Pastor Jeffrey Khoo
In the New Year 2023, FEBC reopened with a Day of Prayer on Tuesday, January 3. Faculty, students and staff gathered for a time of worship, Bible meditation, testimony, thanksgiving and intercession. The Rev Haposan Siregar was the Lord’s messenger and he spoke from Exodus 32:26, “Who is on the LORD’S side? let him come unto me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him.” He testified that he is grateful to the Lord for being a graduate of FEBC, and for the precious truths he has learned from the College. He called on all to be united with FEBC and to hold fast to the truths taught by her, even the doctrine of the Verbal Plenary Preservation of the Scriptures which he believes to be an important doctrine to uphold for such a time as this.
The Rev Nguyen Gia Hien, an FEBC alumnus and pastor of Brisbane B-P Church and Vietnamese B-P Church in Brisbane, Australia, whose son Timothy is a new student, sent this word of greetings to the college family on that day:
Dear Principal, faculty and students, our warmest greetings to you in our risen Lord Jesus Christ’s holy name.
We truly thank God for using our late Principal, the Rev Dr Timothy Tow, to establish this school of prophets, and for using you and the faculty to continue His work of teaching and training for His divinely inspired and providentially preserved Word and Truth.
We are grateful to our good and almighty God for preserving and blessing FEBC semester by semester over the years. We do uphold you and FEBC in our prayers. May God hear the humble prayers of all of us today when we seek Him first, turn to Him, give thanks and praise Him, wait upon Him and cry unto Him for His help, guidance and blessings.
May God providentially bring more students who are truly called to FEBC to be trained and equipped with His Truth for His service in these last days of compromise, deception and apostasy.
Revelation 3:8, “I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.”
May God strengthen you and the faculty and the students and grant you a blessed opening Day of Prayer and a successful semester.
The lecturers/tutors (and courses) for the January–April 2023 semester are: Rev Dr Jeffrey Khoo (Hebrews), Rev Dr Quek Suan Yew (Joshua, Judges, Ruth; Homiletics; Hebrew Reading II), Rev Dr Prabhudas Koshy (Ecclesiastes), Rev Dr Koa Keng Woo (Bible Geography IV, Cults II), Rev Stephen Khoo (Nehemiah), Rev Tan Kian Sing (Galatians), Rev Dr Jose Lagapa (New Testament Introduction), Rev Clement Chew (2 Corinthians), Miss Carol Lee (Women in Church History), Rev Zhu Jianwei (Life of Christ II [Chinese]), Pr Joshua Yong (Contemporary Theology II, Greek Reading II), Miss Joycelyn Chng (Teaching Methods), Pr Cornelius Koshy (Greek Elementary II), Pr Samuel Joseph (Canon and Text), Miss Khoo May Lynn (Pianoforte), Mrs Patricia Joseph (English Intensive II), and Mrs Irene Lim (English Intermediate II).
Fourteen Basic Theology for Everyone courses are offered to the public on campus and online this semester—13 are livestreamed (Canon and Text; New Testament Introduction; Nehemiah; Cults II; Teaching Methods; Ecclesiastes; Contemporary Theology II; Galatians; 2 Corinthians; Women in Church History; Joshua Judges, Ruth; Hebrews; Life of Christ II in Chinese), and one is video-screened (Systematic Theology IV, Eschatology).
Total enrolment in the January–April 2023 semester is 624: 32 fulltime residential students and 592 part-time students from 17 countries— Australia, Cambodia, China, Congo, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Korea, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, and USA. There are three new students: Timothy Nguyen (Australia), Song Yuanzhi (China), and Priscilla Tan (Singapore).
Samuel Goh, FEBC’s IT Support Specialist, has resigned from FEBC wef 1 January 2023 to further his theological studies at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA. Samuel graduated from FEBC with a BTh in 2017. We wish him Godspeed and good success. Biboy with support from fellow students have taken over Sam’s duties at FEBC. Natalia Heng is now maintaining and updating True Life BPC’s website.
I really do feel humbled, blessed and privileged to have this opportunity to study and delve deeply into God’s Word at FEBC.
First, I would like to share a bit about myself, my testimony and why I have made the decision to study at FEBC. I was born and raised in Brisbane, Australia and have lived there for the entirety of my life so far, worshipping at the Brisbane BP Church and Vietnamese BP Church. For me, I am most thankful to have been brought up in a God-fearing, faithful and loving family. Consequently, from a tender age, it became a norm for me to attend multiple Bible studies and Sunday worship services each week. This was of course in no small part a result of being a pastor’s child. Now, for as long as I can remember, my father had always had a unique prayer for me—a prayer that God would use my life for His glory and kingdom. My father has never stopped praying this prayer for me, and in fact, to this day continues to do so. Sadly, however, I never gave much thought to this prayer and I must admit, even though I was retaining a lot of head knowledge as a child and young adolescent, a lot of the content was nothing more than head knowledge. Despite, sitting and attempting to concentrate on the sermons and Bible studies, for a long time my heart was not there, and my mind was always wandering elsewhere. Though the question of salvation was always at the back of my mind, as a young boy and adolescent living in such a safe, blessed and carefree country, I was distracted. Friends, school and other interesting worldly distractions occupied my mind. But thank God for His great grace and undeserving mercy. He knew just the way to humble me and draw me to Him, reminding me of how temporal and fragile my human life undoubtedly was.
