EAST Ministry Weekend 2022


The world is entering a new ‘normalcy’ of living with the Covid 19 endemic.  Borders restrictions are lifted in most countries and we are seeing a travel ‘revenge’ after battling the Covid 19 pandemic the past three years. The Office of Mentoring at EAST, which used to send Mentoring Groups (MG) for weekend mission trips, decided that by faith, they will start these trips again. Six MGs were divided into five teams and they were sent to Medan, Batam, & Jakarta in Indonesia, Chiang Rai in Thailand and Sarawak in East Malaysia during the Sept 16 – 19 weekend. These trips aimed to help each group to learn precious lessons in  “classroom without walls” settings – bonding with each other, serving together, enhancing the faculty mentors’ and students’ spiritual formation in their lives, relationships, service, and reflection of their walk with God.

            The teams returned from the Ministry Weekend with hearts filled in awe of God and thanksgiving! The MG led by faculty mentor Sophie Lo had the adventure of cooking a humongous pot of chicken rice to feed a group of church leaders when ministering in Chiang Rai. Another highlight is serving in the “Good News Club”; a ministry started by the local church and pastor to reach the children in a village that is very hostile toward Christianity. The pastor and a few church volunteers would make monthly visits to this village to lead an hour program of songs, games, and short message to the village children. Deborah Quek, a first-year Graduate Diploma student, experienced the palpable love of Christ as she witnessed the missionaries’ love for the Thai people. She elaborated, “The three words to describe my Ministry Weekend is ‘times of refreshing’! God refreshed our spirits by allowing us to partake in the exciting work in Chiang Rai and we are blessed by the hospitality of our hosts.”

            The team that ventured to Sarawak was a combined team of MGs led by faculty mentors Rev Jarred Jung, Rev Liong Kwok Wai, and Mrs Josephine Goh. This multinational team had their first blessed experience serving in three longhouses as they conducted prayer trainings and praying for the villagers. They also experienced the joy of teaching in a local church creativity to share the Gospel.  The team learned to live like the locals – bathing at midnight with cold water and sleeping on the floor with mattresses. A few in the team were humbled to witness God’s healing grace touching the precious lives of the church members when they prayed for them. One of church members had been experiencing heart palpitations and she had sought medical help but there was no signs of improvement. A team member prayed for her and she encountered God’s peace and healing! What a sight to witness her countenance transformed from distress to joy!  Worchuirin Horam, a first year MDiv student, shared “I learned and saw glimpses of Christlike character in my team as our faculty mentors’ friendliness and down-to-earth attitude like sleeping on the floor with the students in the longhouse and serving together with the students.”

            The Medan team led by faculty mentors, Dr Lewis Winkler and Dr Benson Goh, had the privilege to teach at Bethsaida Evangelical School of Theology and a local church. One highlight was to share Christ’s love to a group of orphans and drug rehabilitation patients. The team rejoiced over one rehabilitation patient who prayed to receive Christ into his life! The Batam team led by faculty mentors, Dr Raymond Go and Mr Derek Atkins, served at a local church and also at an orphanage. Jack, a second year Master of Arts Christian Leadership student shared, “The teachers were dedicated to taking care and ministering to the orphans. I was encouraged to see their love for those orphans as these was a reflection of Christ’s love in them.” The Jakarta team led by faculty mentors, Dr Keith Shubert, Dr Samuel Too and Rev Jacob Li, enjoyed mingling with students at Jakarta International University and through a talk on ‘Fear, Friend or Foe?” which ended with a Gospel presentation. Joseph, a second year Master of Arts Biblical Studies student shared “Having been involved in a few digital missions during the early phase of the pandemic, I was pleased to make this on-site trip to Indonesia to meet the people and serve them. I had a lot of worries while preparing but in the end, we could all experience God’s help, which became an opportunity for my faith to grow a little more.”

            The MGs developed a closer bond after the ministry weekend experience. The students saw the plentiful needs in the mission field and were inspired by the hosts’ faith, humility, and passion for God. All the teams reported unanimously they were touched by the generous hospitality of their hosts. Their hospitability is a beautiful reflection of God’s love and as His children in God’s big family. In just the short weekend of ministry, 396 people attended our training sessions, 185 people heard the Gospel with one who prayed to receive Christ! All glory to God for His awesome work through the six MGs!

The report above is written by Mrs Josephine Goh, wife of Dr Benson Goh, and she is currently EAST’s Mentoring Group Director and a lecturer. Her area of expertise is on Spiritual Formation and she is also pursuing a Doctor in Education. 

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