Labourers for the Nations

by National Director, Yap Kim Meng

On 22 July 2017, The Navigators Singapore organised a Labourers’ Day event to share, learn and pray with one another. There was an air of festivity, as many of the 180 labourers who attended the occasion came dressed in red and blue t-shirts. It was exciting to see these labourers from our various campus, church and community ministries congregate.

The Navigators Singapore. What do we do? Why do we do what we do? Early in the event, I shared the Nav CORE—Calling, Values, Vision. Together with Viloane Ko, who is leading the NP-SIM-TP ministry, we simulated an interview between us to clarify what these meant.  Emphasis was placed on what “to advance” means, a phrase found in our Calling. For the Gospel to advance, there is a need for a destination, since this important task cannot hover in mid-air. This Calling of ours is undergirded by nine Core Values God wants to see in us. This is us being in Christ. Finally, our Vision is about God’s purposes and God’s glory, as embodied by the phrase “Gospel going out into the Nations”.

IMG_2605 2Viloane explaining how the nine Nav Core values fit into The Wheel® illustration.

As the day progressed, we shared our personal disciplemaking stories—on stage, while fellowshipping or during small group discussions. Julian Teh, a volunteer staff with The NavTeens (TNT), gave a lively explanation of why he described himself as “a testimony of spiritual generations of faithful men”. It was truly an eye-opener when Julian explained his spiritual ancestry, tracing it all the way back to Dawson Trotman. What a wonderful example of what our God can accomplish when we are faithful!

Julian seeks to perpetuate his spiritual legacy, to invest in the lives of others, just as those before him had done. He shared that this is by no means easy, since he encountered various disappointments and fears in the process. Nonetheless, we must stand firm, because our labour in the Lord is not in vain (see 1 Corinthians 15:58).

IMG_2710 2Julian sharing with the audience his journey in serving the Lord.

As the day drew to a close, I challenged the labourers not only “to advance the Gospel”, but to go “into the nations”. In Singapore, we have been making disciples locally—in our campuses and community. But it cannot stop here. We have to go beyond the shores of Singapore. This is a feasible task, as seen in the lives of some of our former caretakers. Those men went beyond tending to 117 Lorong K, Telok Kurau. They have gone forth from us to serve in foreign countries.  God has been good to us and we must go into the nations and minister out of the overflow of His goodness.

Feedback from those who attended the event was encouraging. Here are some of them:

“I identified with the struggles of fellow labourers. Their sharing gives me the courage to look to God and rely on His grace. The reminder of our CORE brings renewed perspective to why I am doing what I am doing; difficult and painful it may be, because it is all about God and His glory and purpose.”

“I found the various sharing of ministry promises insightful. I was ministered to and encouraged to have faith and to persevere in claiming these promises. My key takeaway is to have a heart for God and people. I cannot be satisfied only by someone receiving Christ. I need to go further and help him enjoy an abundant life in Christ.”

“The cross-ministry sharing was encouraging as we interacted with those who have spent more time living for God’s kingdom and discipling others. I have become more open-minded after seeing the wide range of areas discipleship covers. It is very precious how God brings each of us uniquely to himself to be discipled and to disciple others!”

Our Asia Pacific counterparts share our desire to continually equip our labourers for the harvest field. On 6 – 9 July 2017, 81 labourers from different nations gathered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for the Asia Pacific Campus Forum. The forum was targeted at younger campus staff and labourers. The theme of the forum was “Complete the Task with A Clearer Vision”.

Chiang Kiam Siong, director of TNT, led our local team of nine labourers. For Kiam Siong, the forum affirmed God’s calling in his life and encouraged him to live a purpose driven life. Everyone in our team left the forum with renewed visions to invest in the lives of others and to place greater value in the worth of the individuals they help.

Adrian Ho, one of our EDGE staff, shares with us two burning desires that resulted from the forum:

  1. Be the one man

It is important that I transform my life, because the lost around me will pay greater attention to my actions than my words. I need to be in the midst of the lost, live a transparent life and live out the Gospel.

  1. Raise the one man

To help one be an effective labourer, I need to help lay a strong foundation in the Word and establish conviction in the Calling. Just as God saw the nations through Abraham, I am challenged to reconsider what I see in the students I help. Campus? Community? No…it must be the world.

image1 2The Singapore team at the forum’s cultural night. (L-R) Siew Siew, Julian, Astrid, Kiam Siong, Jensen, Abner, Jozyah, Adrian and Nicholas

Our God has given us the privilege of making Him known. May we boldly claim Psalm 2:8 “Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the end of the earth your possession”.  Let us go forth and claim the nations for our Lord!