The phone rang at 5am, and I knew immediately that something was wrong. Norival stated simply, “John Lim is in heaven.” By 9am, I was on a flight from Atlanta to Singapore to be with John’s wife, children, goddaughters, and friends. I am writing this message from a plane flying over the Pacific Ocean.
Why would I drop everything and leave immediately?
The answer is John Lim.
John Lim was a Singaporean businessman and part of the inner circle of my life. He was ILI’s Asia Pacific Director and served on our Global Board of Directors. We met 12 years ago at the 2006 Nairobi Conference.
At the conference, he was equipped by great Christian leaders like Rob Frost (England), Peter Pereira (India), David Thagana (Kenya), Norival Trindade (Brazil), Al VomSteeg (USA), Isaac Lim (Singapore) and my wife Joy (USA).
One of the evening sessions was about “Passion for the Harvest.” True passion comes from God, and John Lim dared to ask God for it. As he prayed, God filled him with the Holy Spirit and gave him the gift of apostleship.
John returned to Singapore where he would work at his insurance company during the week and fly to Thailand, Myanmar, and other places on the weekends to train leaders and preach the Gospel to the lost. God used him to plant churches in villages where there had never been a church and to raise up leaders who could transform whole communities.
John was a humble, winsome man with a bold passion and fearless faith.
He was a leader of leaders. He was a close brother and mentor to me, and an example for all of us. He can say with the apostle Paul,
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” - 2 Timothy 4:7
How is your faith today? Is it bold or is it weak? John Lim’s life can only be explained by the power of God at work in his life. Do you want a stronger faith? Do you want greater purpose and meaning?
Dare to ask God as John did.
John Lim had just finished playing golf with his beloved wife, Janet, when his heart simply stopped and he went to heaven. He was 71 years old and had been preparing to preach on Easter Sunday in Thailand. People traveled from many countries to his funeral in Singapore to honor his life and legacy.