Impetus (Feb 2022)
Looking Forward to Two Parties in 2022
The first thing you might have noticed is a significant change in the format of our communication with you. The purpose of this change is to provide more comprehensive coverage of what goes on in the FES student ministry. So, every two months, I will share more stories from our students and staff workers whom you support, to keep you connected and engaged with their voices as well as the diversity of student work.
Over the new year, I connected with some of our longstanding supporters and listened to their stories and experiences in the Christian Fellowship (CF) in their earlier years. I am greatly encouraged by how much their personal stories resonated with me. Many of their experiences funnelled to the sense that student life was too short, and so it was important to use that time in school to expand one’s mindset and to meet new people from different walks of life. The CF, as a student body in the universities and the polytechnics, took seriously its God-given opportunity and place, not to isolate itself as a club, but to critically engage the Christian faith with the different ideologies of the day. So, FES remains committed to taking seriously the campus mission; to respond to the call to engage the campus, not only among friends and peers but even in its academics and affairs. In so doing, we continue to cultivate that spirit of being salt and light wherever we are called to.
I want to highlight two new and important plans that we are working towards. The first is a Leaders Party. Its purpose is to equip and inculcate the proper spirit of what it means, and what it takes to serve as leaders in the CF. The culmination of this party is to commission new leaders for the 2022/23 academic year, celebrate this community of leaders, as well as to say that we do not serve and lead alone.
The second plan is a Graduates Party. It aims to instil the proper spirit of being a graduate from the university or polytechnic, as well as the CF, and to be ready to be salt and light in society. And that again, we are not alone in this service. It is often said that the measure of the impact of student ministry is seen in the quality of our graduates. So, remaining connected with their peers, and the larger body of FES and GCF is important.
So, it is these two groups – our student leaders and new graduates – that we hope to raise this coming year and onwards. Pray for them as they serve and lead in these transitionary times, that they will remain committed to the faith and the service of our Lord and Saviour. Pray for us as we develop our students and graduates to be Christlike leaders who will witness wholistically wherever they are, on campus, in the church, and in society.
CF News and Updates
The Good Life
NTU CF Bible Camp (27–30 Dec 2021)
For the 43 of us participants the recent Bible Camp, with the theme “The Good Life”, was a time of connecting more intentionally and personally with fellow
NTU CFers, something many missed after a whole semester of meeting online. The talks, workshops, and the group time for reflections allowed for many conversations and sharing of ideas on areas of life that are relevant to us all. Although the Bible reading sessions were challenging in their own ways, the campers appreciated the Bible-reading skills imparted and the experience of engaging in the Word more holistically.
All the various sessions were incredibly insightful to me, addressing relevant and nagging issues I’ve had. For example, the theme talks on the book of Ecclesiastes by Ms Jasmine Foo dealt with the quintessential question of our existence and unraveled the many layers to a “meaningful” life, such as contentment, relationships, wisdom, and humility. Although the many philosophical tensions that Ecclesiastes presents leads us to a place of murky answers, I found the point on Godʼs overarching sovereignty particularly comforting and empowering – that the absurdity of life can only be tackled, a portion at a time, through Godʼs revelations to us in our deep communing with Him.
I also treasured the space we had for sharing in our groups. Speaking into and having others speak into my life, albeit for a brief period, reminded me of the need and the power of living and journeying in Godʼs community.
– Rachel Ng, NTU, Sociology Year 3
Listen! The Servant of God is Declaring
Combined University Chinese Christian Fellowship (CCF) Bible Study Camp (27–31 Dec 2021)
Forty-two students from NUS CVCF, NTU CCF, and SIM/SUSS CCF gathered at Jubilee Church for this camp that was aimed to equip us with the knowledge of the Old Testament (OT) and Bible study skills through the study of the OT prophetic books. It also provided a good platform to fellowship with brothers and sisters-in-Christ from the different institutes and motivate each other in our journey with God.
I am very thankful for the opportunity to be involved in organising this camp. It was a wonderful experience working with brothers and sisters from the other CCFs and building genuine friendships that have stayed on even after the camp. The camp also helped me to know more about God and His words. Using the Bible study skills taught, I am able to study the Bible more effectively and apply the concepts to my daily life. I see the importance of being a servant to God and His people, for “the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve….” (Matt. 20:28), and I look forward to being more involved in serving my brothers and sisters in the CF.
– Apple Koh, NUS, Nursing Year 2
Rest, Revival, Refocus
NUS VCF Annual Teach-In Camp (AnnTIC, 26–31 Dec 2021)
AnnTIC 2021 was held over Zoom with 116 full-time and part-time participants. The purpose of AnnTIC was to provide VCFers a platform for (i) communal learning about the Bible and topics relevant to Christian students, (ii) engagement about matters pertinent to the VCF, and (iii) personal reflection and rest. Besides theme talks on the book of Isaiah by Rev. Dr Gordon Wong, there were training sessions on Bible Reading, as well as workshops on topics like Family, Physical Intimacy, Responding to a Broken World, Reimagining Church, Appreciating Denominational Diversity and Self-Care. On the last day, the Exco also facilitated a time of sharing and reflection about VCF and about the camp.
