Called to serve

Meet the Members-on-Trial who were admitted in November 2023 to their respective Annual Conferences.

Called to serve
(top left) Ps Joshua Kwok with his wife, Jayna (top centre) Ps Rufus Chan with his wife, Gracia, and daughters, Inez Faith and Zoey Grace (top right) Pr Jonathan Huang with his wife, Karen, and son, Josiah (bottom left) Pr Jason Lee with his wife, Shermaine, and son, Nathan (bottom centre) Ps Jesudoss Charles with his wife, Manimegalai, and daughter, Angelina (bottom right) Ps Joseph Vasanth with his wife, Priyadarshini, and son, Jonathan
Ps Joshua Kwok and family
Ps Joshua Kwok with his wife, Jayna / Photo courtesy of Joshua Kwok

“He is always with me”

Ps Joshua Kwok
Member-on-Trial, Barker Road Methodist Church

I first sensed God’s call to full-time vocational ministry while on a mission trip. During this trip, one of the locals asked if I was considering to be a pastor. I was taken aback by that remark as I had not shared openly shared my desire for full-time ministry. I did not think much of that incident after that as I had the misconception that the call to full-time ministry had to be via a supernatural revelation, perhaps an audible voice or a vision.

Rev Anthony Lee, who was my mentor, helped to clear my doubts. Discerning this call together with me, he affirmed my pastoral heart and the desire for full-time ministry. Also, God’s Word through 1 Timothy 3:1 helped me to gain greater clarity, “The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task.” I felt that God was calling me through my desire to serve him in full-time ministry as long as I was doing it with genuine intentions.

Over the next few years, I embarked on the discernment process and joined the marketplace upon graduation to gain some working experience. While I enjoyed the work at the marketplace, the desire to spend more time equipping people for the work of ministry in the church mounted. Not long after, I joined my church as a Pastoral Team Member.

The final confirmation to join as an MOT came through God’s deliverance from my physical pain. Before entering TTC, I encountered a sharp hip pain without any known cause. As my daily functioning was affected, I pondered if this would hinder me from answering God’s call. I cried to the Lord for healing and to show me a way forward to obey his calling.

In response to my prayer, God pointed me to the right tests and doctors which gave an accurate diagnosis of my pain. I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and the long-term treatment was thankfully effective. As a result of this, my disease is currently in remission.

While I have to live with this condition, I witnessed God’s deliverance through the right diagnosis and effective treatment. I saw this as a confirmation from God that he is indeed calling me to pastoral ministry. This has provided assurance that despite any challenges I may face, he is always with me.

Ps Rufus Chan and family
Ps Rufus Chan with his wife, Gracia, and daughters, Inez Faith (left) and Zoey Grace (right) / Photo courtesy of Rufus Chan

“It’s scarier not doing what God wants you to do”

Ps Rufus Chan
Member-on-Trial, Covenant Community Methodist Church

Growing up as a third-generation believer in a Christian household, my spiritual journey began in Telok Ayer Methodist Church. However, it wasn’t until 1995, when I started attending Aldersgate Methodist Church (AMC) with my Boys’ Brigade officers, that my faith saw exponential growth.

In 1997, a significant crisis unfolded within my family, coinciding with a mistake I had made in school. Through it, I had a first-hand encounter with God’s profound forgiveness. This was the turning point for my life. It was in that year that I genuinely and wholeheartedly dedicated my life to Jesus Christ, setting me on a path of active service within the church. From assuming various leadership roles in the youth ministry to eventually becoming the youth chairperson in 2006, I served passionately for six years as a lay person.

Prompted by a sense of “holy dissatisfaction” in my secular work, I heeded God’s call in 2011 and transitioned from the marketplace. I joined Trackers in 2012 as a mentor. It was during a mission trip that I felt a distinct calling on my life. Following much contemplation and having sought confirmation, I took the leap into full-time ministry at AMC, with my wife’s support.

When I shared with her my fears of being in full-time ministry, she said, “It is scarier not being in the place that God wants you to be, not doing what he wants you to do.” With that, I had the assurance that she would support my calling whatever the circumstances would be.

