Pastoral Perspectives

A Tribute to our brother Daniel Lim Chung Yong

Daniel went home to be with the Lord on 17 September 2020. During the wake, many came to show support to Christine, Elizabeth and Emmanuel. Testimonies of how Daniel had touched the lives of those around him were exchanged in the conversations around the tables.

I, too, would like to pen down some of my wonderful memories of him. My first extended conversation with Daniel was when I went with the team to Rengit, JB. He was part of the Rengit ministry, which partnered a local church there to teach English to the children on Saturdays. There were opportunities to tell Bible stories and share the Gospel with the children. In the earlier years, we had to travel by boat to Rengit. During that boat ride, I asked Daniel why he had decided to come to True Way. He said that he wanted to attend a Presbyterian church because of the Reformed theology that we taught – the sovereignty of God and election, the authority of Scripture and the necessity of evangelism. I was really impressed by him because people don’t usually choose to settle in a church because of the theology that the church embraces. More often than not, their choice is based on convenience – in terms of location, how friendly and warm the people of the church community are, the ambience of the worship sanctuary, whether the liturgy (or lack thereof) appeals to them, etc. So for Daniel, I thought he went for something more grounded, as it is theology that will guide practices and the way we conduct the whole of our church life.

Daniel was a committed servant of God. He served as a worship leader to the adults as well as the children in U12, a DG leader and a deacon over a term of 3 years. Every deacon oversees an area of ministry, and it is usually the ministry he or she is already serving in. Sometimes we have to parachute a deacon into a ministry, though we try to avoid that. Otherwise, the learning curve can be steep. Well, we parachuted Daniel into the Missions Committee when he was elected as a deacon, something that he readily took on in his own stride, despite not having any prior experience. He did very well in representing the Missions Committee at EDC meetings. It is a very important committee because Missions is part of the Great Commission. In our church, it takes up the biggest pie in the ministry budget. Daniel then went on to become its chairman after he finished his term as a deacon and he continued to serve in that capacity up until he went home to the Lord.

Once I had to go to SQ. I arrived at the airport to find Daniel waiting for me at the departure gate. My team members had already gone in but Daniel waited for me. He prayed for me before sending me off. How wonderful it is to be prayed for by your member! I was touched. I learnt that every time a team went up to Thailand for a mission trip (at least twice a year), Daniel would always be there to send them off. This is commendable because he didn’t have a car, so he would have to take the train to the airport before heading back to his office for work.

Daniel would prefer to work quietly in the background. He was steadfast and unmovable. When no one wanted to do it, he would pick up the task and do it without a word of complaint. He had such a willing heart. He took his role as a DG leader very seriously and would make sure that he was adequately prepared each time he had to teach the Word of God. Even when he served as a worship leader, something which required him to be in the forefront, he didn’t want to attract any unnecessary attention. I came to know from Christine’s eulogy that Daniel only had one set of worship ‘uniform’ that comprised a white long-sleeved shirt, pants and tie – nothing fanciful – which he would faithfully wear each time he led in worship. He wanted people to focus on God and not on himself. I was always ministered by his worship leading. He spoke with a measured voice and the pace was really good. He didn’t sound rushed at all and that helped me to better adopt a posture of stillness. Of course, the songs that he chose were theologically sound and rich.

Daniel has impacted many lives. Although he was generally more reserved, he would still take the initiative to approach church members and worshippers to engage them in conversation. Various people have shared with me their fond memories of Daniel, even those who hadn’t served with him. One such person recounted that he had approached her at the bus stop while she was making her way home from church and extended his fellowship. She was relatively new then and was naturally touched by his sincere and kind gesture, although the conversation was brief. If those who weren’t too familiar with Daniel had so many pleasant things to say about him, how much more those who served with him. It was no surprise that many from the church family wanted to attend the wake to show their support to Christine and the children. But not everyone could come because no more than 30 people were allowed to gather at any one time.

Thanks to Amy from Agape DG who has created a platform where you can share the stories of your encounters with Daniel. Today, you are just hearing it from me. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could hear from each other how Daniel has touched our lives in both small and big ways? I really hope that you will seize the opportunity to write/post something using this link so that as a church family, we can continue to encourage Christine and the children through the wonderful testimonies and memories we have of Daniel. Please also continue to pray for the family as they grieve in this time of loss. 

Daniel loved to run. Some of his running buddies came from his own DG. He used to run three times a week. We can say that he has now completed his race on earth. Truly he was a faithful and beloved child of God who used his gifts to serve tirelessly in his unassuming ways. I can imagine the Lord saying to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Daniel signed off his every email with a beautiful verse to remind him of his identity in Christ and so it is only apt for me to sign off this tribute with the same verse: “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me.” (Galatians 2:20)

Rev Lee Kien Seng

September 27, 2020