Reon Tay is a reader. A frequent face at the library and self-professed bookworm, in his elementary years he would read almost a book a day. One day, he returned home and found a small booklet attached to his door. Reon glanced at the title, The Gospel of John, and read the tract. His heart intrigued, he began to hang out with his middle school basketball coach, who brought him to a camp where Reon accepted Christ and received proper follow up.
Over the next six years, Reon learned about Jesus and the Christian life. At age 18, he fully gave his life to Christ and was baptized at the age of 21.
Through college, Reon studied computer engineering while getting involved with his church. He started a computer business, with the expectation of his father that he’d take over the family business. But just before graduation, his heart unexpectedly turned towards ministry.
In 2006, he began coaching in one school and in 2007, he was coaching and connecting with different schools around area. His was an annual presence at TeenGames, an evangelistic sports tournament. Connecting with a local youth pastor and other pastors who caught his vision, Reon started am inter-church basketball league. Shortly after, he attended ISC training and went to another country in Southeast Asia, where he met an FCA Leader. Reon looked up FCA and the vast number of resources available for discipleship was what he was searching for.
“I’m only one person; FCA has all the curriculum I’ll need,” said Reon. “I’m always looking for support and to learn.”
Intrigued by FCA, Reon flew to the U.S. and stayed with Mid-Atlantic Region International Advancement Director Mark Stephens, attended Metro Maryland Power Camp and got a close look at FCA ministry. The joy of campers and the coaches’ encouragement caught his attention in ways he never imagined. Reon brought the camp structure back to his home country of Singapore, determined to reimagine the experience in his own country. He began as an FCA partner in 2009 and became an official FCA Leader in 2013.
Reon’s current focus is growing his team while relying on area directors to do the ministry as he works on developing the long-term strategy for the country.
Life in ministry can quickly overtake Reon’s focus and energy, and one priority Reon’s been making is the cadence of rest. Still a reader, Reon loves all the resources he can get his hands on, reading up on leadership and discipleship, and digging into Scripture. He is also intentional to rest with his wife Rosemary and their three children, as well as setting up rhythms with his staff that include team Bible studies and runs.
“I must take time for myself and get to know God more. Otherwise, I am no good,” he said.
Currently, there are 10 Huddles around Singapore, Coaches TimeOut retreats, coaching courses, sports leagues and sport specific ministry in tchoukball, lacrosse, basketball and ultimate frisbee communities. Additionally, FCA Singapore sends teams to other countries to conduct sports camps, reaching out in global missions.
A pioneer, Reon put his eyes to the Bible and hands to the plow, relying on God to direct him to the right people and opportunities to live out the Gospel through sport, holding to the words in Matthew 5:
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt should lose its taste, how can it be made salty? It’s no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.’” (Matthew 5:13-16)
“Because of what He’s done for me on the cross, my life should be a response for what God has done for me,” said Reon. “I love this work.”
Pray for Reon to lead with wisdom and discernment, and that the FCA Singapore team would grow. Pray for connections to be made with coaches and athletes, and for the love of Jesus to be seen in and through sports ministry in Singapore.
To support Reon and FCA Singapore, click here.
Photos courtesy of FCA Singapore and FCA Lacrosse