True treasures are found in the Word of God. To equip families with materials to discover the treasures of God together as a family, Elvin and Esther Foong founded The Treasure Box SG.
There is a rabbit; he is very serious. So serious that he’s called Serious Rabbit. He goes to church with his friends and is very serious about taking notes during service. His favorite verse is “The joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Neh 8:10) Serious Rabbit is so serious about note-taking that he even created a sermon journal so that others can join him on this journey. He believes that note-taking and journaling help believers to internalize the Word and remember it better. It’s also a good way to record reflections.
Now, you can go to church with Serious Rabbit! The handy A5-sized sermon journal is now available at The Ink Room.
This sermon journal is one of the many projects launched by The Treasure Box. Founded by Elvin and Esther Foong, The Treasure Box SG offers products and services that let families discover the treasures of knowing and experiencing God together as a family, through worship, prayer and studying His Word.
One of their passion is to equip parents to build an altar to God through faith at home. The lack of family devotional materials that cater specifically to Christian families in Singapore was one of the reasons they started Treasure Box.
“We believe our first ‘church’ is our family; our first ‘ministry’ is to our spouse and our first ‘disciples’, our children,” the couple said. “Our vision is to see a new generation of families rise up who will impact their communities, their nations and the nations of the world.”
DOING FAMILY DEVOTION
Elvin and Esther, who worship at Community of Praise Baptist Church, found that many Christians do not have family devotion because they don’t know where to start and also because time is a constraint.
“Family devotion doesn’t need to have a fixed structure,” they explained. “It is what works for your family. Every moment can be a devotional time; you may not have time at night, but you might have time in the car on the way to school. However, we should still aim to have commitment and consistency through the setting up of a routine.”
They believe that when it comes to teaching lessons from the Bible, it’s important to relate to real life situations and inspire the child to apply what has been learned. Hence, the methodology for their family devotionals are based on four “R”s: read, reflect, respond and reinforce.
To “read” involves talking about a situation or a Bible verse, an anchoring content for the session. To “reflect” is to discuss and think about the content, relating to the child’s life experiences. Faith without actions is dead, hence “respond” is about how the child can apply what he has learned and start building a habit. Lastly, “reinforce” because saying it once is never enough.
Available on The Treasure Box SG’s webstore and at The Ink Room, their 10-week family devotional “The Fruit of the Spirit” specially written for ages 5 to 9 is a great way for parents to kickstart their family devotional time. Apart from illustrations and activities for the kids, the book also comes with a parent’s guide that contains step-by-step lesson plans for parents to lead the family in a time of devotion.
“Many Singaporean households are dual-income, which means both parents work,” says Esther candidly. “After a long day of work and helping our children with homework, we may be too tired to run through long devotional lessons. That’s why the sessions are planned for no longer than 15 minutes. The curriculum is also structured such that you only need to conduct three lessons a week.”
FAITH AT HOME
Married for 11 years, Esther and Elvin have two little troopers of their own, Phoebe, 6 and Nathan, 8, who have inspired them on this journey. Besides Faith At Home materials, Elvin and Esther are also songwriters and worship leaders—worship is a big part of their family’s daily life and Sunday nights are worship nights for the foursome.
“Our children love worship nights! We talk about a Christian song and what the lyrics mean. Then we each share our thoughts about the song. Then we worship! When we explain the song to our children, it gives them new meaning the next time they sing it,” they explain.
Many have the misconception that family devotion has to be structured, like a church service. However, it is actually free-flowing. “We want them to know that this family space is where they can be honest and vulnerable about their lives,” says Esther.
One signature parenting workshop that Elvin and Esther run is “Faith at Home: Why hould we and how to do ‘we’”. They share about what the Bible says about faith at home, about the current situation in Singapore and finally, a hands-on session on how to start and continue having family devotions at home. They wish to equip as many Christian families through this workshop so that the next generation can be deeply anchored in Christian values and be able to stand firm to a changing and confusing world.
HOW TREASURE BOX SG WAS BIRTHED
The Treasure Box SG was created out of obedience to God’s calling.
Despite not having designing skills nor connections outside of their church, Elvin and Esther trusted God to bring the different people to make things happen for this was His purpose for them.
“We felt the prompting (of the Holy Spirit). The important thing is the urgency of the hour and what kind of legacy did we want to leave behind?” They knew this was their assignment and that they were to fulfill what God had created them to do.
In June 2018, they had no idea what they were going to do, except to leave their jobs. Both of them were civil servants and Esther was groomed under the Future Leaders Programme—she was the valedictorian of her cohort of leaders.
After a few turns and God-appointed opportunities with the right people, The Treasure Box SG was birthed on August 9, 2018, as a gift to the nation of Singapore. The Foongs believe that without strong families, there will never be strong societies.
The Treasure Box SG champions the idea of faith at home and that parents are the primary spiritual caregivers for their children’s spiritual development—that should not be outsourced to anyone else.
“How parents model and live out their faith moment-to-moment will have the greatest impact on their children,” they emphasize.
Quoting Proverbs 22:6, Elvin and Esther encourage parents to teach their children in the way they should grow, to listen and understand their children’s thoughts so that they can engage their children better.
They point out that teaching faith at home is a personal and intimate moment within the family, and parents should not be afraid to talk to their children about who God is. Instead of being patronizing or religious, the Foongs encourage parents to let the children see that the journey of faith with God is personal and relational.
Check out The Treasure Box’s range of products at The Ink Room at City Harvest Church at Suntec on weekends. Or head to their website: https://www.thetreasureboxsg.com/