Category: Missions

Serve Asia is OMF International’s short-term mobilisation programme, something that I had the privilege to be part of as the Serve Asia Co-ordinator (SAC) for OMF’s Singapore National Office (SNO) some years back. In a nutshell, it’s about mobilising people, especially youths and young adults, toward short-term missions (in OMF terms, anything less than 1 year), in technically any mission field that any of OMF’s missionaries are based in or have ministries/mission work. I also had the opportunity to serve in the International Centre (IC) under New Horizons when their co-ordinator was on sabbatical, a newer initiative bridging unconventional home and field sides where OMF has no or little presence, experience – from anywhere to everywhere!

If you have a few weeks, month or even 1 year off or a gapyear, time in between studies, career, etc, and are considering missions or serving in East Asia, do prayerfully consider joining Serve Asia. If you are located internationally, out of Singapore, visit the international link here.

Serve Asia (SNO design v.1)

A big shoutout to our best SA boss Andrea, and a throwback to our original SNO Mob team – bosslady Yong Hong, Carolyn, Lee Peng, Jie, Samuel
#ServeAsia #OMF

Ed Stetzer recently wrote a short introductory article addressing what missiology is and is not. For those wondering what my PhD in Intercultural Studies (another term for missiology in general), or what I study, this is a pretty good summary/overview.

What missiology is not:

  • Not simply giving an angst-driven look at current church norms
  • Not merely being critical of what doesn’t work in the church
  • Not the same as evangelism

What missiology is:

  • An academic discipline
  • Asks not only the “how” question but also the “why”
  • Seeks to help the church fulfill her mission locally & globally.

Stetzer defines missiology as

the reflective discipline that undergirds & guides the Church’s propagation endeavors as it advances the knowledge of the gospel in all its fullness to every people, everywhere.

Read full article here.

Tribute to John Stott

Lausanne Global Executive Director/CEO Michael Oh reflects on John Stott’s legacy on the centennial of his birth (20 Apr, 1921). Among his many key contributions to Christian theology, the church and missions, what stands out for me is his role in the birthing of the Lausanne Covenant and Movement in 1974, and his related book Christian Mission in the Modern World (1975), which has since been updated and expanded by Chris Wright on its 40th anniversary.

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10 years #tohoku311

Today is the 10th anniversary of the Tohoku earthquake of Japan on 11th Mar, 2011, the most powerful earthquake (9.1-magnitude) ever recorded in Japan, triggering a triple disaster – earthquake, tsunami, & nuclear power plant meltdown, resulting in over 15k deaths, 6k injuries, & 2.5k people missing across 20 prefectures.

In memory of #tohoku311, here are some ministries that have been involved with tsunami/disaster relief & reaching the Tohoku region with the hope of the gospel, & Japan missions:

Be One (Tohoku Aid) – a group of inter-agency missionaries across Japan serving the Tohoku region after 3.11
Nozomi Project – faith-based social enterprise in Ishinomaki, using shards from broken pottery from 3.11 to create jewellery, helping women who lost loved ones with sustainable income (Nozomi means “hope” in Japanese; their motto is “beauty in brokenness)
3.11 Iwate Church Networknetwork of churches & organizations serving the damaged churches & community in Iwate Prefecture
English Presbytery Japan Mission (EPJM) – Started by the EP Singapore, small mission teams are organized almost every month for 1-2 weeks involved in disaster relief, community engagement, gospel ministryJapan Prayer Group (JPG) – monthly prayer group (1st Tue) @ OMF Singapore, praying for Japan & OMF missionaries

#tohoku311 #2011tohokuearthquake #prayjapan

Learning community

Every Tuesday, the PhD ICS (Intercultural studies) community (seniors, juniors, professors) meet together for lunch, with occasional sharings on relevant academic or missiological topics, and personal testimonies of those in the program as well. It has truly been an enriching and inspiring time for myself, even as I begin on the journey myself. I am indeed thankful to God for this rare opportunity, and more and more each day, I see His hand in directing me and my family here.

I had previously wanted to post a picture of our regular weekly lunch gatherings, but due to Covid-19, school closures & social distancing, we had our first virtual meeting via Zoom, ala Brady-Bunch-like, where we shared, reflected and prayed together. I am encouraged & appreciative of this group, when you miss family and home, especially in the midst of this pandemic world crisis.

As many countries and parts of the world go on lockdown, isolation, or quarantine, many short-term mission trips might be currently cancelled or put on hiatus, so what else can we do, when we cannot GO, as Jesus commands in the Great Commission? I was reminded of this set of videos, materials by OMF titled “6 ways to reach God’s world.”

