Feature Article: Encouraging & Engaging Communities in Need

Encouraging & Engaging Communities in Need

Christmas is a very special time of the year; it is a time where we come together to remember the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who came down to earth in human form to bring hope to humanity. When we consider the birth and life of Jesus, we are also reminded of Jesus’ acts of kindness to the needy and the care he showed for those around him.

In reflecting on the spirit of Christmas, renowned preacher Charles Spurgeon once said, “And when the Lord Jesus has become your peace, remember, there is another thing: good will towards men. Do not try to keep Christmas without good will towards men.”

This year presents us with unique circumstances, as we celebrate the birth of Christ in the middle of a pandemic—a greater call for us to cling on to the Word of God, which promises us that all things will work together for good (Romans 8:28). This is the spirit that The Bible Society of Singapore (BSS) hopes to echo this festive season, by encouraging and engaging communities in need as we move towards a new normal.

Engaging the Local Christian Community: Digitalisation of Programmes and Initiatives

In order to remain relevant and continue serving the Christian community, BSS has launched several digitalisation initiatives in the past few months—which have allowed us to connect with Christians and provide useful faith-based resources in spite of restrictions on public gatherings. One of our first initiatives was the various online webinars and courses to engage the public with God’s Word from the various ministries—the Sower Institute for Biblical Discipleship (SIBD), ETHOS Institute for Public Christianity, and our Chinese Ministry. One of these webinars was the recent Financial Stewardship webinar, in partnership with the Evangelical Alliance of Singapore (formerly the Evangelical Fellowship of Singapore) in conjunction with their 40th anniversary. More information about these sessions can be found on page 28.

To further assist Churches and fellow Christian organisations with adapting to the new normal, BSS has also launched Sower CommuniTech, which aims to help streamline administrative processes and ministry with the use of technology. Sower CommuniTech provides a plethora of digitalisation and media services, such as a National Church Procurement Platform, SecureMeet, Online AGM Solution, PayNow custom QR code generator and webinars on how to use these platforms.  For more information, visit bible.org.sg/communitech.

Encouraging Communities in Need: Initiatives for Guest Workers and Rough Sleepers

In continuing with our core mission of serving the vulnerable and needy amongst us, SowCare—the social service arm of BSS—has been working closely with the Alliance of Guest Workers Outreach (AGWO)—a movement of Hope Initiative Alliance (HIA)—to provide holistic care for the guest workers since the commencement of the circuit breaker in April. With the combined efforts of our volunteers, partners and donors, we have managed to distribute more than one million Care Meals and 1.2 million medical supplies, hygiene products and other food items to over 21,000 guest workers in 300 dormitories.



As these guest workers gradually prepare to resume work after months of lockdown, BSS hopes to go a step further in showing care for them not just in relation to their physical needs, but also their psychological and emotional needs. In this phase, SowCare is focused on the mental wellness of the migrant workers by providing suicide prevention support, counselling, recreation activities and befriending services. On 2 September, SowCare was actively involved in an outdoor activity for about 50 guest workers at Labrador Park and Hort Park. The event was a trial run for Project Sunshine—in partnership with AGWO and the Ministry of Manpower — which seeks to improve the holistic wellbeing of the guest workers. SowCare has also invited hundreds of churches to participate in the Project Sunshine initiative to bless more guest workers especially during Christmas season. More information about the event can be found on page 20.

While we have moved on to a phase of caring for the mental wellbeing of guest workers, SowCare is continuing to show care by bringing them good cheer during festive seasons, such as the recent Deepavali. SowCare supported AGWO on 14 November to distribute meals to about 8,000 guest workers from more than 70 factory-converted dormitories (FCDs)—as reported on The Straits Times and CNA. The meal comprised chicken biryani, kesari and laddus (types of Indian sweets), muruku, other Indian sweets and drinks. More than 100 volunteer drivers were mobilised to help to deliver the food to the various FCDs across the island.

Minister of State for Culture, Community and Youth & Trade and Industry, Mr Alvin Tan, also joined the food distribution exercise. AGWO was glad to partner with the Assurance, Care and Engagement (ACE) Team of the Ministry of Manpower and other like-minded charity organisations in this initiative.

