A Gift of Peace: Couple whose 2 months of income was wiped out in 2 days compose song to spread hope
by Juleen Shaw // February 15, 2020, 2:36 pm
As the Foongs reflected on John 14:27, and drew assurance from God's promise of peace, they decided to produce a music video around John 14:27 for people everywhere who may be troubled by the Covid-19 crisis. (From L-R) Esther, Elvin and Evangeline, who co-composed and performed the song. All photos courtesy of Elvin and Esther Foong.
“I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” (John 14:27 NLT)
When Esther and Elvin Foong, from The Treasure Box SG (TTB) produced the song, A Gift of Peace, which was written by their friend Evangeline Lee-Tong, as a reminder “of God’s peace and how it is independent of the circumstances we face”, they were preaching to their own hearts as well as ministering to worried Singaporeans everywhere.
The Foongs left their civil servant jobs, and with it a stable flow of income, to focus full-time on TTB, because of their conviction to build faith-filled families in Singapore.
Their income, which is now mainly dependent on the “love gifts” from churches in conducting children’s workshops, was demolished as churches started to take precautionary measures by cancelling programmes.
Their fully booked schedule for February and March was wiped clean within the span of two days. Engagements have now been cancelled through till May.
In an interview with Thir.st, Elvin admitted: “This is definitely a season of worry for us, and there’s a temptation to wallow in our anxieties and respond in fear. There’s a temptation to say that this will not work out, and to give up and find jobs that offer a proper and stable salary.”
“But we wanted to kick away those emotions,” added Esther. “We asked God instead: ‘What do You want to reveal to us in this season?’
John 14:27 in song
As the Foongs reflected on John 14:27, and drew assurance from God’s promise of peace, they decided to produce a music video around John 14:27 for people everywhere who may be troubled by the Covid-19 crisis.
“We pray that everyone who listens to this video will come away encouraged and strengthened by the Prince of Peace.”
Together with Evangeline, Elvin and Esther performed and sang the song in a video, which they hope will be shared widely to spread the message of hope.
“It’s incredible how God orchestrates everything such that we always receive what we need at exactly the time we need it,” said Esther.
“A song we had been working on about God’s peace and how it is independent of the circumstances we face, became the very song that ministered the most deeply to us when crisis hit.
“We had scheduled to work on the song with Evangeline as part of our plan to produce a kids’ worship album, not knowing what was coming our way. Two days before we met, our income for two months was suddenly and totally gone when our speaking and training engagements for February and March were cancelled due to the outbreak of Covid-19.
“While we struggled to comprehend what that would mean for our family, this song was God’s constant reassurance to us that He was still in control. Subsequently, as more of our engagements were cancelled, we held on to the verse that the song was based on, and that we do not have to be troubled or afraid.
“In the meantime, as news began to break of outbreak clusters in churches across Singapore, we felt that we had to share this song now, rather than wait till May as we had originally planned. We really wanted to minister to our fellow brothers and sisters-in-Christ who were hurting or confused about what is happening. In a time of uncertainty where fear and doubt threaten to creep into our hearts and minds, we thought it’s important to be reminded of how God has promised His peace to us all this while.”
Inspired by a desire to spread peace and hope, the Foongs approached their friends with creative talents and, within a day, had a full production crew ready to go.
Each of their friends re-scheduled appointments and the video was completed within less than 24 hours.
Thanks to Pastor Ayan and Faith at Shalom Baptist Chapel, the video was filmed in “a beautiful, quaint and tranquil church, wonderfully named Shalom”.
“Our hope is that this video and song captures the sort of peace that the world so desperately needs in this time of fear and uncertainty, and we pray that everyone who watches and listens to this video will come away personally encouraged and strengthened by the Prince of Peace,” said Esther.
“May the Lord grant shalom to our land, and may we discover how even in the midst of dark times, we can still hold on to His promise of a peace that surpasses all human understanding.”