When 34-year-old Reverend Simon Soh found out that he would be transferred from pastoring in Cameron Highlands to Kota Bharu, he was obedient to follow the instruction of the Bishop of the Anglican Church in West Malaysia.
Yet, the LORD had also been preparing Pastor Simon’s and his wife Choo Pei Ting’s hearts to come to Kota Bharu during a clergy retreat there last year.
During the retreat, they were touched by retired Bishop Andrew Phang’s testimony on how he heeded the call of his Bishop to transfer from Kuala Lumpur to Kuantan.
“I believe God allowed us to listen to Bishop Phang’s testimony to encourage us, at that time,” said Pastor Simon.
His wife Pei Ting added, “I was really encouraged to see how the Bishop submitted to God although his children preferred to stay in Kuala Lumpur. The transfer was easier for us because we are adults. We can adapt to the transition better.”
During the retreat, they had the opportunity to visit Saint Martin’s Anglican Church together with the other pastors. Having surveyed the place, the couple had an idea of how the church looks like.
Hence, on 13th of January this year, they moved to St. Martin’s Church, with the hope to reach out to the neighbouring Chinese community there.
And since they moved there by faith, they had never stopped seeing the goodness of God!
The Anglican Diocese of West Malaysia donated a sum of money to restore their church after the devastating floods in December last year.
A brother-in-Christ also sponsored the construction of a compound wall and fence to replace the 30-year old chain-link fence.
Four young men from the MV Logos Hope helped to re-paint the interior walls of their vicarage, which had watermarks from the flood.
The couple are also thankful to Mr Arthur De Silva and his wife Shirley for graciously offering their home for them to stay during their first three months in Kota Bharu.
During that time, Pastor Simon and his wife had the opportunity to clean and refurbish their vicarage, which is located next to the church.
Not only that, in August this year, the choir group Hymnsmen did not mind driving for nine hours all the way from Kuala Lumpur to perform in their 20-member church.
“We hope churches in the west coast would send their talented troop to churches in Kota Bharu, so that we can invite our neighbours and other churches to come and enjoy the performance as well,” said Pastor Simon.
Mostly, he thanked his mother and his 101 year-old grandmother who had been encouraging him to be a pastor, which led him to quit his corporate work in Fernleaf and Talam Transform Berhad.
Since young, they saw that he was a prayerful person, with an innate desire to share the gospel even during his secondary school days.
In fact, his sharing was so persistent that his friends would nickname him as ‘Ye So Chai’ or Jesus’ man.
“Of course, at that time I was very bold. I was not worried about how my classmates would see me. But today, I must use wisdom to bring them to Christ in a way that does not offend them,” said Pastor Simon.
Having settled in for close to one year now, Pastor Simon is getting used to his busy routine of preparing sermons, leading a weekly bilingual Bible study, and also overseeing the renovation works in the church compound.
“If God has called you to serve here, do not wait. But seize the opportunity because the days are short already. The LORD is coming back soon.
“So, we better work hard while we have daylight. We need to respond to His Calling by faith and trust Him,” he added.
A ‘ye so chai’ or Jesus’ man, Pastor Simon is indeed working to show who Jesus is to the people of Kota Bharu.
However, as a new pastor in a new place, he needs a lot of prayer support from the west coast churches.
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