The church opposite former Keat Hong Camp
The former Keat Hong Camp was where national servicemen collected their soldier uniforms, caps, socks, belts and boots. As I stood at the worship hall of Christian Gospel Mission and looked out across Choa Chu Kang Avenue 1, I saw a large spacious bare land. Keat Hong Camp had been flattened. In its place, the Housing Development Board will be building thousands of apartment units. The harvest is coming to where the church is.
The Christian Gospel Mission, which first began in Jalan Cheng Hwa in Bukit Panjang, had relocated here, and has remained here for decades now. It is part of a stretch of shop-houses opposite what was once Keat Hong Camp. They are a church, a kindergarten and a student care center. They are Mandarin-speaking but the children of the original church congregation, have grown up and are mostly effectively bi-lingual. They are about 70 members and with a good mix of young and old and middle-aged. They have a new pastor, a former teacher, and he has taken over from his father, Choo Fah Chong. He is pastor Kevin Choo and he preaches the message of radical grace. The church is currently adjusting well as they sit under teachings that bring a new perspective to the outworking of the Christian life.
The unique thing about this church is that besides being “grace-based” and bi-lingual, the church’s Sunday service has an interesting format that my Christian education director would have been proud of. After the singing, the offering and announcements, the church would break into discussion groups after the pastor gave them some directions. The fruit of the discussions of each group would then be shared, and the pastor would teach the word, using and referring to the input as he delivered the message. This is learning that is interesting, engaging, interactive and dynamic.
Since I was a guest preacher they did the usual traditional order of service. I had an interpreter Joseph, who translated my message for the congregation. I spoke about “God’s Love Tattoo”. One of the sermon illustrations I used was about Teochew muay. It tickled them so much that I heard this Easter service they had that after the service. They have a retired hotel chef, so their Teochew muay must have been plus, plus. I brought along a friend, Euclid, who had been trained for a year in the School of the Supernatural in Bethel. He was a great help during ministry time when we prayed and prophesied over people who came forward with needs.They were friendly and hospitable and after the service, we lunched at a coffee shop nearby: Teochew muay…well almost.
Being equipped for a great mission
I left the place thinking of its potential: the congregation experiencing new beginnings in the gospel of grace; the vast numbers of new families that will have new beginnings in the apartment blocks that will be built within four years. For such a time as this, the congregation is being tutored and equipped in the truths of grace, and I pray the Lord’s word will prosper and bear fruit through their faithful stewardship of the gospel to the new harvest field in front of them.