Singapore and Cambodia March 2017 - NEW

Singapore  - Cambodia 
 3rd to 28th March 2017

Bro. Richard L. S. Gan from Singapore, who had been thinking about inviting me overseas for mission work for some time, called me in January 2017, and asked me to fly over to Singapore, and then to Cambodia to edify the brethren there. The program was set for the month of March 2017.

All of this happened within the space of a month, and I had barely blinked twice before I found myself packing a suitcase, (a small suitcase based on some friendly advice😊) for a March night flight to Singapore. 

I had been praying about ministering overseas for quite some time, and this call came as a vindication of God's will.

It was my first overseas trip and I gave myself to prayer, juggling the hectic demands of  church, ministry, and family, before setting off on the 3rd of March.

With Bro. Gan and Bro. Jimmy at Changi airport
It was a 4 hour flight to Singapore. I left at around 11 pm from my hometown Coimbatore, and found myself in Singapore at 6 am SST. Bro. Gan and his brother, Bro. Jimmy were at the airport to receive me. 

The Singapore airport with its hi-fi rolling walkways, padded floors, and organized infrastructure, exuding all the charms of a hyper modern city, blew me away.



4th March 2017
Airport moving walkway


Bro. Gan and Bro. Jimmy informed me that I was to be put up in the home of a Tamil Malaysian brother, Bro. Kathirasan, a retired officer of the Singapore City Police Force, who currently worked in the Security Service sector. This brother had a spacious 2 bedroom apartment in Hougang, and enough room to accommodate me for a while. Bro. Kathirasan who came to Singapore in the 1950s, has been a part of Bro. Gan's ministry since 1975.



Hougang

I had a meeting in Bro. Gan's church the following morning. So the brothers asked me to sleep off my jet lag, and I willingly complied. I gave into my tiredness and slept the day away. I awoke late that afternoon, and got introduced to Bro. Kathirasan that evening. He took me out to revel in the sights and smells of Singapore before we had dinner.

Bro. Kathirasan took me to China town and started me off on a traditional Chinese meal. We had stuffed fish - a certain variety that they only prepare in China town, the authentic Chinese way, Oyster omelettes, dried fish on beans, sticky rice, and passion fruit juice. Stuffed to overflowing, we managed to hobble out of the restaurant, with Bro. Kathirasan driving us back to his apartment and pointing out all the old city buildings to me.


Authentic Chinese Seafood dish

5th March, 2017

The next day, we made our way to Yishun, where Bro. Gan's church is situated. The morning service began at 10:00 am.




Bro. Gan introduced me to the congregation and offered me the pulpit. I was quite nervous, and was actually floundering to get my balance those first 10 minutes after I stepped up to the dias. I guess it was not just the fact that I was in the presence of a senior minister under whose ministry I had learned a great deal in my early days in the truth, but mostly because I was in a new country, a new place, with new faces staring up at me wondering what the message was going to be like; and I found my confidence dwindling, wondering whether I would be able to match up against the standard of the sermons they had been hearing on a regular basis. Then, my self-confidence dissolved completely, and my 'God-confidence' rose, and I felt the Holy Spirit take hold of me, and opened my mouth to speak. 


My message was 'The Missing Colour of Vatican'. I expounded on the symbolism of the colours of the priestly garments and accessories of the children of Israel, and their co-relation to us, the spiritual Israel; And how the symbolisms were being aped by Christendom, but falling short of being Word worthy in our times due to certain missing elements. 
I have known Bro. Gan since the year 1992. I have read his books, gone to him with my questions, sought his guidance in my trying times, stood with him durng opposition to his work in India, and closely followed his ministry for as long as I can remember. It was after 24 years that I had received this chance to visit with him in his own country, and speak in his church, which was indeed an overwhelming joy. 