Another confirmation came from my mother, who shared a diary entry from 30 years ago, recounting her act of surrendering me for the Lord’s service. While listening to a sermon based on 1 Samuel where Hannah offered Samuel to God for the work in the temple, my mother had a sudden stirring in her heart. That day, she too, surrendered me as an offering for the Lord’s service. It became clear that God had set me apart long before I fully understood.

The final affirmation came on 12 December 2020 during a run as I embraced my calling as a pastor and preacher of God’s Word. The Greek word “Logos”, symbolising the Word of God, emerged in my mind. Three years since that final affirmation, here I am now, ready to serve as the Lord has called.

Pr Jon Huang
Pr Jonathan Huang with his wife, Karen, and son, Josiah / Photo courtesy of Jonathan Huang

From brokenness to service

Pr Jonathan Huang
Member-on-Trial, Ang Mo Kio Chinese Methodist Church

I grew up in a broken family, but by the divine grace of God, I came to know my mentor who not only brought me to church, but also engaged me with persistence and intention, journeying with me like an older brother. His patience, care and love reflected Christ, and he was instrumental in my decision to follow Christ when I was 18 years old.

Around that time, during a prayer meeting, I experienced an amazing sense of shalom, which I am convinced helped heal the brokenness I experienced as a child. That experience led me to become more interested in knowing God on a deeper level. In the years following my National Service, God opened the door for me to serve as a church worker, allowing me to have a flavour of what it is like to work in a church, moulding me in the process and helping me discern my call to become a pastor.

Shortly after I answered the call to serve as a youth worker, my dad was diagnosed with cancer. Nevertheless, I believe that God honoured my obedience by allowing my dad to hear the gospel in his heart language. Eventually, by God’s amazing grace, he was baptised and even reconciled with my mother before he went home to be with the Lord. Looking back, I can see how God turned what the devil meant for evil into something good (Genesis 50:20).

In 2020, by God’s grace, I enrolled at Trinity Theological College. I cannot emphasise enough the importance of having the support and affirmation of my wife, conference, church and pastors, as I pursue my calling as a pastor. Such Christian unity and fellowship with the community have encouraged and challenged me on my faith journey and have held me accountable in my pursuit of holiness.

On this note, I am inviting you to journey with me by being patient with me and praying for me and my family. I look forward to interacting with you, engaging with you, and learning along with you as we pursue holiness together. God bless!

Pr Jason Lee
Pr Jason Lee with his wife, Shermaine, and son, Nathan / Photo courtesy of Jason Lee

“Let no one despise you for your youth”

Pr Jason Lee
Member-on-Trial, Bukit Panjang Methodist Church

I first received the call to Christian ministry in February 2013 when I attended a three-month discipleship programme organised by the TRAC Board of Youth Ministries. On a mission trip to Yangon, I was reminded that the harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few (Matt 9:37). This prompted me to discern whether God was leading me into full-time Christian ministry.

A few months later, I attended a worship night held at Paya Lebar Methodist Church. At the end of the gathering, a pastor issued the call for people to respond to full-time Christian ministry. I was hesitant to respond because of the doubts I had in my mind. I was worried that I would not be able to fulfil this calling after responding. But in my heart, I sensed strongly that this was God’s direction, and so I responded, trusting that God will continue to guide me.

Throughout the years, I would have doubts about becoming a missionary and what I had thought about in Myanmar. I wanted to serve God but questioned my suitability and adequacy. However, at the Methodist Young Leaders Conference held in 2018, I responded again to the call to full-time ministry. I knew in my heart that this is what God wanted me to do. Since then, I’ve never looked back.

In 2020, I entered full-time theological studies at Trinity Theological College.

While I studied with the mission field in mind, I felt led to consider the possibility of ordination after learning more about pastoral ministry. This was surprising to me because I was preparing myself to be a missionary. Nonetheless, I considered it seriously because I knew that God was speaking.

After much prayer and speaking with lecturers and pastors, in 2022 I applied to be a Member-on-Trial in the Chinese Annual Conference (CAC). Never in my life would I have thought that God would lead me to pastoral ministry in the CAC, but I hold 1 Timothy 4:12 close to my heart, Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.”

