On May 19, 2019, young adults from the World Mission Society Church of God Singapore (SGWMSCOG) participated in the 5,732nd Worldwide Clean-up Campaign at East Coast Park, Singapore. The coasts of East Coast Park were threatened with gloomy clouds as there were thunderstorms in the nearby regions. Nevertheless, the volunteers gathered and made preparations to clean the coastal park. Thankfully, the skies soon became clear and the participants were even blessed with a cool breeze instead of the usual tropical heat.
East Coast Park and its Beaches
‘East Coast Park’ which was named after its geographical location is at the extreme east of Singapore. On a typical weekend, the park teems with many parkgoers who come for cycling, fishing and barbeque parties. It was relatively vacant that particular Sunday likely due to the thunderstorms that were occurring in the neighbouring regions. The youth volunteers who wore bright smiles that were contrary to the cloudy sky were equipped with trash bags and tongs. As they combed the beach for litter that were washed up the shore, they commonly found items of plastic waste such as straws, utensil, bottles and bags.
The young adult volunteers represent ASEZ We Are One (ASEZ WAO), an international volunteer group consisting of young working adults from 7,000 churches of the World Mission Society Church of God in 175 countries. ASEZ WAO aims to practice love for mankind by carrying out volunteer services to resolve many problems the world faces, regarding all humankind as one family. The members of ASEZ WAO also strive to serve others by sharing important values such as positivity, hope and happiness through uplifting activities such as this clean-up campaign.Category Activities>Activities>Environmental Protection A Cleanup at Beauty World 2019
On 13 January 2019, the World Mission Society Church of God Singapore (SGWMSCOG) held a clean-up campaign in the vicinity of Beauty World. Armed with yellow vests and plastic gloves, they embarked on a hunt for litter in hidden areas. These include the areas nearby drains, alleyways, among bushes and so on. This was a combined effort from Singaporean youth members as well as university students from Korea, who visited Singapore for an exchange programme. These students collaborated under the volunteer group ASEZ (Save the earth from A to Z) which consisted of university and college students around the world.
Beauty World is located along Upper Bukit Timah road, west of Singapore. Significant establishments surrounding Beauty World MRT station area include Beauty World Plaza, Bukit Timah Shopping Centre and Beauty World Centre. The clean-up covered areas surrounding private properties, shopping malls as well as apartment buildings. Singapore as a nation takes pride for its cleanliness. However, this was not done without effort. Much manpower and resources have been deployed to preserve this reputation of cleanliness. The cleanup campaign was a rare sight in Beauty World, hence inviting the gaze of many onlookers. With little but sincere efforts, these vibrant youths endeavour to make a change in the environment. After all, a big change begins with a small step.
“I feel that this clean-up is a great way to welcome the new year. By volunteering my time, I can play a part in keeping Singapore clean and spreading awareness as well! ” commented Wei Ming, a volunteer from this clean-up.
The participants found meaning as they played a role in environmental protection, anticipating the next clean-up. Surely, SGWMSCOG will continue to play the role of salt and light of the world with similar efforts.Category Activities>Activities>Environmental Protection #WeAreSingapore—53rd National Day Parade (NDP)
On the 9th of August, 2018, was the 53rd year of Singapore’s independence since 1965. The whole nation got together on this day to celebrate the nation’s birthday with the theme, “We Are Singapore”. The National Day Parade (NDP) was held at Marina Bay Floating Platform, with over 2,600 participants and 33 marching contingents. Some who were unable to get tickets to the NDP gathered near the vicinity to celebrate, hoping to catch a glimpse of the most anticipated fireworks in the evening.
“We are Singapore” celebrates the people, the nation, and home. The theme emphasizes the collective—regardless of origin and wherever the people are, Singapore is the way of life and will always be home. It is also a pledge of unity and togetherness despite Singapore’s diverse culture. It also defines the Singapore Spirit, empowering Singaporeans to overcome future challenges and adversities together.
For this year’s NDP, the World Mission Society Church of God collaborated with the Public Hygiene Council (PHC) for a clean-up campaign. About 150 volunteers from the Church of God gathered near Marina Bay Sands—one of the popular places where many gather to celebrate the nation’s birthday. As early as about 3 pm, both Singaporeans and foreigners started reserving ‘the best seats” to see some of the highlights of the NDP. These include the air show and the Naval Combat Divers who would, for the first time, conduct a freefall water jump to demonstrate their operational prowess. As spectators came in early, they prepared some drinks and food to enjoy the night. Some sat along the benches while some laid mats along the pathways.
