Inaugural Partners-in-Ministry Chinese Program


Equipping the most important partner of Chinese ministers and Christian workers

EAST launched the Chinese online program of the Partners in Ministry (PIM) in July 2023 to meet the equipping needs of Mandarin-speaking wives of men who are ministers, Christian workers, and seminary students. EAST News caught up Mrs Agnes Liong to find out more on the progress of the program and students.

“I started attending church with my mother when I was just 5 years old, but I truly received Christ as my Lord when I was 15 and was passionate about sharing the gospel with others. Hence, at 16, I started serving full-time and brought the good news to different places. After being married, we decided I would work to support the family and his ministry so he could serve God full-time. However, I wanted to study and be more equipped so that I can serve alongside my husband better,” a student wrote in her application for the Chinese PIM program.

After reading her testimony and purpose of applying for the program, I was very moved. The heart of EAST is to equip Christ-centred labourers for the harvest field. Our hope and mission is to send back students better than when they came.

The Chinese PIM program has been designed to be fully online, thus our students can continue sharpening their skills where they serve in the ministry field. Therefore, they do not have to leave their family, ministry, or job while being equipped. They can apply what they have learned in their ministry context almost immediately to assess the results and adjust accordingly. Each PIM student is assigned to a peer mentoring group (MG) of fellow students with a faculty as the MG leader and mentor. When faced with challenges, they can ask their teachers, mentors and peers for advice and suggestions, resulting in multiple ways of learning. At the same time, they also feel supported and less lonely as they are with like-minded people who are willing to listen to them and support them through prayer and other means.

After our first course Marriage and Family Counselling (MFC), a student said, “It was way above my expectations.”

“I feel closer to my spouse through this course. Men and women are very different because everyone has a different way of expressing themselves. In the past, I always tried to ask my husband to do things my way, and the result was that we both felt hurt. Now I try to understand his intention based on trust, and what I find is full of love, and I naturally feel softer towards him!” another student noted.

The course helps students to understand love and attachment using an analogy that marriage is like a dance, a couple constantly moving and influencing each other in a dynamic relationship. If we are attuned to the other party, we can move gracefully and harmoniously as one unit resulting in intimacy and satisfaction. However, if one party become discordant with the rhythm and be out of step with their dance partner or start to move far apart, the dance ceases to be harmonious. A conflict quickly erupts. If resolved, the dance continues. If not, it becomes a vicious downward spiral and may cause the dance to cease–a standstill in their relationship. In this course, students learn how to examine their “dance moves” and learn new ways to better communicate feelings and needs to their spouses.

In learning the above, a student said: “I realised that I am an avoidant person. After taking the course, I intentionally share some of my feelings and connect with my husband when I see him in an emotional state. We are able to fulfil our needs of being connected every day. Now our interactions are healthier.”

Their close relationship as parents, in turn, trickles down to their children. Happy and relationally healthy parents model for their children how to relate in happy and healthy ways.

No one is perfect on this side of heaven. We need to reflect regularly and ask God to sanctify us to be more like Christ. As we seek God humbly, we entrust our marriages and families to Him that all will flourish for His glory.

We thank God that PIM can be a safe place for wives of ministers and Christian workers to learn, share and grow. Since these wives are the most important partners of such spiritual leaders, we pray that God will bring more to be further equipped at PIM.

Agnes previously interviewed a Mongolian PIM student on her experiences in the program–see video below.


This article is written by Mrs Agnes Liong, an EAST PIM faculty who oversees the Chinese PIM program. Edited by Wong Ee Yuing and Jonathan Yao.

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