30 Orange Grove Road, down Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore 258352
Mailing Address: 1 Goldhill Plaza, #03-35, Singapore 308899
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Website: http://www.truelifebpc.org.sg
(Ring Pastor Jeffrey Khoo 62561189 Anytime)
|“The LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep SILENCE before him.”|
FEBC started its new semester with a day of prayer on January 2, 2019. The Principal delivered the opening word by reminding all students that God requires total submission and surrender from all His full-time servants, and this must begin when we start out as full-time students. The primary text was taken from Matthew 16:24–25, “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.”
FEBC’s founding Principal—the Rev Dr Timothy Tow had often reminded his students, “Be prepared to die if you want to serve God.” This is a call to unconditional service. We serve the Lord whether (1) pay or no pay (1 Cor 9:14–19), (2) thanks or no thanks (1 Cor 4:9–13, 2 Cor 12:15), (3) good times or bad times (2 Cor 11:23–30, Phil 4:11–13).
During testimony time, Priyakumar Butti (3rd year) from India came forward to give thanks: “I thank God for the beginning of another semester at Far Eastern Bible College, and also for all the returning students and new students who have come for the Day of Prayer. It is my hope that the Lord will bless us as we commit ourselves to the training that we will be receiving this semester. Training for the Lord’s ministry is not an easy task as it requires much discipline and hard work. As our Principal always says, ‘There is no royal road to learning.’ All of us have to go through the same process of learning line upon line and precept upon precept. This is especially so for those of you who are learning the biblical languages of Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. Many of us have it mentioned before that FEBC has become well known for two things: its emphasis on the biblical languages and of course, its food. There is another thing that you will find at FEBC. It has to do with the approach that we take to theological training. Here, not only are students given all the differing views of a certain doctrine, but they are also told which view is the biblically correct one. There is a definite stand taken here on all issues of theology that is clearly taught in the Scriptures. This is something very needful in theological training.”
Five new full-time students joined the College this semester—Deccarlo Balongcas Igot (Philippines), Georgy Permayakov (Russia), Han Wei Wei (China), Jonathan Ryan Hendricks (India), and Shin Eui Jong (Korea).
Total enrolment this semester (Jan–May 2019) is 633: 72 day students (fulltime: 46, part-time: 26), 335 students in the Basic Theology for Everyone (BTFE) night classes, and 226 distance learning students. Students enrolled from these 15 countries: Australia, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Russia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
The lecturers/tutors and courses offered this semester are: Rev Dr Jeffrey Khoo: Systematic Theology IV (Eschatology), Calvin’s Institutes II, Greek Exegesis II; Rev Dr Quek Suan Yew: Minor Prophets I, Contemporary Theology II, Hebrew Reading II; Rev Dr Prabhudas Koshy: Homiletics, Pastoral Theology II, Biblical Covenants; Rev Stephen Khoo: Esther; Rev Dr Koa Keng Woo: Bible Geography I, Church Music III; Rev Tan Kian Sing: Philippians; Mrs Ivy Tow: Greek Elementary II; Mrs Jemima Khoo: The Christian School, Pianoforte; Miss Carol Lee: Adult Christian Education, Thinking and Study Skills; Dr Jose Lagapa: Biblical Apologetics; Rev Clement Chew: Hebrew Elementary II; Mr Samuel Joseph: Greek Reading II; Mrs Anne Lim: English Intensive II; Mrs Irene Lim: English Intermediate II; and Eld Han Soon Juan: English Advanced II.
We bid farewell and Godspeed to Dennis Kabingue our Greek Reading tutor who is returning to his home country in the Philippines. We thank him for his service at FEBC since 2008. ThM candidate Samuel Joseph teaches Greek Reading II this semester as part of his teaching practicum. Rev Clement Chew is promoted to the position of Lecturer with effect from this semester.
CALL TO SALVATION AND SERVICE
Deccarlo Balongcas Igot
Before I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior – I was a Roman Catholic as it was my family’s religion. About 25 years ago, I got my first job which required me to be away for a year in Japan. It was that time that I began to feel the fear of life—so much worry and insecurity in life and work. It prompted me to ask what the essence of life is, its purpose of existence and what happens when one is dead? I was supposed to be happy with my job abroad but I was not because my mind was so occupied with those thoughts.