Volunteers from the Church of God donned in their signature yellow vests held signboards saying “Let’s keep the Singapore we love clean!” and “I binned it right!”. There were curious onlookers and the message was conveyed as the volunteers walked around. They approached members of the public, giving them gentle reminders to bin their litters, and where the nearest bin was. All were receptive and were more than happy to play their part. Foldable fans and pens were given out as souvenirs as a reward for their small but significant efforts.
As the NDP draws to an end, spectators slowly dispersed and left the area. The volunteers then put on their gloves, preparing to comb the area and discard litter that were left behind. Efforts of the volunteers were evidently paid off as the amount of trash were negligible. Everyone had a fantastic time on the Nation’s birthday and the volunteers were elated as they were able to impart the message of keeping Singapore clean on this celebratory day of our nation. Members of the World Mission Society Church of God look forward to their next National Day cleanup.Category Activities>Activities>Environmental Protection ASEZ WAO Church of God Young Adult Worker Volunteer Group—Raffles Place Clean-Up
On May 27, 2018, about fifty young adults from the World Mission Society Church of God Singapore (SGWMSCOG) gathered at Telok Ayer for volunteer service. It was the 4792nd Worldwide Clean-up Campaign; a street clean-up stretching from Telok Ayer to Raffles Place train station. Despite having to work on the weekdays, these young adult volunteers spent their Sunday morning participating in an environmental clean-up.
These young adult volunteers are also representing ASEZ We Are One (ASEZ WAO), an international volunteer group that consists of the Church of God young working adults from 7,000 churches in 175 countries. ASEZ WAO aims to practice love and volunteer service for the global villagers with the heart of a mother beyond nation, culture and religion. They strive to create a happy future where young working adults around the world are united with one mind and where seven billion people become one in Mother’s love. ASEZ WAO’s major activities are environmental protection (such as clean up campaigns), emergency relief (disaster recovery effort, blood drives), social service (visit to welfare facilities for senior citizens, children and the disabled) and cultural exchanges (international cultural exchange).
Telok Ayer and Raffles Place—Singapore’s Central Business District
Telok Ayer and Raffles Place are located at the heart of Singapore’s Central Business District (CBD) area, where majority of Singapore’s skyscrapers are located. The usual scenes on a weekday are white-collared workers rushing to work, or having a quick bite at the eateries. However, on this Sunday, these young adults in yellow vests were spotted along the quiet streets, cheerfully picking up the trash along the paths. Armed with tongs, gloves, and trash bags, these volunteers picked up trash they find along the walkways.
“I work right at this CBD area from Mondays to Fridays. Today is an exceptional day as I came here not for work, but rather, to participate in a clean-up. It is a meaningful time for me. I hope my colleagues will be able to enjoy the clean roads when they come to work tomorrow!”, exclaimed Nini, 25, a volunteer from SGWMSCOG.
“I am really grateful to have the chance to clean the street near my workplace. I will share my experience with my colleagues and invite them to join me the next time,” commented Ruohang, 24.
The volunteers from SGWMSCOG will continue to play their part for the community in Singapore with many more volunteer activities.Category Activities>Activities>Environmental Protection Mother’s Street Clean-Up Campaign
In the early morning of Nov 26, 2017, around 130 volunteers from the World Mission Society Church of God (SGWMSCOG) gathered at Telok Ayer Street for a clean-up event. This Worldwide Environment Clean-Up Campaign was simultaneously carried out in the whole world covering the earth’s circumference of approximately 40,000 km.
Stretching from Telok Ayer Station to Chinatown Station, it was designated as Mother’s Street in Singapore. This street covers Singapore’s tourist sites of Chinatown, shophouses, and flats. Prepped with gloves, tongs and trash bags, the volunteers arrived early in the morning at the clean-up site. They were all excited to make the street warm and peaceful like a mother’s embrace. There was a variety of trash and debris such as beer bottle caps and cigarette butts. Volunteers diligently picked up trash in areas that were overlooked, such as beer bottle caps buried within the bushes and mud.
“I believe service to mankind is service to God. You guys made the effort to pick up the trash and this is definitely appreciated by all religions. This is much more valuable than donating money,” commented Amala, 63, a passerby who chanced upon the clean-up.
“It was a different experience from previous clean-ups. This time, rather than cleaning beaches or national events, we had the opportunity to go into the city area and neighbourhoods. I could see that many onlookers were pleasantly surprised when they saw us. Perhaps they did not expect any organization to clean this area. I felt more motivated to do this clean-up.” said Erwin, 22, a volunteer for the clean-up.
