Leaders are often viewed as people who have reached a peak in their achievement, and naturally assume the authority and responsibility of their appointment.
Goh Hock Chye, Cru Singapore’s newly transitioned Chief Executive Officer (CEO), holds a different view. His perspective on leadership was shaped early on at 25 as he was impacted by a discipleship training series by the Navigators.
Hock Chye shared, “The revelation that we are God’s stewards hit me so strongly. God not only created us, He redeemed us. Which means that He owns us, twice over. Therefore, everything we have belongs to Him—our time, resources, talents, giftings and relationships.”
“The Greek root word for ‘steward’ refers to a servant entrusted to run the affairs of his master’s household. This concept is seen in the Bible when we are taught to take care of what belongs to our Master who has created everything. Good stewards are committed to selfless service no matter what is entrusted to them—from small duties to heavy responsibilities. In the end, we will be held accountable for how well we managed what the Master has given us,” he explained.
Hock Chye leading an area meeting, 2017
Laying the foundations
With this revelation on stewardship, Hock Chye has acted in obedience to God’s leading in all aspects of his life. Having been involved in Cru Singapore as a student at National University of Singapore, he prayerfully heeded God’s call to serve as a staff member in 1995.
He shared, “I was in my final year in university and God made it clear that He wanted me to seek Him rather than chart my own path. Through my devotional times, He started to unveil that plan.”
“The passage that struck me was Matthew 19:16-30 about the parable of the young man who asked Jesus how he could have eternal life. I identified with that young man because I similarly had put my hope and focus on potential possessions. However, deep down I could sense that God wanted me to set my life aside for Him and serve in full time ministry,” Hock Chye recalled.
Hock Chye had to wrestle between what he knew to be God’s will and the desire of his parents, who were not believers, for him to provide for himself and his family. Despite these initial challenges, his prayers were answered when God turned his parents’ hearts around. This early commitment in Hock Chye’s life set the course for his faithfulness to Christ.
“It came down to one question: If God gave Jesus to die for me, how can it be too difficult for me to give up my ambition for Him?” Hock Chye said.
Growth through the pain
Embarking on this journey of faith had no guarantees of safety and security as humanly understood, but the assurance of the constant presence of God who has called.
Hock Chye shared that some of the deepest valleys in his life were when he and his wife, Peh Muay, went through two ectopic pregnancies. “It felt like a death sentence because the doctors told us that both fallopian tubes were damaged and we were unlikely to conceive anymore,” he recounted.
With such heavy news resting on their hearts, yet knowing that God heals, they went into a season of fasting and praying. Hock Chye said, “In that time, the Lord impressed on my heart to trust Him again. So we took Him at His word and decided to look beyond our natural circumstances.”
He continued, “Because of His faithfulness, we were able to experience two miracles—not just us but our relatives, doctors and midwives—the birth of two of my daughters, Dorothy (now 19 years old) and Tiffany (now 17 years old), who were conceived naturally.”
Hock Chye, Peh Muay, Dorothy and Tiffany
Understanding God’s provision
“One significant milestone in my journey with Christ was when God gave my wife and I a deep burden to consider adopting in 2009. Our two girls were older, and we felt led to make an impact in this way,” Hock Chye said.
In 2010, the Goh family began the adoption process. Hock Chye recalled with a chuckle, “According to our social worker, because we already had our own children, we were ‘miraculously selected’ to adopt a newborn baby girl.”
“We were on a three-week mission trip when the call came for us to receive the baby. Because we were unable to receive the call, she was given to the next adoptive parents on the list. We were devastated when we found out,” he shared.
Agonising situations can lead us to a deeper understanding of the facets of God’s provision. For Hock Chye, it was this: "God will never short-change us. A greater miracle happened when we were given a lead to meet this sweet and adorable 4-year-old girl who was given up for adoption. It was love at first sight!”
Christabel (now 13 years old) completes the trio of sisters in the Goh household. Hock Chye stated, “Today, my whole family cannot imagine a day without her. God paved the way and she joined our family in 2012. People have often told me that, among my three daughters, she resembles me most in appearance, interest and personality.”
The Goh family
Stepping in faith into deeper waters
Hock Chye was approached in 2019 by the board of Cru Asia to consider becoming the next Country Leader of Cru Singapore. Aware of the great responsibility and decision that lay before him, he entered a season of fasting and prayer to seek God’s leading.
Hock Chye shared, “During this time, the word “Hineni” came providentially to me. “Hineni” is Hebrew for “Here I am” and uttered most often in response to God. Examples include Moses responding to God at the burning bush, Samuel answering all three times when God called, and Abraham obeying God when asked to offer his only son as a sacrifice.”
“In almost every instance the word “Hineni” appears, there was a turning point and potentially life-changing moment for the individual who received the call. By responding with “Hineni”, a person was saying: ‘I heard your call. While I may not fully understand what you are asking of me, I am ready to follow. I recognise that, though obedience is challenging, it is most important’,” Hock Chye elaborated.
Hock Chye and Kok Hiang chatting over coffee
Coming full circle, this encounter with God gave Hock Chye the same assurance as his first encounter 25 years ago when he was called into full-time ministry. He smiled, “I recognised it, and had a deep sense that God was inviting me to respond, “Hineni”, again.”
He continued, “Even as I have responded, “Hineni!”, my God responds similarly and makes Himself available to me. This promise is for all who say, “Here am I!” to Him, and I hold on to this assurance.”
With his calling established, Hock Chye agreed to take on the mantle of leadership. At the start of 2020, he assumed the role of Deputy Country Leader and worked closely with Lam Kok Hiang, then Country Leader, to understand and understudy the position. On 1 October 2020, he officially transitioned into being Cru Singapore’s Country Leader.
Despite the year’s challenges due to unforeseen disruptions brought about by COVID-19, Cru Singapore remains steadfast in commitment to Christ and the Great Commission. Under the guidance of Hock Chye and his leadership team, Cru Singapore continues to adapt and innovate to remain effective in ministry during ever-changing times.
Deborah is passionate about capturing different perspectives to create relevant and impactful content. She enjoys meaningful conversations and collecting experiences, but also loves time spent just with a good book and cup of coffee.
“Organising the 50th Anniversary was a faith-stretching adventure for me,” quipped Mr Yong Chee Yee, the overall coordinator. Chee Yee is also Cru Singapore’s Chief of Staff, assisting the Country Leader in day-to-day affairs, leaders’ coordination, and staff care.
How one NTU graduate blends art with faith and career
Amanda took a path less travelled, and ended up on an unexpected journey.
©1972-2023 Cru Singapore. All Rights Reserved.