“My wife and I might not have become members of Wesley if not for Covid-19,” quipped Weng Hon.
Lee Weng Hon and his wife, Ashley See, moved to Singapore in 2017 and spent two years looking for a church to join when the pandemic hit. “It was hard work connecting with new people only to find that it then didn’t feel quite right,” Ashley reflected. “And it was especially confusing for the kids when it was a new set of faces and friends each time. Looking back, we were likely leaning too much on our own strength, but either way, Covid-19 put an end to the search.”
Kids and Life Before Singapore
Weng Hon and Ashley, both professionals in their 30s, had spent much of their working lives in London prior to moving to Singapore. Living in a highly transitory city where people come and go, the couple found themselves moving often — from university to the financial district, then from central London to the suburbs.
“There was no real sense of permanence and there was a pervasive feeling of restlessness — I put that down to the constant change we went through. However, with the benefit of hindsight, I believe it was the Holy Spirit’s constant prompting to find a church and a community to help us reconnect and re-centre on God. Some may call it conscience, but I take it as God’s love — never giving up on us, no matter how far we stray from Him.”
Their penultimate and most significant move was certainly that into the season of parenthood — a move which completely flipped all their priorities. It was the catalyst for Weng Hon and Ashley to leave behind promising careers in Europe and relocate to Singapore, putting their family’s well-being front and centre.
“The relocation was equally meant to be an opportunity for us to reset and refresh our search for a church. We strongly feel it’s our duty to equip our kids to navigate an increasingly uncertain world through providing that stability and connection to their family and the wider Christian community.”
Weng Hon said, “We were aware that we had been neglectful of our own Christian growth, which had left us feeling a little lost and off-centred. We recognised that one day, our kids will strike out on their own and face similar challenges, but as my own parents persevered and raised me in the teachings of the Lord, it was what ultimately anchored me in Him. We need to ensure that this is our legacy — that our children can find Him if they get lost.”
Small Group — First Impressions of Wesley
A seemingly random, though likely divine, series of events led Weng Hon and Ashley to Wesley Methodist Church. Attending a wedding at Wesley over a decade ago and, more recently, a couple of posts on social media, planted the seed.
“One of the silver linings of Covid-19 was that all churches were suddenly making their weekly services available online. It was a very low-risk, low-obligation situation for people searching for a new church — people like us,” recalled Ashley. “I saw someone had posted a throwback about Wesley on Facebook, so we tuned into the Sunday Prayer & Praise that weekend and heard about the Open House.”
Following the Open House, Weng Hon contacted the Small Group Ministry (SGM), and the SGM staff Gerhardine reached out.
In the usual course of settling into a new church, joining a Small Group usually comes after a period of regular corporate worship. The pandemic had clearly turned all of that on its head.
“In our first call with Gerhardine, as we shared our background and our desire to get to know the Wesley community, she told us that she already had a group in mind that might be a good fit for us. She made us feel very comfortable and cared for right from the beginning,” said Weng Hon.
“We were very warmly welcomed by Ray, Grace, and members of the Small Group, quickly finding common ground. We’re in similar seasons of our lives with similar backgrounds, so we found it easy to relate to each other and share perspectives. It was our first personal impression of the church, and we felt a very good vibe about Wesley through them.”
“With the Covid-19 restrictions, we really valued the opportunity to connect personally with other Wesleyans, so it felt like a very natural step to join a Small Group even though we hadn’t yet attended a service in person,” Ashley said. “It especially reminded us how important it is to meet with other Christians, to encourage each other and pick each other up when we falter. This group has been a real blessing to us and our spiritual growth.”
When the opportunity arose to register for the Baptism and Membership Class (BMC), they needed little prompting.
“We talked about it, we prayed about it, we questioned whether our journey so far was too good to be true — it just felt too easy, too familiar. Ultimately, what gave us the conviction to commit was an overriding sense of finally being at home — a sense of peace had replaced that constant feeling of restlessness we had during our time in London. We felt that God was saying in no uncertain terms that this is where we could finally put roots down for the family.”
Said Weng Hon, “We had some nerves prior to our first BMC class, but it was such an amazing experience to meet and listen to the pastors in person and get to know other Wesleyans, including our facilitators Faith, Liz and James and their stories. If anything, our experience and learnings throughout BMC have only reinforced our decision of joining Wesley. How often does God swing wide open a door and ask us to step through?”
With the easing of the pandemic restrictions, the couple have since attended their first Sunday service in person and their two boys have finally met their Children’s Ministry teachers and classmates.
Next up, they are looking forward to also getting to know their Small Group members in person, almost a year since their first Zoom call. They hope to be able to share a meal and more perspectives on life, parenting and work, whilst continuing to keep each other accountable in their walk with God.
“Covid-19 forced changes in so many of the things we take for granted, including going to church, but out of all the disruptions, something positive and joyous has happened to our family. Finding Wesley has been the highlight of our faith journey this season, and calls to mind Proverbs 3:5-6 — ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight’.”
Weng Hon and Ashley are from Seasons Small Group.
If you would like to find out more about Wesley Methodist Church Small Group ministry, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like to find out more about the Baptism and Membership Class at Wesley Methodist Church, please reach out to us at email@example.com