Surrendering my life to God’s plans

What does being a Methodist mean to you
Puay See’s church in Hong Kong

I was not born in a Christian family. I never studied in a Methodist School. I only got to know Christ through a death in the family. At a neighbour’s invitation, we visited Telok Ayer Chinese Methodist Church (TA) and somehow found the service reassuring. We have been worshipping at TA’s Chinese service since.

That was how my Methodist journey began—me, an English-educated young professional who knew no one in the church, with only a smidgen of basic Mandarin, attending Mandarin service in one of the most traditional of Chinese Methodist churches here. I struggled to understand the sermons. In church, I was always known as my parents’ daughter, and the only church friends I had were the aunties and uncles in my parents’ cell groups! Yet somehow, even alone, I’ve always felt a strong sense of belonging to the TA family.

That sense of belonging for the TA family extended to a love for the broader Chinese Annual Conference (CAC) and Methodist family, through which God led me to take up a role in the CAC in 2016, a defining point in my life as a Methodist. Whilst staffing the CAC discussions on central pooling, I had the precious opportunity to visit all 17 CAC churches. I attended Methodism classes, read through our doctrines and staffed the Annual Conference meetings. I got to know John Wesley and we worked his life stories into a cartoon series in CAC News.

In 2019, I was posted to Hong Kong. Friends kindly introduced me to the churches catering to the expatriate community, yet God amazingly arranged for us to set up our new home next to the Methodist International Church in Hong Kong (MICHK). The service there was Spirit-filled, the sermons spoke to my heart, and there were many times I teared for it felt almost like God was right next to me, ministering to my concerns. After a few weeks of visiting other churches, we walked ourselves back to MICHK and settled there.

To me, being a Methodist means surrendering my life to God’s plans and trusting that He will keep me growing in a family that cares for me, prays with me and deepens my spiritual maturity. “Methodist connectionalism” means looking after every single member of the family, giving them the assurance that they belong, even when they are alone or apart. These are troubling times and many events threaten to divide us. Let us focus less on the “methods” that define us, and more on the “connections” of not leaving any single sheep lost and alone, however different they are.

Ong Puay See is enjoying life as a wandering Methodist in Hong Kong, whilst remotely serving on the CAC Board of Communications and worshipping at Telok Ayer Chinese Methodist Church.