A Tithe of Time and Energy

By Soon Kim Tat


Yes, You…

During an STMT to Cambodia, we shared and preached at a provincial (village) church. Nov 2015.

There were well over 600 adults in that auditorium. I was seated at the far-left side and far from the front. The speaker for the church retreat, Ps. Dr. Phillip Lyn said he had a word for the one in black shirt on his right side. I was in in a black polo t-shirt. I did not dare to look up initially. Ps. Lyn was insistent and when I looked up, he pointed at me and said, “Yes, you!” He announced that I was a mechanical person a few times — I was indeed a mechanical engineer! He went on to say that he saw me working with villagers in third-world countries around us. This meant ‘missions’.

When I retired from full-time work in 2012, I asked God what He would like me to do in my new season of life. And His answer came during the 2014 church retreat in Kuala Lumpur, through Ps. Lyn.

Shortly after the retreat, I received a call from the then Senior Pastor Calvin Lee’s personal secretary that he would like to meet me. Ps. Calvin invited me to take up a newly created role as lay missions coordinator for the ASEAN region. I was honoured to accept, especially after what happened during the church retreat. In this role, I got to take supervisory trips with our respective ASEAN country directors and had fruitful meetings with leaders of foreign partners, conducted training for the church planters and leading short-term missions trips.

Taken at the conclusion of a marriage workshop for Cambodian pastors and spouses. Nov 2018.

There was one particular impactful experience, when Ps. Wai Ching and I worked with our partner in Cambodia to implement seed fund projects. Through these projects, we carefully selected and trained passionate church planters, and helped them sustain as bi-vocational pastors in the provincial churches. The result was that an overwhelming proportion were not only serving as provincial pastors long after the completion of the projects but many have nurtured ‘daughter’ and even ‘grand-daughter’ churches.

Being Blessed, as We Bless

Many people, especially those in the remote villages, have not heard the Gospel. I also met pockets of believers, who were fervent in their worship of Christ, despite their economically challenged conditions.

Those were the impressions from my first missions trip in 2003. That trip was an eye-opener for me, where I witnessed the dire conditions and urgent needs of many. I thought we were there to bless them but I was the one who turned out to be blessed! Looking back, the trip was an intimate experience with God, where I learned to trust Him for basic needs and His answers to our prayers.

With that first step, I committed to make a missions trip every year. To me, it was a way of tithing my time and energy. I had the opportunity to go to various countries in South Asia and ASEAN. On these trips, I learned much about missions from different Grace Assembly pastors and foreign partners. I saw the zeal of believers from different backgrounds. I got to also know our own Gracians better, as we planned and carried out various activities.

I always come back feeling a heightened sense of awe of our miracle-working and prayer-answering God, and with a heart of gratitude for the blessings we have received.


Me enjoying time with my elder of two granddaughters. Photo taken in 2021.

Soon Kim Tat is the current Lay Missions Director for Vietnam. He had served in the Grace Missions Committee from 2006 to 2019, and was previously the missions coordinator for ASEAN. 

Additional personal notes about Kim Tat:

Other than his involvement in Grace Missions, Kim Tat also serves in the Grace Men’s Bible Study as a facilitator and in Reach Community Services Society as a member of its Management Committee. He and his wife are members of the Oasis GMG, and Grace Assembly has been his spiritual home since 1978.

Kim Tat retired from full-time corporate work in 2012, having served in the RSAF as an engineer and subsequently managed a company in the private sector. Since his retirement, he has been working part-time as a university associate lecturer.

Kim Tat is happily married to Joan for 36 years and have 3 children and 2 granddaughters. He enjoys travelling, golf and spending time with his children and grandchildren.

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