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CERC news for a Christian brother in Singapore

Posted on 15 Jan 2012 by Joel Lee

Dear Brother,

How are you doing? How is your job? Have you been able to cope with both ministry and your present job?

I just found out from a fellow church member that you were enquiring about CERC work recently. You can find out more about it on the supporters website on www.cerc.com.my/support-us. Admittedly, many of us struggle to find the time to blog, divided as we are between our responsibilities to church, family and friends.

On the state of gospel matters in CERC – financially, we are still struggling. We have moved to the corner lot because space was necessary, but now, we have to cope with increased rent. We have lots of students (praise God for his work on campus) but students have not the ability to give much. If you recall, in our old church in Sydney it was the same scenario – the students only contributed about 1/3 of the funds and the rest came from generous supporters. Otherwise it would not have been able to sustain itself.

So, now, we finally have the room we need in the new shop lot. At the moment, members’ pledges cover rent and some overheads, but do not allow us to do much else. We rely heavily on supporters for the rest, and trust in God. Thank you for the recent monetary support. Church has been prudent in spending. Both MTS-ers are now living in the church shop lot (second floor) and are better able to work with easy access to the office. The youth ministry, sprung from the youth camp organized in December 2011, has also benefitted from the extra space.

The full-time staff comprises the Elder, Robin Gan and the 2 MTS-ers. Jerome will be done with his MTS training by the end of this year; Daniel is the 2nd MTS on board. Daniel speaks Chinese, so it is a plus for Chinese ministry. They are both good hardworking men, who go to different campuses in Kuala Lumpur to preach, lead small groups and do 1-on-1s on a weekly basis. They are also involved in Gospel Growth Fellowship (GGF) conferences as well. GGF’s last doctrine conference in 2011 (Thinking Theologically Conference, TTC) was on the Doctrine of Providence. 2 MTS-ers are all that CERC can handle for now, in Robin’s judgment. Taking any more workers in would be counter-productive, training-wise. That said, most of the church adults as well as students are carrying the weight of CERC’s reformed ministry in Malaysia, given that numbers are small, and there is much work to complete.

Since I last wrote, more people have come to know the Lord. Seeing people saved and committed to Christ’s kingdom work has been exciting. Of course, occasional heartaches affect the church’s ministry, especially when people do not mature as we would like them to, but that is the reality of ministry. Our own lives can testify to ups-and-downs like this but considering that we work for God, and not men, the church has to keep reminding itself to be diligent, careful and thorough in ministry.

CERC is 3 years old already. Time has flown. We’ve finished the Heidelberg Catechism (HC) and are currently working through 1 Corinthians. Essentially, the HC was doctrine put in Q&A form. In CERC, 60% of the time we preach through books of the bible, chapter by chapter. About 30% of the time is given to doctrine, and 10% for topical preaching.

Brother, I encourage you to continue working hard for the sake of Christ. We do not know when our Lord is coming back. Hard work and suffering is just for a while, but saved souls are forever. As Paul said, don’t let the present distress hinder you; it is incomparable to the glory that will come when our Lord returns.

Let me know if you would like to get any specific updates. Otherwise, I would appreciate it if you could convey the contents of this letter to others who would be concerned about supporting gospel work.

In Christ,