Back to 2022 Church Weekly List

Vol. XIX No. 46
14 August 2022


FEBC reopened with a Day of Prayer on Monday, 18 July 2022 at 8.30am. With the relaxation of Covid-19 rules, the College could return to the Life BPC Sanctuary at the College campus, 9A Gilstead Road, for its prayer meeting. A good number of alumni and friends turned up to support and pray for the College. There were about 80 in attendance.

The message for that morning was delivered by the Rev Dr Park Seung Kyu, an FEBC alumnus and Principal of the Bible College of East Africa (BCEA) in Tanzania. Rev Dr Park preached from Acts 12:1–11 and exhorted the students to be ready to die if they want to serve the Lord. After the message, time was given to the lecturers, tutors, and directors present to encourage the new as well as returning students. All are reminded to serve the Lord while there is still time, “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.” (John 9:4).

Praise the Lord for 14 new full-time students. They are Angelou Geralla Esto, Car Vincent Cuesta Magkidong, Cho Hyeon Ji, Francis Kyle Adonis Alvarez, Hans Prawira Anggara Taliak, Jose Trinipil B Lagapa II, Kelvin Lim Cheng Kwang, Nathanael Zechariah George, Ricardo Mejedo, Sophia Cheow On Sung, Tabita Karma Erniati, Tai Yan Yee, Willem Putra Kasih Zamasi, and Suraj Sunuwar (student pass pending). They come from India, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, and Nepal.

The lecturers/tutors (and courses) for the July–November 2022 semester are: Rev Dr Jeffrey Khoo (Theology of Marriage), Rev Dr Quek Suan Yew (Daniel, Homiletics, Hebrew Reading I), Rev Dr Prabhudas Koshy (Proverbs II), Rev Dr Koa Keng Woo (Bible Geography III, Cults I), Rev Stephen Khoo (Ezra), Rev Tan Kian Sing (Colossians), Rev Dr Jose Lagapa (Church History II), Rev Clement Chew (1 Corinthians), Miss Carol Lee (Thinking and Study Skills), Rev Zhu Jianwei (Life of Christ I [Chinese]), Joshua Yong (Greek Reading I, Contemporary Theology I), Joycelyn Chng (Childhood Education), Cornelius Koshy (Greek Elementary I), Samuel Joseph (Biblical Epistemology), Khoo May Lynn (Pianoforte), Mrs Patricia Joseph (English Intensive I), and Mrs Irene Lim (English Intermediate I).

Thirteen Basic Theology for Everyone (BTFE) courses are offered online to the public—Systematic Theology III, 2 Chronicles, Daniel, Theology of Marriage, Proverbs II, Cults I, Ezra, Colossians, Church History II, 1 Corinthians, Life of Christ I (Chinese), Contemporary Theology I, and Biblical Epistemology.

Total enrolment for this semester is 637: 33 fulltime residential students and 604 part-time/online students from 17 countries (Australia, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Korea, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Tanzania, Thailand, USA). JK

Jose Trinipil B Lagapa II

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isa 55:8-9)

Since young, people would usually ask me the question, “What do you want to do when you grow up?” However, the question would never end there. It would always be coupled with either “Do you want to become a pastor?” or “Do you want to enter FEBC?” These questions would naturally be expected due to the fact that my father was then studying in FEBC. Most of these were usually light-hearted and conversation starters, so I would reply them with a simple “I don’t know yet” with an awkward chuckle to shrug off the topic.

I still remember when I was much younger and used to daydream and draw about being a pastor. All I could comprehend then of a pastor’s duty was driving the church van and simply going to church for worship, like how one would only see the beautiful petals of a bed of roses but the myriad of thorns under remained unseen. As I gradually grew in age and maturity, I began to see more and more of the life of a pastor and how it was not as “flowery” as I envisioned it to be. My view of FEBC also changed with time. I used to think that the College would be the best place in the world where believers of the highest calibre were being trained to be God’s servants. After moving to live in FEBC, I became more involved with the life on campus and began to see more and more of the faults of those in the college. I was rather discouraged and stopped considering entering into FEBC.

