Saturday, February 26, 2011

TTC Student Council Installation Responses

    At the beginning of this year I was approached by a senior to continue his role in the Student Council as the Chair/Co-Chair of Community Living at TTC. He told me that he would also approach my classmate, XJ, to offer him this role. In the end, both XJ and me agreed. It is interesting for me because in my life I have never been in any Student Council before. I used to be an introvert with no interest in getting involved in any 
extracurricular activities at school or university.

On 7 Feb there was an installation service for the Student Council. A couple of days before the installation service, our incoming President Council sent to us the bulletin of the service. They put the installation responses there. Installation responses is the time where all incoming Student Council would go in front of the chapel and respond to what the principal asks. Here is the excerpts of the installation response:

Principal:  Do you believe that you have been called to serve in the Student Council of Trinity Theological College, to serve God and His Community? Are you willing to obey the teaching of our Lord Jesus, that the greatest in His Kingdom is the servant of all; and thus take your position in the Council as a privilege to serve your fellow students so as to please God? 

Student Council:  Yes, with the help of God. 

Principal:  Will you diligently live according to the teachings of Christ? Will you always try to be a positive example to other students, committing yourself to the work of reconciliation and love in the college? Will you work cooperatively with those placed in 
charge of you, following their advice with humility and gladness? 

Student Council:  We will do so by the grace of God. 

Principal: Will you, the students and faculty of Trinity Theological College, covenant before God to do your part to uphold the Student Council in their ministry, by your prayers, support, encouragement, constructive feedback and advice for the benefit of all 
in the Trinity Community? 

TTC Community:  We will with the help of God.

Principal: Now humbly, but boldly, take up the authority and responsibility to carry out your duties and responsibilities as members of the Student Council of Trinity Theological College, in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.  

When I read the installation responses, I was reminded that this is a great responsibility which requires strong commitment. 
We will lead the community by serving them. 

It is not just any leadership position. I believe when 
the previous Student Council looked for successors, they didn't do it arbitrarily. The would observe people, even prayed that God would show the right person for the role. If you look carefully to the installation response, they use the term "calling". A calling to serve the community, to live a Christlike life, to set example, to humility. A privilege, I would say.

I purposely put the installation response here in my blog to keep reminding me of who and what I should be, especially as part of TTC Community.

I believe the Lord helps me and TTC Community supports me. Amen.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Testimony at TTC Friday Chapel

In TTC, we have a system called Family Group (FG). One lecturer will mentor a couple of students from different programmes and classes. We meet every Thursday from 11.30 to 12.30noon. What happened in that one hour will be decided by the group.
In TTC, we have Friday chapel. Every FG is assigned to prepare one Friday chapel per year. Our FG's turn was yesterday.
I was asked by my mentor to prepare a testimony. You will find below. By the way, I also put Chinese translation because I have a friend who has kindly translated for me :) The Chinese translation might be different from the English as I did last-minute changes here and there. Enjoy! And I hope it can be a blessing for you! 

Oh ya... This sharing was inspired from my life journey during this time.

Bible reading: Luke 18:18-37

"When I read again the passage about the rich young ruler and was assigned a testimony by my FG, I was reminded of this one particular point of time in my life when I was working here as a safety trainer for foreign domestic helpers. At that time, I have received the approval letter from TTC to be admitted as a full-time student, so I submitted a resignation letter to my boss. The day after, my boss called me to meet him. In the meeting, he asked me to reconsider my resignation. Furthermore, he offered me a 20% salary increase plus monthly bonus. When I calculate, the total of increase was about $500 per month. It is a big amount of money for me!

Before I met my boss, I have actually prepared to reject any offer made by my boss. But when I realised the total amount of money he offered, I was stunned. I did not expect that. At the end of the meeting, my answer to my boss was, “Let me think about it.”

I went home and talked to God. In my chat with God, I would say things like: “God, I can still serve You through my job. I can use that additional money for ministry. Or maybe I can delay going to theological college for one year? The money that I would earn within that one year (12 x $500 = $6000) can help me in my study later, such as to buy books and cover for my daily needs.” All I did was just trying to find justification to stay in my job. I was struggling. I felt doubt.

But in the midst of my conversation with God, a song came to my mind. I believe it came from God. It was one of my favourite song, “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus”. The refrain kept playing in my mind. It says:

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace

I cried. I felt so ashamed with myself. I told myself, “Look what Jesus did for you, Ita. He is God, but he chose to become human. He went through suffering and even gave His life for you! He left nothing for Himself! He loves You so much. He even provided scholarship for you! Why is it so difficult for you to leave $6000 behind? Why is it so difficult to put God above all else, above yourself?”

