Welcomed warmly by the Senior Pastor Benny Ho into the foyer of a Baptist school’s auditorium, we engaged in some small talk and quickly made arrangements to meet after the service. There was a sizable crowd in the auditorium when the service began, but like in Singapore, latecomers streamed in even as people lifted hands in worship.
A migrant church
Looking around, I saw that the congregation were mainly people of my age with about one third or more youths and young adults. There were less than two handful of Caucasians. Most worshipers were ethnic Chinese. This is an English-speaking migrant church in Perth. Most had come as immigrants from Singapore and Malaysia, led by the Lord, or seeking better and fairer opportunities for their children’s education, and a more satisfying work-life balance.
Being a migrant church, one of the unique strengths of Faith Community Church is that new migrants get referred here and the church is very effective at helping migrants settle into Perth and assimilate into the fellowship. Easily people get fitted into such a helpful and well-networked community.
Detailed and relevant Bible teaching
The worship gave way to the teaching of the Word and this is where Faith Community Church excels. Pastor Benny delivered a masterly exposition of Haggai chapter 1, the beginning of a series of messages. This is my third or fourth time hearing him speak and he certainly lives up to his reputation as a good expositor and teacher of the Bible. It was clear and relevant. His detailed and interesting Bible teaching has in no small way contributed to the recent surge in the church’s numerical increase.
Later I met Benny to make an appointment for lunch and to my pleasant surprise I heard that Rev Dr Norman Wong my friend would be in Perth on Monday. So we did lunch together and they gave me some good advice on a difficulty the church I served was facing. These guys are experienced, unassuming and effective pastors whose wisdom and opinions I respect. I was not disappointed with the informal consultation.
Forget about retirement
An interesting aside was meeting Norman’s father, Mr Wong, I called him. He’s 88 and he’s still working. He’s had open heart surgery but looked healthy and still played golf. He said thankfully, “Every day I am still alive is a bonus!” An accountant by training, he still sat on the boards of several listed companies. Mr Lee Kuan Yew would have been happy to use him as an example of working into your old age.