When Heaven Invades Earth - Teachers` Christian Fellowship

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When Heaven Invades Earth - Teachers` Christian Fellowship
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TEACHERS’ CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP MALAYSIA | CONNECTING HEARTS AND MINDS | 2016 VOL 28 ISSUE 1
When Heaven Invades Earth
“For the eyes of the LORD runs to and fro throughout the whole
earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is
loyal to Him.”
2 Chronicles 16:9
PP6303/09/2012 (030561)
CONTENTS
Editorial
01
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------God's Providential Care in a Foreign Land
by Koh Kok Tin
02
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------God's Classroom in the Hospital Ward
by Mary Magdalene Teh
05
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------God's Approval Mattered Most
Interview with Winston Kao
07
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------God's Calling and Equipping
Interview with Donna Dawi
09
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------God's Unconditional Love
by Jessica Rine
11
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------God's Transformed Soul
by Wong Yew Choong
12
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Taking Spiritual Retreats
by Dr Alex Tan
13
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------God's Earthen Vessel
by Hoh Mey Fong
15
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------In Partnership
17
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Announcements
18
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2016 VOL 28 ISSUE 1
EDITORIAL
When Heaven Invades Earth
THE EDITORIAL COMMITTEE WISHES
EVERYONE A BLESSED NEW YEAR! May this
year be a God-encountering season for
different ones as we continue to press in and
press on as educators in the many lives we
come into daily contact with.
Let me explain our cover picture. Hai Bee
saw this magnificent shaft of light from the
clouds invading earth on her NKVE journey to my place to work on
this issue of In Step. Truly, this is a year where the LORD would
want to demonstrate His signs and wonders in our midst and
connect our past, present and future.
In “God's Earthen Vessel”, the Lord invaded and connected Hoh
Mey Fong's dream from the past which she thought was gone.
However, the Lord graciously brought it into reality in 2015. Read
how Wong Yew Choong, a retired geochemist, came to terms with
God's revelation of who He is in “God's Transformed Soul”.
“God's Providential Care in a Foreign Land” records the wondrous
provisions of God. Heaven invaded earth in the form of providing
miraculously for all of Koh Kok Tin's needs. In “God's Unconditional
Love”, heaven came lovingly to the precious Cambodians as
recounted by Jessica Rine. “God's Classroom in the Hospital Ward”
once again illustrates how we as educators can be channels of
blessings, turning every situation into a teaching and defining
moment.
As educators, it is good to ask ourselves periodically “Why are we
teachers?” Donna Dawi has just 'entered' the teaching door while
Winston Kao has just 'exited' from it. For those of us who are in
between, may we continue to bring heaven into the classrooms! We
may be the only source of encouragement and positive influence
for some. So let us take courage to continue the good work our
Master Teacher has called us to do!
In the busy, rolling-on-from-one-to-another life as an educator, we
do need to pause, stop and listen at strategic and regular intervals,
allowing our souls and spirits to catch up with our bodies. “Taking
Spiritual Retreats” is a call for all educators to take time to
recalibrate, renew and be refreshed for the marathon journey
ahead. A constant reminder and challenge for us is to find a
balance between 'being' and 'doing'. We encourage each one of us
to check out the announcements page and sign up for the silent
retreats for 2016.
Lastly, may our hearts pulsate with this cry of “Lord, may Your
Kingdom come, Your Will be Done on earth as it is in heaven!”
Sophia Ho
Editorial Committee
Goh Hai Bee
Sophia Ho
Indyrany Kannaiya
Proofreader
Tan Meng Choo
Printer
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E-mail: [email protected]
Website: www.tcfmy.org
Facebook: TCF Malaysia
IN STEP is a non-profit Christian newsletter
published four times a year by the Teachers’
Christian Fellowship Malaysia (TCF). It is
dedicated to Christian educators and issued
FREE to TCF members.
Views expressed are the writers’ and do not
necessarily represent those of TCF.
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have been reproduced. TCF apologises for
any unintentional omissions and would be
pleased, in any such cases, to add an
acknowledgement in future issues.
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God's Providential Care in a Foreign Land
by Koh Kok Tin
QUESTION: YOU ARE A FOREIGN
STUDENT STUDYING AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF NOTTINGHAM,
THE UNITED KINGDOM (U.K.). You
have slogged through a gruelling
one-year English specialist course
and secured a government
scholarship for the MPIK-UK
twinning programme after praying
for 4 years. What do you do when 9
months into your B. Ed. degree
programme, you are diagnosed with
breast cancer? Do you get angry
with God, feel that God has let you
down or call it quits, pack up your
bags and go back to Malaysia?
I made a choice.
“I'd like to complete my studies,”
I told Professor Roger Blamey, the
world-famous breast cancer
consultant. I did not give a thought
as to the implications of staying on,
how I would cope, whether I would
leave the U.K. alive. Being
thousands of miles away from
home meant that physical home
support would not be readily
available. What choice did I have
but to trust God and walk by faith?
Unknown to me, God had
everything orchestrated for me.
However, my lack of faith surfaced
in my emotional health.
A gamut of emotions swept over
me. My mind reeled from trauma
and shock over the devastating
news. Fear gripped my heart as
what was supposed to be a simple
operation turned into something
more sinister – radiation and
chemotherapy. At the same time I
was worried about my studies. Yet,
deep in my heart, I still wanted to
do well despite being ill. Most of all,
I dreaded the chemotherapy and
wanted to shelve it each time I
visited Dr. Morgan. He knew I was
overly anxious and told me to get
over with the chemotherapy
sessions. I was unaware that the
outcome of the treatment added to
my stress level. The prognosis was
60% of getting better and 40% of
not getting better. I tried not to
dwell on the negative side but my
composure gave way as tears rolled
down my cheeks. Desperate!
Distraught! Hopeless! Helpless!
Care and Concern from the
Beeston Free Church
The late Reverend Keith Mawdley
was the pastor of Beeston Free
Church. He was a pillar of strength
in my fight against cancer. I wanted
to give up after my first cycle of
chemotherapy but he told me that I
had to complete the course and if I
did not get well he would ask the
church elders to lay hands on me
With late reverend Keith Mawdley (centre) and his wife, Marjorie
Highfields walled garden,
University Park, Nottingham
and pray for healing. He led the
whole church to pray for me on
most Sundays, visited me every
week without fail, read the Word of
God to me and prayed for me. One
summer day, he brought me freshly
cut yellow roses from his garden. I
was greatly touched. His church
also sponsored my accommodation
fees at the Nightingale Hall,
University of Nottingham during the
whole of my second year there to
help ease my challenges. True to
his word, he walked alongside me
and saw me through!
The Robinsons, my lovely host
family, supported me through their
frequent visits, bringing me homemade brownies and apple-pies,
fetching me to and fro from church
and frequently invited me to their
home for dinner and prayer
meetings. On my first visit to the
church, they were the first
Christians to invite me to their
home for lunch after which they
took me to pick black berries. Their
love and hospitality saw me through
my good and bad days.
God also provided me with a
best friend, the late Myrtle Clarke, a
very caring and godly lady, who
would fetch me to the Beeston Flea
Market weekly to get my trout for
me to cook my fish porridge. She
visited me every week, brought me
a bottle of honey every time my
supply ran out and called me on
most days and prayed for me every
Tuesday when we met for dinner at
the Nightingale Hall. I was a
frequent visitor to her home for
lunches after church. She was my
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confidante, meeting and relaying
my needs to the church and giving
me a shoulder to cry on. Despite
fighting fatigue, I came alive when it
was time to go for musicals and
movies with her. We loved to
ramble through the woods and
stroll along the beautiful campus
lakeside. Those outings with her
were very therapeutic.
