Two Individuals, Two Millennium Apart, One Easter Production
RESTORED, an original modern period drama, premiered on Maundy Thursday at Trinity@Paya Lebar. During the six live presentations and a concurrent children’s program, more than 8,500 people came to encounter God in ways unimaginable.
By Sarah Han
Based on True Stories
It all began with a man named Jimmy Ong who had everything – including a beautiful family and high paying job – but lost it all. His wife walked out on him with his daughter. Then he lost his job. Finally, he lost his son to cancer in 2004.
This was the true story told in RESTORED, Trinity’s modern period drama that premiered from April 14 to 16, 2022.
Jimmy’s life, as portrayed through the character Alex, was in absolute shambles. Yet, he was not alone. Parallel to his circumstance was the life of Jairus. Jairus, who lived in Jesus’ day, also experienced his world come crashing down at the death of his beloved daughter.
In the drama, Alex’s son Lucas brought the love of Christ to his father. Despite his own battle with cancer, Lucas reminded his dad that because of the cross, there is always hope.
This really happened when Jimmy’s son was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2003. In his final days, he reminded his father that Jesus loved him. No matter what happens, Jesus was with Jimmy.
Ultimately, both Jimmy and Jairus experience amazing restoration. Jesus raised Jairus’ daughter back from the dead. Jesus also restored Jimmy completely. Now a Trinitarian with a personal relationship with Christ, he has a brand new life and two more sons.
Being on the backstage crew as a makeup artist, I had a view that the audience never saw – many rehearsals, early reporting times, and a deep desire for God to use us so that we could see many come to the kingdom of God.
Even with the last curtain call, it wasn’t over. The cast continued backstage to pray for the salvation of different ones. That touched and impacted me.
That’s what made hearing stories such as the following special:
At the Friday 10am RESTORED presentation, Charis Chong, a university student, saw her friend come to Christ.
Charis and her friend are in the same university course, but if it wasn’t for being assigned to the same group project this term, they would have never met. One day while taking the train together, Charis mentioned her church, and her friend expressed an interest in knowing more. Talks about Jesus began.
If it wasn’t for being assigned to the same group project this term, they would have never met.
Charis shared about God’s restoration in her life. Even though her friend was hesitant about visiting church, Charis prayed fervently for open doors in the run-up to Trinity’s Easter live presentation, RESTORED. When seat bookings opened, she was pleasantly surprised when her friend said “yes” to attending.
On Maundy Thursday, the Lord spoke to Charis that her friend would receive Christ the next day. But Charis wondered, “Was that just my own wishful thinking?”
On the day of the presentation, her friend experienced God’s presence and was touched by those passionately worshipping Him around her. That day she received Jesus into her heart!
Melanie Tan, Area Two, also testified,
“One day after school at the playground, my son asked me to arrange a playdate with his classmate, whom he had been wishing to invite to church.
This gave me the opportunity to meet his classmate’s mother, and later, she gave permission to her son to attend Humphrey’s Quest, Trinity's Easter children's program. There, my son saw his friend raise his hand to accept Christ.”
These salvations are just two of the 319 decisions made for Jesus last weekend among a total of 1,262 first-time visitors across our Easter live presentations and concurrent children’s program, Humphrey's Quest. This would have not been possible without the work of the Holy Spirit and the prayers that went their way.
A Family Affair
Families who came to Trinity@Paya Lebar for this year's Easter live presentations
Many families came to watch RESTORED, but did you know that families were serving behind the scenes as well?
Serving together with me was a father and son duo – Jeffrey Tang, sound volunteer and his son Joshua Tang, a cast-member acting as a Pharisee.
For Jeffrey, a senior manager in IT Systems, serving in Trinity’s productions yearly is something he has done since 1987! His heart to give the Lord of his time and talents impacted his son to serve the Lord with his gifts too.
While serving together, they bonded differently from how they would at home. Through RESTORED, both felt it deepened their faith in Christ. They could relate to Alex and Jairus and were reminded of how God was faithful to their family no matter what seasons they had traversed through.
Two Architects, One Vision
The stage design for RESTORED was half-modern, half-ancient to accommodate the drama’s modern-historical plotline. It required skilled stage designers who were up to the task.
Jonathan Tan, a Trinitarian and an architect of urban design, felt a prompting to sign up for the Props and Sets team for this year’s Easter live presentations despite having no experience in stage design.
Little did he know that Shaunice Ten, another Trinitarian and fellow architect, had the same prompting.
Both were approached by Trinity’s Creative Ministry to build this year’s stage-set. They agreed without hesitation, knowing this was a God-ordained opportunity.
When asked about challenges faced, Jonathan said,
“I definitely questioned if I was capable enough to do this. Shaunice and I started every working session by praying and committing the works of our hands and time to Him, trusting Him to guide us in this process. It was really God’s wisdom and His inspired creativity that allowed us to solve design problems through His empowerment.”
“Though I had a lot on my plate that season, it was moving to see everyone come together to make the production work. Our goal was to see many catch a glimpse of God’s enduring love for all.”
More Than an Easter Presentation
RESTORED was more than an Easter presentation. It was a platform for more than 8,500 believers and pre-believers to encounter God in ways unimaginable.
Brother Samuel Leong, Creative Director and Production Manager of RESTORED, said,
“One of the most rewarding moments for me was seeing all the departments and volunteers involved come together to pray. People prayed for God’s covering and protection over one another, and they also prayed for the salvation of their friends and families."
People prayed for God’s covering and protection over one another.
"There were many days and nights sown into preparing for the presentation. It really touched me to see how everyone gave their best effort. Actors asked for additional practices on their own accord, and makeup and costume teams reported as early as 5:30am just to prepare for each day’s shows. They would often be the last ones to leave.”
Lead Pastor Dominic Yeo commended RESTORED, saying,
“Powerful presentations, great turn-out, and awesome responses to the Lord throughout our Good Friday and Easter presentations. Heaven is rejoicing for those who have been found by the Lord and those who have returned to the Lord!”
Heaven is rejoicing!
We thank God for beautifully orchestrating Easter this year at Trinity, including placing each of us at the right place and right time for a higher calling – to redeem what was lost. Today, we rejoice because many have been restored to perfect wholeness in Christ Jesus.
About the Author Sarah, older of two sisters, Trinitarian since birth, serves in Campus and Creative Ministry. Loves chilling at cafes.
Reflect & Respond
Which character in RESTORED could you relate most to? In what ways has God restored you that you can thank Him for?
Easter may be over, but the Power of Christ that transforms, reforms, and restores is just as real now as it was 2,000 years ago! Invite the Holy Spirit to fill your heart with this blessed assurance today.
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