All posts by Leo

I proclaim, reveal God's heart with clarity so as to prepare the Bride for the coming Bridegroom. Check out our prophetic message released at the National Prophecy Conference at http://vow.sg/our-message/

India last update? A Lament for the Poor and a final push for funds

Previously, we wrote for help to adopt the poor village of Chinna Karagraharam. This initiative blessed some 550 poor families. They came on foot and bicycles. Thanks to you, the church was able to be relevant to the village. This was a video taken on 18-Apr in Chinna Karagraharam (We also posted an update on our Facebook page the next day):

Outside a church building, volunteers hand out supplies to the queue of appreciative villagers.

Since then, our attention was directed to more than 10 churches who have reached out to Ps Johnson for help. We were unable to reach them all, but these are the churches that we have managed to help:

  1. Church in Kanuru
    • Pastor Raju
    • 45 families
    • $20 for each family
    • Transport $20
    • $920
  2. Church in Jonnalavari Modi
    • Pastor Suresh
    • 56 families
    • $20 for each family
    • Transport 25
    • Total: $1,120
  3. Church in Pedda Agraharam
    • Pastor Immanuel
    • 60 families
    • $20 for each family
    • Transport $20
    • Total: $1,220
  4. Church in Navin Mittal Colony
    1. Pastor Yoodha
    2. 42 famlies
    3. $20 for each family
    4. Transport $20
    5. Total: $860
  5. Church in Thallapalem
    1. Pastor Padmanabham
    2. 48 families
    3. $20 for each family
    4. Transport $30
    5. Total: $990
Truckload of supplies that are meant for the churches in need.
Smiles. “Thank you very much.”

However, there are still many churches and people who are in need, and our funds and doners have dried up. How many rounds of $1000 can one give? Needs are everywhere locally in Singapore too. We have read about how fellow Singaporeans have stepped up to respond to the poor in our midst. I won’t be surprise that there is now a donation fatigue.

However, the needs of the poor continue to pile up. Two articles broke my heart. First, an Indian mother in Uttar Pradesh threw her 5 kids into a river after she fought with her husband over the lack of food. The poor may survive hunger for a while but not the stress from the cries of their children. Couples can function separately but not when they are on lockdown and blaming each other at home. Second, in Thailand, the poor and lower-middle class who have failed in businesses are breaking down mentally and committing suicide.

Before we could die of famine, the devil gets us through sin in the form of stress, despair, worry, depression, anger and violence. Singapore is nowhere as dire, but even my own youths are sharing how restless they are in this lockdown – and how that leads them into sin.

The Word of God becomes more relevant than ever now. The depth of our relationship with God becomes the key to whether we as a people of God will make or break. People of God must know that Covid-19 is merely the beginning. Worse times than now are described in Matt 24:21-22:

“For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.”

Covid-19 is a smaller test for us, before we face the ultimate test. If we cannot even survive through this lockdown, how can we face the great tribulation? If we put what the Lord had already prophesied in the Bible into perspective, shouldn’t we even in our pain, wrestle till we overcome? For “he who endures to the end shall be saved.” (Mat 24:13)

Still, I can’t help but lament for the needs of the poor in India that is seemingly within our reach. Surely, we could still do more to help? What if a family that could have been saved by $20 have their peace and lives robbed by the devil? Yet I must know – we would not be able to reach everyone in India. We aren’t people’s saviours. God alone is. The solution is also never solely found in money. I prayed for these Indian brothers and sisters that the Lord will find them, before the devil robs them. Lord, please.

Then, my wife Roxanne and I texted brother Johnson. He is on our heart. He is our brother. We are burdened to check-in with him on the larger purpose we must all remember.

Leo: “Brother, how do the Indian poor cope? They have been poor for a long time. When famine and disasters hit, how do they adapt?”

Johnson: “There are different kinds of answers.. people like social activists, economists, politicians etc, give different kinds of answers. As a pastor, my answer is Jesus said to help the poor.. The question is, “How long do we help them?” I think there is no answer in the Bible. My personal opinion is, “as long as there are kind people.” (Gal 6:9; Isa 58:3-14). When the funds dried, I think God has used us for that time. Let us see what God will do. It may be time to give the final call.”

Roxanne: “How can we make this sustainable? Are there creative ways to help? In Singapore, there are people who will pick up thrown vegetables. In ancient Israel, Ruth went to pick up grains off Boaz’s land..”