Sue Barlow and her troop
helped me move my things from
Sherwood Hall to Nightingale Hall;
Christine Ward secured a place for
me in the residential hall without
my going through a hassle and gave
a lot of support through getting
things done efficiently. Truly, our
amazing God saw to every need
and every detail without me having
to do any planning or lifting a finger.
Help from the Academic and
Administrative Staff, University of
Nottingham
The academic and administrative
staff at the University of
Nottingham came forward to extend
help in every way possible. Joyce
West, the B. Ed. Administrator, and
her husband, David West, took me
to the hospital to be warded for
surgery and hosted me at their
home after my surgery and often
visited me at the hospital. She even
knitted me a cardigan to keep me
warm in winter. Such amazing love!
Another person who went the
extra mile was my dissertation
supervisor, Anoma Siriwardena.
She came to the campus hospital
where I was hospitalised for a
month, to supervise me on my
dissertation on two occasions. I
was the last to be supervised but
the first to complete it, thanks to
the Lord's enablement. The
lecturers including the
administrative staff were very
supportive of me, visiting me,
bringing flowers and conveying
written messages of
encouragement. Such wonderful
people that God brought into my
life.
My lecturer, Dr. Marie who
understood the gravity of my
03
The Robinsons
situation, cancelled all her
schedules, took time off from work
and took me to see Professor
Blamey for a second consultation to
make sure that I heard the
diagnosis correctly. She and many
other academic and administrative
staff members visited me regularly
bringing me a comfort bear, flowers
with messages of encouragement
to cheer me up.
Medical and Professional Support
from the Nottingham City Hospital
On the day of my surgery, I was put
on a gurney (a wheeled stretcher
used for transporting hospital
patients). As I was being wheeled
out, I felt like an athlete running a
race. The patients on both sides of
the ward spontaneously cheered
me on until I was out of sight. That
lifted my spirit.
When I had many bad days at a
stretch, the breast care nurse,
Judith Steward who was assigned
to me, was called in to help advise,
counsel and support me in coping
with the gruesome effects of
chemotherapy.
There, I remember lovingly, the
Dutch nurse who would tenderly
place my hand on a warm pad to
enable my blood to flow well for the
chemotherapy infusion.
Amidst all the pain and
suffering, there were some sweet
moments. During my stay at the
hospital, I was discharged for 2
hours to pick strawberries with
some Malaysian friends and get
warded again after returning from
the farm. On 2 other occasions, I
was discharged and warded again
after visiting 2 flower shows. That
was great fun which helped in the
healing process.
Support from the Cripps Health
Centre (campus hospital)
The university term reopened.
When my blood count was low and I
went wandering about Nightingale
Hall, all pale and weak, the campus
doctor, Dr. Nash, had me warded
for a month. He assured me that I
could stay as long as I liked. I was
very privileged. He was always right
on time – at 8.00 am every
morning he would visit me to
assess my medical condition. He
was very kind, gentle and shy.
Food wise, I had the best. A chef
from Hughes Hall came over to
cook the food I selected from the
menu (ala carte). My favourite food
was pork gammon with pineapple –
it was most delicious. On Sundays, I
received a treat from one of the
cooks who would prepare her
signature roast beef and Yorkshire
pudding. Though eating was a
challenge, the sumptuous food
whetted my appetite. Most nights,
the night nurse came round with a
glass of milk and some biscuits;
then, we chatted and watched
television till it was bed time. I was
really well taken care off.
Assistance and Concern from the
Community
I needed transport from Nightingale
Hall to the Nottingham City Hospital
for 25 sessions of radiation. It was
difficult juggling lectures and being
on time for the treatment
procedures. God provided Olive
04
With Myrtle, outside her Beeston home
Abel, a lovely woman from Beeston
Free Church, to whisk me off from
my lecture hall, the Trent Building to
the hospital in her car. On days
when I had no lectures, the
volunteer taxi drivers would come
and fetch me from Nightingale Hall
to the hospital, and back again,
picking patients along the way and
dropping them back. They were real
gentlemen; they would come to
fetch me, open the taxi door and on
arriving at the hospital, they would
open the taxi door, carry my things
to the reception and later, fetch me
from the reception to my hall of
residence. They only claimed for
petrol, as service was free. Such
acts of kindness!
Loving Prayer Support from Loved
Ones and Malaysians
My sister, Careen, visited me during
the Christmas holidays and so did
my other sister, Janet and her
family a few months later. They
brought me health food from
Malaysia. Other family members
lifted me up to the Lord for health
and healing. Two MPIK lecturers as
well as personal friends, Nga
Johnson, whilst on her visit to the
U.K. and Dr Yeow Poh Wha, reading
for her Ph. D. degree then,
intentionally visited me and stayed
a night to spend time with me. They
all brought me much cheer and
comfort. Malaysian students like
Anna Poorani and Gim had been a
source of great support, taking me
out for visits to the strawberry farm,
Cadbury factory and flower shows
to help cheer me up and get away
from the boredom of being cooped
up in the hospital room. Indeed, I
was greatly blessed by them.
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Reflections
Looking back, I stand amazed and
in awe of God for His unusual
favour, provision and protection for
me every step of the way! Indeed, it
is by the grace of God that I am
what I am today. I am truly humbled
and grateful beyond words.
I am just so thankful to God for
raising the Beeston community to
rally to my aid. They remind me of
Leviticus 19:34
“The foreigner residing among
you must be treated as your native
born... But let him (her) be among
you as one of the same country
and you shall love him (her)...”
At the end of the long, winding
and treacherous journey, God gave
me sweet success. I completed my
treatment and also my studies way
ahead of schedule. He also
enabled me to graduate with a B.
Ed. first class honours degree from
the University of Nottingham which
is ranked in the top 1% of all
universities worldwide.
I have been in remission without
medication for close to 20 years. It
gives me great confidence to say:
No matter where I wander,
No matter where I roam,
No matter where I am,
Even through the storm,
God is always there for me,
And that makes all the difference!
Koh Kok Tin retired as a teacher at
the mandatory age of 56. She is
currently working in the corporate
sector.
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THE TEACHER'S PRAYER
Lord, who am I to teach the way
To little children, day by day –
So prone myself to go astray?
I teach them knowledge – but I
know
How faint they flicker and how low
The candles of my knowledge
glow.
I teach them power to will and do –
But only now to learn anew
My own great weakness through
and through.
I teach them love for all mankind
And all God's creatures – but I find
My love comes lagging still behind.
Lord, if their guide I still must be,
O let the little children see
The teacher leaning hard on Thee.
- Edward A. Estapher
THE TEACHER'S PSALM
The Lord is my helper; I shall
not fear in guiding these pupils.
He leadeth me into the Holy of
Holies before I prepare this lesson.
He leadeth me to the heart of
the truth, and prepareth the minds
of the pupils for the truth.
He giveth me a vision of the
immortality of these lives.
He leadeth me to see the
sacredness of teaching His Book.
Yea, though I become
discouraged and despair at times,
yet shall I lift up my head, for His
promises cannot fail me.
His Word will not return to Him
void, and my faith undimmed shall
burn through all the coming years.
Thou walketh before me that
the seed planted shall grow.
