Charis Methodist Church’s ministry for the homeless
“… and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” – Acts 1:8b
On April 18, 2020, the Social Concerns Ministry of Charis Methodist Church (CMC) sought the Lord’s guidance as we contemplated the request from CAC BOSC, as well as the Government’s appeal, to help house the thousands in Singapore who were made homeless during the COVID-19 Circuit Breaker (CCB).
Acts 1:8b “and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” was the Lord’s answer for us. He impressed upon our hearts to reach out and share the Good News with family (Jerusalem), friends (Judea), and strangers (Samaria). Thereafter, Charis derived the name “Project Samaria” for our initiative to assist our homeless brothers.
When the Lord calls, He is faithful in providing resources. Project Samaria took shape swiftly. Charis’ House of Peniel building (where Project Samaria was to be located) was approved as a Safe, Sound Sleeping Place (S3P) by the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF), and Project Samaria received our first two guests on May 7, 2020.
We thank God for providing us the right contacts at MSF, and to the local charity Homeless Hearts of Singapore, as well as Pasir Panjang Hill Brethren Church’s Pastor Tang Kok Fai, who shared with us their ministry of housing God’s homeless. Project Samaria supported up to eight guests or stayers. Our primary purpose was to show God’s love to our stayers by providing safe housing and food. Through this, we hoped that the stayers may encounter Jesus and come to salvation. We also offered healthcare assistance and fostered a sense of well-being, connection, and community support with our medical and volunteer befrienders. The medical team screened the incoming guests before admittance and were on call for ad-hoc medical consultations. Our volunteer befrienders provided social support and shared the Gospel with stayers. Some stayers were even open to being prayed for by our pastors, Rev Lui Yuan Tze and Rev Daniel Teoh. We pray that the seeds planted will continue to grow in their hearts and bear fruit one day!
Due to the renovation plans for the House of Peniel, we had to bid farewell to our guests on July 1, 2020. The Project Samaria Team surprised our guests with a treat of durians at the farewell dinner and presented a video featuring messages from our Church, songs by our Sunday School children, as well as prayers of blessings.
Our guests were visibly touched by the tremendous love and warmth of the church. All glory to God for all that He has accomplished through Project Samaria. We thank God for His hand of protection and for keeping our guests and volunteers safe and healthy throughout the pandemic.
Though our guests have moved to other S3P locations, we believe that God has given us a foretaste of the homeless ministry through Project Samaria. Many from the Team sensed that God may intend for Charis to build this as a long-term ministry after we return to our redeveloped church premises in 2022. A formal proposal was submitted to the LCEC and in February 2021, the Samaria Ministry was approved as a new initiative for Charis’ Social Concerns Ministry. Please pray with us that as we expand the Samaria Ministry in time to come, that God will transform Charis Methodist Church, both physically with the church redevelopment, and also spiritually as a disciple-making church, and that we may grow to be a more attractive community in our nation!
CAC Board of Outreach and Social Concerns