My plan for university was to breeze through my undergraduate years, have fun, and graduate as soon as possible. In year 2011, when I entered my freshman year at the National University of Singapore, I was far away from God and had left church for more than two years. I did not want to have anything to do with Christianity at all. At that time, we had matriculation fairs where freshmen had to walk through a snaking line of student society booths after confirming our matriculation. Seniors would try to persuade you to join their group and I was not a fan of that, so I made a beeline towards the exit.
Halfway through the fair, I felt a strong sensing to slow down my footsteps. While it was strange to me, I followed it. The next moment, three seniors approached me to invite me to an event at Sentosa. They also handed me a brochure. They were very friendly and soon enough I found out that they represented a Christian ministry in NUS called Cru (back then, it was Campus Crusade for Christ). I was intrigued, so I said yes.
Something about the hospitality and warmth won me over, and I joined the event at Sentosa. It was a fun time of games and sharing, and I thoroughly enjoyed the time with them. Thereafter, I was invited to join a discipleship group that met weekly on campus. Little did I know that this was the beginning of a great adventure for me.
NUS Cru Freshmen event at Sentosa
It was in NUS Cru where I found my faith in Christ again. I was brought back to the basics of my faith, and I experienced His love and grace in my life. I had the opportunity to serve as a student leader, and although it was very challenging, it was a great moulding experience for me.
My fellow batchmates in NUS Arts Cru, who spurred each other on in living out our faith on campus
Thereafter, I had an opportunity to go for a mission trips with my Cru mates. It was in my second trip to Thailand where I had an encounter with God and He spoke so clearly to me about my destiny. While worshipping as a team, I felt the Lord’s compassion over me, and I wept heavily for more than an hour. I knew that God was marking me, pouring His compassion for the nations into my heart. I have never had such an encounter before, and that experience of God becoming so real to me remains as a memory that is fresh even till today.
The mission trip to Thailand with Radion International that God used to pour His compassion for the nations into my heart
As I was preparing to graduate from university, I was seeking God about my next steps. The Lord impressed on my heart three things: Youths, Missions, and Tentmaking. I graduated from university in 2014 and worked a few jobs in the marketplace for the next four years. It was clear that God wanted me to prepare for a missionary calling, but I did not have much clues about how it would look like.
While I was working as a youth worker for 3.5 years, God grew my character and prepared me for missions in so many ways
After four years of preparation, the Lord made it clear to me that I was to leave for Thailand in 2018 together with my wife. I left my job in Singapore and followed God’s calling in faith, and since then, God has shown us His great provision and guidance in the mission field. As we served, we see how God used our discipleship experience in Cru to shape our ministry, and we are very thankful for the seeds sown in our lives.
One thing that has stuck with me even after graduating from university for 7 years is the heart of disciple-making movements and spiritual multiplication. We always trusted the Lord for opportunities to make disciples that would make disciples. In our first couple years of ministry, we sowed in faith, despite not seeing much breakthrough. It was quite disappointing at first, and we were wondering if this was truly what God wanted us to do. Thankfully, we did not stop our ministry just based on the lack of breakthrough in the early years.
It was in our fourth year that we finally started seeing our disciples ready and actively raising their own disciples. It was very encouraging to see our disciples enjoying the process of spiritual multiplication. Beyond methodology, structure, and routine, it excites me the most to see a lifestyle of following Jesus being multiplied. We know that God is doing something and its our honour to be part of the process!
Our first batch of digital skills disciples
Our disciples teaching and helping others to grow both in digital skills and faith
As I look back, I see God’s beautiful plan in action that set me up for what I am doing today. It was truly divine that I was led to the NUS Cru ministry in the backslided years of my youth. To see the godly values and vision being multiplied at where I am serving at is an assurance that God is in the heart of what Cru is doing.
Today, I still bump into many missionaries on the field who had spent their university years serving with Cru all over the world. The impact of Cru on today’s mission field is wide and lasting. Regardless of where we work at today, we carry the DNA of Cru as we influence culture and be multiplying disciples for Christ!
A former youth social worker, Jason is now a missionary serving in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Wherever he is, he's passionate about youth, tentmaking, and missions. Together with his wife Sheryl, he manages a web design social enterprise and a community centre ministry in an at-risk neighbourhood. They serve with YWAM Thailand and you can read their missions adventures at jasonsheryl.com.
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