The Year 2019 is about to come to an end. It is time for a review and reflection of what 2019 has brought and what the year entails for me. The beginning of the year was filled with much uncertainty mixed with relief that I was about to leave my job at the Bible college in Namaus, Ranau where I had served for 3 years. Altogether last January brought to a close of my 49 months of ministry in Ranau after my return from Singapore in July 2014. So the beginning of 2019 was the end of my first phase of ministry back in Sabah. Waiting has been a hallmark of my ministry for 25 years as I waited for exactly 10 months until the end of November before getting my new appointment letter. So from the beginning of the year I wrote a 17 page long essay on NT theology, the subject which I taught for my last lectures in Namaus, and proceeded to write two books at the same time throughout the year. Although the impetus came late when sometime in early September, I received encouragement from my former MTheol student from Indonesia who wrote to me from USA, “Dr Siew, you are a good author; you should write books”. My part memoirs that had sat on my lap for almost 5 years got dusted and done within 2 months. On the day when President Trump got impeached 18th Dec (Malaysia’s time was 19th Dec) my book, Departure Points was finally published and received in good order.
And from early November I also worked on my John’s commentary which I wrote in 2017 and made revisions. I hope to have it ready for my publishers on New Year’s Day. So I can say I got two books done in 2019. I want to end the review of 2019 with reflection on friendship. Without friends, it would not be possible to do almost all that I did. My Indonesian friend who encouraged me to write books. My Malaysian friends in Sabah who prayed for me and contacted me from time to time. My pastor friends who invited me for coffee. My Singaporean friends who still remember me with fondness and respect. My former students who came from far away villages to conduct my 25th anniversary service on 1st December. This year is also the close of an epoch in ministry, altogether 25 years long. I pray that I would go another 20 more years for the Lord. But now past mid 50s, I must get as much done before I turn 60. I must travel more when I could still walk long distances and carry my knapsack. I enter into 2020 with renewed hope. I will be pastoring a church in KK. I will be preaching from the book of Exodus in the first Service and the epistle of 1 John in the 2nd service. By April I hope my commentary on John is published and I will start a bible study for young people and all who want to learn more of God’s Word. I will keep writing. Perhaps John 13-21 and continue with my concise commentary on Song of Songs.