It has been one year since our visit to Elim Kairos Church in Berastagi for their first G12 Conference. This year, Pastor Simon and Pastor Marilyn led a bigger team of 30 FCBC members to attend the second G12 Conference and to minister to the community in Berastagi.
Day 1: Arrival and First Day of G12 Conference
Upon arrival in Berastagi, the Elim Kairos team hosted lunch for the Singapore team. Pastor Simon shared from Matthew 14 to encourage the Berastagi team, who has been working very hard preparing for the conference. In Matthew 14, we saw how Jesus was affected by the death of John the Baptist as He withdrew alone to a private place to be in God’s presence. Discouragement is a spirit that can rob us of our joy in the Lord. No matter the crisis, Pastor encouraged all to come into God’s presence to draw strength from Him. Despite the loss of John, Jesus received strength from being in God’s presence to continue His ministry.
After Pastor’s sharing, the Singapore team released words of encouragement and ministered to the Elim Kairos team.
Pastor Simon and Pastor Marilyn praying for Pastor Ezra, Pastor Janice and the Elim Kairos team.
At the first night of G12 Conference, Pastor shared that the G12 Vision is based on the promise that God gave to Abraham in Genesis 12. The Vision is not a system or a method. It is a Vision that inspires disciples to be fruitful for God’s Kingdom. As an individual, the G12 Vision empowers ordinary disciples like you and I to win the lost. At the family level, the Vision raises women to partner their husbands to serve as a team and also focuses on building the next generation. At a corporate level, the Vision mobilises the entire church to multiply and bring healing to the multitudes. At the national level, the Vision aims to transform cities and nations. The Vision empowers God’s people to take authority and destroy the works of the enemy, to redeem and reclaim the inheritance taken from us, to allow God to restore His purpose on Earth and usher in the reign of our returning King Jesus. This is a powerful Vision that will shake Heaven and Earth if we commit ourselves fully to it.
Pastor Simon sharing the power of the G12 Vision!
Day 2: Meeting with Local Pastors and G12 Conference Finale
Pastor Simon and Pastor Marilyn met with a team of Pastors from Medan, Batam, Berastagi and other towns, to impart to them the G12 Vision and the passion in winning souls. He reminded the leaders that they have to bless their nation and government so that their country can be transformed. One of the pastors asked why local churches are not growing. Pastor Simon pointed out that the church and the leaders could have lost their intimacy with God. This is the age of professional churches and pastors. Many churches exist for believers and they have put aside their call to seek the lost. Pastor Simon urged the pastors to help their congregations embrace their call to win souls so that they would become vibrant and flourish as God intended for His people.
Pastor Simon sharing that the heart of the G12 Vision is “Passion for Souls”.
In the afternoon of Day 2, Pastor Simon continued to share the G12 Vision and the four things to possess in order to have an enduring mission. We need to renew our inner life, renew our relationships with our loved ones, renew our purpose and renew our existing structures. Pastor also invited his 12 to share about their journey in the G12 Vision. At the end of the service, the Singapore team ministered and prayed for the Elim Kairos congregation.
Pastor’s 12 sharing their journey in the G12 Vision.
In the evening, the finale of the G12 Conference was held at Sibayak Hotel in a joyful atmosphere of celebration. Everyone enjoyed a wonderful time of worship, where people felt the liberty to dance freely before the Lord and one another. After worship, Pastor Simon invited Edmund and Mun Lan to share their testimony of God’s miraculous healing with the congregation.
Edmund and Mun Lan shared a wonderful testimony of how God healed Edmund after he suffered a stroke.
Pastor Simon shared a powerful message on how to have great faith based on the story of the woman of Canaan who sought the Lord persistently for the healing of her daughter who was demon-possessed (Matthew 15:21-28).
Pastor Simon and Pastor Marilyn sharing with the congregation at Sibayak Hotel.
The four important traits of someone with great faith are they would not give up and pray unceasingly, they would be persistent in prayer, they would be patient as they wait for God to answer their prayers, and even when their faith is tested, they would not be aggressive and impose their rights, but handle the situation with politeness. Truly, there is so much to learn from this gentile woman who impressed the Lord with her great faith!
After the service, the Singapore team had the opportunity to minister to the congregation.
The Singapore team ministering to the congregation.
