Youths encouraged to pursue their dreams and reconcile with family at this year’s Festival of Praise 2010.
Contributed By Gideon Foo Ce Chao
On July 30, Friday, more than 11,000 Christians from 92 churches and Christian organizations in Singapore gathered together at the Singapore Indoor Stadium for the first in two nights of the Festival of Praise 2010. Founded in 1986 by Canon James Wong from Chapel of the Resurrection, FOP unites the body of Christ in Singapore with three fundamental objectives: to unite the Body of Christ in Singapore, to give thanks to God and pray for His blessing upon the nation, and to hear the Word of God and seek God’s direction for the new season. The theme for this year’s FOP is A New Day, A New Season. An apt start to the event was the opening video done by amateurs—a group of youths from Heart of God Church.
Popular Christian worship band from Australia—Planetshakers—rocked the house on the opening night with its contemporary praise and worship, tempered with mainstream rock and pop. With an atmosphere thick with excitement, the capacity crowd jumped and grooved with the vibe of songs such as “You Are Good All The Time.” The band stepped down to make way for Don Moen, a prolific singer-songwriter from America, who brought down the presence of God as he took centre stage with a song that the crowd knew well and loved, “God Will Make A Way.”
After the praise and worship segment, a music video put together by the youths of Heart Of God Church was screened. It depicted a teenage boy whose life is transformed after he discovers Christ. He takes to task to bring God’s love and reconciliation to his family.
| CN PHOTOS: Gary Sim, Michael Chan and Timothy Sim|
Sim Yi Hui, a representative from the Singapore Women’s Everest Team, comprising 6 women who scaled the world’s highest mountain in 2009, shared her experiences on overcoming challenges as a youth through hard work and discipline. She shared of how it took her five years of perseverance and determination in order to achieve her dreams. The crowd then prayed together for all the Christian youths in Singapore to make a difference in society by excelling in their studies and bearing a good testimony of Christ at home.
Invited guest speaker at this year’s FOP was Chè Ahn, the founder and president of Harvest International Ministry. Chè preached that the kingdom of God is righteousness, peace and joy as Jesus came to reconcile all man back to the Father. He recounted his childhood as one faced with racial discrimination growing up in America. As a boy, he suffered physical abuse from his father who was a pastor. As a result, he rebelled and turned to drugs to escape reality. Chè’s life took a turn after he came to know Jesus and subsequently forgave his father. His touching testimony on how God brought reconciliation to his family moved many in the crowd to tears. The altar area was filled with many who responded to the call of salvation.
In closing, Planetshakers took to the stage once again and led the crowd in praising God, culminating the evening on a high note. The crowd headed home, looking forward to coming back the following day, for the second night of FOP 2010.