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A Word from the Dean
agora@BGST

     Call it "marketplace" as in the Classical Greek period in the Fifth Century BC with reference to a place of assembly or "forum" as in ancient Rome in the Second Century BC with reference to a public meeting place for judicial or business purposes or "plaza" as in Spain during the 17th Century AD with reference to a city square or "commercial hub" as in Singapore today with reference to our location at No. 31 Tanjong Pagar Road--and that is where Biblical Graduate School of Theology by the grace of God is presently located. Befitting our mission to be salt and light in the world as a lay-training institution, we have adopted the name agora@BGST as our signature name at Tanjong Pagar. Officially we shall still be called BGST but informally when an event is announced as taking place at agora@BGST please note that we mean No. 31 Tanjong Pagar Road.

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose / By any other word would smell as sweet" (William Shakespeare in Romeo and Juliet, II, ii, 1-2). For all who understand and hold dear to the heart the mission of BGST is encapsulated in this expression.

We have moved to our new location slightly more than a year ago. Our classes continue to be held at Park Mall (NUS Extension), Bishan (Zion BPC), and other locations. But we operate mainly from two heritage shophouses located right smack between two MRT stations and currently we are occupying three out of four floors that belong to us. We have perhaps the smallest campus of all the Bible schools in Singapore and yet we have a credible teaching faculty, a respectable library, a great student body of 300 who come from a wide range of denominations - many are key lay persons and they come from more than sixty churches - and unlike the other Bible schools, more than 95% of our student body are Singaporeans! We would have more students from other countries if we are able to provide tuition scholarships and hostel arrangements for them. Many of our best students who have pursued higher degrees come from overseas, In 2005 our student enrolment we had 7 students working towards the Master of Divinity, 16 in the Master in Christian Studies, 47 in the Graduate Diploma in Christian Studies and 230 are classified as "Special Studies" and these are happy simply to take courses that they consider interesting and helpful to them personally.

Those of you who have been observant might have noticed that since we moved to agora@BGST we have not yet announced an official opening, Yes, we began quietly trusting by faith that God would supply our needs as we first renovated two floors and moved in. A third floor has now been renovated. But it now needs to be furnished and finishing touches on all three floors await availability of funds.

In recounting our blessings we are happy to note that most of the funding for the operations of BGST have come from individuals upon whom God has laid a burden to stand behind the work of BGST. These have caught the vision of BGST and realize that far from being a sinking ship, BGST is on the threshold of something exciting and we are poised to enter into our new lap with undiminished strength as we pursue relentlessly the task that God has entrusted to us. We hope to announce soon in May a major effort to deal with the repayment of our building loan. But currently we are focusing on the need to look at two areas: (1) our operational needs, which come to about $50,000 a month; and (2) the need to furnish what renovation areas and the need for this comes to around $30,000. Here are some realities for us to pray about and to respond to:  

     In January we received 18 gifts totalling $49,000 for our General Fund and 2 gifts totalling $380 for our Building Fund (the figures are rounded off for convenience of reference). In February we received 26 gifts totalling $27,000 for our General Fund and 11 gifts totalling $5,000 for our Building Fund.  

    Given the current state of the giving and the monthly need stated above, by about the middle of this month our cashflow will need heavy injection of funds as we have an interest free loan of $100,000 to be repaid.  

     Thank God for the enthusiastic response to some of our courses. We need quickly to move into the fourth floor, which is sparsely furnished.

We are therefore launching a Donate a Furniture Appeal, the details of which will be released within the next few days. Essential furniture needs to be bought and students and well-wishers are invited to donate a chair, a table, or some item so that the current renovation can be completed. Note please we are not asking for used furniture but for the funds for us to buy what is required within our space constraints. Will you respond? We shall release the details on our website and in a special edition of BTW next week. Please prayerfully consider how you can make an extra effort to stand behind agora@BGST and help us continue our efforts to be a blessing to our students and the churches we are serving. (Dr Quek Swee Hwa)

Tentmakers Equipping n Training
(TENT 2006)

TENT Course is a part-time modular course specially designed to equip and prepare professionals for ministry and service in a cross-cultural context. Classes will be held at 31 Tanjong Pagar Road. Time: 7.30-10.00pm.

  • Biblical Basis for Tentmaking Mission (Jun 6, 13, 20, 27)

  • Theology of Work (Jul 11, 18, 25)

  • Religions of Asia (Aug 1, 8, 15)

  • Tentmakers & Ethical Issues (Aug 22, 29, Sep 5)

  • Coping with Stress (Sep 19, 26, Oct 3)

  • Personal Ministry Skills (Oct 10, 17, 31)

  • Understanding Culture (Nov 7, 14, 21)

  • Seminar: Tentmaking Types (Nov 25, 2.00-5.30pm)

Visit our website for course descriptions. For registration, please call 62276815 or email tent@bgst.edu.sg
 

ALUMNI NEWS
from Rev Yim Tai-Jai 

Dear Brothers and Sisters at BGST,

Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus.

I am Rev. Yim Tai-Jai, who graduated with MCS in BGST in January 1998. I'm currently serving as an Associate Pastor after having been ordained in the Methodist Church in Korea.

I have very fond memories of BGST. I would like to meet you all again. I am going to resign from the present church with effect from February 12 and then I will be leaving on Feb 18 for the States to accept the post of Senior Pastor at Vancouver Pillar Church located in northern part of Portland, USA. I have decided to obey God's command. I request your prayer for me as I embark on a new ministry. I thought that when I returned to Korea I would no longer use English, but it proved to be wrong. I began to study English again as one fifth of this congregation can understand only English.

Brothers and Sisters at BGST,

Please don't forget that God's providence is much greater and more powerful than what we can imagine. Frankly, I've been under severe difficulties caused by the economic crisis in Korea since I returned to Korea in 1998. It was a very painful experience. There were much tears and difficulties without places to serve the Lord. But I always believed that God will answer my prayers. I began to be involved in pastoring ministry in the church while studying in the Korean Methodist Seminary. And now I'm pastoring a congregation with joy.

Thank God that my family is doing fine with good health. I have now two pretty daughters; they are 9 and 5 years old. My experience in BGST has taught me various ways to win the victory in the world, especially helping me realize that God's ways are the most powerful.

When I go to the U.S. I'll be facing different kinds of circumstances and difficulties, but I do not fear because God is with me. I'll be keeping in touch again with you as soon as I am settled in the States. I trust that the love and grace of our Lord will be with you all. I pray also for Dr Quek's health and quick recovery.

From your beloved brother in Christ,

Rev. Yim Tai-Jai

A BLESSED BIRTHDAY TO....

Mr Matthew Yap  14/3

Pastor Vincent Lun  15/3

Mr Simon Ting  15/3

Mr Kenneth Tan  15/3

Mdm Bessie Ng  16/3

Mr Paul Yap  16/3

Mr Tan Chek Wu  17/3

Dr David Wong  18/3

Ms Lena Leong  19/3

Dr Ong Eng Keow  19/3

Mr Loo Cheng Koon  19/3

Ms Pauline Koh  19/3

 

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This page was updated on 3 Mar 2006. 
  2006