Choong Voon: Renovation of Body, Heart and Soul

Meet a graduate from the recent 28th Commencement – Mr Wong Choong Voon, Malaysian, MDiv in Intercultural Studies and worshipped at Cornerstone Fellowship (Bahasa Indonesia). He is also the recipient of the EAST President Leadership Award and Academic Excellence Award. 

Twenty years in full-time ministry, former Cru Malaysia staff, now Chinese Timothy Mission worker who served among slum-dwellers in Semarang, Java, before joining EAST. Choong Voon’s vision is to reach the unreached peoples in Malaysia and Indonesia.

“When I first arrived at EAST, I was all ready for hard work and discipline,” says the Micro-Electronics Engineer by training and EAST Student Council President (2020-21). “But my engine was in a very bad shape.” Years of late-nights, no exercise, and poor diet, he confides, led to an unhealthy body, heart and soul. “These bad habits carried on in my student life.”

The “turning point” came during his second-year school break.

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Alumni Taught Mental Health to EAST Faculty

 

It was a treat for EAST faculty to be taught by alumni Tan Fang Fang and Kelvin Ng on practical issues relating to mental and spiritual health at the Faculty Development Days in May 2022. It was a much needed workshop after two years of the pandemic which has taken a toll on the mental health of many. This applies to EAST faculty as well who had to adapt to profound changes almost overnight in their course content formulation, instructional design, mode of delivery, and mediated mentoring. Fang Fang and Kelvin, who are both serving at Frankel Estate Bethesda Church, facilitated the time by opening up opportunities for honest conversations through case studies on the mental and spiritual challenges that one faces. Principles and best practices gleaned from the Word and Christian counselling were also discussed and explored in the context of faculty.

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EAST Alumna Sophie Lo as Mother, Wife & Christlike Leader

L to R: Nelson Lo, Hannah Lo (17), Sophie Lo, Joshua Lo (15)

Leading up to this Mother’s Day weekend, we are featuring an EAST alumna and EAST staff Mrs Sophie Lo who is a mother, wife and leader in EAST Community. Sophie is a mother to two teenagers, Hannah (17) and Joshua (15), wife to EAST’s Dean of Administration Mr Nelson Lo, and works in the EAST HR Department. She graduated with a Master of Arts in Biblical Studies (2020) and was awarded the Spiritual Multiplier Award. Currently. Sophie also oversees the social media platforms for the WOW MOM ministry of Cru Singapore. Below is an interview with her on her juggling responsibilities among her varied roles and thoughts on motherhood.

  1. Sophie, how did you manage to juggle your responsibilities as a wife and mother while also completing your studies, and fulfilling your duties at the EAST HR department?

Slow and steady described my study journey at EAST. When my kids were very young, I took one course at a time, so that I could give attention to my kids and yet reaped the benefits from my studies. As my kids grew older and more independent, I began to take on more courses in order to complete my program within a time frame. The journey was slow and took me a very long time. Fellow students who started their program at the same time or even after me, have graduated one after another while I would still be registering for courses to complete my credits requirement. Despite the slowness and length of time taken, I have enjoyed my studies thoroughly, was able to apply most of what I learnt in my ministry, and could also fulfil my duties at the EAST HR department.

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Long Service Appreciation 2022

 

During the last Chapel service of the year on 27 April 2022, the EAST community took time to appreciate the staff and faculty who have served EAST for at least five to fifteen years. The following were recognized and appreciated for their labour of love at EAST.

  • 15 Years of Service – Ms Jaclyn Ng (Finance)
  • 10 Years of Service – Rev Estella Liu (Faculty)
  • 5 Years of Service – Mr Raymond Lim (Administration), Ms Esther Tan (Alumni Office), and Ms Lisa Xu (Faculty)

Honorable mentions were also made for two faculty who have served as leaders at EAST for a term of three years each.

  • Dr Roland Tan, Dean of Students (2018 to 2021)
  • Rev Victor Kwok, Registrar (2017 to 2020)

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EAST Day of Prayer

 

EAST organized a school-wide day of prayer on 13 April 2022. Prayer is an integral part of EAST community and such corporate prayer time is organized twice a year. The day of prayer in April is conducted within the EAST community while a similar event in October is done in conjunction with Cru Singapore as part of the Cru worldwide day of prayer.

After a time of chapel worship led by the students, the April day of prayer continued with an exhortation by Dr Lau Ying Kheng on Matthew 6. She challenged us to allow our hearts to melt before God while engaged in prayer walking and watching around the EAST neighbourhood resulting in a transformed heart.

“Pray to be seen by God
Our reward is to be seen and heard and answered
Pray to be heard by God not by men
Prayer language of the heart
Pray with the heart, say what you mean, mean what you say
Pray to be transformed not to be informed
When we pray, our heart melts.”

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