Feature Article: Reaching The Forgotten With The Word

This article was originally posted in our September 2020 Word@Work.

Reaching The Forgotten With The Word

—Interview with Bishop Philip Adhikary from Bangladesh Bible Society


Despite having a population of about 164 million, only 0.4% of people in Bangladesh identify as Christian. Even though Christianity is largely considered a minority religion in the country, this does not deter Bishop Philip Adhikary from dedicating his life to spread the Gospel to those around him.

Currently serving as the Chairman of the Bangladesh Bible Society and the Chairman of the Christian College of Theology in Bangladesh, he also plays the role of an evangelist and Bible distributor—the main ways in which he fulfils his calling to proclaim God’s Word in Bangladesh.

In this edition of Word In Action, we speak with Bishop Adhikary himself to find out more about Bible Mission work in Bangladesh, as well as its partnership with The Bible Society of Singapore (BSS) to translate the Word Intake for Spiritual Edification (WISE) Audio Bibles into Bengali.

As the Chairman of Bangladesh Bible Society, what are some of the challenges you face in your ministry?

“My vision is for all to come to know God’s Word,and for everyone’s salvation. That is why we’re very involved in Bible distribution—to Christians, to the community, and our neighbours in Nepal and Bhutan. However, sometimes they do not accept it when we say that God is Holy, and His Word is Holy. But we pray that God will provide good opportunities to build good partnerships with these communities so we can spread His Word.”

Could you share more details about the Bangladesh Bible Society’s partnership with The Bible Society of Singapore (BSS)?

“We are working to adapt the material from the WISE Audio Bibles for use in Bangladesh. Audio Bibles are very important because some aren’t interested in reading, some people—especially the elderly—are unable to read, and some are unable to see. But with Audio Bibles, they can listen to the Word, and they can still grow spiritually.”

This year, BSS has pledged $40,000 to support Bible Mission work in Bangladesh, where the Bangladesh Bible Society intends to run Bible Listening Programmes for the illiterate, as well as the poor and needy. The long-term goal of this programme is to create a lasting impact in the lives of the participants—which will not only equip them to read the Word of God but also empower them with vital skills that could create more employment opportunities for those in need. Aside from ministering to the local communities with Scripture engagement, there will also be a distribution of daily essentials and supplies to the poor and needy in order to provide them with holistic care.

Apart from partnering with BSS to reach the nations with the Living Word, Bishop Adhikary will also be working with SowCare and the Alliance of Guest Workers Outreach (AGWO) to show care for the Bangladeshi guest workers in Singapore.

Caring for the Nations Amidst COVID-19

The sudden outbreak of COVID-19 this year has resulted in many families struggling to feed themselves all over the world. As of the time of writing, Bangladesh has seen more than 300,000 confirmed cases. To respond to the needs of the local communities, the Bangladesh Bible Society has begun an emergency food assistance programme to help 3,000 families living in remote villages. Some of the items distributed to these families include rice, onions, potatoes and cooking oil. Hygiene kits will also be given to these families. The cost of these supplies—which will help to sustain a family for 2 weeks—is $20. In addition, plans have also been made to start a Scripture and Audio Bible distribution exercise, with a target of 5,000 Bibles. Each Bible costs a mere $9, taking into account production and delivery fees.

Due to the ripple effect of the COVID-19, many other countries are also in dire need of help. In Mongolia—a country where 28.4% of the population lives in poverty—many are rendered helpless as they have lost their jobs as a result of the virus. The loss of all income for these communities means that putting food on the table has become a nearly impossible task.

A similar situation is seen in Peru, where 45% of the urban population live in shanty towns. As of the time of writing, the country has seen almost 613,000 cases of COVID-19, which has had a devastating impact on the population in terms of their safety and economic security.

In these difficult times, the Bible Societies in these countries have stepped up to provide for the needs of these struggling communities, through the provision of food and Scripture—to meet both the physical and spiritual needs of these people.

Ms Dina Katanacho, Director of the Arab-Israeli Bible Society, shared that COVID-19 caused many families to struggle with a mixture of feelings—fear, anxiety, stress, and anger. Many of them were also struggling with maintaining their faith during quarantine. To respond to these new needs, the Arab-Israeli Bible Society organised a series of online workshops to equip parents with skills to bond with their children and encourage them to persevere in the faith.

