It is never easy living in a world that is fundamentally different from where one comes from
Over the past 4 weeks, flags from different countries have been put up prominently at the ground floor. They serve to remind us of the work of missions. That our God is a missionary God and God of the nations.
During my interaction with our congregants, I found out that we have many people of different nationalities in our midst. Two Sundays ago, I spoke to Keane from Vietnam and earlier I met Grape from Thailand. Before covid, I spoke to Phearum who is from Cambodia. She served in the ushers team back then.
I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb (Rev 7:9-10)
Anecdotally, I think the largest groups are from our immediate neighbors, Malaysia and Indonesia. This is followed by those from Hong Kong and East Asia. We also have people from Australia, United Kingdom and other European countries. Truly our church is very cosmopolitan and it is here where we can begin to put into practice all the lessons on missions.
Having lived in a cross-cultural setting myself, I can imagine all the adjustments they had to make in order to assimilate into KY culture. And this being just one aspect of the entire effort of transiting into this little red dot. Then there are those from Singapore who have only just returned after an overseas stint. They also underwent a period of adjustments.
It is never easy living in a world that is fundamentally different from where one comes from. Yet I observed 2 things about them.
Firstly, regardless of where they are from, all of them carry with them the image of God. Without exception, they all acknowledge the Lordship of Christ. And they express their relationship with God in their own ways (with elements from their own culture). They also show great enthusiasm in participating in the life of the church. I like to think that this is a living example of Paul’s word that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow… and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord (Philippians 2:10).
Secondly, I am delighted to see all these people from different nations join the Kum Yan community. We welcome them and it is such a joy to see them worshipping alongside others. I think this is a foretaste of what is to come – I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb (Rev 7:9-10) in worship.
Truly our friends from overseas have enriched our culture and we are blessed to have them.
By Rev Philip Lim