My Missional Journey To and At EAST: MACM Student Hannah Ong

(L-R) Hannah Ong, husband Wong Chee Hoe, son Timothy (18), & daughter Anna (20)

EAST News caught up with a 2nd year Master of Arts in Christian Ministry (MACM) student Hannah Ong regarding her journey to and her experiences at EAST thus far. Hannah joined EAST before the Covid-19 pandemic started but since then, there have been a lot of changes in terms of lessons delivery at EAST too. Still, she has adapted well, and God has continued to equip her through life lessons through classes at EAST.

  1. Being a 2nd year MACM student, can you share what led you to EAST, and what have been some of your favourite classes so far?

I started my ministry before receiving any theological training. However, I was able to pick up some ministry skills and knowledge that enabled me to lead small groups and organized outreach events. Moreover, my academic background and previous work experience were also sufficient to handle my previous role as a project and church engagement coordinator. However, I could sense that my knowledge and understanding of the Bible was limited. Occasionally, when I was asked to preach or share a devotion in churches, I felt very inadequate. I noticed that many co-workers have obtained their theological training before they began their service. Since I was in the seventh year of full-time service in Wycliffe, I thought I should take a study leave to equip myself.

During that period, I was serving very actively with a Cru staff, Winnie, in an online mission outreach. Winnie encouraged me to consider EAST as she had a very good experience during her time as a student here. I was persuaded by her because I prefer a school that is more missions-minded and application-focused. EAST fits these descriptions and so I decided to apply for its program.

Most of the classes are very useful and enriching and I have learned a lot these past 1.5 years. One example is the course on “Contextualization” by Dr Raymond Song. This class is an eye-opener for me. I learned about the three different types of worldview – guilt, honour-shame and fear and how to contextualize the gospel when we reach out to people from different worldview. Another example is the Expository Preaching Class. I learned that preaching is hard work but not overly difficult. As I abide by certain guidelines and steps, I can produce a meaningful sermon. Moreover, I had an excellent teacher – Jacob Li.

  1. It has been an unprecedented time to study at EAST, with the new campus, and Covid-19 pandemic hitting us at the same time. Share with us lessons God has taught you personally these past two years.

One of the most precious lessons I have learned is the wonder and power of scripture memory. When we were “forced” to do scripture memory in Spiritual Transformation class, I did it with a bad attitude because I did not understand why the need to memorise scripture when it can be easily accessible by handphone, the Bible and Google search. However, one of my mentors gently reminded me a few times to do that while I was going through a very dark period. So, I picked some scriptures that spoke to me and did it. As I memorise, I began to learn and understand the passage more deeply. It is as though I have “eaten” up the word and I now own them and believe in them more than before. I became excited about scripture memory and continue to memorise new passages every day.

  1. I understand you have been serving with Wycliffe Bible Translators. What role has your ministry been? After your graduation, will you be continuing in the same ministry or something else?

I served in Wycliffe Singapore as a Project and Church Engagement Coordinator. My role was to garner support for Bible translation work from churches in Singapore. We present translation projects to churches or individual, encourage them to support the work through prayer and funding. We also send our supporters updates of the projects and encouraged them to visit the work in the field.

I am seeking the Lord where I should serve Him after graduation. The plan was to return to Wycliffe Singapore but I am open to other ministries as God leads.

  1. Could you introduce your family to us and share a unique quirk about each of them?

My husband works in HP Global. His colleagues come from all over the world – American, Europe and Asia. Thus he works and rests throughout the day. Sometimes he starts work as early as 7 am and ends as late as 12 midnight.

My daughter is in the second year of School of Communication, NTU. She is creative and has a good sense of humour. She loves to sleep and sleep for at least 12 hours a day if she has the time.

My son is doing his “A” level examination this year. He is an exact opposite of his sister – strong in Mathematics and fixed in his mindset.

Prayer Requests:

  • Stay very close to God, discipline in doing quiet time, scripture memory and intercession.
  • I have just changed my church affiliation. Pray that I can settle in one or two areas of service and get to know more people in the new church.
  • My two children will walk closely with God.

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