Members from the WMSCOG throughout the whole world will be carrying out clean-up movements continuously on Mother’s Street in the future. They strive to make the global village clean with the love of Mother.Category Activities>Activities>Environmental Protection Telok Ayer Street Clean-Up
On Oct 15, 2017, more than 70 youth working adults from the World Mission Society Church of God Singapore (SGWMSCOG) participated in the clean-up along Telok Ayer Street. The clean-up was part of a worldwide environmental sustainability movement initiated by the SGWMSCOG.
Telok Ayer—Then and Now
In Malay, Telok means “bay” and Ayer means “water”1). Telok Ayer was once a coastal street and a landing site for Singapore’s early immigrants such as the Chinese Hokkien and the South Indian community2). Today, Telok Ayer Street is located in Singapore’s central business district’s (CBD) and home to a plethora of cafes, restaurants, and bars.
Equipped with bags and gloves, the volunteers started the clean-up from the intersection of Telok Ayer Street and Cross Street, heading towards the Singapore River. They worked together to remove loose trash, such as cigarette butts, plastic packaging, broken glass, bottles, metals, and many other waste materials.
Among various kinds of urban litter, cigarette butts are the most time-consuming and difficult to clean. An estimated 4.5 trillion cigarette butts are littered worldwide every year. On average, cigarette butts take 1.5 years to break down.
In order to clean cigarette butts hidden in the crevices and beneath the bushes, volunteers rolled up their sleeves without hesitation. They did all this with a heart full of joy and smile on their faces. Many trash bags were filled throughout the duration of the clean-up.
Even God did not come to be served but to serve. Remembering this, the Church of God volunteers will continue to serve the community with a loving heart.Category Activities>Activities>Environmental Protection Cleaning Up Clarke Quay
On Jul 30, 2017, the Korean exchange students from the International University Bible Academy (IUBA) members collaborated with the university students of the World Mission Society Church of God Singapore (SGWMSCOG) to conduct a clean-up campaign at Clarke Quay.
Clarke Quay—Singapore’s landmark
Clarke Quay is located along the Singapore River, one of Singapore’s iconic landmarks. It holds a vast and rich history dating back to the 1800s. Previously, it was a major transshipment zone and a conduit for trade. Now, it has turned into a buzzing tourist attraction, hosting a stretch of restaurants, entertainment outlets, and offices1).
Early on a sunny morning, the church volunteers gathered together around Clarke Quay area. Ready to clean up the vicinity, the volunteers combed the entire street of Clarke Quay (along the Singapore River). Clad in bright yellow vests, they picked up all the trash they could find. Despite the scorching heat, the volunteers cleaned up the streets with a smile, offering a helping hand to one another.
Though Singapore is considered one of the cleanest cities in the world, there were many cigarette butts found hidden between the crevices and under the bushes. Cigarettes are non-biodegradable and are one of the most commonly discarded trash, causing enormous harm to the environment2). The volunteers diligently picked up the cigarette butts accumulated under the bushes and along the streets.Category Activities>Activities>Environmental Protection Channel 8 News Reports on Church of God Clean-Up Event at National Day Parade (NDP)
On Aug 9, 2017, the World Mission Society Church of God Singapore (SGWMSCOG), a strategic partner of the Public Hygiene Council (PHC), participated in a clean-up campaign. This was held for the National Day Parade (NDP). Their efforts were recognised and broadcasted by Channel 8 news, one of Singapore’s main broadcasting channels.
Members from the SGWMSCOG cleaned the Merlion Park and its surrounding area throughout the course of the parade. Dressed in bright yellow vests, they approached the people in the vicinity, giving them gentle reminders to bin their trash. To raise the awareness of keeping Singapore clean, they distributed gifts such as coasters and can-openers. They also brought along trash bags to help viewers dispose litter. Thanks to their hard work, the audience was able to enjoy the performance in a clean environment. Amidst that, they were reminded of their responsibility to keep Singapore Clean. At the end of the parade, the volunteers joined effort with the cleaners to clean up the venue.
Recognition by Channel 8 News
Their volunteerism was well acknowledged by the public and media. Channel 8 News learnt from the NDP 2017 Executive Committee (EXCO) that more people binned their trash as compared to last year. Time spent on cleaning the floating stage and its vicinity was also reduced by half.
Yee Chin Sein, 29, SGWMSCOG member, mentioned “We are here to deliver the important message of no littering” during his interview with he news reporter from Channel 8.