The message was posted on Bro. Gan's website. (Just click on the below link and scroll down to the message : [Mar.05]  Bro. Shadrach Joseph:  The Missing Colour of The Vatican. to watch.)

http://www.propheticrevelation.net/audiovideo/audiovideo16-17.htm

Of all those who attended, many testified to being blessed. The congregation responded warmly and made me feel at home. The brothers and sisters who gather there are truly a testament of the Lord's marvelous move in Singapore.

Yishun
Bro. Gan and his family took me out for a Chinese lunch. During lunch, I contacted the friend of one of the brothers from our ministry, (Bro. Gray Bharathi's old school chum,) Bro. Dennis Irwin. He invited me over to his place, which was suprisingly just a short walk from the church, in Yishun itself.

Bro. Irwin called one of his friends over as well, a Bro. Rajkumar, who, I learned, was from Thadagam, Coimbatore. Happy to meet my fellow Tamilians, the three of us had a long discussion about many biblical truths and various doctrines. 

Bro. Irwin told me that a brother he knew, and had not been in touch with from some time, had recently contacted him. This brother, Pastor Joshua, was ministering to a small group of Tamil brethren in Hillview, Singapore, every Sunday evening on premises allowed them by The Salvation Army. Bro. Irwin said that he would call and inform him regarding my stay in Singapore, and if possible try to arrange a meeting at his church after I got back from Cambodia. Bro. Irwin booked a cab for me to Hougang.

Pastor Joshua happened to call me a little while after I reached home, and invited me  to preach in his church the Sunday after I returned from Cambodia.

I slept fitfully and awoke bright and early the next day for my 10:00 am flight to Cambodia. I was to spend 16 days there at the home of Bro. Israel Dume.  

6th March, 2017

Bro. Gan and Bro. Jimmy came along with me to the airport and stayed with me ensuring that I got on the right flight.😉

While boarding I called Bro. Dume, and asked him to send me his picture on whatsapp so that I could identify him at the airport. I was expecting an Asian brother's picture, but suprisingly I received the snapshot of a warm African face beaming at me from my smartphone. This gladdened my heart, as I had just left my weekend African connection - the Rwandan students' fellowship in Coimbatore, and I was again greeted with a brother from Africa here in South East Asia.

Due to the time difference between the two countries, I reached Cambodia at 1:00 pm, CST. Bro. Israel Dume and his associate Bro. Kim Cheak, who is a local youth fellowship leader and also assists Bro. Dume in the translation of spiritual literature in the Khmer language, came to receive me at the airport.

Cambodia's auto rickshaw: The Tuk Tuk
Bro. Dume is originally from Cameroon, Africa. He received a vision from the Lord to come to Cambodia to labour there, seven to eight years ago, and has been working hard in the various provinces of Cambodia ever since.

Bro. Dume had booked a tuk-tuk, the local means of transport, not very different from our Indian auto-rickshaws. The weather was sweltering hot, and the roads unimaginably dusty. We donned masks for the commute, until we reached Borey New WorldSangkat Dangkor, the part of Cambodia Bro. Dume lives in, which was considerably clean. 

Once I was settled in and unpacked, Bro. Dume took me out for a Cambodian lunch.

After lunch, we shared our testimonies. Bro. Dume told me how the Lord had brought him to Cambodia, his vision for the ministry work there, his translation of Bro. Gan's charts in Khmer, the Cambodian tongue, the trials of settling on and working with a good translator, and his novel idea of  distributing Voice of God Recordings' messages through memory cards. 

Bro. Dume's wife, Sis Deborah arrived at 4:00 in the evening. She got busy preparing a "Welcome to Cambodia" meal. Dinner was at 6:30 pm, which was quite an adjustment for me, but the meal was delicious. Sis. Deborah had prepared some lip-smacking African style fish gravy.


African style fish gravy

In the course of my stay with them, this wonderful couple told me about their family, their life in Cameroon, how they had come to Cambodia, and the troubles they had faced there in the course of missionary life.


With Bro. Israel and Sis. Deborah Dume
Phnom Penh

Today, Bro. Dume has a comfortable office with all the tools he requires for his translation work at his disposal. Their ministry office is located in the next street from their home.

