DATELINE: 1st January 2011

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HAPPY NEW YEAR (& Merry Christmas) . . .

Tham Wan preaching at Elim Assembly, translated by Senior Pastor Wun

Our November/December itineration was successful. We preached in many different churches/fellowships, some of them for the first time:
    First Assembly AG (Pudu),
    Christ Lutheran Church (Setapak),
    Church of Praise (Johor Baru),
    City Outreach Center (Damansara Utama),
    Talam Lunch Fellowship (Pandan Indah),
    Lutheran Church (11th Mile Cheras),
    Elim Assembly (Kepong), and
    Canaan Sri Hartamas.
The response was very good. There were many who prayed the sinner's prayer for the first time. We also received assurances from the supporting churches that they will continue supporting us. While itinerating in Malaysia, we also finished a video greeting which we uploaded on our facebook site. (If you are not our facebook "friend" yet, please invite us.) View the video here:


In between, we also manage to squeeze a quick promotions trip through the Southern area of China. It was a successful trip with many new contacts. APTS' ministry in China can expect to expand in the coming year. 

We are now back in Baguio, taking a break from our furlough in Malaysia to help start off the school's new trimester.

This is the last trimester of the 2010/2011 school year. As usual, it will be a very busy trimester. There will be plenty of meetings and decisions to make. Please pray for our good health and wisdom.
 

DATELINE: 19th October 2010

Our Latest Mailout Cover Letter . . .

 

Dear friends,

Greetings in Jesus' name!

Here is an issue of our ministry newsletter with a quick update of a recent focus of our ministry. We have been late in our ministry updates because we are simply swamped with ministry work: Moon Tee with pastoring our new church in Baguio and Tham Wan with his work in APTS. (For much more recent updates, please visit our facebook page or our website at www.thamwan.org)

The focus of the attached newsletter has to do with China. God has opened the doors for us to connect with the mainland Chinese House Church Network Leaders. They are key people not only in the Chinese Church but also in world missions - if we can help them adapt to ministry in the world outside of China. We are happy to play a small role in this. We have very good relations with them and APTS is a place they are keen to send their current and upcoming leaders to for training. They find APTS' Pentecostal heritage and missionary focus compatible with their ministry ethos.

We will be sending another issue of our ministry newsletter just before the end of this year. That will be our Christmas issue.

MEANWHILE, we want you to know that we are on furlough and looking forward to meet up with all our partners and potential partners. We can come over to your church and preach for any of your services or we can meet up with you and/or missions leaders. We are involved in leadership development for the countries within the 10/40 window. Your investment in our ministry will ensure the continuing development of the Pentecostal church in this region.

(Please feel free to use the attached newsletter as you see fit. Click to view the newsletter.)

Thank you for remembering us. Blessings!
--
Yee Tham Wan & Ngoh Moon Tee
Maybank Account: 512558129701
(You may also click on the "Donation" button on the left panel)
Asia Pacific Theological Seminary, Baguio

  

DATELINE: 19th October 2010

A New Term!!

We had a meeting with the Malaysian Assemblies of God World Missions Department last week and it was decided that we will be reappointed as Malaysian AG missionaries for another 2-year term to serve at APTS. However, we need to first get a commitment of at least 80% of our budget covered. Please pray for us.

We are now back in Baguio, having driven through a typhoon. (We are in our home at APTS now but the winds and the rain are continuing.) We will start writing to all our friends this week. We are looking forward to continuing our work here in APTS (Asia Pacific Theological Seminary) and in BICC (Baguio International Chinese Church).

Both APTS and BICC are growing with more students and more members respectively. We have been able to do all our work here in the Philippines these last six years because of your support. We thank you.

Blessings!

  

DATELINE: 19th September 2010

The "Red Vision" that did not come to pass

I was reminded today of the many times during the 70's when there were visions and prophecies of the Communist influence flowing out of China and covering the countries of South East Asia. I especially remember someone sharing a vision that she has seen in her prayers of a map of Asia with a flow of red coming from China and spreading into the neighboring countries and finally reaching Malaysia. We prayed very hard for God to intervene and stop the red tide.

In the ensuing years, we had prayed regularly for China and now the doors are finally beginning to open. The people who have taken quick advantage of the open doors in China are the business people. We prayed for the doors to be open but the business people benefited the most.