Johnson then described how the poor coped, including collecting the thrown-aways. But the problem with India now is everything is stopped. He then sent a picture of people he met who are going to fish in the pits to feed their family: “People are trying to find their own ways.”

At the outskirts of Machilipatnam, people are trying to fish in the pits for food.

Leo:  “I am grieving together with you.. I appreciate your response that at the end, we must recognise it is not us but Jesus.. We as mankind are a small part of His bigger purposes. Your answer tells me you understood that. Nevertheless, I am grieved, and I hope God will still open the barn house to tie them through this crisis. Do you recognise in end times, there will come a time worse than this? We must all be prepared.”

Johnson: “Yes brother, that is what I am speaking to my church now..”

Thank you for reading thus far. We hope this article blessed you to see Jesus too. God knows our hearts. May God find our  hearts and prayers worthy and meet our brothers and sisters in India in their need. Perhaps, He will open the barn house once more.

PS: If you wish to support this final push to help the poor in India, please text Roxanne @ 90016790 (also the Paylah account number to India). All doners are invited to join a Telegram group with Ps Johnson. All accounts are transparent and available for scrutiny of donors. Thank you!

Update on India: Help us adopt this village

10 days ago, we published this article – http://vow.sg/help-indias-poor-under-lockdown-crisis-tie-over-famine/ – to raise funds for India’s crisis. Since then, we have sent 2 more rounds of aid consisting of food items, medical supplies and some finances. A total of 310 families and 11 pastor partners cutting across 4 villages have received help. But the needs remain high.
A volunteer passing a pack of food items to a grateful villager while a mother and child look on (far left). 
“Your gifts are like treasures.” Some teared. Some broke out into smiles.
This is for you, brother.

Over Easter, the President of another village called “Chinna Karagraharam” contacted Ps Johnson and requested for aid. This village of 550 families are among the poorest of the poor. They are also in the “red zone” which means the households in the village are on a lockdown due to the presence of Covid-19 cases. Nobody is allowed to go out. They would have to call the authorities if they have medical emergencies.

“Chinna Karagraharam” Village
Ps Johnson has received special permission from the authorities to be able to distribute food items in this village. Also, in order to reach the greater number of families in this village, Ps Johnson is recommending to reduce the pack from $40 to $15/$10, for basic necessities. This village has rice. But Indians need other ingredients to cook curry to eat with their rice, like oil, dal, chillies, tamarind etc. We need to raise a minimum of $5,500 for a $10 pack. If we raise $8, 250, we could provide a $15 package.
The people are hungry and the needs are high.
If you are new to this but wish to help, you could forward this post. We have people donating from $10 to $1000. Every cent is precious. Even $10 is able to support a poor family for half a month. All doners are invited to join a public chat group with Ps Johnson inside. All our accounts are transparent and available to the scrutiny of everyone in the group. Even for people who don’t join the group, we make their contribution public in the group and we update them how their contribution adds up. Pls however note it is a Christian group and we request for your understanding if we are sensitive about this. If you like to support, please text Roxanne @ 90016790. Thank you.

Help India’s Poor under “lockdown crisis” tie over famine

Many of you may have read about India’s lockdown situation and how the poor are suffering because of it: shops were closed, jobs were stopped, migrant workers turned into refugees overnight unable to work or get home. They have little food to eat. Millions are affected. Please watch the video below and read the article below to understand more:

https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/opinion/article/3077628/indias-coronavirus-lockdown-has-turned-health-crisis-humanitarian

An Indian pastor friend of mine wrote to me about the recent plight. Pastors have approached him telling him that their families and communities have nothing to eat. Because we had previously raised funds for Ps Johnson to run a certain project, we were able to allow him to activate those funds immediately to resolve the current starvation issues instead. You could read more about this pastor  and the project we tried to start with him here:

Support Grace Camp’s work among the Poorest: Would you sponsor a Yanadi kid at SGD40/mth?

With the money, Ps Johnson has over the last few days, bought rations, packed them and distributed them to families around the area.

Ps Johnson’s community packed food for distribution.
Some were blessed that first night.
More food distributed the next morning. Ps Johnson only has a few hours to do so. He also needs to keep a distance and left the food on the ground.
These are ration packed for a targeted 75 families after funds came in.
Truckload of food.

I asked Ps Johnson if after this round of distribution, he would propose to follow up on the same families or try to reach new clusters of families? I also asked him how long does he envision this to last? His response is it will be better to reach new clusters of families as they would need help too. He also said the lockdown can be lifted by April 15th – and once work resumes, things would get better.

