Goodbye Again (I’m jealous) | CERC Blog | Christ Evangelical Reformed Church (CERC)


Goodbye Again (I’m jealous)

Posted on 9 Feb 2019 by Vanessa Ong

1. Dan and Van are back!

I feel sooooo far away from Australia. Even Newtown (The place I live in Sydney) sounds like…a familiar yet new[?] town… Basically, so much has happened since I got back, I have almost forgotten I am a full-time student in the middle of my degree.

I tidied up my room before I left for Malaysia *proud*. I said Goodbye to Sydney and now I am saying Goodbye to Malaysia again. Too soon!!

Right now, I’m finishing up my summer holiday in Malaysia and entering 2nd year in Moore Theological College. Meanwhile, Dan has graduated from theological college! Congrats bro, on being a newly appointed pastor!  Praying for you – give your 100% for Jesus! If you want to pray for Dan, read his prayer points here

So, before I came back to Malaysia, I thought Dan and I would be able to catch up & talk about ministry as we always do but BOY WAS I WRONG 😉 Not long after I picked him up from the airport (from his hometown in Sarawak), we spent a busy but productive three days at my hands-down favourite conference of all time: Fellow Workers Conference!

We were leading different ministry strands. Among them were, leading small groups, leading children’s ministry, music ministry etc.  So, below is our only picture together since coming back home from Australia.

Tired yet pumped up leaders of Ministry Strands & Main Sessions on the topic of The Gospel and Word in Ministry.


2. To answer a popular question: Yes It’s good to be back. It’s been encouraging and also reminded me about why I am in theological college.

Firstly, there’s NO head space, time or energy to do my homework: Greek translation, Hebrew homework, reading Calvin’s Institutes, and just doing simple vocab revision for an extended (or rather, proper) amount of time. FWC la, Children’s Ministry la, meeting people la, White Water Summer Camp la (and the list goes on). With so little revision, my Greek homework really looks like Greek to me. #Geddit?


Now I know why full-time theological studies is helpful and I appreciate the privilege a bit better now.


So as I mentioned, Dan and I had no time to catch up with each other (Exception: Dan bugging me like old times again, always wanting to talk about something pretty important, as we do our own work in the office). Instead, we’ve thrown ourselves into ministry – all the action we could only talk about but had no opportunity to be hands-on with.

Secondly, it’s been encouraging to see ministries growing. After being away, there was time to reflect on the many things to fix, to improve and also, to thank God for. Most importantly, to grow in my resolve to come back and be part of the action.

I am all smiles watching toddlers learn about Jesus the son of Abraham so attentively.


3. I’m confident going back to Australia for 2nd year will be better than the first time. I can see familiar faces and their warm smiles in my mind’s eye.

I am pretty sure hearing familiar things like the below will also make me smile.

  1. Most interesting phrase ‘How’re ya goin’. Meaning “loose”. eg. “He’s a bit… how’re ya goin”
  2. A common phrase ‘My shout.’ – It does not mean loud sound coming from one’s mouth, but it means my treat. eg. Let’s go for coffee. My shout! / I’ll shout you.
  3. Common adjective 1: ‘Heaps’ – means  alot
  4. Common adjective 2: ‘(insert adjective) as’ – meaning very e.g. “sweet as” (NOT backside!)
  5. Not always used but still Australian saying 1: “Couple of roos loose in the top paddock” – bit crazy

Not always used but still Australian saying 2: Good innings – cricket speak for… OK I really forgot what it meant. I apologise to my Aussie culture educators (Photo of the couple below) 

Thankful to God for the Freemans for their love in all its shapes and forms 😉


4. So, it’s quite a special thing that I can now say, “I look forward to seeing people who are in a different country now!”

I was pretty jealous of Dan that he is now back for good from Australia. But I also remember how much I smile like a maniac when I do my shift in the college kitchen. Looking forward to being back with the kitchen crew: Warren, Steve, Bimal & Susan (who are regretfully not in the photo), Laura, Zeeke and Charlie!

Happy and proud to say I’m part of this great crew who serves our college at our mealtimes.

I always look forward to seeing these kids each week. It’s back to school for me! Year 4 Maths & English tutoring time!


Things to thank God for and pray for:

  1. Please thank God with me about the opportunity to earn extra cash for my college tuition (Weekly tutoring and college kitchen shifts!).
  2. The last time I blogged, I asked you to pray for my results so that I could get a scholarship. Now it’s time to thank God for his provision – CERC’s theological fund has been receiving financial help with two partial scholarships.
  3. Please pray for God’s provision for my 2nd and 3rd year of college as CERC’s ministries and ministries’ needs increase (Please consider giving to the CERC Theological Fund if you’re able!)
  4. Please pray that I can catch up on studies and get back into the groove.


Despite my jealousy of Dan being back for good, I feel at peace knowing we’re both working for Jesus but in a different way, place, and context.

2nd year of theological studies, here I come!!!! Meanwhile, Dan (or should I say, ‘Pastor Dan’?) will be working on his many responsibilities as CERC’s new pastor! Woohoo!

Goodbye Malaysia, goodbye church! See you in end of 2019 / end of 2020.