Although some steps have been taken to mitigate the struggles and problems of these people groups, there is still much to be done in order to effectively minister to them and transform theirlives. BSS hopes to be a beacon of light to these people during these dark times; we hope that you will join us in making a difference today!

Make An Impact

There are many ways you can help sow the Word and be a part of the Bible mission.
Come make a Difference. Join us in the Bible Mission!

Feature Article: Appreciating Community Efforts Amidst Adversity

This article was originally posted in our September 2020 Word@Work.

Appreciating Community Efforts Amidst Adversity

Although the outbreak of COVID-19 has resulted in the cessation of many of our ministry activities, The Bible Society of Singapore (BSS) has been keeping up with our efforts to sow God’s Word though various digital platforms and initiatives, and sow care to the needy, just as Jesus has commanded us to love our neighbours—especially those who have been badly affected by the virus.

SowCare—the charity arm of BSS—has partnered with the Alliance of Guest Workers Outreach (AGWO), a movement of Hope Initiative Alliance to initiate a Care Meals distribution exercise to bless guest workersliving in factory-converted dormitories (FCDs). We have distributed a total of 1,027,505 Care Meals and more than 1.2 million essential items (hygiene packs, medical supplies and other foodstuffs) to around 500,000 guest workers in more than 300 dormitories. Beyond this, we are also continuing to work with the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and the Migrant Workers’ Centre (MWC) in providing meals to guest workers who are facing repatriation. This could not have been done without our dedicated partners, donors and volunteers.

The meal distribution exercise was initially planned as a one-day exercise on Good Friday, 10 April, to bless the guest workers. However, due to the overwhelming demand, it continued throughout the circuit breaker, and even beyond phase one. We would like to show our heartfelt appreciation towards the Ministry of Manpower and Migrant Workers’ Centre for having us as their core community partner in serving the guest workers and meeting their needs amidst this unprecedented global crisis.

There were also additional distribution exercises on various occasions. On 18 April, a mask distribution exercise was organised upon the request of MOM. In total, over 110 volunteer drivers were mobilised to deliver reusable masks to 192 FCDs. On 7 May, over 300 volunteers came together to help pack and distribute Festive Care packs to over 12,000 guest workers in 260 FCDs. This distribution effort also saw the participation of many community leaders, such as—Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, Ms Joan Pereira, Ms Denise Phua and many others.

On 9 May, another special distribution exercise was conducted in partnership with MOM, which provided 3,000 prayer mats to guest workers in 66 dormitories. Mr Zaqy Mohamad, Senior Minister of State in the Ministry of Manpower and Ministry of Defence, also visited the dorms during this distribution exercise. Additionally, on 23 and 24 May, the guest workers received an extra pack of foodstuffs, as well as enhanced meals. This initiative provided meals for 7,000 guest workers in over 110 FCDs.

As part of efforts to engage the wider community in order to serve even more guest workers, the ‘Adopt- A-Dorm’ initiative was launched on 20 April, where 32 organisations formally committed to care for the guest workers in a sustainable manner.

One of our volunteers, Mr Joshua Eswaran, was emotional as he remembers the unforgettable experience he had with the guest workers on the ground. “A Bangladeshi guy called me, asking for help and he said he needed food. He and his friends had not eaten for three days. It was very hard for me because I never expected that we would have such a case. I think it should never happen to anyone.”

SowCare would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to our volunteers who have participated in this joint national effort to care for the guest workers amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. We are thankful to each and every individual who has sacrificed their time and resources, and shared what they have to make a difference in the lives of these guest workers.

We are thankful for our many partners, donors and volunteers who have encapsulated the ‘kampung spirit’ by coming together during these unprecedented times to lend a helping hand to our fellow brothers.

As the nation slowly gears itself for an uncertain future, may we not forget our Heavenly Father’s call to love our neighbours amidst adversity.


Make An Impact

There are many ways you can help sow the Word and be a part of the Bible mission.
Come make a Difference. Join us in the Bible Mission!

Feature Article: The Word Became Flesh Sowing Care For The Nations

This article was originally posted in our September 2020 Word@Work.

