A Scholarship of Blessings

By Johnny Wong

I was born into a non-Christian family. Through the religious classes taught during secondary school and attending youth fellowship, I heard about Jesus Christ and was baptised on Christmas day of 1981. Ten years later, the Lord called me to serve full-time in ministry and I took up my theological training in the Malaysia Baptist […]

I was born into a non-Christian family. Through the religious classes taught during secondary school and attending youth fellowship, I heard about Jesus Christ and was baptised on Christmas day of 1981.

Ten years later, the Lord called me to serve full-time in ministry and I took up my theological training in the Malaysia Baptist Theological Seminary in Penang from 1993 – 1996 and graduated with a Bachelor of Theology degree.

After completing my studies, I returned to serve in the Leila Baptist Church as a senior pastor and was ordained as a Reverend in March 2005. After serving in the church for 13 years, I felt that it was time for me to move on and I resigned in December 2009. Following a few months of praying and seeking God’s leading, I was invited to join the pastoral team of the Basel Christian Church of Malaysia, Sandakan (English congregation) in April 2010. Then in January 2015, I was transferred to another congregation in Kota Kinabalu, serving as the pastor there until today.

Recently, I was blessed with a scholarship provided by LCA International Mission. After 22 years of serving in fulltime ministry, a scholarship to study in Australia provided enrichment for my personal growth and life journey, as well as increasing my knowledge of Lutheran theology and ministry practice for my home church in Malaysia. The scholarship was for twelve weeks of study for a short-term course in Adelaide.

It was the winter season when we (my wife and I) arrived in Adelaide on July 26. Thanks to God’s grace, mercy and protection we were able to survive the cold environment (below 10 degrees at night and in the early morning)! Thanks to the scholarship, we were provided with a comfortable apartment conveniently located next to Australian Lutheran College (ALC) and close to a supermarket.

We thank God for the many opportunities we had to visit various churches in Adelaide and the wonderful experiences of fellowship with congregations. We noticed how many church buildings were historical in structure and magnificently constructed.

I (Johnny) attended daily classes for four subjects: Creation and Redemption, Missiology and Evangelism, Lutheran Confessions, and Apologetics and World Religions. I was also able to visit the City Mosque and the Jewish Synagogue in Adelaide. On 4 September, I was able to attend the ALC retreat, which also enriched my spiritual walk with Jesus Christ.

During our study trip, we were privileged to minister in the following ways:

– assisting in taking care of two young children, and Rebecca providing personal counselling to the sister and family staying next to our apartment;

– providing pre-marital counselling to a couple preparing to register their marriage; and

– preaching in the Chinese congregation of St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church.

The semester break offered another blessing, through God’s special provision. A missionary couple who we’ve known for many years came all the way from Melbourne to spend time with us. After their visit, we took a twelve hour road trip together. We remember the magnificence and beauty of God’s creation in nature from this trip, especially the stretch of yellow from a canola farm.

In October, we spent time in Sydney, staying with a young couple, Brother Nixon Teo and Sister Christie. Brother Nixon had been baptised by Johnny almost 20 years ago in Sandakan, Sabah, Malaysia, when he was 17 years old. What a blessing to meet again after so many years.

We were privileged to participate in the Chinese Presbyterian Church (CPC) 2019 Combined Church Camp from 5 to 7 October at the Collaroy Centre. The theme was ‘Be transformed and keep on transforming’, and the guest speaker was Reverend Lawrence Fung, International Director, Gospel Operation International. It was so refreshing to receive spiritual input, as well as enjoying Christian fellowship with many brothers and sisters.

Once again, thanks to LCA International Mission for the blessing of the scholarship which provided so much enrichment personally and for my ministry. All praise, glory and honour be to our Heavenly Father for the blessing of this special experience.


If you would like to know more about opportunities to personally support a scholarship recipient in your congregation during their stay in Australia, or ways in which you can financially and prayerfully support LCA International Mission’s scholarship program, you are invited to phone Nevin on (08) 8267 7300 or email nevin.nitschke@lca.org.au

Read more stories about LCA International Mission scholarships at https://www.lcamission.org.au/category/stories/scholarships/

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About the Author : Erin Kerber


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