However, one morning during chapel hour, one preacher came and spoke on 1 Corinthians 1:27 which says, “But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty.” The message came right on time to rebuke me and my self-righteousness. In fact, I am even worse than those who had “discouraged” me. God uses sinners saved by grace to do His work. All of us are struggling with our own share of trials and temptations. Yes, there are many times where we fall and sin against God, but “he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins” if we confess to Him our sins (1 John 1:9). This also taught me that I should not be looking up to people to direct my life because they are just like me who are prone to sin. I must only focus on Christ and His perfect example of holiness and service. I thank God for how He calibrated my attitude to the full-time service.

All this went on as I continued in my homeschooling and slowly approached my finals and graduation. It has been my parents’ desire for all three of us children to get proper spiritual grounding in the Bible College before going to wherever the Lord leads us, so I already knew that I would be going in to FEBC for at least one year to get my CertRK. However, on the supposed year of my graduation, Covid-19 hit the shores of Singapore. This placed a roadblock to my exams (SATs) as they are only to be held physically. When the restrictions lightened slightly, I tried to book a slot multiple times and each time I either could not find a slot, or got kicked out near the test date.

Looking back, it was truly a trying time for me. I felt as if I was stranded on a small island with a wide, vast ocean all around me. Seeing the people around my age move forward while I cannot even think of taking a single step because I could not sit for my exams to get my diploma was pretty disheartening. Yet at the same time, I now know that that was a precious time God gave me to focus on truly seeking what He wants for me to do.

During that time, I was “forced” to pick up PA, livestreaming, videography, and video editing skills due to the nationwide circuit-breaker that was implemented by the government. This happened because Pastor and my father, who speak in the English and Filipino services respectively, were both residing at the FEBC campus, and I was the only one who was on-campus and available to take on the job. I thank God for brother Samuel Goh and Dn Chan Kay Heem who taught me everything I needed to know in the short time given to us to transition from physical to pre-recorded services. They also continued to guide me patiently even as I made countless mistakes along the way. A new door opened for me when I started my first semester in FEBC and had the opportunity to serve in the PA/livestreaming team. Another opening given to me was in the video recording and editing of the BEST programme lectures for the pastors in the Philippines who desire to study the Word of God further. Despite my schedule becoming slightly more packed in addition to my FEBC load, I truly enjoyed serving the Lord in this way. To simply become a channel of blessing is enough for me.

This continued until before my third semester where I had to make the choice. I had finally gotten a seat for my SATs, and I was graduating from FEBC with my certificate. I asked myself, “Should I go, or should I stay?” That was where I went wrong, because I was asking myself. And my “self” desired to go. I did not know where, but I just wanted to go somewhere. I started looking for options in the internet and listened to some advice from others. However, all this stopped during February 2022 when I contracted the virus. It was yet another instance where God gave me the chance to be by myself and pray for His guidance in my life and think things through. I began to recollect my experiences during the heat of the pandemic and remembered the many times where it was truly only by God’s grace that I learnt all the things that I am doing today. I believe that God made me go through all the struggles and difficulties for a purpose. If I had just up and left to fulfil my own desires, the responsibilities given to me by the Lord would surely be left behind.

Leaving isolation, I had made up my mind to further my studies at FEBC to serve the Lord, but my faith was still wavering. Peer pressure came regularly with some questioning my decision of continuing my studies in FEBC. I received questions like, “Where will you get your income from?, “Why are you wasting your time in the Bible College?”, “What are you going to do after you finish your studies after FEBC?” Initially, I did not have an answer to all these questions, but as I continued to study His Word that semester, especially in the course on “The Doctrine of Providence”, the answers slowly revealed themselves. Firstly, our God is a God of Providence. He knows our needs and He will provide in His own way and time if we live according to His Will and Word (Ps 37:4–5). Secondly, the study of the Bible is worth more and higher than any of the sciences in this world. It is and never will be a waste of time to study God’s Word (Ps 119:98–100). Thirdly, it is the Lord who will lead me through the path that He has already foreordained (Isa 55:8–9). Therefore, I will just follow and leave the rest to Him because He knows what is best for me.

Right now, it is my conviction that God’s call for me is to serve in the church, college, and any ministries that the Lord calls me to fill and has enabled and equipped me to undertake. The verse that the Lord has provided me during one of my devotions and has given me this confidence is Psalm 84:10, “For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.” I still do not know many of the things ahead of me, but I trust in the Lord that He will use me till I burn out for Him. Soli Deo Gloria.

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