Interserve Singapore thanksgiving Report and Review 2016 was a glad tapestry of testimonies and thanks.
Our International Director, Bijoy Koshy, came for the weekend of visit and celebration. His visa was granted on time. He is a significant presence at this annual event. His life experience from volunteering to international leadership is itself inspiring. Our Board Secretary, Dr Eric Yap, and wife were his hosts, sealing our growing commitment in our global movement together. A thread, as Dr Eric said, is made up of small fragments twisted together. In Bijoy's reckoning, it is twisted through "mutual respect and submission, deep listening, and shared decision making”. Sharon, a returnee from overseas placement, albeit from a different organisation, volunteered to lead worship accompanied by a youthful guitarist. The room was filled with the praise of caring supporters: family members, church leaders, friends and volunteers.
Many are fresh faces adding to our growing mesh of fellow labourers joined in hands and hearts and one voice in glad praise for God's wonderful design for life. Our ND Christy stood up to share her Annual Report and Review. She was very grateful to God for her local staff team of volunteers enabling the ministries of On Track Missions, Friendship First Courses, Monthly Prayer Meetings, Vision Trips etc. Her weekly office supports a prayerful commitment to enable fellowship members of growing churches find their place of calling.
So today out of SG, our existing connections to the wider international Fellowship have real Singapore faces and lives represented in the Middle East, Central Asia, India and SE Asia through our partners. Sending fellowships are diverse: Methodist, Assembly of God, Evangelicals, Brethren, Church of Christ, Independents. However, the track is not a high speed rail. It is more like a human life line strung through forbidding places where few in Singapore have trodden.
Our Treasurer presented the financial cost of our enterprise. We are fully aware of our weakness. Yet we consider it all joy – persevering together with each person's commitment. God is sufficient! Woven into the report, one sister who has just returned from overseas shared her fresh experience. She lived with a Middle Eastern family, and plans to be posted there again. We also heard from a brother who was due to leave for a refugee relief ministry in Lebanon. Both have been on a Vision Trip last year.
At the back of the hall was an art installation depicting the Arabic word for LOVE formed with photographs of a youthful bunch in Jordan. Yet another wide board of photos confronted us with life in Afghanistan – a new reality for one of us.
Then we wrapped up our thanksgiving report by adjourning for tea refreshments in chat groups touching on various interests, and the tapestry continues to be woven… The silent team sacrificially labouring behind the scene through all the administrative and logistical help they gave, adapting swiftly to changes, formed the back part of this beautiful tapestry. For a while, we were in awe, seeing the hand of God at work among us. The tapestry is unfinished. In 2017 more broken bits will be expectantly woven into His grand design.