WPM Christmas Outreach & Fellowship on 10 December 2022
Wesley Prison Ministry (WPM), through the WPM Incare, Aftercare and Family Care support, is thankful for yet another year of reaching out to the incarcerated at Changi Prison and the Halfway House, to the families and children of the incarcerated, and to those who have been released.
While the church does its part in reaching out to this community, key to their journey of transformation are their reliance on Christ and strong support from their families. We sensed a need to encourage families to not give up but to find hope in Christ, not in the released persons.
WPM, along with its partner Prison Fellowship Singapore (PFS), brought this community together to taste and see the goodness of God in the lives of the released persons and their families. An event team quickly came together to organise the WPM Christmas Outreach & Fellowship for our guests to “Come, Experience the love of Christ” at the Wesley Plaza Hall on 10 December 2022.
A total of 88 guests, volunteers and staff gathered for a wonderful afternoon of celebrating Christ@Christmas. We had families making time for one another, a time of worship led by transformed brothers, God’s word through Pastor David’s message, testimonies of God’s love by released persons, a time of appreciation for family members who stood by the released persons, expressions of love with “Say IT with flowers” to mothers and wives present, engaging games, polaroid family photo-taking, Christmas blessings with Tree of Blessing gifts, Outreach Booklets, and Wesley Welcome Packs. A short video clip on WPM support activities was presented as an invitation for our guests to join a Christian community in their journey of faith with Christ and one another. The packed programme for the afternoon eased off with a relaxing hour of fellowship over a Christmas dinner spread and games.
Testimonies were shared to encourage families to put their hope in Christ as they waited for their loved one’s transformation. Two released brothers, Alvin Zhou and Michael Fu, spoke of how family support was their pillar of strength in their days of incarceration.
Alvin accepted Christ in prison when his fellow cellmate shared the Word with him. He testified of how God had watched over him and his family during his incarceration as he recalled God answering his prayers. Through his journey in prison, Alvin held on to the promise of Jesus in Matthew 7:7 — “ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you”. Alvin shared how helpless he felt when he received news that his application for the subsidy of his daughter’s pre-school fees of $550 was rejected. He couldn’t do anything to help his daughter while he was in prison. In his desperation, when he returned to his cell, Alvin surrendered himself to Jesus and made an earnest prayer to God, allowing Christ to rule over his life. He claimed the truth that nothing is too difficult for God. Praise God, Alvin’s application was later approved with a payment of only $5 in school fees. As his faith grew and he sought to know God better, spending more time with Him and reading Scriptures have become a daily way of life for Alvin. We rejoice that Alvin was baptised on 11 December 2022!
Alvin also expressed gratitude and love to his mother who firmly stood by him. She visited him three times a week during his remand and almost 100 percent of the allocated visitation slots over his five years in Changi Prison. She would travel from Hougang to Changi and walk through the prison gates just to see him personally for 20 minutes. With deep appreciation for his mother’s love and for what she had done for him, Alvin took courage to “Say IT with flowers”. He is now reconciled with the family and spends more time with them.
What stood out for WPM was the clear blurring of lines between beneficiaries and volunteers. It was such a blessing to see brothers-in-Christ, once chained but now set free, so readily availing themselves to serve alongside WPM volunteers in the setting up, packing up, gift wrapping, registration, polaroid photo-taking, and worship leading. They all wanted to share what they had received in order to bless fellow released persons, giving glory to God.
WPM currently serves with a pool of 57 volunteers; 29 in Incare/Aftercare and 28 in Family Care/Children’s Care Club support. As our partnership with PFS and halfway houses grows, we see God opening doors for opportunities to support more beneficiaries in our Christian faith journey. If you have a burden to journey with this community, we ask for your prayerful consideration to serve alongside our team of WPM volunteers.
For more details on volunteer roles in Wesley Prison Ministry and ministry contacts, please click https://wesleymc.org/wesley-prison-ministry. We would love to hear from you!
Photos by Henry Lim
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