By Rev Dr Forest Koh
I came back to Singapore in July 2020. After 11 years of moving from place to place, at last, I was back to where I was born. God called me back for my family and extended family. My two elder brothers and one of my half-brothers passed on during my absence. My mother is 87 this year, and I am her only biological son left. She needed me to be around. Moreover, many of my family members are still pre-believers. I pray that God will use me as a bridge to bring them to His kingdom. However, without intentionality, I will be buried in my pastoral work.
My second challenge as an associate pastor in GPC is this: “How can I intentionally make time for my family and friends, Christians and non-Christians?” Jesus came intentionally for the Samaritan woman (John 4:1-42); Jesus stopped intentionally for the blind man Bartimaeus (Mark 10:46-52); Jesus was not only intentional in reaching out but also very intentional in disciple-making. He spent time with his 12 disciples, day and night, whom he had called personally and intentionally.
For the past two years, I have intentionally blocked out my time to have dinner with my mom every Monday evening. Otherwise, this time would have been easily spent on other things. As I have shared in my preaching, it is not always a pleasant experience eating with my mom. She will keep on complaining about this and that. She has recently complained less. I was awakened when I was doing discipleship with other elderly. I asked myself, why did I not do the same for my mom?
About five months ago, after dinner, I shared with her a Bible verse and prayed using the Bible verse. This diverted her attention from her pain and loneliness, and from herself. The Word of God has power, one Bible verse each week is helpful not only to her, but also for me. I learned God’s Word as I ate. I absorbed God’s Word as I digest the food.
My challenge is not only to be intentional with my mom, since I also still have many siblings who are pre-believers: my half-brothers and sisters, my nephews and nieces, my secondary school friends and Xinyao friends …
I still pray that my journey back home will be a great reunion not only on earth but also in heaven. Please pray for me to keep them in my mind and in my prayers, and that I may continue to intentionally reach out to them. For our Lord Jesus is our peace, and He has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility (Eph. 2:14). Please pray for me.