Rev. Lau is a pastor in the Evangelical Reformed Churches in Singapore. This address was the official greeting by the ERCS.
Dear Highly Esteemed Brethren in the Lord,
Called to serve Him who was and who is and who is to come, the Lord of lords and King of kings, the soon coming Judge of all, our wonderful Lord and Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ.
Loving greetings in the Name of our Lord — from us who serve the same glorious Lord on the other side of the globe, and who wish you well and prosperity in all your deliberations at this Synod.
We are thankful for your gracious invitation through your Contact Committee to attend this Synod and the graduation of Mr. Cheah Fook Meng. This indeed is another golden opportunity for our two churches to express our unity in the faith and support of each other in this increasingly dark and sinful world of unbelief.
We remain thankful to our Lord for having come to know you, the Protestant Reformed Churches in America. Ever since 1975, when the late Prof. Hoeksema visited our country, untold blessings from the Lord have come our way through you.
In the ministry of the Word, these past twenty years have seen many of your ministers bringing us the Word of God. Two of them spent at least five years with us. Two of our pastors were trained in your seminary, and another will soon return to Singapore for his internship after having studied for three years in the PRC seminary. The cost incurred in such acts of love on your part has been great, and we are not unaware nor unappreciative of it. The Reformed faith, which we have come to know and love through the ministry of your churches, we will uphold and defend with all our might in the Far East. We covet your continual prayers that we may remain faithful and steadfast in this task even as the “mammon of unrighteousness” makes its unprecedented onslaught upon our beloved country.
The life of our churches these past years was not without its trials and temptations. But the Lord has helped us through your churches. What a comfort it is to know that the Lord is able to carry us through all these trials. It gives us greater confidence and trust in Him. The ministry of your minister-on-loan, Rev. Kortering (and his wife), has been of great help to us the last few years, to stabilize our churches in time of confusion.
Pastor Kortering’s ministry has also helped us to reach out in mission work to Myanmar (the present name for Burma). To date we have conducted two Bible Conferences in Yangon (present name for Rangoon, the capital of Burma). The conferences were attended by the locals as well as by some church leaders from the Chin States in the far north northwest corner of Myanmar. So far we have made four trips to Yangon and have seen the United Reformed Churches of Myanmar, which have grown from two congregations to the present 20. This is church reformation, as many Christians are dissatisfied with the ungodly ways of the nominal church! They are crying out for training and for other helps to meet the increasing demands accompanying church growth. Do pray for us as we are finding it not easy to help our brothers and sisters there in Myanmar, considering our limited resources and their unique need and situation.
The Chin people are only one of 16 ethnic groups in Myanmar. It is a minority group with its own language and dialects. More than 90% of Chin people are nominal Baptist Christians. Only about two years ago the Bible was translated into their own Falam dialect. They are all excited about reading and understanding the Word of God for themselves, reading it in their own mother-tongue! We can all understand this excitement of a very close community. They are presently very open to all kinds of influences, and we are thankful for the opportunity to bring them the Reformed faith which they do appreciate and are asking for more.
More can be said about this mission work in Myanmar, but this is enough for our present purpose.
Our plan for brother Fook Meng in the near future is his six-month internship with our churches and his classical examinations in February 1997. Like you, we treat the calling of a minister of the gospel seriously. This will be the first time we are having a classical examination, the previous two being local church examinations. Having now a vacant congregation and a potential candidate, a proper system of calling a minister (much like yours) will be introduced next year.
Our hope and plan for the future (should the Lord tarry) is the establishment of a good Reformed Training School in Singapore, the hub of the Asia Pacific Rim. Every adult individual and every nation is engaged in trading. And Singapore is a world class trading center, according to the judgment of well-established institutions. It is an international market place. What better place is there to establish a good Reformed witness than Singapore if we are genuinely interested in reaching out to the world with the gospel of Christ? And what better witness is there than a church with a theological school? We can see that, but we feel unequal to the task. Pray for us that greater faith and ability may be granted from on high to meet the present need.
In our observation of you, we continue to notice, with great delight, your steadfast defense of the Reformed faith in all your publications. Your undaunted effort to clarify your fine theological position is helping the Reformed community more and more to develop in greater depth of understanding of the truth. We cannot help you much in this area, but can only encourage you to press on in what you are doing for the glory of God and the good of His people all over the world.
The orderliness of your churches continues to attract us, even as it did when we first came to know you. If lawlessness is the hallmark of the Antichrist’s kingdom, biblical orderliness must be that of the true church. Young people in the church of God, in their natural craving for independence, need not view such orderliness as restricting their freedom, just as a fish need not object to the limitation of the water. True maturity will see that soon, and we need not be ashamed in upholding orderliness in our families and churches.
We pray that the presence and contribution of our two delegates at your Synod may serve to promote a closer sister-relationship between us.
The Lord bless you and the churches you represent in all the proceedings of Synod 1996. Amen.
Yours in His service and love,
w/s Pastor Lau Chin Kwee