New Graduate: Sarah Angela Ong Pantaleon, Philippines

Sarah Angela Ong Pantaleon, MDiv Christian Ministry (2023)

“Sometimes the most scenic roads in life are the detours you didn’t mean to take” (Angela N. Blount, award-winning author)

Many classes at EAST have blessed Anj.

“Amy Lau’s ‘Bible Study Methods’ taught me to study God’s Word contextually,” she says, “and Dr Jeannette’s ‘Teaching’ class showed me how to write lesson plans.”

“These and many other classes are important for my future ministry,” she says.

But to move forward, Anj also discovered that she had to take a few steps back to “unlearn and learn.”

“My parents separated before I was born,” says the former film maker and event planner. “Because Mama loved us well, I didn’t miss Dad’s absence.”

But as she grew older, she grieved for a father’s affirmation and protection.

“To cope, I resorted to denials, and approval from the world – even after becoming a believer,” she continues. “Before I recommitted my life to Christ, I drank, smoked, and worked non-stop in the company I set up.”

“EAST is the field where I found healing and bloomed,” says Anj.

The renovation program kicked in as soon as she arrived in Singapore, when all visitors had

to be in isolation for two weeks because of Covid-19.”

“But I never felt lonely,” says Anj.

“Dr Roland (then Dean of Students) sent someone to check on me daily, PIM faculty Josephine Lam decorated my dorm room, and Amy Lau welcomed me at the hotel when quarantine ended.  All very surprising!”

“Through them I saw God’s fatherly love, and felt like a child again.”

And so over the last three years, Anj grew within the context of building relationships in the EAST community.

 She is grateful for her “home” at the dorm, “sharing chores and praying regularly with the gals.” She loves that many teachers “are like fathers and mothers,” and shared their families with her.

“I love watching Rev Jacob play with his son; or eating ice-cream with Dr Roland and Ying Kheng’s daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter; or observing how Dr Ben and Jo relate to their children, with no hiding of imperfections.”

“At EAST I felt the Father-heart of God; now I want to bring this powerful redeeming love to a lost and broken world.”

Article is written by Dr Lau Ying Kheng. Graphic is design by Blessed Ong.


Comments are closed.