Many visiting ministers have made their home a stop over point. Their graciousness and hospitality was unforgettable. They almost made me stop missing 'My India'.

Theravada Buddism is the official religion of Cambodia, with Hinduism coming a close second.



I was curious to know if any Indian pastors had been ministering in Cambodia, as always, searching for connections within my country back home to further "My India Vision" missionary's name was Ango Kikon, and he was originally from Nagaland, India. He and his wife now lived in Phnom Penh.

Pastor Dume arranged for a personal meeting with him the next day.

With Pastor Kikon and Pastor Dume
8th March, 2017

Pastor Dume and myself went to meet Pastor Kikon, who headed the Community Light Youth Fellowship in Phnom Penh, and had been minstering there for the past eight years.

Pastor Dume introduced me to the smiling gentleman in his mid-thirties, and I took the opportunity to explain my ministry vision in India, and told him about how the Lord had been leading me these past several years.

Pastor Kikon was pleased and told me he would be willing to offer me contacts in Nagaland if and when I wished to go there for mission work. He also extended an open invitation to me, to preach at his service the coming Sunday, the 12th of March.

9th March, 2017


I spent the day with Pastor Dume at his office, which also serves as a meeting place for his church -The Tent House Tabernacle, and the Voice of God library in Cambodia.

Pastor Dume has been fighting against the odds to lay a foundation for the Aspostolic Truth in Cambodia, as per the vision the Lord gave him all those years ago. He has translated Bro. Gan's charts regarding 'Eternity to Eternity', into the Khmer language, which has proved an extremely helpful Biblical aid for the Cambodian people.

He has also worked on the translation of the Voice of God tapes, that is, some of the messages of Bro. Branham, into Khmer, in text, as well as audio, especially through the distribution of SD and memory cards with voice recordings translated into Khmer.

Bro. Kim Cheak helps Bro. Dume translate the charts, messages, and any other spiritual literature that would prove beneficial for edification of the saints, and the preparation of the Bride of Christ.

10th March, 2017


We had been invited to Bro. Kim Cheak's assembly, Calvary Phnom Penh Church, made up primarily of Cambodian youth.

There were around 20 youth gathered that day, and after a wonderful time of worship, I expounded to the little gathering, 'The Breath of Life', the importance of the inbreathed Word of God. I took them on a spiritual journey, from the creation of Adam, through the redemption of mankind through Christ's blood, and then finally down through the ages to our times when we needed to be aware of our bodies being the living temples of the Holy Spirit.


Bro. Kim Cheak translated the message in Khmer.


I had initially been given only a half hour space for the message, but as the teaching progressed, and the youth were drawn into the deeper insights of the Word, Bro. Kim Cheak asked me to extend a further half hour to the delight of the little congregation.

12th March, 2017, Sunday

As per Pastor Kikon's invitation earlier that week, Pastor Dume, Sis. Deborah, and myself made our way to his church for that Sunday morning's service. Pastor Dume had left the service in the able hands of his assistant for that morning.

We were warmly welcomed by Pastor Kikon and his wife. 

There were around 40 people gathered for the morning service there, and I had been given 45 minutes to get the message across.

Bro. Kim Cheak served as interpretor.

The service was a multi-cultural, global session. There were people in the congregation from India, Africa, Cambodia, Vietnam, and even a brother from Houston, Texas, who had married a Cambodian citizen and settled down in Cambodia. It was almost like preaching to five nations.


My message that day was, "Bible Pictures", the various symbols used to depict the Word of God in different contexts, and their meanings in our times. It was a simple message for simple hearts, and I went on to end it after about 50 minutes, just then noticing that I had crossed my time limit, when Pastor Kikon gesticulated from the back of the church, asking me to go on for a bit. I finally wound up at around an hour and 15 minutes.


Pastor Kikon was delighted, and the congregation were deeply immersed. They all testified to being blessed, and the pastor told me that I and Pastor Dume were welcome there any time.

