31 Mar—6 Apr 2008
Issue No. 13
Nina Pailkar is our latest international full-time student. She arrived just 2 months ago and is settling into her DipCS program.
Nina comes from Mumbai where she graduated with a Masters in Commerce In 2005. She worked for 2 years in a call-centre for a multi-national pharmaceutical company where she dealt with quality call assistance. Her official designation was “Compliance Executive”. She speaks English, Marathi and Hindi.
Where her faith is concerned, Nina was baptized when she was 12 together with her brother and her father who converted from Hinduism. Her mother came from a Christian family so she and her brother had always gone to Sunday School. Under the guidance of a missionary, Pastor Peter, Nina began growing in her faith and became actively involved in ministry, speaking in church and working with children while in her teenage years, and later with young people in her college days.
Nina, our girl from Mumbai ...
Four Friends – that’s the story Rev Ng Seng Chuan told us at chapel last week.
In a light-hearted manner, Rev Ng brought a contemporary and refreshing angle to the story of Daniel and his three friends (Daniel 1).
Akin to our modern day scholarship scheme, the four friends were selected and put through a stringent and vigorous process of grooming to “serve in the king’s palace” (Dan 1:4). It was hardly easy for the four Hebrew friends as they grappled with a different environment altogether – country, culture, language and, most notably, a pagan religion that stood starkly opposed to their Jewish practice of worship, chief of which being the observance of food laws.
The sumptuous spread of the “king’s delicacies” (v5) included the equivalent of our ‘”Ah Yat’s abalone, Rama Thai sharks fins, and braised pork knuckles”. But, for the four friends, they could only savour the chef’s freshest salad produce, and that, after removing the bacon bits! As though this was not bad enough, the four friends had their godly names obliterated from society – replaced by pagan names and names of Babylonian gods, a striking attempt to erase their Jewish religious identity. In all these, the four friends stood firm. They found favor with the chief eunuch to continue steadfastly in their Jewish faith.
At the end of the three-year programme, the results of the scholarship spoke for themselves. The four friends scored high distinctions and excelled in the oral examination with the king; and ‘among them all none was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah’ (v19).
So, what has this story of old to do with us living in an affluent society like Singapore? Well, Rev Ng highlighted four inspirations we can receive from this story.
Firstly, the four friends demonstrated Abstinence, a spiritual discipline of non-defilement in the midst of a contrary culture. For our contemporary application, this could include our discipline in quiet time, financial stewardship and fasting. Secondly, the friends exemplified Excellence, where results were accounted for, not in terms of success quantification, but rather in ‘doing justice to God’s grace’. Thirdly, they remained true to their Worship, ‘stand(ing) in the presence of God unstained by secular values’. And finally, the Witness of the four friends shone in the ‘fearless subjection of (their) belief system to secular scrutiny’.
Indeed, like the four friends, the challenge for us is to purpose in our hearts that we would not defile ourselves (v8), as we grapple with the indulgent life-style our affluent society offers.
Neo Ban Seng
(awaiting completion of MCS)
Despite her active service she was not fully satisfied that she was doing enough. When she started working she was glad that God made use of her to be of encouragement and support to her colleagues. She remembers especially one who suffered from cancer and later passed away, but not before she came to know Jesus through her witness.
Nina’s desire to serve God led her to enquire with various colleges abroad with a view to preparing for children’s ministry. She had gotten to know Immanuel (BGST student) who introduced and encouraged her to apply to BGST.
As to be expected, adjustment to life and studies in Singapore has been difficult for Nina, but it is early days yet. She looks forward to equipping herself for ministry. God has opened doors for her to serve as a Sunday school teacher in Tamil Methodist Church at Dhoby Ghaut. She is teaching in English the Tamil and Telugu-speaking children. Please uphold her in your prayers. You may contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Graduate Diploma in Education for Christian Formation
Ms Seah Chiew Kwan worships at the Zion Gospel Mission and is actively involved in the educational ministry of the church. She is a graduate of the National University of Singapore and a Polytechnic Lecturer
The speaker this week is Rev Dr David Huntley. Don’t forget to join us next week when we will have lunch fellowship after chapel. Dr Dr David Wong will be our speaker next week.
äTo all students, faculty and staff:
You may purchase your LOGOS software at 40% discount online at http://www.logos.com/academic/bgst/spring2008 from Wed, 2/4 to Wed, 16/4. For further queries, please contact Kok Weng at office no. 6227-6815
New Personnel Appointments at BGST!
We are pleased to inform you of the following new Appointments at BGST:
Ms Jolene Tan Chay Hoon has been appointed as the ‘Administrator’ from 1st April 2008. As you know she has been working as Secretary to the Principal for the last 11 months, and will now assume the broader responsibility of running the administration at BGST.
Business Development Manager
Ms Serene Woon, formerly our Administrator, will assume a new appointment as the Business Development Manager (BDM) from 1st April 2008. She will support the Principal & Provost in the development of BGST’s external visibility and “mindshare” to churches and marketplace. In addition, she will support the development and growth of services at agora@bgst, a new entity.
Provost & Executive Vice-Principal
We are pleased to announce that BGST has appointed Mr Chou Fang Soong as Provost and Executive Vice-Principal from March 11th 2008. His main role would be to assist the Principal/Acting Principal in all academic & administrative matters. He will also be responsible for developing and growing the services at agora@bgst. Fang Soong retired recently from a Multi-National Corporation where he was a pioneer in building their business in the Asia-Pacific region.