We thank the Lord that the Ebenezer and Shomerim fellowship groups can hold an online
retreat this year. This Combined Retreat is usually held once every two or three years to
encourage the “older” young adults of the Shomerim to minister and encourage the younger
ones in the Ebenezer in their walk with Christ and vice versa. For this retreat, it was my joy
and privilege to speak on the theme “Abiding in Christ” taken from John 15:4-5.
The following are some testimonies from the campers for the encouragement of all readers.
All praise and glory be to the Lord.

Thank God for the privilege to learn what it means to abide in Christ during the Shomerim-
Ebenezer Combined Retreat held from 17 to 19 June 2021. Thank God for the provision of
all our needs, for the discipline and desire for His Word and for the fellowship with brethren.

What it means to abide in Christ is a divine mystery of love that cannot be expressed in
words. The picture here is the structural union of the graft and vine. It is analogous to our
union with Christ, where we detach ourselves from all else and cling to Christ. God is
responsible entirely for the grafting process. He strengthens our inner man by the Spirit and
Christ dwells in our heart by faith. A personal application will be to be in wholehearted
submission to Christ and be in joyful expectancy of His daily grace.

When we abide in Christ, the Husbandman purges us of our sins. It is necessary for our
sanctification. While chastisement is not joyous for the present moment, it is needed to
cleanse us so that we can be fruitful channels for Christ’s use. Human responsibility is
involved to daily seek God’s strength to flee temptations.

When we abide in Christ, it is certain that we will bear the fruit of the Spirit and will be
fruitful in every good work. Our inward dependence on Christ will show in our outward
obedience of His commandments. Upon reflection, it reminded me to start each task, no
matter how small, with prayer and to be sensitive to the Master’s leading.
When we feel lonely and dismayed during the pandemic, may our inner man remain strong as
we abide in Christ and let Him be the occupation of our hearts.

I truly thank the Lord that I am able to attend the Shomerim-Ebenezer Combined Retreat. I
have been looking forward to it ever since I came out of the army. I also thank God for
granting the camp committee wisdom in adjusting to various government measures and
organising a camp where like-minded brethren can have fellowship around God’s Word and
to encourage one another. As I have been juggling with various day to day activities ever
since I came out of the army, I thank the Lord for how He has allowed me to clear my
schedule and to attend this camp full time.

Though it is an online camp this year, I am thankful to the Lord for I have been richly blessed
and comforted by His Word. Even after the camp, the Words of Scripture and this picture of
the grafting process still continue to be closely edged in my mind. During the retreat, we
were given a detailed description of the grafting process of grape vines. Grafting refers to
taking a fruitful branch and attaching it skilfully into the main vine. Overtime, if this process is
done correctly, the branch will become one with the vine and bear much fruit. At this point of
time, the branch and the vine are inseparable.

Attending this retreat also made me realise that I will be entering university very soon. There
are definitely a lot of uncertainties because I do not know what to expect and how the changes
in my life may affect my walk with God. But John 15:4 says “Abide in me, and I in you. As the
branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide
in me.” As I will be entering university this year, these words truly brought me much comfort,
for I truly yearn for this relationship with the Lord, to be so close to Him to the point where
nothing and no one can pull me away from God. Furthermore, it brings me much joy and com-
fort to know that if we have this desire to abide in Christ, He will surely pull us so close to
Him; and in so doing, it will cause us to bear much spiritual fruit for Him.

I pray that this may be the desire of all of our hearts here in Tabernacle, to sincerely yearn and
desire for this close walk and fellowship with the Lord.

I want to thank God that I could attend this combined retreat. Even though it was an online
retreat, it was a good break to focus on learning God’s Word. I learnt that Jesus is the only One
whom we as Christians must abide in. Abiding in Christ is not an option, but a commandment.
We are purged/cleansed when God speaks to us through His Word, the Lord will work in us
and cleanse us so that we will realise our mistakes and change. Our faith in Christ will
strengthen when we go through chastisement. We must not only abide in Christ, we must be
fruitful when we abide in Him. Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,
longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no
law.” To bear more fruit, we must continue to abide and have humility, we are nothing without
Christ. If we say that we abide in Christ, we must also abide in His Word. Do we spend as
much time, effort and diligence to study the Bible as we do in our studies? Push ourselves to
learn God’s Word more! God loves us, so we must love Him, we must be faithful to the Lord in
love. And not only to love God, but to love one another as He has loved us. John 13:34 “A new
commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love
one another.” I truly thank God for the devotions, messages and the timely reminder that our
personal walk with God is very important.

Yours affectionately,
Pastor Clement Chew

“If you want that splendid power in prayer, you must remain in
loving, living, lasting, conscious, practical, abiding union with the Lord Jesus Christ.”
C.H. Spurgeon