A Rewarding Ministerial Journey
This month, we shine the Spotlight on Rev David Boey, Church Ministries Director at Our Daily Bread Ministries, based in Subang Jaya, Selangor.
When David Boey first became a Christian in 1977, little did he imagine that his faith and commitment to the Lord would lead him to serve God in missions and in full-time ministry, a fulfilling career that has spanned over four decades.
The seeds were sown early, when as a boy, he grew up in a close-knit family of four siblings. Together, he and his family served in Penang’s Cantonese Methodist Church on Jalan Macalister. That was where he became actively involved with the Boys’ Brigade (BB) ministry, and continued to be active while holding down a full-time job as a government servant.
Winds of change calling for full-time
In those early days, Rev David preached and encouraged other churches in the northern region to start and sponsor BB companies. He also undertook mission trips to Medan, Jakarta, Singapore, Cebu and Kota Kinabalu on board MV Doulos.
Rev David recalled, “Through active involvement in mission and church ministries, I sensed God calling me into full-time ministry. But I had to be certain about my next steps, and I also needed to get proper theological training before going into the field.”
At the time, Rev David was in his late 30s and considered resigning from his day job. But a setback came closer from home – from his father himself.
“My father was reluctant to give me his blessing to enter full-time ministry,” recalled Rev David. “He was concerned about my future, and suggested I do it after retirement, which meant waiting another 17 years. In frustration, I asked God to do the seemingly impossible: to lower the retirement age for government servants from 55 to 40.”
Surprisingly, a year later, the government announced the option of voluntary retirement at age 40 for civil servants! Rev David saw this as confirmation from God to pursue full-time ministry, and the rest is history.
Solid theological training at STM
In 1993, Rev David enrolled as a student at Seminari Theoloji Malaysia (STM). He had to adjust quickly to student life after being in the workforce for over 20 years. “It was a challenge and I had to cope with a new lifestyle,” said Rev David, who recalled fond but gruelling memories of assignments, exams and memorising Greek vocabulary. By God’s grace, Rev David completed his four years of Bachelor of Theology despite the challenges.
One milestone after another, he also got married in 1997 to his wife, Julia, who as young adults, served together in the Methodist Youth Fellowship, BB and Girls’ Brigade respectively in Penang. Today, they both serve faithfully in full-time ministries: Rev David in Our Daily Bread Ministries and Julia as an educationist at the Wesley Methodist School Penang (International).
Pastor, preacher and missions mobiliser
At STM, a fellow mature student had mentioned that Rev David had the “characteristics of a pastor”. At the time, he had laughed it off. But looking back now, Rev David wonders if it could have been a prophecy. Upon graduating, he was appointed trainee preacher at KL Hokkien Chinese Methodist Church for a year, then to Gereja Methodist Subang Jaya (GMSJ), where he stayed for the next 20 years.
“Missions was always close to my heart, and at first, I was frustrated to be assigned to a church instead of the mission field,” he recalled. However, he now understands that God had a plan for him all this time. In those two churches, Rev David acted as a missions mobiliser; influencing, equipping and sending people out to the fields, with some remaining missionaries till this day.
Upon retiring as a full-time pastor from the Chinese Annual Conference where he was posted to serve in GMSJ, Rev David was approached by Our Daily Bread Ministries (ODB) and accepted the invitation to join the church ministry department, travelling to different churches in East and West Malaysia to preach and present ODB’s materials.
“When I retired, people around me encouraged me to use my new-found freedom to go on vacations,” said Rev David. “Instead, I have found more fulfilment helping people engage with the Bible, creating joy and purpose in their lives. It’s more satisfying than any vacation, to invest in things with eternal value rather than those that are fleeting.”
Today, Rev David’s prayer is that all of us reading this would be intentional to faithfully reach out and disciple those around us until the day God calls us home. He says, “No matter one’s age, we can still be of service for Jesus. Keep in mind the command in Matthew 28:19-20 to go out and make disciples.” All glory be to God Almighty!
This article was first published as an interview on Berita STM online. We thank STM for permission to adapt and republish here.
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