Richelle Ho, a Year 1 Psychology student at NUS shares: “The Exco’s sharing on the overall sense of tiredness was really timely. It was good that they could acknowledge the sentiments as well as emphasise how rest and community complement each other since we so often think of rest as something done by ourselves (which isn’t). Elijah’s (VCF chairperson) sharing on serving based on Isaiah 6 was much needed and a huge encouragement for me as well.”
SIM SCF Bible Camp (6–9 Jan 2022)
As a Year 1 freshie in university, I was thrilled to be able to have this opportunity to serve and lead a Christian community here in SIM alongside my peers by being part of the camp committee. Through the different aspects of the programme, in particular the speaker sessions by Pastor Fong Ming Hui and Bible reading training by our staff workers, I not only got to explore the book of Revelation, but as the LST (Logistics/Secretary/Treasurer) I was also able to step out of my comfort zone to grow as a team player and a servant leader. The fellowship in this God-given safe space was truly the highlight of the camp for me. Despite it being conducted over Zoom, campers were still able to have fun and learn to cultivate their enthusiasm and skills for Bible reading together.
– Xu Yi En, SIM-UOL, Banking and Finance Year 1
Combined gathering for Indonesian Students’ Christian Fellowship (ISCF) Excos (5 Jan 2022)
Malam Exco or Exco Night was organised to gather all who are serving as executive committee (Exco) members in the various ISCFs, for a time of fellowship and prayer to dedicate ourselves to the ministry in this new semester.
Eugenia Prisca Tania, a Year 4 Music student at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA), who serves in the combined PATH-SKETCH ISCF (SMU, NAFA, LASALLE ISCF) gives her takeaway from that gathering: “It was good to have a space to share, be heard, and be affirmed. I was encouraged to know that others were going through similar situations, thinking and feeling likewise when faced with issues whether as a student or as an Exco member. Knowing that I am not alone and that what I experience is normal, strengthened me because sometimes I feel like I am behind and uncertain of how I am doing. However, from this sharing session, I received words of affirmation that I needed. I am thankful that everyone was supportive and open during the session.”
Ngee Ann Polytechnic Christian Fellowship (NP CF) 50th Anniversary
On 6 December 2021, 53 people attended our online 50th Anniversary gathering that was aimed at reconnecting the old and new generations of NP CF. Those who joined ranged from our forefathers who built this community in 1972, to the current batch of 2021. I was amazed at how God has given NP CF so much and how the alumni have been greatly impacted through their experience with NP CF. My prayer for NP CF is that we will continue to be a Christ-centred community of believers that will grow, not just in numbers, but in spiritual maturity and a deeper relationship with Christ.
– Eleanor Teo Yan, NP, Arts Business Management Year 2
Singapore Institute of Management Students’ Christian Fellowship (SIM SCF) 30th Anniversary
While planning for this anniversary event held on 1 December 2021, I reflected on how our God is full of grace and bountiful in His blessings. It was truly amazing to hear stories from our predecessors about their time in CF and how they truly enjoyed the fellowship and built bonds that they still hold today. We also took time to do a timeline of the CF events for the past year. Through this exercise, I was reminded of all the ups and downs which I had been through and how CF also played a part during those times. Although some periods were tough to go through, I’m grateful that we have come so far by His grace.
– Hagios Lim, SIM-UOL, Business Management with Communications Final Year
What Does It Mean to Be a Staff Worker?
Steve Lam, our newest staff member, joined FES in January 2022. He is no stranger to us as he had served in FES for about a year after completing his theological studies at Trinity Theological College in May 2018. Together with his wife Cassandra and son Isaac, Steve returned to Macau (Steve’s home country) in June 2019 to serve in the Fellowship of Christian Students (the FES-equivalent in Macau) for two and a half years. Below, Steve reflects on his time serving in both Singapore and Macau, as well as his expectations for the year as he re-enters student ministry with FES Singapore.
The time of service in Macau was a period of personal growth. There, I thought hard about what it meant to be a staff worker. Being with students in both countries, I came to appreciate different student cultures and characteristics. In the past, I gave a lot of attention to the outcomes of leadership qualities amongst students and the knowledge I could impart to them. Now, I am more concerned about entering the students’ cultures and understanding their languages. As Paul said, “I have become all things to all people” (1 Cor. 9:22). When shepherding youths, Dietrich Bonhoeffer brought up a theological concept, “stellvertretung” or place-sharing. This involves jumping into the youths’ world and sharing of lives. Thus, Bonhoeffer said lofty theology is worthless when it is unexplainable to youths. I hope to be a staff worker who journeys with the youths in their quests to develop a closer relationship with God.
From the Library
FLINT: On “Authentic Self”
Recently, the theme “authentic self” came to my mind. I wondered about its meaning. Hence, I went to ask several students about it and whether they have any questions about the authentic self. Then, I invited my sister-in-Christ, Prarthini, to answer the questions I have collected. I have learned a great deal through this process and would like to share my learning with you. I hope that you will learn something too. Check out the videos at https://fellowship.sg/resources/library/flint/
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