MFIS Thanksgiving Dinner 2023: A Milestone in Leadership Change

In celebration of Ministers Fellowship International Singapore (MFIS) Thanksgiving Dinner, on Thursday night, 23 November 23, we were blessed with a sumptuous dinner complete with roast turkeys from Goodwood Park Hotel (courtesy of Mr & Mrs Luar Eng Hwa). We had about 120  pastors and leaders from some 45 churches coming together at Harvester Community Church in Geylang. The program started at 5pm and ended at 8pm. No one was bored, everything flowed according to schedule. We had a great couple Tom and Ethel Cannon as our emcees.

We were particularly blessed by the opening speech by Apostle Patrick Low (Founder & Apostolic Overseer of Christian Community Chapel). He started by asking all of us this question, “What are we thankful for?” We are to give thanks for all the blessings we have received in 2023, but we also need to give thanks for our trials and sufferings. Suffering, is a sign of the true apostolic church. Besides the working of signs & wonders in our ministry, how we handle difficult times in our lives, speaks as loudly as our works.  I felt that this is a word that we all need to hear for this season and to prepare God’s people for the coming season. 

There was a good time of fellowship, and the evening ended with powerful prophetic prayers and proclamations, led by four pastors across the generations. And of course, the celebration highlight was for the birthday boy, Rev Chua Hock Lin, who has been a dear elder brother who always cared and pastored MFIS pastors these few years. He just turned 80! The following landmark announcement was also made by him: “Before I share the message the Lord has put on my heart, I have a short announcement to make. Earlier this year, I felt my time as the first Chairman of MFIS would be over by end 2023. Time for us to transition to a younger person. I shared this with the leadership and they concurred. We also agreed that Ps Sam Gift Stephen, Senior Overseer of Life Centre, would be the next Chairman of MFI Singapore. Ps Sam is on a family vacation and will assume this role on his return. I want to thank Ps Han, our Lead Apostolic Elder, the Apostolic Elder Council, Apostolic Leadership Team and all the members of our Fellowship Teams for their encouragement and support during the last three years. I believe the next season, with Ps Sam at the helm, will move us to a higher level for the mission of MFI Singapore”.

To God be the glory, for Pastor Gabriel Han and the Harvester Community Church team who worked to put this together for us. We praise the Lord since every good and perfect gift comes from above. We look forward to 2024, the year ahead of us, a year closer to the return of Christ.

-A report by Pastor Lawrence Lee (former Senior Pastor of Glad Tidings Church)

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Tabernacle of Holiness: Blessed Pastors’ Children

They are blessed by the Lord. At least that is my limited observation of pastors’ children. During the praise and worship at the beginning of the service at Tabernacle of Holiness, where I was a guest preacher, I noticed the worship leader guiding the congregation to experience God’s presence and to rightly honour him. They were a mere three man worship team but I felt like I was taken up in a spiritual whirlwind into a heavenly space and was filled with the Spirit and brought back down to earth again. Later, I found out the worship leader was Pastor Isaiah’s son. Now Pastor Isaiah has a special worship anointing. I have experienced that at the Covenant Pastors’ dinner fellowship many times. The son also has a similar anointing. Not a co-incidence. Passed through the genes? Nah. More likely: son sees father, wants to be like father, God sees his heart’s desire, and gave it to him by sheer grace and generosity.

Later, after the service ended, I chatted with Pastor Xavier and said I have been trying to write a book for some time and it will be an ebook. Then he mentioned about his daughter who had written a book and put it up on Amazon, which I found amazing, and wanted to chat with her. She told me about the fantasy book she had written, one with underlying Christian themes, which straightaway brought to mind, the Narnia Chronicles and other such books. I was impressed and inspired and energised to overcome writer’s block and complete the book I had started.

Two pastors of the same church with adult children they can be proud of, faithfully using their gifts of worship and writing for the kingdom. The interesting twist is that both of these pastors’ children are married to each other. To me this is a bonus: they can expect more blessings ahead.

I enjoyed my time at Tabernacle of Holiness. They are years ahead when it comes to the prophetic gift. In fact they are so gifted that they run a course called Academy of Prophets, both locally and abroad. I have attended it before when Prophet Amos Jayaratnam conducted it in some form years ago. It is informative and it inspires faith. It is practical and it gets you started on prophecy. It is sound and I would recommend it to anyone who desires the gift of prophecy.

If you wish to learn more about the Tabernacle of Holiness you can go HERE.

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Joseph Chean: passionate missions advocate

I was shocked when I heard the news that Joseph Chean, a friend of World Revival Prayer Fellowship, went home to glory, in a car accident while heading towards Istanbul international Airport. He had just stepped down from his position as National Director of YWAM Singapore to carry the torch and lead Antioch 21, the global missions arm of Love Singapore. Many had high hopes that with the re-launch, there would be a major forward movement for the long-held calling that the Singapore church would be the Antioch of Asia. But in one cruel stroke these hopes seem to have been dashed to pieces. 

While many grieve his loss as a passionate missions advocate, a champion of harnessing of youth for missions, and mentor to many young leaders, pastors and missionaries, we know that those that will feel the deepest pain would be his wife and two daughters he left behind. We will do well to uplift this family in prayer, and in the coming months give them space to grieve, as well as support. 