I needed to find the answer. Somehow it made me become open minded to everything that I could possibly do. I tried many things— became an insurance agent, acted as credit-cooperative founder and leader, had my own small business, studied law, took the MBA etc. After all those years, nothing helped to answer my questions. The roller coaster of my emotions and deep thoughts became even worse. The more I knew the deeper my sorrow.
Then one day I told my wife “I think I need to do something about my spiritual life”. I thought of going back to the Catholic Church to attend masses on Sundays. It so happened that my wife was also searching for something. She read the Bible and researched into the Reformation and the history of Catholicism. She did not support the idea of going back to Catholicism, and we agreed that we would just read the Bible and pray to God for the solution. The idea was good but we were not able to do it.
By God’s grace and timing, I met someone from FEBC’s evangelism team in Bukit Panjang who had a meeting with my youngest daughter to follow up on her participation of Vacation Bible School. The word “Bible school” made me to easily give consent for her to participate because my wife and I really wanted her to be exposed to it. I was then invited to the Filipino Bible Fellowship (FilBF) meeting in July 2016 but I was not able to attend due to my hectic schedule that needed me to work even on Sundays. In August, I joined the fellowship meeting, and from that time onwards I attended all True Life BPC activities like worship services, Bible studies, fellowship meetings, and FEBC night classes to learn and hear God’s Word until I confessed Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior on the 1st of December 2016.
After I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior, there were still work challenges, mental stresses and emotional struggles. But by God’s grace and having faith in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, there was significant change in my life mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I felt secure and much inspired in my life with God at the center. Entrusting to Him everything gave me the peace of mind that I had longed for. God is the answer to all my life’s questions. The purpose of man’s existence is to glorify God. Death is not a dead end. Christ’s resurrection gives man great hope for eternal life after physical death. With Jesus Christ as my God and Savior, I have nothing to ask for in my life anymore. What is left is the burden to share the true value of God’s Word and the Gospel to my immediate family and to others.
In September 2016, I attended FEBC night classes on Soteriology. I was so amazed and convicted by the truth of salvation. I never knew about justification and sanctification. That was my first time hearing those terms in relation to man’s salvation. It made me eager to study in FEBC. I thought it was possible while working but it was not. So I took the online courses of FEBC instead.
When I took FEBC online courses in 2017 and began to read, learn, and study the Bible, I began to feel indeed the words in the Bible are the words of the living God. It gives me the meaning and true value of life. I felt much joy in understanding and believing the truth of what I read. Truly as Jesus said in Luke 4:4, “That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God”.
In August 2018, I attended a Bible study in Bishan with some of my brethren in FilBF. On our way back home via MRT, with deep emotion I said to myself, “My life is filled with contentment. With joy in my heart I am reading and believing the Word of God. But why did God let me experience those things I did in the past years though none of them satisfied me at all. I believe God has a plan for me.” Then one of my FilBF brethren beside me upon listening to what I said, replied, “Let us pray for it Bai” (Bai is used to call a close friend in our Visayan dialect).
A couple of weeks later, FilBF announced that I would lead the missions work in Visayas, particularly in our place in Cebu, in Pusok, Lapu-Lapu City. I thought “Oh this is tough but I have to do it for the glory of God”. Then we did some planning, and by God’s grace and leading we have now the Christian Bible Fellowship (CBF) there under FilBF.
The rationale for CBF is the salvation of souls, even if just one, based on Mark 8:36, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” I believe God called me through this verse. This verse stabbed me like the two edges of a sword. One is to labor for the salvation of souls and the other is to give my life to the Lord by serving Him alone. To serve God is to do His will, and to know His will we must study and understand correctly His holy Word through faith. I believe it is the will of the Lord that I must study in FEBC full time now. Please pray for me for my new journey in life. Thank you and God bless us all.
[Ed: Before his call to full-time service, our brother Carlo was a mechanical engineer working on the Jewel Changi Airport. Now, he works for the greatest Jewel of all: “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.” (Matt 13:45–46).]
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