I know there are friends, concerned people, and interested readers out there— who would appreciate this update. Therefore, I thought would update you on the latest outcome of this past journey, regarding my earlier received offer to begin the PhD programme this September with the University of Birmingham Centre for Pentecostal and Charismatic Studies.
To avoid repetition, visit the following link to read my earlier March 2019 post, where I provide an overview to this whole endeavour:
Hence, as I mentioned in my last March blog post, there was a scholarship I had applied for, and was waiting for the outcome. By early May, I received the answer; it was not approved. At that point, I thought maybe, the story now over.
Yet then in later in the month, it was pointed out to me that I became eligible for another new scholarship that just emerged— specifically for students from the Asia region; somehow, I qualified for that. Hence, I was advised to quickly apply and an answer would be made prior to the mid-July registration process. Which is right now.
So today I just received an email, detailing how to go about the registration to begin my programme in this coming September. Unfortunately, yesterday I received news, that once again: that scholarship possibility that might have substantially helped kick-start everything— was not approved.
Yet thanks be to God.
For as I posted the other day:
Thank God, for the air we breathe, the food we have, and my ever-supporting wife at my side.
Thanks be to God whom I serve with a grateful heart.
Meanwhile, also earlier last month, I was formally invited to apply for another PhD programme, closer to home here in Southeast Asia. A programme that would be radically less expensive. Yet, if was to do that, it would still have its financial mountains to climb every year, including the costs of a yearly two-month residential stay. And on top of that, I would then need to work through how an appropriate supervisor could be found for my doctoral project, and possibly revising my proposal at the onset; which is something I am not I have presently have the stamina or resolve right now.
Therefore, I am presently not sure about whether I should resolve trying again. Birmingham already represents the third time the past few years, I have been formally accepted into a PhD programme, yet unable to go forward because the financial means has just remained for me— a bridge too far.
Let me also say that I have held this aspiration for a few decades; ever since my mid-20’s. Yet the chance kept alluding me. Then I went off to what we called back then, the mission field. And for the rest of my life— I became a missionary. Then several years ago, I have wanted to write the dissertation in this area of Pentecostal liturgical theology (hence, spirituality) and get it published, and in the process— let it shape my message to the Church worldwide. All in the key of Pentecost.
I am presently wrestling with many things. And I suppose— wrestling with God, who has summoned me long ago to be His servant towards saving the nations and healing creation through preaching the Gospel of Christ our Saviour, Sanctifier, Spirit baptiser, Healer, and Coming King.
Hence, I remain increasingly passionate about one thing:
To preach the Pentecostal Full Gospel of Christ for renewing the Church worldwide, discipling the nations, and healing creation.
This sustained mission continually impassions with the desire to help foster Pentecostal spirituality and its theological tradition worldwide—for the unifying renewal of the global Church and the greater glory of God. This vision thus clarifies my identity as an ecumenical Pentecostal. I believe it is the cause that should navigate the ongoing outcome of my life.
How you can pray, and help
Over these past years, I have often asked the Lord for a new “Macedonian Vision”:
Show us Lord not a way, but Your way.
Grant us the open door that none can shut
For You have crucified us to the world
And the world to us.
So as you show us Your way
May we let your whole world
Set the horizons before us
That we may go and come
Wherever You send us
In the fullness of Christ’s blessing.
So brothers and sisters, I seek your prayer for Jee Fong and I.
It is highly possible— that for numerous reasons, the “door” for achieving the long desired PhD aspiration has now passed for me. I recognise that. This may be over; or maybe not. I am not yet fully sure.
Yet what I sure is this:
I am the servant of the Lord.
Speak Lord, for your servant listens.
Here am I. Send me.
If you feel prompted to share or initiate with me any new relations, networks, or platforms for some new forward movement, or perhaps anything pertaining to what I have shared here— feel free to contact me.
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, God’s love, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit— increase and equip you with all good gifts of Heaven, that you may labour with God in His mission to heal the world.
The peace of Christ be yours through the power of God’s Spirit,
The Spirit of Jesus is filling
Sons and daughters of Pentecost
Who know their home at the altar of sacrifice.
From there they go, receiving from the Father
Many gifts for healing the world.
For the heart of God is an altar, where the burns the most flammable substance in all creation: His unfailing love. And this love generates— the fires of Pentecost.