Day 2: School Ministry
Visiting a Junior High School
Ten of us visited SMP Negeri 1 Berastagi Junior High School during their morning assembly. There were about 300 to 400 students aged between 13 to 15 years old.
The Singapore team visiting SMP Negeri 1 Berastagi Junior High School during their morning assembly.
Patrick, one of Pastor Simon’s 12, shared a timely message titled “Diligence is a Key to Success”. He cautioned that we may have dreams but it will not materialise if we are lazy and fail to take action. To be successful, we need to be diligent, persistent and exercise care in all that we do.
Patrick sharing with the students that diligence is the key to success.
As their exams were approaching, Patrick encouraged them to work hard and strive for success. It is impossible to achieve dreams and good marks without effort. Diligence is a habit that is cultivated over time. It is like a muscle that is strengthened through consistent workout over weeks and months. God’s Word warns, “He who has a slack becomes poor but the hand of the diligent makes rich” (Proverbs 10:4).
In addition to diligence, we must also have the spirit of excellence in everything we do, whether big or small. For example, do not just toss clothing into the cupboard, fold it neatly before storing it.
The name “Berastagi” means “rice store” and one can only store when there is abundance. If we exercise diligence in our work, we will not only have abundant opportunities, we will have great success!
At the end of the talk, we had a game of “Tossing the Candies” and we shared the candies that we brought from Singapore with the students. They had fun catching and tossing the candies to one another!
Many of the subject teachers (English, Math and Religious Study) came to the assembly square to greet us. According to Pastor Daniel, this is the first time the teachers would come out to greet the speaker and visiting team. They were usually wary of the topics being shared, especially for the religious teacher, as this is a government school. However, they were relieved and thankful for the message shared by Patrick, as it was a useful message for the students.
Visiting a Senior High School
In the afternoon, we visited SMP Negeri 1 Berastagi Senior High School during their assembly. There were about 600 students aged between 16 to 19 years old.
Peter, another of Pastor Simon’s 12, shared a message titled “Five Stones to Succeed in Life” based on the story of David and Goliath. He reminded the students not to listen to negative comments, especially when they are labelled ugly, fat or lousy. We know that we are God’s masterpiece and we are special and beautiful in His eyes. To succeed in life, we must remember these five stones. First, we need to focus on our Character. We must be able to stand firm and not compromise in the face of challenges. Second, we must put our Faith in Christ and believe in what we hope for. Third, we must Pray till we have a clear direction from God. Fourth, we must press on with Perseverance till we see results. Last, we must remember to exercise Patience and not be discouraged when we do not see immediate results. The great inventor, Sir Thomas Edison, demonstrated patience and perseverance in his work and his famous quote was, “I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work!”
Peter sharing the five stones that are needed to succeed in life.
After the message, the Singapore team ministered to the students who were hungry for encouragement and direction from the Lord. Many cried and were very touched by the message of assurance and hope. After the ministry, we sensed a change in their countenance. Praise God!
The following day, Peter, Harriet, Patrick and Celine headed back to the Senior High School to meet with about 700 to 800 students. Peter shared a short message on the power of God’s Word, while Harriet shared a healing testimony through hearing from the Holy Spirit. Patrick encouraged the students to soar high like an eagle above the storm and not be like a bird that flaps its wings against the direction of the wind. Celine ministered to the students by praying the beautiful verse in Isaiah 41:10: “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”
Day 2: Parenting Ministry
“If you don’t feel loved, it doesn’t mean you are not loved or others are not trying to love you.”
Edmund Wong, experienced parenting speaker from TOUCH Community Services, Family Life, nailed the heart of the matter of relationships. Every child yearns to receive unconditional love. In fact, the truth is somewhat in the middle ground of every conflict. “If you don’t feel loved, it doesn’t mean you are not loved or others are not trying to love you. If you feel hurt, it is not that someone is out to hurt you.” Understanding perspective is beneficial in parenting.
Edmund and Mun Lan sharing important insights on parenting.
Practical steps are needed to show love to a child. Words are important to help process emotions. Often, acting out through addictions, anger and depression are the results of inadequacies in processing emotions. Many adults had to relearn these, as they themselves did not grow up with parents who expressed love through words.