Looking ahead, we are also planning celebrations with guest workers on International Migrants’ Day on 18 December and Christmas this year.

Aside from the guest workers, whose lives have been affected by the pandemic, the ripple effect of COVID-19 has also caused substantial disturbances and difficulties for the lives of many rough sleepers in Singapore.

During the circuit breaker and beyond Phase 1, Bible House opened its doors to provide a temporary shelter for 10 rough sleepers under the S3P (Safe Sound Sleeping Places) project, launched in close partnership with the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF). The temporary shelter at Bible House was known as S3P@Bible House.

Since July, SowCare has also been providing essential items to almost 260 rough sleepers under The Innkeeper’s Project. This has been done through the valuable support from our generous donors and partner organisations—CDC Funds, SG Strong, and OSCAR@SG Fund. Read page 22 for more information about SowCare’s initiatives to help the rough sleepers.

Empowering Global Communities: Overseas Holistic Missions


Staying true to our mission of bringing the hope of the Gospel to unreached communities overseas, BSS has been working with our sister Bible Societies in Uganda, Bangladesh, Nepal, Lebanon, and Israel to bring the Word of God to the unreached in these countries. Our partnerships with these countries include providing and sharing resources with them to bring the Bible to the local communities, as well as providing humanitarian aid when needed—such as during the explosion that happened recently in Beirut, Lebanon, which caused the devastation of homes, and even the Bible House in Lebanon. In November, Cambodia, Vietnam and the Philippines were massively flooded due to raging typhoons in the region that displaced millions of people. We are working closely with our sister Bible Societies in these countries to extend practical help for the victims and bring the Word of Hope to them. Read pages 10-12 for more information about BSS’ overseas missions.

In the words of the late Billy Graham, “Christ didn’t only come into the world that first Christmas night in Bethlehem, but He wants to come into our lives today, and every day of the year.” As we gather with our families and friends to celebrate Christmas amidst these new circumstances, may we be moved and comforted by the unending hope we have in Jesus, and spread His love to those in need.


Want to contribute to the Global Bible Mission? Visit bible.org.sg/donate to donate.

The Word Became Flesh—Sowing Care for the Nations

Formed with the mission of making the Word of God known to all, The Bible Society of Singapore (BSS) will commemorate 183 years of furthering the Bible Mission this 2020. 

In commemoration of 183 years of missional work, BSS will be organising a 3-part virtual series—in lieu of the annual Bible Mission Banquet. 

As part of the BSS 183rd Anniversary Series, the four sessions available are as follows:

  1. Leadership Track (Wednesday, 24 June, 8–9.30pm)
    Faith Conversations on Servant Leadership with Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, Pastors and Christian Leaders

  2. Global Missions Track (Thursday, 2 July, 8–9.30pm)
    A Multitude of Nations, One Bible Mission with General Secretaries of sister Bible Societies

  3. Language Tracks (Wednesday, 8 July, 8–9.30pm)
    疫情时期的中国教会和华文事工 The Church in China and Chinese Ministry Amidst COVID-19

  4. Language Tracks (Thursday, 9 July, 8–9.30pm)
    Caring for the Indian Churches and Guest Workers Amidst Adversity with the Alliance of Indian Ministries and the Alliance of Guest Workers Outreach


The Church in China and Chinese Ministry Amidst COVID-19

Wednesday, 8 July | 8.00pm–9.30pm | Via ZOOM

Language Track

With the outbreak of COVID-19, how did Wuhan cope with the ramifications of the virus? How has the Church in China addressed the situation? What challenges and breakthroughs have the Chinese churches in Singapore experienced during this pandemic? How has The Bible Society of Singapore been spreading the gospel amidst these unprecedented circumstances?
Hear from our guest speakers about how God has provided for and protected His people during these difficult times.


