WHERE I AM COMING FROM
Updated: Feb 21, 2022
Ps David Ho shares about his life and ministry
Ps David Ho joined CCMC officially on 1 January to minister in the areas of pastoral care, seniors, family life and prayer. However, he broke his ankle on 5 December and was given medical leave till 20 February. The diagnosis was that he would not be able to walk for at least 3 to 6 months after the operation on 8 December, but by 30 January, he was able to walk about at the Sunday service.
Ps David shares with Loaves+Fishes how he came to know Christ, his ministry thus far, three principles that he uses in his ministry and how he intends to get to know the CCMC community.
Coming from an idol-worshipping family, the youngest of eight siblings, I was the first in my family to come to the Lord. This happened when my lower secondary school teacher brought me to a weekly Saturday outreach program in Bedok Methodist Church. But I was unchurched due to parental objections. When I was transferred to another school at Secondary 3, I was thankful for the ministry of Youth For Christ where my faith continued to grow. I felt then that I wanted to serve God full time though I had no idea what that meant. But there was no career guidance then and I ended up being a sea-going Marine Engineer for the next 10 years. There were many ups and downs during those seafaring days, and I was miserable, feeling that I was at the wrong place. I married Chew Kheang in 1988 and went on my last voyage with my bride before leaving the seafarer’s life in 1989.
 Later, my father, then mother and many family members came to know the Lord.
Chew Kheang and I attended Faith Community Baptist Church (FCBC) where I served as Cell Leader and Zone Supervisor. In 1997, I was invited to serve as a full-time pastor. I was then having a steady career and blessed with a young family of three children: twin sons Benjamin and Jeremy and a daughter Joy Abigail. I was comfortable to serve as a lay person. So, it was a struggle to answer the call especially for the fear of having a pay cut. But God didn’t let me go. He reminded me of His grace in my life till then. Significantly, my mother came to the Lord at that time. After much prayer and good counsels (including that of a senior pastor in South Africa when I was there on a mission trip), I answered the call at 40 years old and served in FCBC for seven years.
In 2001, I was diagnosed with MALT Lymphoma. God helped me through that journey and my faith in Him was further strengthened. I remember the day when my ENT surgeon told me that I had cancer. I replied, “It’s okay. We are all terminal anyway. If God wants to take me home, no doctors can cure me, but if God want me to stay, no cancer can take me! It’s not how long we live but what we do with our lives that count.” I went on to share with him my morning devotion for the day. It was Ecclesiastes 11:1-6 on “casting our bread upon the waters, for after many days you will find it again.” He was so enthused that he asked his assistant to close the door so that we could have a short Bible study. I explained to him that we should live our lives sowing into others. We may not know when we will see the fruits, but God promised that He will bring to fruition. He then invited me to pray with him. He then whipped out a camera to take a photo with him. He later emailed me the photo and asked if I would be willing to speak to his cancer patients.
Another memorable moment was when I asked God: “You know I have surrendered my life to you. I know you will take care of me whether I live or die. But God, you know that my wife is young, and my children are still little. Who will take care of them if I am gone?” God immediately answered with a simple answer that was so profound that I knew it was clearly from Him: “David, you believe I will take good care of you. Why can’t you believe that I will take care of your wife and children far better than you do?”
Chew Kheang was also diagnosed with cancer in 2013. Ps David shaved his head in support. Chew Kheang share her testimony about her cancer experience here:
In 2003, the door was opened to me to serve as the Director for the 350-strong youth ministry at Paya Lebar Methodist Church. Paya Lebar Methodist Church was then transitioning into a cell-group church like FCBC.
Four years later, I was supported by Paya Lebar Methodist Church to study in Trinity Theological College towards the ordained ministry. As an older student, I found it fulfilling to interact my life and ministry experiences with academic studies. Upon graduation in 2010, I began to serve as a Methodist pastor at Christ Methodist Church, then Aldersgate Methodist Church and back to Christ Methodist Church before coming to Covenant Community Methodist Church.
Leading Israel pilgrimage trip for Aldersgate Methodist Church.
Three Principles in Ministry
First: know God and His mission of redeeming mankind and know the calling of His people (the Church), her identity and mission. Second, know your own identity in Christ – who you are and who He calls you to be. This is your eternal calling. Answer this question, “How do I fit into His redemption story?” With these, you can then know the purpose of your life – what you exist for. This will also help you know your priorities. Putting all this together will help you determine your vocation. They will also give you clarity through the seasons of your life and provide a compass to help you when you encounter setbacks and make detours along the way.
As an engineer by training, I tend to be logical and have a let’s-fix-it mentality. Hence, I am inclined to be task-oriented. Being an introvert didn’t help either in my early ministry as a pastor. I had to deliberately try to be more people-oriented and learn to be more personable, caring and compassionate. Trying to be less of a perfectionist didn’t work. It was a struggle. Along the way, I learned that serving in ministry is not about choosing between being a task-oriented or people-oriented person. Both are important but how does one resolve the two? Here lies the principle that I learned: “Do not use people for tasks (no matter how noble the task maybe) but use tasks to develop people.”
With that comes my third principle. “Develop ministers, not just ministry. Don’t chase after accomplishments but leave legacies.” Be willing to be an obscure mentor, it’s okay!
Getting to know the CCMC community during Covid
One of the most effective modes of ministry which I employ is lim kopi. The current Covid Safe Management Measures does not stop us from meeting up one on one over a cup of coffee or a meal, sharing, encouraging and praying for one another either at home or in a cafe.
Nature walk with Aldersgate Methodist Church folk.
Butterfly portrait by Ps David.
Going for nature walk is another way of interaction. I do this regularly on my off days, going out with Church leaders, mentoring young people or simply having fellowship and fun with people. One of my hobbies is photography, more specifically photographing butterflies during my nature walks. I make this a form of outreach where I make friends with non-Christian butterfly photographers. As a pastor, if I don’t intentionally make this effort, I will not have non-Christian friends to reach out to.
It was during my last outing with three friends, (two of whom are non-Christians), when I slipped and broke my ankle. Though it was a very painful experience, it was a shared experience and wonderful moment to witness God’s goodness to them. “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” (Rom 12:12 ) was what I practiced during that painful ordeal.
Ps David and Chew Kheang with their twin sons, Benjamin and Jeremy, and their daughter, Joy Abigail.