2019 was a big year for me because it was when I graduated from polytechnic and enlisted into National Service (NS).

I faced enlistment with greater fear and apprehension than most. This was largely because my brother had left the faith when he entered NS. As I understand it, he was bullied and persecuted by his platoon mates for being a Christian. 

Yet I was also excited as the newfound freedom right after graduation meant that I could be more involved with my church.

So I signed up for a June mission trip – only to be horrified at receiving my enlistment letter in the middle of April. That meant I had less than one month to go before I had to enlist.

I was devastated as I wasn’t ready to enlist so quickly, and it meant that my plans to go for the mission trip had been shattered. 

I had always been passionate about missions, but it was tough to go on any trips during school because of timetable clashes. Thus even after receiving my enlistment letter, I continued to pray for deferment from NS.

Two weeks passed and I still hadn’t heard anything, so I began to give up on hoping for deferment. I’d also heard that deferment is incredibly difficult when it’s not for educational purposes.

But by God’s grace, my enlistment was deferred for a month – I was able to go for the mission trip!

On the mission trip to Pontianak, Indonesia, I was greatly blessed by what God showed me. 

While I was expecting to reach out to many new believers, most of the time we just engaged with the local pastor there. We learnt that the church had been having difficulty in developing leaders as many young people ended up leaving for work in Jakarta.

I noticed that during the services, the pastor would be at the back of the room making phone calls to his members to come for church services. In that one act, he taught me what it means to be a disciple-maker.

I reflected on the setbacks I faced in my own ministry and how I had allowed myself to wallow in disappointment when my members didn’t heed my advice and left the faith.

This pastor had every reason to be upset but he wasn’t! And he remained faithful towards God even though the church hadn’t seemed to grow in 12 years. He never lost his zeal.

Currently, my NS life in a new unit has been quite challenging. But even though I’ve felt overwhelmed by the culture shock of NS life, I’ve been able to find comfort and assurance in God.

When I was in Basic Military Training (BMT), there were many moments where I struggled because I felt distant from God, my church, community and all the things I loved doing for Him.

When I am faithless, He is faithful. When I am weak, He makes me strong. When the world seems to be crumbling, I know He is sovereign over all.

I lay in bed crying one night as I thought of the cry in Psalm 13: “How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?” Then I listened to a song that I had heard in church before. It was titled “Living Hope” and its verses jumped out at me.

In desperation, I turned to heaven
And spoke Your name into the night
Then through the darkness, Your loving-kindness
Tore through the shadows of my soul
The work is finished, the end is written
Jesus Christ, my living hope

The lyrics reminded me that God is my living hope. When I am faithless, He is faithful. When I am weak, He makes me strong. When the world seems to be crumbling, He is sovereign over all. When all hope seems to be lost, I have a living hope in Jesus Christ!


When I was in despair during my BMT phase, God never really gave me specific solutions to my problems. But I was able to find peace and hope in my prayers, especially from Psalm 30:4-5 where God reminded me to wait upon him.

By God’s grace, I was a given a posting after BMT that allowed me to book out every day and have more time to serve Him outside of camp! 

I’m trying to be a good testimony in camp. In a culture where vulgarities and sexual immorality run rampant, I’m choosing to be pure. I also want to share with people around me about the hope and peace that I’ve found in Christ too.

When we go through difficult times, Jesus Christ is our Living Hope. We can find hope through the Word of God and comfort in His assurance. 

  1. What has been the hardest transition in your life?
  2. How did you see God’s hand in that journey?
  3. Think of someone in NS who you can encourage this week.