Celebrating 183 Years Of The Bible Mission

The Bible Mission had its humble beginnings in Britain, when 15-year-old Mary Jones’ determination to obtain a Bible moved Rev Thomas Charles to start a movement to bring the Word of God to all peoples. Later on, Sir Stamford  Raffles and Rev Dr Robert Morrison would continue this work in Singapore in 1823, paving the way for the registration of The Bible Society of Singapore (formerly called the Singapore Auxiliary Bible Society) on 4 July 1837.

183 years later, The Bible Society of Singapore (BSS) still strives to make the Word of God known to all. In commemoration of 183 years of God’s faithfulness, BSS organised a four-part special series on Zoom—‘The Word Became Flesh: Sowing Care for the Nations’. The event was organised in lieu of the annual Bible Mission Banquet, due to the limitations imposed on public events to curb the spread of COVID-19.

There were three tracts of online sessions in total, covering Leadership, Missions and Language-based ministries. The first session—the Leadership tract, Faith Conversations on Servant Leadership—was held on 24 June, with Speaker of Parliament, Mr Tan Chuan-Jin as the invited guest speaker. Mr Tan shared about how his faith has influenced his leadership, and answered participants’ questions about faith and leadership. More than 600 participants joined the session, and over 6,000 have watched the session on Facebook.

The second session, the Missions tract—A Multitude of Nations, One Bible Mission—was held on 2 July. Leaders from the Bible Societies of Bangladesh, Arab-Israeli, Peru and Mongolia shared about Bible Mission work and the challenges of meeting the needs of the local communities amidst COVID-19. More than 100 participants joined in to hear about overseas holistic missions and testimonies from Bishop Adhikary, Chairman of the Bangladesh Bible Society; Ms Dina Katanacho, Director of the Arab-Israeli Bible Society; Rev Bayarmagnai Bayardalai, Executive Director of the Mongolian Union Bible Society, and Mr Pablo Gutierrez, Executive Director of the Peruvian Bible Society. The third and fourth sessions—The Church in China and Chinese Ministry Amidst COVID-19 and Caring for the Indian Churches and Guest Workers Amidst Adversity—held on 8 and 9 July respectively, saw speakers from Churches in Singapore, China and India, who shared about the unique challenges of language ministries, and how they cared for their congregations during the pandemic. More than 200 participants attended the Chinese session, and more than 100 participants attended the Tamil session.

There were more than 1,000 participants across all four sessions who came together on Zoom to commemorate BSS’ 183rd anniversary. Visit The Bible Society of Singapore on Facebook and YouTube to peruse the recordings of the various sessions.

In addition, we have been working closely with our sister Bible Societies to be a channel of blessings to the nations. BSS has channeled funds towards holistic mission programmes in various countries, and we are working to collaborate with these countries in the future. (Read pages 12 and 13 for more information about BSS’ overseas mission work.)

Moving with the Times

To serve and encourage the Christian community amidst COVID-19, BSS has been digitalising our programmes and initiatives to create resources and opportunities for sharing the Gospel.

Since February, the Sower Institute for Biblical Discipleship and Chinese Ministry have been offering online webinars on Zoom, which cover many topics, such as raising a godly generation, mental health, and Biblical studies. As of the time of writing, more than 10,000 have signed up for the courses. (Read page 26 for more information about our upcoming online courses.)

This year, BSS is also introducing Sower Communitech, which offers digitalisation and media services for local Churches and Christian organisations. These initiatives are part of BSS’ efforts to help churches and Christian organisations streamline their administrative process and ministries through the use of technology.

One of these services is a National Church Procurement Platform —a collaboration with ThunderQuote—which all local churches may utilise for their ministries and other needs. Visit bss.thunderquote.com to register your church today!

In addition, to help the Christian community move towards digitalisation during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have also launched other digital solutions such as SecureMeet—an online booking system for churches and online AGM solution, as well as a PayNow custom QR code generator.

In spite of changing times and circumstances, BSS remains grateful to God for His provision and grace—which has enabled us to serve those in need locally and overseas for the glory of His Kingdom.

For more information about BSS’ 183 Anniversary Celebration, visit bible.org.sg/bss183

To find out more about the procurement platform, visit bss.thunderquote.com.

Make An Impact

There are many ways you can help sow the Word and be a part of the Bible mission.
Come make a Difference. Join us in the Bible Mission!

Feature Article: Safe Sound Sleeping Places & The InnKeeper’s Project For The Homeless

This article was originally posted in our June 2020 Word@Work (COVID-19 Special Edition).

