“The Father’s heart is for His house to be full,” declared Cedric Chew at The Father’s Heart for the Homeless on October 30.

“The Singapore Church has been blessed abundantly by the Lord,” said Chew, who is the head of Gracehaven, a home for young people who require shelter or rehabilitation that is run by The Salvation Army of Singapore.

Speaking about the need for Singaporeans to remember the less fortunate, Chew quoted William Booth, who founded The Salvation Army in 1865: “In the midst of your joy, do not forget your brothers and sisters in misery.”

Drawing on the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats in Matthew 25, Chew reminded the symposium’s attendees that God will recompense what we do (Matthew 25:34, 40) or don’t do (Matthew 25:45-46) for the needy in society.

According to Chew, believers should serve the needy as if they are serving Jesus Himself: “Don’t forget, the Lord is as heartbroken for the brokenness in our land as He is joyful for the abundance of blessings present in Singapore.”

Chew shared that the youth and children who come to Gracehaven have often suffered from a lack of parental supervision and unmet needs. “Yet the greatest emptiness is always in the heart,” he said.

Working by the Salvation Army’s motto, “Soup, Soap, Salvation”, the Gracehaven team see themselves as “brothers and sisters of hope”. According to Chew, the goal is to have any child or youth who enters their premises, experience the greatest love (1 Corinthians 13:13).

“Without love, a child lacks dignity, and every child matters,” said Chew.

In closing, Chew shared Gracehaven’s vision – to be a community of hope and create a continuum of care. “Ultimately, we hope to fulfill their potential of reunification with their families and society safely and strongly,” he said.

Chew also reminded attendees of the story of Gideon (Judges 7), who defeated the enemies of Israel with just 300 men: “We only need a community of hope willing to open their hands, their hearts and their lives to those who need it.”

“Those in need know that the world is not perfect because they have experienced its ugliness. We don’t need to make it perfect, we just need to let them experience the beauty and love that is still present here.”