Issue No. 23 11 - 17 June 2012
News from Alumnus by Wong Choon Yew

Wong Choon Yew and familyWong Choon Yew is a graduate of BGST (MA ECF, 2011). He has a heart for Christian missions and has recently been engaged with the work of Christian education in South Korea. The following write-up from him gives us some interesting insights into his ministry there.

It's been one and a half months since I left for Korea. God has been good to both my wife and I here. He has blessed us with very good relationships with the teachers and students. He has opened up opportunities for me to motivate the bible school students in learning and labouring for His kingdom and people.

Korea is definitely a very alien place to us. Many Singaporeans fantasize about Korea, but watching Korean movies or coming here for a holiday are very different from living and working here. Korea is a mono-lingual & mono-cultural society. If you walk on the streets, or go to the stores to buy groceries, no one is able to speak English or Chinese. All the signs, boards, words ..... everywhere, everything's in Korean!

What am I doing here? Teaching Christian Education in a bible school in Chinese. For how long? I don't know. Could be for years? It depends on God's guidance. They've got a Chinese section in the school, but very few Korean teachers are capable of teaching in Chinese. That's why they need foreign teachers. The bible school is actually located in a rural area outside the small town of Bong Dam, sixty kilometers south of Seoul. The nearest bus-stop is twenty minutes’ walk away. The nearest supermarket and shops are twenty-five minutes' walk away. Walking is fine during the day, but at night, it's not too good as certain parts of the road do not have street lighting. Dogs are barking away. If it rains, it makes walking more difficult due to cold winds and muddy water splashed by passing cars. So, I do not have the luxury of being located in Seoul. I am definitely not located in the highly sophisticated, scenic and romantic places seen in Korean movies.

The cold period in Korea is just over. When I first arrived, it was near freezing point at night, even below zero degrees at times (Bong Dam is a few degrees colder than Seoul). Daytime temperatures range from a few degrees to about ten. In winter, it could easily be minus ten or so degrees, like Beijing. It became warmer a couple of weeks ago and it is spring time now. Next month will see summer coming.

Why teach in Chinese here? Over the years, many mainland Chinese people have come to Korea to work. Some have come to know Christ here, joined churches, and have been called by the Lord to serve in full-time ministry. Some were already believers before coming to Korea. When they were working here, they perceived God calling them to serve in the full-time ministry. Interestingly, some are actually of Korean ethnicity, but have Chinese citizenship. They may be more proficient in the Korean language than Chinese, but they want to learn in Chinese so as to equip themselves to minister amongst the Han Chinese people. You may even find a few of Korean ethnicity who are interested to learn in Chinese.

Is there a good salary for expat teachers? No way! The school is in a poor financial situation. It can't afford to pay teachers --- not even a single cent! All full-time teachers have to be responsible for their living costs (including lodging and food) and travelling expenses. Most students are very poor. They can't afford to pay much for school fees. Each student pays only S$345 for each semester, which includes course fees, lodging and food!

Over the past few weeks, other than settling down, I've been busy preparing my lessons, as well as lesson plans for the next semester. I have to start preparing for my teaching in China too. I've been invited to conduct training for Sunday School teachers on Hainan Island in July. The Principal here has asked me to teach in a school in Tianjin in August. My schoolmate has also invited me to go to the mountains of Northern Myanmar in August to speak at a bible seminar for church leaders. Of course, all travelling expenditure has to be self-funded.

There's a lot more that I can share, but I guess I'll stop here for now. Please pray for me that the Lord may sustain me through all the ministries here in Korea, as well as in China and Myanmar. I really need a double portion of wisdom and guidance from Him. There is no way that I can manage by my own strength. I really need the empowerment of the Holy Spirit to fight the spiritual battle and edify His many servants. Please pray that the Lord will supply all my needs, whether in terms of friends to stand together with me here, or financially.

May the grace of our Lord be upon you always.