Thou shall stand by my side on
Sunday, and speak through these
lips so that these pupils feel the
nearness of God.
Thou shalt cause each broken
effort to gather sheaves through
unnumbered years. My joy is full
when I know that every effort is
Thy name shall abide forever.
Surely Thy love and watchcare
shall be with me every day of my
life, and some day I shall live with
those who turn many to
righteousness forever and ever.
- Rosalee Mills Appleby
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God's Classroom in the Hospital Ward
By Mary Magdalene Teh
JESUS ALWAYS TEACHES HIS
DISCIPLES SPONTANEOUSLY
USING THE SURROUNDINGS AS
HIS CLASSROOM WHEREVER HE
WENT, BE IT THE WELL, THE
FIELD, THE TEMPLE OR THE SEA.
He also used modelling as a
method for teaching. I had an
experience that reaped marvellous
outcomes when I imitated Jesus'
modelling method with the hospital
ward as the classroom.
“My Mum is going for hip bone
operation this morning. Please pray
for a successful operation!” This
was a distress text message from
K, one of my co-advisers in the
college Christian Fellowship (CF).
K's mother, 81, has been bedridden for many years. She was
found on the floor with a fracture of
the left hip joint. She cannot
remember how she fell! Since she
is already bed-ridden, the operation
would not make any difference to
her movements. It was just to
relieve her of the excruciating pain.
I wanted to visit her but I was
down with flu bad enough for
medical consultation in the clinic.
At 1.00 p.m., she texted again,
“Surgery – fine. Recovering now.” I
decided to visit her only on the
following day after work. Then, an
idea just flashed into my mind: why
not I bring a car-load of my CF
students along, so that they will
have an opportunity to reciprocate
love and concern for their adviser?
At the same time, I was trying to
apply Jesus' method of discipleship:
modelling.
The following day, I was on
medical leave, knocked off by the
sedatives in the flu medication.
While I was sleeping, somehow I
was awakened to the prompting of
reading a portion of the Scriptures
to K's mother. But I have never met
her before and I was not sure if she
would appreciate it and so I
consulted K. With her green light, I
proceeded to pray for God to give
me the portion of the Scriptures He
wanted me to minister to her.
By the evening visiting hours,
my flu was getting much better and
I was then able to visit her as
scheduled, but with a surgical mask
over my face – to prevent the
aggravation of her condition by the
possibility of the spread of the flu
virus.
On the way, I felt led to share
with our team to sing a song to her.
They were worship leaders in the CF
and so I gave them the opportunity
to choose a song.
When we arrived at her bed
side, she looked very happy to see
us. Repeatedly, she said “God bless
you” to each and every one of us.
To the students, who had just
finished their exam that morning,
she said, “God bless you with good
results.” Her mouth, instead of
groaning and complaining about
her pain or discomfort, was full of
blessing for others! She was a
godly, old lady!
Then I asked her if she would
like us to sing her a song. She
readily agreed. The CF president
led us to sing Give Thanks. When
we started singing, she joined in,
singing happily and worshipping
God! The Holy Spirit led me in a
prayer of thanksgiving, in line with
the song. Then I read out to her,
“Be joyful always … Give thanks in
all circumstances…” (1
Thessalonians 5: 16-18). God was
at work in stringing the three
themes together for the very short
and sweet visit!
When we came out of the
hospital, I was overjoyed and
overwhelmed by the visit. I asked
each of my students how they felt
about the visit.
“Wah! She had high spirit to
sing even though she was in pain,”
said Jek, “and she joined in the
singing with much longing to
worship God!” Yes, Jek was sharp in
his observation: she had longed for
a worship service even though in
pain! Indeed, God granted her the
desire of her heart by giving her a
super mini worship service by her
sick bed! When she said to Jek,
“God bless you with good results,”
Jek felt God answering his prayer
and was instantly freed from his
anxiety about his examination that
day.
Fel felt very nice to see Auntie's
high spirit of joining in the singing
06
even though she was weak. She
marvelled that in spite of the pain,
Aunty sang to worship God and was
willing to listen to God's Word. She
felt very encouraged. “I feel I am
blessed more than the patient!” Fel
admitted. “I'll visit the sick in
future,” she decided, “and I'll pray
more for the sick.” Fel has not done
this before. This first experience in
her life has touched her heart so
much so that the resultant effect
on her was a compassionate heart
that would reach out to those in
pain.
Gen felt happy because the old
lady was happy about our visit. She
was right because K said, “My
mother appreciated the fellowship,
prayers and singing brought by this
group!” “I feel she is blessed,” Gen
assured, “and will recover faster!”
To Gen, not only did the mother's
response impacted her, but also K's
caring and loving way of nursing her
mother was a model to her. She
said, “when my mother grows old,
this is how I will take care of her,
too.”
Tas said, “I feel a sense of
fulfillment because we helped her
even though we don't know her.”
She felt good she could serve a
fellow believer. “Very encouraging!”
she exclaimed, “and very blessed!”
“In future, can we go and visit old
folks' homes?” she asked. To Tas,
the visit has impacted her heart so
much so that the resultant effect
on her was a burden for the elderly.
Half of the 4 students who went
with me were the ones who had
been hospitalised: Jek, the CF
leader was hospitalised for 2
broken hand bones surgery while
Gen was hospitalised for an
appendix operation. They had been
ministered by our CF members who
took turns to wait upon them day
and night by their sick beds. When
these 'king' and 'queen' were
discharged from the hospital, their
brothers and sisters in Christ had
continued to minister to their needs
in the hostel, even in the lecture
rooms! Now they are the ones to
respond promptly to hospital visits!
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Having tasted the sweetness of the
love of Christ showered upon them
by their fellow CF members, they
are passing on this love to others,
even strangers. Indeed, vision is
not taught but caught.
At the point of writing, Mary was a
lecturer at Institut Pendidikan Guru
Kampus Sultan Abdul Halim. She
has retired and is now attached to
a seminary to be equipped for
pastoral care ministry.
"Give me the love that leads the way, the faith that nothing can dismay,
the hope no disappointments tire, the passion that will burn like fire;
Let me not sink to be a clod: Make me Thy fuel, Flame of God."
~ Amy Carmichael ~
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Meditate on the interesting paraphrase of I Corinthians 13
on the importance of love in education.
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God's Approval Mattered Most
Interview with Winston Kao
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE
TEACHING?
I was a Boys' Brigade (BB) member
when I was studying at Horley
Methodist Secondary School, Teluk
Intan. Most of us in the BB were
from non-Christian homes. Many of
us came to the Lord through our
involvement in the BB. This was
how I got interested in the church
youth ministry. Sharing Christ with
youth became my priority. A good
way to reach out to these young
people would be to be their teacher.
My late BB Captain, Mr Ong Tit Hoe
was also a teacher. There were
many other BB officers who were all
teachers.
Frankly, teaching was not my
first choice as a career. I was more
interested in pursuing a
pharmaceutical science career. To
me, being a pharmacist is better
paid. Moreover, the majority thinks
that teaching is more suited for
females. Sometimes we base our
decisions on what other people
think or say rather than on our
convictions and on what pleases
God. It was indeed a struggle when
I was offered to study Bachelor of
Pharmacy at USM after my first year
at the University. Despite the
struggle, I was very clear about
whom I would serve – Christ. God's
approval mattered most, not
man's. Galatians 1:10 says “If I
were still trying to please people, I
would not be a servant of Christ”.
That was how I ended up being a
teacher.