What are ways we can reach God’s world? (Summary)

  • Learn
  • Pray
  • Go
  • Send/Support
  • Welcome
  • Mobilize

More information and details, videos & group discussion guides here.


Dr Andrew & his wife Belinda were our home church’s 1st missionaries & the 1st Singaporean family to be sent to Africa. His 2 sons were my peers in youth group. Thus was the legacy & influence he & many other missionaries paved in a missions-minded church which continues even till today.

The Dr Andrew Ng Global Missions Fund was born of a compelling vision to carry on the legacy of the late Dr Andrew Ng, who together with his wife, Belinda, gave themselves to the Lord’s work in Africa. They were the first Singaporean missionaries to that vast continent in the late 1970s, and Andrew, who gave up a lucrative career as a surgeon in Singapore, served at Galmi Hospital in Niger.

Learn more about the fund:

I had the privilege of sitting through a book talk at our TEDS library given by Dr Craig Ott, our PhD ICS director and program advisor. He was speaking on a newly written/launched book “The Church on Mission,” based on part of the EFCA’s mission statement – “To glorify God by multiplying transformational churches among all people.”

A big part of my enrolling and coming to TEDS and the PhD ICS program here is because of scholars like himself, who has spent time as a missionary, church-planter and seminary professor both in the States and Germany. He had also preached and consulted with Covenant EFC in Singapore, and advised and taught previous Singaporeans or related others like How Chuang and Clive Chin, who have also had a deep influence on my decision towards TEDS.

Of course, you have the big faculty names like D.A. Carson, the Feinberg brothers, Wayne Grudem, Norman Geisler, Grant Osborne, even John Stott taught preaching courses here in 1972. But it’s truly a blend of all these different persons and factors that have contributed to the success, growth and vision of TEDS, which I was and continue to be drawn to.

Seasons of change

Sometime towards the beginning of this year, I received news that I had been successfully accepted into the TEDS PhD in Intercultural Studies (ICS) program. For those unfamiliar, TEDS stands for Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, started by the Evangelical Free Church of America (EFCA), & is based in the north of Chicago, Illinois in the States. The PhD in ICS program would be at least a 4-year full-time residential program, & our hope & plan as a family was to relocate there by July this year in time for the semester start in August.

A few main factors led to our decision to pursue doctoral studies at this time. Among them was that I had been praying & seeking the Lord since 2015 regarding further studies, & God has somehow kept this desire & leading strong through the years, particularly through bringing professors & friends to encourage me towards this path. Also, having been serving in full-time ministry for 11 years, including as a pastor for close to 7 years, as well as being in my early 40s, it is indeed a timely season to take a sabbatical from ministry & devote myself to studies for these next few years.

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News trickled in around the stroke of midnight in Singapore (UTC+8) on Wednesday night (21 Feb). It took a while for it to sink in, and I checked a few credible news sites before reposting, in a faint thought that it could be fake news. It wasn’t. Billy Graham had passed away peacefully in his home at the age of 99. Throughout the night, more and more news feeds poured in, eulogies, well-wishes, tributes, fond memories, most if not all, in great respect and gratitude for one of our modern giants of the faith, the great evangelist.

Thom Rainer wrote a great article of this historic Christian figure as he recollects lessons he learnt whilst visiting him in 2009.

Here’s a summary:

  1. A life pleasing to the Lord is a life of integrity.
  2. Our first ministry is to our family.
  3. Listen to critics, but don’t dwell on them.
  4. Humility is one of the greatest virtues of leaders.
  5. All that really matters is Jesus.

Read the full article here.

His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’

Matthew 25:21 NASB

His passing also reminded me of another respected American who also has been promoted to glory, also Baptist, also at the age of 99, also a great man of God.

Ps John Willis came to Singapore in 1966 after retiring at age 62 to help pastor our then starting-out young church at Bartley. I remember him fondly from a young age as he would share the gospel story through chalkboard art to the Sunday school children and during sermons. In later years, I remember him sitting by the main door of the church, shaking hands and greeting every single worshipper walking in by name. He married off almost all in our parents’ generation, despite being single. He was like the grandfather of the church family. He used to live on our church premises for almost 30 years, and after he passed in 2004, at age 99, we used to use his room for Bible study and awe at his wall-to-wall library of books (all read) and the simplicity and humility of his living and life.

2 scholarship funds at SBC and Moody were set up in 2004 from his bequeathed will, and in 2010, a book “An American we are grateful for” was launched, a hall at the newly rebuilt Bartley was named after him, and a missions fund was set up in his name as well.

Read more at the SCF book project here.

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