I still vividly remember the incident. It was 3 1/2 years ago. It was an ordinary school night, and I was busy studying hard for maths. Exams were rapidly approaching and the stress was slowly but surely getting to me. Suddenly out of the blue, I felt a strange pain—a pain that spread from the upper of my chest to the roof of my mouth. Without any warning, I suddenly felt the air escaping from my lungs. I was struggling to breathe. Gasping for air, I quickly told my mother who frantically called the ambulance. During this time, I began to experience confusion and disorientation. However, one thing I do clearly remember during this blur was my father and his prayer for me. He seated me down and not only prayed that God would be merciful and help me through this medical emergency but he also prayed that God would use this incident to truly save me, praying that this incident would draw me closer to God, and remind me of how fragile my human life really was. Thank God the paramedics drove me to the hospital safely to learn that it was nothing severe at all. I was thankful of course, but I was also humbled and began to reflect on the prayer and the way I was living my life. From that point onwards I began to truly take God’s Word seriously and personally, repenting and continuously praying. I realised that this life I was living was not mine and that my eyes, ears, mouths, hands and feet did not belong to me!
However, being the terrible sinner that I am, God would have to continue to teach and humble me.
Awhile after this incident, I became an avid cross-country runner. I wanted to prove to the world that I could not only compete with the bigger Australian kids but also beat them. Consequently, I trained hard and put many hours into this new ambition. Looking back, I realise that this new ambition had become almost like an idol for me, devouring all of my thoughts, time and energy. However, I ultimately ended up coming third out of my age group at the school’s annual competition. My great mistake and sin, however, was the pride I felt afterwards. Despite keeping my pride inwards, and acting humble outwards, God knew deep down in my heart. I did not fully acknowledge that everything that I could do was from God alone. One day, I went out for a regular training run a couple of weeks later to only completely sprain my hip, which was just absolutely debilitating. I could barely even walk, let alone run for months. This was a valuable experience that reminded me yet again of how fragile my life was. It was through many of God’s lessons like these that I was able to draw closer and nearer to God, becoming completely dependent on Him through prayer and reading of the Scriptures.
Despite these experiences being painful at the time, looking back I am thankful for these invaluable lessons which have brought me closer to God and His Word. The next year, I retrained for the same event, but this time always praying before each run and meditating on God’s Word during the run. Indeed, after each run, I even felt closer to God. Thank God that that year, not only did I place, but I also qualified for the district’s competition and ultimately represented my region at the city’s regional championships. Now whenever I train or work towards a goal, I have learnt how important it is to stay humble and dependent on God. As humans, we may like to think that we have some control over our lives and what we do, but what I’ve learnt is that that could not be any further from the truth. Time quickly flew by and my final year of High School arrived and just like every other student finishing up High School, I was faced with my biggest decision yet.
Questions of “What courses are you planning to study?” and “what university are you going to?” became a frequent conversation starter, but unlike a lot of my peers, I couldn’t help but find a lot of the secular jobs to be so vain and meaningless. I wanted to be a part of something bigger than myself, something much more purposeful. Naturally, when a friend of mine suggested that we should attend an Australian Defence Force open day, I was especially interested. Serving my nation with purpose, pride and vigour seemed to check off all of my boxes. I was determined to join the Australian Defence Force Academy and become an Air Force officer. The apparent world-class education, unparalleled leadership opportunities and handsome pay had sucked me in. However, after speaking with Rev Dr Khoo and my father, the idea of spending a gap year at FEBC also arose. I looked back at the reasons why I wanted to join the Defence Force in the first place; it was because of purpose and pride. However, I very quickly realised how much greater it is to become a soldier serving Christ, especially in these last days. Although I might have found some slight purpose in serving my country, I realised that my true purpose on this earth was to serve God and be a shining light for Him. Consequently, with the advice of Rev Dr Khoo and my father, I decided to take a step of faith. If God does not call me to full-time service then I will return back to Australia for university. However, the opportunity to spend an entire year dedicated to learning God’s Word and maturing in faith is honestly something that I cannot pass with a right conscience before God. I truly believe that this is a God-given year for me to gain a stronger foundation for my faith and be ready to see where He leads me in my future. I believe I am ready to join FEBC this year to be open to the plans that God has planned for me, whether that be full-time service or not. Thank you so much again for your love and support so far. Thanks.
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