Share with us your career path
I started my career as a teacher on
16 April 1979 after graduating with
a teaching degree from Universiti
Sains Malaysia. My first posting was
to SM Seri Muara, Bagan Datoh. In
1985, I was transferred to SM Seri
Perak, Teluk Intan, which was my
hometown.
The following year, 1986 I
applied to join Maktab Perguruan
Kinta, Ipoh as a Mathematics and
Science lecturer. In 1996, the Lord
bless me with a scholarship to
study for my Masters at University
of Alberta, Canada. I continued to
serve at the same college after I
graduated in 1997. In 1999,
Maktab Perguruan Kinta, Ipoh
moved to their new campus in
Perlis. I asked to be transferred to
the present IPG Kampus Ipoh in
Hulu Kinta, Perak. I remained at the
IPG until I retired in October 2015
after putting in 36 years and 4
months of service with the Ministry
of Education.
When I was teaching in
secondary school, I served as BB
Officer and when I moved on to
teachers training college, I helped
out in the college CF.
Winston with Goh Kai Lian, Seah Jiak Choo and teacher trainees
(Ipoh Teachers' Day Celebration 2015)
What were some highlights in your
teaching career?
Throughout my teaching career, I
have served as a teacher, lecturer,
teacher trainer, Master trainer and
Head of Department. I was
appointed Pensyarah Cemerlang
(excellent lecturer) in 2008.
God is good and has blessed
me with the opportunity to further
my studies to Canada and also a
three-week attachment at
Queensland University of
Technology, Brisbane, Australia.
Are there any regret/s?
Not really.
I see teaching as touching lives
and a way of making a difference in
our world.
The teaching journey, as a
lifelong journey of making a
difference in the lives of young
people, has its fair share of
challenges, successes and tears.
Nevertheless, I enjoyed my journey.
What would you have done
differently?
Very often as teachers, we rattle on
and on, not giving a chance for our
students to express themselves.
James 1:19 says, “Understand this,
my dear brothers and sisters: You
must all be quick to listen, slow to
speak, and slow to get angry”.
Being eager to listen and slow to
speak is a willingness to
temporarily set aside our desire to
be heard so that we can focus on
understanding where the other
person is coming from. It is a
willingness to hear the other person
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Book Review
by Sophia Ho
out.
What we say have great impact
on our students.
Why would you encourage more
youths to take up teaching?
Nelson Mandela said, “What counts
in life is not the mere fact that we
lived. It is what difference we have
made to the lives of others that will
determine the significance of the
life we lead”. What he said sums it
all up, the impact of a teacher.
Yes, youth should take up
teaching.
Has it been worth it? Why?
Yes.
Quoting Hendry Brooks Adams,
“A teacher affects eternity; he can
never tell where his influence
stops”.
It is teachers' passion that helps
them and their students escape the
slow death of 'business as usual'.
How would you describe your
journey in ONE sentence?
Teaching with a heart for God, and
have a heart for people.
HEART TO HEART WITH ASIAN
LEADERS: Exclusive interviews
on Crisis, Comebacks and
Character
by John Ng & Alvin Foo
Heart to heart with Asian
Leaders is an intimate and
insightful look at leadership
issues first-hand with 28
prominent persons across
politics, business, finance and
academia in the region. It is an
invaluable tool for all in these
challenging and fast-changing
times – a resource which will
profit leaders in the boardroom
and living room, office and
classroom.”
This is a refreshing book to
get a glimpse into the lives of
many leaders. It is easy-to-read
in the form of interview
questions and responses. It
reminds us that all the
successful leaders have
encountered crisis after crisis.
However, they refused to stay
dejected. They bounced back
from their adversities. I was
particularly blessed reading
about the leaders from Malaysia
including Lim Guan Eng. It
encourages me that Malaysia
has hope. There is a generation
of leaders arising in our land
that are committed to integrity,
humility, recovery and divine
intervention.
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God's Calling and Equipping
Interview with Donna Dawi
1. My family and my schooling
background
I am the second child of three
children. My father is a teacher and
my mother is a homemaker. My
primary school was located in the
interior area in a total enrolment of
40 pupils. When I was in Form 2,
my father was transferred to Betong
town, where I finished my
secondary school.
2. The offers of study after SPM.
Why did I choose teaching?
After SPM, God was so gracious to
grant all that I asked for; JPA,
PETRONAS, MATRICULATION, IPT
(UNIMAS). However, the two most
outstanding offers were from JPA
(Medical) and Petronas (Petroleum
Engineering) with full scholarships
for both. In fact, I already enrolled
at Universiti Teknologi Petronas
(UTP) in May 2010 and had
undergone the orientation week. As
we were briefed of our career
prospects, I then realized that
engineering is not appealing to me.
The nature of the work seems not
compatible with the desire of my
heart. Within the same week, the
JPA result also came out and I
came to know that I got it as well!
The enrolment was scheduled to be
in July at Taylor's College, Shah
Alam. Having that as my back-up
plan if I did not get into the Institute
of Teacher Education (ITE), I would
opt out of the UTP the second week
itself. Less than a month later, the
ITE result came out and I got it! My
heart soared with joy though I knew
I had to let go of the JPA overseastwinning programme. Somehow,
prior to that, I was certain that the
medical field is also not for me after
having gone through 5 days of
observation in the Sarawak General
Hospital (prior to the JPA interview).
The sight of blood and sickly people
was too overwhelming for me, let
alone to help them.
In retrospect, I am most grateful
to God who not only graciously
answered my prayers, but also
allowed me to 'have a peek' into
both worlds before arriving at my
final decision. I have no regrets
letting go of the other two
'professional' careers for it was in
the Institute of Teacher Education,
Penang Campus I found my real
passion. To top it all, I encountered
Christ afresh!
3. How has the training in IPGKPP
impacted me as a Christian
teacher?
At IPGKPP, our CF is very active. We
had many activities such as annual
camps organised in collaboration
with TCF, FES and CFs from other
colleges. Our CF is also privileged to
join TCF Teacher's Day High Tea
every year. The commitment
rendered by our lecturers who
faithfully shepherded us over the
years is inspiring!
4. How can you use what you have
learnt in IPG in the future as a
Christian teacher?
My spiritual growth is influenced by
Bible Study Fellowship (BSF). In
2012, I joined the BSF women's
class, having been invited by my
lecturer, Madam Tan Lee Wah. The
following year, I was invited into the
leadership as a Children's leader. I
served there for two years. In 2015,
I could not join the women's class
as my practicum was in Nibong
Tebal, away from Penang island.
However, God in His sovereignty
had a different plan. The BSF Young
Adults began its pilot class in July,
after I had finished my practicum.
Once again, I was invited into the
leadership, but this time as a Group
Leader.
Wonderfully, God used both
experiences mightily to mould,
shape and discipline me. I learnt to
be dependent upon Him for
everything especially time
management. Looking back, it is
truly amazing to walk the talk of
faith. I remember the first week I
became a Group Leader, I was so
overwhelmed and my mind was
loaded with thoughts which lasted
for a few days. On Monday evening
(the first class of BSF), as I took the
matter before the LORD prior to the
night class, it dawned on me that
“It is not about how good a
shepherd I am, but how good the
Good Shepherd is. Ultimately, it is
about my submission to His
leading.” Immediately, the 'storm' in
me subsided and peace flooded my
soul!
5. Tell me why you choose to come
to Cambodia to attend the annual
national conference for
Cambodian Christian teachers
with TCFM. What do you hope to
achieve in this trip?
