Passing on the Baton—FES Family Day and Commissioning Service

 

Over the past five decades, FES (Fellowship of Evangelical Students) Malaysia has been reaching out to students across the country and empowering young people to live lives that honor and glorify Christ.

On Sunday January 17th, FES celebrated God’s faithfulness to the work they have been doing at their Family Day, and commissioned Bro. David Ho as their new General Secretary and Bro. Yong Yuong Eng as Assistant General Secretary.

The commissioning service was preceded by a tea, during which generations of FES alumni, past and present FES workers, and current students reunited for a special time of fellowship. Also present were church leaders, church elders, and staff family members. 

All across the hall, people of all ages were seen squealing, hugging, and reconnecting. An exhibition on FES’ latest work, including their mission in Timor Leste, and a photo booth were also available for the guests.

 

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The commissioning service then began. After a moving worship session, a brief overview of FES’ history since the 1950’s was presented. Two or three at a time, the FES staff walked across the stage and narrated the highlights of God’s unfailing grace in each decade.

 

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Dr. Loh Kim Cheng, the outgoing General Secretary, then passed the baton over to her successor, Bro. David Ho. “It is indeed a ministry that, if not for God, would not be possible,” she said. “What a privilege it is to serve our Lord—our King.”

“Five years (of being General Secretary) have come and gone. To all who have gone before me—some of our pioneers are still living today and are still leaving their mark and impact on our lives—I want to say thank you for the legacies of faith that you have left in our lives. Our one prayer is that all who come behind us will indeed find us faithful.

“Who has God been to me in this past five years? He has been a God who inspires dreams—dreams for the students, our staff team, and our mission. He has been a God who has tutored me in His school of life. He has been a God who has surprised me with His lavish love.

 

Dr. Loh Kim Cheng, outgoing General Secretary
Dr. Loh Kim Cheng, outgoing General Secretary

 

“And to you, who have supported us in our ministry, every year, we see God provide for us through your gifts, prayers, and friendship. He has been a God who has carried us through tears, pain, and difficult times. Even as we sought to call the students to rise up to be a generation that is alert, attentive, and authentic agents for God, we found God challenging us to be just that.

“Today, our God invites us to embrace a new season. To David, our Lord has anointed you to be His servant. For this next phase of FES’ journey with the students, may you always be at the Lord’s command—alert, attentive, and authentic. Be bold and courageous as the Lord encouraged Joshua. Be very careful to obey everything that He has commanded us.

“May you embrace with all joy and humility this trust given you to lead FES. This baton is just a symbol of what has been entrusted from generation to generation—a testimony of God’s faithful work in students past, present, and future. David, I now entrust this baton to you as our General Secretary for this new season. Together, fight the good fight. Keep the faith. Run with perseverance the race that has been marked out for us.

 

Handing over of the baton
Handing over of the baton

 

“And now to the FES staff team, this new season is for all of us. You have been to me one of God’s special treasures. Thank you for making my life interesting, and I must say that at the end of this journey with you, I count it all joy and a privilege to see how God works in your lives. The start of a new season is exciting and yet full of many unknowns. Will you, as a staff team, by God’s grace, stand together with David and Yuong Eng in embracing this new season with a new spirit, a new oneness, and a new alertness?”

The staff emphatically replied, “In Christ, we will!”

Bro. Chew Phye Keat, the Chairman of the Executive Committee was then called upon to say a few words:

“Students are here to stay. So I also say, that FES is here to stay. We have great proof that the Lord stays with us on this journey in this ministry, because He has never failed to provide for us all that we need to do His work. Today, we celebrate God raising amongst us a leader who will take on the baton as has been done.

 

Bro.Chew Phye Keat, Chairman of the Executive Committee
Bro.Chew Phye Keat, Chairman of the Executive Committee

 

“We believe that it is He who has anointed and chosen David, and we confirm his appointment and the team into the years ahead. Today, I ask all of us here to stand with David and the team as they move forward with this new generation. It is a new age—one that has connectivity but no real community. Mentoring over the Internet, but no true spirituality. There is so much knowledge and information, but not wisdom and maturity.”

Bro. Chew quoted Romans 12:2: “Do not be conformed to this world (this age), but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

“God’s work with us is not done. We hear His voice, we answer His call, and we look to Him to continue to provide!”

The EXCO members were asked to surround Bro. David, Bro. Yuong Eng, and their families and lay hands on them while Bro. Chew prayed over them and the staff. After the prayer, Bro. David made his address as the newly commissioned General Secretary.

 

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“I received the baton on behalf of the staff team of FES Malaysia, and we will continue to run the race. We can do that because those who have gone before us. You have led the way and you have been faithful to your call.

“To me, a commissioning service is like a funeral. It’s about dying to self— being consecrated and set aside as a servant of God. Joshua inspires me. As I look at his life and how God calls him to journey to the Promised Land, he was always referred to as Joshua, son of Nun. But at the end of the book of Joshua, he is called, Joshua son of Nun, the servant of the Lord.

 

Bro. David Ho
Bro. David Ho

 

“To my Ohana staff and students of this generations and the generations to come, I will run with you” Bro. David affirmed. “I will serve you, and I will love you—no matter what it takes, so that His will would be done. FES is committed to teach and preach the Word of God, and our mission is to our campuses and to our nation.

“We seek to inspire students toward holistic growth in Christ and to empower them to live out the Gospel. We will run with perseverance the race that has been marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith by His grace!”

Also commissioned at this service was the K.O.W (Kernels of Wheat) team. K.O.W is made up of Sis. Annette Arulrajah, the IFES (International Fellowship of Evangelical Students) East Asia Associate Regional Secretary and former General Secretary of FES Malaysia, Bro. Chris Herbert, and Bro. Thurston Atong.

 

The K.O.W team: Bro. Thurston Atong, Bro. Chris Herbert, and Sis. Annette Arulrajah Photo Credit: FES Malaysia
The K.O.W team: Bro. Thurston Atong, Bro. Chris Herbert, and Sis. Annette Arulrajah
Photo Credit: FES Malaysia

 

In 2010, God opened the doors for pioneering student ministry in Timor Leste. It was a dream come true, and over the course of five years, the students responded with a hunger to know God and to share His love. By 2013, it became evident that the ministry could only move forward if the workers would live among the people.

Bro. Chris and Bro. Thurston responded to this call, and in September 2015, these two men returned to Timor Leste for the third time, this time to stay for at least two years. Bro. Chris and Bro. Thurston briefly shared testimonies of their experience in Timor Leste before Bro. Ung-Seop Shin, the Regional Secretary of IFES East Asia prayed over the K.O.W team and the good work that they are doing in Timor Leste.

 

Bro. Ung-Seop Shin praying over the K.O.W team Photo Credit: FES Malaysia
Bro. Ung-Seop Shin praying over the K.O.W team
Photo Credit: FES Malaysia

 

The evening ended on a high note, as the newly commissioned workers set forth to continue the work that God has entrusted to them, fully trusting that the Lord walks closely with them in all they do. In the words of Sis. Annette, “YHWH is more than able to choreograph and resource His work. Thanks be to God!”

 

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Esperanza Ng

 

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