There is no official Thanksgiving holiday in Singapore.
Plus, the weather stays hot and humid all year-round and there was no hype for the holiday season other than some upcoming Christmas sales at stores.
Diana and I woke up last week on Thanksgiving morning without anything special planned. But something felt oddly out of place; it was the first time both Diana and I were away from our families during the holidays. So we took a a break from our regular responsibilities and decided to celebrate.
We went out to eat and tried to think of ways how we can start our own family tradition of celebrating Thanksgiving.
(Something new I’m learning about starting my own family is that our past family traditions from our upbringing don’t automatically transfer over – we have to create and keep our own traditions now!)
Diana and I decided that every year, we would find simple ways to serve and give back to others as we have been so blessed and encouraged by our church community’s warm reception, hospitality and generosity.
Later that day, after checking up on a friend in the hospital, a small group of friends from our church went out to an impromptu dinner in place of our scheduled planning meeting. Before diving into some Korean barbecue, we went around and shared one thing we were thankful for from this past year. It was a sweet moment for me as we were genuinely sharing how we were all thankful for our church community. Even though this past year has been a wild roller coaster ride, we were able to thank God for His faithfulness and gracious hand in our lives.
Korean BBQ for Thanksgiving with friends:
(Photo credit: Wilson Toh)
Two weeks before Thanksgiving, our church celebrated a brother’s baptism. That same day, one of our students took the Holy Communion for the first time and when we followed up with him, it turned out that he had received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior during LIFE Group before! We had only just found out that day and it was a joyous occasion as we celebrated both a baptism and a new brother’s salvation!
From the Baptism service on November 15th:
Our church members at the Baptism Service plus some of Dongzhou’s friends:
(Photo credits: HMCC Media Team)
We’ve been studying the book of Ruth as a church. The timing of Ruth’s story took place during “the barley harvest”. Being the history geek that I am, I studied up on the significance of the “barley harvest” and learned that barley was a hardy grain that was able to thrive under harsh conditions; it was the first grain to be harvested in the year. Since barley was a “first fruit”, it signaled that there were more “fruits” to come later in the harvest season.
It’s been quite some time since our church here has seen someone new come to know Christ. I’ve been praying that our new brother in Christ is a “first fruit” of this new season for our church and trust that God will “add more to our numbers”.
To be honest, it’s been a difficult and rocky transition this past year with a lot of change and new things all at once. But I’m grateful for our church community who’s been a supportive and generous family to us. Happy Thanksgiving!
Pray for us:
Pray that there will be more “fruits” to come -that more people’s lives will be transformed by the Gospel and the power of the Holy Spirit. Pray for more people who will be saved by God’s power and grace as we faithfully preach and live out the Gospel!