2022 was the Year of Tiger, which is supposed to be a year full of power and energy. I think it is fair to say that it was a year of turbulence. We had wars, covid, tension among nations and peoples, extreme weathers, economy downturn, the list just goes on. Then God gave us a preaching series on the book of Revelation. The message makes us aware that Christians can find peace in God even when there is no peace in the world. When people can find hope in the church, they will surely come, and we are thankful that our attendance on Sundays has returned to that before the covid restrictions.
Not only do we find peace in God, but we also find comfort in Him. A few beloved members of the Cantonese congregation have passed away in Christ in the last few months. Although we feel sad, we are deeply comforted by the words of God and the love of brothers and sisters in church. We are thankful that God has given us a spiritual family in St Phils.
The love and bonding of the congregation has increased. Over the last two years, we have grown from the original three growth groups to seven groups now. One new group was multiplied from an existing group. One group was newly formed to strengthen bonding among women. Another group was formed for young families. May God bless all these groups to nurture believers and outreach to non-believers. And may God provide more group leaders so that we can have more groups.
We are also thankful to have our church members of different talents to take charge of or get involved in various outreach ministries, such as Table Tennis, ESL, Simple English Bible Study, Play Group, etc. The Senior Club (an outside group) on Wednesday morning also provides excellent opportunities for us to build relationships and share Gospel with their members. We have people from these ministries come to church and become Christians. It takes time to build relationships with people in these groups, but it is joyful to see Gospel fruit come out from our effort in the grace of God.
2023 is the 23rd year of the Cantonese congregation. Whilst we celebrate and count the blessings of God in the last 23 years, we also look forward and pray to God for more blessings so that we can be a better witness for Him in the neighbourhood of Eastwood. Amen.