About Elijah Chew
Compiled by Peter Yong
Based primarily on geography, CMCA’s 3 District Superintendents (DS) carry out their connectional functions in their respective districts: East, South & West. In this issue, we get to know our DS from District South, Rev Elijah Chew, in his own words…
“The LORD is my shepherd, I shall in want.” PS 23:1
I am Elijah. I love coffee, I mean good or best coffee, and all kinds of food. These include Korean, Malaysian, Singaporean, Hong Kong, kebab, Maccas, Middle eastern food, Japanese, etc. I also like to acquire books, especially those that bring different insights into life, self, growth, leadership, etc.
I came from Sibu, Sarawak, Malaysia. Having studied here in Australia, I continued to stay on to study theology at Christ’s College, Sydney, from 1994–1997. I met my wife, Amie, when I was 12. Then I married Amie in 1994, and joined the Chinese Methodist Church in Australia in 1998. In 1998, we moved from Sydney to Wollongong and then stayed half-time in Canberra and half-time in Wollongong. We travelled to and fro between Wollongong and Canberra for ministry at two preaching points. Then I was appointed to Camberwell Methodist Church from 1999–2005. It was a challenge then because we had two little ones.
Then I was appointed to Kingsway Methodist Church, Perth, in 2006–2009. By this time, I had experienced much grieve and challenges (from multiple relocatings). Then I was appointed to Trinity Methodist Church from 2010–2014. Since 2015, I have been appointed to Camberwell Methodist Church until now. It has been not less than 22 years in itinerant ministry, and it’s been full of God’s love and power. I struggle and experience difficulties in itinerant ministry, but I continue to experience God’s provision and presence throughout these past years.
Discipleship has become a doing thing instead of being and growing to be like Jesus. I hope to see renewed efforts and ways to bring discipleship development into District South.Elijah Chew
God bless us with six children together with four miscarriages. Grief and joy permeate in between those years. But nothing is more joyful than seeing new life come along and grow into adulthood. Three of my children are in university now, two in high school, and one in primary school. Homeschooling our children is not easy. Amie has given her best energy in shaping children development of faith and character. We are grateful to all churches which we had served in the past; Wollonging Preaching Centre, Canberra Preaching Centre, Carlton Methodist Church, Camberwell Methodist Church, Kingsway Methodist Church and Trinity Methodist Church for their love, prayers, and ministries to support God’s mission.
Serving as Minister in Charge as well as in a District Superintendent role is not easy because I have multiple responsibilities than what I have already had at the church. A DS has to travel through the district to preach and to oversee the spiritual and temporal affairs of the church. In addition to that, the DS will continue to assist the Bishop in Annual Conference. I feel burdened at times—weak and heavy—when I am not able to resolve an issue, or if I haven’t done my best. Yet I know that I need to come back to God for his grace, and to depend on his word and promises. I’m also grateful for coworkers who encourage me when I am down, remind me when I forget things, challenge me when I feel complacent, and pray for me when I need wisdom. It is an adventure of the soul journeying in a unknown terrain.
In my personal observation, there are a few challenges in our district: First, we are facing challenges in making Jesus’ disciples. We are living in a busy time, and we are caught up with so many things in our lives; many commitments concerning our families, our personal choices, and our ministries reflect a reality of our faith. Discipleship has become a doing thing instead of being and growing to be like Jesus. I hope to see renewed efforts and ways to bring discipleship development into District South. Second, the churches are facing cultural and social pressure of living out the truth and grace of God in our daily lives. We struggle. The church must prepare church members to face this increasing pressure from outside. Third, we must continue to engage in mission locally and beyond. We are called not for ourselves, but for God’s glory and God’s kingdom sake. I hope to see that mission becomes the main thing in our society.
I hope to see that District South continues to work together in unity to bring the gospel of Jesus into our community, our city, and our nation.
Peter Yong was a minister at Goodwood Methodist Church, Adelaide. He has now moved back to Malaysia to serve there.