Gideonite Training Programme, Timor Leste (2016)

If you attended this past Sunday’s English service, you’re probably familiar with Denise Lim. Together with the entire church congregation, our Senior Pastors prayed a prayer of blessing for her to set her apart as a Gideonite! Right after G12 Asia Conference 2016, she’ll be leaving for Timor Leste to serve alongside Pastor Catherine Foo and aid in our church planting efforts there.

Denise recently graduated from her part-time post-graduate studies at the National Institute of Education (NIE) and currently holds a Masters in Education (Early Childhood). She was previously a Special Education teacher, and has also worked as a principal in a PAP Community Foundation (PCF) kindergarten.

Curious what made her take that step of faith and decide to become a Gideonite mission leader? Let’s hear from her!

First and foremost, tell us something interesting about yourself.

I love music and enjoy watching musicals due to influence from my mum who would play old classics on our music player at home. At the other end of the spectrum, I also like watching old action films because of my dad's influence! I like quiet activities like reading and playing the piano or guitar but at the same time, I also enjoy gatherings with friends and families. However as I prepare towards leaving for Timor, I look forward to the beautiful scenery, connecting with the lovely people and playing with the friendly animals.

What inspired you to join Pastor Catherine in Timor Leste?

The process prior to joining the Gideonite Programme began towards the end of year 2012. That year, I did my FCBS (Faith Community Bible School) classes and went for a short one-week mission trip to Timor Leste. Through the classes and my time in the mission trip, I sought God regarding the calling and destiny that He has for me. More and more, God revealed to me that He has given me a heart for missions – to reach out to people, especially children and youth in developing countries. I shared this with my cell leader and she encouraged me to go for a mission trip each year to be more exposed and prepare myself to serve in the mission field when the time comes.

Since then, I participated in a mission trip every year. I also intentionally equipped myself in management and leadership skills through my workplace and ministry. Throughout these years of preparation, I also spent time sharing with my parents regarding serving in the mission field and showed them pictures of my mission trips. Knowing that I will graduate from my post-graduate studies this year, I extended my mission trip in Timor Leste last year with Pastor Catherine to learn from her and have a glimpse of what it’s like to serve as a missionary. The sharing from Pastor Catherine during the trip and her passion for people played an influential part for me in joining the Gideonite programme. After the trip, I came back and shared my experience with my cell leader and we both agreed that it is time for me to embark on this new journey of faith. It is indeed God’s timing as my brother is finally back from his overseas studies; I have completed my postgraduate studies; and my parents have given me their blessings to go. Everything fell into place! Indeed, God makes all things beautiful in His time.

What were the challenges you faced in the process of making this decision, and how did you overcome them?

There were many considerations such as parental concerns, income, and also adjustments of lifestyle and environment. Consultations and advices from my cell leader, Sook San and Pastor Catherine, coupled with affirmation from my parents helped a lot in making this decision. And of course, when God called and affirmed this decision, it made all the difference.

What keeps you strong in your faith journey?

A community of believers. One of my love languages is time – therefore spending time with strong and faithful believers helps me to grow in my faith journey. I thank God for my mentors who spent time discipling me, edifying, encouraging and intentionally imparting life lessons and spiritual disciplines.

What is your dream for God?

At the moment, it is the establishment of a youth-centred church in Timor Leste and the pioneering of children and youth workers for mission work in the nations through FCBC. The larger dream is to see every knee bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord in every part of the world, starting with my family. I am the only believer in my family right now.

Some words to encourage your fellow youths?

We are called to be peace-MAKErs and disciple-MAKErs, not peace-keepers or disciple-keepers. So go out and MAKE something out of yourself! Be an influencer in your school (in the place that God has called you to) by being the starter and MAKER of great things, and signs and wonders will follow!

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