Discovering Hope in a Home Away From Home
Singapore is home to many expatriates who may long for community. Hailing from Indonesia, Shireen found herself continuously drawn to Trinity, a home where she experienced God’s hope and faithfulness.
By Shireen Kriplani
Growing up in Indonesia, I had the privilege of visiting Singapore multiple times for various reasons, from leisure to medical to work trips.
I first attended services at Trinity Christian Centre (TCC) with my sister during her university days when she was part of Trinity’s campus carecell. Other times, I visited TCC with my cousin, who also studied in Singapore.
As a young working adult sent on work trips to Singapore, weekends could be lonely, and I often felt homesick. A colleague of another faith would drive me to TCC, attend the service, and drive me back just because it meant so much to me. I was astonished that God really does move hearts and turn situations around for us to be in His house.
My Mother's God-Encounter
When my mother was diagnosed with cancer in 2008, I accompanied her to Singapore again. She was devastated about the diagnosis and the long stretch of treatment needed. I brought her to a Sunday service at Trinity@Adam, and at the altar call for healing, my mom responded. I prayed alongside her as one of Trinity’s pastors laid hands on her.
Something shifted during that time of prayer. My mom recounted she felt God's hand covering her, and His peace overpowered all her fears. She experienced God as Immanuel – God with us. It was there my mom poured out her heart before God and her burdens were lifted. She completely surrendered her life to Him, knowing she was not alone in facing this challenge.
Today, she has been cancer-free for 13 years. I am so grateful for my mom’s encounter with God at Trinity that day, where she was inspired to draw all her hope and strength from Him.
A New Family
Six years ago, my husband Richard and I embraced the opportunity to re-locate from Jakarta to Singapore. We prayed that God would lead us to the right church, and I could not help but think of TCC, the church that was my "home away from home.”
Within a few Sundays of relocating to Singapore in 2015, Richard and I met a friend who introduced us to a Connect Group (CG) in Trinity. Although we were from a smaller Assemblies of God church in Indonesia and TCC’s size seemed daunting, God gave us such a beautiful connection with this CG (Estella Gardens) where we experienced a warm welcome and found a sense of belonging.
Having a young child and living away from family support comes with its challenges, but we had a CG that was very accommodating and friendly – a truly kind-hearted and fun-loving bunch! Our CG leader and spiritual parents always kept the atmosphere vibrant. Friday nights were ”family reunions” that we always looked forward to.
Along the way, our CG leader moved to another country, and there was an opportunity to fill in as CG hosts. We had been so blessed by our CG, so Richard and I felt led to open our home for CG gatherings. Even though we were renting a one-bedroom apartment, we managed to make room. Members gave us extra chairs, and we shifted furniture around for the setup each Friday.
Not An Accident
As I reflect on some of my life’s most lonely and difficult transitions, God provided TCC – a church home where I found hope. No matter where I was, God used this church to remind me He had never left my side.
Today, we are a family of four with two wonderful boys aged seven and two. This year, Richard and I transitioned into a new CG (TP857) made up of young families so that our kids could grow up spiritually alongside us.
It is no accident He brought me back to Trinity six years ago, where I can share this special community of faith with my children and see them being blessed. As they grow, I do too as I branch out to volunteer in new Ministry Expressions.
As we made a point to be planted in God’s house, He sent angels – ministers and Trinitarians alike – to welcome, encourage, and be there for us – that's what church is all about.
Reflect and Respond
In this midst of changing seasons, how has the Lord used the church to be an anchor for you and your family?
Do you know someone feeling isolated? How can we show up for those who are down and include them in our family of faith?
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