News and Updates
Departing with Gratitude, Leaving with Hope
As you read this June issue of message, I have already bid farewell to the Baptist community in Singapore, a community that has lifted us to see the hands of our Lord during the past seven years. If I am asked to summarize this journey of faith in Singapore in two words, the first word is “gratitude.”
One and a half years into my two-year appointment as Visiting Professor, the BTS Board of Management asked me if I could consider taking up the baton passed down by Dr. Lim Teck Peng who had to return to Trinity Theological College in 2011 upon the expiry of his secondment to BTS as President. No one except me could have felt the weight of the Board’s trust in me and the risk they were about to take. For 17 years as a lecturer in biblical studies, the only things I could do or knew how to do were teaching and research. I had had no experience in administration, management and public relations. Yet the Board members embraced me with full support, guided me and came alongside me to help me grow as a servant of God. Of course, their trust in me was rooted in their faith in God.
I am grateful to the BTS faculty and staff, a team that has put up with me in spite of my lack of experiences and ability, and has covered the numerous mistakes I made during my presidency. Together they have made BTS more than a school, they have made it a community that shapes life, modes value and defines vision.
Perhaps, in this context, it is just appropriate to express my gratitude to Dr. Fong Choon Sam and Mr. Paul Harral whose contributions would have easily gone unnoticed. Dr. Fong, BTS’ Dean of Academic Studies, has been faithful all these years in overseeing BTS’ publication. Mr. Harral’s involvement came about as a result of his wife, D. Harriet Harral, of Fort Worth, Texas, who has taught short courses at BTS. The support for BTS is truly worldwide. If the President Message of the past six years has been one face that significantly connected BTS with wider communities, the efforts by Dr. Fong and Mr Harral at different points of my presidency cannot go unmentioned. They have worked on my messages to make them readable and understandable. Of course, I am solely accountable to the mistakes and errors therein.
The second word that summarizes my journey in Singapore and probably also looks ahead to BTS’ ongoing journey is “hope.” When the Board members extended to me the invitation to lead BTS, their faith in God enabled them to envision a hope that was substantiated by their act of love. With these virtues of faith, love and hope, we journeyed together and have been blessed to witness the growth of BTS. As I leave Singapore for Hong King, I wish to leave you with the word “hope” too, the hope that is based in the faith that God continues to work in BTS. Just like the hope envisioned by the Board’s trust was neither because of me nor them, but because of God who is faithful, I pray that, because of God, you continue to travel with BTS and to substantiate the faith and hope with deeds of love.
Let us give thanks to God
Let us pray to God