LiveSg Stories

Bigger Than The Singaporean Dream

Jiamin's journey of helping others live significantly.

 

Would you ever consider full-time missions if you come from a single-parent family and need to take care of two younger siblings?

What would your fellow Singaporeans think? An utter waste of a university degree?

For Operation Mobilisation (OM) Missions Coordinator, Jiamin, her dive into missions didn’t come easy at all. 

Heart for global missions 

With her dad’s passing at thirteen years old, providing for her aging mum and two younger siblings seem to be the only right thing to do upon graduating from National University of Singapore (NUS).

Yet, she never could ignore the heart-aching sights during her first mission trip on board Doulos, OM’s grand dame, as an 18 year-old before entering NUS. 

 

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Jiamin (second from right) with grandmother, mother and siblings.

 

Outside the safe harbour of Singapore, she witnessed scenes of the homeless, abandoned children on the streets, people behind bars and many more.

As she interacted with the marginalised and forgotten, her heart broke, realising how much they needed to hear the life and hope found in the gospel. 

With this unforgettable experience etched in her memory, she pursued this new-found passion by embarking on more short-term mission trips during her involvement with NUS Cru as a disciple and leader.

Amazing Mum

At a crossroads upon graduation, Jiamin found herself wrestling within. 

Uncharacteristic of most Singaporean parents, her mother, Mdm Lee Pang Luan urged her to embrace the call of God, “If God is calling you to go, just go.  God has put you in this family for me to bring you up.  Now that you know about God, you go.”

 

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Jiamin's mother, Mdm Lee Pang Luan, is a key pillar of support for the family. 

 

“I don’t stop you. Just go.” 

With the blessings of her family, Jiamin joined OM as a full-time missionary to serve on board Doulos again.

From 2005 to 2009, Jiamin travelled around the world with 350 other crew members from 50 countries, bringing educational and Christian literature across the world with the purpose of bringing knowledge, help and hope to the nations.

Not forgotten by God

Jiamin recalled a time at Papua New Guinea during a prison visit when she passed a copy of the Bible to one of the inmates, Anna. 

The next day, Jiamin received a letter posted on her cabin door. 

 

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Missions is Jiamin's heartbeat. 

 

The last line read, “P.S. Only last night I prayed, asking God for a Bible.  I guess my prayer was answered today.” 

It was from Anna, whom she visited some days before.

Jiamin burst into tears. Humbled, she realised God had used her as His vessel to bring the Bible to His precious daughter who had been locked up behind bars but not forgotten.    

Out Of Their Harbours

After four years and 31 countries, Jiamin returned home with about 20 journals, carrying precious stories and life lessons. 

Over the next 2 years, Jiamin took time to tidy these writings while transiting into her new role as OM Missions Coordinator, mobilising many young people for missions even till today. 

 

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Many friends turned up for the book launch of Out Of The Harbour.

 

In 2011, Out of the Harbour was published and launched. Not only that, she met Ming Hui who eventually became her husband.

And because of Jiamin’s pursuit off the beaten path, her younger sister Limin has also chosen a career in missions and full-time Christian vocational ministry. 

Singaporean-parent Dream?

This LiveSg story is not just about Jiamin giving up the Singaporean Dream to help others find life’s true significance.

It is Mdm Lee’s sacrifice as much as Jiamin’s, giving up her right to the comfortable Singaporean-Parent Dream.

With a sole desire to honour God, her children were truly free to pursue God’s best for their lives.

Thank you Jiamin and Mdm Lee, for showing us that it requires taking up our crosses to get out of our own harbours.

 

Questions to ponder:

  1. Is there anything that God is asking you to release into His hands as you deny yourself, take up the cross and follow Him?

  2. What’s your version of the Singaporean Dream or the Singaporean-Parent Dream?    

 

References:

https://thir.st/blog/struggle-fulltime-missionary/

https://saltandlight.sg/faith/worth-the-wait-jiamin-choo/

https://stories.om.org/ships-story/r33834

https://www.outoftheharbour.com/

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