The Fall of Singapore and the Reach of the Gospel

Today marks the 70th anniversary of the Fall of Singapore [wiki]. I've been fascinated with this pivotal moment of WW2 history since getting to know my now-wife who is from that fantastic island-state.

Here's some facts for you:

There is no doubt that the Japanese were brutal occupiers. My wife has relatives who can still not speak about what they experienced. She has a grandmother and several great-aunts but no great-uncles. The women of that generation had brothers, but they were all killed in the occupation.

We have had the privilege of being associated in one way or another with St George's Church in Singapore. St George's was, at one time, the British garrison church in Singapore.

Today the Japanese Fellowship of Singapore meets in the building.

That's the gospel for you.

5 comments on “The Fall of Singapore and the Reach of the Gospel

  1. There’s a great sbs series on this topic now. It is called Singapore 1942, six parts episode, episode two is the latest. It narrates through eye witnesses of the war, from the British, Australians, Singaporeans and Japanese. Great doco. Check it out on sbs.com.au/ondemand.

  2. Great to hear you are following the series. I am also watching the Apocalypse:WW2 retold with lost and rare colour footage. That’s very interesting as well. While we were in Singapore we attended St. George. We enjoyed the 8.30am service, but found it less friendly except for 1 or 2 persons made effort to talk to us, one was a German theological student, who was assisting the vicar, and another was an almost elderly gentleman who was only going to St George for a very short time. But this is a problem across all big churches I suppose.

  3. A few years ago, I was in St George’s on 14 February as we sang:

    Tell out, my soul, the greatness of his might!
    Powers and dominions lay their glory by.
    Proud hearts and stubborn wills are put to flight,
    the hungry fed, the humble lifted high.

    I was awestruck by the irony, which no-one around me seemed to have noticed. I had just finished reading about the racism, incompetence, and fear that lead to the fall of Singapore in the excellent Forgotten Armies. The British Empire failed to protect the people of Singapore, and its proud hearts and stubborn wills were put to flight.

    Yet God was still able to feed the hungry and lift high the humble, most notably Janet Lim. She was a Singaporean Christian who went from child slavery to the leadership of her profession in her adopted homeland.. Heraccount of the fall and what followed (Sold for Silve) is one of the earliest pieces of authentically Chinese-Singaporean literature in English. (It might make an excellent present for your wife, Mr Ould!).

    Singing in St George’s, I felt pretty embarrassed to be British, but wonderfully grateful to be a citizen of the Kingdom of Christ.

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