A Week Off in Sydney (With Van!) | CERC Blog | Christ Evangelical Reformed Church (CERC)


A Week Off in Sydney (With Van!)

Posted on 2 Aug 2018 by Daniel Lu

It’s my sem break now and I thought it would be a good chance to visit my fellow CMA-er (Church Ministers’ Apprenticeship) who’s now studying in Moore Theological College. It’s been a long-time desire of mine to visit Moore College, to actually see for myself the wealth of resources they have in their library, and also the new building I’ve heard so much about. Now that Van’s there, I can finally justify to myself why I would be willing to spend the time and money to fly to Sydney: to visit Van, to check out Moore College and a bit of sightseeing.

“Finally here”


A Good Comrade in Christ for the Gospel in Malaysia

Here’s Vanessa, my CMA comrade, a first year student in Moore Theological College, and a really encouraging sister in Christ. I’ll be dedicating this blogpost to Van, whom I’ve enjoyed working with and learning from all these years.


Van: Passionate about the Gospel, Passionate about People

Van’s college mate invited us over for a Mexican dinner.

Van and I differ a lot in our personalities, likes and dislikes, and because of this, I’ve been able to learn a lot from her just from our work and conversations together. Van is the type that’s always looking to engage people in gospel conversations and her seemingly boundless energy for people is always an encouragement for someone like me to keep pushing on and work hard to engage in people ministry. One of the most encouraging examples I’ve seen in her is back at home (Malaysia), when she’d try to go to the same food stall again and again just so that she can engage the owner with gospel conversations and also invite his/her children to Little People (CERC’s children’s evangelistic event). Her passion for people to know and understand the Gospel continues on even in her time in Australia. Even during my short week of stay in Sydney, I’ve already had the chance to meet and speak to one of her one-to-ones, and I know she has more!

A Great Sunday School Teacher/Trainer in the Making

Besides a love for people, she’s also really good at creatively explaining the Gospel to people, especially kids. I’m usually the kind that focuses on getting the content right at the expense of a good delivery, but Van is always also focused on making sure that the message gets across to people in a creative and clever way, and a glimpse of her creativity can already be seen in the craft she made for me, stuck on the wall in the room I checked in.

A pleasant surprise: A craft she made for me to remind me of the comforting reality we have in Christ – I really like it!


Now in Sydney, God’s given her the privilege to serve as a student minister in Multicultural Bible Ministry (MBM) Rooty Hill, and she’s currently training under Sandy Galea to serve in the children’s ministry. I pray that God will continually use her well in the church and also to train her well so that she will be a great addition to CERC when she comes back!


Determined and Focus on The Gospel Back Home

One final and most important point to highlight about Van is her determination and focus to the Gospel work back home. Of the many things I enjoyed during my time in Sydney, the best were the daily conversations and reflections I had with a fellow partner in Christ who is equally keen and determined on Gospel work in Malaysia. During the week, someone asked me, “Given the difficulties you will face in doing ministry back in Malaysia, wouldn’t you rather stay in Australia where you can serve God in ministry and have an easier life?” Not so for Van and I, because we know that life now is not about comfort, but about serving Christ with all that God has gifted us, and for us, that means Malaysia. We’ve spent almost every night winding down over dinner, reflecting and sharing the stories and lessons we’ve learnt from Australia, working out how we can adapt them in a Malaysian context, getting ready for a lifelong service back home. We’re really grateful for the chance to experience and learn from the strongly evangelical ministries in Australia, and we’re hoping to use it well when we get back.

Our nightly conversation over the dinner table. This one showcases Van’s Malaysian curry chicken. (Every meal with Van must include some variety of Malaysian food because no one can take Malaysia away from her tummy heart)
One of the lines from Van over dinner: “I can’t believe it’s only been half a year! I want to finish quicker so that I can go back home and help with the church’s work!”


The week I’ve spent in Sydney has definitely been encouraging and refreshing, and I pray that both of us will be able to work hard so that we can be better equipped for ministry back home.

To my friends and supporters, please continue to pray for us and consider how you can help support our ministry financially.
Also, please check out Van’s blog here too.