‘Peter answered Jesus, “Lord, if it is you, bid me come to you on the water.”
Jesus said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus.’
- Mt 14:28-29
Can you imagine what would have happened if Peter had never gotten out of the boat? Would he have had that experience of complete trust in the Lord that would have stayed with him and spurred him on, especially in the days of great persecution that were to come? Would he have been able to put his life on the line for the salvation of souls? I do not know, but I imagine it was certainly life-changing.
The Lord continues to invite each one of us, if we so ask Him to call us, into situations of uncertainty and utter dependence on His grace. It is such an invitation that has led me to write to you today.
Since 2011, I have been involved in full-time ministry with the Church, in the areas of youth ministry and the work of the New Evangelisation both at a parochial and diocesan level. I have witnessed first-hand the amazing things the Lord can do in the lives of many as a result of simple acts of love and faith. Having discerned that the Lord has called me to a lifelong service to the people of God, especially in the area of forming, teaching, equipping, and enabling other lay-people to discern and live out their vocation in the world, and following 2 years of discernment, I have decided to pursue a Masters of Sacred Theology (STM, equivalent to the Canonical Baccalaureate in Theology) at the International Theological Institute (ITI) in Trumau, Austria for a period of 5 years from Sep 2016 to 2021.
My purpose in pursuing this formation and degree at the ITI is:
- to build a sound, solid, and robust foundation in theology, philosophy, and scripture so as to better think and act with the mind of Christ and the Church. This will equip and enable me to branch out in future studies and pastoral efforts to better support the work of the New Evangelisation, both at home and abroad.
- to live in community and grow in prayer, which is fundamental to the formation at ITI. This will spur on my growth as a disciple of the Lord, and leave me with valuable experience in helping others grow in their discipleship.
- to respond to the Lord’s invitation in my life to walk on water, in order to be an agent of the same call in the lives of others down the road through the ministry I am called to.
An overseas full-time education as such would require a considerable financial contribution. I have been blessed to receive the financial support of my parents which covers half the cost. In addition to my personal savings, I would still need to raise approximately €33 000 (S$50 000) to cover my expenses for the next 5 years. I hope to secure pledges for the funds by the end of the year so that I am able to devote myself entirely to my studies.
While financial support is important, the need for spiritual support far outweighs it. It is only through prayer support that I will be able to persevere through the rigorous demands of my course of study, and remain obedient and faithful to God’s will in my life. To that end, I would like to kindly request that you include me in your prayers, for it is that will be my sustenance on this leg of the journey. I will surely keep you in mine!I am thrilled to see what the Lord has in store for the Church in this time of great renewal, both locally and universally, and certainly am excited to be a part of it. I hope that you are able to share in my excitement and joy to be collaborators in building up a generation of Saints, that you and I will be a part of! Also, if there are areas in your life where the Lord is calling you to step out of the boat and onto the waters, be bold and go! He is far more faithful than we can be. Thank you for your support and friendship, and may all glory always be to Jesus Christ, our Lord.