Four questions to express love and six questions for apology were taught. A demonstration was done through Kim Sing (via video) and Michelle, with their daughter, Angela. Three qualities and one admirable task were singled out. Angela was pleasantly surprised that her parents took notice of her qualities. After which, the 60 participants were given time to process through the questions and role-played with their spouse or friend. Reminiscing, releasing forgiveness and choosing apology were keys to answering the questions. A first-time participant, who is a single mom, was deeply moved by this session. During the Q&A, she shared her struggles with her daughter. She was encouraged to find the right time to talk to her daughter.
Role-play by Michelle and her daughter, Angela, to demonstrate how parents can deposit love into their children through affirmation.
Edmund concluded the talk by encouraging the participants to be patient when hoping for change. When there are differences in opinion, time and space are needed. However, with constant application of the questions in expressing love and apology, the relationship will improve.
The attendees practise showing appreciation to one another.
Day 2: Prison Ministry
13 members from the Singapore team and seven from Elim Kairos Church paid a visit to a prison in Kabanjahe. Together with two staff from Elim Kairos, we travelled for about 45 minutes to our destination. As it was the first visit to a prison for half the Singapore team, it was natural that they had questions with regards to safety, security and how they should conduct themselves in the environment.
The team from Elim Kairos Church and Singapore ministering at a local prison.
Along the way, we received news that the visit would be disrupted. Initially, the impending rain threatened to stop us from having the session in the open-air courtyard. Meanwhile, the coordinator, Pastor Cindy, also received news from the prison that the session may be cancelled or greatly shortened due to an unplanned visit by a government official. We prayed about it and decided we would still go by faith. Praise God! Our prayers were answered as we had more than one hour for our ministry.
Due to the rain, the event was held under the covered area, which limited the number of attendees. About 120 inmates, including about 20 ladies, managed to be seated under the covered area. We were really impressed with the quick mobilisation of staff and inmates in setting up the microphones, speakers and rostrum at the alternative location.
The session started with an amazing worship. We were really impressed with the way the worship leader led the congregation into an exuberant time of worship without visual aids. We were even more amazed that the worship leader himself is an inmate. He is truly an agent of God among the inmates. After the session, we were very encouraged to learn that three to four of the staff from Elim Kairos who accompanied us were ex-inmates. It is truly encouraging to see them going back to speak hope to those who are still serving their sentence, just like the way they were ministered to when they were in prison.
After worship, we conducted a simple ice breaker, which involved all the inmates, based on Nehemiah chapter 3. It was encouraging seeing all of them actively and happily participating in the ice breaker together with us. We had a great time with one another and the Lord. This, together with the worship earlier, prepared the congregation for the Word by Chun Han.
Due to the lack of time, Chun Han shared briefly about David and Daniel – two men who lived through countless unimaginable challenges and yet were able to rise up and live out a glorious life for the Lord.
Chun Han first shared about David, whom the Bible called a man after God’s own heart. He encouraged the inmates to learn from David, who had many good qualities. First, he was faithful to the Lord, regardless of the circumstances in life. David was on the run for his life for about 13 years. Second, he was diligent and hardworking. Even while tending sheep, he managed to hone his fighting skills. Third, he was devoted to God and wrote most of the book of Psalms.
Daniel is another great man to emulate. Although the Babylonians killed many of his kinsman and dragged him over 500 miles to a foreign land, resulting in him living among idolaters who ate unacceptable food, Daniel did not lose hope. He remained faithful to God, not compromising his belief at all. Because of his faithfulness, he became the prime minister of the land he was in.
After the sharing of the Word, the Singapore team prayed for every attendee.
Each visitor was given a stamp on their hand when they entered the prison facility.
Day 3: Consultation with Pastor Ezra’s 12, Youth Service and Meeting with the Chinese Congregation of Elim Kairos Church
On the third day, Pastor Simon and Pastor Marilyn met with the 12 of Pastor Ezra and Pastor Janice. Pastor taught a few important lessons on leadership. First, he reminded us to “walk before the Lord faithfully with integrity of heart and uprightness” (1 Kings 9:4). King David, a man after God’s heart, started so well but ended in sin against the Lord, committing adultery and murder. For one year, David refused to accept he had sinned. Do we harbour a bad attitude and spirit like David? David was a king and no one dared to confront him until the Lord sent Nathan. If we were wise, we would allow people to speak into our lives. Pride is the mark of Satan. Let us be vigilant that pride does not harden our hearts. As leaders, Pastor emphasised that we must demonstrate both compassion and correction to our disciples. Even the Lord disciplines His children whom He loves.