From left: Bro. Kim Cheak, Sis. Deborah, Pastor Dume, Pastor Ango Kikon, and his wife.

Pastor Israel Dume was also pleased, as it had been really hard for him to find an opening among the established churches in Phnom Penh, and now here it was.

15th March, 2017

That Wednesday, I had been asked to speak once again at the Calvary Phnom Penh Church youth fellowship. This time, the smiling faces of the young brothers and sistes were all in earnest expectation of what gems the Lord would reveal once again. I saw in them, the beginnings of a real driving thirst for the truth of God's Word.

My message that day was The Sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross, what it actually meant, why it was necessary, and our needed commitment as christians in a world full of darkness. The youth were very touched that day. I pray that the Lord may open their hearts to receive His truth and lead them deeper in their spiritual growth.



17th March, 2017

It was Friday, and we were due at Cratie Love Church, in Cratie province of Cambodia. It was a church which had been established there by the Korean Presbyterian Mission.

A van had been arranged for our travel. We had to leave Phnom Penh that monring at 5:00 am for the drive there. We stopped awhile at around 8:00 am for breakfast. In this part of Cambodia, that meant a substantial meal of rice and beef! at 8 in the morning!


With Bro. Kim Cheak in Cratie Province alongside the river which extends to Vietnam and Laos.


Anyway, we arrived at Cratie at 11:00 am. The meeting was to begin at 1:00 pm, so Pastor Dume had booked us into a hotel there. We had a short time of rest before Pastor Thi Lengchhay, who headed the church there arrived to take us to the assembly point by car.


Bro. Dume and I both skipped lunch as we wanted to be fresh for the service.

There were around 60 people in attendance, and the service was split into two sessions 1:00 to 3:00 pm, with a short break till 3:30 pm and then again till 5:00 pm.



I had planned to expound a deeper subject that day, but I gauged the hearts of the congregation, and the Lord led me to explain "Biblical Symbolism", the language and articulation of the Bible, and the interpretation of certain phrases. I went on to explain "The Original Sin", and then again to "Bible Pictures" for the second session.


Bro. Kim Cheak was my interpretor.



The congregation was blessed. Pastor Thi Lengchhay too, was joyful.

At the end of the service, Pastor Dume distributed Bro Gan's charts, and VOG SD and Memory Card translated recordings to the people.

Pastor Thi Lengchhay extented an invitation to Pastor Dume to visit the church again, anytime he was in the province.

With Pastor Dume and Pastor Thi Lengchhay's family

That evening we arranged to meet the pastor's family for dinner at a local restaurant. Dinner was at 6:30 pm, and Pastor Lengchhay arrived with his wife and children. It was a pleasure to play with the kids, and we had some time of sweet fellowship around the dinner table, discussing our most beloved topic- The Bible, as well as sharing our ideas, and cultural information.



We bid goodbye to Pastor Thi Lengchhay and his family and made our way back to Phnom Penh the next day.

19th March, 2017, Sunday

It was Sunday, and I had been asked to preach at Bro. Israel Dume's Church, - the Tent House Tabernacle.

There were around 50 people gathered, apart from children. A few members from Bro. Kim Cheak's Youth Fellowship had also decided to attend.



I preached on The Foundation of the Apostles, The True Born Again Experience, and especially Baptism in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ.




I could feel the Lord's hand on the congregation, and when Pastor Dume asked how many were ready for baptism, 20 hands were slowly raised.


It was a good meeting.

Evening:

That evening, Bro. Dume and Sis. Deborah had arranged a small get-together for Cambodia's under-priviledged children. They had bought a load of gifts for each of them, and asked me to hand them out.




It was a joy to spend time with the kids there, watching their eyes grow wide with excitement on receiving their gifts, and the barely concealed amusement on their faces at the sight of this different looking foreigner. Even though I couldn't really communicate with them well, not knowing their local language, we all used gestures and got our messages across somewhat.


The days between meetings, I used for prayer, and usually accompanied Pastor Dume to his office.


