New Ways of Caring and Connecting
While COVID-19 stopped churches from meeting in-person, it started a new culture of togetherness within the Chinese Ministry.
Trinity’s Chinese Ministry is a community that loves to be together. Whether it’s Sunday service, carecell meetings, or evangelistic events, every gathering is a celebration of love, life, and God’s blessings.
So when COVID-19 came to Singapore, its impact on the Chinese Ministry was quick and widespread. In a congregation made up of many elderly individuals, their health and safety were of utmost importance.
It was decided that March 21/22 would be the last weekend the Chinese Ministry would have on-site service. Coming together for carecell was also suspended until further notice.
A new way of staying connected
Though moving church online was the right thing to do, it took time for everyone to adjust. Pastors worked tirelessly to launch the online Chinese service on March 29. Carecell Leaders learned how to use Zoom and started hosting online carecells.
When the Circuit Breaker started on April 7, pastors and leaders worried about how these restrictions would impact their members. “We were concerned that they would become emotionally depressed because cannot go out,” shared Carecell Leader Aitee Koh, “The Core Group and I contacted their families and helpers to help them stay connected. I also often sent emails to their children to greet them.”
Members also had to be taught how to go online. For Leong Yen Ying (age 79), that meant buying a new phone and learning how to use Zoom. In spite of the challenges, her Carecell Leader (Alice Tay) was determined to help her.
“Instead of writing down the steps, I took photos of each step and pasted it onto a notebook. I also went to her home to show her how to log in. Each time she paused, I kept directing her back to the notebook. At one of the prayer meetings, she was able to log in herself, praise the Lord!”
For the annual Scripture-memorizing event, Wonderful was the ministry’s first foray into a fully-online experience. With the guidance of the pastoral staff, hesitation turned into enthusiasm when members saw what could be done through Zoom.
When the COVID-19 hit, we realized we had to change the way we do this event. It was no longer about testing knowledge. It had to be a showcase of talent – getting carecells to work together while delving deeper into the Word. Each carecell had to produce a one minute presentation of a verse of their choice and encourage as many members to be a part of it. This seemingly-simple task was challenging in so many ways. While we tried to make step-by step guides, we were not able to take of things like unstable connection (we found out later that some carecells to have to do numerous takes). Despite these things, it was heartening to hear how these things brought carecells closer together, revealed talents, and gave them confidence to come online. – Sister Mabel Yeong
When the pandemic made meeting face-to-face impossible, God reminded us that we should not stop meditating in God’s Word and coming together as a church. But is it possible when the majority of the congregation are seniors? With God’s wisdom and leading, almost 180 Trinitarians gathered on Zoom to poll, to have fun, and be connected with each other. We also created 25 videos based on Scriptures that God used to speak into our lives! We are so grateful that God has helped us to push through barriers. Now, we meet online for prayer meetings, to share Time Alone with God, and for testimony nights! – Elizabeth Lei
Carecell Leader Andrew Kwong also celebrates how far his members have come. “Though we were unfamiliar with YouTube and Zoom, we persevered and now every member is more familiar and confident. With God, all things are possible!”
A new way of sharing the Gospel
Although COVID-19 has changed the way the Chinese Ministry connects with oikos, it has not stopped Gospel from touching hearts and transforming lives.
From October 2 to November 6, the Chinese Ministry hosted their annual Blessed Party – a six-week Care Witness where carecells build relationships through food and games.
Having gained confidence from Wonderful, carecells and members invited oikos for their first fully-online evangelistic event.
Through fun games and a comedy sketch, 131 first-time visitors experienced the warmth of the community. They also heard the Gospel message with a series of videos and an interview with Pastor Kelvin Teo. Praise God for the 15 decisions made at the Blessed Party!
When I heard that our Blessed Party would be online, I had a lot of questions. Can it be done? How can we create a happy atmosphere when we can’t meet? Even though I was unsure, I started to pray for people to invite and God prompted me to ask a former colleague (Sally). During the Blessed Party, I could see that she was enjoying herself. At the end, she accepted Christ!– Thia Li Quin
When I attended the Blessed Party on October 2, I adopting a wait-and-see attitude with God. But when the event host asked who wanted to have God’s love and protection, I rose my hand without hesitation. Since coming into this big family of Christ, God has been molding me to be more patient. – Audrey Ng
In the past, it could be difficult to bring oikos to church. With COVID, the Gospel can easily go into people’s homes. There is no better time than this to bring the Good News to our oikos than now! – Pastor Wan Tat Liong
Connecting for Christmas
Currently, the Chinese Ministry is gearing up to host Christmas Parties from December 12-24. With five people permitted to gather in homes, members are excited to physically connect with oikos and share the hope of Christmas with them.
Pastor Christina Onn continues to cheer the Chinese Ministry on, confident that they will continue to be God’s messengers of love, life, and blessings. “As long as we are willing to care and connect, God can use us to turn this crisis into a spiritual revival.”
Reflect & Respond
Who can you share the Gospel with this Christmas season?
Who can you invite to a Christmas Premier Party this month?
Who can you invite to join our online Christmas Eve and Family Christmas services?