GS Letter April 2019
This is the 100th monthly letter I have written as the General Secretary (GS) of FES Singapore. It has been one hundred months since my thoughts and updates about FES have been sent out to you regularly. Each time I write, I never fail to be thankful for your faithful support to this FES ministry and making time from your schedule to read my letter.
Therefore, first allow me to commemorate this occasion by sharing with you some parts of the very first GS letter I wrote back in January 2011.
As I write my first letter to you as the FES General Secretary, I do it with fear and trembling. Let me share with you some thoughts that have come to me as I begin to take on this role of leading FES. Though one may begin with an impressive start, but to me, it is much more challenging to finish well.
Take a look at one example from the Bible: a disciple called Demas. In his letter to Philemon, Paul regarded Demas as his fellow worker. Paul also mentioned his name in the final greetings of the epistle to the Colossians. Both letters were written in the early period of Paul’s ministry. Nevertheless, in one of his last letters (note: Paul’s ministry spans over at least, more than 20 years), Paul told Timothy that “Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me” (2 Tim 4:10).
The life of Demas is a good reminder for all of us, including those of us in the FES ministry, to start well and finish well.
Indeed, what I reflected upon more than 8 years ago is not only still relevant today for us, but also personally relevant as I wonder whether I will finish this time as GS well or not. As I write, the fear and trembling intensifies within me. Hence, I really appreciate your prayers as I continue to lead FES. Please also continue to uphold the FES ministry in your prayers—that God continues to consider us worthy as his instrument among the students in Singapore till the very end.
Secondly, let me share one factor that has been instrumental in keeping me in check and helping me navigate the many challenges in FES ministry so far. It is the FES staff team. We recently had our annual Staff Retreat at Johor Bahru in mid-April in which we were blessed by the spiritual direction given by Ohtawa-san (former IFES East Asia Regional Secretary) and his wife, Shioko-san. I am very grateful that our staff team (and their families) had this opportunity to be recharged and energized through this retreat. Here is one of the group photos at the retreat:
I could not think of any other way to end this letter than with following acknowledgment: “For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.” (Romans 11:36, NIV)
In His grace,
FES General Secretary