too. For instance, while the teachers are doing their best to educate the students, they received little training, lacking the required expertise and knowledge as to how best to nurture the children using the existing resources. The brief time that I had with them made me aware of the need for a trainer to be on site during their school term for an extended period of time so as to better assist and support them in their teaching.” The work done in the past few days had undoubtedly improved the standard of teaching but we believe that more can be done and are excited to see how God will use this school in the coming days to touch the community.
Meanwhile, the other team visited Daughters of Cambodia, a ministry devoted to supporting those trapped in the sex industry of Cambodia, empowering them to walk free and start a new life. Those who were saved from the sex industry were given employment opportunities in their non profit businesses. Some of which included working in a factory that designed bags and handcrafts, and a café. I had the privilege of being a part of this team and to say the very least, it was one of the absolute highlights of the trip. For about four hours at a time, we would sit around and have the staff and volunteers come in one after another to share their prayer needs and praying with them. During the brief 10-15 minutes we had with each of them, Holy Spirit led the prayer, allowing us to minister to their hearts.
I was so excited when I heard what we were going to do because I have always wanted to release the heart of God to people accurately and see God move in the lives of the people around me on a consistent basis. However, when we finally got down to doing so, I had many fears about how it will turn out. And for as long as I felt the pressure to hear accurately from God, I simply could not do so, and it really frustrated me. Thankfully, I was soon reminded that the whole purpose of this ministry time is not about me releasing accurate words of prophecy, but about the people being ministered to and touched by the love of God. I have learned that at the end of the day, the goal is love and not performance.
That reminder radically changed my entire approach to the ministry time. Instead of focusing on receiving a word, my focus shifted to loving and caring for each person the same way I thought Jesus would. I began giving my fullest attention to each person I was talking to, and prayed for each of them by name. I realized that as when I chose to love and fully care for the person in front of me, the words naturally flowed. It seemed as though the temperature of love that I set in my heart was an ideal condition for God to put a small piece His heart in mine. Soon, I witnessed God touching the hearts of the people we were ministering to and healing their bodies.
One lady was healed from pain that she experienced in her ears for two weeks! Before prayer, she said that her ears would hurt whenever the wind brushed against her and that she would feel light headed and weak. After the prayer, she joyfully remarked that the pain had completely left her, no longer feeling light headed but she felt strength come into her! Seeing her face light up with such joy when she realized what God had done for her made me so happy! Another staff excitedly exclaimed that he got healed of a pain in his back that had been there for a long time. Many of the girls we ministered to shared with tears in their eyes about how the words that the team released spoke so much to them as it was the very thing their hearts were worried and concerned about. This experience taught me that love is really the foundation of the prophetic ministry; when we love, we will be able to move in sync with the God who loves, releasing the heart and power of God to the people around.
Jasmin Zhan, who was also part of the team who went to the Daughters of Cambodia ministry, felt that the time spent there was the most significant part of the trip for her. She recounted that “we prophesied, released inner healing, deliverance and the beauty of Jesus into their hearts. I was impacted by the hunger of the people who desired to hear from God with such simple hearts. It was an open heaven experience for me where impressions and visions from God just came one after another for His beloved children. I could not hold back the tears from rolling down my cheeks as I released God’s heart. I am thankful to God for being able to be His vessel that channels His love to my fellow brothers and sisters. This trip has taught me to put my confidence in God and not be afraid to walk in the supernatural.”
I am glad to share that through this trip, Jasmin was not the only one who had overcome the fear of walking in the supernatural. In fact, over 40 missionaries were trained and equipped to walk in the prophetic and to release the supernatural in their various spheres of life. My team and I spent the rest of our time in Cambodia with a group of missionaries from various ministries as we sat under the teaching of Pastor Dian who gave an in depth lesson about the prophetic and spiritual warfare. Through several sessions, many learnt about hearing God consistently and releasing the heart and power of God to the people around. The missionaries in attendance shared how grateful they were to have attended the training, and one of the attendees remarked that it was a wonderful, powerful and helpful session. During one of the sessions, all the participants were randomly grouped with people that they did not know and were asked to prophesy over each other. Many, including myself, received words of encouragement and were touched by God’s love. So many of us left the few days of training not just encouraged, but further equipped to do the work of the ministry.
We ended the trip back where we started – with the local church where Pastor Dian preached at the main service, where once again, many were encouraged and strengthened by the word.
Those few days in Cambodia seemed to have done so much in our hearts; learning more about the prophetic, breaking fear and other limitations that previously held many of us back from stepping out. There is so much that could be shared but suffice to say, I am so thankful to have gone for the trip and am tremendously blessed to have experienced and learnt what I did in my brief time there. Once again, what started as a desire bless the land of Cambodia turned out to have blessed me tremendously instead. God is just so good!
Compiled & written by
Cheryl Lek, Cambodia