At APTS and BICC, we were privileged to host many Chinese House Church leaders over the last three months. They had come to APTS for an intensive leadership enrichment program. We have become great friends over the last three months and at this morning's "farewell" service at BICC, there were lots of tears.

We look forward to working with many of them in the coming years. In these last days, the mainland Chinese house church will be the great force for missions. We must find ways to release the great potential of the over 100 million believers represented by the house church networks.   

   

DATELINE: 28th May 2010

We Are Not Called to Meet Needs . . .  

We have been traveling and everywhere we go, we find needs. We often think we have the ability to meet these needs. And, we may be right . . . if only we can find the time. I often leave a place with a heavy burden, wanting to do more than what I have done. If not properly channeled, this feeling can be binding and debilitating.

All of us can meet a lot of needs everywhere we go but we must be careful that we do not go around solving problems and meeting needs that we forget our own calling. We are called to obey, and as we do that we may also become the solution to the problems around us. God does not need our help to solve the world's problems. He can meet all of the world's needs without our help. It is our privilege that we are allowed into ministry.

A proper understanding of divine calling and a healthy burden for the needs of the world can be very liberating. Those of us who live in Asia, where the needs are so great (more than 90% in Asia still do not acknowledge Jesus as Lord and Saviour), it is important that we have a proper perspective of our calling.  

   

DATELINE: 5th April 2010

Things are Moving Very Fast . . . 

My brother, Tham Fuan, baptizing our father at the Selayang General Hospital

My last update on this page was 23rd December, 2009. That was 4 months ago! We have been very, very busy! Shortly after we made that posting on 23rd December, we were told that my father was suffering from incurable Leukemia. We went back a couple of times to be with him. (The Chinese New Year reunion dinner was especially meaningful for us.) We had been praying daily for all of our family members but my father had remained non-committal about his faith.

My father had "received Christ" many times but there is always some lingering doubt about the genuiness of his salvation. Although we could have given everything the benefit of doubt and taken comfort in his many times of having "received Christ," God was good in clarifying things for us when my father asked to be baptized. (That perhaps is a testimony of the practical importance of water baptism.) My son, Ian (who is a reporter with the Star newspaper), has written a couple of touching articles about his grandad. You can read those articles and find out more about my father on: http://blog.rage.com.my/a-grandfathers-love and http://bit.ly/dr96EW

My father died on the 14th of March (Sunday). We rushed home on the 15th of March (Monday) for the funeral and spent the next few days until Friday to settle related family matters. After that, we were in Bangkok to preach for the International Christian Assembly (ICA) Church. We also met some APTS alumni there. From there, we rushed back on Sunday (21st March) night to the Philippines, arriving at 4 am in Manila on Monday. We drove straight up to Baguio, arriving around noon. We had to rush because we needed to be present for the Board meetings which were scheduled for the 24th and 25th. Some Board members had arrived earlier and we had some preliminary meetings with them. Graduation was on the 26th (see slideshow on right column). After that, we had the traditional debriefing meeting with the faculty and missionaries on the 27th. It was all like "fast forward" speed to us . . . things moved very fast!

Fortunately, everything went very well. We had a couple of days to quiet down but things are picking up again . . . we have just started on our summer programs: the Missionary Training Institute (MTI) is starting today and the Institute of Islamic Studies (IIS) will begin soon. Next week, there will be a group of pastors from the US coming for a visit. They are looking into the possibility of helping pay off some of the seminary's outstanding loans. After that, Moon Tee and I will be off to China to re-connect with the leaders there. We are hoping for 20 new students from China for the new school year.

Here is our travel schedule for the next few months:

April 15-24 : China (Shanghai, Beijing and Shenzhen/Guangzhou for promotion.), confirmed tickets
April 26-May 7 : Extension Class in Manila (Asian Theological Issues), confirmed
May 8-13 : Japan (to meet with General Council EXCO and CBC President), confirmed
early June : Indonesia (to meet with General Council & also GBI-Church of God leaders), tentative
June 5-14 : Malaysian General Council Conference (and visit some supporters), confirmed
June 28-July 5 : Korea (to preach at Yoido FGC), confirmed
Aug 23-27 : Stockholm (World Alliance for Pentecostal Theological Education, WAPTE), tentative
Aug 28-Sep 2 : Korea (for APTS Board Exco Meeting), tentative
Sept : India (South Asia Bible College, SABC. Details not confirmed), tentative
Oct 31-Nov 4 : Korea (Seoul Conference of Bible College Presidents), confirmed
Dec, first week : Malaysia (Bible College of Malaysia, BCM Jubilee Celebrations), confirmed

Finally, let me record our thanks for the Malaysian World Missions Department for helping find funding for our travels. It will cost quite a lot but I believe the investment is worth it in the long run. Our travels will bring APTS closer to its constituency in the Asia Pacific region.

