1976-1978 / Licentiate in Theology, BCNZ Diploma (Henderson Campus)
Arriving in New Zealand to study, my wife Gloria1 and I have largely enjoyed having an overseas experience, living away from home and soaking up an entirely new culture. We enjoyed the friendship of countless loving newfound friends, some of whom we are still in touch with today. I've especially enjoyed the facilities available at the Deane Memorial Library. Our two daughters, Hannah and Rachael, were both born during our three years at BCNZ. It nourished me both socially and theologically, and that was so valuable.
One lasting memory both Gloria and I treasure is this little anecdote. One afternoon soon after lunch this announcement came on air. It was the voice of our dear late Principal, Mr David Stewart: "Will Andrew Lim please report at the Principal's Office!". It sent shivers up my spine. What have I done wrong? Upon entering his office, there he was, grinning and saying: "Andrew, I thought you and Gloria might be able to make use of these!" He held out a pile of the old-fashioned cloth nappies! I reacted with a strange mixture of both relief and gratitude. Gloria was then pregnant with the first of our two girls. It still touches us to this day that a busy principal would have thoughts in his heart for the welfare of an ordinary student.
After BCNZ, I served the Lord as a pastor in a Baptist church back in Malaysia for seven years. We then left for Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Illinois, where I did an M.A. in Philosophy of Religion. We returned to Malaysia after two years in the States, and I served as a lecturer at the Malaysian Bible Seminary for three years. We felt the need to return to New Zealand and I served as a pastor at an international church here in Palmerston North, where we reside to this day. In 2007 Gloria and I founded Christ Sanctuary, a Reformed Church, which now continues to flourish after my retirement from active ministry in 2015. I continue to teach at Emmaus, a small school-set-up which started after the Manawatu Branch of BCNZ closed its doors.
I teach and preach wherever doors are opened up for me. I enjoy time studying the Bible and praying with Gloria each morning. We enjoy gardening, although Gloria can't do much as she is currently receiving chemotherapy for her cancer. I am grateful to the Lord for a godly wife who loves the Lord. She has a precious delight for God's Word and prayer. We enjoy time together listening to the preaching of Timothy Keller, Alistair Begg, Don Carson, R.C. Sproul, Derek Thomas and many others. We also enjoy watching gardening shows and are currently revelling in the BBC series ‘Gardeners’ World.’
We are grateful to the Lord for teaching us trust. Our BCNZ years were punctuated by times of very real and dire financial needs. We arrived at BCNZ already shaped by OMF's policy of "Finance by Faith" and the Lord granted us enough grace to bring our needs to Him alone. He miraculously provided for us and, a number of times, in the nick of time!
We are also grateful to God for His mercy, His forgiveness and His sovereignty over all things. These doctrines continue to hold us up when we go through times of real hardship and testing, deep sorrow, and failures. We are both rediscovering the gospel and we are learning what it means to preach the gospel to ourselves daily.
1Since this was written in December 2021, Gloria passed away on 1 April 2022.