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Pastoral Exhortation - Series of 2011

Echoes From The Ordination Of Rev Paul Cheng

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We thank the Lord for His blessings upon the ordination service of Rev Paul Cheng held last Lord’s day in Bethel BPC, Melbourne, Australia. Let us pray for his ministry in Bethel that he will be a faithful and effective man of God for the glory of Christ. For your joy, we are publishing the pastoral letter of Rev Stephen Khoo, the pastor of Bethel BPC, which appeared in Bethel’s church bulletin last Sunday. It includes the testimony of Rev Cheng.

My dear Bethelites,

Since 2004, Bethelites had prayed for an Assistant Pastor who will be able to carry on the pastoral care of the church. It was not until 2008 that the Lord answered our prayers in a mysterious way. I had to undergo a triple bypass heart surgery which resulted in a need for a preacher to take the pulpit ministry and care of the church in November and December 2008. When I asked Rev Dr Koshy whether there was anyone who could take the responsibility, he suggested Preacher Paul Cheng. And that was how Preacher Paul Cheng and his family came to Melbourne in November 2008 to feed the flock of Christ in Bethel. After the two months of work with Bethel, he was approached by the Session to prayerfully consider taking over the pastoral responsibility and duty from me. After praying and seeking our good Lord’s will, Preacher Paul Cheng and his family affirmatively answered the call to come to Melbourne. He and his family have been here for almost two years. He has faithfully and diligently served the Lord as we are all witnesses.

On this Lord’s Day he will be ordained according to the apostolic order, when our Lord Jesus Christ called the Twelve, and they in turn ordained Matthias to take over the place of Judas Iscariot, and the Apostle Paul ordained Timothy and Titus as ministers of the gospel of Christ.

The following is a brief testimony of Preacher Paul Cheng’s life until the time when he and his family are called to serve in Bethel BPC.

“I was brought up in a family that embraces Roman Catholicism and ancestral worship. At the tender age of twelve my doting mother passed away. I was very bitter and began to doubt the existence of God and state of disillusionment over life and death.

“At the age of 18, I was called for compulsory National Military Service in Singapore. Being an atheist, peer pressure and influence in the army led me to the world of music and drug. For many years, I found myself enslaved in the world of drug addiction. However, I thank God that at a time when I was in a stupor of dependence on drug that my senses returned to me, and was introduced to the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a halfway house for drug addicts called The Helping Hand, which is run by Christians. Through the faithful preaching of God’s Word, I came to know that Christ died for my sins. I clearly remembered the day when I knelt and confessed all my sins before God and believed with all my heart the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal Saviour. God transformed me, and His Word took root in my life.

“After my conversion, I helped my father to manage his chicken rice restaurant business as he was getting on in age. But deep within me, I had no desire to pursue a business career. I was then sandwiched between helping my dear father in running his business and seeking the will of God for my life. I sought the Lord for His heavenly wisdom to make the right decision. It was then that the Lord placed in my heart a call for full-time ministry.

“In 1999, God opened a door for me to study His Word in the Far Eastern Bible College, Singapore (Ezra 7:10) so as to be equipped to reach out to drug addicts, who were in the same dire straits as I once was. At that time I was worshipping in Gethsemane Bible-Presbyterian Church (GBPC) of which Rev Dr Prabhudas Koshy was and still is the pastor. I also served in The Helping Hand from 2002 to 2005. Then in 2005 I was called to spearhead The Gethsemane Care Ministry for drug addicts. The following year, I was elected a Deacon serving in the Session of GBPC.

“In 2001 while studying in FEBC, the Lord graciously brought Hye Young a fellow student, now my wife, into my life. Since then she has been a faithful and God-fearing wife. Thereafter, we were blessed with two lovely boys, Timothy and Silas. It is my desire that as a family we will serve the Lord (Joshua 24:15).

“In November 2008, I was asked by Rev Dr Prabhudas Koshy to minister the Word of God at Bethel BPC, Melbourne, for two months in the absence of Pastor Khoo. My heart was filled with fear and trepidation, not knowing what would be expected of me and what would lie ahead when we travelled to Melbourne. By the grace of God, my family and I had a blessed time during those two months. The Bethelites lovingly cared for us. Upon returning to Singapore about two months later, I received an invitation to serve full-time with Bethel BPC. The words of the prophet Isaiah came to my mind (6:8): 'Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.'

“Life is short and it is my earnest desire to serve the Lord while I still have the strength and energy. The road ahead may be tough and challenging, but my family and I have come to Bethel with fresh zeal and enthusiasm to serve the Lord. It is our humble prayer that God will continue to see us through, extending His Kingdom to the praise and glory of His Name.”

In the name of Christ Jesus, let every Bethelite encourage him and his family labouring in the Lord’s vineyard.

May the Lord be with you always and bless you abundantly.

With love in Christ

Pastor Khoo

 

Pastoral Exhortation