Don't Give Up Meeting Together
It seemed like a good date, Sunday, 15th Dec 2002, so Sally, Ee Yuing and I thought. Ee Yuing sent out an email to the Yahoo group she had created for us some years ago. Amazing! It reached most of us.
The NIECF Exco of 1994/1995 had met up almost every semester initially and then mostly at weddings. As we emailed back and forth about this gathering, we spoke of new babies and more on the way. Seven years is quite a while!
Perhaps you know some of these folks: Tiong Nam, Sally, Catherine, Joong Fui, Ee Yuing, Bee Kim, Jason, Jit Kiong, Angeline, Rennie? We used to meet for Exco meetings and for our own PGDE BS in a little room overlooking the quadrangle at the Bukit Timah campus. The chairs were constantly all over the place but there was always at least one guitar if not two for worship at the spur of the moment.
We knew our recent predecessors in the CF and had a vague sense of being linked to FES, this was stronger for some like Jason who had been active in the VCF and, of course, for those who had attended Inductive Bible Study courses and the annual Bible Camps. Quite a few people had also been on MEET (Missions, Exposure and Education Trips). Laverne, our FES Staff Worker, was always around to teach us and pray with us. We sort of knew about the TCF who annually organised the Dedication Service for us. We had heard of Dr Ruth Wong and read her story in ‘Called to be a Teacher’.
We enjoyed the honeymoon of our trainee years, knowing that school life would put us to the test. Out there were Christian teachers seeking to live out their faith in their staffrooms and classrooms. Would we be among them or would we be indistinguishable from others? Worse, would we bring Christ dishonour through a reputation for bad temper, bad work or a bad mouth?
Of course we were not the only Christians on campus, there were other groups too and there were also Christians who were not in campus groups. Then as now, we sought to juggle commitments at church with our desire to meet regularly with fellow believers on campus to remind ourselves to be Christians in our classes, with our non-Christian classmates.
That evening, the 15th of December, we were a party of eight including Elmy and Yong En, Tiong Nam’s wife and son.
We talked, prayed, sang, ate and played Taboo. But most of all we celebrated the anniversary of Tiong Nam’s coming to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ through NIECF.
You see, we had not realised that the 15th was the anniversary of his salvation and the 10th anniversary too! Discovering the significance of the date we had chosen seemed like a special gift from the Lord. It was as if to say, "I am with you still as I was with you then. And I am with the NIECF for it is My work."
I am now a student at NIE again. The few times I have met up with NIECFers have been humbling and inspiring. In FES staff worker, Wai, CG leaders, exco members and the PGDE trainees I’ve met, there is a hunger for God’s Word which is infectious. There is desire to reach others with the message of the gospel and to this end, the NIECFers pray together, encourage one another and create opportunities to introduce friends to Christ.
If your faith is flagging, then find such company as these young men and women or get back together with Christian friends from long ago. For it is through such fellowship in the faith, that we comprehend again and again the amazing blessings that are ours in Jesus Christ.
If you would like to know more about TCF or NIECF please contact:
Ee Yuing (TCF Staffworker) at email@example.com or 6314 4910
Wai (NIECF Staffworker) at firstname.lastname@example.org or 9730 8188
"Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more, as you see the day drawing near." Hebrews 10:23-25
Box of Ideas for Getting In Touch:
- Dig out old address books
- Start calling up old friends
- Send them an sms or email
- Meet up for meals
- Meet up to pray
- Go hiking at Bukit Timah Hill
- Go bird-watching at Sungei Buloh
- Go for picnics at Botanic Garden or Mac Ritchie Reservoir
- Remember their birthdays and surprise them with a card or a gift!
- Make time to catch up
- Try and try again
- Just do it!