good books   

Abraham, P. and Moyes, Gordon (2002). GD: A Legend in Our Times. A brief sketch on the life of G. D. James. India: Life of Life Books. 229 pages

The book is a tribute to the legendary Dr G.D. James whose vision is mission to "preach the Gospel in season and out of season," by any available method, in order that God's Name be exalted among the nations, in every tribe, tongue and country"' (p. 48).  The Lord honours his passion and the pages of the book unfold like a concertina chart of God's work of wonder in the life and ministry of Dr James.  He is affectionately known as GD.

His name was Gnanamuthu when he was born in 1920 on "Christmas Day" into a Hindu family in Tamil Nadu, India.  The staunch practicing Hindu was sent to a Christian Mission school but the study of Scripture became a subject of life transformation when he had a confrontation with The Man.  His booklet on the Gospel of Jesus Christ, The Man You Must Confront has been translated into ten languages and has reached the ten million mark!  The first fruit of his gift of evangelism was the conversion of his immediate family members who had badly ill-treated him.  Read the poignant account of GD's unhappy childhood in chapter 2 and it will strengthen those with similar experience to triumph over the odds by the grace of God.

He desired to be a medical doctor but chose to obey the will of God to be a physician of souls and after 62 years, he is still in active practice.  Dr Violet James-Nathan, the fourth child and third daughter of GD gave a brief but an amazing account of her father's life goal to "evangelise the unevangelised" and to "train and send forth the national evangelists and missionaries into the harvest fields of Asia" (p. 12) in chapter 1.  She traces the missionary journey of her father from India to Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Myanmar, Nepal, Hong Kong, China, Australia, New Zealand and the formation of the Asian Evangelistic Mission (AEF) which is now known as the AEF International.  AEF was the first indigenous Asian mission established to reach out to Asians wherever they may be found as Asian migrants in Australia or as foreign workers in Singapore (chapters 6 and 7). Beyond evangelism, AEF sets to nurture and equip Asian converts to evangelise and plant indigenous churches and the data of the God-given success is available. Thus, the records of GD's pioneering mission work and the ministry of AEF in Singapore and Malaysia should not be forgotten but be included in the church history education for the young in these churches mentioned in chapters 3 to 5.

Readers may be bothered by the repetitions in various chapters but the perceived weakness strengthens the reliability of the biographical sketch of GD as seen and experienced by different individuals and contributors including his beloved wife and children. Unanimously, they present Dr G. D. James' as a man who bears the marks of God's faithful servant and a missionary who is "sendable, bendable, dependable and dispensable" (p. 172). His sense of humour makes reading the book a joy and jokingly engages his readers in serious listening and thinking,


If you are driving at 30 to 40 miles per hour, sing "God will take care of you.  If you are driving at 50 to 60 miles per hour, sing "Nearer my God to Thee!."  If you are driving at 70 to 100 miles per hour, sing "Lord, I am coming home!!!"  (page 102).

It is a biography of a God's servant worth reading to give praises to our Almighty God for GD who "after 62 years or more, scores of converts are serving the Lord as pastors, elders, church-planters and missionaries in Malaysia, Singapore and in other parts of the world" (p. 80).  I am one of them.  Dr G.D. James was the evangelist when I responded to the message of salvation in Jesus Christ.  Again, he was the preacher at an Asia Evangelistic Fellowship camp when I committed my life to serve the Lord.  I am now serving as a full-time lecturer at the Biblical Graduate School of Theology after more than a decade of teaching in another theological college.  Thank you, Dr G. D. James and I praise the Lord for your influence in my life.

(Reviewed by Dr Ng Peh Cheng)



Let me try a little harder

Let me pray a little more

Let me go a little farther

Than Ive ever gone before


Let me sing instead of sighing

As I pass beneath the rod

Let my life burn out for others

Less of self and more of God


Let me see the ones about me

Hungry for the peace I know

And the spirit of my Savior

Father let me ever show


Let me lift the one whos fallen

Help the lame upon the way

Soothe the weary, calm the suffering

Knowing thou wilt come someday


Others, Lord, yes others

Let this my motto be

Help me to live for others

That I may be like Thee


                                    Nellie Martin

Chapel  on 9 April, 2003, was taken by Ms Valerie Lim, who is a Research Associate of Global Mapping International, whose headquarters is located in Colorado Springs, USA. Valerie gave a fascinating account of this important support ministry for mission work. Founded in 1983, GMI develops geographic databases for missions through creating custom-made maps which are used to enable mission agencies and  all interested in missions to project their work, review what has been done, and do a host of other functions. In so doing it helps mission agencies to be better focussed in their work and promotes prayer for missions. GMI's research and development focus is supplemented by production and publishing of mission research material on CD-ROM. It also provides consultation and training in the use of Information Technology for mission work. BGST Library thanks GMI for the gift of a full set of their CD-ROM.

Chapel on April 16 will be a special Easter Chapel.

  1. Change in commencement date. "Communication Skills for Speakers & Church Leaders" by Rev Ng Seng Chuan will commence on 23 April instead of 16 April.

  2. Bible Lands Study Tour in June 2003. The trip to Greece and Patmos will have to be postponed to next year due to the political situation. We are keen to retain the second BLST led by Dr Quek, planned for Nov.25-Dec.9, 2003, covering Israel, Jordan and Egypt. If you are interested, contact BGST and we shall update you on the progress of this tour.

  3. Rev Ng Seng Chuan will be preaching at St Hilda's Church (Anglican)  on Easter Sunday, April 20, 8.00-9.45am.

A Blessed Birthday to ...

Ms Ng Geok Har  7/4
Mr Michael Chan  8/4
Ms Tan Khai Nee  10/4
Mrs Pauline Kwek  11/4
Dr Elizabeth Whey  12/4
Ms Grace Chng  12/4
Ms Goh Li-Ern  13/4


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This page is updated on 10 Apr 2003 by Lee Pin Jacob
    Apr 2003