Kicking Into Gear

The RICE China team inside the City Wall in Xi’An

Welcome to my revamped website!

I have taken into consideration some of your feedback about the usability of the website and have made some changes accordingly. You’ll see now that the sidebars are less cluttered and the menu bar at the top is much more accessible. Hopefully this will help as you navigate the site and find the information that you need. I always love hearing feedback from my visitors, so please do not hesitate to drop me a line!

January – Now

I apologise for the tardiness over the maintenance of this site and the lack of regular updates over the past two months. The past few weeks have been a transitional phase of returning back to ‘normal life’ in Sydney after spending 2.5 weeks in China and settling into Bible college.

Many of our mission trip team members progressively fell sick throughout the trip, with some more serious than others (the least serious being minor colds to more serious ones being pneumonia). However, God graciously spared me from physical illness during the trip and has sustained me through it all. So I returned to Sydney in good condition but needed a few days to kick back into gear.

Not long after that, I travelled down to Stanwell Tops for a weekend to speak at Padstow Chinese Congregational Church’s (PCCC) youth camp. This youth camp was established 5 years ago back when I was heading the youth leadership at PCCC. After 2 years, the church decided that it was too expensive to run 2 camps a year (the first being NEXUS and the second being the whole church camp). So they replaced the weekend camp with a weeklong conference and have had excellent pastors such as Trevor Hodge (Kirkplace Presbyterian Church) and Gary Koo (St Paul’s Carlingford) speak at those conferences. However, after 2 years of this, the youth group expressed a desire to have a camp again, so Vanessa (who now heads up the leadership team) pulled it all together and viola, NEXUS 2015 was set in stone.

Joining the crew from PCCC again this year was amazing at so many levels. Firstly, it was a bit like a ‘coming home’ party. Every year during Chinese New Year, members of our family from near and far would travel all the way back to Tanjung Sepat, Malaysia to celebrate as a family. We’d poke fun at each other, catch up, and enjoy laughter as we celebrated throughout the week. NEXUS 2015 was like that for me. It was so good seeing boys that I led through Sunday School and youth group, and seeing how much they’ve grown over the past few years since I moved to ACTS11 Church. It was also good seeing how some things don’t change – the humour hasn’t changed, the craziness of the crew didn’t change, and of course, their desire to grow more in Christ hasn’t changed. When NEXUS started off a few years ago, we didn’t have enough people to meet the minimum requirements for a campsite so we teamed up with the youth group at Campsie Chinese Congregational Church just so that we could have 30 people. The weekend, we saw a little over 30 youth just from PCCC, and that wasn’t even the entire youth group. Despite the challenges, I really love the stuff that’s going on over there. With a new church building on its way, I can’t even begin to image the work that God is going to do in and through the English Ministry.

Looking Ahead

Looking ahead, I’ve got a whole semester of study awaiting my attention. The subjects that I’ll be doing in Semester One are:

1. New Testament Foundations: Jesus and the Gospels

2. Old Testament Foundations

3. Greek A

4. Church History

5. Introduction to Preaching

I’ve already started a week of Greek intensive and we’ve finished the week declining Masculine Nominative and Accusative nouns, and will be sinking our teeth deeper as the semester progresses.

The Bankstown City Church (BCC) plant was also launched over the past week and we’ve had an exciting start for the year. My involvement at church this year will be as a co-team leader for one of our ‘M-structures’: Maturity. That means me and my co-team leader (Ivan Lee) will be in charge of everything that helps a Christian mature in their faith, such as directing the community groups, setting up sustainable discipleship models, and anything that will help a younger believer become more spiritually mature as they come to know God better. Despite my involvement at BCC, I will still attend ACTS11 (though less frequently) to worship and serve with the community there. I really love the people there and I’m just not quite ready to completely plug out.

Prayer Points

Being a Student Pastor means different things in a variety of contexts. In some, it means that the guy gets more ministries and responsibilities. In my context, it means I’m given the space to concentrate on my studies fully and to spend this season preparing for future ministry. I’m grateful for being at a church that is well oiled by the Holy Spirit and faithful leadership that results in me being able to take my attention off weekly ministries.

However, because I have been more freed up, I have agreed to take up up a few more preaching engagements throughout the year. So in addition to preaching at ACTS11 and BCC, I will be speaking at camps such as NEXUS (that has passed) and the annual North Sydney Boys and Girls ISCF Camp in April, and other gatherings such as the Integr8 ‘God and the Pub’ event and at Connexion.

So I’d really appreciate if you could please pray that I may represent Christ well whenever I stand to expound His Word, and that I may juggle study and ministry load well.

Lastly, I’d like to thank all the financial supporters who have kindly agreed to continue in supporting me. Your generosity overwhelms me and it’s so good to know that whenever I preach or whenever I study, there is like a group of you standing with me and doing all these things alongside me. The feeling of needing to be reliant on others is a challenge but your active generosity has made it so much easier. You may not realise the impact that your investments may reap, but I can tell you that amazing things are happening (just yesterday I received a message from a guy who was at NEXUS who told me that he was convicted of taking God seriously and wants me to send him my sermon notes so he can go through them again and wants to be mentored to further his maturity in Christ)! So thank you once again for the things you do in my life and the overflow impact that it has on others. And of course if you’re reading this and you feel led to jump on board and to do the same, please drop me a simple line and I’ll be in contact with you as soon as possible.

God bless you!

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