DATELINE: 23rd December 2009

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First Christmas in Baguio 

Tham Wan preaching at NEDA Baguio office. He is wearing a barong with a "Cordillera" design.

We have now lived as missionaries in Baguio for more than 5 years. But, this will be the first time that we are celebrating Christmas in Baguio. In fact, we have already started our celebrations.

On the 16th of December, I preached my first Christmas message of the year at the District Council here based on Matt. chapter 2. On the same day, I cleared all the payments up to December to support the 20 mountain Pastor's kids. The fund for this support comes from a church in Malaysia. We hope to do more in terms of material support for the families of pastors here. Let us know if you want to participate.

Last Sunday (20th Dec) was the Christmas celebration for the Baguio International Chinese Church. The Youth Missions Team from Canaan Church sang and testified while Tham Wan preached a short evangelistic message. (For lots of photos about the Youth Missions Team, please visit our facebook pages.) There were some non-Christians from mainland China attending. The following Monday (21st Dec), Tham Wan preached at the Simbang Umaga (Morning Service) which started at 5 am. The Simbang Umaga is an annual tradition of Baguio Assembly to celebrate the Christmas season. Tham Wan's message was broadcast live on local Filipino radio channel, RPN9.

The congregation responding to the altar call

Yesterday (22nd Dec), I preached at another Christmas event at the local office of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA). Many people responded to the altar. In the evening of the same day, we hosted the Chinese winter festival (guo dong in Cantonese) together mainland Chinese students. The students helped make dumplings. Apart from the mainland Chinese, there were also guests from Singapore, US, Korea, Fiji, Myanmar, etc. We took the opportunity to sing some Christmas Carols and shared some evangelistic thoughts with our guests. This morning, we were at the final Simbang Umaga service.

 Tomorrow, we plan to have a simple Christmas eve dinner at our home. On Christmas day itself, we have been invited by some mainland Roman Catholic Chinese students to their home for lunch. Dinner will be a quiet pot-luck meal on campus with the APTS community who are still on campus.

Maligayang Pasko at Manigong Bagong Taon! (For the English translation, click on the "Speak Filipino" icon on the menu column on the left.)

DATELINE: 4th December 2009

very busy november
 

 

APTS Administrators attending the Healing Rally in the Baguio Convention Center. The whole auditorium was packed.




With Peggy Lu, one of the students we helped bring over from China to study at BCM. She was doing her weekend ministry in Church of Praise, Johor Baru.



Moon Tee praying for Rev. Patrick Tan and his family. Rev. Tan is the pastor of the Chinese Dept in Church of Praise.

 

APTS had the privilege of hosting Dr. Grace Kim Sung Hae (wife of Dr. Yonggi Cho) at APTS on Nov 25. She was passing through Manila and we were honored that she accepted our invitation to come up to Baguio. It was quite a detour for her so we chartered a plane to bring her up.

Dr. Grace Kim was not only the wife of Yonggi Cho. She has a ministry of her own too. She is an accomplished musician and is currently the President of Hansei University, which has a sister school agreement with APTS. She has also travelled extensively holding evangelistic meetings and healing rallies.

During that one day when she was with us, she spoke at our chapel and also at a healing rally in Baguio city. Both events were great successes. We also got to observe her up close and noticed her humility and approachability. She was so down to earth. It is truly an honor for us to meet and fellowship with her.

 The same week, we also had our final APTS chapel service for the trimester. A couple of days following that, we had a candlelight service marking the first Sunday of Advent. And yesterday, the APTS faculty on campus celebrated Christmas at the Academic Dean's home.

Apart from the ministries at APTS, we also travelled quite a bit: Melaka (Bethel), Singapore (Singapore AGBC graduation and Calvary Church), Johor Baru (Singapore AG Senior Pastors' Retreat (Church of Praise). Within the Philippines, we have also been kept busy with our weekend preaching engagements. Moon Tee continue to lead the Baguio International Chinese Church.  I was at San Jose preaching for a couple of churches. All these different engagements opened many doors for us. We are truly grateful for the opportunities at this stage in our ministerial life.

