GS Desk April 2018

Thursday, 26 April 2018

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ

前人栽树, 后人乘凉
(qián rén zāi shù, hòu rén chénɡ liánɡ)

The above old Chinese proverb can be literally translated as “one generation plants a tree, the next generation rests in the shade.” It tells us that though it may take years or even decades for a tree to grow until it can produce enough leaves to provide shade, the next generation will benefit from the hard work steadfastly put in by the previous generation.

I could echo the above when I heard the sharing by Dr Chew Pin Kee – the first chairperson of the FES Council when it was founded in 1959 – at the FES 60th Annual General Meeting held last month. The inspiring stories and accounts of sacrificial service rendered by him and his fellow students compel me to realize that one essential aspect that shaped the FES ministry to be what it is now was a result of their toil and moil.

I believe that not only them, but also the many generations after them, have in one way or another contributed to growing the “trees and leaves” under whose shade FES can now thrive. For almost six decades we have been truly riding on the shoulders of the many giants that God has amazingly raised from each generation. To this reality, I am forever grateful.

Even as FES will celebrate her 60th anniversary in July 2019, our ministry sections will also be marking their milestones around this time as well. FES Chinese Work (CW) will celebrate her 50th anniversary in January 2020 while the Indonesian Ministry (IM) will commemorate the 20th anniversary of NTU ISCF (where the first Indonesian Students’ Christian Fellowship was formed in 1998) in September 2018.

While we acknowledge that “we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses” (Heb. 12:1) who have left a great legacy thus far, the challenge now is whether we can continue ensuring the “trees and leaves” remain in full shade for the generations to come.

What can we do to leave a legacy that will provide a lasting benefit to the students God will entrust FES to reach out and minister in the future?

The above is a key question that has been discussed among FES council members as well as staffworkers as we prepare to remember God’s faithfulness in the past 60 years of FES ministry. There are various commemorative projects, initiatives and events in the pipeline. We will share more details at a later date.

Meanwhile, will you join us in this discussion and conversation?

As graduates and supporters of FES, what do you think FES should “plant” now, so the next generation of students, 50 or 100 years from now, will continue to get the shade? If you have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to email me at


In His grace,

Lisman Komaladi
General Secretary


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