New Graduate: Japheth Chew, Malaysia

Japheth Chew, Grad Dip in Intercultural Studies (2023)


“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page” (Saint Augustine).

Japheth Chew is no stranger to road trips.

Before EAST, he had lived in Brisbane (Australia), Kansas City (USA), and Swansea (Wales) for missions, worship and prayer training.

Besides serving for three years in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with YWAM and Open Doors, he ministered among the disadvantaged in Darjeeling (West Bengal), and Mother Theresa’s “Missionaries of Charities” in Calcutta for three months. He also served for a year in missions at Cornerstone Community Church in Singapore.

This early exposure has given him a hunger to “keep learning new things.”

“God has used the welcoming community at EAST to expand my Christian worldview,” says Japheth.

“My first dorm mate and navigator, Mikeel (Philippines), softened my landing. Professors who let me ask questions freely challenged my thinking.  And classes like Dr Samuel’s ‘Leading Multicultural Teams’ showed me how to question my ethnicity in partnerships.”

The self-professed extrovert appreciates the school’s intentional outreach program that involve both faculty and students. “Like ministering in Sarawak, and distributing gospel goodies in the school’s neighbourhood.”

“I love the emphasis on follow up.”

As with any road trip, there were bumps along the way. But these, Japheth adds, were part of his education.

“The first school chapels were a struggle to me,” he continues with a smile. “Let’s say I was used to more expressive worship and prayers.”

But God used the differences to build in him a deeper appreciation for diversity. “God wants to use diversity to fulfil the Great Commission.”

Another disequilibrium was how he was taught to study the Bible.

“I used to read the scriptures emotionally,” says Japheth, “but here I learned to study God’s Word in context. So much richer!”

“Recently I attended Amy Lau’s ‘New Testament Epistles and Revelation’ class – it was taught systematically and contextually, it inspired me to also want to make God’s Word come alive to my audience.”

The article above was written by Dr Lau Ying Kheng and graphics designed by Blessed Ong. Since the publication of the article, Japheth Chew has begun a new chapter of wedded bliss with his beloved wife Serene on 5 August 2023. EAST Family sends the heartiest congratulations to the newly wedded couple for a lifelong union in the Lord for His glory and purposes.

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