On 24 April 2021, the Community Blessing Effort (CBE) resumed after more than a year’s pause due to Covid-19. The participants and the organisers from the Outreach & Social Concerns committee share their reflections from the event.
Although this year’s CBE feels very different, some might recall that KKMC’s very first Community Blessing Event (as it was known then) was carried out when the church celebrated its 120th Anniversary in 2014.
Back then, “we wanted KKMC to be a blessing to those who lived around our church in Little India, and be trusted by them. Over the last 6 years, we conducted 12 CBEs (twice a year). As a result of early surveys done and needs expressed, KKMC organised Health Screenings for Seniors, A Safe Place to Study for Primary students after school, and more recently, the Seniors Corner,” said Pastor-in-Charge Kenneth Huang.
“We could not go out in 2020 due to Covid-19. But I was so happy that we were able to this year. Praise God for blessing the work of our hands as so many KKMC members and friends came forward to serve. Let us continue the good work that has re-started.”
The participants and the organisers from the Outreach & Social Concerns committee share their reflections from the event below.
Roland Tan, chairperson of O&SC committee
This was a very different CBE for me. The entire planning and operation was managed by four team leaders who were serving in KKMC for the first time in such a major event. Thanks to both Jasons, Eunice and Sharon for stepping up to the occasion and doing such a great job. We were also blessed with over 200 volunteers from church. I thank God for all who served in so many ways and for blessing this incredibly important outreach effort of KKMC.
Jason Tan, organising committee
This year’s CBE was put together by a completely new team who had little or no experience. Planning a CBE is hard work; planning a CBE amidst a pandemic is even tougher. But all thanks and praise be to God for His sustenance, guidance and wisdom throughout the journey. As the Church slowly resumed its activities over the last few months, we started thinking about whether it was possible and safe to restart our outreach efforts and reconnect with the community after a year of not being able to do so.
Amidst a Covid-19 backdrop, we thought it best to start small and build from there, something that was manageable but still effective. We were expecting 30-50 members to sign up.
But as the Lord would have it, the Lord certainly had bigger plans. We had prepared for a small-scale CBE, but as the weeks passed, more and more members responded to the call.
My faith was put to shame as the Lord provided in great abundance. On CBE day, the church was at full capacity (safely, of course), maybe the largest gathering since re-opening.
This presented a huge logistical challenge for the team – a good challenge – but it was a testimony of God’s faithfulness and provision. God’s plans are never thwarted nor held back.
We were deeply encouraged by the support, response and feedback from the Church. However, all these will not mean anything if we as a Church do not build on the foundations that have been set following each CBE. Many meaningful conversations have taken place with the residents and their needs have been uncovered – continue these conversations as a LifeGroup or group, and find ways in which you may respond to these needs. Remember, Outreach & Social Concerns (O&SC) is an ongoing effort and part of the mission of being a Christian. Will you continue this effort alongside the O&SC committee to bring the message of Love, Hope and Peace to those around us?
The O&SC committee thanks all volunteers for their time, effort and service. May The Lord continue to show us how we may be engaged in Loving Outreach in our neighbourhood to the glory of God.
This year’s CBE was my first. I signed up with my family and did not expect a large turnout due to Covid-19. However, on the day itself, there were more than 200 participants! It was as though God was reminding me to not underestimate him.
We met a friendly senior who used to come to the Senior’s Corner every week. She recounted her experiences there with much excitement and expressed her desire to return to the community as soon as possible.
We also spoke to another senior who shared with us some of her struggles. Not only was she mourning the loss of her eldest son, but she was also recovering from a leg injury sustained from a fall. She revealed that her neighbour, a member of KKMC, would often help her to buy groceries.
These encounters highlighted the importance of a loving community and it was warming to hear how KKMC members have stepped up to serve their neighbours. It was a memorable experience and I look forward to the next CBE.
Sally Lam, Mandarin Ministry
We were particularly touched by a confectionery shop owner. When we approached her business to bless her with a gift pack, she in turn blessed us with a box of tarts, which we shared with the stall workers at the nearby coffeeshop.
It is always beautiful and encouraging to see God’s love spread everywhere as the Church engages to love as God loves.
Eunice Lin, organising committee
The team and I were really encouraged by the massive support from the Church – that Kampong Spirit really kept us going. I give thanks and praise God for His provision because the day’s programme could not have gone any smoother. I am looking forward to the work that the Church will do in the community.
From past experiences, we did not expect residents to be open with us. We were proven wrong as our group only met one resident that declined to share with us their views, while the rest were very friendly.
We found comfort in learning that the residents were keen for a café to be set up in our church and said they would be interested in visiting it regularly.
CBE gave both of us a glimpse of the work done by our missionaries in reaching out to communities that God has placed them in. While we could reach out to the residents in a safe environment and were well supported by the organising committee, the same cannot be said for our missionaries. May God continue to protect and provide for them!
Chan Tiong Hin
I signed up for CBE alone and was placed in a group of individuals who did not know each other. As in previous years participating as an individual, I was blessed with a favourable experience. We worked well as a team to complete the common goal. Warm friendships were made and I now know more church brothers and sisters,
The morning of the CBE was overcast with dark clouds that was soon accompanied with rain. By 1pm, the sky cleared, the rain stopped and refreshing cool air prevailed. This was God’s blessing on KKMC as we commenced the CBE.
We did not encounter any difficult residents. There were some lighter moments during our visits – when we asked a senior resident lady what gifts her household would like, she said cat food for her three pet kittens. A few residents declined our gift of soap, disinfectant and wet wipes because they had already stocked up on these essential Covid-related items.
This was my second CBE. To be honest, I’d rather eat some hay than knock on random doors and go cold calling. To top it off, we had a survey to complete this time round! We couldn’t just thrust the gift to the recipient and scuttle away. Give me three bundles of hay instead please!
But God did not call us to live within our comfort zones. He wants us to be bold and to step out in faith. Living our lives for Christ will always include some level of discomfort. It is only in these uncomfortable moments, that we can grow and mature. It is only in these uncomfortable moments, that we experience Him on a different level, and He can complete His good work in us.
As I chose to love boldly, it was very fulfilling to engage the residents and to be a channel of His blessing to the community. By the time I handed over the last care pack, and completed the last survey, that three bundles of hay didn’t look so appealing anymore.