Just in case I have not time to squeeze another report here before December 25, we would like to wish you MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

DATELINE: 22nd October 2009

Spreading the message of missions . . .  

 

Some of those stranded in Manila: (L to R)
David Woo (Yoido missionary in the Philippines), TW,
Tamotsu (Japan AG Missions Director),
Albert (AGAMA Executive Director),
Wai Man (United Bethel Church Senior Pastor)




Cultural dance at the Missions Convention



World Missions Dept Committee: (L to R) Joyce Williams; Julia Teh; Chris Pak (Director); Francis Yip, and K. L. Chin

 

Three important things happened in October of 2009 and all of them have to do with raising missions awareness. First, we celebrated missions at the annual APTS Missions Convention. It is one of the major events in our school calendar. This year, we had Rev. Bill Snider as the speaker. The second event is the Round-Table Meeting with important leaders from China. The third item is our itineration in Malaysia where we reconnected with our supporters.

These events took place against the background of the devastating typhoons that caused widespread damage and deaths in Manila and the Baguio area. These typhoons caused some of the worst floods ever in both areas. In Baguio, there were landslides and access roads were cut off for 3 days. Even now, there is another typhoon expected to hit Northern Luzon.  

We have been here in APTS for five years already and yet the APTS Missions Convention never seem to bore us. Many of the APTS students will become missionaries; and even if they do not actually become missionaries themselves, we hope our students will become strong supporters of missions upon their graduation. The missions offering collected during the event was designated to the relief work for the flood victims in Manila.  

The Round-Table Meeting is a kind of a promotions event for APTS. We want 20 more students from China and this meeting afforded us the opportunity to hear directly from people involved in the field there. If we can convince the leaders that we can meet their needs, they will send their future leaders for training with us. Missions agencies related to APTS also participated in the meeting. The work is so immense, APTS cannot do the work alone. Because of the typhoon, Moon Tee and I were stranded in Manila. We missed the meeting in Baguio but we were able to meet with others who were similarly stranded in Manila. Preliminary reports suggest that the Round-Table meeting was a huge success.

Our itineration helps to raise missions awareness in Malaysian churches. Our philosophy is to raise FRIENDS rather than FUNDS. We need more friends than funds in missions. While back, we also got to meet with the whole Malaysian AG World Missions Department Committee. They reaffirmed their support for us and also treated us to a wonderful Chinese lunch. Our October ministry in Malaysia included teaching for the Alpha and Omega International College (AOIC) and Sunday services in Penang First and Penang Christian Center. These are all opportunities for us to talk about missions.

The destruction from the typhoons in the Philippines have been immense. I am told that more than 50 of those who died in the Baguio-Trinidad area come from AG churches. Almost 1,000 people died from the two recent typhoons. Many more thousands have been made homeless. Our Malaysian friends have been very helpful. We helped direct over RM50,000 from Malaysia to different AG agencies (including APTS and the Philippine General Council) involved in the relief work. The natural calamity in the Philippines this time happened almost simultaneously with the Padang earthquake and the tsunami in Samoa. These are signs of the Lord's soon return. More missions need to be done. More workers need to be trained . . .

DATELINE: 10th September 2009
NEW School Year/Term Begins . . . 

With Rev. Anthony Phua, Rev. Ruth Phua and their children at the President's Welcome Breakfast

Tomorrow (11th September), we will begin the orientation for the new students coming for the second trimester of the current school year. It seems like only a short while ago that we began the new 2009-2010 school year. We have new students from Korea and Japan. There is even one student from Ecuador, who will be on campus for a special English program. 

The new school year had begun with a "President's Welcome Breakfast" that was held in conjunction with the Spiritual Emphasis Weekend. Normally, there would have been a separate "President's Welcome Banquet." The change was well-received because we saved money and time with having the two events (Spiritual Emphasis Weekend and President's Welcome) held together.

The speaker for the Spiritual Emphasis Weekend was Rev. Anthony Phua from Singapore. We have known Pastor Anthony and his wife Ruth for many years. Ruth came from the same church as we did. Anthony spoke at the Spiritual Emphasis services while Ruth spoke for the President's Welcome Breakfast.

The services were really anointed and many people testified how they were blessed. It was good to start the school year with strong spiritual emphasis.

