My vision and passion
Several weeks ago I re-visited the “life-mission” concept. So I tried stating in one sentence, what seems to be the gripping passion that drives my soul, imagination, and aspirations.
Here’s what I wrote:
To preach the Gospel for all creation, fostering Pentecostal spirituality and its theological tradition worldwide— for the unifying renewal of the global Church.
I am an ecumenical Pentecostal. For me, this means three things.
First, through these past months I have found my Pentecostal identity renewed, as one called by God to represent this tradition. Hence, to minister the Gospel, out of the resources that define this tradition.
Second, it is a tradition God has entrusted me with. It is a “trust” given to me. A “trust” that shapes my reading of the Gospel (Jesus as Saviour / Sanctifier, Spirit Baptiser, Healer, Coming King), and how I am obliged to preach the Gospel.
Third, I am called to discharge this trust in ecumenical service to the greater global Church. This means I recognise all church traditions as gifted, with unique gifts of the Holy Spirit. I believe that God desires us to acknowledge that these gifts reside within our diverse traditions, and through the Spirit of fellowship, share them with one another. We do so for the global and unifying renewal of the one, holy, catholic, apostolic Church. I believe I have a part to play in this great cause. I believe that this should define and navigate the ongoing outcome of my life.
Empowered by this passion and in wanting to do God’s will as best as I am discerning it, I am aspiring towards beginning a PhD project in 2017. This is not something new. It is an aspiration I have held for nearly three decades. Yet my past five years of SPS (Society for Pentecostal Studies) participation has strongly joined this desire to an awakened sense of destiny within the global Pentecostal tradition, in ecumenical service for the greater Church of God.
Towards this aim, I have been dialoguing over the past year with two different institutional routes. Both hope I can begin in 2017. One route would go in the direction of Pentecostal ecumenical theology, and the other towards Pentecostal mission theology.
Over the past several weeks, another factor filtered into these reflections. This factor was remembrance on how many years ago, my early missionary commissioning has effected two plus decades of life lived beyond my homeland. Hence, I have sensed that this notion of global availability should help steer our navigation through the challenges that lie before my wife and I.
One hindering factor that stands before us and this PhD aspiration, is the financial costs. It presently remains beyond our social-economic reach. Hence, the one thing that holds us back right now, is financially initiating the PhD programme, and perhaps demonstrating that we can financially see it through to its completion.
Therefore, late last March on a countryside walk, I shared the following realisation with my wife Jee Fong. What I shared is this. That perhaps for the funding of this aspired PhD programme to emerge, we must now foster complete openness to God and His whole world. We should do so, presuming that this may be prerequisite for moving into His best for our lives. I am thus sensing that this venture may evoke entirely new ministry/placement opportunities anywhere worldwide. And hence, that we must be ready for re-location anywhere worldwide, and willing to travel wherever the Lord would send us in convergence to this aspiration.
Therefore, I am believing that it may be best to frame this aspired endeavour within a freshly fostered openness towards God’s will at this life-stage. This is an openness that avails towards anywhere worldwide that God may see as best fitting, towards engaging this PhD project. We believe we are ready to move forward, wherever this may take us, in order to fulfil this task and maximise its purpose, potential outcomes, for the good of the global Pentecostal tradition, and the worldwide Church of God.
I am therefore seeking prayer for God’s miraculous provisions. Prayer towards any help towards establishing:
- Funding that can initiate this PhD venture.
- Long-term strategies for meeting the yearly PhD expenses.
- Any new ministerial, church, organisational, or collaborative relations that may likewise help towards the short or long-term funding of this venture.
To reiterate, my aim is to help:
The global renewing of Pentecostal spirituality
The growing renaissance of this tradition’s theological tradition
In ecumenical service for the unifying renewal of the Church of God worldwide, and the greater glory of God.
The peace of Christ be yours through the power of God’s Spirit,
For the healing of our Father’s world,
May we of many tongues
Be made one