Meet the Family
A Snapshot of Our Members
Annabelle, Chemical Engineering, Malaysia
“My sister told me the Bible Studies here at FOCUS are really good, so I came to check it out for myself! I came and loved the one-to-one relationships and the Bible teaching… We read the Bible chapter by chapter on Sundays so I learnt how to read the Bible for myself.”
“I’ve grown in two ways – my understanding of how great God’s grace is, that we don’t work to attain our salvation but our salvation is secured because of what Jesus has done on the cross – God changed me to be more patient and loving, challenging me to be a godly person who genuinely cares for people. I’ve learnt that church is not just about learning the Bible but a place where you serve God’s people. After uni, I plan to work and hopefully meet more people who haven’t heard the Gospel and share it with them. At the same time, I hope to get trained as much as possible before I go back to Malaysia!”
Annabelle is a graduate Chemical Engineering student from UNSW. Her favourite verse is Romans 5:8, “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” and the whole book of Hebrews that she’s reading with fellow sister this year which talks about how the Old Testament is fulfilled in Jesus. She graduated in 2018 and while there are unknowns & insecurities for the future, she is secure in Christ’s salvation. Though she might still feel anxious and worried (as is only human), she is thankful for sisters in Christ who encourage her and knowing that she can pray to God!
Ryan, Medicine, Singapore
“To be honest, I first attended FOCUS International Church because it was just a 5-minute walk away from where I was staying then, Colombo House. I was invited during O week by a 5th-year medical student, who was previously from my church back home. However, over just a few months, I kept coming to Bible Study and church as I was starting to hear a side of the gospel not frequently preached back home. Every week, I was challenged to see myself in a different light – that we are so sinful, that we can do no right, that even our faith in Jesus is not credited to us.”
“FOCUS has grown me in my understanding of the Bible, allowing me to read it for myself and to critically think about how I can be more Christ-like. It has also equipped me with tools to evangelise. Through FOCUS team (a weekly workshop) I learned to share my faith through a helpful structure called “Two Ways to Live”.
Ryan is entering his 6th year of Medicine at UNSW. He particularly enjoyed studying the book of Genesis in FOCUS, where he was struck by God’s orderly plan for the world – throughout the book, God offers man hope for redemption despite man’s constant rebellion against God.
His favourite things about FOCUS: Hearing the Bible taught in context, learning to figure out the author’s main purpose for books and how to rightly apply Scripture, having a community who love Jesus and are ever-willing to lend an ear or offer a prayer.
Haydn, Mechatronics/Biomedical Engineering, Malaysia
“I was helping out at crèche in my church in Kuala Lumpur and some of the parents who once attended FOCUS connected me to a FOCUS staff worker. Funny story: I got introduced to the same guy working for FOCUS 3 times, on 3 separate occasions! Naturally, it felt awkward, but also made me think, surely, there must be something good about this guy if people keep introducing me to him.”
“I’d always recognised the importance of understanding the Bible but never really felt confident in my ability to read the bible for myself. Reading the Bible with others at FOCUS challenged my perception of the Bible and kept me asking the “what” and “why” questions. The formal training sessions held in the middle of the week also helped me consider how I can be living a God-honouring life and helped me learn to tell others about the God that I put my trust in.”
Haydn is entering his 3rd year of Mechatronic/Biomedical Engineering at UNSW. He enjoys sports, spending time with people and anything that doesn’t include studying. In FOCUS, f
His favourite things about FOCUS: How passionate people are about understanding the Bible & sharing that understanding with others
Natalie, Psychology, Hong Kong
“I was first approached by some Indonesians during O-Week as a Foundation student, and visited FOCUS as I was looking for a church. I didn’t know anyone, and people had strong Singaporean accents I couldn’t understand. I still stuck around because an older student took care of me. This is what I like about FOCUS – members’ lives are really shaped by the gospel, for example, older Christians teaching younger Christians and members taking care of each other and helping one another settle in church.”
“I’m thankful for opportunities to open up the Bible and read God’s word for myself. I’ve learned that the Bible (God’s word) is the highest authority when it comes to knowing Him faithfully. I’ve also been encouraged seeing people accept the Gospel and live out their convictions here. God’s word really changes peoples’ lives. I’ve seen how powerful it is, and I want to share that.”
Natalie has finished her Foundation, Bachelor of Psychology and now Masters of Commerce (Management) at UNSW. Having been convicted by the Gospel, she hopes for more opportunities to learn from the Bible, get trained, train others and keep serving God over her lifetime!
Her favourite things about FOCUS: Faithful teaching & seeing how ordinary peoples’ lives are shaped according to the Bible.
Li Shen, Psychology, Malaysia
“I was approached by some people from FOCUS during orientation week! I did not join FOCUS immediately, but they made the effort to keep in touch with me throughout the semester. I eventually became housemates with some girls from FOCUS and they invited me to church and bible studies.”
“FOCUS has helped me see that Christians live by God’s Word and obey it. I have also been equipped with practical tools to read the Bible.”
Li Shen is finishing her Bachelors of Psychology at UNSW and will shortly return to Malaysia. From reading Genesis in FOCUS, she has been struck by the fact that death is not natural, but was God’s punishment for man’s sins. Yet, Jesus is the only one who has conquered death and sin by rising to life three days after His death – thus being worthy of our hope and trust.
Her favourite things about FOCUS: People eager to learn from God’s word and let it shape their lives, having a safe space for non-believers to ask questions and investigate the Bible.
Yun Xuan, Medicine, Singapore
“When I came to Sydney, on top of having to settle all the other red tape things like injections and visas, I wanted to find a church because I considered myself a Christian. I was quite nervous and the prospect of having to meet new people intimidated me.
Two months before I left, I found out from a secondary school mate that her sister studied Medicine in UNSW too and returned to Singapore every year to attend the Impact Conference, a Christian conference run by Project Timothy for Singaporeans studying in Australia. I thought, “Hey, that’s me! I must check out this conference that her sister looks so forward to coming back to every year.” At the conference, I got to know many friendly seniors who all attended FOCUS International Church (FIC), so FIC became the natural choice for a church to visit when I arrived in Sydney.”
“”Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.” I don’t know who said that, but over four years, I am the man who was taught how to fish. At FIC, I was not just taught what the Bible said, but even more, I was taught how to fish for what it says, by considering the authors’ intentions for having it written the way it is. I’ve also grown in my understanding of what it means to be a Christian – that Christianity does not operate based on meritocracy where we are rewarded based on our Christian/moral performance. Instead, we are saved only because of God’s mercy forgiving us based on Jesus’ obedience by dying on the cross. It has humbled me to learn that none of my efforts can earn my salvation.”
Yun Xuan is in her 5th year of Medicine at UNSW. In FOCUS, from reading Paul’s letter to the Philippians, she was struck by Paul’s instruction to “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Phil 2:3-4). Philippians also helped Yun Xuan see her Lord Jesus as the example, humble to the point of death on the cross, as she seeks to more fully serve his church.
Her favourite things about FOCUS: Church members that are genuinely caring, welcoming and keen to know God through the Bible.