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Francis and Shireen Lai, of Singapore, bring expertise in business and the arts and entertainment world and a passion for probing uncharted realms to their roles in Fatherheart Ministries.
Of Chinese heritage, they were born and grew up in Singapore. Shireen moved to Perth, Australia, when she was 16, finishing high school and earning a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Western Australia. She obtained a Master of Arts degree a few years later from City, University of London, England. Francis moved to the United States after completing two years of mandatory Singapore army service to earn a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Wisconsin. Later he earned an executive Master of Business Administration degree from State University of New York, Buffalo.
Following their formal education, Francis and Shireen returned to Singapore, where they met. They were married in 1997. Both have held key roles in their secular careers, operating out of Singapore but travelling extensively and pioneering new markets in Asia.
Francis has worked in business and corporate management. He has served in the areas of training, customer service, business development, sales, strategy and general management. From 2001-2016 he held senior management roles in the executive education sector for global business schools and organisations.
Shireen has produced and promoted high-profile arts and entertainment events. She co-founded a company that she led from 1999-2005, helping to stage major performances and cultural festivals. She then produced business content and events for Singapore’s Institute on Asian Consumer Insight. She also has been an adjunct lecturer in Events, Arts and Culture Management for colleges in Singapore.
Francis and Shireen lived from 2004-2009 in Shanghai, China, where they ministered in the House of Prayer global movement. That was also where they met a New Zealander who urged them to attend a Fatherheart Ministries school. In July 2008 they attended a Fatherheart Ministries A School in Penang, Malaysia, where James and Denise Jordan were the leaders and key speakers.
The revelation of the Father’s love and of walking with Him as sons and daughters so transformed their relationship with God that it affected every facet of their lives. The desire of their hearts is to see others have deep encounters with God as Father and to live in joy and fulfilment, expressing sonship in all aspects of life, both in the marketplace and in church.
Francis and Shireen have attended many Fatherheart Ministries conferences and schools, including the first month-long Gathering led by the Jordan’s in 2010 in Taupo, New Zealand. They have organised and hosted Fatherheart Ministries events and opened new doors for the revelation to be imparted in Asia, namely Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, Hong Kong and China. Shireen has become a Fatherheart Ministries school leader and has spoken at the ministry’s three-month Inheriting the Nations School: The Journey of Sonship.
Francis and Shireen enjoy skiing, especially in Japan, new travel venues, spa retreats, gastronomy and wine experiences and artisan coffee and cafes. Francis enjoys cooking and baking. The couple is always poised for adventure and discovery, both in the natural and spiritual realms.