Secondly, we must set our hearts to do things with excellence. If we do not take ownership of our church, who will? Our God does things with excellence. Look at His marvelous creation! Let’s serve with the spirit of excellence and show forth the glory of His Kingdom!
Thirdly, we must honour and respect the leadership that God has placed over us. We may not agree with them all the time but we need to honour them and not rebel against them. The Word reminds us that rebellion is witchcraft and that is how Satan fell when he went against God.
Pastor Simon mentoring Pastor Ezra’s 12.
Feedback from Pastor Ezra’s and Pastor Janice’s 12
We had a good dialogue session between Pastor Simon’s 12 and Pastor Ezra’s 12. The leaders from Elim Kairos spoke openly of their challenges, such as how husband and wife can work together as a team and how leaders should relate to the leader above them and those in the same G12 team. It was a great learning experience as Pastor Simon’s 12 shared their own journey.
Peter and Harriet, part of Pastor Simon’s 12, ministered to the youth with a message on the “Favour of God”. Harriet shared her personal testimony on the importance of honouring God first in whatever we do and receiving God’s favour in her time of need. Peter shared six important keys to gain the favour of God. First, we need to pray and ask God for favour in our area of need. Second, we must practise honouring people around us. Third, we must be humble. Fourth, we must be generous to share and bless others. Fifth, we must remember the grace of God. And last, we need to walk in obedience to God.
Everyone joined in the joyful and energetic worship with the youth.
Peter and Harriet shared on the “Favour of God”.
Meeting with the Chinese Congregation of Elim Kairos Church
We had a very warm and wonderful fellowship with the Chinese congregation of Elim Kairos Church. The congregation treated us to a delicious home-cooked dinner and we joined in an energetic worship led by the Chinese worship team! Two couples from the Singapore team, Kim Chuan and Huey Fong, as well as Ivy and Yew Lee, shared their amazing testimonies of how the Lord saved their marriages.
Kim Chuan and Huey Fong testified how God saved their marriage from ruin and gave them a powerful testimony to bless others.
Ivy and Yew Lee testified how the Lord did the miraculous and renewed their marriage.
There are many challenges in this world and Pastor Simon encouraged all believers to long for Jesus like Mary did. She loved the Lord and was weeping outside the tomb as she could not find Jesus (John 20:11). Her persistent enquiries were finally rewarded when the Lord revealed Himself and called her name. Though she was unwilling to part with the Lord, she brought the Good News to the disciples so they could share in her joy.
This simple yet touching message reminded me of how close the Lord is to us. If only we would humble ourselves and seek Him. Jeremiah 29:13-14 – “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the Lord”. Psalm 16:11 – “In Your presence is fullness of joy”.
Pastor Simon and Pastor Marilyn sharing their journey with the Chinese congregation in Elim Kairos.
Day 4: Sunday Service at Elim Kairos Church
On Sunday morning, Pastor Simon shared an insightful message on how we can move from success to victory. We always assume that if we are not in the winning team, we must be in the losing team. To be victorious, we need to view ourselves as not losing but learning through the challenges. God allows us to go through challenges to learn and keep on learning, so that when the fight matters, we will know how to win. We may experience instances of success but what truly sustains is being victorious despite the challenges.
To be victorious, Pastor shared that we must let go of the past. Israel enjoyed the success of being liberated from Egypt but they were not victorious in possessing the land. Success can sometimes stop us from victory. After experiencing some success in our current state, we may become afraid to crossover, as that requires us to face greater changes and challenges. The Moses generation was afraid to cross the Red Sea and they complained against him. In contrast, the Joshua generation followed their leader’s instructions and crossed over the Jordan River.
Second, it is important to fight with courage like Joshua and lay hold of God’s promises (Joshua 1:4-5). Third, to fulfill God’s calling for our lives, we need to live in His presence.
As I reflect upon Pastor’s message, I find comfort in knowing that my failures do not mean I have lost. I am learning how to win my battles. The Lord has allowed challenges and setbacks to help me develop a victorious attitude and mindset. As we enter into a new year 2019, may we be encouraged that the Lord is with us in our battles and He has given us the victory!
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)
The Singapore team!