Enriched, Enlightened, Empowered: An Edifying Experience at the Bible College of Malaysia

The writer Joyce Ung in her graduation garb (right)


It was the beginning of 2014, in the month of January, and I was feeling drained and dry emotionally.  After witnessing the graduation of a young counsellor in Bible College of Malaysia (BCM) just the month before, I, together with my good friend, decided to sign up for the Diploma Course in Ministerial Counselling.


The Bible College of Malaysia


Indeed taking that step was one defining moment of my life. I was serious about completing the course within the two years and so I made sure I did not miss any module. I graduated with joy in December 2015 and considered it one of the greatest blessings of my life. Besides fulfilling my school-girl dream, I am also now equipped with coping skills to face life’s battles.


The march in of graduates at the writer’s graduation ceremony.


Why then is this two-year course so significant in my life? First of all, I must say it has added gems in my pocket. What do I mean by ‘Gems’? Firstly it has furnished me with the Gem of Awareness, both the awareness of self and sensitivity to others. It has also taught me emotional regulation so that I have learnt since then to better evaluate and control my emotions to the extent of “diffusing bombs” in emotionally charged situations and relationships. This is especially helpful coming from the ‘Ung’ family where there’s lots of ‘unger’. Through the course, I have also been honed to be less judgemental and to practise acceptance as much as possible while empathy is another sparkling gem that I need to polish.


Prayer during the graduation ceremony.


During the course there were also many ‘Penny drop’ moments such as rediscovering myself, my interests and facing new challenges especially in IT. In my late fifties then, I discovered new talent in poem writing and was truly enriched spiritually, mentally and emotionally as a result. By the time I graduated, I did so with a sense of fulfillment and achievement.


Worship session during the ceremony


Combining faith, prayer and God’s Word with Psychotherapy skills I learnt to be more effective as a lay counsellor and to live a more victorious Christian life. Even though, some situations remain unchanged, some prayers remain unanswered but what matters is that I have changed from within and with God’s empowerment and All-sufficient Grace, I can face the future with confidence, trusting Him and His Promises.

Here, I would also like to thank my family for their continued support and encouragement all the way.


Among the graduates.


In conclusion, allow me to share this personal poem.


My Tapestry of Thoughts

“As a counselor, I would meet

Different ones with different needs,

Pray for wisdom each to lead,

Help to sow God’s loving seed.


Listening hard, listening well,

Each has a story to tell,

Draw their experiences from life’s well,

As each stormy wave try to quell.


Pastoral counselling not an easy task,

How to bring healing that lasts?

Got to come before God in prayer.

Envision HOPE not despair.


I am a Star for God to shine,

With mountains to conquer, some to climb.

By God’s grace, remain faithful not whine.

Till I enter Heaven, a place sublime.


For my own health and rejuvenation,

I go for breaks, prayer, music and meditation.

This helps me get out of depression,

And embrace new hope and motivation.


Thank you, Lord, for crowning me with Glory and Honour,

Thank you so much for undeserved favour,

In Christ, I’m more than a conqueror,

By Your strength, no more a victim but a victor.


BCM has been a blessing,

Ever since I took up Ministerial Counselling.

With friends and lecturers so supporting,

I always look back with praise and rejoicing”.


All in all, this two-year course had been an enriching, enlightening and empowering experience for me.





Isaiah 58:11-12, NIV

The Lord will guide you always;
    he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
    and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
    like a spring whose waters never fail.
12Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
    and will raise up the age-old foundations;
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
    Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.


For further information on courses offered in Bible College of Malaysia, visit http://bcm.org.my/home/


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Joyce Ung


1 Comment

  1. I’m so encouraged by Joyce Ung writings and her poem certainly captivate her stories and great insights in her life, journey, her faith and her many ways to support and encourage her walk in this earth with herself and people .
    It allows me to see what gifts the course has given to her .

    Congratulations Joyce ! Gem collector!

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