“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink,
I was a stranger and you welcomed me…

Matthew 25:35

Safe Sound Sleeping Places (S3P)


As the Body of Christ, just as we are called to share the Gospel and make His Word known—we are also called to care for the broken and vulnerable. Apart from guest workers and underprivileged communities, the COVID-19 has also affected vulnerable homeless individuals. With many public areas being cordoned off, some of them no longer even have temporary places of refuge; many have struggled to find places to sleep, rest, and consume meals.

In order to care for the rough sleepers amidst the COVID-19 situation, SowCare—the charity arm of The Bible Society of Singapore—worked closely with the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) in setting up Safe Sound Sleeping Places (S3P), throughout the circuit breaker period. The S3P initiative is spearheaded by MSF, in response to the urgent needs faced by the homeless community, that have been accentuated in the midst of COVID-19 situation.

As such, SowCare set up a  temporary shelter for the homeless at S3P@7 Armenian Street. We are also currently working towards setting up another transient shelter at MacPherson. Through this initiative to serve rough sleepers, SowCare also raised funds and collected in-kind donations to administer holistic care through basic essentials, while working towards providing them with a permanent roof over their heads.

SowCare plans for the more permanent Transient Shelter at MacPherson—which is still in the works—to serve as an integrated social service hub for the poor and needy in the neighbourhood.

As many church premises remain unused during the Circuit Breaker period and beyond, we also encouraged the churches to open up their premises for these rough sleepers. While these facilities remain closed to the public, they can be put to good use as temporary shelters for the ones who are in need of refuge.

The InnKeeper’s Project

Additionally, as a member of Hope Initiative Alliance—an aggregator of assistance and services among hundreds of organisations and associates—SowCare supported HIA in responding to New Hope Community Services’ appeal to rally support for The Innkeeper’s Project.

Under The Innkeeper’s Project, more than 260 homeless individuals are temporarily housed in HDB estates; each flat accommodates two to four persons. Other partnering organisations included Methodist Welfare Services, Montfort Care and Singapore Kindness Movement.

As a supporting charity, SowCare has thus far assisted in providing holistic care for these 260 homeless individuals.

SowCare has particularly assisted—and will continue to support—HIA in rendering services and resources. SowCare is also committed to collect inkind donations, by designating Bible House as a collection point.

These round-the-clock efforts are inclusive of supplying meals, hygiene essentials and medical assistance—as well as items such as mattresses, pillows, blankets, bedsheets, towels, and many more. These ongoing projects seek to care for the homeless beyond the circuit breaker period until they are equipped to transition back into a stable and secure environment.

Reiterating the need to care for these especially marginalised community, Rev Ezekiel Tan, Chief Executive officer of SowCare, stressed how “while many of us have the opportunity and luxury of staying home and keeping safe, the homeless have had the added anxieties of keeping themselves healthy, while making ends meet. We are honoured to have had the ability to work with the MSF and other partners, to care and remind the homeless that they are not forgotten amidst this trying period. It is only as a united community that we will be able to emerge as a stronger Singapore.” Should members of the public wish to support the initiatives, individuals may make cash and/or in-kind donations. To make in-kind donations and arrange for delivery, please contact us  at our hotline 6304 3486.

Let us rally together as one Body of Christ to care for the ones who are most vulnerable and in need—allowing these often neglected individuals to tangibly feel that they matter and are cared for.

Click here to support the Homeless Community amidst the COVID-19 situation.
For more information visit SowCare.sg


Make An Impact

There are many ways you can help sow the Word and be a part of the Bible mission.
Come make a Difference. Join us in the Bible Mission!

Feature Article: Care Meals & Festive Care Packs For Guest Workers

This article was originally posted in our June 2020 Word@Work (COVID-19 Special Edition).

“Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?”
“Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me”
Matthew 25:37-40

The Bible Society of Singapore (BSS) was formed with the mission of making the Word of God known to all. However, with the rapidly spreading COVID-19 virus resulting in closed borders around the world, BSS’ regional Scripture distribution efforts have faced challenges. While this may be seen as a setback—within our nation itself, there remain nations to be reached. In fact, Singapore has relied on the labour of these nations—through guest workers—from as early as the 1980s. As a result of the COVID-19 situation, these guest workers have become especially vulnerable—being financially affected and faced with worries about their job and future.

