By Ps Alby Yip
The first 30-year lease of the land where Zion Bishan is built on, 4 Bishan Street 13, Singapore 579792, commenced on 1 July 1992 and expired on 30 June 2022. We were then placed on a short-term lease as the government is cognizant of the high cost of land lease and was looking to lower the cost. The exercise was completed on 28 May 2023.
I made various enquiries to confirm what is needed and what can we do to optimize our lease application for another 30-year lease. After the Session’s approval on 15 November, I made final plans and collation of the documents needed. We were ready to submit the online application and I planned it to be on 7 December during our weekly staff devotions.
I wanted the occasion to be a surprise for the staff so only a few knew of my plans. But a day before, the staff who did not know of the surprise surprised me saying she had invited a special guest to speak at our devotion. After these past years of being surprised by God, I was not at all affected by the change of plans. So I thought I would do it after the devotion.
But coincidence again! The speaker anchored his sharing on the three core values of our Vision, Personal Discipleship, Gospel Culture and Missional Communities and spoke on the identity, purpose and calling of the Church. Don’t you agree that it was indeed a divine coincidence? How apt a message and reminder it is for us as we submit our application for a fresh lease.
God’s surprises did not end there. Sharon invited a number of our mission co-labourers to the staff devotion and for a meeting with the speaker after. Among those who came were Dns Cerintha Chia, Elder Foo Say Chiang, and Pastor David Leong. I immediately recalled that Dns Cerintha was the lawyer who inked our first 30-year land lease on 1 July 1992! And “somehow” she appeared on the day when we applied for the next lease. Elder Say Chiang, on the other hand, is on the EXCO of the lease renewal committee and is also the chair of the present church upgrading committee whilst Pastor David Leong was the chairperson of the previous church upgrading committee. I was awed to tears. The big question that is swirling in my mind now is: “What is God telling us through these series of coincidences?”
I firmly believe coincidences are God’s Hand in the gloves of history. If it is, then through the history of 7 December 2023, what is God showing us of the future of Zion Bishan? More importantly, what must we, this generation of Zion Bishan members and worshippers do and respond so that we may work towards and realize this future that God has planned for us?
Please accept my heartfelt gratitude for all the years of your support in Zion Bishan’s life, faith and ministry. I humbly seek your continued support and co-labour in the Gospel ministry of Zion Bishan to “Present Everyone Mature in Christ: For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.”
Praise, thanks and glory be to GOD, Amen!