(Testimony of the work in BCEA (Kenya) by Preacher James Tan)

The thought of serving in the mission field, “unto the uttermost part of the earth” in Kenya, was not even remotely in my mind when I answered the Lord’s call to serve in the ministry. However, the Lord is gracious to open such a door, and as the Lord leads, step by step, God willing, it would be a privilege to serve once again at the Bible College of East Africa (BCEA).

“How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” (Romans 10:14-15)

The Need
While most Kenyans are predominantly Christians in their official identity, it is difficult to say how many have truly believed in Christ. When asked concerning salvation and the Gospel, not many are able to give a clear answer on their beliefs.

The Gospel message, the truth of God’s Word, has been widely corrupted by the influences of cults, and the charismatic movement. Many pray and seek for miracles, healing and “financial breakthroughs” (a commonly used phrase there). The signs and wonders movement would feed much to the superstition and mysticism that run deeply in past generations, allowing many false teachers and preachers to prey on the ignorant for their own selfish gains for fame and fortune. There is a great need to teach the truth of the Scriptures truthfully, and clearly to them, where the Truth would make them free from the grip of such falsehood. Such is the need to commit the faithful Word to faithful men.

“And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” (2 Timothy 2:2)

While it might be near impossible for a missionary to travel through every little village and church, what can be done is to train faithful believers who are called to the ministry from all these places, to head back and commit the faithful Word of God to those placed in their care.

The Teaching Ministry

The Bible College of East Africa runs on a trimester (Jan-Mar, May-July, Sept-Dec), with a four-year programme, offering up to an advanced diploma degree. The faculty consists almost entirely of FEBC graduates, headed by Rev Mark Kim.

“Without the Bible College, the church will die”, claims Dr Paul Contento, who laid the founding stone to FEBC. There are approximately a hundred students, coming mainly from Kenya, and surrounding countries, and many of them come from churches that lack the faithful and proper teaching of God’s Word. BCEA serves to systematically instruct these preachers and pastors with sound and Biblical doctrines.

In addition to knowledge, often emphasized by the principal, the training focuses on three aspects, the head, heart, and hands. Students have to participate in compulsory prayers at 5.30am every morning, as well as chapel hours daily. All students would also have a variety of duties on campus, with some being supported by the work scholarship, where their duties would offset their semester’s school fees. The students would also participate in evangelism, and assist in visitations, and some would serve in the campus church fellowships.

This semester (Sept-Nov), God willing, I will be teaching these subjects: The Gospel of John, 1 Corinthians, Leviticus and inter-testamental history. Also, the Alumni conference will be held from 9th Aug – 12th Aug, hence my early departure.

The Preaching Ministry

The campus church caters to students who do not travel back over the weekends, and as well as to the locals who stay in the surrounding areas. In addition to the Lord’s day worship service, there is the children’s Sunday school, and fellowship groups for the youth, choir and as well as men and women. The church also has neighbourhood-based fellowship groups that meet every Saturday at members’ homes for Bible study and prayer.


In Singapore, we receive an abundance of avenues to learn the Word of God. We do not lack in resources, and there are faithful teachers teaching the Word faithfully. There are classes in FEBC, good books available, Bible studies, fellowship groups, recordings and online courses. There is safety, comfort and convenience in traveling to these places, and there is good fellowship to be found amongst brethren. There are many opportunities for people to hear the faithful Gospel being preached here.

On reflection, these are the blessings that we have been given in our tiny little country, and we have to make the fullest of it. Occupy yourselves with God’s Word and work. Be missionaries in your homes, workplaces and schools. I pray that even as we reflect upon missions, may all in the church continue to hold forth the Word of Life. Do keep the work in BCEA in prayers.




(John Calvin’s Commentary on 1 Timothy 5:19)

1 Timothy 5:19, “Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.”

John Calvin: After having commanded that salaries should be paid to pastors, he likewise instructs Timothy not to allow them to be assailed by calumnies, or loaded with any accusation but what is supported by sufficient proof. But it may be thought strange, that he represents, as peculiar to elders, a law which is common to all. God lays down, authoritatively, this law as applicable to all cases, that they shall be decided “by the mouth of two or three witnesses.” (Deuteronomy 17:6; Matthew 18:16.) Why then does the Apostle protect elders alone by this privilege, as if it were peculiar to them, that their innocence shall be defended against false accusations?

I reply, this is a necessary remedy against the malice of men; for none are more liable to slanders and calumnies than godly teachers. Not only does it arise from the difficulty of their office, that sometimes they either sink under it, or stagger, or halt, or blunder, in consequence of which wicked men seize many occasions for finding fault with them; but there is this additional vexation, that, although they perform their duty correctly, so as not to commit any error whatever, they never escape a thousand censures. And this is the craftiness of Satan, to draw away the hearts of men from ministers, that instruction may gradually fall into contempt. Thus not only is wrong done to innocent persons, in having their reputation unjustly wounded, (which is exceedingly base in regard to those who hold so honorable a rank,) but the authority of the sacred doctrine of God is diminished.

And this is what Satan, as I have said, chiefly labors to accomplish; for not only is the saying of Plato true in this instance, that “the multitude are malicious, and envy those who are above them,” but the more earnestly any pastor strives to advance the kingdom of Christ, so much the more is he loaded with envy, and so much the fiercer are the assaults made on him. Not only so, but as soon as any charge against the ministers of the word has gone abroad, it is believed as fully as if they were already convicted. This is not merely owing to the higher degree of moral excellence which is demanded from them, but because almost all are tempted by Satan to excessive credulity, so that, without making any inquiry, they eagerly condemn their pastors, whose good name they ought rather to have defended.

‘On good grounds, therefore, Paul opposes so heinous iniquity, and forbids that elders shall be subjected to the slanders of wicked men till they have been convicted by sufficient proof. We need not wonder, therefore, if they whose duty it is to reprove the faults of all, to oppose the wicked desires of all, and to restrain by their severity every person whom they see going astray, have many enemies. What, then, will be the consequence; if we shall listen indiscriminately to all the slanders that are spread abroad concerning them?’