The Rev Philip Lim was posted to Cambodia in 2004 as a missionary with The Methodist Missions Society (MMS). Little did he know where it would take him. A people person, he loved his ministry and the people he served.
During his seven years in Cambodia, the Rev Lim built important relationships with MMS missionaries and the national pastors and leaders based on trust, understanding and, most of all, his love for them. He deserves much credit for starting and growing MMS’s missional ministry in its early days in Cambodia. He provided leadership in the growth of the church as well as in the community development programmes such the Methodist School of Cambodia and Community Outreach Services Immanuel.
Following his fruitful years in Cambodia, the Rev Lim returned to MMS Home Office to serve as Area Director for Cambodia before becoming MMS’s Executive Director in 2012. Besides his routine responsibilities as the Executive Director, he initiated the reorganisation and strategic development of MMS. He has been instrumental in laying the foundation for leadership renewal, both in the Home Office as well as our mission fields.
After another seven years later, he will return to pastoral ministry with the Chinese Annual Conference (CAC) from 1 Jan 2019.
In an interview with MMS Harvest Force, the Rev Lim shared that he would gladly do it all over again. He recounted his greatest takeaway from his labour of love with MMS: “On a recent visit to Nepal, I had the opportunity to hear stories first-hand from our national pastors. It is hard for us to imagine all the trouble these pastors go through just to conduct their pastoral duties. A certain pastor had to climb mountains, trek through ravines and wade across fast-flowing rivers just to visit his members and pray for them. Yet he did not utter a single complaint as he considered it a privilege to serve. I am inspired by his dedication and service.”
Reflecting on how he might have done things differently, the Rev Lim said: “If I could do it all over again, I would like to have spent more time with our people. You see, we have many young missionaries who have just started their ministry. I would have liked to spend more time with them and to journey with them, so that they will succeed in their ministry. Also, we have national workers in the field who have risen to be key leaders over the years. Many are young and wish to have a place or person to turn to for guidance or simply to process their thoughts.”
MMS Field Director and a long-serving member of MMS, Col (Ret) Quek Koh Eng, described the Rev Lim as “a God-fearing man with a heart for the missionaries, national workers and staff—with his quiet nature, he is patient, open and willing to listen to others’ views. He is a very humble and simple man, willing to accept hardships and persevere in his calling to serve.”
Our prayers and best wishes go with the Rev Philip Lim as he embarks on his new journey within the pastoral ministry and as a CAC District Superintendent.
Noel Tam is the MMS Home Director and the MMS Area Director for Nepal. He worships at Pentecost Methodist Church.
Photos courtesy of The Methodist Missions Society