My heart is filled with gratitude for the privilege to serve God in this manner. May my life be a living sacrifice, pleasing to him. Amen.

Ps Jesudoss Charles and family
Ps Jesudoss Charles with his wife, Manimegalai, and daughter, Angelina / Photo courtesy of Jesudoss Charles

Dedicated to God before birth

Ps Jesudoss Charles
Member-on-Trial, Jurong Tamil Methodist Church

My parents prayed to dedicate their first child to God before I was even born. They never forced me to study theology, but always reminded me about their dedication to God.

As a young child, I was involved in local church ministries and grew closer to God. However, in my youth, during the time that I was in Singapore for work and study, my spiritual life momentarily derailed in the midst of worldly blessings and career growth. But God consistently spoke to me through the covenant words he made with me. I was given Isaiah 41:8-10 on my confirmation day, and those words have guided me in all aspects of my life since.  My life’s ups and downs, alongside my wife’s, allowed me to experience his grace and love, oftentimes through the wise counsel of his ministers.

By God’s grace, a small chapel was built in Sevalur village in South India in 2012 and I was appointed Evangelist to run it from Singapore. During that time, I developed a spiritual thirst to study theology and pursue full-time ministry, proceeding to complete my Bachelor’s degree at Tamil Nadu Theological Seminary (TTS) via long-distance learning. In 2022, God opened the doors for me to pursue a Master of Ministry at Trinity Theological College (TTC) while serving as a part-time supply Pastor in ETAC. Starting from 2024, I will begin my full-time ministry as an MOT at ETAC.

Looking back, all I can see is his love and amazing grace. I’ve also come to understand that while our amazing God made a covenant with the Israelites, he also makes one with each individual believer to fulfil our spiritual missions and goals through his grace. I came to realise the significance of my parents’ dedication and see how God has been with me and guiding my path all my life.

I extend my heartfelt gratitude to my parents and my wife, Manimegalai, for their unwavering dedication and support. I’m also grateful to all ETAC pastors, TTS and TTC Professors for their spiritual guidance, support and teaching. In addition, I want to express my deep appreciation to my prayer warriors: my daughter, Angelina, and my nieces, Thulya and Megha.

I pray to hear “Well done, good and faithful servant!” from the Lord. All glory to our God!

Ps Joseph Vasanth and family
Ps Joseph Vasanth with his wife, Priyadarshini, and son, Jonathan / Photo courtesy of Joseph Vasanth

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound

Ps Joseph Vasanth
Member-on-Trial, Tamil Methodist Church (Short Street)

Amazing grace! how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch; like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

I used to wonder why my testimony leading to full-time ministry seems uneventful compared to others. But then I came to a deeper understanding of God and his ways —his thoughts are not our thoughts, and his ways are not our ways—and saw how he had my life in his hand right from the beginning.

If not for God’s grace, I wouldn’t be here. I recognised it was in fact God that had preserved my life as a toddler—healing me from a serious illness; and as a child—saving me from a potentially fatal fall from the fourth storey.

His unwavering love and presence also kept me during the time I strayed in my teenage years. Although there wasn’t a single significant event that drew me back to God, I gradually grew in faith with the prayers of my family and church. In his time, I became actively involved in the youth fellowship at an independent church in Chennai.

At that point, I began to contemplate the direction of my ministry and God’s specific calling in my life. God, in his grace, led me through this discernment process and helped me take one step at a time. In 2017, I decided to leave my secular work and a promising ministry in Chennai to pursue theological studies at Trinity Theological College (TTC) in Singapore.

I started my journey in TTC with many presumptions and ambitions, but God humbled me and helped me unlearn many things. I surrendered myself to the potter’s hand once again and prayed for him to mould me, and make me a vessel useful for his kingdom.

Covid-19 brought on trials and unexpected challenges, including a premature return to India, but God remained in control and I am grateful to now be able to embark on this new journey of pastoral ministry in ETAC.

In his profound love, I am found.
It is by his amazing grace I serve his kingdom.
In prayer, I desire to live a fruitful and purposeful life, pleasing to God.