A Shepherd’s Heart

by Melissa Kong

Chorus pays tribute to the faithful service of Reverend John Sim with a peek into his life and his loves. 

Someone once said, “a happy smile is always in style”. If that’s the case, Reverend John Sim is probably one of the most stylish men around, considering his smile has been known to capture the hearts of members and visitors alike.

But for all his cheerful personality, it may come as a surprise that he hasn’t always been this affable. “I found it very hard to mix with girls when I was younger,” Reverend Sim divulged. “When I was 14, I prayed that God would give me a wife and then Grace came along!”

Love of a Lifetime

“Grace was very beautiful and everyone always wanted her to be their bridesmaid,” Reverend Sim declared. “She’d been a bridesmaid 13 times!” For a self-confessed rookie when it came to mixing with the opposite sex, how did he even ask his wife out on their first date?

“I didn’t!” he laughed, “She was the one who took the initiative! Grace came over one day asking me to accompany her to a party. My mother disapproved but I went anyway and by the time we came back, we were holding hands!” The loving husband went on to reveal that they still go on dates. “We do house visits together and then go for a cup of kopi after that,” he smiled.

Young At Heart

While he may be 62 years old, Reverend Sim has never lost his passion for children and youth. One of the greatest influences in his life was a Dutch woman named Marguerite Fiandt. He credits her with challenging him to child evangelism and fellowship. In fact, Fiandt once told him, “If you can reach a child, you can reach anybody.”

Reverend Sim should know a thing or two about the impact of evangelising to youth, as he himself was led to Christ at the tender age of 13 by his art teacher, Henry Khoo, who then went on to be a prison chaplain. Following his conversion, Reverend Sim became a member of Youth for Christ and started doing evangelism and follow up with young people.

Today, those of us in Saturday Praise Service can say we’ve reaped the fruits of Reverend Sim’s experience in ministry. His heart for the congregation extends across the ages, from developing material for the children’s ministry, to sharing advice with couples about to be married and also reaching out to the aged parents of members.

Although he retired last month, Reverend Sim’s work is far from over. He continues to avail himself to the Lord’s purposes whatever and wherever they may be. 2 Timothy 2:2 sums up his legacy – “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others”. His pioneering spirit is an inspiration and the work he has begun here will continue to flourish for many years to come.

Writer’s Profile:

Melissa grew up with dreams of becoming a bestselling author or poet. These days, she’s neither an author nor a poet and she’s certainly not bestselling but she counts herself blessed to be able to write for a living (although the deadlines do result in monthly bouts of insanity).

This article first appeared in Issue 4, April 2012 CHORUS Magazine.


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