Our journey to Tung Ling started with Isaiah 49:6 “…I will make you as a light for the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.” and with great uncertainty absolutely depending on His promise in the junction of life. By the grace of God and the help of Rev. Timothy O’ Connell and Dean Guek Ju, I came to Tung Ling truly knowing nothing about ‘what is next?’, I was just enjoying a great break in my ministerial life, in refreshing moments with divine encounters in Tung Ling.
One day, we were assigned a project by our dean to discuss and write on “The Father’s Heart”. After we finished our discussion when I was all alone spending my time with The Lord, I had a strong inspiration of God asking me to go to a familiar place I knew in Singapore and that was Mustaffa at Little India at that time. I obeyed instantly and came back to my room with nothing happening to me at that place. And to my surprise, I had the same inspiration the following day and without hesitating I did the same to go to the same place. But unlike the day before, God showed me the huge migrant workers crowd and I heard the voice of God within me saying ‘My heart beats for this people.’
As I continued School of Leadership (SOL) in Tung Ling, I prayed for the burden that God put in my heart and I began to meet some of the workers through some pastors who helped me see the need of foreign migrant workers. My battle was still ongoing even on the last day of my stay in Singapore about ‘what is next?’ with an only option to get back to my place in India. Even though new doors began to open in India, I could feel the need to come back.The same day I received a call from AEF office saying that they are looking for a Telugu pastor who has a passion to work among the Telugu workers, I went and saw Rev. Malcolm who took a short interview of me. That same night I was leaving to go back to India. Those two months were the most battling days of my life as nothing was moving in my life. I felt I was in the same place as when I left 8 months back to come to Singapore. Again I was forced to go back to the same responsibilities but I was just trusting God and suddenly I received a call from AEF office that they wanted to employ me as a pastor here in Singapore. Everything began to bloom, things began to change and within one week my pass was approved and by God’s grace we could and we still can see the hand of God move mightily in our lives.
One thing I can say is ” Tung Ling is a place of encountering God”. Since then we started to work among our workers, now we have 3 services going now nearly 100. As we are continued the work for the past three years, we could sense and see the great need for comfort or a touch on their shoulders and a hug, it really means a lot to them as most of them come from illiterate families with various addictions in India all because they moved with the wrong circle of friends. And so, now they feel not cared for, unloved and on top of that, unworthy or unfit for any work to do.
God filled us with His love according to Romans 5:5 and made us here to stand to give the parental care and love that they require.
1. Anil is one among them who was despised by his own father so much to the point that he was given no surname. He comes from a down trodden family. But now here he is a strong leader through whom, God is touching many others.
2. Shiva kumar (Daniel) was baptized here and comes from a strong Hindu background. He was asked not to accept Jesus by his family and friends with wrong ideas that their so-called goddesses will become furious if he does. But he made it without hesitation and on the same night after his baptism he broke his spine as he was working in the MRT station. We received the call in the early hours (2.30 a.m) and I with my wife rushed to Changi Hospital, not knowing what to say. We went there, stood with him and prayed for him. When we were there he was so touched and began to cry because he expected his cousin who was working here to come but no one turned out. We didn’t do much at that moment but that simple touch made him to cling to his faith. He was later challenged with the question that the accident happened because he was baptized but he in turn replies that he is alive because of God. This incident did not scatter him but instead made him stronger and he is still working in Singapore and is a strong leader in the fellowship.
3. Karun was a staunch Hindu, coming from a community who feels proud in their occupation and moreover he is a chief organizer of the Hindu festival in his dormitory. But a few of his roommates were Christians and all of us used to invite him to church. After two years of our continuous invitations, he came to our fellowship and he had a fresh encountered with the Lord. He had full conviction that God has touched him and so he decided to be baptized, now he is a strong Christian standing according to the scriptures among his family and friends in spite of any hindrances. God opened a door for me to step into his village and I saw his home was almost like a temple. I realized that he comes from a very strong background but God’s love can break any bondages.
Emotionally they do need this kind of touch.
4. During Christmas, three Telugu speaking sisters attended our Christmas celebration at Geylang and they eventually attended our Saturday service. They asked us to pray that they would leave soon to India and by His grace they left to India after one month they attended our fellowship. God has also opened a door to work with the House of Olive ministry in translating the tracts and counsel the Telugu people if any.
God helped us to equip some of the front line leaders (CG leaders) as it’s very necessary to penetrate into the dormitories to stand faithfully for His Glory and share the gospel.
My wife is one of the greatest blessings to me because together we are able to mentor the leaders and do our best to give our love and care to them as a family. We sense that it’s most necessary as all are away from their parents.
As the group of people we work with can’t stay here for long time due to the duration of their work permits, it would have been hard for me to do it alone. God is so gracious to us that though we tried to find a job for her we couldn’t get it. It was at that time that she had an encounter with the Lord that God wants her to work with me full-time. From then on we stopped focusing on job hunting. We have two precious kids, and with His blessings we are moving forward. We prayed and trusted the Lord for her to join Tung Ling and with the help of Our Dean Guek Ju she did the School of Ministry (SOM).
Tung Ling has been a great place for both of us to meet God and that has really helped us to be strong in our calling.