Building God’s House Amid the Pandemic
COVID-19 notwithstanding, Trinity presses on with building Trinity@Adam and Trinity@Choa Chu Kang.
Trinity@Adam is to be place where many will encounter God and experience transformation. The redevelopment project started following ground-breaking on April 25, 2018. Trinitarians are eagerly awaiting for the new stained glass facade to be completed and be as iconic as the old one.
God’s timing and provision made Trinity@Choa Chu Kang possible, and it is envisioned to be a lighthouse in the west, reaching out to the heartlands. Ground-breaking took place on December 5, 2020 and anticipation is building from Trinitarians.
With the building projects of Trinity@Choa Chu Kang underway and Trinity@Adam nearing completion, we interview two board members, Phillip Choo and Wong Ming Fai, overseeing the respective building projects to get an update on progress and what Trinitarians can expect once the buildings are completed.
COVID-19 has affected the construction industry everywhere. How has COVID-19 impacted our building progress and design considerations?
Ming Fai: Like many other projects, Trinity@Adam’s construction was complicated by COVID-19, as the project had to deal with the impact of circuit breaker, closing of borders, and also strict Safe Management Measures required at the worksite.
The design of Trinity@Adam was completed before COVID-19 hit and we thank God for the foresight of planning our halls and facilities with a spacious feel.
Phillip: We were six months into planning and designing Trinity@Choa Chu Kang when COVID-19 started, and the uncertainty of the pandemic impacted both the timeline and design of the building. We thank God that we were able to secure an able contractor to partner with us to keep construction cost reasonable amid the uncertainty.
We also learnt quickly about safe management measures and incorporated them to ensure good natural air flow in the common and fellowship areas as well as good ventilation systems.
Why is it important to build God’s house considering how COVID-19 has changed the way we gather?
Ming Fai: While we thank God for technology, it is not a substitute for God’s original intention for community. Worshipping at home can be challenging with the many distractions such as the laundry that needs to be done and children running around. Consequently, I sensed a gradual eroding of the honor for God during our Sunday service time at home.
I was so glad when we were able to get back to church for service. The focus we can have on God, the vibrant worship atmosphere, and the people we are able to meet. Beyond having a physical space to meet regularly, it’s also God’s commission to make disciples. The house of God is where new believers can come, be connected and discipled.
Phillip: Hebrews 10:25 says “not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
Giving up is the abandonment of hope. As unpredictable as COVID-19 is, I have faith that the kingdom of God will continue to expand, and a physical place where the church can gather will remain an important feature along with a virtual church. You can see the excitement when on-site services are resumed as society needs the physical interaction to encourage good spiritual and mental health. We must continue to build God’s physical church to cater to the spiritual needs of the community.
Given that Trinity@Adam has a rich history and legacy, are there efforts to integrate what we had before into this new building?
Ming Fai: For many years, Adam was referred to as “the church with the stained glass”. We thought hard about how to retain that identity of having a stained-glass yet balancing the look of a modern building that will last for future generations. It’s heartening to have Trinitarians working together to retain the identity and legacy of Trinity@Adam. Through a competition opened to Trinitarians, we received a design that fit the bill and we will continue to have the four glass panels that depict the four cardinal truths that we hold on to as an Assemblies of God church.
What are the key features of Trinity@Adam and Trinity@Choa Chu Kang that Trinitarians can look forward to?
Ming Fai: I definitely look forward to seeing the stained glass!
Trinitarians can also look forward to more spacious and conducive spaces to worship in. Some of us would remember our experience of sitting on the removable plastic chairs in the sanctuary, worshipping in the classrooms for language ministries and navigating the narrow corridors to get to places such as DiscoveryLand.
And for those who recall the anxious experiences of reverse parking down the ramp of Trinity@Adam’s basement carpark, there is good news. There will be plenty of basement parking.
Phillip: Trinity@Choa Chu Kang is situated in the middle of HDB apartments of about five years old and surrounded by many young families. It is also conveniently placed to cater to the upcoming Tengah new town, a mega HDB development where the key features will revolve around nature and the community, to create an endearing town where future residents can experience being “At Home with Nature*.”
We wanted the building to have a welcoming feel that will blend in nicely with the community. It will have its distinctive features but will not be out of place. Nature and landscaping will play a key part in the building. As with Trinity@Paya Lebar and Trinity@Adam, we hope to see this building as a landmark in the west.
Trinity@Choa Chu Kang will have facilities and services to cater to the whole family. In addition, we have adequate fellowship areas for groups to hang out – think “meeting place” of the old Adam building and “PL courtyard”. There will also be five key features in the building that will tell of the story of God’s faithfulness, and well, I cannot be revealing too much now, can I?
Any fun facts to share with us?
Ming Fai: We spent a fair amount of energy deciding how many cubicles, urinals and wash basins are needed for our toilets. We even visited the toilets during our meetings to determine the dimensions of the cubicles, as we were trying to balance between having spacious cubicles and having enough cubicles.
Phillip: Do you know we will have a cycling path linking Trinity@Choa Chu Kang with other parts of the estate? And we will also provide bicycle parking as well as shower facilities so that means you will be able to cycle to church and be refreshed for service.
Finally, could you share with us some of the God-moments you had serving on this building project.
Ming Fai: When I was given the task of the Adam building project, I felt very inadequate as I did not have any experience with construction projects. Many times, I felt overwhelmed and stressed by the demands of the project. God led me to 1 Chronicles 28:20, and encouraged me to be strong and courageous, that He will not fail me or forsake me “until ALL the work for the service of the temple of the Lord is FINISHED.”
That has been the promise that I’ve held on to – despite the challenges of unchartered waters and COVID-19, God will enable the completion of Trinity@Adam.
Phillip: My background is not in property or building construction and there are times I lack the knowledge and experience to move the project forward. The building project is progressing well only because God has sent capable and experienced individuals in the industry with a heart to serve God in the project. Danny Yeo, Pastor David Chng, Bernard Quek, Jason Teo, Jenny Ku, David Leow, KT Ng, and others – each has played a part as the extension of God’s hands in the project for which I am very grateful.
Amen! Thank you both Ming Fai and Phillip for serving the Lord in such a capacity. Trinitarians, let’s partner with God and use our time and talents to build His house so that more lighthouses can be built for people to encounter God and experience transformation.
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