In response to this urgent need, SowCare—the charity arm of The Bible Society of Singapore— partnered with the Alliance of Guest Workers Outreach (AGWO)—a movement of Hope Initiative Alliance—to launch the Care Meals Distribution Project on Good Friday, 10 April. Through this project, 9,218 Care Meals were delivered to 113 factory converted dormitories (FCDs).

Due to the overwhelming response to care for the guest workers amid the COVID-19 situation, this project—which was initially organised as a 1-day exercise—eventually evolved into a continuous effort during the entire circuit breaker period, and will be extended until the end of June.

Through the AGWO—a coalition of over 130 partnering charities and organisations—we have been working to meet the needs of vulnerable guest workers by providing them with daily Care Meals for lunch and dinner. Over the course of the circuit breaker period, we distributed more than half a million Care Meals across 267 FCDs and 9 Zones/Collection Points (as of time of writing). The Mustafa Centre was one of the designated daily collection points for guest workers in need of food.

We are thankful to have worked with the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and the Migrant Workers Centre (MWC), who engaged us to supply food and essentials to the guest workers. Thus, we were able to gain access to these FCDs, while ensuring our distribution efforts were safe. We are also grateful to have been granted the necessary permit to conduct these various efforts with volunteers at our designated locations.

On 18 April, at the request of MOM, we mobilised more than 110 volunteer drivers to send reusable masks to 192 FCDs. The Bible House was designated as the collection point, where safe distancing and contact tracing measures were put in place to ensure the safety of all volunteers.

The High Commission of Sri Lanka also engaged us to supply daily Care. Meals for the stranded low-wage Sri Lankan guest workers in Singapore. We are also grateful for the many dry food and other in-kind donations we received, in support of the initiative and our fundraising efforts.

We also launched the Adopt a Dorm system, which allowed churches and organisations to formally commit to caring for guest workers in FCDs in a sustainable manner.

Given that Ramadan and Vesak Day also fell within the circuit breaker period, we also worked together with AGWO and its partnering organisations, donors and volunteers to care for guest workers commemorating these occasions, by providing them with Festive Care Packs. This project—which supplemented the regular Care Meals distribution—sought to provide 12,000 guest workers with Care Packs across 260 dormitories. The Care Packs included fruits, dried ration items, medical supplies, hygiene products, and a lot more.

On 5 and 7 May, nearly 300 volunteers—consisting of packers and drivers—came down to the collections points—Bible House at 7 Armenian, as well as Sower Hub at TSL 101—to help distribute the Festive Care Packs nationwide. We were greatly encouraged by the participation of the Speaker of Parliament, Mr Tan Chuan-Jin; MP of Tanjong Pagar GRC, Ms Joan Pereira; Mayor of Central Singapore District, Ms Denise Phua; Chairman of Migrant Workers’ Centre, Mr Yeo Guat Kwang; General Secretary of the Singapore Kindness Movement, Dr William Wan; and Bishop Terry Kee, President of the National Council of Churches of Singapore.

“It is certainly heartening to see Singaporeans coming together to support our guest workers through such community ground-up initiatives. It is my hope that more of us will continue to support such efforts and work together through this trying period.”
—Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, Speaker of Parliament

“The migrant workers are doing their part by heeding the measures of the government. What we can do is come together to make their lives happier by distributing food, hand sanitisers, and medical supplies to them. Everybody is in this together.”
—Ms Joan Pereira, Member of Parliament for Tanjong Pagar GRC

“Our actions will always speak louder than words, and put together— regardless of our language, race or religion, or background—this is the right thing to do. We can only overcome this difficult time if we do it together… taking action, dirtying our hands, giving up money and resources wherever possible, to make things better.”
Ms Denise Phua, Mayor of Central CDC

“At a point of time when people feel most forgotten and uncared for—is exactly when it is vital that we remind them that we are a community. Only when we are united in our efforts, we can overcome this global pandemic and its repercussions.”
—Rev Ezekiel Tan, Chief Executive Officer of SowCare

“We are glad to have partnered HIA/AGWO, together with several supporting organisations to celebrate Vesak and Ramadan with our migrant brothers and sisters who are residing in the factoryconverted dormitories. Jointly, we have showed care and reminded our migrant friends to continue to practice personal hygiene to protect themselves.”
—Mr Yeo Guat Kwang, Chairman of MWC

