Families in Christ, in Singapore

By Rev. Rosita Leonardo Cristobal, Grace Filipino Ministry


15Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here.” Exodus 33:15

Meeting the Pastor in My Vision

GFF members 1994

My journey with the Grace Filipino Ministry began in 1994 when God called my husband and I to go to Singapore through a series of events and visions. I said to the Lord that if His presence did not go with us, we would not go. The Lord assured us, by revealing the image of the pastor that we would meet. My husband and I obeyed the Lord, and off we went to Singapore.

When we arrived in Singapore, we stayed with a Filipino family that brought us to Grace Assembly of God. I was shocked to see the pastor who resembled the image that God gave me! However, I kept it a secret as I did not want to manipulate the situation. That pastor was none other than the late Ps. John Tan.

Ps. John learned about my vision only after 10 years, when he reviewed my testimony as one of the entry requirements for Bible school. Under Ps. John’s leadership and his wife Siew Kuan’s stewardship, there was already a vibrant Filipino Ministry in Grace Assembly of God when we arrived. The congregation then was made up of mostly domestic workers and about 20 per cent were nurses, engineers, and architects. At that time, we were known as Grace Filipino Fellowship (GFF) but was later changed to Grace Filipino Ministry (GFM) as we grew in attendance.

Fulfilling a Great Need for Christ

PRW family with the late Ps. John and Siew Kuan

When the late Ps. John resigned in 2002, two pastors came to lead but they did not stay long. In 2004, our former Senior Pastor, Ps. Calvin Lee appointed me to be the lay pastor for GFM, together with Ps. Eric Yeo, and thereafter with the late Ps. Matthew Wai. By God’s grace and through the help of faithful leaders whom God called to serve with me in the ministry, the church grew in number despite many challenges.

On one occasion while I was praying, God impressed in my heart that many Filipino professionals would come to Singapore to work and therefore we have to pray and prepare. I shared this impression with other leaders for support and in June 2008, the Lord said it was time to stop praying and start moving.

By faith, my husband and I asked for Ps. Calvin Lee’s permission to have a GFM worship service in Grace@Bukit Batok. Our hearts were overjoyed when Ps. Calvin agreed. The first worship service was held in the Praise room on 15 June 2008 with the support of 15 leaders from Grace@Tanglin. There were seven first-time guests and three of them were professionals. Two of them are still with us, serving in the ushering and children ministry.

By the end of 2008, Grace Filipino Ministry in Bukit Batok had grown from seven to 55 members. More Filipino families attended our worship service and we organised cell group meetings on weekends. In November 2009, we moved from the Praise room to the Chapel because we had outgrown our place of worship. We grew to more than a hundred members with 12 cell groups. The Lord is faithful and He provided more leaders and volunteers to help in the areas of worship, prayer, discipleship, evangelism, and fellowship. We had water baptisms, baby dedications and even marriage recommitment, to strengthen the bond between husbands and wives. We also started getting involved in a short-term missions trips in 2016!

The Filipino service in Grace@BukitBatok grew to more than 100 members and the attendance at Grace@Tanglin was also growing to about 100 members. These congregations have been a blessing not only to our members here in Singapore, but also for their pre-Christian family members who visited Singapore. They attended GFM and returned to the Philippines with a newfound relationship with Christ.

Surely, There are More… 

GFM Computer Class in Orchard Plaza

The work does not end, as we endeavor to reach out to more Filipinos in Singapore. We created missional hubs at Orchard, Chinese Garden and Jurong East. We even launched computer classes for Filipinos in Orchard Plaza from 2018 to 2019.

During the pandemic lockdown period last year, we maintained our communications via phone calls, messages and other social media platforms to provide encouragement, advice, moral support, and assurance that God is in control. We are grateful to our current Senior Pastor, Rev. Dr. Wilson Teo, for supporting our online worship service that keeps us together during this trying period. These online sessions also allowed us to share the messages to many pre-believing relatives back in the Philippines as well.

Grace Group during the pandemic

Wherever we are, God never stops showing His faithfulness. On 8 November 2020, we started to have our on-site worship service in Grace@BukitBatok once again! Grace@Tanglin’s physical service sessions also resumed shortly thereafter. Even though there were restrictions such as no congregational singing, we still felt the presence of God during the worship services. God is touching lives — our members are coming back for on-site worship services, there are salvation cases, first-time guests, and testimonies of healing from those who were seeking.

Looking back, we are grateful to God for calling us to come to Singapore to serve Him and His people. We came here with only the two of us and God has blessed us with two lovely and loving daughters. We came here not knowing anyone, and now God blessed us with a community of brothers and sisters in Christ who truly love the Lord.

Moving forward we would like to see more Filipinos, more like Jesus, develop new leaders and younger generations to fulfill the plan and purpose of God for GFM.


Rev. Rosita Leonardo Cristobal has served in the Grace Filipino Ministry since 2004.

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