The Story of Singapore: The Hand of God         

The Story of Singapore: The Hand of God         


By Rev Zheng       

        Singapore’s national building story was not a given transformation from an ugly duckling to a beautiful swan. It was the hard work of a group of forefathers who built a just society with the conscience that the Creator God had placed in the hearts of men.

        At the end of the 19th Century, this first batch of Chinese immigrants sailed far from China to here. Amongst them were businessmen, teachers and workers who had received little education. Some workers laboured at the pier as coolies or samsui women, while others set out to sea to fish or worked as rickshaw pullers. Many left their families in Tangshan (China) and worked hard to earn a living, scrimping and saving to send their hard-earned money back to their hometown. This formed a resilient workforce that provided early Singapore with a way of survival – a harbour for entrepot trade.

        God had mercy on them and placed charity into the hearts of a few wealthy businessmen. These businessmen built the Thong Chai Medical Institution, Singapore Chung Hwa Medical Institution, etc., to provide their poor kinsmen with free medical treatment. This brought comfort and hope to many in the tough days of Singapore.

        God also blessed them with many offspring; families with more than ten children were a common sight. Selfless love saw them taking on 2 to 3 jobs; this money was not for their enjoyment but for their children to have a new shirt each year, some meat to eat on festive days and, more importantly, the opportunity to learn how to read and write. They knew that education was the foundation of a strong home and, therefore, a strong nation.

        God answered their heart’s desires, and excellent education institutions such as Chinese High School and Nanyang Girls’ High School were established. When the first overseas Chinese university – the Nanyang University, was established, it was the pride of the Chinese migrant community. The university was established with the money raised from the united efforts of wealthy businessmen and the labour masses. From then onwards, even the poor could have an opportunity for higher education!

        The next generation benefited from an excellent education and inherited a rich Chinese cultural heritage. Our forefathers held on to the Chinese traditions despite impoverishment, such as paying respects to ancestors during Qing Ming, wrapping dumplings during the Duan Wu Festival, enjoying the moon during the Mid-Autumn Festival, having glutinous rice flour dumplings during the Winter Solstice Festival, Chinese New Year reunion dinner etc.

        What is more amazing was that God raised a group of greatly talented political leaders, such as Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, Dr Goh Keng Swee, and Mr. Rajaratnam, to build an incorruptible and efficient government for Him. At the same time, He also raised a pool of greatly gifted servants to expand His Kingdom in Singapore. In 1935, God sent evangelist Reverend John Sung to Singapore, and as a result, many youths were revived by the word of God and dedicated their whole lives to building up churches for Christ. Among them were the founding members of the Bible Presbyterian Church in Singapore – Reverend Timothy Tow and Reverend Quek Kiok Chiang. Thank God His mighty hand has prospered both the economy and the Kingdom’s business in Singapore.

        The Singapore Story is the manifestation of our Creator’s will to mankind: “He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)

        O children of God, the Lord requires you to hold up the Word of God in your position faithfully. Continue steering Singapore on the path of righteousness, that this land may be filled with people of God and intercessions for this nation may increase. May divine blessing continue to shower Singapore!


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