Alumna: “Soft Hearts and Childlike Faithfulness”

“I  see people serving God with soft hearts and childlike faithfulness,” says Fang Fang, 41 then. “That really touched my life.” The psychotherapist who worked among mentally-ill people in a mountainous region in East Asia for nine years as a missionary always knew that God made her for “hard places.” Yet, there is a hard place that she is terrified of – “the hardness of heart.”

“I often prayed to God that I would not grow old and cynical in ministry,” she says. “God led me to EAST to answer that prayer through the many models I have met, e.g. Dr Langston and Dr Lewis, my first teachers, impressed me as very intelligent and humble people, and Dr Roland exemplifies childlike wonder and pure joy for life.”

Coming to EAST was not part of her plan, admits Fang Fang, “I don’t know how to plan,” she says as a matter of fact. Many important events in her life, she shares, from doing her masters in psychotherapy in the UK to serving in East Asia, happened as the Lord led her through relationships and circumstances.

“When I came home from the mission field due to unforeseen circumstances, I happen to sit next to an EAST faculty member during our church camp,” she says, “She invited me to come and see, and I did. And stayed.”

Fang Fang continues to serve with her church and through her gifts in teaching and counselling in Singapore. She graduated with a Graduate Diploma in Christian Ministry in 2016.

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An American in EAST

“The shocking hot weather”, and “pedestrians waiting for traffic lights to turn green even when there are no cars coming.” These are some of the “cultural shocks” Jessica Yi (USA), then 23, first experienced in Singapore. And her favourite thing to eat? “Bubble tea,” she replies, “Sure we have it back home but the bubble tea here is a whole new level!”

Jessica came to Singapore to intern with the ACTS Ministry International (AMI) “Since I would be here for a year, I decided to study at EAST, which I found on the internet, to equip myself,” she says.

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Alumni: We came to the right place

When Baatarsuren “Baataraa” Buyanmandakh (Mongolia), came to Singapore in Dec 2012, he was “heart-broken.” His younger son, Munhuul, three and a half, had passed away the year before. He and his wife Zulaa have another son, Odko, 12. Before the tragedy, the former Mongolia Campus Crusade campus leader had already planned to go for theological training. “We want to build future church-planters for the 200 unreached villages and towns in my country,” he says.

At first, the Buyanmandakhs were offered places, with free housing, to study in the USA. “But after visiting two schools there, we felt that their teaching contexts may not be relevant to our future ministries,” says Baataraa. “So we came to EAST. As soon as we settled down, we knew we’d come to the right place.”

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Alumnus: I hope to build others the way he built me

“At EAST, God confirmed His calling for me to serve Him in full-time ministry,” said Samuel Linn. This call was the result of convictions built through classes such as Bible, evangelism, and movement building, and extended times alone with God. He also reminisced, “Dr Keith’s Bible Study Methods’ class taught me the most important skills of studying and teaching God’s Word accurately. Janice Chuang’s training on evangelism pulled me out of my introverted shell to reach out to others.”

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Alumnus: New Confidence through Love and Patience

“At EAST, I see God restoring my confidence to serve Him on the mission field,” says Peter Lee, an EAST alumnus. “My wife and I were both totally exhausted after serving for ten years in East Asia.”

Read on to find out why Peter feels that EAST has provided the shelter for him to renew his strength to serve, and courage to lead in his life, family, and ministry.

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