Stephen Goh is a man with a heart for the mission field.
Contributed By Jeremy Chua and Mavis Ng
The howling winds and pounding rain seemed like a mere shower to missions pastor Stephen Goh as he shared about how the plane he was on was caught in a typhoon while flying home from a mission trip in Taiwan. His quiet confidence and calm in the midst of the storms that he faces in the mission field belies the fire in his belly.
Goh and his wife Angela stirred up a storm of their own on a recent mission trip to Taiwan. Their five-day trip to two different churches, namely Taipei New City Church in Taipei and City Light Church in Xinzhu, saw a total of 52 people receiving Christ for the first time, 162 people rededicating their lives to Jesus and many receiving the baptism in the Holy Spirit. This mission trip also saw close to 80 sick and infirmed receiving healing.
There was a woman who had been suffering in pain for three years after a road accident; she felt her pain immediately leave her body when Goh prayed for the sick. Amidst all the miracles, one person whom Goh remembers vividly is a 70-year-old man whose body ached so much that he could not move without feeling constant pain. Says Goh, “He felt oppressed when he came to the service but the power of God hit him and all the pain left him. He could bend, jump and run and was totally set free.”
A missions pastor with City Harvest Church for the last four years, Goh is a missionary veteran with close to 20 years of experience under his belt; he has traveled to more than 10 nations. He began by coordinating crusades and events with Morris Cerullo World Evangelism for Malaysian pastor, Raymond Mooi, and evangelist Morris Cerullo, and it was his willingness to stand in the gap that led him to discover his calling.
“On a trip to Myanmar in 1994, the evangelist who was supposed to lead the crusade could not turn up in time due to a flight cancellation, so I had to lead the entire crusade by myself. In that meeting, I saw many miracles happening, and there and then, I felt that my place is in the mission field,” Goh told City News.
As a seasoned traveling evangelist, his experiences read like an action-packed novel. Goh was once confronted by a group of parang-wielding religious extremists in Indonesia, and he faced them down by praying in tongues. He even came close to death when the boat he was in capsized near Batam, and when a plane he was on almost crashed. “I remember that the oxygen masks came down, and people were screaming on the plane,” he shares of the harrowing experience.
But perhaps the most frightening experience he had was when he was being shot at. “Rev. Raymond Mooi, Bill Wilson and I were in New York City in 1996, going to minister to the homeless at the abandoned warehouses with necessities. I think there were drug traffickers there who thought we were policemen and started firing at us. They were taking aim at us, and I could feel the bullets flying past our heads! We just dropped everything and ran! Just imagine, in all my 18 years in the Navy, I was never even shot at!” Goh laughs.
The ability to find humor in even the most threatening situation seems to be the hallmark of Goh. “Out in the mission field, you face many taxing situations, like those dangerous situations, and also mundane things like flight cancellations, long and uncomfortable journeys. That is why I thank God for modern technology such as laptops and the iPod, to help stave off the boredom!” Goh quips. “You have to have a sense of humor; otherwise you will burn out mentally and emotionally. In dangerous times, you see the hand of God in everything, and sometimes you just can’t help but laugh about it,” he reveals.
|PHOTO COURTESY OF STEPHEN GOH|
Aside from finding the silver lining in every cloud, Goh also keeps himself in shape both physically and spiritually. “I try my best to take brisk walks everyday to stay in a good physical condition.” He is especially mindful of his spiritual well-being. “I pray in tongues, read, meditate upon, and confess God’s Word.” And this is the basis of the success he experiences in his ministry. This is evident in the impact he has made in Taiwan.
Other than ministering to the people in Taiwan, the team also inspired over 40 members in a leader’s training session through a message titled Counting The Cost Of Discipleship. The youths were similarly touched when his wife Angela ministered in prophecy to the 30 who responded to the altar call.
Sharing about the needs of the churches in different countries, Goh says, “Different churches have different needs, and this results in different manifestations. The churches in Indonesia, for example, are very hungry for encounters with God, while in Taiwan, the people are hungry for fresh rhema from God. But to me, everything is built on faith, because it is impossible to please God without it. So my aim in every mission trip I go is to build up faith. That is what I preach and teach.”
After a packed and grueling five days of reaching out and touching lives, Goh and his wife flew home in the midst of the typhoon, tired but happy. “The Taiwan trip [in September] was outstanding because there were so many first time visitors and the Taiwanese were so hungry for the Word,” he observes. “Missions are the heartbeat of God. When you sow yourself into the mission field, what you sow you will reap. Even though it can get tiring, the key is to always have the joy of the Lord as your strength.”