   

DATELINE: 12th August 2009
"Kampung Boy" Opening New Doors

With APTS immediate Past President, Dr. Wayne Cagle at the Flower Heritage Center. Hanging above us are the portraits of all the past General Superintendents of the Assemblies of God of the US.

I received a prophetic message recently. The first paragraph of that prophetic message is:

"I will use you to open up many regions in Asia in the coming days you will go to many places some of the doors will be shut in front of your face
but  more will receive you as you go in my name you are to sit with them"

This is beginning to happen. For many years, I have a "local boy" image in my ministry profile. However, there has been a dramatic change over the last five years of our ministry. This change is more pronounced now that I am the President of APTS.

Last month, I traveled to the United States and now I am in Korea. I sat down with missions leaders and the pastors of large churches trying to impress them with the work that is being done at APTS. I also try to sell them the 2014 Jubilee Vision. So far, doors have opened and doors have shut. But, when this prophecy comes to pass, MORE will receive us. On my part, I will simply keep on knocking on and pushing open the doors.

My trip to the US was mainly to keep the connection with APTS' largest stakeholder, the Assemblies of God World Missions Department of the United States. We met with plenty of people who are clearly sympathetic with what we do at APTS. Let's pray that they will back up their words with some hard cash! We are now in Korea, at the Haeundae Church in Busan. For the last three days, we had been preaching in the church. It was a very refreshing experience. Moon Tee preached 4 times for the early morning prayer service while I preached 4 times too, but for their special spiritual emphasis meetings. We have been very well-received and we are looking forward to stronger partnership with this church.

We will also be visiting the prayer mountain in Busan, expecting to learn about setting up a prayer mountain. One of the goals for 2014 Jubilee Vision is to have a prayer mountain on our Baguio campus. We can learn from the Korean church how to do this.    

DATELINE: 29th July 2009
45th Anniversary of APTS

APTS Presidents & Deans (R to L): President Emeritus Dr. John Carter; Current President Rev. Yee Tham Wan; Former President Dr. Wayne Cagle; Former Dean Dr. Wonsuk Ma; Current Dean Dr. Paul Lewis.

Today is the 45th Anniversary of the Asia Pacific Theological Association (APTS). I have been associated with APTS in different capacities since 1989 when I started as a student at the Malaysian APTS extension. In 1996, after almost 7 years since my first APTS course in the Malaysian extension, I was asked by the Registrar to finish the remainder of my M.A. courses or face the possibility of losing all the credits I have gathered over the 7 years. I chose to take study leave from the church that I was pastoring then to come on to the Baguio campus to finish up my M.A. in Ministry. I graduated in December of that same year. I returned to the campus with my whole family in the following year where I did some more courses.

After some more courses at the Malaysian M.A. extension in the ensuing years, I was invited to join the first APTS batch of Th.M. students in the year 2000. I finished my coursework in 2002. It was then that I was asked to consider joining APTS as a faculty member. The Academic Dean then, Dr. Wonsuk Ma, got me to teach a couple of courses as a guest lecturer. I assume they were trying me out. However, it was also a good opportunity for me to test my own gifting and calling as a seminary lecturer. When I was sure it was God's will, I applied for missionary appointment with the World Missions Department of the Malaysian Assemblies of God, so that I could be sent as a Malaysian missionary to APTS. 

After going through about 18 months of the appointment and itineration (fund-raising) process, Moon Tee and I moved on to the campus in 2004. In the meantime, I had already graduated with my Th.M.

As I think about the long personal association with APTS, I realized that I may be one of the few who have gone through the "whole works" at APTS. I was a student at the extension . . . I stayed in the dormitory as a student . . . I stayed in the student apartment with my family on campus . . . I was a part-time adjunct faculty . . . I stayed at a small student apartment when I was a junior lecturer . . . I then moved into one of the big missionary houses for a while before settling in the nice Esperanza 400 apartment for a while . . . and finally, I am now in House A. In terms of my service here, I was Chapel Coordinator, Seminary Advancement Director, Interim Business Administrator before I became President in 2009. 

It was a long journey that I had not planned on. Today, as we celebrate the 45th Anniversary of APTS, the event has a decidedly personal flavor.

(APTS will be having a special thanksgiving service tonight at 7 pm, Philippines time - which is GMT+8. It will be webcast live on the internet. Please click here to witness the webcast.)

DATELINE: 17th May 2009
Cebu Convention:

TW & MT at the Cebu International Convention Center where the General Council was held.

