As CHC members embark on an initiative to serve together, three cell groups ministered at recent JAMs and Dialect Church events.
Contributed By Dawn Seow
Project SK2, or Serve, Knit Together, was birthed from the concept that “a cell group serving together will bond together.” This program aims to encourage cell groups in City Harvest Church to serve collectively and in the process, forge stronger relationships with one another as well as gain valuable experience in ministry. City News spoke with two cell group leaders to find out their experiences serving in the Dialect Church and the Jesus For All Minds service for the intellectually-challenged.
Inspired by cell group W189 which served at Dialect Church one weekend, James Sin and his members from E468 decided to spend a day as JAMs volunteers, helping out at the Fun Fitness event at Anderson Junior College. “We were deeply stirred to serve God as a cell group,” shared Sin, who co-leads the group with his wife, Audrey Wong, 37, a sales executive.
Sin, 47, is a senior lecturer at a design school. He spoke of how one of his members, who had been serving in the JAMs ministry for over a year, introduced the idea of volunteering at one of their outings. The Fun Fitness event aimed to encourage special needs clients to live a healthy lifestyle through exercise, and also help integrate people with special needs into the community. After some arrangement with the ministry workers, 16 members gathered early on July 30, ready to serve as ushers and helpers.
For most of the cell group, it was their first time having any contact with children with special needs. Not knowing what to expect, their hearts were filled with anxiety. Amy Sng, 46, a homemaker, said, “Initially, I was afraid that I couldn’t handle them. I arrived early and managed to pray before the event started. When the children arrived in school by batches, I was relieved to see that while some of them were very quiet or hyperactive, most of the boys and girls were very warm and friendly. The smiles on their faces touched my heart. We slapped ‘high fives’ with one another, and some even hugged us.”
The children also inspired Sng when she saw how they put in effort to perform some of the exercise movements. “Even though it was only for a short time, it was still a great and awesome experience for me to be able to make a little difference in their lives.” Sng was not the only one who was touched by what she saw—other cell group members also discovered that it was so easy to shower the children with love because they were very responsive.
Besides getting to know the children, the members also witnessed the dedication of the JAMs workers. “I salute those who are serving the JAMs ministry. They demonstrate God’s love, patience and care by being a blessing to the JAMs members,” said Dawn Pang, 41, a logistics manager. Being involved in this event led to E468 members signing up to join the JAMs ministry.
Two other cell groups, W30 and S49, opted to serve the elderly members from the Dialect Church in September.
Dawn Lee, leader of cell group W30, shared, “We were inspired by Pastor Kong’s message during the Ministry Weekend and wanted to do something meaningful during our CG outings. We learned that Dialect Church was organizing block parties during the Mooncake Festival and decided to volunteer for the event.” The other cell group, S49, under the leadership of CHC’s deputy senior pastor Tan Ye Peng, together with W30, spent three nights celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival with the elderly residents from Bukit Merah View, Beach Road and King George’s Avenue.
The members served as facilitators at the block parties, leading the elderly in songs and games. They also distributed lanterns, mooncakes and refreshments to the elderly toward the later part of the night. Some members could not converse in Mandarin or dialect but that did not stop them from serving willingly and happily.
“For S49, many of those who came were serving for the first time in a ministry and that gave them a taste of what it was like to serve in church. W30 had 15 children aged 2 to 10 who came with their parents to serve, and it was such a joy to have the younger ones with the adults. After this, we intend to ‘adopt’ the estate and work together with the Dialect Church for future block parties,” added Lee.