Indonesian Alumni’s Recovery from Covid-19

Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the world for over a year and EAST Alumni have been directly affected as well. EAST News caught up with two families from Indonesia, two families from Mongolia and one family from India who have suffered from Covid-19. Below are their brief updates from two families in Indonesia. More updates will follow next week.

Left to Right: Hendra Bagun, Eugenia (4), Lavisha (6), Hanna Sylvia Sitompul

Hendra Bagun, who graduated in 2017 with a Master of Arts in Biblical Studies, is currently pursuing an EdD and is currently the President at Sekolah Tinggi Teologi Injili Bethsaida, a seminary in Medan, Indonesia. He suffered from Covid-19 from the first week of January this year, but thankfully his wife and children were spared. He experienced the loss of the sense of taste and smell for about two months. The senses were only fully recovered from March to April. The seminary currently runs all their classes online.

The situation in Medan is still quite serious, under red alert. Hendra shared about a Chinese student named Su Beity who also suffered from Covid-19 and is in a serious condition.. She is taking Master of Christian Education in his seminary and currently is also suffering from fibrosis on her lungs due to Covid-19. Please keep Su Beity in prayers for her recovery.

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Esther’s Story – His Story

 

“I was six years old when my oldest brother, then 26, read the Bible and accepted Jesus as his Saviour,” begins Esther, 30, who is of Central Asian descent. “My parents, of another beliefs, felt very betrayed by him.” But her brother remained steadfast in faith and led hundreds in their hometown to the Lord. Six years later, Esther then 12, received Christ on her own when she chanced upon a gospel tract. In 2010, her father came to Christ in a Christmas meeting organised by her brother; soon after her mother accepted the Lord through her father.

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Getting to know Samuel & Agnes Too

Samuel and Agnes Too joined EAST in May 2020. Samuel has been a visiting lecturer previously and has taught a number of classes on Missions Foundation at EAST. He is now a full-fledged resident faculty at EAST and Agnes joins us with years of missions field experience from Japan and East Asia. Due to recent Covid-19 situation, the interview with them was conducted over Zoom. But their warmth and authenticity still came through.

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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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