Breakfast in Cambodia was at 6:30 am, or 7:00 at the latest, lunch at a half past 12, and dinner at 6:30 or 7:00 pm again. It was a real adjustment for me, being a late eater back home in India, gulping down a heavy meal between meetings, trying to stick to my schedules. But the timely meals helped me regain my health there.

Sis. Deborah's cooking won all my accolades. She kept saying it was nothing special, but every day there was something different to eat, and I know every dish entailed a good deal of effort on her part. Both Pastor Dume, and Sister took such good care of me, ensuring I was fed on time, making my room comfortable, having my mobile recharged, (hiding the sugar bin from sight so I didn't overdose on sugar in my tea😊) and keeping me stocked with cool juice to beat the blustering Cambodian heat.

I also had the novel experience of feasting on sea-snails, (local street food) (which at the time I thought were shell fish), octopus - a common seafood delicacy in South East Asian countries, and 'Pho', a soupy vietnamese specialty.

Steamed sea snails

Octopus
Pho


Pastor Dume is a soft spoken, kind hearted, man taking the truth to the people of Phnom Penh with Agape Love. In the course of our discussions, I heard that phrase from him numerous times. I pray that the Agape Love that has seen him through till today, will continue to flow through him in winning souls in Cambodia.

Pastor Dume was happy about the work in Cambodia this time round. The response was good, and the Lord has opened many new doors for the minstry there. He has invited me over again to work with him in Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand, where there is a lot of work to be done and few hands to go around.

God willing, I shall go back to see the Dumes and share their burden to broaden the mission field in Cambodia and across its borders once again.

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23rd March, 2017

I left Cambodia for Singapore at 10:00 am and reached around 1:30 pm.

Bro. Gan and Bro. Jimmy were at the airport to receive me once again.

After lunch, they showed me around Singapore in Bro. Jimmy's car. Bro. Gan wanted me to see Little India, and was quick to point out the standard of cleanliness there as compared to the rest of the country. Of course, It was just like home 😄, maybe a slightly sophisticated version of home. The streets were lined with branches of Sarvana Bhavan, Pavizham jewelers, etc. even there.


They also took me to Mustafa, the oldest mini mall in Little India.


24th March, 2017

Bro. Gan had handed me a map of Singapore, and told me to find my way to Bible Study from Haugang to Yishun the next day. The map was self-explanatory, so I took the subway to Yishun, and was 15 minutes late.

Now in India 15 minutes late, is actually.....not very late at all, but in Singapore, it's almost like arriving the next day!

Yep, the spirit of punctuality permeates every facet of Singapore life, from meal times, to catching the metro or bus, to arriving at work, or leaving school. Everything runs according to the clock, and in Singapore the clocks don't stop.

Anyway, that day was the usual Church Bible Study. A few of the brethren had gathered. And Bro. Gan was speaking on a topic he had been continuing in Bible Study from the preceding meetings, as well as discussing a few Q&A points.

After Bible Study, we had a time of intercessory prayer, when the brethren prayed for various intentions, ministeries, and ministers in the faith, all over the world.

25th March, 2017

I met Bro. Rajkumar in the morning after a late breakfast, and we roamed the streets and stores of Yishun.

26th March, 2017, Sunday

It was Sunday again, and I rushed to make it to the service on time, once again arriving 2 minutes late.

The service began at 10:00 am and Bro. Gan handed the pulpit over to me at 10:40 am.

My message was on The Power of the Right Hand of God: the Lord's work through the Five fold ministry. I also shared the testimony of my conversion, and my call to the ministry with the congregation.

(Click on the below link and scroll down to the message: [Mar.26]  Bro. Shadrach Joseph:  The Power of The Right Hand of God to view)

http://www.propheticrevelation.net/audiovideo/audiovideo16-17.htm



I sensed the congregation's receptiveness, and felt the presence of God move during the message. So, when my 1 hour and 20 minutes were up, and Bro. Gan gestured to me to continue, I went on according to the leading of the Lord, and the service ended at 12:30 pm.

