Field Supervisors’ Tea 2023


This year’s annual Field Supervisors’ Tea held on 4th October was uniquely helmed by Dr Lau Ying Kheng and her FIRM students. A third year Master of Divinity student in Intercultural & Theological Studies, Brandon Chan, shared about his experience in Cambodia. Students are required to do practicum 240 hours a year or an equivalent of 10 days. Brandon has been to Cambodia for a mission trip 16 years ago and recently, he returned to the same village for his field practicum.

Here are some thoughts that Brandon shared, “Kingdom work requires an eternal perspective. We must labour with patience, compassion and joy. God will send the fruit even if it takes 15 years.” He gave the illustration of gifting an army knapsack to a young boy over 15 years ago and this boy who is a young man now, still remembers his kindness and generosity. Brandon was in Cambodia organising a youth camp and teaching Bible Study Methods and other classes.

He also had these reflections to share regarding Kingdom Work, “When a work is rooted in prayer, it achieves magnificent things. But when prayer is lacking, it is not a God-centered ministry. What I really learned, even in busy Singapore, is we need to pray. God ever desires to hear us.

Kingdom work is done by those who are poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek, those who thirst for righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers and those who endure persecution.

Kingdom work is done by those who come humbly and willingly. I saw this so real in the lives of the Cambodians. They are the poor in spirit, they are the ones who mourn, the meek, the ones who thirst for righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart and endured persecution.

Just a cultural nugget – those Cambodian children who are given bibles have to hide them from their parents under their pillows. When it is discovered, they will be taken out of school, and will no longer have any education, just because of a bible. That is the reality of what kingdom work is like and I saw it with my own eyes.”

Brandon summed up his sharing with the verse from Mark 10:51 where Jesus asked a blind man, “What do you want me to do for you?” and he replied, “Rabbi, I want to see.”

Brandon’s closing prayer was, “Lord, I pray that you will open the eyes of the spiritually blind.”

Aside from his sharing, Taivan from Mongolian also shared about his recent Cross Cultural Team Internship experiences with his EAST teammates in Vietnam. Taivan shared about getting to know his four other teammates a lot better after spending nearly a month together and believe they will be lifelong friends. He revealed the nicknames of each teammate: Jane is “gospel power” as she fervently shares the gospel whenever there is an opportunity and that really encourages the tea. Achui is “prayer power” as she powerfully covers the team in her prayers throughout the trip. Aya who has been assigned the role of the treasurer is their “ATM” as she keeps track of all their expenses and budget and makes sure the team has enough money to last for the entire trip. Mikeel who is Taivan’s roommate is a good friend to all and is nicknamed “Power Bank” as he has a power bank handy when Achui’s handphone ran out of battery.

It was heartening to hear of the deep bonds made while the team reached out to university students in Vietnam. Achui also shared about her burden for unreached people groups.

Dr Lau Ying Kheng who was first challenged to teach “Research Writing” at EAST over 20 years ago shared that after the first two lessons, she was in tears because it was really difficult for her. However, she was encouraged to persevere as one EAST founding leaders reminded her, “We will produce people who will go out there and fulfill the Great Commission.” These students, they really want to be used by God for real needs on the harvest fields like Cambodia, Vietnam and India.

The sharing session ended by prayers for the students uttered for them by their field supervisors and faculty. Rev Jonathan Yao, Dean of Advancement, said the closing prayer.  After that, all enjoyed the afternoon tea spread lovingly prepared by the students.

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