Newly Arrived Students: Thanawat & Phichanida Wichaphon (Off & Peung)

L-R: Rev Jonathan Yao (seated), Wong Ee Yuing, Boon-Koh Aitee, Phichanida Wichaphon (Peung), Thanawat Wichaphon (Off)

Thanawat & Phichanida Wichaphons are the first couple to have arrived in Singapore from Thailand for our new semester this June. They are better known by their nicknames Off and Peung. Off has been enrolled in Master of Arts in Intercultural Studies since July 2022 and Peung has been attending online Partners-in-Ministry classes. They are thrilled to finally take the classes at EAST on-site in the upcoming semester and have face to face interactions with faculty, students and staff.

EAST News had the opportunity to ask a few questions below to get to know this “cool couple” (as some of their friends have described them) better and share their journey to EAST.

  1. What led Off to study MAICS and Peung to take PIM classes at EAST?

Is it fair to say it was not my choice (Off)? It might not. But my plan for MA study started before we got married in 2006. We aimed to get married and enrol in an institute together as we wanted to serve in full-time ministry. After we got married, that plan never happened. We continued to serve full-time in student ministry. 2010 we prepared ourselves again to leave everything behind and apply for a Missions-minded institute. The door shut during the preparation process. Two years later I was offered to study full time in another institute. The Lord said, “Not yet.” MA in theology plan for me seemed to be something that never came true. The more I was involved in ministry, the less possibility it seemed to happen.

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A Small Act of Kindness

Graduate Haimi Horam (right) with his fellow classmate Kim Hak Soo (left) from South Korea.

Haimi Horam (Manipur, North-East India), 46, who completed his last school modules back in India reminisces about the ones who made the difference to his EAST journey.

I still recall how I felt when I first touched down in Singapore in 2018. Everything was fast. New. Confusing.

               At my first class, I did not even know how to set up a Word document. But with help from my classmates and teachers, I progressed to creating Powerpoint and videos, and conducting Zoom outreaches (when Covid-19 hit).

               India has 1,400 unreached people groups (1.4 billion people); no way we can reach this country without also using online tools and approaches.

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Alumnus Jacob An: Global Aid Network Korea Director

EAST Alumnus Jacob An JangRyoel, currently director of Global Aid Network (GAiN) Korea, graduated from EAST with a Master of Divinity in Teaching and Exposition in May 1998. He recently visited EAST Campus at 118 Joo Chiat Road and EAST News had an opportunity to catch up with him. He had many wonderful memories of the old campus at 1 Dorset Road and he shared a few anecdotes, “In those days, the library staff would assign the library key to a student to open and close up the library in the mornings and evenings. I became the key man. I used to be the first to arrive at the library to open the door, and the last to leave who shut it up. I learned and practiced about sincerity, hard work, and responsibility during that time.”

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Alumnus Tak: Light & Hope Amidst Disaster

Below is the current newsletter from EAST alumnus Tak Funatogawa who has been serving in Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan, for the past decade. Read about how God’s light and hope still shine in Japan amidst all the recent challenges – do keep him, his family, and ministry in your prayers.

Dear family and friends,

Blessed Lunar New Year to all our friends celebrating the Chinese New Year! Furthermore, Blessed New Year to all our other friends too. We are always grateful and appreciate deeply your continued support and prayers for us.

“Magnitude 7.5 struck the Noto Peninsula of Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan causing a Tsunami 6.58m high along the Sea of Japan coast.”

“A runway collision occurred at Haneda Airport in Tokyo.” Read more

New Student: Sebastian Tramitz from Germany

L-R: Dr Joseph Khoo, Mrs Boon Aitee, Issac Do, Sebastian Tramitz


Below is a short reflection of our new student Sebastian Tramitz from Germany. He is embarking on a Bachelor of Arts in Christian Ministry at EAST while relocating to Singapore and embracing a new culture, or many new cultures at EAST and equipping himself here. His short reflection of his journey to EAST is below.

I know about EAST through various people I met on my journey of finding my path to change location to Singapore. One key person was a board member of EAST whom I met at the church I attended. He got me in touch with Cru Singapore through another person on the board of Cru. He then connected me with a Cru ministry leader and alumnus of EAST, which finally led to the meeting of Jonathan Yao and a site visit on which I made a decision that I want to apply.

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