Shermeen Phua, a member of City Harvest Church, had the vision to help women realize their destiny in God.
Festive seasons, like Christmas, Mothers’ Day and Chinese New Year, are usually spent with family. However, one group of women chose to reach out and bless those in society.
They are the Women of Destiny. A group started by Shermeen Phua, 54, a homemaker and her friend Rachel Chan, in her mid 40s, WOD is a place for women from different churches to gather and worship God.
“When I graduated from the School of Theology in 2013, I had a burden for women to have a place in society,” Phua shared. “Beyond being a homemaker or career woman, I believe women should have a voice. We can rise up and make an impact in the society, on our family and the people around us. As women, we need to know the destiny that God is leading us to.”
One of her team mates from SOT felt the same calling. They prayed and fasted over their vision and after three months, this group for sisters-in-Christ was born.
A BLESSING TO THE SOCIETY
The group first started blessing the community on Mother’s Day last year. The women gathered to bake cookies as a way to celebrate Mother’s Day. They packed the cookies into little packages and gave them away to the neighbors.
“We later brought our cookies to the mall and gave them out to strangers and shopkeepers who looked like mothers. Some of them were quite apprehensive at first but when we told them we just wanted to bless them for Mother’s Day, they were very touched,” said Phua.
During Christmas last year, the group visited Kampung Senang Elderly Daycare Centre for the Elderly and spent a day among old folks. They conducted art and craft sessions, sang songs and shared a heartfelt testimony with their beneficiaries.
“The staff told us not to share Jesus because some Christians did that before and the elderly folks were offended. But somehow, I could not share anything with the elderly without mentioning Jesus. I ended up sharing my testimony of how my parents came to Christ and how Jesus healed them. After my sharing, many elderly folks came to us asking for prayers! The staff was also very happy with our programme and asked if we could do it again,” said Phua.
The group conducted the same programme Lions Home for Elders in Bedok on Feb 6 and received the same positive response.
“I think we managed to share Christ in a non-threatening way and that made people more comfortable,” said Phua.
LADIES WITH A MISSION
“When we started in March 2014, we invited our friends from different churches to join us,” Phua recalled. “Sun (Ho, co-founder of City Harvest Church) met with us and we told her about our vision. She was happy with what we were doing.”
Phua’s vision is to help women find their destiny in Christ. “When women know their destiny, their lives will be more fulfilling and they will live confidently in Christ. They see themselves as how God sees them to be in Proverbs 31; they are not dictated by their circumstances.”
The group started with eight members and they meet on Thursday mornings for two hours, after which they have lunch and fellowship.
Two years later, Phua’s co-founder felt led to focus on the mothers in the group. As the group multiplied, Phua was not confident that she would be able to lead the group by herself. She turned to God in prayer and miraculously, some of those that she invited two years back called her up and wanted to join the cell group.
“It was so timely. Some of them were SOT graduates and they now form my core team,” said Phua.
Today, Phua leads 22 regular members and six visitors together with her other four core members. They meet on alternate Mondays mornings and keep in touch through their Whatsapp chat group.
“Each day at 10 am, one of the cell group members would share a word on the chat group. It could be a verse or could be what the Lord had been telling them.”
Phua said that the women the group have really grown spiritually and mentally. “Some of them came into the group with depression and challenges in their life. We prayed with them and walked them through their challenges; today, they have the capacity to comfort others,” she added.
Some of the members have also gone back to the workforce, “but this time it’s different,” said Phua. ” They now know their mission in God.”
Besides their regular meetings, the group also organizes cooking and baking classes, trips to Malaysia and even prayer meetings at the beach. They also do outreach programs like events with the old folks, and outreaches to underprivileged children in Batam.
“The women are growing spiritually and some of them are even thinking of starting a night cell group in their own church,” Phua shared. “I learned a lot from them, their commitment and their passion. They are the ones who spurred me and helped me to believe I can go the extra mile.”