“Through our actions, we are loving our neighbours as ourselves. It is also a wonderful opportunity for churches to work together as one, in cooperation with those of other faiths—demonstrating how we can work for the common good of Singapore.”
Bishop Terry Kee, President of the National Council of Churches of Singapore

On 23 and 24 May, the initiative also conducted two special deliveries to about 7,000 guest workers from 110 dormitories, in commemoration of Hari Raya Puasa. Other than the regular care meals, both Muslim and non-Muslim guest workers received extra pack of other foodstuffs, enhanced meal—three times the usual value—as well as new sarongs and extra snacks. The Speaker of Parliament, Mr Tan Chuan-Jin joined the distribution efforts, this time as the Guest of Honour.

We are also thankful to the embassies of Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia, who also helped raise support and contributed with donation items. It is only through the unwavering support of our various partners, generous sponsors and donors that the aforementioned projects have achieved such resounding success and benefited thousands of guest workers nationwide, and we are deeply grateful to have been used as a channel of blessing.

We appeal to the public to continue supporting our efforts to care for these guest workers, as we continue distribution efforts up until the end of Phase 1. It is our expressed commitment to channel all excess funds into further projects to benefit vulnerable communities, such as guest workers. For more information on past distribution projects and ways to support future initiatives, visit sowcare.sg and hia.sg/guestworkers.

Make An Impact

There are many ways you can help sow the Word and be a part of the Bible mission.
Come make a Difference. Join us in the Bible Mission!

Feature Article: Provision of Resources & Services for the Christian Community Amidst COVID-19

This article was originally posted in our June 2020 Word@Work (COVID-19 Special Edition).

On 24 March, the Ministry of Health issued an advisory to limit gatherings to no more than ten people to curb the spread of COVID-19. This preventive measure—implemented before the circuit breaker—led to the cessation of religious services. Despite the evolving challenges, The Bible Society of Singapore remains committed to continue rendering services and providing resources to help churches cope with the evolving situation.

Fostering Dialogue within the Community

On 19 and 26 March, BSS facilitated two meetings at Bible House and the Chinese Cultural Centre for Christian leaders from various denominations to meet with representatives from the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) to discuss mitigation measures and provide guidance to religious organisations on the evolving COVID-19 situation.

Pre-Order of Surgical Masks and Hand Sanitisers for Churches and Christian Organisations

In view of the shortage of masks and hand sanitisers in the early part of the year, BSS sought to provide assistance to local churches and organisations by importing about a hundred thousand  surgical masks and hand sanitisers, which were made available for pre-order at near cost price. Over 100 churches and Christian organisations responded via email and phone calls to place their orders.

In addition, Far East Organisation has also donated 40,000 surgical masks to India to aid the local communities in their fight against the coronavirus.

Live Streaming of Church Services

Responding promptly to the cessation of gatherings for religious services, BSS partnered with ThunderQuote to provide churches with free guidelines and technical assistance on how to set up live streaming services and move towards digitalisation.

Customised Encouragement Cards and Online Resources

In order to spur on the frontliners during these difficult circumstances, BSS produced customised Scriptural Encouragement Cards, containing Bible verses about God’s sovereignty and goodness. There were also Sheepography encouragement cards, as well as videos of animated Sheepography illustrations 

Messages were written on these Encouragement Cards by the Christian community, as well as our volunteers and partners, to thank our modern-day heroes for their sacrifices as they fight the coronavirus. Our staff visited National University Hospital and Singapore General Hospital to deliver these messages to the staff on 2 and 4 April respectively.

Additionally, the Bible Society staff and partners also wrote thank you messages to government offices to appreciate them for their hard work during the circuit breaker.


COVID-19: Gospel Tract

BSS has also produced Gospel tracts titled God’s Help and Hope Amidst Fear and Danger in English, Chinese and Tamil to encourage the Christian community. The Gospel tract contains beautiful reminders of God’s faithfulness during times when we may experience fear and uncertainty. To order these Gospel tracts for yourself or your church, kindly contact spc@bible.org.sg

Sower Institute of Biblical Discipleship Online Courses 

In place of the cancelled and postponed programmes that were originally planned, the Sower Institute for Biblical Discipleship (SIBD) and Chinese Ministry moved towards digitalisation and offered a wide range of e-learning courses in English and Chinese, so that the Christian community would still be able to engage with the Word in their homes. The courses offered included Biblical studies, as well as Biblical perspectives on contemporary issues, such as Loneliness and Mental Health—pertinent issues that believers are grappling with amidst these unprecedented times. These webinars consisted of teaching, as well as interactive discussions with participants. 

