Last Saturday, I attended a service to celebrate the life of the late elder Choo Chin Teck, Chairman of the Board of Bethesda Katong Church (BKC). Elder Chin Teck had, at 70, been taken ill and died from an aggressive cancer within two months. Of the many that spoke of elder Chin Teck at the service, the constant refrain was how much he loved the Lord, the church and how he dearly loved and cared for individuals. A month before he knew he was stricken, someone learned he was attending a course on how to care for cancer patients to learn how to care for a sister in church who was diagnosed with cancer.
Elder Chin Teck has two sons. One of them mentioned how his constant reminder to the family was that they were not to “play church” but to “do church”. He wanted them to take their faith seriously and truly live out a Christ-like life. Leaving behind a legacy had never been their father’s agenda; rather a deep concern for members to genuinely love and follow Jesus closely.
No matter how busy Chin Teck was with his responsible job in the marketplace, he somehow managed to squeeze in time to do personal visitations. A fellow elder doing the visitation ministry shared that Chin Teck was the one always ferrying fellow church members around to do such visits to encourage and strengthen the sick and the needy.
Prayer was a mainstay in his life too. He was always to be found at weekday prayer meetings. He also personally pushed for BKC to have one day of corporate prayer every year, to encourage the entire congregation to see the importance of corporate prayer and personally participate as well.
Money was not something he held on to either; it was merely an instrument to bless. A church member learned that a mentally disturbed man and mother had no place to live. Elder Chin Teck felt it was inadequate that only a rented room be made available and insisted on engaging a realtor to find an apartment for them. He then paid the rent out of his own pocket for more than a year while the mother and son sorted out things in their lives. The church later had the joy of seeing the old lady come to know the Lord Jesus as they continued to support the son in his condition.
The more we heard, the more we saw a picture of Christ. Many of us sitting in BKC’s pews that Saturday morning must have quietly felt rebuked for our lack of zeal for the Lord, stinginess and tardiness, as well as spurred on by our late brother’s example to be more Christ-like.
I suspect many of us felt like Archippus. Paul must have discerned that Archippus was not pulling his weight in the Colossian church and felt it necessary to say in the closing words of his epistle: “Tell Archippus: ‘See to it that you complete the work that you have received in the Lord’.” (Colossians 4:17) As 2015 draws to a close and as we go into 2016, I pray that the Holy Spirit will reveal to us the work that we are to do, and that with His empowerment, we will complete it.
God Bless you
By Daniel John, Elder (YCKC Bulletin 27 December 2015)