10 Questions with Philip Oh

10 Questions with Philip Oh

Alpha Asia Pacific

There’s more to life than work; try to experience God’s love for you.

Philip Oh, our Chief Operating Officer here at Alpha Asia Pacific, lets us in on his love for music, fast cars and char kuay teow:

How did you come to work for Alpha Asia Pacific?

My wife accepted Christ through Alpha many years ago, so it was a bit of a no-brainer that I became an Alpha facilitator at my church. While I was retiring from Hewlett Packard, I started volunteering at Alpha in Singapore. I was offered a role after retirement to be the Chief Operating Officer of Alpha Asia Pacific.  

 

What is your biggest passion?

My developing passion now is to give time to younger guys, have coffee with them, provide a listening ear, and to invest in and disciple them. 

 

What was the last book you read?

Simple Church by Thom S. Rainer. 

 

Who or what inspires you?

The people who work quietly and in the background. People who quietly do their bit for church, for Alpha or other organisations — those who carry chairs around, clean the place, do the admin! 

 

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If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you want to take with you?

My jazz music, my Audi R8 that I don’t have... and I’ll need to get back to you on the third thing. 

 

If you could be anyone for the day who would you be and why?

A street hawker selling char kuay teow (fried noodles). I could cook, make a mess and enjoy myself — and not worry about having to clean up!

 

What do you think Christians today need to hear most?

Whatever circumstances they are in, they (Christian or not) need to hear that God loves and cares for them, much beyond what they might understand! And we as people on this earth are His vehicles to provide that love and care to others. 

 

If there was one piece of advice you could give to young people in our region, what would it be? 

There’s more to life than work; try to experience God’s love for you.

 

What is currently at the top of your playlist?

Diana Krall.

 

What biblical character would you compare yourself to or identify with?

I would love to be Barnabus.

 

Favourite food?

Easy la — char kuay teow! 

 

What is the thing you are most proud of?

My children!

 

Philip Oh retired from Hewlett Packard in 2009 after 15 years of service and a working career of 35 plus years. Since then, he has been serving as a servant leader in Alpha Asia Pacific where he is the Chief Operating Officer. Philip has been a member of Wesley Methodist Church for many years and is on the Local Church Executive Committee. He presently chairs the Lay Personnel Committee and is an accredited trainer for the Disciple Course. Philip is married to Choo Hong and they have two grown-up children. 

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Sheela's Story

Sheela's Story

 

The idea of running Alpha in the workplace honestly stemmed from a practical reason – late working hours were a barrier to my colleagues being able to attend Alpha at church. It made sense to bring Alpha to the workplace for those who were interested to give it a go.

I remember feeling quite nervous and unsure the first time we ran it back in 2014. I didn’t know what to expect or if anyone would even turn up! ‘Ye of little faith’ I remember a friend saying to me when we ended up with a solid group of about 20 in that first round. Since then, we’ve run Alpha four times - sometimes with larger groups, sometimes with smaller groups - but each experience has never failed to be just as amazing.

The most interesting aspect for me about running Alpha in our workplace was the immediate connection that people made from having something fundamental in common – where they work. There was little need for breaking the ice and discussions took off from day 1 with guests feeling comfortable sharing their thoughts and perspectives.

Alpha in the workplace complements what the church is doing by reaching out to a community that might not have been able to be reached. So many of us know that being out there in the corporate world trying to make it in the great rat race can get tiring and it’s only a matter of time before one begins to ask “Is there more to life that this?” – which is a question that was on the minds of our guests when they came. Alpha provided that safe space for conversations that might not have taken place otherwise.

The most memorable account from a guest for me comes from a guy who had attended our first ever run of Alpha. Post-Alpha, he told us that while was hesitant initially about the whole idea, eventually the weekly sessions became a place of refuge for him in the busyness of work. He said that it was a truly unexpected experience - “Work is what I had associated with stress and a lack of peace but through Alpha, work became a place I found hope, peace and faith.”

It’s not smooth sailing all the time but it is stories like this and many more of that nature that remind me that even if it’s for one person each round, it’s still worth it. And I’d just love to encourage anyone who’s thinking about it to just give it a go! The training and material make the process really simple to get started. Your adventure of a lifetime in running Alpha is just around the corner… trust me, it’s worth it!

Work is what I had associated with stress and a lack of peace but through Alpha, work became a place I found hope, peace and faith.
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