Rev. Zhu Zhiguo
Chairman of the Hubei Three-Self Patriotic Movement Committee
Principal of the Zhongnan Theological Seminary

Mr. Li Zhengxiang
Chairman of the Hainan Three-Self Patriotic Movement Committee

Rev. Caleb Soo
Pastor-in-charge of Singapore Life Church

Elder Ong Paak Loey
Director, Chinese Ministry
The Bible Society of Singapore


2020年7月8日(星期三)晚上8点 至 9点30分

会议ID: 841 6206 9687


Caring for the Indian Churches and Guest Workers Amidst Adversity
with the Alliance of Indian Ministries and the Alliance of Guest Workers Outreach

Wednesday, 9 July | 8.00pm–9.30pm | Via ZOOM

Language Track

How are we caring for the guest workers in Singapore? What support are the Indian churches receiving amidst the current COVID-19 crisis? Join us for a session with leaders of various Indian ministries like the Alliance of Indian Ministries (AIM) and the Alliance of Guest Workers Outreach (AGWO)—a movement of Hope Initiative Alliance (HIA), and hear about their experiences in their work amidst adversity.

This is a unique opportunity for individuals and groups keen on understanding how the local and overseas Indian ministries address the multitude of challenges faced in their churches during this COVID-19 situation. Spaces are limited, so register today!


Brother Mohan C. Lazarus, Board Member of Jesus Redeems Ministry

Brother Mohan C. Lazarus was brought up in a staunchly religious family and caused him to detest Christianity. While he was in his early teens, he was diagnosed with an unknown heart ailment that made him bedridden. But through the prayer of one devout Christian, he was miraculously healed. The healing convicted him of God’s unfathomable compassion, compelling him to invite Jesus into his life. From then on, he devoted his time to minister to the needs of people, especially those suffering from sickness and pain. Known for his passionate prayer life, he founded Jesus Redeems Ministry, where he is currently a board member and staff worker.

Past Sessions

A Multitude of Nations, One Bible Mission
with General Secretaries of National Bible Societies

Thursday, 2 July | 8.00pm–9.30pm | Via ZOOM

Global Missions Track

Ever wondered what the Bible Mission is about? Interested to know how The Bible Society of Singapore has been working with Bible Societies all over the world to bring God's Word to the nations? Join us for a session with leaders of Bible Societies from Israel, Bangladesh, Mongolia, and Peru and hear about their experiences and challenges in their mission fields amidst COVID-19.
This is a unique opportunity for individuals and groups keen on being part of the Bible Mission to network with like-minded people and learn more about overseas holistic missions. Spaces are limited, so register today!


Rev Bayarmagnai Bayardalai

Rev Bayarmagnai Bayardalai is the Executive Director of the Mongolian Union Bible Society. He became a Christian in 1998, and has since dedicated himself to serving His Kingdom. In 2004, he was appointed as a pastor in a local church, and graduated from Union Bible Training Center (UBTC) in 2009. He has been serving in the Mongolian Union Bible Society since 2012.

Mr Pablo Gutierrez

Mr Pablo Gutierrez is the Executive Director of the Peruvian Bible Society. Prior to taking up the position of Executive Director, he served as Project Director and Distribution Director, and has faithfully served the Bible Mission for more than 20 years. He is also an elder in the Presbyterian Church of Pueblo Libre.

Ms Dina Katanacho

Ms Dina Katanacho is the Director of The Arab-Israeli Bible Society (AIBS) and is also a Palestinian Arab-Israeli ministry leader. Since joining AIBS in 2008, she has led many projects empowering women to serve God, and advocating family-oriented ministries. She has previously co-authored two books and is currently the editor of a family magazine "Whispers from the Creator to the Family".

Bishop Philip Adhikary

Bishop Philip Adhikary is the Chairman of the Bangladesh Bible Society, the Christian College of Theology in Bangladesh and the Talitha Koumi. He is also known for his role as an evangelist, Bible distributor and church planter, and is also dedicated to improving the quality of life for the marginalised communities. His most recent efforts include providing humanitarian aid to Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.