My visit to Cambodia was actually
more than 'my' choice. It was a
generous gift by a kind soul who
chose to bless me unworthy though
I am. For her generosity, I had a
memorable trip, and God's grace
made evident!
Through the trip, I hope to have
a wider worldview with regards to
brothers and sisters in Christ living
In my traditional costume
with Aunty Magdalene.
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see the salvation sent from God.'”
Luke 3:4-6
With Penang BSF Young Adults Teaching Leaders and friends
in another country.
6. What were your reactions when
Indy told you that you have to do a
workshop on story-telling with
Jessica in Cambodia?
Honestly, I was quite surprised to
be informed that we were given a
slot. We both felt inadequate and
unworthy to share anything just yet.
Lifting our eyes above the
circumstances and walking by faith
instead, our inadequacy drove us to
depend on Him all the more. I
remember Jess and I had our first
discussion feeling quite
overwhelmed and concerned. We
took the matter to the LORD in
prayer and in no time, we had our
plans put together!
7. Tell me about your experiences
in Cambodia/ What were
positive? What were interesting?
What can be improved?
The annual conference itself very
much reminds me of our own
trainee teachers' camp that we
organise annually. I consider it a
great privilege to meet teachers
from different provinces of
Cambodia and to listen to their
stories. It is also humbling to know
that some of them teach simply for
the love of teaching and not for
personal gain. For instance, a
teacher whom we met in a village at
the outskirt of Phnom Penh spends
his afternoon to teach Bible to the
children in the village. He does so
voluntarily and is only paid USD1
per month. Hearing that, I was
stunned. The weight of his selfless
service carries eternal value. His
example prompted me to ask
myself, “How do I serve the LORD in
my community?”
8. How can you use the
Cambodian experiences in your
work as a Christian teacher?
As a Christian teacher, the
Cambodian experiences remind me
that we are all part of God's big
plan. We each have a role to play in
His kingdom no matter where we
are. We have the privilege of
interacting with the next generation
every day.
Like John the Baptist, we are
the “voice shouting in the
wilderness. 'Prepare for the LORD's
coming! Clear the road for him! The
valleys will be filled, and the
mountains and hills be made level.
The curves will be straightened,
and the rough places made
smooth. And then all people will
9. Tell me about your future plans
as a Christian teacher in a primary
school, wherever you are posted.
When I first read the question
above, my default response was to
plan and strategize in my mind
'What would I do?' 'How do I go
about it?' Seconds later, I was
gently reminded… 'Wait, I must be
careful not to advance my own
agenda in His name. The issue is
not so much of what 'I' do (though it
is certainly a valid question), but
how is my submission to the King of
Kings? Servant that I am, do I
obediently submit to my Master's
plan and commit to His will or do I
conceive my own ideas of how do I
serve Him?
Therefore, as my future lies in
the hand of the LORD, so does my
everything else, let it be “the one
thing I ask of the LORD, the thing I
seek most, is to live in the house of
the LORD all the days of my life,
delighting in the LORD's perfections
and meditating in His Temple.”
Psalm 27:4-5
SK St John pupils attending Christian
Fellowship meeting
With my students from SK St. John, Betong (where I was attached for Internship)
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God's Unconditional Love
by Jessica Rine
WHEN I HEARD ABOUT THE
MISSION TRIP TO CAMBODIA, I
WAS EAGER TO GO. I have heard
and read about people who went
there. The opportunity finally came
and I said “Yes!” to God without
knowing where would I get the
money to join the mission. I only
believed when God calls, He
provides! Indeed, He provided for
me financially to attend the
conference. I thought I was doing
God a favour by joining the mission
trip to Cambodia but it turned out
He is the one who blessed me more
than I can ever imagine.
I experienced God's
unconditional love through the
Cambodians. They welcomed me
and treated me as their family in
Christ. God's love radiates through
them. Language though limited did
not stop us from sharing God's
wonderful works in our life. Though
we came from different countries,
we shared a common desire for the
transformation of our nations. I
believe it is God who has put the
desire in our hearts to be the
catalysts for changes in our
countries. The sharing among us
encourages me to be strong and
continue to depend on God in order
to become a teacher who is able to
inspire my pupils!
The item that my friend and I
were to present to the Cambodians
was the story “I love you to the
moon and back”. It was a story
about a father who loves his son
more than the child can ever
imagine. After telling the story, I
could see all of them were
encouraged. They were able to
quickly shout the meaning of the
story for them. One of them said
“God's love is unconditional!” My
heart was touched to witness how
God spoke to them through the
story.
Next, I was inspired by how they
worshipped God with all their
hearts, minds and bodies. The way
they sang, danced and poured their
hearts to God was amazing. They
withheld nothing back during their
worship. They proclaimed God's
Name and the wonder of His work
in their lives. I am blessed to
witness their openness to the Holy
Spirit as they worshipped.
God is alive in them! Therefore, I
cannot help but be alive, too! The
friendship and openness that they
offered brought so much joy in me.
As I was leaving Cambodia, I told
myself “I'll bring this joy to inspire
others especially the children
whom I'll be teaching!”
Jessica Rine and Donna Dawi
LEARN 8 GRΣΣK WORDS
~ 4 Types of Love ~
Meaning
Storge
Affection
Love between family members
Philia
Friendship
Love between friends
Eros
Romance
Love between a married couple
Agape
Unconditional Love
The Love of God
~ 4 Dimensions of the WORD of GOD ~
(adapted from History's First Alphabet: Understanding Hebrew Letters & Numbering with Chuck Pierce & Robert Heidler)
Logos
The living Word of God
Rhema
The spirit Word of God
Zoe
The spoken Word of God
Implication
Theologians can teach the One can enter into the logos
Word out of their own under- Word and still not know the
standing and knowledge
Creator God
What one is thinking about in
the Word becomes spirit
It can become spoken by a
believer from his/her spirit
Significance
No relationship with the Word One can use the Word as a
statement of beliefs and it
guides the way one thinks
and communicates
One is reading the Word/Bible Where the Word once spoken/
story and all of a sudden,
declared, all of a sudden has a
something illuminates in/to
penetrating power of life that
oneself
causes every death structure
around a person to give way
Meaning
Graphe
The written/recorded
Word of God
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God's Transformed Soul
by Wong Yew Choong
QUESTION: HOW DID YOU, WITH
YOUR MIND TRAINED IN SCIENCE,
COME TO ACCEPT JESUS CHRIST
AS YOUR LORD AND SAVIOUR?
Back in 2012, I was interested
enough to find out more about God
that I started checking on some
Biblical truths. The first truth is that
God created Adam and Eve and all
people are descendants of this first
couple.
According to molecular biology
researches, scientists have found
that all human beings, despite
differences in colour and ethnicity,
are really members of a single
species that had a recent origin in
one place. Geneticists, after looking
at an international population of
genes, had picked up a trail of DNA
that led them to a single woman
from whom we all descended.
In 1955, the TIME magazine
carried a short article, saying there
was scientific evidence that there
was an ancestral man whose
genetic material on the
chromosome is common to every
man on earth. Although these
studies of human DNA may not
point conclusively to the claim that
we are all descendants of the
Biblical Adam and Eve, it is
interesting to note that they are
consistent with what the Bible says:
"And He made from one man
every nation of mankind to live on
all the face of the earth, having
determined allotted periods and the
boundaries of their dwelling place,
that they should seek God, and
perhaps feel their way toward Him
and find Him.” (Acts 17:26)
The second Biblical truth that I
looked at was that God created a
"mature" earth and the entire
universe in a fully functional state.
