Micah Singapore feature: Tamar Village
In his book, Generous Justice, Timothy Keller states that Micah 6:8 is a summary of how God wants us to live. And in chapter one, he unpacks what ‘doing justice’ means – at the centre of it lies God’s ‘tenderest love and closest involvement’ with the weak and vulnerable.
Tamar Village is a ministry reaching out to local street ladies in Geylang, started by Shu Hui and Lois in 2010. To date, they have made contact with, and have been involved in the lives of, 9 ladies in the area. We had the privilege of having them share their experience with us at the 2nd Micah 6:8 Intersection, held at their premises at the YWAM Mercy Centre on 31 Oct 2012.
The Intersection started with a sharing session by Shu Hui, who gave us an idea of the ministry’s activities and needs. Tamar Village’s outreach involves making contact with local street ladies, befriending them, sharing the Gospel with them, helping them with their material needs and teaching and equipping them with skills with which to support themselves. The Skills Centre is a focal point of the ministry, and it aims to establish these ladies in viable alternative jobs, paying them a daily stipend in the interim.
Shu Hui’s sharing was followed by a Q & A / general sharing session with Shu Hui, Lois and Sharon. My overall impression from both sharing sessions was of a ministry facing immense challenges, both spiritual and material, but also of a ministry of immense love, committed to the spirit of Micah 6:8. As Shu Hui and Lois shared with us the personal stories of the ladies they have been involved with, what was painted was a picture of deep brokenness and dysfunction. Each story shared revealed desperate need and a complicated network of hurt. It was, at times, overwhelming to listen to. Progress so far has been incremental at best, and disappointment is something Shu Hui and Lois have much experience of. But Tamar Village is determined not to give up on these ladies; to walk with them and to love them, for however long it will take. And there is much that we can do to support their ministry – sharing with our friends and in our respective churches about the spiritual and material needs of the ministry, helping to market the ministry’s goods, direct involvement with the ladies, and above all, helping through prayer and intercession.
As Sharon shared, the work is prayer, and the reward is the ministry. It was against that background that Sharon led us in a time of worship and prayer, pleading and interceding on behalf of Tamar Village and seeking God’s mercy and blessing upon this ministry. We were paired up to pray specifically for individual ladies, as well as individual volunteers, and some of us wrote down Bible verses and messages of encouragement for them.
May we continue the work of prayer and intercession, praying particularly for repentance, as Shu Hui has requested – that the bonds of wickedness will be loosed, the straps of the yoke undone, and the oppressed freed (Isaiah 58:6).