Tanjong PagarGive thanks to the LORD, 
for He is good!

Psalm 136:1

 After years of searching for a suitable location, evaluation of 39 properties, and much prayer and deliberation, BGST Council has finally found Nos.29 & 31 Tanjong Pagar, a two-unit conservation shophouse right in the business and commercial hub of the ‘marketplace’ where we wish to be located after we leave our current premises at No.4 Bishan Street 13. We may have to continue holding our courses at Bishan, if we are unable to gather enough funds for the entire purchase package. The days are finally over when our campus search team had to trudge through disused factory buildings, noisy tech parks, one clan association building, and other buildings that became available in the property glut that hit Singapore during the economic downturn. We want to thank Zion Bible-Presbyterian Church for so graciously housing us during the past nine years, giving us a time to  ‘breathe’ as we developed our Faculty and Staff, research Library, and our academic programmes. During this period the Lord has blessed both our host church and us. The space now occupied by BGST needs to be given back to the church and we are moving soon to our new location. Praise God with us!

        A Purchase Agreement  has been signed with Guan Seng Kee Properties Pte. Ltd.  On December 1st, 2003, we need to put in the downpayment of $400,000 which represents 10% of the total sum of $4 million to be paid over two years. The gauntlet has been flung and we are challenged to exercise faith. It is exciting! We have just launched our appeal and within a few days we have been greatly encouraged by the first three responses. An elderly couple has offered the first response: a $200,000 interest-free loan for one year. Next came a precious monthly pledge of $10.00. Another couple with a large family phoned to say that they will be sending a cheque for $10,000. Praise God for the giving spirit that is being seen. May we all respond as appropriately as possible.  Your investment in BGST will enable our students from more than 50 churches in Singapore and abroad to be trained for service to God. May God be glorified as we devote our energies to the preparation of all who come to us with a desire to be equipped to serve God either as clergy or as laity.

       In the photo attached (see above) you will see our property at the extreme right (the last unit facing Tanjong Pagar Road) and Fairfield Methodist Church at the extreme left (facing the corner of Maxwell Road and Tanjong Pagar Road). The units around us are bridal shops, a dental research lab, a hotel booking agency, a kaya toast restaurant, and some vacant shop units. We are only a few minutes walk away from Tanjong Pagar MRT, the National Development  Building, URA Building, and the Maxwell Road Food Court.

         The potential of developing co-curricular programmes and lunch-time meetings, leveraging on our library and other intellectual properties, as well as expanding our Bible Land Study Tours, starting marketplace ministry initiatives to reach out to the many lay persons who work in the immediate vicinity of our new place, and many other possibilities – all of these are very exciting to us as we try to come to terms with the development potential of our new campus. We are on threshold of something challenging. We can see in the offing an exponential growth and re-make of BGST in the months and years ahead. As we search for God’s direction on what exactly we need to do, do uphold us in prayer. This is not man’s work but God’s. We are not ashamed to ask all to come and share our laity training focus. Join us in our mission and vision by praying and giving. All gifts, large or small, are welcomed. To help us with the scheduled payments over the next two years we appreciate also long-term, interest-free loans to help us fulfil our commitment to the vendor, who has given us generous payment terms. Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good!

CHAPEL NOTES

Chapel last week was led by Rev Ng Seng Chuan and  began with the singing of the hymn, “Immortal, invisible, God only wise”. The theme of the message was “wisdom”.  Rev Ng drew upon James 3:13-18 as the basis for his reflections.  While the text hints at two kinds of wisdom, “earthly wisdom” and “wisdom from above”, the speaker extended the scope to include three kinds of wisdom. First, there is conventional wisdom as spelt out in common folklore, a good example of which was that covered by the proverbial section of the Chinese almanac.  This is essentially a philosophy of self-interest.  Second, there is worldly wisdom.  This goes beyond conventional wisdom in being more streetwise.  One model of this is the kind of moral education as can be found in Aesop’s fables.  Another is the astuteness in political affairs as advocated by an Italian statesman of the 15th century, Nicolo Machiavelli. Third, clearly the category of the greatest interest to Christians would be spiritual wisdom.  Yet this is something far from easy to discern as it can manifest itself in the best of conventional wisdom on the one hand, or become a disguise for manipulative tendencies of the Machiavellian variety, on the other.

Rev Ng ended by suggesting that the resolution lies in the hint to Christlikeness in James 3:17.  Only as we model our values after the example of Christ might we hope to live by an unsullied wisdom. Chapel ended with a prayer for wisdom as embedded in the hymn, “Be Thou My Vision.” 

Chapel next week on 19th November will be taken by Miss Joan Teoh, our student, who comes from Bethesda (Frankel Estate) Church and is working toward completing her Postgraduate DipCS at BGST. Joan is a trained teacher and has taught for five years under the Ministry of Education. Thank God, for the next few weeks we shall be ministered to at chapel by student speakers.

NEWS BITS

  1.  BGST Building Fund launched. We urge all connected with BGST to pray and give to our Building Fund. Council Members, BGST Members, Faculty, Staff, current students, and graduates, let’s lead the way with our giving. All cheque gifts should be crossed and written in favour of “BGST”. On the back of the cheque, kindly write “Building Fund” and send it to us. Thank you very much. To meet our downpayment deadline of December 1st, please consider this matter as urgent and allow time for cheques to clear. We shall give progressive reports of the giving from week to week. 

  2. TENT and our Missions Curriculum. We wish to thank Dr & Mrs Toh See Kiat for hosting the participants of the final residential module of TENT 2003. We appreciate very much your offer, See Kiat and Dorothy, to host other smaller residential TENT programmes. Concerning TENT 2004 we regret to inform all that due to the low enrolment the announced programme will not take place. We shall seize the opportunity of a break from the regular TENT programme to organize mission trips, talks and other mission initiatives. We hope to commence planning for TENT 2005 by evaluating with our co-sponsor, the Discipleship Training Centre, the situation concerning tentmaking training in Singapore and respond to these appropriately. It is not the policy of BGST to duplicate what is being done well by other organizations or churches. We want to use our faculty and other resources to supplement what is being done so that together we can play a useful role in promoting this important aspect of mission work about which we are very passionate. Concerning our missions curriculum for 2004, we hope soon to announce the courses and co-curricular activities in the area of missions in 2004.  

  3. “The Splendour of Turkey, Egypt, Jordan and Israel” – the name of our Bible Lands Study Tour 2003 – The pre-trip briefing was given last week by Dr Quek. 27 trippers from 14 churches will leave on November 26. Pray for the preparation for this trip and for a blessed and safe time for all participating.   

  4. Renovation works outside our Library will commence on Monday, 17 November. The tiles will be hacked out and re-tiling should be finished within a week. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

  5. Erratum. BGST student, Elder Loh Mun Fei, is serving at Hebron Bible-Presbyterian Church, not Mt Hebron. Thank you, Rev David Wong, for the correction. We wish you, Jenny, and your family  God’s richest blessings.

A BLESSED BIRTHDAY TO ...

 

Ms Lim May Kwun  10/11
Mr Steven Brown  11/11
Mr Tang Kok Fai  11/11
Ms Susan Kaur Luchman  12/11
Ms Wong Su Ren  12/11

Ms Chiang Ban Lee  13/11
Mr Lee Kok Wah  14/11
Ms Chrisa Goh  14/11
Mr Willie Yeo  15/11

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This page is updated on 13 Nov 2003. 
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