We greet “Shalom” to our loved ones as we meet one another or bid farewell to one another. It was one of the simplest way to bless others ever since the first book of the Bible was written. In Jewish tradition, Shalom means to stay well in all circumstances—to those who are ill, to become healthy; to the poor, to be lifted out of poverty; to the broken, to become whole again; and to those in want, to enjoy abundance. So, Shalom to you, my dear friends!
In the month of May, 103 of our graduates were sent out to 18 nations. Shalom to them as they edify the church and reach out to many in the mission fields! We have witnessed hundreds and thousands of people being reached through the Celebration of Hope Rally, and Shalom to the nonbelievers and new believers as well!
In the month of June, we have two faculty members who retired, Dr Gilbert Soo Hoo (SOTE) and Dr Samuel Cheung (SCM). Shalom to them as they embark on another phase of their life! We have also given our blessings to two faculty members, Dr Samuel Goh (SOTE) and Dr Desmond Soh (SOTE), who have moved on in response to the calling of God. Shalom to our co-workers in the Kingdom of God!
Shalom is also the joy of receiving God-sent people into our community. We are going to receive 114 new students in the coming month of July. We saw a healthy growth of applications and enrolments. Shalom! We are expecting new faculty members, both full-time and adjunct, to join us in the new academic year. Shalom!
In our ministry, we need to experience Shalom from time to time to sustain us as we face demanding tasks and challenging issues related to health, finance, manpower, interpersonal conflicts and inner struggles. How can we experience Shalom? The Aaronic Blessing expresses Shalom this way:
“Speak to Aaron and to his sons, saying, ‘Thus you shall bless the sons of Israel. You shall say to them: The LORD bless you, and keep you; The LORD make His face shine on you, And be gracious to you; The LORD lift up His countenance on you, And give you peace.’” – Numbers 6:23-26
Ironically, the blessing was not given at a time of peace but when Israel was about to enter into battle to conquer the Promised Land. Yet the true meaning of Shalom is the divine presence of God—His face and His countenance—that shines upon His people in the eye of the storm. So Shalom to you as you find rest and peace in the Lord through each challenging time!
Since last December, owing to some cracks that had appeared along the entrance wall and the aging structural condition of the retaining walls next to Block 2 and Block 4, we have been working on the best options to rectify the situation. But we came across an unexpected delay in soil investigation due to underground piping on campus. While waiting for the report, I pray for Shalom to my team throughout this process! In the meanwhile, God has moved many of our alumni and faithful supporters to pray for and give to our building needs. Thankfully, we find rest and peace during this uncertain period because God shines in all circumstances.
Indeed, God has further blessed our College as Dr Mryleene Grace Yap assumes the role as the interim Senior Director of Community Relations Department (previously Strategic Development Department) w.e.f. 1 July. Dr Yap, who is our Dean of School of Church Music, is not only an experienced academic leader but also a visionary and excellent communicator of ideas. She is instrumental in transforming the SCM with her philosophy of education as a musician orientated to pastoral leadership in worship ministry. I am thankful for her willingness to take up the responsibility and duties of this important leadership role in connecting with alumni and supporters of SBC. Let’s welcome Dr Myrleene with Shalom!
Lastly, my dear friends of SBC, we look upon the countenance of our Lord as He shines on us through our daily walk with Him in all circumstances. Shalom!