Joseph Chean – known for his lifelong passion for missions – has passed away, aged 56, following a road accident in Istanbul on Wednesday, November 15, 2023.

He went the way he lived his life, serving the Lord. He had been on the way back from a week leading a Youth With A Mission (YWAM) Discipleship Training School in a nearby country before taking a short break in Istanbul, where the taxi he was in met with the road accident. He passed away due to injuries en route to the hospital. According to local news reports, two others were injured in the accident.

He leaves behind his wife, Kim, and two daughters, Olivia and Ashley. The family asks not to be contacted as they request their privacy at this time.

Chean was best known for his time with YWAM, which he joined in 1997. Prior to that, he was a Youth Pastor from 1989 to 1997, then a Chaplain’s Assistant in St Andrew’s School.

Earlier this year, he stepped down as National Director of YWAM Singapore to launch the Antioch 21 project, which seeks to mobilise missionaries from Singapore to the nations.

“There are few people I know who lived a life with such love for Jesus. And even fewer who have given up so much to follow His call. I was privileged to serve alongside him and witness his infectious passion first-hand,” said Pastor Jeff Chong, Chairman of LoveSingapore, where Chean was a leading voice for missions.

“What he started must not end with him. I believe there are thousands of lives he has inspired to bring the Gospel to the nations. For those he leaves behind, the greatest tribute we can give him is to pick up the mantle of the Great Commission to the ends of the Earth.”