According to Charles Darwin's
Theory of Evolution, Man could
have evolved over millions of years
from an ape. But he has no hard,
irrefutable proof that that was what
had happened. Furthermore,
classic Darwinism had been largely
replaced by theories that differed
greatly from one another. Today,
many scientists point out that these
theories are inconsistent with
known Science. For example:
(1) cosmic evolution violates known
Law of Physics,
(2) evolution is mathematically
impossible and
(3) evolution is biologically
unattainable.
Since the Biblical truths that I
examined were consistent with
modern scientific knowledge, I next
proceeded to focus attention on
myself to find out what was
preventing me from accepting
Christ Jesus. Eventually, with
sincere and honest soul-searching I
came to realize that it was my
PRIDE that was the resistant wall
between my Lord and me.
I considered the case of a boss
and his employee and asked myself
the question: “Can their
understanding and relationship
with each other improve if the
employee thinks he knows more
than his boss and take an arrogant
stance at meetings?”
Of course "No" is the answer.
Therefore, the pride in me had to
be absent when I listened to His
servants' preaching and the
reading of His Word if I desired to
know Him intimately.
Up to that point in time, I still
had several issues regarding
statements like "Seeing is
believing" and "God is Spirit."
In Science, we begin with a
theory. Then we look for evidential
data to support the theory after
which we conclude if the theory has
been proven or not. Take, for
example, WiFi. We cannot see it
and most of us do not understand
what it is. Does it mean that it does
not exist? By no means! There are
evidences all around us that WiFi
exists and it is invaluable to
mankind for all forms of
communication purposes.
Now, let us turn to God.
According to the Holy Bible, God is
Spirit (John 4:24) and we cannot
see Him or sense Him with our
normal senses. Does that mean
there is no God? By no means! If
we have witnessed evil spirits doing
bad things to people, then why is it
so difficult to accept that there is a
good Spirit who only wants to love
us unconditionally, here on earth
and beyond?
I can testify that God exists. I
used to love horse-racing. I loved to
see horses running in a race. They
moved so gracefully and swiftly and
showed such powerful competitive
spirit to finish the race. I was invited
to become a member of a local elite
horse-racing club and started
attending race meetings regularly.
Then the temptation of a small
wager for monetary gain set in. That
was the beginning of my addiction
to horse-racing. It consumed a lot
of my time in studying racing forms
in the hope of picking a winner.
Then as my addiction grew and I
found I did not have time for
anything else, I began to realise
that that was not the way to try to
make some extra cash at the
expense of my family life. I did
make several attempts at staying
away from the races. But, at best,
on my own will power, I only
managed to refrain for just a month
or two before the call of the tracks
became too hard to resist.
After I accepted Christ as my
Lord and Master, I found my own
will became less important while
His will became greater. I praise
and thank my Lord for steering me
away from my desire to go back to
the races. By His grace and mercy
my addiction to horse-racing ended.
He gave me other good options to
spend my spare time. I have not
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gone back to racing for almost
three years now. My racing friends
are amazed. Truly I am thankful for
His bountiful grace and mercies to
me.
To my so-called scientist's mind,
what has happened in my life (and
there were many more changes in
my life and countless blessings that
I do not have space to testify in this
abridged version of my testimony) is
proof enough that God is real and
He loves me. All believers in Christ
have experienced His immense love
and power in transforming their
lives.
I hereby testify that God exists
because He has transformed my life
through His Word (Romans 12:2).
Furthermore, God answers my
prayer (Psalm 6:9) when I approach
Him humbly, reverently and
sincerely. What more evidence or
proof do I need to accept Him as my
Lord and Saviour so that I can be
dead to sin and alive in God
(Romans 6:1-23)?
My approach to finding God may
differ from others but just as God
first loved me it was His Holy Spirit
that first touched my heart and
opened my eyes and mind to the
Gospel of Christ. No amount of
reasoning or thinking can achieve
that. It is God's free gift to all of us
so that we cannot boast we earned
it by our own good deeds. The
gracious God however, leaves the
decision to us whether or not to
accept His free gift of salvation.
God does not want robotic
obedience.
I willingly accepted Jesus Christ
as my Lord and Saviour in 2012 at
the age of 72. In 2013, I was
baptised in the Kledang Community
Chapel, Ipoh.
Wong Yew Choong was born on 28
March 1940 in Kuala Lumpur to
immigrant parents from China. He
was educated in Methodist Boys'
School, Kuala Lumpur until Upper
Six in 1959. He studied in the
University of Malaya on a Malaysian
Government Scholarship,
graduating with a B.Sc in Chemistry
and Geology in 1963, and an
Honours degree in Chemistry in
1964.
Upon his graduation, he
immediately commenced work at
the Geological Survey Malaysia HQ
(GSM) in Ipoh. Later, he was
promoted to Senior Geochemist in
1976, a super scale appointment.
He was awarded a British Council
scholarship to do his post-graduate
course in Geochemical Exploration
in the Institute of Geological
Sciences, London, UK. In 1984, he
was promoted as the Director of
Geochemistry. He retired in 1995.
His wife is Tan Meng Eng, a
retired English Language teacher of
Methodist Girls' School, Ipoh.
Taking Spiritual Retreats
by Dr Alex Tan
A MILITARY RETREAT IS OFTEN
CONSIDERED AS LOSING GROUND
AS THE SOLDIERS ARE INVOLVED
IN MOVING BACK OR
WITHDRAWAL. However, not
everyone sees it as that. General
Oliver Prince Smith during the
Korean War declared, "Retreat, hell!
We're not retreating, we're just
advancing in a different direction”!
A spiritual retreat is not losing
ground. It is taking a step sideways
to reflect upon and to consolidate
the advances of our spiritual life.
Our lives are very busy. We are
swept away by its non-stop
demands. The insistent attentiongrabbing noise of the mobile
phones, television and social media
drowns out the voice of God. Our
bodies are stressed resulting in
hypertension, heart attacks and
strokes. Our souls are fragmented
and disjointed. Our lives feel
disconnected and surreal. We feel
as if we are drowning in a strong
flowing river, being swept away with
no control over our lives. All we can
do is to try to keep our heads above
the water. And when we do have a
moment to take stock, we wonder
where the months and years have
gone.
It is essential for those who are
serious about their spiritual life to
take time out for retreats. As
mentioned, retreats are when we
intentionally step aside to reflect
about our lives – in Christ and to
listen to Him who is speaking into
our lives. Retreats are
opportunities for us to
• assess the state of our spiritual
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
life
making important decisions
pray
listen to God
rest
recharge
recommit
renew
reassess our ministries
Retreats are of many different
forms. There are the formal guided
retreat (usually under a spiritual
director), informal group retreat,
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and personal retreat. Personal
retreat may be conducted by a
person on his/her own. Frequency
of taking a retreat depends on
individuals. The length of a retreat
varies. It may be a 3-day retreat, a
one week, one month or three
months.
In silent retreats, speaking is
kept to the minimum. There are no
fixed place for a retreat. We may
have a retreat at a retreat centre
(which is ideal because they
provide accommodation and food),
a hotel/resort, a caravan or a tent.
Or even in a home. Example of a
personal retreat in 2011
<http://www.kairos2.com/retreatA
ug2011.htm>
The focus of a retreat is not in
how it is structured but in spending
time with ourselves and with the
Lord. The keyword is listen.
