MG Ministry Weekend – Building Up the Body of Christ


One of the distinctives of EAST is MG (Mentoring Group) Ministry Weekend, when students, with guidance from mentors, gain ministry experience at regional locations in partnership with local churches and ministries. The students are part of EAST MGs with faculty as the MG Leaders. In the words of Mrs Josephine Goh, EAST Director of MG, “Ministry Weekend is a valuable time to behold God’s faithful love for his people in Asia! It is also a timely pause for our students to apply what they have learned in classes; truly a time of ‘intentional mentoring and enhanced learning without walls’ experience.”

This year, from 14 to 19 September, there were five teams that ministered in three countries: Cambodia, Indonesia and Thailand. What did they do at these locales and how was the experience beneficial to the team members and the hosts?

  • Team Batam, Indonesia: Led by Drs Keith and Jeannette Shubert, Dr Justine Han and Mr Ng Khim Fatt had opportunities to teach and preach at local churches in Indonesia;
  • Team Chiang Mai, Thailand: Led by Mrs Sophie Lo. Partnered a local missionary and church, and the team was involved in teaching English, storytelling and other creative activities;
  • Team Kampong Chnang, Cambodia: Led by Dr Raymond Go and Mr Derek Atkins who together with EAST students ministered to a school and church;
  • Team Mae Sot, Thailand: Led by Rev Liong Kwok Wai, Dr Jarred Jung and Mr Toe Set. They conducted a workshop at Hill Light Seminary to equip workers for the harvest;
  • Team Pathum Thani, Thailand: Led by Dr Benson and Mrs Josephine Goh and Ms Napitchaya (Su) Panum. They partnered with Boy’s Brigade Thailand in outreach activities to children of Myanmar migrants and Thai children.

Below are what some students and faculty said of their recent MG Ministry Weekend experiences:

Bataa Juvaa, Mongolia (Team Mae Sot):

Working with the Karen people during a recent trip to Thailand was a completely unique experience. I set out on this expedition knowing very little about the Karen people and what lay in store for us there. Language problems frequently made me feel disoriented  and unsure of what to do next. However, communication was simple because of our team’s spiritual maturity and experience, and we had no trouble understanding one another.

One of the most impactful parts of the trip was visiting poor families in the jungle. Their living conditions were incredibly challenging, yet their love and sense of community was inspiring. It was a humbling experience that left a lasting impression.

Sophie Lo, Singapore (Team Chiang Mai):

Our Mentoring Group (MG) partnered with a Singaporean missionary in Chiang Mai for this Ministry Weekend. We had the opportunity to organise outreach programs and share the gospel with 70 primary school students at a local school and 20 children from a community. We were also able to cook for the local church and serve at their Sunday service. This was truly a “classroom without walls” experience for our EAST students where they put into practice the things they learnt from their classes. Besides the doing part, the Ministry Weekend was also a time for our MG to bond deeper, have fun together, and enjoy the time of serving.

Henry Aung, Myanmar (Team Pathum Thani):

This trip opened my eyes to the world of cross-cultural ministry happening at the local church, where I witnessed the remarkable love of God through the host church, the pastor, and even within our own team. The unity and teamwork among our teammates were truly inspiring, with everyone taking ownership and working seamlessly together. This experience has left an indelible mark on my heart.

Clare Chen, USA (Team Batam):

Team Batam is the combined men’s and women’s Mentoring Group (MG), led by Dr Keith and Dr Jeannette. We had the privilege to partner with a local Presbyterian church, working with sister Ang. We came training the kids and youth on how to share the gospel, local believers on resolving conflicts, parenting and working with autistic children. We had intimate moments with God through devotion and worship. We enjoyed getting to know one another through stories and laughter over shared meals. We had awestruck cross-cultural moments. We came to offer the local believers knowledge and wisdom, and they taught us how to love in return.

Themreingam, India (Team Batam):

Embarking on my first cross-cultural mission outside of India was an apprehensive experience. The presence of language and cultural barriers initially loomed large in my mind, casting a shadow of uncertainty over how things would unfold. Yet, I was swiftly reminded of a profound truth: love transcends all barriers. Simple acts of kindness and a warm smile can wield tremendous influence and make a lasting impact.

My time spent with the orphanage children was a wholly novel experience for me, one that I cherish deeply. I consider myself truly blessed to have had the opportunity to minister to both the children in the orphanage and local school. These encounters reaffirmed the universality of love and the boundless capacity of the human heart to connect across cultural divides.

Furthermore, this mission taught me the invaluable lesson of the strength inherent in teamwork. The coordination, support, and encouragement within our group was nothing short of a blessing as we undertook His ministry together. The bonds we formed during this mission were not only a source of motivation but also a testament to the power of unity in carrying out His work.

Derek Atkins, USA (Team Kampong Chnang):

Throughout their time in Cambodia, the Ministry Weekend team grew in their ministry skills, and developed stronger bonds with one another as a team. Students who have not had much experience leading activities were given opportunities to do so. Students whose first language is not English had many opportunities to use their English—a global language—in ministry contexts, and experienced improvements in their English skills. Students learned to deal with unexpected situations, or to improvise when their ministry activities didn’t go quite as expected. Students also learned about the logistical realities of ministry, including budgeting, fund-raising, prayer support, planning, and preparation.

Here’s what some members from this team said about their ministry in Cambodia:

  • One student reported that a memorable highlight was that he was able to teach a Sunday School lesson without slides.
  • Another student said that he enjoyed learning about the history of Cambodia and Kampong Chhnang.
  • One mentor said that he enjoyed working with the teachers at Sangkhim Canaan School on a deeper level.

By the end of each trip, the local hosts of the various teams completed written evaluations and feedback to EAST. Here are quotes taken from two of the hosts.

Pastor Tan, host of Team Kampong Chnang, Cambodia:

The team brings in a whisp of fresh air with their energetic participation. Every team member is engaged with our people, the young and children. We are blessed by the visit and ministry and the transparent sharing of your testimonies.

Rev Tan, Priest-in-charge of Rangsit Anglican Church, host of Team Pathum Thani, Thailand:

Your visit was a divine blessing to our church and community… From the moment you arrived, your spirit of service and love for Christ shone through, touching all our hearts. The sessions at the DLC [Danyela Learning Centre] were both creative and educational… The chapel service you led was a powerful testimony to the transformative power of the Gospel. Your leadership and guidance at the Boys’ Brigade Meeting brought a new level of excitement and purpose to our youth. Finally, your participation in our Sunday worship service was the perfect culmination of a weekend filled with blessings. The Word you shared, the testimony, the special item presented, and the taste of Korean cuisine you brought to us were all moments of pure joy and spiritual nourishment.

Josephine concluded: “Having heard from a few of our ministry partners/hosts and EAST faculty mentors, they shared that Ministry Weekend allows them to see the high ministerial and leadership competencies of EAST students. We praise God for this opportunity to come alongside partnering churches/agencies to collaborate and serve together for His glory!”

Here’s a video of the Pathum Thani team in catching a glimpse of their ministry there. The video is produced by Xin.


The above article is compiled by Wong Ee Yuing from reports submitted by various MG teams and Josephine Goh. Edited by Jonathan Yao.

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