In this testimony, which the church heard on Feb 26 and 27, Dennis and Doris Teo share how serving in Dialect service changed their perspective on life.
Dennis shared, “My wife Doris and I are both educators by profession and we have been worshipping in CHC for over 10 years.
“Before Church Without Walls, I was not involved in any ministry. The last time I served was over 20 years ago when I was still a youth. There was always this struggle because we get very busy with work, family, and we have many other commitments. The older I got, the more difficult it seemed to give God priority.
“Last year, I hit the lowest point of my life. I was so stressed out by long working hours. I had very little rest and became anxious all the time. I developed stress eating. My marriage and relationship with my family also deteriorated. I was in danger of losing the very things I had invested a lot of my time to gain. I lost all confidence in life. I became fearful about my life and future.
“But God is good and exceeding in mercy and grace. In my lowest valley, He gave me a verse, ‘Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.’ It was this promise that kept me going. Slowly but surely, the Lord rescued and restored me.
PARTNERING WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT
“During the Church Without Walls weekends, Pastor Kong talked about ‘finding a hurt and heal it, finding a need and meet it’. Those words captivated me. Strangely, it played in my head over and over again. I began to see images of the poor, the sick, the elderly, and the dying, and I was overwhelmed with immense compassion—something I had never felt before. The Lord then asked me, ‘What are you going to do with the time which I have given you?’ It was then that I decided to serve. I want to help the poor and needy.
“The ministry that I signed up for was the Dialect Ministry. Actually, to this day, I don’t understand why I chose the Dialect Ministry. I cannot speak a word of Cantonese and I know very little Hokkien. My Mandarin is also poor. But the Lord said to me, ‘It is not the language but the Holy Spirit who will draw people to the Saviour.’ Suddenly, it dawned upon me that as long as I have the Holy Spirit, I have more than enough. There is no need to ask for anything else.
“The Holy Spirit is really a great Helper. When I befriended the old folks for the first time, the Holy Spirit gave me the words to communicate with them. Enough for us to connect with one another. I would buy them food, sit down with them and listen to their stories. I came to realise that the dialect-speaking elderly are very lonely. The pandemic has made it worse for them as they can no longer socialise freely. They really long to go to church to experience the presence of God.
“Some of them shared about their fear of dying. I could relate to them because I had experienced those same feelings too. I shared with them the same Bible verses that encouraged and uplifted me during my dark days. The Holy Spirit then helped me to pray for them in my very limited Chinese. It was through that prayer that I realised how really hungry the old folks were for God’s presence.
“My prayer was answered because shortly after that, onsite services resumed. It is really amazing to see old uncles and aunties, in their 80s and 90s—some are blind, some are deaf, and some have weak legs, yet they support each other as they make their way to the bus pickup points to go to church service faithfully every Sunday. Despite all their lack, they are so happy in the Lord! There is so much that we can learn from them. The Lord is faithful to supply all our needs! Whatever I am unable to do, the Lord will send His people to help.”
THE HELP GOD SENT
Doris shared, “As I saw how fervent Dennis was in helping the elderly, I gradually joined him in serving at Dialect Ministry. I prayed for the old folks fervently during every visitation. When we needed help to bake cakes for them during Christmas, God sent my sister to bake for us on Christmas and even New Year! When we needed help to bring the elderly for an outing, God sent two sisters from cell group S65 to help us. During this time, the Lord even moved the heart of a community nurse to help us take care of the elderly when we bring them to church on Sundays. The Lord is indeed so faithful!”
Dennis added, “I was given three elderly members to visit when I started off. Now, my visiting group has grown to almost 10, with three newcomers. One of them is Uncle Yang Meng. At first, my wife and I wondered how to reach out to him because we have a language barrier. Uncle Yang Meng has also lost his sight since young. But we persevered on. We now know that love can be felt—it is the language of the heart.
“I am amazed each time I visit the elderly. They would tell with me excitedly how they are sharing Jesus with their neighbours and friends and encouraging them to visit CHC. It is so heart-warming to see how the Lord has given them such joy and the hope of eternity.
“When I look back on my experience in Church Without Walls, it dawns upon me how great and marvellous our God is. His goodness stretches far beyond our imagination. In serving Him, I have actually gained so much. In drawing nearer to Him, I have come to know Him more. This has made me more resolute to pursue Jesus for my entire life.”