Tuesday, October 23, 2007


The Ongoing Story of How We Were Led to Serve in Bolivia

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The news began to spread about my wanting to go to Bolivia. Most of the responses were a mixed bag of encouragement, discouragement, puzzlement and doubt.

My father was the most supportive.

According to the great commission we're supposed to go to the nations and if God has called you to serve Him in Bolivia…then go, was his rousing reply when I told him about my plans.

Where is Bolivia? Is this what you really want to do? Are you sure? How about Elijah? My mother, like all mothers, was interested in the details and fearful for the welfare of her son’s family.

Some relatives on Michelle’s side, not unlike my brother, thought I was making a mistake. Bolivia, like most South American countries, was not reputed for its stability and security. Elijah’s safety and future was on top of everyone’s minds, especially both his grandmothers.

A few of my friends kept a straight face and promised me their prayers and support. I could sense however that everyone was on a wait-and-see mode. Sending missionaries to South America seemed beyond the reach of the Singapore Church in more ways than one. Some were very concerned for my well being; they were under the impression that Bishop Moses had somehow twisted my arm to consider Bolivia.

I remember one clergyman telling me that he would, with my consent, talk to Moses about not forcing this Bolivian thing onto me. My attempts at clarifying matters did not register with him. On a positive note, these reactions were a sign that people were beginning to take the idea of going to Bolivia seriously.

My major concern was for the congregation I was pastoring, All Saints English Congregation. Again the response was mixed. Some were happy for me to go. Others were not keen on losing their pastor. All Saints were accustomed to short pastorates. At that point I was their longest serving pastor; I was there for only 4 years! One member told me with a sigh, I thought you’d be staying on for a longer period to help us build the church. Leaving a congregation involves a measure of grief. You lose contact with people you care for and vice versa. The passage of time however puts matters into perspective and we move on.

Going public about my intentions had stirred reactions, both expected and unexpected. These were instructive experiences which taught me to cast all my concerns and cares on the altar.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

he cares for us