One of the Chinese courses about Loneliness, Depression and Anxiety Amidst COVID-19 on 1 May was particularly well-received, with more than 1,000 participants joining the course on Zoom and YouTube. For more information on future courses, visit bible.org.sg/sower-institute or follow Sower Institute on Facebook and Instagram.

SowGood Mobile Application and News Portal

In 2019, BSS launched the SOWGOOD mobile application as part of our digitalisation efforts and to make the Word of God more accessible to the younger generation. This year, more exciting features have been added—such as an in-app Bible, articles from our community of contributors, audio and video resources, as well as a donation and volunteer sections.

BSS is also working towards launching a new News Portal, Streams of Life, where everyone can peruse up to date news and articles from various partnering organisations, churches and individual contributors. Follow Bible Society SG on Facebook and Instagram to receive the latest updates on this exciting new platform!

In spite of adversity, BSS hopes that these resources will remind the Christian community to give thanks in all circumstances and pray without ceasing (1 Thess 5:16–18) as we anchor ourselves in Christ.


Make An Impact

There are many ways you can help sow the Word and be a part of the Bible mission.
Come make a Difference. Join us in the Bible Mission!

Feature Article: Advocating For The Poor And Needy – Addressing Poverty in Singapore

This article was originally posted in our March 2020 Word@Work.

Feature Article: Advocating For The Poor And Needy

— Addressing Poverty in Singapore —

“Put your life into Christ’s hands, then ask Him to use you to help others overcome
both their material and spiritual poverty.”— Billy Graham

Aside from ministering His Word to the people, Jesus’ ministry also focused on rendering aid to the poor and needy. Christians have also been tasked to continue in His footsteps to reach out to the least among us (Luke 14:13–14).
How then can we become more cognisant of poverty in today’s context?

In July 2019, a panel on the topic of privilege was organised by The Straits Times, with the aim of developing actionable ideas to encourage giving. One of the poverty myths addressed at the panel was the misconception that the poor in Singapore “aren’t actually that poor”. Contrary to this belief, the Lien Centre for Social Innovation found that one in five low-income households in Singapore grapple with severe food insecurity. One of the reasons for this misconception is an inability to fully understand the experiences and stories of the underprivileged.

Dr Roland Chia, Professor at Trinity Theological College also echoes this view, “Justice to the poor… is about ensuring that they are not forgotten, that their conditions are improved.”

Poverty is not only detrimental to one’s physical well-being but can also affect one’s spiritual health. In an interview with the United Bible Societies, Preacher Qian from Shandong, China, shared a real-life example of how poverty affects spirituality in their community—“When financial stress arises due to family needs like children’s education or emergencies, people tend to focus more on earning money instead of coming for worship.”

As a body of believers, how then may we take the first step to walk alongside those who are in need of help?

Rev Ezekiel Tan, CEO of SowCare— a charity arm of The Bible Society of Singapore—provides us with some practical tips. With a heart for the vulnerable and marginalised in society, he hopes to create a platform where different partners may pool their resources, and come together to empower the poor and needy in Singapore.

“Just as Jesus actively ministered to the poor and needy in society, SowCare also hopes to foster the same spirit of charity within the Christian community in Singapore. We want to extend a helping hand to the often-neglected facets of society, such as the guest workers, foreign domestic workers as well as the rough sleepers in Singapore.

The first step to reaching out to these individuals is first to gain a better understanding of their stories and experiences walking alongside them. Only by making an effort to know them we can provide meaningful assistance to them.”

What are some of the ways in which Christians can extend a helping hand to the poor and needy?

“It is our call to go beyond, as a Christian community, to provide a shelter for the homeless, as mandated in Isaiah 58:7. The local Church can become journey-makers by providing them with holistic care, empowering them while connecting them to necessary service that will meet their immediate needs. If we pool our resources and expertise together, I believe that as a united Body of Christ we will be able to make a difference in their lives.”