We have just come back from attending the Triennial General Council Convention of the Philippines Assemblies of God (AG). This is called the "One Job" Convention. The "One Job" theme was to challenge the AG stakeholders (including Filipino members and missionaries in Philippines) towards unity. This is my first time attending the General Council Convention in the Philippines and I learned much. It was really nice meeting so many co-workers all in the same place. I think there were over 1,500 registered delegates.

We were particularly encouraged by the many Filipino missionaries who were presented to the congregation. They serve almost all over the world: from China to Korea to Cambodia to Dubai and many other countries in between these. The Philippines AG is fast becoming one of the most effective mission-sending groups. For example, one of their missionaries run a English-language and livelihood center in Cambodia for over 1,500 students. Through this center, they were able even to reach Buddhist monks with the Gospel. Among the missionaries presented, two were qualified dentists and another two were medical doctors. These medical personnel are currently or will be serving in East Timor, China, and the Middle East. It is very humbling serving among these folks. It is also very fulfilling for us to realize that many of them have received their training at APTS.

DATELINE: 3rd May 2009
Malaysian Short-Term Missions Teams

We just sent off a short-term missions team from Tabernacle of Worship (Seremban). There were 16 of them ladies led by Rev. Marianne Mun. It was fun having so many Malaysians together at our home. (Rev. Richard Ong from Kuantan happened to be with us too. He is studying at the Institute of Islamic Studies (IIS).) The team did some services at two of the largest AG Churches in the area: Baguio Assembly City Church and La Trinidad Assembly of God. They also helped with "feeding" programs in Baguio and Manila. Perhaps their most challenging missions experience would have been tracting at the red-light area in Baguio. 

Just before the TOW team came, we also had an ICM (International Christian Missions) team led by Bro. Wilson Ng. Actually, there were kind of two separate teams from ICM because they divided themselves into two groups. Both groups made a stopover (one stayed a couple of nights) in APTS.

Staying with us in APTS is a real plus. Not only is there secure and comfortable accommodation, you can also get to mingle with students and professors from all over the world. Some of the most promising Pentecostal students and theologians can be found here. We usually give our guests the opportunity to fellowship with APTS students so that they can meet real-life missionaries from all over the world!

Over the next two months we will be receiving another 5 to 6 more groups from Malaysia. Some are coming on short-term missions exposure trips while others are coming for holidays. This place will be packed with Malaysians! Among those coming will be some good friends and ministry colleagues: Rev. Thaddeus and the group from New Covenant Assembly (Seri Petaling, KL), Rev. Clement and the group from Church of Praise (Ipoh), Rev. Joanne Lee and the group of students from MMU (Multi-Media University), Rev. Francis Yip and his wife & daughter, Rev. Nirhal Philips, Rev. Karen Tan, etc.

Baguio is a really nice place - whether you are coming for a rest or for missions exposure. The weather is beautiful and scenery is breathtaking. There is also a great library for those who want to do some reading/research along with the rest. The nearby mountain churches and the many universities/colleges in the city provide missions opportunities. In fact, even though Baguio is on a mountian, we can get you to a beach area in less than 2 hours. So, there is a wide spectrum of missions experience awaiting for you.

If you had or are visiting us, please write a note of our "shoutbox" on this site and briefly tell us your experience. We hope you can inspire more people to visit us. 

DATELINE: 10th April 2009
Silent Night, Holy Week 

We are into "Holy Week" now and the crowds coming up from the lowlands are gathering in town but it is very quiet here on campus with most of the students gone for the holidays. We had just finished a Good Friday meal at the Cagles'. Rev. Saw Tint San Oo (from Myanmmar and Rev. Kevin Hovey (from Australia) were there too. It was nice fellowshipping and praying together. Kevin Hovey asked me if I had a speech to give since I had just finished one week as the President of APTS. It was then that I realized that time has passed very quickly this week.

The graduation-inauguration service last week was really meaningful. We were grateful that our family was with us. The General Superintendent, Rev. Ong Sek Leang and the World Missions Department Director, Rev. Chris Pak, as well as Rev. Chin Keng Leong (WMD Committee Member) were there too. Rev. Lim Yeu Chuen was of course there too. He is the Malaysian Representative to the APTS Board of Directors. The inauguration service was a short and meaningful ceremony. Dr. John Carter gave the charge, to which I responded. We will be uploading the full texts of both the charge and the response soon. Sek Leang did the dedicatory prayer.