Faith Conversations on Servant Leadership
with Speaker of Parliament, Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, Pastors, and Christian Leaders

Wednesday, 24 June | 8.00pm–9.30pm | Via ZOOM

Leadership Track

Faith Conversations on Servant Leadership with Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, Pastors and Christian Leaders. Mr Tan Chuan-Jin currently serves as Speaker of Parliament. He is a man of faith, and has frequently spoken openly about his faith in the public sphere. 

He has spent 25 years serving in the Singapore Armed Forces as a Brigadier General. In his present capacity as a government and community leader, Mr Tan is deeply involved with assisting the underprivileged, and an advocate for community care. Throughout his service in various ministries, he has worked to champion many social causes and communities in need. 

While serving as the Minister for Social and Family Development, he launched various initiatives to care for the needy and disadvantaged in Singapore, such as KidStart and SG Cares. 

As the President of the Singapore National Olympic Council, he has played a significant role in leading and inspiring Singapore’s athletes. 

He also works closely with Hope Initiative Alliance through their programmes to raise funds for the needy, and care for the guest workers in need. Most recently, during the circuit breaker, he was involved in the distribution of care meals and other essential supplies to guest workers.

On the 24 June inaugural session Faith Conversations on Servant Leadership’, Mr Tan will be speaking on the topics of Leadership, Community Service, Bible and Faith. Christian Leaders will also be praying for him, for the government, as well as the upcoming election.

Cyclone Idai in Mozambique

(Image Source: UNICEF)

About Cyclone Idai and Cyclone Kenneth:

Cyclone Idai hit near Beira city, Mozambique, on March 14, 2019. The heavy rains and strong winds led to flash flooding, hundreds of deaths, and massive destruction of property and crops. Just under six weeks later, on April 25, Cyclone Kenneth hit northern Mozambique about 600 miles away from where Idai had dealt its blow. 

Cyclones Idai and Kenneth are one of the worst storms to have ever hit Mozambique. The catastrophic flooding that resulted from these cyclones has affected almost 2.2 million people in Mozambique and its neighbouring countries. 


(from https://www.worldvision.org/disaster-relief-news-stories/2019-cyclone-idai-facts

March 3 – The tropical disturbance that would become Cyclone Idai develops and begins to strengthen near the coast of Africa.

March 5 – Heavy rains cause severe flooding across Mozambique and Malawi.

March 11 – Now a tropical depression, the storm builds in intensity between coastal Africa and Madagascar.

March 14 to 15 – Tropical Cyclone Idai makes landfall near Beira, Mozambique, as a Category 2 storm with sustained winds exceeding 105 mph.

March 20 – Heavy rains continue along with search and rescue operations and damage assessments.

March 21 to 27 – Governments and humanitarian aid agencies begin responding with life-saving relief supplies to the affected areas.

March 28 – The Mozambique government calls off the search for survivors of Cyclone Idai.

April 2 – Cholera cases in Mozambique top 1,400, according to health officials.

April 25 – Cyclone Kenneth hits northern Mozambique with winds above 125 mph.

How much damage was caused?

Cyclone Idai wiped out roads, bridges, and dams as it swept through Southeast Africa. According to the United Nations, Cyclone Idai and subsequent flooding destroyed more than an estimated $773 million in buildings, infrastructure, and crops. As a result of Cyclone Idai itself, more than 100,000 homes were also damaged or destroyed.

Additionally, Cyclone Kenneth is estimated to have destroyed about $100 million worth of homes, crops, and infrastructure, including boats and equipment belonging to coastal fishing villages.

What was the impact on the Bible Society of Mozambique?

As a consequence of Cyclone Idai, the Bible Society depot in Mozambique suffered huge damages. The violence of the cyclone winds washed away all the roof, thus destroying all Scriptural stock in the warehouse. Additionally, the roof of the office managing the Ndau Revision Bible was destroyed, and books and computers in the office were also damaged.

What is the death toll?

More than 1,000 people have died from the impact of Cyclone Idai and Cyclone Kenneth.

About Mozambique:

Mozambique is a country of 29 million people who live between 4 extremes, namely drought, floods, poverty and tropical cyclones. Apart from poverty, natural disasters are cyclical, leaving little room for the Mozambique people to restore their country.