• In a retreat, we listen to our
bodies. Some of us are not very
good custodians of our bodies.
Often I find that most people
sleep a lot during their retreats.
This is because many of us are
not aware of how tired we really
are.
• We listen to our lived
experiences. Many of us need
time to process our experiences.
There are grief processes that
need closure. Issues of deep
hurt and wounds need to be
identified and undergo the
process of healing. There are
areas of forgiveness that need
to be worked through.
• We listen to the silence in our
lives. Such silence which is
found between words, speaks of
our deepest needs, and of our
innermost demons. Silence
allows us to name and face
these needs and demons.
• We listen to the sound of our
prayers. Our prayers reflect our
inner spiritual life. This is
especially true of our
prayerlessness. Though we give
a lot of lip service to prayer, time
for prayer is the first to
disappear in a busy life.
• We listen to the word of God by
reading the Bible. Bible-reading
is an essential component of a
retreat. In a retreat, we have
time to read the Bible slowly
and reflectively. In normal days,
many of us read the Bible either
to prepare a sermon or for cell
group Bible study.
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impression, a strong conviction
or even an audible voice. The
whole process of a retreat is to
slow us down so that we can
hear the still, small voice of
God. As Elijah cannot hear God
during the noise of wind,
earthquake and fire, we often
cannot hear him in the earthshaking and stormy events of
our everyday–lives.
• In a retreat, we step aside to
listen to the whisper of a still,
small voice, to re-evaluate our
lives, to pray and obey. It is
essential for us to make time for
retreats. This is especially if our
lives are very busy. Allocating
time for retreats should be part
of our planning and ministry. I
recommend that we plan for at
least two retreats a year. We
must realise that we serve out
of our being. There is always the
danger that we run on empty.
We may get away by serving
when we are spiritually empty
but it will be a matter of time
before we crash and suffer burn
out. We must realize that when
we fall, not only we will be hurt,
more importantly many others
who depend on us and look up
to us will be hurt, too. So, take
time out to step aside in our
busy life and listen.
·• We listen to the voice of God.
This may be an inner strong
Interestingly, the Chinese word for listen is 'ting'. It is a combination of the Chinese characters
of being present, seeing, focusing, feeling and thinking.
Dr Alex Tang is a Consultant
Paediatrician as well as a lecturer
with Monash University's Medical
Faculty. He is also an elder with the
Presbyterian church and is an
active writer and blogger in the
area of spiritual formation and life.
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God's Earthen Vessel
by Hoh Mey Fong
I AM PRIVILEGED THAT GOD
GRANTED ME AN OPPORTUNITY
TO ATTEND A 9-MONTH
LEADERSHIP TRAINING COURSE
IN ASIAN RURAL INSTITUTE (ARI)
IN JAPAN FROM MARCH TO
DECEMBER 2015.
God widened my perspectives
on topics in agriculture,
globalisation and localisation,
pollution, war and environment. He
also deepened my understanding
of the entire cycle of nature and life
that He intended for His whole
creation.
Our most important needs for
survival are oxygen, food and water.
In Genesis 1, I understand all these
were God's free gifts to us 'in the
beginning''. Indeed, “By faith we
understand that the world was
framed (fashioned, put in order,
aligned properly and equipped for
the intended purpose) by the Word
of God so that the things which are
seen were not made of things
which are visible” (Hebrews 11:3)
God also commanded us to 'fill
the earth and subdue it; have
dominion' over His creation
(Genesis 1:28). What does this
mean? Does it mean I can do
whatever I wish to God's creation?
The answer is NO! We are to be
good stewards of God's creation!
We are to take good care, protect
and preserve all that God has richly
blessed us and the succeeding
generations.
As I witness how nature is being
exploited, the environment is being
polluted and the whole world is in
total chaos, I think we as God's
people also –do not take God's
commandment seriously. Instead,
we forged partnerships with the
world's ways of doing things.
I sinned against God by being a
“watcher” of all the destruction and
doing nothing about it. Ironically,
most Christians today are not
oppressed by pagan warlords. We
are oppressed by mindsets from
the devil. Satan fills our minds with
these thoughts: “I cannot do
anything”, “I have only a small
voice”, and “I have no power and
authority”.
The Lord wants His sharp, living
and active Word to pierce through
the world's structures and create
His order. Then we will recover
blessings that have been hidden
through disorder and chaos from
past seasons. Therefore, everything
that gets out of God's order/
framework deviates from the Word
of God. In other words, the Word of
God has been displaced and Satan
is creating and operating
confusion/chaos.
If all the chaotic conditions in
our world hurt me deeply, I cannot
imagine how much more they hurt
God who still owns creation?
What should be my response as
a care-taker of God's creation? How
can I make a difference as I stand
in the gap in this season?
“In the beginning” when it was
spoken by God in Genesis 1:1, are
three powerful words that are still
relevant yesterday, today and
tomorrow. Satan has been using
Man to stop the power of this
phrase from continuing its
operation, its energy and its
creative power. Satan through
religion must make us think that
God did this and He is not doing
this anymore! The power of God's
Living Word is for us to enter into
God's “In the beginning” again!
God gave me a dream as a
young child about my involvement
in agriculture and livestock.
However, my setback was I became
a school dropout. I could not read
or spell correctly. Therefore, it
meant I could not continue with my
studies. However, God in His
redemptive grace, wisdom and
knowledge has something far
better. My past does not control my
future. God controls my future. God
has redeemed my past as an
adopted and dyslexic child. He has
given me hope and His Word as my
strategy to fulfil His promises and
plans for my future. I give God all
glory, honour and praise because
my Abba Father who loves me
deeply fulfilled my long-forgotten
dream after 30 years!
If I did enter institutions of
higher learning earlier in life, I
might have learnt all about
chemical farming like others.
However, not many people fully
understand the word 'sustainable'
in sustainable agriculture. Even our
universities that offer this topic are
teaching chemical agriculture which
proved to be destructive. Therefore,
we are now concerned about global
warming, climate change, pollution
and a host of encircling disasters.
Today I serve among Orang Asli
(OA) to help them understand
sustainable agriculture and at a
deeper level to guide them back to
“in the beginning” so that they and
their households can enter into the
fullness of God's plan for them.
I know I still need tremendous
downloads of God's wisdom and
grace to do my small part for His
creation. I trust that all my brothers
and sisters in Christ will pause,
rethink and ask our Heavenly
Father to make us His change
agents for the sake of future
generations so that they can
continue to enjoy God's creation.
My desire is to see young
children enjoy nature, and
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connections and favours. I cannot
do it alone. Let us do it together
with joyful hearts and laughter.
understand the importance of the
whole cycle of life and food security.
So, I really want to see schools
begin to have topics that can
achieve these objectives be it as a
subject or by starting a sustainable
agriculture club or society.
My prayers are that God will give
school principals and teachers the
vision and boldness to act, as God
speaks from His creation.
Our education system can
include Agriculture Science as an
attractive subject for our young
people to pursue. May God open
His floodgates to bring in
passionate servant-teachers who
are willing to share in schools.
Prayer:
“Lord, we speak, we decree and we
declare that we are ready to start
again “in the beginning”. May the
covenant power of Your voice be
released into the earth realm/ our
spheres of influence to create and
continue to do so! Let your Spirit's
power unlock our whole being and
give us your divine blueprint to
define the reality around us.”