(We have photos or this event on the slide show on the right panel of this page. You can find more photos on our facebook page.)

Almost immediately after the graduation, we hosted a team from Elim Assembly, Kepong. We also had a series of meetings with two gentlemen from the University of Southern California who visited the campus. They were here to dialogue with us on the possibility of a research grant for the school. Please pray with us that we can be a recipient of this grant. We will be submitting our letter of intent by August.

DATELINE: 1st April 2009
In a little while, all will come to pass . . . 

In just over 5 hours, at 1.30 pm this afternoon, it will come to pass. Tham Wan will be installed as the President of APTS for the next 5 years. When we entered the ministry fulltime, we had thought that we will stay as pastors. Never in our wildest dreams could we have imagined that we would become the President of APTS.

The last two days have been spent in meetings with the APTS Board of Directors. The members of the Board represent our stakeholders. They come from all over the Asia Pacific region. I was there as in observer. It was all new to me but the Board members were all very kind and affirmed over and over again their support for my leadership of the school.

We were also encouraged by the presence of some good friends from Malaysia and Singapore on campus. Yesterday night, they came over to our apartment and we had a gala time over supper.   

DATELINE: 27th March 2009
Already (Preparing) . . . BUT, Not Yet . . . 

Tham Wan & Moon Tee prayed & prophesied over by the Presbyters and the Guest Speakers at the recent Ministers' Retreat in Johor Bahru.

The "Already & Not Yet" paradigm to understanding the Christian eschaton is well-known to all New Testament scholars. We will take over the leadership role as APTS President officially on April 2. However, with so many people congratulating us, it feels like are ALREADY there. But, we know that we are NOT YET there. We are conscious that the incumbent, President Wayne Cagle remains very much in charge. He has done much even in these last few weeks, preparing and paving the way for us. We are thankful for his leadership and will continue to look to him for counsel even after we have taken over from him.

Our General Council has perhaps "jumped the gun" in presenting us to the whole Assembly as President of APTS. (Although, they did say that we will be installed in April.) The Presbyters then prayed and prophesied over us. It was like a "commissioning service." While the official inauguration service will be in APTS on April 2, we feel that this "commissioning service" was even more important to us than the real inauguration service. The nature of the APTS setup is such that the sending Council's support crucial for the individual serving in APTS. So, to be assured of our General Council's support is very helpful.

To show their support, the General Superintendent, Ong Sek Leang, will be a part of our installation service in Baguio. He will be giving the charge. Our World Missions Director, Chris Pak and another committee member of the World Missions Department, Chin Keng Leong, will also be coming over to Baguio to be a part of the installation service. Our sons (and their wife and girlfriends) will also be coming over. We have encouraged them to come because we have always thought of them as a part of our ministry.

The installation itself is planned to be a very simple event. It will be a kind of an addendum to the graduation service. However, with so many men and women of God from all over the region attending, we are expecting a sense of "heavy anointing" that day. We are expecting a divine visitation. 

DATELINE: 17th February 2009
Chinese New Year Open House

Tham Wan (far left) with other Baguio City Officials and dignitaries at the Press Conference to launch the Baguio city Spring Festival Celebrations

There was not much "Chinese New Year mood" in Baguio and APTS. Classes were still on-going and everyone was busy with the Annual William Menzies Lectureship, which featured Dr. Craig Keener. Because the Chinese celebrate Chinese New Year for fifteen days, we thought that it will be a good idea to have a Chinese New Year "Open House" after the Lectureship - when everyone on campus will be free to visit. So, we chose the 31st of January (6th day of the Chinese New Year) to have our Open House.

We invited all the missionaries, students and staff - and their families - to celebrate Chinese New Year with us. We cooked about ten Chinese dishes. Dr. Judy Cagle baked 2 delicious cakes: a cheese cake and a chocolate cake to add to the menu for the day.

The "Open House" began from 10.00 am to 6.00 pm and the first to arrive were Drs Wayne and Judy Cagle, our President and the First Lady. It was our honor to serve our first visitors. All in all, there were more than 150 people who came. We had to double-count some who came for lunch and dinner!! But, it was fun and we had a good time of fellowship.

DATELINE: 24th January 2009  
My 51st & 53rd Birthdays within a Week!

