30 August 2013


By John Ollis

After I have completed a blog, I think of something else that was significant that I should have mentioned.

Later in my 11 years at Commonwealth Bible College which became Southern Cross College (and is now Alpha Crucis College)I had the privilege of visiting 2 nations in the former Soviet Union. I took some students with me and I taught in a newly opened Bible College in Tallin Estonia, the students were so hungry for the Word of God. We then went on Kiev in the Ukraine and taught in another newly opened Bible College. The Principal’s father had suffered much under the communists. I did not know this would be the first of 14 visits to Kiev. On our last Sunday night we visited a new church that became Hillsong church It was in their College that I had the opportunity of teaching many times.

On the evening of 26th December 1997 we flew into Singapore and was picked up and taking to our public housing 2 bedroom apartment. We instantly felt totally at home even though we were the only foreigners  in the high rise block. Living constantly  in Singapore only reinforced my burden and love for Asia

We quickly adapted to the our new College situation, and the Lord put 2 things in my heart.

1. To purchase a permanent property for the College, it had been in rented facilities for many years. Within  weeks of our leaving at the end of 1999 we moved into new College premises praise the Lord.

2. There are basically 2 types of  Tertiary academic structures. The British system which we use in an Australia, and for example we offered a fully accredited 3 year  BTh. program in Australia. Then there is the American system (or was) which offered a 4 year Liberal Arts degree, one year of the degree can be subjects totally unrelated to Bible & Theology.  Prior to our leaving we were accredited for a 3 year pure Theology degree praise the Lord.

With the College Board’s blessing I began to contact and meet up with many church leaders of different denominations, and soon was preaching in Anglican, Bible Presbyterian, Independent Charismatic churches as well as the Assemblies of God.

As Singapore is linked to Malaysia by a Causeway I was often driving into Malaysia to preach and teach. I would also fly to East Malaysia for ministry also. I also continued to maintain my link with the underground church in Vietnam.

Amongst the leaders I met was a Rev. Kong Hee who was the Pastor of the fastest growing church in Singapore. He was very friendly and also very supportive. We did not have a lot of contact because the longer I was in Singapore the busier I became.

Very late in  my second and final year I developed some health problems which initially appeared quite serious, so decided not to continue my contract but return to Australia.

Rev Kong Hee showed much love to us, and I did a little teaching in the Church’s School of Theology  prior to our conclusion in Singapore.

We returned to Australia, not having a ministry position to go to, I also needed to get answers to my medical problems, There was no overseas travel during that first year, but my heart stilled ached for Asia. Following three lots of surgery I quickly regained my health. During this time I was offered initially part time teaching at Hillsong College, and a local church Bible School in the South of Sydney. With my health improved I was quickly working basically full time at Hillsong College but with many opportunities to travel in S.E.Asia and Kiev Ukraine.

My Pastoral Ministry was recognised and I became the Dean of Pastoral Care at the Hills campus which had around 600 full time students. Many Asian churches  also opened their doors to my ministry, and almost every weekend I was preaching somewhere. We were glad Hillsong had a Saturday night service we could attend.

I had the awesome privilege of speaking into the lives of many of the students who are now serving in many different nations of the world. I still relate to many of them to this day.

In January 2005 I did something which again changed the whole direction of our ministry. I trust you can see the wonderful progression of the Lord’s leading and working in my life. I have had an awesome journey. Next week I will share about the next exciting and probably the most blessed season in my almost 50 years of ministry.