This is my prayer, desire and
dream that need divine
MY BACKGROUND
I am a Malaysian Chinese born in
Kuala Lumpur. I was brought up in
a typical Chinese family who
practised ancestral worship. I have
an elder sister and a younger one,
and all three of us were
respectively adopted into the family.
I attended 6 years of primary and 5
years of secondary studies in Air
Panas Girls' School, Kuala Lumpur.
After leaving secondary 5, I took on
a number of jobs, working with the
Royal Selangor Pewter Company as
a caster for 9 months, then in the
design department designing
packaging boxes for more than 5
years. During that time, I also took
up evening and weekend classes
on black and white photography,
pottery and horticulture.
After that, I went to United
Kingdom and Europe for a one-year
working holiday. Upon my return
from my working holiday, I worked
as a part-time freelance tour guide
and newspaper delivery vendor.
Finally, I ventured full-time into the
cake and food business – catering
for finger food and set lunches
besides operating a stall selling
bread and cakes in the canteen of
a university. In 2008, I took up a
job with Malaysian CARE, a nonprofit Christian charity organisation
established in Malaysia in 1979. I
FOOD FOR THOUGHT ON FOOD SCARCITY AND SECURITY:
Farmers can do without professionals,
but professionals cannot do without farmers.
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2016 VOL 28 ISSUE 1
am supported by my local
assembly, the Saint Andrew's
Presbyterian International Church,
to serve in Malaysian CARE as a
community staff.
As a child I have always loved
the outdoors, and have a keen
interest in caring for animals,
plants, agriculture and nature. I
enjoy jungle trekking, caving,
photography and activities that
connect me with nature in one way
or another.
Deep inside me, I nurture a
passion to help in any way that I
could, to reach out to people who
are helpless and living in poverty to
meet their basic needs for survival
with secured food supply and to
empower them to have the
independence to sustain their living
with the proper use and upkeep of
the natural environment. I cherish
and envision a stage where needy
and marginalised people have all
their basic needs met by living in
close harmony with nature. God has
richly provided all the necessary
means for us to enjoy.
Hoh Mey Fong was a product of a
school system that failed to identify
her as a dyslexic child and
harnessed her God-given gifts.
However, through divine
intervention, God has deepened
her faith in Him, enriched her in
every way and empowered her to
serve our indigenous people
through food-life education and
sustainable farming. God gave her
a unique opportunity to have a
head-on, hands-on and heart-on
opportunity to study in the Asian
Rural Institute (ARI) Japan for 9
months. She is now a community
staff member of Malaysian CARE,
Perak.
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In Partnership
Ayin Vav – Year To Establish Your Future
WE HAVE ALL ENTERED INTO
2016 WHICH IS ALSO THE
HEBREW YEAR 5776, THE YEAR
OF AYIN VAV.
Interestingly, Ayin is the Hebrew
word for 'eye'. God wants us in TCF
and the education mountain to
increase our abilities to see, look
again to see better and beyond
ourselves. We also need to be
aware that the eye can be a symbol
of evil and to discern the occult
forces around us in the field of
education.
In 2 Chronicles 16:9 “For the
eyes of the LORD runs to and fro
throughout the whole earth, to
show Himself strong on behalf of
those whose heart is loyal to Him.”
So, 2016 is the year when God is
looking for those who are
committed to Him so that He can
show Himself strong.
As educators and
communicators at different levels,
whether in the private or public
domains we need to be filled and
empowered by the Holy Spirit to
move forward in faith and see God's
miracles and breakthroughs in our
consistent mindsets, concerns and
constraints within the education
system and web of relationships.
The other Hebrew
letter for 5776/2016
is Vav. It is a picture
of a connecting pin
which holds and joins
things together like
God's Tabernacle for
40 years in the
Vav
wilderness. He
tabernacles among
us today. Vav can mean hook, peg,
nail or pin.
So, we need to know who God
has connected us in covenant
relationships and allow God to
invade our lives so as to establish
us in our respective destinies
during times of transitions,
crossroads and repositioning/
realignment. Indeed, let us all align
ourselves to ABBA Father's
authority in our lives and receive
His anointing and activation of the
gifts He has deposited in us for the
areas of activities He has called us
to serve Him in 2016.
All of us who have been, are still
and will be associated with TCF and
the education mountain need to
ask God how we can use our tent
pegs like the woman named Jael
(Judges 4) so as to secure victories
and breakthroughs for ourselves
and TCF.
Most of us are oppressed by the
Sisera (Judges 4) mindsets of fear,
timidity, unbelief, weaknesses,
hopelessness, passivity and poverty
from our enemy, Satan. 2016 is the
year for us to put (vav) the tent peg
of God's Word to break Satan's
oppression. God controls our future
and the future of TCF.
Let God establish our future this
year and let us be on the right side
of the Jordan river, crossing over
with God. Let us consider and
declare God's Names for He is “I
AM that I AM” (Exodus 3:14)
El Elohim – the Strong One
El Elyon
– the Most High
El Shaddai – the God Almighty
El 'Olam
– the Eternal God
El Hai
– the Living God
El Gibbor – the Mighty God
Elah
– the Awesome God
------------------------------------------------------------
Goh Hai Bee,
former TCF
Vice Chairman
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ANNOUNCEMENTS
TCF AGM
Date : 5 March 2016 (Saturday)
Time : 2pm
Venue : TCF Office
SILENT RETREAT
TRAC-TCF EDUCATION SILENT RETREAT
Date : June 3-5, 2016
Venue : Rumah Methodist, Bukit Fraser
Topic : Come & Rest in Me - An Educators' Retreat
Facilitator - Rev Hwa Chih
Rev Hwa Chih is an ordained Anglican minister. He
is currently retired from active ministry. His calling
and passion: formation and spirituality – 'being'
precedes 'doing'. His dream and prayer for silent
retreats is to help fulltime workers to journey
towards being transformed (Romans 12:1-2) into
the persons God wants them to be.
As educators, we model more than we teach. We
want to impart our values from the calm, peaceful
wellsprings of our hearts. This retreat integrates
times of silence, rest, prayer and reflection on the
state of our spiritual journey in our life with Christ.
Dates
6-11 June 2016 or 4-9 July 2016
(Retreat begins with dinner at 6.30 pm Monday;
ends with afternoon tea at 3.00 pm on Saturday.)
Facilitator: Dr Alex Tang is a
Consultant Paediatrician as
well as a lecturer with
Monash University's Medical
Faculty. He is also an elder
with the Presbyterian church
and is an active writer and
blogger in the area of
spiritual formation and life.
For more information, please log
onto http://www.trac.org.my/
index.cfm?&menuid=70&
parentid=22
MARANATHA RETREAT HOUSE
Another possible place for silent
retreats.
Website: http://maranatha.com.
my/index.php
Venue
The Cleft (It is located near Selesa Hill Homes)
Cost
RM500 / S$500 per person
(Please do not allow cost to hinder you from
registering for a retreat)
Number of participants
Maximum 6 persons per retreat
Registration
Please send inquiries to:
Rev Hwa Chih
59 Tingkat Taman Ipoh 10, 31400 Ipoh,
Perak, Malaysia
Email: [email protected]
Phone/SMS: +60175094880 (Malaysia)
Whatsapp: +60175678034
OUR CHILDREN'S EDUCATION AT THE CROSSROADS 2.0
Public Schools?
Chinese Schools?
Home Schools?
International Schools?
Private Schools?
Lost...?
You are not alone! Join
us for dinner and a
time of questions and
answers.

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