FES News and Updates (Impetus Nov 2020)
Perspective November 2020
The second issue of Perspective for 2020 has been published! In the first issue published in July 2020, we were primarily concerned with how leadership would look like post-crisis and in the context of the new normal. In these five months, campuses were closed, students were confined to Home-Based Learning (HBL), and our ministries scrambled to move onto the digital platforms. Five months on, it feels like many of us have started to get used to how campus and ministry would be like even for the year to come. If this is the case, what does it mean for another core aspect of our student work? What would Christian student witness look like in this new normal? That has led to the critical concern for this issue and its title – Witness After.
ISCF and the Meaning of Life
On October 19th, 2020 NTU and NUS ISCF invited LT Jeyachandran, a public servant-turned-philosopher, to speak at a public event that addressed the topic of “Meaning of Life”. Asa Rahadini, a Year 4 NUS Political Science student and present NUS ISCF Chairperson, reports this:
“The event was held via Zoom and was joined by more than 50 enthusiastic participants, members and guests of ISCFs from both universities. The topic was chosen partly because of its relevance to NUS ISCF’s vision this year to explore the notion of faith-learning integration. For Christians, academics and all other pursuits in life should ideally lead to a greater knowledge and worship of God, a reason which gives meaning to all present struggles, thus making them worthwhile. Throughout the session, Mr Jeyachandran shared about how one can have fervour and zest for life if he realises the purpose of his existence, which in turn points to the reality of God. What struck me the most was that he drew examples from his own experiences and training as a civil engineer to answer philosophical questions. To me this shows a commitment to use what is normally considered as secular thoughts, to examine and ponder about the truths about our faith. I hope ISCF members who attended the event have been inspired to inject enthusiasm through communicating and living out a purpose-driven life, especially amid those who feel jaded and hopeless.”
Chinese Work 50th Big Family Gathering
On 30th October FES Chinese Work (CW) gathered online to celebrate 50 years of God’s glory and journey of the cross. Lai Sze Khiong, Head of CW, reflects on these 50 years:
“FES (CW) was formed in 1970, when the late Dr Bobby Sng was the General Secretary of FES. There were moments in the history of CW that seemed impossible for us to continue, such as when MOE changed the Chinese Education policy. To have sustained the ministry and to reach 50 years is indeed precious to us.
The theme for the Big Family Gathering is 《传》, which means passing on, which accurately depicts how CW has sustained thus far: passing on from one generation to another, passing on from one campus to another, passing on from students to alumni. This is how CW has been carrying on the good work that God has called us to all these years. In the evening’s exhortation, Dr Lim Teck Peng reminded us about the three distinctives that we hold dear to our hearts: being evangelical, being authentic witnesses, and being truly student-initiated.
The evening was not only about attendance by the juniors and the seniors, but also by our overseas alumni who have been unable to attend the Big Family Gatherings all this while as they are not in Singapore. This 50th Big Family Gathering, though it did not take place in the way I personally desired, is still one that I will remember – one that I will give thanks for as I look forward to many more milestones as we walk in our obedience to God.”
Pray for our Financial Sustainability and Stability
As we near the end of the calendar and the financial year, we give thanks to God and our supporters that FES finances remain stable in the midst of the ongoing pandemic. This is also possible in large part due to the many supportive schemes given to non-profit organisations this year. However, to continue to sustain the ministry, particularly in the years ahead, we will need your continued prayers and financial support.
Please pray for generosity as we seek to raise enough to pay the Annual Wage Supplement (AWS) for our staff workers. Please pray for creativity as students and staff continue to find ways for effective ministry while pandemic rules, regulations, and distancing measures continue to apply. Please pray for courage that we may still be effective ministers of God’s Word despite this season of fatigue and frustrations.
Communications Team Lead