This clean-up event is one among the many worldwide voluntary activities held by the World Mission Society Church of God (WMSCOG). Following God’s teaching of being the salt and light of the world, the WMSCOG wishes to clean up the whole world with the love of Mother, in the hope that every global villager will be embraced by the peace and hope in Mother’s love.Category Activities>Activities>Environmental Protection #OneNationTogether—52nd Year National Day Parade (NDP)
Aug 9, 2017 marks Singapore’s 52nd year of independence. On this day, Singapore held its annual National Day Parade (NDP) to celebrate it’s nation’s birthday. This year, the parade was held at Marina Bay Floating Platform, under the theme of ‘#OneNationTogether’. 1)
‘One Nation’ is to remind Singaporeans that regardless of origin and background, they belong as one people and one nation. It encourages Singaporeans to harness their diversity and to leave no one behind, as they strive towards an even brighter future. 2)
‘Together’ emphasises the importance of unity in times of uncertainty and challenges ahead. It also represents a call for all Singaporeans to overcome the odds together. 3)
2017 also marks 50 years of National Service in Singapore’s national defence force. This year’s NDP celebrations also pays tribute to the generations of Singaporeans who have defended Singapore’s peace and security. 4) United as one people and one nation, all citizens were filled with the spirit of patriotism to honour and reaffirm their loyalty to the country.
NDP 2017 Logo–Four Hands Interlocked in Unity and Strength
This year’s NDP logo features four hands clasped and interlocked with each other in unity. This was inspired by the image of Singapore’ first ten-dollar note launched in 1967. 5)
The intertwined hands symbolise Singaporeans, from all walks of life, setting aside their differences, and coming together with the conviction of building a better Singapore of tomorrow. It also reflects the important role that racial harmony has played in Singapore’s 52 years of nation building. 6)
Let’s Keep the Singapore We Love Clean
The World Mission Society Church of God Singapore (SGWMSCOG) once again worked in partnership with the Public Hygiene Council (PHC) for a clean-up campaign during the NDP. This was a continuation of the successful collaboration from previous volunteer service efforts.
The SGWMSCOG volunteers gathered at one of Singapore’s iconic landmarks—Gardens by the Bay for a short briefing. Donning yellow vests with a lanyard tag that says “Let’s be kind and keep clean”, the volunteers approached the people in the vicinity and gave them gentle reminders to bin their trash. To reward the people for their efforts, the volunteers also distributed gifts such as coasters, giant paper clips, and foldable fans.
At the end of the parade, the volunteers also went about to pick up the trash that was left behind. One of the main media channels in Singapore—Channel 8, recognised the efforts of the SGWMSCOG volunteers and interviewed them.
“I am so proud to be part of the WMSCOG member! I give thanks to Father and Mother for allowing us to be part of this event which even the media interviewed us! Happy birthday Singapore!” exclaimed a very excited volunteer, Jasmine Lim, 23.
The theme of the event was very close to the volunteers’ hearts as Heavenly Mother emphasises the importance of unity to the Church of God members. Though the volunteers come from very diverse backgrounds, they are one in mind to follow this teaching. As the volunteers celebrate the NDP together under the theme of “#OneNationTogether”, they ruminated once again on how precious they are as one family.Category Activities>Activities>Environmental Protection Tai Seng Cleanup Campaign 2017
On May 21, 2017, volunteers from the World Mission Society Church of God Singapore (SGWMSCOG) gathered together to conduct a Tai Seng cleanup campaign.
Tai Seng is classified as an industrial area where many factories and offices are located. In such a fast-paced society, people are often caught up in the stress of their everyday lives. They seldom have a chance to care for the environment. The SGWMSCOG recognises the importance of keeping the city clean and hopes to advocate for an active volunteerism spirit.
Early in the morning, volunteers donned in green vests gathered together to participate in the Tai Seng cleanup campaign. Filled with excitement, everyone was ready to do their part for the community. After a short briefing, the volunteers were divided into groups according to their age. From there, they set off to their designated areas to clean.
Despite the scorching heat followed by a short drizzle, the smiles never left the volunteers’ faces. In accordance with Christ’s teaching to be the salt and light of the world, the volunteers were eager to shine the glory of God through their good deeds
Tai Seng Cleanup Yields Great Results
Singapore prides itself as the “Garden City”. This is only possible through every individual’s hidden efforts to keep the city clean. As the volunteers started to pick up the trash, they realised the importance of each person’s role in contributing to the society.
Though Singapore is known to be a clean city, volunteers found a lot of neglected trash scattered on the streets. Cigarette butts, empty bottles, scrap metals and all sorts of trash were collected in the vicinity of Tai Seng. Through this cleanup, a total of 77 bags of trash were gathered.
“The event gave us a chance to shine the glory of Heavenly Father and Mother. It also served as a good opportunity to spend meaningful time together. During the cleanup, we met people from the neighborhood whom we usually don’t get to meet. It’s a nice feeling,” said Rachel Goh, 25, a volunteer.
With a mind to shine the glory of God and to give back to society, the SGWMSCOG plans to conduct more of such activities in the future, hoping that more people will join in their efforts to keep the city clean.