Some cell groups have stepped out to serve the community together, like this one from Zion Full Gospel Church, which adopted a migrant worker dormitory together. Photo courtesy of Jaslyn Tan.

Some cell groups have stepped out to serve the community together, like this one from Zion Full Gospel Church, which adopted a migrant worker dormitory together. Photo courtesy of Jaslyn Tan.

“Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:24-26 NLT)

While all cell groups come together to study Scripture and grow together in faith, some cell groups live out Hebrews 10 by also spurring one another on in good works.

 From befriending residents at rental flats to former drug addicts, here are three cell groups in Singapore that are choosing to do good together.

Walking with ex-drug addicts for more than a decade

Once a year, the Family of God cell group takes The Hiding Place staff and residents out for a friendly bowling competition. Photo courtesy of Koh Geok Cheng.

When this cell group held a simple Christmas party for residents at Christian halfway house The Hiding Place in 2012, they never expected it to evolve into an enduring friendship that would last more a decade and counting.

“We thought we were blessing them, but actually we were more blessed and encouraged by how God has transformed their lives.”

For the past 12 years, this Wesley Methodist Church cell group has met up with The Hiding Place staff and residents twice a year – once for a bowling outing and once for a Christmas event. They also invite the men to their annual Wesley Food Fair and sponsor their coupons. 

Cell group leader Koh Geok Cheng said: “The men have told us before that through these gatherings, they feel God’s love because even their family members and friends reject them. But with us, they feel accepted.”

During these fellowship events, cell group members share their personal testimonies and listen to the men share theirs too.

“We thought we were blessing them, but actually we were more blessed and encouraged by how God has transformed their lives,” said Geok Cheng.

She added that her cell group was also moved as they watched the halfway house’s co-founders, the late Pastor Philip and Christina Chan, continue to serve despite being ill. “Their faith was inspiring to us,” she said.

Participating in an Amazing Race at Wesley Methodist Church together. Photo courtesy of Koh Geok Cheng.

Over the years, the cell group has formed such firm friendships with the Hiding Place staff members that they were even invited to a few of their weddings.

Sart Sankaran, a long-time staff member at The Hiding Place, told Salt&Light: “We have a wonderful time because of the fellowship. The residents are encouraged.

“It’s been many years, and the cell group has always been a blessing to us.”

Adopting a migrant worker dormitory

Jaslyn (front) with migrant brothers at Gardens by the Bay. Some had helped to build the Garden but had not visited it before, she said. Photo courtesy of Jaslyn Tan.

Half of the cell group are individuals from Southeast Asian countries who have come to Singapore for work.

They know what it is like to be away from home, so it felt natural for them to reach out to the migrant worker community together.

“Some of them said that they helped build Gardens by the Bay but hadn’t visited it before.”

In 2022, following the pandemic that shone a light on the plight of the migrant worker community, this young adult cell group from Zion Full Gospel Church decided to “adopt” a migrant worker dormitory.

Since then, they fellowship with 15 to 35 workers twice a year. They have visited their dormitory to play games, as well as taken them to visit Gardens by the Bay.

“Some of them said that they helped build the Garden but hadn’t visited it before. It was very heartening to know that they could finally visit,” said cell group leader Jaslyn Tan, 28.

She added that the workers loved taking photos at the Garden and some were even on video call with their families throughout the outing.

Each time the cell group meets up with the workers, they take along goodie bags with practical items like arm sleeves for sun protection, earphones, deodorant and mints.

After the activity is done, they gather for a meal together. “They love to talk about their lives, their families,” said Jaslyn, a radiation therapist. 

During these twice-yearly outings, cell group members make it a point to listen to the migrant workers share about their lives. Photo courtesy of Jaslyn Tan.

Cell group member Ashikanth Davidar, 29, who moved to Singapore from India in 2021, enjoys the conversations that he has with them, especially the Indian workers.

The tech professional communicates with them in Hindi and also shares some common background with them, such as the food they eat, the stories they were told as children and the Indian culture.

“There are really so many more people who need to know that they are loved and valued.”

While his work contract allowed him to bring along his wife and daughter to Singapore, he acknowledged that these migrant workers do not have the same privilege.

“It’s so much harder from them,” said Ashikanth.

However, as the men opened up to him about their lives, he was moved to hear about how grateful they are. “With the little they have, they are happy with life,” he said.

Cell group leader Jaslyn told Salt&Light that committing to loving these men has given the group the “discipline” to look beyond themselves to the needs of others.

“Christ has called us beyond the walls of our church. There are really so many more people who need to know that they are loved and valued, not just by this society but by a loving Father.”

Caring for residents in a rental flat

This cell group from RiverLife Church anchors a food distribution service at a rental block once a month. Photo courtesy of RiverLife Church.

When cell group leader Raymond Lee first invited his cell group to help with food distribution at a one-room rental flat, nobody replied to his WhatsApp message. 

But as he and his family shared more about their experience during cell group, one couple became curious and decided to join them. And as that couple shared their experience at cell group, more members became interested.

Today, this cell group from RiverLife Church anchors the food distribution at that rental block every fourth Saturday of the month. They are part of a weekly service provided by the church’s community service arm, RiverLife Community Services.

During their monthly service, the cell group packs and distributes food, as well as visits residents. Photo courtesy of RiverLife Church.

Said Raymond: “We always think Singapore is a very prosperous nation, but when we went down to serve, we realised that so near to us there are people really in need.

“We have people who only eat one meal a day. We have residents who don’t even have electricity. Some primary school students don’t have uniforms, textbooks.”

The Saturday they are on duty, cell group members help to prepare and pack food items. Then they distribute it to residents who come downstairs, or deliver the food to residents who cannot come down. They also visit residents on two designated floors each month.

“We see how they have changed from being fearful and sceptical, to a community that invites us into their homes to bond with them, joke with them. There’s a kampung spirit,” said Raymond, 50, who is from the banking and finance industry.

Cell group leader Raymond Lee said that he has seen a kampung spirit form among residents as a result of the regular food distribution. Photo courtesy of RiverLife Church.

Cell group member Jocelyn Chua, 45, told Salt&Light that serving with her cell group has helped her to grow in her faith.

“As a new Christian, I had no idea why I needed to serve. I thought, ‘Why is everyone telling me that Jesus is a servant leader?'” said the property agent.

“But through this experience every month, it helps me to put myself in Jesus’ shoes a little bit and see from His perspective.”


Would you invite the homeless to your Christmas gathering? This cell group did.

“There’s a love here I’ve not experienced before”: Migrant workers in Geylang feast, laugh and dance at Christmas party by Operation Honour

“Why would you do so much for me when I’m just a stranger?”: How these Chinese migrant brothers found a family away from home

About the author

Gracia Lee

Gracia is a journalism graduate who thoroughly enjoys people and words. Thankfully, she gets a satisfying dose of both as a writer and Assistant Editor at Salt&Light.