LEADing Leaders for the Great Commission


“Maraming-maraming salamat, po [thank you very much],” was the oft refrain as eager hands held tightly the relief care packages being distributed to typhoon struck homes by church volunteers. The aid distributions were organised by Life Empowerment and Action for Development (LEAD) Academy in the Philippines.

They have worked with the pastors and church leaders in their leadership training program. These church leaders received relief aid to meet their own needs and then became the channels of blessing for further aid distribution to neighbouring barangay (district or ward). Aid recipients were able to hear the gospel as they waited for their turn to receive the care packages. Some 878 heard the gospel and received the care packages resulting in 636 who trusted in Christ as their Saviour.

EAST News sat down with Rev Dr Chan Chong Hiok (CCH), the President of EAST, to hear of his ministry in mentoring Christian leaders who started the LEAD Academy to help fulfill the Great Commission in the Philippines and beyond.

“My vision is to see all—faculty, staff and students—who are presently at EAST and all who have passed through the gates of EAST as alumni, are involved in a personal ministry of evangelism and discipleship,” CCH said, “And to mentor others especially Christian leaders to help fulfill Christ’s Great Commission in their places of vocation.”

CCH has been mentoring Dr Neil Mamburam ex-faculty of a sister seminary in the Philippines, for a few years. The Lord connected CCH with a doctor and a businessman with a vision of a ministry training centre. Excited about the vision, CCH then helped to flesh out the vision in practical terms. When Neil was leaving his seminary tenure, CCH challenged him to help start the LEAD Academy. It culminated in the formation of a team seeking to jointly help fulfil the Great Commission.

Neil’s past involvement with the Philippines National Police (PNP) opened opportunities to provide Christian leadership training with these ranking officers. God then led a former government civil servant, Mr Gerry Gambala, ex-Director of Transportation Security to join LEAD Academy. Gerry is also a former military officer with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) which allowed him the platform and opportunities to minister to AFP officers. Both Neil and Gerry are pivotal in developing relevant training and outreach to two uniformed branches of the government.


Training police officers on Zoom


The LEAD Academy has also seen how COVID-19 in the past year have been used of the Lord as an accelerator for online ministry. Many who had to remain at home due to the pandemic capitalised on the ministry and teaching done online.

Over a four-month period (October 2020 – January 2021): Besides the nearly 900 who heard the gospel and received care packages at typhoon affected areas, over 400 have received training viz, 66 pastors and church leaders, 75 teachers, and 260 senior Police officers. A spectrum of Filipino diaspora in the Middle East are now being reached via online ministry and teaching. The short term goal of the academy for 2021 is to train 1,000 leaders and reach 10,000 with the gospel.

This is a praise report for what the Lord has done within the last few months. May it inspire our EAST community to start, be involved with, and mentor other leaders of such ministries to equip and reach Asia and the world with the gospel.

Comments are closed.