However, within minutes of our conversation, Ps Johnson received news that India extended their lockdown by another 2.5 weeks.

More would need to be done to help the poor Indians sustain through this famine crisis.

Here are the latest set of photos Ps Johnson sent me today. He told me he went to the “poorest of the poor” (read about them).

Ps Johnson on the right.
Ps Johnson distributing 55 packs of food.
Some of these women were in tears as the 55 packs were not enough for everyone. This broke Ps Johnson’s heart.

If you would like to help India’s poor tide over this crisis through the ministry of Ps Johnson, you could text Roxanne @90016790 now to be connected in a Chat Group with Ps Johnson directly (accountability purposes). We are coordinating an effort to help. Below are some references:

Food items:

  1. Rice
  2. Dal
  3. Oil
  4. Onions
  5. Tamarind
  6. Soaps
  7. Dry Chilies

Cost to feed one family for 15 days: $40

Love gift:

Ps Johnson is recommending a love gift for poor pastors: $40 (these could be Ps Johnson’s associates who are like-minded in the helping work for the poor).

Singapore’s churches may be suspending our gatherings for now but we must not be inactive. We are blessed to be a blessing. An opportunity and a gap has arisen. Join me to rally for our Indian neighbours. Thank you.

Petition to Heavenly Court at Purim 2020

Purim falls on the 10th-March in 2020. Since in Biblical context, a new day begins at sundown, this means that Purim actually begins on the evening of 9th-March.

For those who are unsure of what Purim is, they can refer to the book of Esther. An excerpt of Chapter 9 is presented here for a quick understanding:

“20 Mordecai recorded these events, and he sent letters to all the Jews throughout the provinces of King Xerxes, near and far, 21 to have them celebrate annually the fourteenth and fifteenth days of the month of Adar 22 as the time when the Jews got relief from their enemies, and as the month when their sorrow was turned into joy and their mourning into a day of celebration.. 28 These days should be remembered and observed in every generation by every family.. these days of Purim should never fail to be celebrated by the Jews—nor should the memory of these days die out among their descendants.”

The word pur in Hebrew also means “break, bring to nothing, utterly take”, which was what God did to all the scheming of Haman. Purim is a kairos moment for intercessors to “reverse, annul; nullify” curses through repentance and righting of wrongs – spiritually and physically.

Purim last year was on 20 Mar 2019, which was also the 49th anniversary of abortion being legalized in Singapore (the Abortion Act came into effect on 20-March 1970). That meant the Abortion Act was into its Jubilee year. Jubilee represented a release from bondages and redemption. Therefore, there were intercessors who had prayed in hope that the Abortion Act could be annulled in its Jubilee year. Not wrong to hope.

However, as God’s word would teach us – faith always requires action. A promised land flowing with milk and honey might be God’s plan for the Israelites but they are still required to do something about it. We all know the story. They understood the spiritual promise but could not see through the physical requirement. They got afraid. Only Joshua, Caleb had the faith to persist to act. The rest wanted to back out. The promise fell flat and that generation died in the wilderness. Only Joshua and Caleb survived to enter the promise land.

On the Sabbath before Purim 2020, Jennifer Heng led the Love SG Prayer Meet. Then on Tue morning, 10-Mar-20, Purim itself, 3:16 Church (who leads Heartbeat Project) led it. Some feel, and I concur, these are not coincidences. God is putting a finger on the issue of abortion and directing the intercessors and His Bride to align with it.

So this year on Purim, a last minute meeting was called among groups of believers. They had gathered on 9th-March to petition heaven. One of these petitions is shared here, and was presented in front of a kneeling, corporate body who have acknowledged our sins and agreed to act judiciously with regards to the Abortion Act.

So before Jubilee ends, on Purim 2020, we presented this petition to the Heavenly Court. Nevertheless, the body of Christ must now grapple with the truth that it is not only spiritual prayers, but physical acts of justice and righteousness that must follow to right our wrongs.

It might be interesting to recap Lou Engle’s call for Esthers to reshape the abortion landscape, and also how Singapore might be coming into a cyclical review in 2018. Years have passed since these exciting words, but where is the Church now in terms of the abortion landscape? Where are our Esthers for the unborn? There is still an abortion gap (I will write about this again). We have to start wrestling with God. Christ will judge Singapore on what had we done with regards to the unjust murder of the unborn.

A last point of interest. For those who understands that the sun and moon exist not just for telling us the day and the year but also for “signs and for seasons” (Gen 1:14), we had a super moon on 10th-March 1.47 am Tue morning. This means that the moon was 14% larger and 30% brighter than usual on Purim 2020. What sign is God showing His people in Singapore?

