When God spoke these words to me, “Take risks, step out in faith”, it was a confirmation for a decision I was to make. Feeling like Abraham when God called him to leave his country and follow where He would lead, I had responded with “Lord, step out in faith to where?” That was in November 2012. Looking back all these years, as I trusted and obeyed God and stepped out in faith into the unknown, God has been faithful to have led me one step at a time. My assignment in Him became clear.
Since the year 1990, I have faithfully served the Lord Jesus Christ, sent out by my home church, Grace Methodist Church, to SU (Scripture Union) Singapore. By God’s grace, I was the executive director for about 15 years. In April 2012, I had a strong sense in my mind to request for a release from the management role in order to focus more on ministry both locally and regionally. When I heard the Lord’s challenge to take risks and step out in faith, my wife Cynthia and I prayed and we knew it was time to move on from SU. Little did I know that in God’s sovereignty, He had prepared Dr Lim Teck Boon to join SU as the new national director.
God began to clarify my assignment in Him as I aligned myself to His kingdom purposes. With effect from July 2013, my wife and I moved on our kingdom assignment to equip educators and parents of children in the 4-14 window. As we stepped out as freelance and itinerant trainers, God opened many doors of opportunities for His kingdom assignments beyond what I could have asked for or imagined. The first big door of ministry opportunity was into a ‘creative access’ country. A divine connection to train teachers serving in the children’s ministry in a few cities in that country was made through a friend who has known me since I was nine years old and whose wife was my primary three form teacher. More doors opened, and we are now adjunct faculty members with International Christian Mission (ICM) Inc. to train rural as well as city pastors and church leaders and Sunday School teachers under its “Bible School in a Briefcase” and ICM Plus certification training programmes.
It has been an amazing and faith-filled journey. When we first stepped out, one of the risks we had taken was definitely a financial one. Without a regular income, would we be able to provide for the family, with our three children still in school?
Also, would our home church still continue with its prayer and financial support? I am so grateful that our home church has continued to support our itinerant ministry in prayer and a regular love-gift. But at times, my wife and I would ask ourselves how long the church support and invitations for ministry would last. These concerns often drove us to rely on our faithful God who never fails to grant many wonderful surprises of His divine provisions for our various assignments. One big surprise God had for us was when a young church member handed us a love-gift after a Christmas service in the year 2013 and said that it was for our first ministry trip to the ‘creative access’ country!
As much as we celebrate the many assignments in local churches, Bible schools and theological institutions as well as in more than ten countries and cities overseas, I must make mention of our struggles and challenges too. Adjusting to the new freelance working schedule takes discipline and discernment to manage the flexibility of time and the acceptance of engagements and assignments. I have told my friends half-jokingly that “I work freelance and therefore I’m free for lunch! However, there is no free lunch!”
Then there is the issue of accountability, since I do not have to ‘report’ to a human authority although I know that I’m serving my Master Jesus. Although it sometimes can be a struggle due to having many assignments back-to-back during the school holidays and our travelling for overseas ministry, I have tried my best to submit a monthly accountability report on my itinerant ministry as required by my church leadership.
Other challenges that we face as itinerant servants of the gospel include when or the timing the invitations for ministry are given as well as being able to serve at only one church at a time on those special days or occasions such as Christmas, Easter, Children’s Day, Teacher’s Day, etc. Challenges aside, my greatest joy is knowing that by God’s grace, I am fulfilling His divine assignments to influence and impact the lives of children, families, educators and pastors alike, with the fresh impartation of knowledge, skills and attitudes by His transforming Word in the power of His Spirit. At the time of writing this story, I am preparing to be used by the Lord to train pastors, church leaders and Sunday School teachers in Colombo, Sri Lanka. To God be all the glory!
How are you preparing and training for the assignments the Lord has for you? How would you evaluate yourself in the aspects of discipline? For an assignment like David’s, he knows he has to be both internally and externally motivated to do what needs to be done. What about you? What needs to be realigned in your life so that you can be focused on kingdom assignments? Like what Ps Henson writes in his book Alignment Check, “Be focused as you run that race, moving on the assignment, aiming to win the prize!”
Known more affectionately as Uncle David, David is married to Cynthia and they have three children. David loves to eat and is on a “seefood” diet, he eats whenever he sees food, especially seafood! David is an easy-going person who laughs easily. He is a people-person and loves to meet up with friends over a meal or coffee.