After service, the Gan family took me out to lunch, with Bro. Gan teaching me to eat with chopsticks, albeit unsuccessfully. They treated me to an unspeakably fantastic meal of HongKong Crab.




With Pastor Joshua
After lunch, I found my way back to Haugang, and after freshening up, travelled to Bro. Joshua's church in Hillview for the Tamil evening service.


Pastor Joshua, a Tamilian by birth, works as a manager in a marine company in Singapore, and leads the small congregation of Eternal Love Ministeries.

The service began at 7:00 pm.

After an enlivening session of Tamil praise and worship, Pastor Joshua handed over the dias to me. The congregation was all Tamil, so I found myself preaching in Tamil, in Singapore.


My message was on Mystery Babylon.
I explained the mixture of pagan rituals in Christian traditions, the roots of paganism in the many Christian beliefs held by traditional churches today, the origins of Sun Worship, and a warning about the spectre of Ecumenism, with texts from Revelation Chapters 13 and 17.


The congregation was receptive, and embraced the enfolding truths.

At the end of the service, Pastor Joshua told me that God-willing he would like to invite me over once again for a 3 day convention.


27th March, 2017

After the success of the mission work in Cambodia, and the few opportunities I had had to speak in the Name of the Lord in Singapore, Bro. Gan decided to take me to see some natural wonders. We went to Underwater World - the largest underwater aquariam in the world, situated in Harbourfront, Singapore.




                 

        



It was like watching a top notch HD resolution 70 mm screen. I took a few hours off to marvel awestruck at the wonders of God's handiwork under the sea. I liked it much better than all the man-made sights I had seen so far.

Turtle Soup

After a quick crayfish lunch, Bro. Gan bid me adieu and Bro. Jimmy, his wife, and his son Jonan who were quite enthusiastic to take me around to show me the rest of Singapore, drove me around in their car. We first went shopping in Little India, then to dinner. The piece de resistance of all the meals I had had so far was that night's dinner of turtle soup, Bro. Jonan treated me to.

We then went to watch a fountain show at Marina Bay - a regular feature in Singapore with fountains spraying up water, and accompanying light projecting images on the erupting water. It was beautiful to watch.

After the fountain show, we went to the 56th floor of Hotel Marina Bay, with walls made completely of glass. It had quite a head spinning effect on me.






On the way back home the family took me through an underground tunnel, and softly informed me that we were actually driving through an undersea tunnel!😲


Bro Jimmy dropped me off at Haugang and I retired early, the next day being 'packing day', before my flight back home.

28th March, 2017

I packed as best as I could. Bro. Gan and Bro. Jimmy came over to help me at around 3:00 pm, and we left in time for my flight at 8:00. I touched down in India at around 10:30 pm that night. My wife, Sis. Benita, and a brother from church, Bro. Prakash were at the airport to receive me.

It had been my first overseas trip, and that too a month-long one away from home. It felt good to be back in India once again, no matter how polluted it was.

I thank Bro. Gan, who has been a spiritual example for me over the years, for all his loving care and concern, which is usually masked by his good natured ribbing, for making this trip possible, for encouraging my ministry, and for understanding my burden and my mission work within India.

I thank Bro. Jimmy and his wife, for all their care, and  especially Jonan for the soup, and for that last day in Singapore, and Bro. Kathirasan for the lip-smacking Chinese treat and for making me feel so much at home.

I also thank Bro. Dennis Irwin through whom I had the chance to meet Bro. Rajkumar, and Pastor Joshua.

And last of all I thank Bro. and Sis. Dume who are now my family, for all their love.

This trip, being overall sucessful in terms of mission work, I did feel, there were still many gaps to fill in the days in between. More than the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and new experiences I had, which obviously could never be replaced, was the joy of watching the eyes of those in the congregation soften while pondering over the Lord's love for us, or widen in the understanding of His Word.

"For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? For ye are our glory and joy" (I Thessalonians 2:19, 20)

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