by Patricia Lian
Cheng King Fai and his wife Yee were university students in Hong Kong when they came to know Christ through a campus ministry that could trace its roots back to a Singapore doctor and his wife who were pioneers with the Singapore Navigators in the 1970s. This couple had migrated to Hong Kong and the faithful men they helped there continued to help others. A thriving campus ministry was born, totally ran by laypersons. When Fai and Yee felt the call to explore full-time ministry, they were the first couple in the ministry to do so and their mentor suggested that they join the Staff-in-Training programme with the Singapore Navigators. It’s been two and a half years and NavNews catches up with the Chengs before they head back to Hong Kong.
Cheng King Fai and Yee spent two years in training with the Singapore Navigators before returning to their ministry in Hong Kong.
NN: How has the past two and a half years impacted both of you?
Fai: Over the years when I served in the Hong Kong ministry, pride unknowingly developed in me. I thought I was a leader already. Coming to Singapore, a new environment and ministry, was enough to expose my flaws and weaknesses. Whether it be in speaking English or playing sports with the students, I felt out of my zone. The more flaws I found, the harder I worked to cover them. I became caught in a performance trap that left me exhausted. Reaching the point of helplessness, God reminded me of John 12:24 “Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.”
To die to my old self! To stop thinking I was a leader but to take the position of a learner and a servant. When I was able to do that, I found freedom and joy! At the same time, I got to know a lot of godly people who were examples I could follow. Humility is not about denying myself (which is still about me), but to know deeply that a humbled heart is beautiful in the eyes of God and men — that is something I want to learn continually.
I am thankful that God gave me some faithful guys and He blessed the relationships these two years. However, there were relationships that ended sadly or suddenly. When these happened, my heart was tempted to fill up with bitterness and pain. I struggled with the feeling of being unappreciated. But the Holy Spirit reminded me that this was a very self-centred mindset. Did I want them to remember me for my sacrifice, or to remember God’s love and sacrifice? Every brokenness of my heart served to expose and purify my motives. Through the pain, I better understood God’s heart for people and His compassion for the lost. “There is a mine for silver, and a place where gold is refined.” (Job 28:1) God showed me that my impure love needs the refiner’s fire. If making disciples is about love, then I am glad God is teaching me how to make disciples.
Yee: I begin to understand what it means to help people become God’s disciples instead of my disciples. When I had some ladies who were growing well in their faith, I started to put a lot of expectations on them, hoping that they would grow “strong, faithful and committed” (as I saw it). These expectations put a lot of tension into the relationships, and became burdens.
Many times I came before God in sorrow, asking Him what I could do about the situation and why these discouragements were happening. God showed me the control I was trying to have over the growth of the ladies I was supposed to help. I thought I could do something in that person’s life! But God showed me in 1 Corinthians 3:6 that God is the only One who can help a person grow in Him. God humbled me and taught me that all I need to do is to always be ready to bring someone to Him and at the same time, not to trust in men or human effort. When I think about my life thus far, I am always the one who fail to meet God’s standard and go astray from His plan. Yet His love and grace never fail and He never stops guiding me back to Him. I am thankful.
Fai and Yee will continue to serve on a campus ministry in Hong Kong as full-time staff, while seeking God for the next step on their journey as disciple-makers.
The NUS ministry where Fai and Yee served, held a farewell party for them and baby Caleb.