 

Petition to Heavenly Court at Purim

“Dear Father in heaven,

Father how many of these repentance prayers do your people have to make before we mean it and act according to what we said?

Yet You have been merciful to us in Singapore. Yet a time is coming and has now come, that You will make recompense.

You said in Your word in Isaiah 59 that when justice and truth fails then Your own arm shall bring salvation for Yourself. You will put on the breastplate of righteousness and the helmet of salvation. You will repay vengeance for Your own name.

Oh Lord as we stand here now, we plead with You – may You help the Bride in Singapore to arise so that we can be Your servants, share Your burdens, and partake in Your glory.

But Father we acknowledge we are weak and we seem few. For most have cared for religion, praises and fear of men more than for what burdens You. So we pray You will strengthen our feeble arms and legs and help the Church in Singapore even as we pray.

You do not see as man sees. Your thoughts and ways are higher than ours. Unfortunately, we Your people have failed to see as You told us to see. Our own ways have led us astray.

Therefore, we have not recognised the unborn as the most discriminated group of people today.

Lord You have given the unborn equal rights to life as a grown person in ownership of his life. In Exodus 21:22-25, You held the grown man accountable for the injury to the unborn child – “life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise”.

But Father, we have not registered in our hearts and minds that abortion is the holocaust of the unborn. We have done little with regards to this blatant disregard of the sanctity of life. Our sins of omission as a passive, indifferent and faithless Church has abated the culture of death in many ways.

Today, we confess our sins before you. On the grave injustice of abortion – we as Your Church have not taken heed of Your call to set the captives and oppressed free. Instead, we have allowed countless unborn infants to be sacrificed to Molech under the justification of lies.

We have paid more credence to these lies, than to stand objectively and biblically on the right of the unborn child to life and protection. We have not spoken out against the grave injustices of this act culturally. We have not made our stand in our pulpits that this is wrong.

We also have not lifted a finger to help the unsupported widows and the fatherless, as exhorted in James 1:27. Unsupported single mothers who have chosen not to abort their child, have faced great difficulties in their journey alone, and have not witnessed compassion from the church.

Without compassion from others, pregnant and unsupported mothers are likelier to choose abortion. This point has however escaped our conscience.

Interestingly, The Straits Times recently published a report on 8th March (2 days leading up to Purim and this petition to heaven), revealing that teenage abortions have risen for the first time in 8 years. Abortions actually have been declining in every reported categories since 2010. But in 2018, abortions among teenagers rose from 320 in 2017 to 330.

As a Church, making this timely prayer now, should we not take heed of this rise? Check our own hearts and ask: where have we been for this group of teenage, pregnant and confused mothers? We realised as a church we have not really been available to encourage unsupported pregnant mothers towards “life”.

Even our own children would believe there would be no recourse and abortion will be their way out if they ever fail and get pregnant. Fear of man is stronger than true love in our church and Christian culture. We now repent.

We repent that as Fathers and Mothers, and as leaders of the older generation, we have failed in our roles to lead our children towards Christ’s values and His communities towards kingdom culture. They have not seen the ways of Christ through us. Father, forgive us. We are ashamed and we are sorry.

You say in Your word, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (2 Chr 7:14)

We hereby declare that we will be committed to be Your remnant who would stand in the gap against the genocide of the unborn. We would take heed of this injustice and be a mouthpiece of Your truth.

We would seek to act as One – according to what Christ has prayed over His disciples in John 17 – to seek to establish Your justice in our nation, on this issue of abortion.

We would obey Your call to seek to eliminate this unjust culture of death while acting in submission to our authorities, but also living up to our roles as the conscience of the state and as Your witnesses.

May it please You Lord as we pray these over our own hardened hearts and plead You for Your grace, strength, wisdom, enablement and supplication of all resources, to help us accomplish Your will for us on this issue of abortion.

Most of all, we plead for Your own hand to see to the rebuilding of Your House and the discipleship of our nation. Let Your will be established over Singapore, that we will fulfill Your destiny for us.

In Jesus’ mighty name we pray. Amen.”

Support Grace Camp’s work among the Poorest: Would you sponsor a Yanadi kid at SGD40/mth?

An education and 3 meals a day are basic necessities most Singaporeans would not bat an eyelid for. But in Machilipatnam where the Yanadis live, these are luxuries.