Sowing Care for the Homeless Amidst COVID-19

In order to care for the homeless amidst the COVID-19 situation, SowCare—the charity arm of The Bible Society of Singapore—has been working closely with the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) in setting up Safe Sound Sleeping Places (S3P).

SowCare has set up temporary shelters for the homeless at S3P@7 Armenian Street and is working towards setting up another transient shelter at MacPherson.

Click the button below to find out more about this initiative and how you can support.

One year after Nepal earthquake ‘Christians have remained strong’

This article was originally written by United Bible Societies.

Nearly a year after three earthquakes devastated Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu, and surrounding areas, Tej Jirel, General Secretary of the Nepal Bible Society, has been reflecting on how Christians have coped with the tragedy.

“I was in the middle of preaching at a church on April 25 when the first earthquake hit,” recalls Mr Jirel. “I stopped preaching, held onto the pulpit and prayed for the earthquake to stop. Some people dropped to their knees in prayer, and others stood to call out to God.

Shaking really violently 

“That first quake went on for a while. The pulpit fell over and hit the Communion table. The pillars in the church were shaking really violently. As soon as it was over we evacuated the whole congregation and made sure everyone was standing safely away from the building.”

The congregation joined hundreds of people who had come out onto the streets. Some were weeping as aftershocks continued. Mr Jirel and other church leaders reassured people as best they could.

“I felt that, in the midst of all this, we should honour God by going ahead with taking Holy Communion, as we had intended. Between aftershocks, some of us went into the church to bring out the Communion table. So there, outside the church and beside the river, we took Communion in remembrance of what our Lord did for us.”

Powerful and memorable moment

For those present it was a powerful and memorable moment, and typifies the reaction of many Christians to the tragedy caused by the earthquake. Scores of churches were damaged or destroyed in the earthquake, and there were around 500 Christians among the 9,000 people who died. Those who survived have remained strong in their faith, according to Mr Jirel and his team, who have travelled to many of the affected districts.

“Church services in all the affected districts resumed almost immediately, despite the fact that they had nothing to shelter under,” comments Mr Jirel. “A lot of them still haven’t yet been completely rebuilt, due to lack of funds, and services are held with no roof, using tarpaulins or roofing sheets to protect worshippers from the sun or rain.

“But people are holding onto their faith. I remember one elderly man I met, Padam Bahadur Bhujel, who had been buried alive, along with other worshippers, when their church building collapsed on them. They were all eventually rescued. Mr Bhujel told me he’d remained calm because he had complete faith that God would save them. He said, ‘If you have great faith in God, He will do great things for you.’ I felt very inspired by that.

“It was quite a shock to see that church reduced to rubble, along with the rest of the village. We’d run two programs there a few years back, one for leaders and another for youth and career development, and I remembered how nice the church building had been. When we visited after the earthquake we found the pastor and his family living in the middle of a field, with no proper food to eat.”

Having witnessed the urgent humanitarian needs of people in the various affected districts, the Bible Society began working to bring them the items they most needed. Over the past year, they have helped provide roofing, tarpaulins and other materials to hundreds of families who lost their homes, most of them non-Christians.

“We as a Bible Society are seen as a neutral platform, and we had excellent co-operation with all sorts of different churches, parachurch organisations and government officials,” notes Mr Jirel.

Much of this material was delivered to people living in remote areas that are hard to access, with Bible Society staff and volunteers walking up mountainsides with the materials on their backs, or transporting it across rivers on small rafts.

“So many people were thankful for the help we brought, because they hadn’t received any other relief materials like this,” says Mr Jirel. “I remember one widow in particular, who thanked us with tears in her eyes. We told them we were Christians. We pray that one day all these people will come to know and accept Christ.”

In addition to offering practical help to everyone who needs it, the Bible Society has also been helping Christians to replace the Scriptures that they lost in the earthquake. Many hundreds of Bibles, Children’s Bibles and Scripture booklets have been distributed to churches and individual Christians.

“We didn’t want Christians to be without their Scriptures as they came to terms with what had happened,” says Mr Jirel. “They greatly appreciated the Bibles and other materials we brought them, which helped them to hold onto hope in the midst of their grief and struggles.

“Without God there is no hope, and we continue to pray for the many people in Nepal who still don’t know Him. Please join us in praying that many good things will come out of this disaster, and that many more people will come to know the true God and Creator.”