Extension of deadline for “Early Bird” Incentive Scheme

We are pleased to inform our students (new and existing) that the registration deadline for the “Early Bird” Incentive Scheme has been extended to 15 Jun 2012. Do not miss out on this limited offer! Refer to our course schedule and send in your Course Registration From together with your payment before 15 Jun 2012! (Terms and conditions apply)

Courses Commencing on July 2012

The Christian Faith (TS101, 3 cr);
July 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, Aug 6, 13, 27, Sept 24, Oct 1, 8, 15; (Mon, 7.15–9.50 pm)
Venue: BGST, Clarus Center
Lecturer: Dr Edwin Tay

The Educational Ministry of the Church (ECF500/ CE101, 3 cr);
July 3, 10, 17, 24, 31, Aug 7, 14, 21, 28,(Tue, 7.15–10.15 pm)
Sep 5 (Wed);
Venue:BGST, Clarus Center
Lecturer: Dr Ng Peh Cheng

History of Christianity I: From Jerusalem to Chang'an
(AD 1-1500) (CH 101, 3 cr; Blended Learning);

by Lecturer, Dr Lai Pak Wah;
Jul 4, 18, Aug 1, 15, 29, Sep 12 (Fortnightly); (Wed, 7.30–9.45 pm)
Venue:BGST, Clarus Center

Spirituality Retreat Experience: Nature, Purpose & Dynamics (EFC 504, 3 cr);
July 4, 11, 18, 25, Aug 1 (Wed, 7.15–10.15 pm)
retreat Aug 3-5 (Fri–Sun) (Additional Cost)
Lecturer: Mr Chong Ser Choon
Venue: Prinsep Street Presbyterian Church

Ecclesiastes: Wisdom for Contemporary Life (OT 353, 1.5 cr; Group Tutorial); by Lecturer & Tutor: Dr Philip Satterthwaite;
(Sat, July 7, 21, Aug 4; 2.00–4.00 pm)
Venue: Prinsep Street Presbyterian Church

*Biblical Hebrew Reading & Exegesis I (BH 211, 3 cr);
July 9, 23, 30, Aug 6, 13, 27, Sep 24, Oct 1, 8, 15, 22, 29; (Mon, 7.30–9.45 pm)
Venue:BGST, Clarus Center
Lecturer: Dr Andrew Lee

*New Testament Greek I (BG 111, 3 cr);
July 9, 16, 23, 30, Aug 6, 13, 27, Sep 24, Oct 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, Nov 5, 12, 19; (Mon, 7.30–9.30 pm)
Venue: Thomson Road Baptist Church
Lecturer: Mr Quek Tze Ming

Christian Ethics (TS 252, 3 cr; Group Tutorial); By Dr Douglas J.W. Milne & Tutor: Mr Ben Pwee;
July 13, 27, Aug 10, 24; (Fri, 7.30–9.30 pm)
Venue: BGST, Clarus Center

Wesley Then & Now (TS240, 3 cr; Group Tutorial);
by Dr Victor Shepherd & Tutor: Dr Edwin Tay;

July 19, 26; Aug 2, 16, 23, 30 ; (Thu, 7.30–9.30 pm )
Venue: Prinsep Street Presbyterian Church

The Craft of Teaching (ECF 511, 1.5 cr);
Dr Ng Peh Cheng;
July 19, 26, Aug 2, 16, 23; (Thu, 7.15–10.15 pm)
Venue: BGST, Clarus Center
Lecturer: Dr Ng Peh Cheng

Old Testament Foundations I (OT 101, 3 cr);
Jul 26; Aug 2, 16, 23, 30; Sept 27; Oct 4, 11, 18, 25; Nov 1, 8; (Thu, 7.15–9.45 pm)
Lecturer: Dr Andrew Lee
Venue: Prinsep Street Presbyterian Church

*Courses marked with an asterisk are not offered on audit basis.
For more information on our courses please visit our website: http://bgst.edu.sg/courses-and-events

Chapel News
There will be no chapel on month of June 2012 at BGST Clarus Centre.
Faculty News

Mr Quek Tze-Ming will be preaching at the 3.00 pm service of Emmanuel BP Church on Sunday 17 June 2012. The topic is "Abraham's Test (Gen 22)"

Upcoming Public Lecture and Incentive Courses

Dr Robert Banks poster

Preliminary Course Schedule for 2012-2013 Semester 1
For more information on the Preliminary Course Schedule, please visit our website: http://www.bgst.edu.sg/media/files/courses/2012-2013-sem1.pdf

2012 Semester 1

37 Jalan Pemimpin, #06-05 Block B, Clarus Centre, S(577177).
Tel: 6227-6815 Fax: 6255-3686 Email: inquiry@bgst.edu.sg
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