Constructing God’s Refuge, a Journey of Faith

Posted by Andrew Lioe on 29-Apr-2021 10:59:35

Heading the Building Development Committee since October 2018 when the new St. John’s Home was first conceptualised, nobody knew the enormous task involved better than Andrew Lioe who is also the Vice Chair of our Board. Here, he shares the experience which he truly felt is a divine appointment.

It has been an uphill journey from concept to construction but we all could see God’s mighty hand leading us all the way.

The journey to make St. Johns Home for Elderly Person’s building the best Home it could be was our aim. The combined efforts of the BDC (Building Development Committee), the consultants (architects, mechanical & electrical engineering consultants, structural consultants, quantity surveyors) and the main contractor project team started in October 2018 and helped to steer the construction to what it is today.

Quite simply, we wanted each resident to be able to call this new building “Home Truly” from the single storey residential dwellings that they had been so used to.


Challenges came time and time again as the team met fortnightly to discuss the site progress from technical issues, design and authority requirements, contractor to sub contractor and vendor relationships and budgetary concerns. Nevertheless, despite these challenges, the team endeavoured to retain as much as possible the original design intent. Unfortunately, the plan to complete the building by November 2020 was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic which saw the Circuit Breaker period bringing construction to a halt. Even after the Circuit Breaker ended, main contractors and sub contractors had many challenges deploying manpower and delivery of certain building materials from overseas were also affected. Despite this, the team rallied around the uncertainty and momentum picked up towards the end of the 2020.

Beacon of Light

It is hoped with this new building, it can be a beacon of light for the elderly living in the Sennett Estate, Bidadari and Potong Pasir community. In this future ready building, we can organise and provide facilities such that engagement with both our own residents and the elderly residents of the community can be beneficial and fun. Connectivity within the building both electronically and physical at the different spaces was fundamental in our design. Though this may be a brand new building, visitors will notice some of the monuments or definitive deco that was brought over from our old building. The history that this Home had at Wan Tho Avenue over the past years will not be forgotten and we must always recall the efforts of the pioneers that built the Home many, many years ago.

I am grateful for the support given by the Board as well as the members of the Building Development Committee for entrusting this project to me. I would also want to mention a word of appreciation to the consultants and main contractors who worked with us tirelessly in this building of God’s refuge. There were personal difficult times that I went through during this construction period and I thank God that He has brought me through it all to enable me to be His servant for this project. Once the physical set up of the new Building is up, it is up to all of us as volunteers and stakeholders to build the “software” of the Building, making it a “Home Truly”

Andrew Lioe

Chairman (Building Development Committee)

Watch in YouTube: Our elderly residents' DREAM home

Topics: Society, Aging