The Second Desire

Yes there was so much more that God enabled His servant to do during his two and  half year command in these barracks. His second desire was to be able to tell his men about the Lord Jesus Christ, who loved them and gave Himself for them.

There was no regular Military Chaplain, so every Sunday, as Commanding officer, it was his duty and great joy to read God’s word to his men and tell them of the love and power to save of the Lord Jesus Christ. They sang very heartily from the hymn book he had complied in 1863, finishing with prayer. After which was a hearty AMEN.

A Sunday School was started with the help of a schoolmaster – a corporal in the Regiment. All the married people sent their children along so it was a full ‘house’ or schoolroom. It was a joy to hear them sing. He loved those children dearly, and when he was weary and worn out with work on the cricket-ground followed by two hours counseling and dealing with problems, he would go into the schoolroom and ask the children to give him his Text.

All with one accord would recite – ‘Blessed is the man that trusted in the Lord and whose hope the Lord is.’

A Bible class for married women was started and continued for more than a year, until eventually he was able to hand the meeting over to a dear friend who was in charge of the Chinese Girls School just off Orchard Road. She was able to visit these ladies in their homes.

It certainly wasn’t easy going – plenty of opposition, but God gave him very plain assurance that –‘Greater is He that is in us, than he that is in the World.’

He also had refreshing fellowship with many other Christians in Singapore, encouraging and being encouraged. Much more we could tell. But you will have to read it for yourselves.

But surely this was the start of the Christian Testimony at these Tanglin Barracks, under girded by prayer 120 years ago. From Jungle to Church? No, not a building but a Body of Christ on Earth.

Officers of the American, French, and Austrian navies, who came to call on us, were much struck by the appearance of the barracks, and could hardly believe that it had been done by them themselves assisted by some men with local skills