The Yanadis are from the Untouchable caste. The Untouchables belong to the lowest caste of human lives under India’s caste system. But even among the Untouchables, there exist a hierarchy and those considered the lowest of all are the Yanadis. This makes them the untouchables of the Untouchables.

As a Christian, we believe God loves all human lives equally. There is no higher race or caste than another. In fact, where man considers another man or group of people to be lowly or unwanted, God holds a place of priority in his heart for them (see the parable of the Good Samaritan).

Pastor Johnson is an Indian Christian who knows the true worth of the Yanadis from God’s eyes, and he has been reaching out to them for 8 years. He was from the Untouchables community himself, but his parents were Christians and knew their value. Poor as they were, Johnson’s father gave him an education. Johnson graduated to work as a lecturer in a college, earning a comfortable income. But his heart has always been for the poor. Finally, he left his comfort to work with untouchables in Machilipatnam. At first, Johnson planted churches, distributed blankets during winter, and did gospel rallies. But now, he is settled on Grace Camp as his main work among the Yanadi community.

Grace Camp offers mainly student-care services catered around the needs of children in a village. The government of India offers free education that provides 1 meal a day i.e. lunch, to incentivize children to go to school. But according to Johnson, these efforts are not working. Without breakfast and dinner, the parents would rather send their kids out to beg or scavenge so as to feed the whole family. This is how the poverty cycle remain for these untouchables generation after generation.

Scavenging is a livelihood among some

Grace Camp fills in the gap by offering breakfast for these village kids. As the children come, they are organized into study groups according to their academic level and age. Free tuition and bible studies ensue among the children who had come. When it’s time, the tutors and volunteers line these kids up and walk them to the government school, where they get their lunch – and education. After school, these children return to Grace Camp for more activities – and dinner.

Breakfast and dinner are provided at Grace Camp
Students at Grace Camp are given free tuition
Students lined up and ready to walk to school

Grace Camp also provides bathing facilities and the volunteers at Grace Camp will encourage these children to practice good hygiene. Many of these Yanadi kids get ostracized in school because other children deem them unhygienic and dirty. They are also looked down as they are from the Yanadi caste. However, Grace Camp provides them a community where they can feel encouraged and be socially empowered as a group.

Here’s a video of Grace Camp:

It is undeniable Pastor Johnson is doing a good work in Machilipatnam. How can the Singapore Church support his work? As a friend of Johnson and a minister among the Singapore Churches, I caught up with him to find out the following:

Demographics

  1. Machilipatnam is one of the cities in India that has one of the largest untouchable communities in India. This was what brought Pastor Johnson here.
  2. 70-80% of the Untouchables in Machilipatnam are Christians. However, the lack of discipleship and the poverty cycle are big concerns to Pastor Johnson. Work that is focused on the Yanadi community is rare.

Needs

  1. Pastor Johnson currently has 2 Grace Camps in two villages. For these 2 camps, Johnson is supported by some friends who sponsor for the food and amenities to the children of each camp. However, Pastor Johnson hopes to be able to get a blessing for the volunteer workers who are not paid for their devoted services at the end of this year. You could offer a one-time gift for the volunteer workers.
  2. Christmas is coming and Pastor Johnson hopes to hold an evangelistic event where he can provide 2 buckets of clothes for each family who comes to the celebration. You could offer a one-time gift for families coming to Christmas.
  3. An opportunity has arisen for him to establish a 3rd Grace Camp in another village some miles away. Pastor Johnson anticipates 60 kids for the 3rd Camp – but he has no support for it. You (and your friends) could commit to sponsor one (or more) Yanadi kid’s education for about SG$40/month. You could also give to build the shed for the 3rd Grace Camp at about SG$3000 (includes furnishings).

If you wish to support Pastor Johnson in his good work, we would like to form a Whatsapp chat group that includes you, Pastor Johnson and others, so we could help in an informed and responsible way that encourages accountability. Please however note that we are merely facilitating to begin this aid towards Pastor Johnson. We will be unable to commit to coordinating this moving forward nor could we ensure the integrity of it (as much as we do trust Pastor Johnson). But we do encourage you to establish a connection directly with Pastor Johnson through the chat group. You are most welcome to make personal visits to Pastor Johnson’s ministry in India.

Please text Roxanne at 90016790 if you are interested to help Pastor Johnson in anyway. Pastor Johnson also happens to be available in Singapore on the 22-Nov – if you like to get in touch with him please do it through the above number as well. Lastly, could you help us forward this message to those who could be able to support Grace Camp’s work. Thank you.