Joseph Chean preached in our church services a few times. He gave us advice on community outreach around Geylang. He gave his time and advice to us. The advice we value the most was his urging for us to add a mission component to our church retreats. Following his advice, we held a few church retreats in Bangkok, and partnered with YWAM’s Ruth Center to bless the elderly living in the slums. Even this past week a mission team from our church had gone to help build an assisted living facility in a farm area many hours from Bangkok, a facility that the elderly poor can find care and community in a self-sustaining farm environment. We owe this ministry involvement to Joesph’s good advice. He is a man of great faith and vision for missions but it was not that way when he first came to Christ. To read Joseph Chean’s faith story go HERE. To hear his heartbeat for missions, watch this video HERE. 

A former missionary mentioned an insight that Antioch 21 was once led by Rev Rick Seaward, whom I consider a modern-day apostle, and he too died in a road accident in Brazil, South America. You can read about Rick Seaward HERE. Now leading a re-launch of Antioch 21 is Joseph Chean, only 57 years old, and he is struck down by another road accident. How do we make sense of these two tragic accidents? Spiritual warfare? Yes certainly. This shows the strategic importance of Antioch 21. Sovereignty of God? Yes certainly. We cannot fully understand this mystery. We can only grieve, pray, and say, “Lord, we do not understand but we trust you! You are loving and will not do evil; You are all powerful and have control of all things. You are wise and do not make mistakes. We cannot see the end from the beginning, so we will trust you completely and absolutely. May these good seeds planted, die in the ground, and regenerate new life, multiply and bring forth much fruit to your greater glory.”

I am reminded of Stephen, the first recorded martyr of the church (Acts 7). The early church must have felt this man of faith and vision was taken home too young, too early. But a few years afterwards, Saul became Paul, the apostle and history maker who turned the world right side up.

Rev Gabriel Han, Apostolic Elder, MFI (Singapore) and former senior pastor of Victory Family Church wrote this succinct but powerful challenge: “Every generation has been blessed with enough men and women called by God to spread the gospel to all the nations. It is not a lack of divine calling, but rather a lack of human response that hinders this mission. Only by surrendering our will to God’s can we truly obey the command to preach to all and go everywhere. Brother Joseph Chean was among those who lived an obedient, prayerful, generous, and surrendered life for God. May his death usher both a new generation of fervent evangelists and missionaries from our city that Asia so desperately needs”.

This Instagram reel I recently made expresses my sentiment about how the harvest is best gathered in.

If you wish to leave some words to testify to the contribution of Joseph Chean to missions or to your personal journey, please feel free to express it in the comment box above for all to be inspired.

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Pastor PJ Johney’s 22nd Death Anniversary

PJ John reminded me that 9 November was his father’s 22nd death anniversary. Pastor PJ Johney was my predecessor, spiritual father and mentor in the ministry. 

My thoughts went down memory lane to recall the difficult decision he had to make as a civil servant, husband, and father. He found himself thrust into a scenario he never wished for. The founding pastor, brother A.M. Mathew, was leaving for Canada. He had applied for a posting to Canada. While he waited for an opening, a historical revival broke out in Singapore and it filled his house with young students fired up by the baptism of the Spirit and a love for Jesus. While he was leading this young fellowship for about about two years, an opening in Castrol Canada opened up. He decided to take it. What will happen to this little flock? Hand it to the next best person in the fellowship that he trusted. Pastor Johney was reluctant to accept it. He felt that Crispus, a dynamic young man of faith, who was a great encourager and spent a lot of time with the youths should be the one to take over. Brother Mathew insisted that it should be Johney, and Johney it became. As events unfolded over the decades, that was a prudent and wise judgment call by brother Mathew. 

Pastor Johney and his family had to leave the Marthoma Church because of his firmness in his new found faith experience. Suddenly, he is the leader of a fellowship full of enthusiastic youth with lots of energy and ideas but little resources and money. This is indeed a dire challenge that I imagine would drive most lay people to their knees in prayer, entrusting people and church and financial problems to the Lord of the Church. I cannot imagine the kind of pressure he and sister Johney would have experienced those days as a lay pastor still holding to his civil service job, and leading the flock. 

Having been his associate for so many years I would describe his pastoral leadership as spiritual fathering. He was a father to the church of young people offering prudent judgment and garnering the respect of the church through his exemplary and dignified conduct and sacrifices. It was what the church needed at that time. A model of what a godly Christian family looks like. We were young but we were a few years away from getting married and having and bringing up our children in the fear of God. We needed a stable model of godly living, prayerful lifestyle and faithfulness in stewardship. This is what builds families and make them strong. 

In addition, he was aware of his limitations and welcomed the contributions of all the young people. Everyone could exercise their spiritual gifts, lead and serve in ways that built up one another and the church. His style of leadership was not top-down CEO leadership but a fatherly nurturing of every member ministry in the church. It was one of the legacies I happily continued after I was appointed in his place. Identifying peoples spiritual gifts and strengths and encouraging them to deploy them in building and strengthening the body, and of course, giving credit where it is due. 

I am rambling on and on. I better stop here. If you wish to read more about Pastor PJ Johney you may want to go HERE. 

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My Reel Journey

I have been away for a fortnight on vacation cum mission. It has been nothing but joy and excitement as we see the beauty of God’s creation and the power of God in sending the Holy Spirit upon people to refresh them, fill them, and heal them.

During this time, I also tried to learn about making reels. I brought my RODE wireless microphone and tried out making some reels. The best way to grow is to simply start doing it. Even though it may be bad at the beginning, it will get better with every attempt. When I started, I simply spoke into the mobile device as I videoed a beautiful scene where the sun’s rays broke through some dark clouds. Later on, I did another reel with the voice over function, a proper script, and the wireless microphone attached. It was better.

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