Celebrating TW's birthday with our small group at APTS

We do not have a strong family tradition of celebrating birthdays. Usually, birthdays are simply excuses to eat. Being on facebook meant that I had more birthday greetings coming this year than any other year. The students and faculty also got wind of my birthday and it was nice to have the whole school sing me a birthday song.

Jan 23rd was my 51st birthday according to the Gregorian calendar but when the Chinese New Year comes along this year on Jan 26th, I will be a 53-year old man according to the Chinese lunar calendar. The Chinese considers a new-born baby as "1 year" old and the baby becomes "2 years" old when the Chinese New Year comes along. I was born on Jan 23, 1958, which corresponded to the 4th day of the last month (12th month) of the Chinese lunar calendar for that year. Chinese New year is the first day of the first month of the lunar calendar. One month of the lunar calendar is usually 30 days.

This means, I was a "1-year" old on Jan 23 and very quickly became a "2-year" old about 27 days later. So, even before I celebrated my first birthday of the Gregorian ("Western") calendar, I was already 2 years old. So, for most of the year, I would be 2 years ahead . . .

DATELINE: 10th January 2009  
New Videos

We have just edited and uploaded 2 new videos on Youtube. We have embedded them on our website here on the "Video Gallery" page. They also appear on our facebook.

One of these videos is on the APTS small group that we hosted last trimester. The student body is divided into 6 to 8 small groups and they meet every Friday in the host lecturer's home. We had students from China, USA, Korea, Denmark, Fiji, and Philippines meeting at our home every Friday. It is up to the lecturer what the small group does during the weekly meetings. Our group is known for food!! We would cook different Malaysian cuisines every week. The group has been introduced to Penang laksa, curry laksa, roti canai, teh tarik, kopi-O, "yin-yang"(butter/kaya) toast, fried noodles/koay teow, barley/ginko nuts, etc. We have been good ambassadors of Malaysian culture and cuisine.

Every trimester, we do a big event. Some groups may do a BBQ, others may go out and play bowling or to a fancy restaurant. Most, however, go for an outing in the lowlands. That was what we did. We went to San Juan, near San Fernando. We spent the day fellowshipping with the students and their families.

The second video is the Auld Lang Syne (Chinese & English) we sang during the New Year's eve gathering we had in our apartment. Most of those who came were church members from the Chinese church we pioneered. They also brought along non-Christian friends. We had dinner together, after which we had a short evangelistic program, ending with the Auld Lang Syne.

ENJOY THE VIDEOS!     

DATELINE: 1st January 2009 (1.30 am)
Happy New Year from Baguio!

(Will upload my message tomorrow . . . just finished a New Year's Eve celebration at our apartment . . food, games, songs, testimonies, Auld Lang Syne . . the whole works . . . my facebook will have some latest photos . . . )

Slide show of the 2008 New Year's Eve dinner and watchnight meeting in our apartment.

  It is 4:00 pm on New Year's Day. Our guests who welcomed the New Year with us yesterday had just left. We had rented a couple of dormitory rooms in the seminary for them and this morning we cooked breakfast for them. Breakfast was teh tarik, roti canai (which we brought from Malaysia), toast with kaya & butter, and some leftovers from yesterday evening's meal.

Last night was special. There were almost 30 people in our apartment and many of them were non-Christians. It was also a very international crowd: Mainland Chinese, Americans, Koreans, Indonesians, Fijian, Nepalis, and of course, Malaysians. We had a huge dinner spread with different people cooking. There were Chinese dumplings, curry chicken, char siew pork, kimchi soup, fried rice, salad bee hoon, mixed vegetables, etc. etc. etc. etc. After dinner, we played UNO with exciting variation where 7's and 0's had extra rules. It was quite "physical" but lots of fun. All the Chinese and Nepalis played this game for the first time.

We had a short evangelistic program just before singing the Auld Lang Syne.  The Korean couple led in some songs. After which, two of our Chinese members shared their conversion testimonies. Then, we sang the Auld Lang Syne in Chinese and English and wished each other Happy New Year. Fireworks were going off all over the hills around us and in the valleys below us. It was really wonderful! We talked a bit more before going to bed.

I remember last year's New Year Eve was spent rushing home from a retreat in Port Dickson (Malaysia). We were still on our itineration at that time. In fact, even though we have lived in the Philippines for more than 4 and a half years now, we have never celebrated New Year in the Philippines! I would say that we had a really good time this year . . . perhaps one of the best New Years we have had in recent years. It is nice when you can celebrate and do God's work at the same time.