August 9, 1965 marked the day that Singapore became an independent republic after it separated from Malaysia due to some social conflict and disputes. If Rome wasn’t built in a day, so was Singapore.
Singapore withstood severe crises in their early beginnings. Crunches on unemployment and housing arose. Life wasn’t easy for every Singaporean back then. However, that was fifty years ago. Singapore skyrocketed from the third world to the first. And that is just one of the reasons why Singapore @ 50 (SG50) was worth celebrating.
SG50 was a special day for all Singaporeans, naturally capping the day’s activities with sharing and merrymaking. It wasn’t just celebrated in Singapore but the whole world rejoiced with them too. “I will bless you…and so you shall be a blessing…and in you, all the families of the earth will be blessed.” (Genesis 12:2-3) God chose to bless Singapore, and now it has been a blessing to the Philippines particularly to JECPP.
Thus, with much gratitude, Evangel Family Church Cagayan de Oro celebrated SG50 during their Hearts on Fire Fellowship on August 9, 2015. The whole event dubbed a highly-spirited fellowship of more than 130 young people. It was an expression of gratitude towards God and to Singapore for allowing Evangel Family Church-Singapore to send missionaries to the Philippines. Likewise, it gave EFC CDO an opportunity to be appreciative to Pastor Andrew Kwong, Pastor Rowena Kwong and their daughter, Kristy, for leading the church and serving God faithfully.
“We have come to know God’s saving grace and experienced His love, all because someone was willing to follow God’s will and chose to be a blessing for others!,” said the young people.
The event kicked off with a dynamic and heart-moving praise and worship led by the Hearts on Fire music team. Thereafter, Pastor Vic Pacaña preached an encouraging message that stirred the hearts of the young people. He stressed Genesis 12:2-3 in his preaching,” I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”
Through history, God uses His people to build His Kingdom to do what needs to be done. We not only see His involvement in the lives of many Christians but also in Singapore as well.It’s amazing how God’s favor had been working to shape Singapore’s history. It served as a living testimony- a challenge for all Christians to believe in God’s power and favor to work in their lives too. It is really evident that the burden that God graciously placed in the hearts of EFC Singapore and all JECPP spiritual leaders is very much alive. And the church’s response as recipients of God’s goodness is to continue the work and courageously fulfill it with His grace.
After the preaching, everyone was up for the next surprise. Since it was Singapore’s day, two video presentations were prepared that was inspired by Singaporean short films. These videos portrayed the turning point and transformation of a student’s life, and how he found true purpose and meaning in life. After that, a short game was held where everybody was given the chance to participate.
Nearing the end, pictures of Pastor Andrew and Pastora Rowena’s missionary works in Cagayan de Oro were shown while a group of young people sang their version of Katina’s “Thank You.” Indeed, EFC CDO couldn’t thank God enough for the exemplary lives of their spiritual leaders. They were more than willing to obey God’s will and call to serve Him in the Philippines.
Pastor Rowena rewarded the two groups for their inspiring video presentations. Similarly, Pastor Andrew expressed his great joy upon witnessing the entire presentations and even commended the worship team and the staffs’ labor for preparing the delicious food and decorations to make SG50 a wonderful celebration.
Looking back 50 years ago, life wasn’t easy for every Singaporean and for Evangel Family Church CDO too. But by allowing God to shape and mold them, by having faith and courage to do His will, they can look forward to another 50 years of victories and breakthroughs.
The years ahead hold a great prospect and promise for Singapore and JECPP! To God be the glory!