The $6000 that previously looked so precious for me has become somehow worthless after I turned my eyes again upon Jesus. The next day, I met my boss to let him know that I decided to stick with my resignation and go to theological college. He “begged” me to think again, but I told him nicely that I was firm with my decision.

I thank God who has strengthened me.

But even when I’m studying at TTC now, I was still, at times, struggling. For example, when I see others using iPad or Macbook in class, I would sometimes talk to God, “God, that is so cool! I want one.” Or I like sashimi (Japanese food and it’s quite expensive) and I sometimes crave for it. I have to keep reminding myself that I do not earn money right now.

It is the struggle of letting go what I want or what I love. The struggle of wanting more than I need, not being contented with what I have, which is what actually enough for me now. I believe this struggle is sometimes felt in all of us. It can take many forms. Many things will distract us, even hinder us, to not focus on God’s calling in our lives. Let us turn our eyes on Jesus.

Lastly, I would like to encourage all of us with the verses from Hebrew 12:1-2. These verses have been an encouragement for me in times of need.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

God bless us everyone! Thank you.



回家后我跟上帝讲,我说∶“神啊,我仍然可以透过我的工作来侍奉你,我也可以用这额外的金钱在事工上,或者我可不可以延迟一年才进神学院?这一年的金钱(12 x $500 = $6000)可以帮助我以后读书时用来购买书籍和日常生活所需。其实,我只是在尝试找借口留在那份工作。我内心冲满了挣扎和疑惑。


我哭了…我为自己感到何等的羞愧。我告诉自己说∶“Ita, 看看耶稣为你所做了什么,祂是神,但祂选择了道成肉身,祂经历了很多苦难,甚至把祂的生命都给了你呀!祂对自己却毫无保留!祂这么的爱你,祂也为你提供了奖学金!放下六千块钱真是这么的难吗?把神放在一切之上,包括了你自己,为什么有这么难呢?



现在我虽然在三一神学院读书,但我有时候还在挣扎。比如,当我看到别人在用iPad Macbook 的时候,我有时候会跟上帝讲: “神哪,那很有型呀,我也想要一个。”  又譬如我喜欢吃刺生(日本料理是蛮昂贵的),当我有时候很想吃的时候,我就要提醒自己我现在没有很多的收入了。


“我们既有这许多的见证人,如同云彩围着我们,就当放下各样的着担,脱去容易缠累我们的罪,存心忍耐,奔那摆在我们前头的路程,仰望为我们信心创始成终的耶稣。他因那摆在前面的喜乐,就轻看羞辱,忍受了十字架的苦难,便坐在 神宝座的右边。”

After chapel, there's one special occasion that makes me very grateful. One senior thanked me for sharing.  He honestly shared to me that he has been praying whether to buy an iPhone or not. We laughed, and I replied, "Well... if God really wants you to have iPhone, I believe He will give you. But sometimes what we have now is actually enough. It's just we always want more than we need." He told me it was a good sharing and it is relevant for TTC students. 
I'm just glad that the sharing has been a blessing for at least one person :)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy 3rd Birthday, IEC Singapore!

Yesterday we were celebrating the 3rd birthday of my homechurch in Singapore, International Evangelical Church Singapore (IEC Singapore). I was asked to share a one-minute testimony. Here we go: (PS: I shared mine in Bahasa)
IEC Singapore is special, because here I found again God's calling in my life. First time I realised of God's calling to go full-time was when I was 18, but I did not follow it then. Pastor Isabel Tong (Cie Wen Ie), the first pastor in IEC Singapore, guided me on spiritual discipline so that I finally found God's calling in my life again. Rev. Jahja Santoso, second pastor, supported and encouraged me to study full-time at bible college. Rev. Gideon Ang, third pastor, gave me life examples of always share the Gospel with everyone he meets. Normally, it's me who look for pastor, but Rev. Gideon Ang was different. He would approached me, talked face to face with me, and gave me wise council of the importance of living God's specific vision in my life and to be a servant of God with a pure and genuine intention. All elders, congregation, and friends in IEC also keep supporting my in answering God's call. They support me financially, psychologically, and spiritually. I'm grateful to God for IEC Singapore. Thank you.

It's a long journey ahead. God bless us everyone! :)