Category Archives: Grace Methodist Church

Rh. Tatom Mission Trip

Sharing early Christmas joy with the folks at Rh. Tatom.

by James TC Wong

Nov 28-29, Miri - Nineteen people from Grace Methodist Church (GMC) including two from Senadin Methodist Campus Gospel Centre (SMCGC) and one from Sidang Injil Borneo (SIB) made a visit to Rh. Tatom, Selangau recently.

Organized by GMC, the purpose of the trip was to minister to the residents of Rh. Tatom and to celebrate the joy of Christmas with them.

“We’re thankful to God for this blessed opportunity to visit and minister to the people of Rh. Tatom,” said team leader Richard Lin. “Rh. Tatom is no stranger to us as we have been in contact with them for the past years and have seen them grown.”

BB Evangelistic Rally in Miri

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Rev. Lisa asking a Boy to share his thoughts.

by James TC Wong

AUG 16, MIRI - This year the Miri District Boys’ Brigade Evangelistic Rally was hosted by 4th Miri at its Sponsoring Church, Grace Methodist.

The annual event was well-attended by more than a hundred Officers and Boys from all the six Companies locally-based.

In her welcoming message, 4th Miri Captain Roseline Lee thanked all the Officers and Boys for their participation. “We are deeply encouraged and excited to see all the six Companies here today. We also want to take this opportunity to welcome you to listen to our Pastor’s rally message.”

GMC Pastor-in-charge Rev. Lisa Ting delivered an interesting exhortation containing the elements of evangelism.

She first began by asking the Boys’ perspectives on how fulfilling their lives were on a scale from one to ten. With the different responses received, Rev. Lisa then invited some of the Boys to share their thoughts on stage.

“If you stood before God now and if He were to ask you, ‘Why should I let you into my Heaven?’, what would you say?” continued Rev. Lisa, again receiving several enthusiastic responses from the floor.

During her 40-minute exhortation, Rev. Lisa also covered ‘Life’s Purpose’, ‘How to receive Salvation’, and ‘Living a fullest life with Christ Jesus’. The good shepherd also shared her personal story on her fears and hopes during her growing-up years; from a child to teen years and subsequently on to becoming a young adult.

“But ultimately you need to remember this verse from Romans 8:39 - No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord,” said Rev. Lisa as she summed up her message.

Following that, a group photo taken and light refreshments were served.

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One for the album!

Celebrating 25 years To The Glory of God!

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CAKE CUTTING DURING LUNCHEON! Front row – LR SMCGC Pr. Tiong Huong Ong, Miri Methodist District Lay Leader Mr. Lau Kung Mei, GMC Lay Leader Mr. Michael Lee, SCAC President Rev. Dato’ Dr. Su Chii Ann, GMC Chairman Mr. Alex Tiang, Miri Methodist District Superintendent Rev. Esther Law, GMC Pastor-in-charge Rev. Lisa Ting. Photo credit – Chang Yi.

by James TC Wong

MIRI - Grace Methodist Church turned 25 years old with a simple yet meaningful celebration to honor God on Aug 10.

A thanksgiving service was held with SCAC President Rev. Dato’ Dr. Su Chii Ann as the guest-of-honor and preacher. Miri Methodist District Lay Leader Mr. Lau Kung Mei was also present to witness the joyful occasion.

In his opening sermon, Rev. Dato’ Dr. Su acknowledged and thanked the founding members of the church. “I’m delighted to see several of you today faithfully serving God and this church,” praised Rev. Dato’ Dr. Su. “With God’s grace, I believe your church will grow from strength to strength in the years to come.”

To avoid complacency, the SCAC President challenged the congregation to move out of their comfort zone and do more to advance God’s kingdom.

Drawing the verses from Mark 10:17-23, Rev. Dato’ Dr. Su recapped the parable of the wealthy young man who wanted eternal life but his worldly possessions stopped him from venturing forward to what Christ has to offer. “Eternal life is not a commodity to buy and sell. It is a free gift received with faith,” he reiterated.

“Ask yourself – after 25 years in GMC, how can I go farther in the future? What is lacking in me?” the good shepherd asked the congregation.

“Hence you need to be committed, and commitment means action, love and obedience,” elaborated Rev. Dato’ Dr. Su, giving more explanations with examples.

In closing, Rev. Dato’ Dr. Su summarized his sermon with the following: “Commitment needs action, Action without love does not last; Love without obedience is not real.”

Other highlights during the service included a hymn by the GMC Choir and the i-YA (youths) performing a dance. PPRC Chairperson Mrs. Amy Shih also gave a brief report of the church’s history and walked the congregation down the memory lane with a video clip.

Following the service, a celebration luncheon was held at a local restaurant. Proceeds from the sale of the luncheon tables went to the building fund of SMCGC (Senadin Methodist Campus Gospel Centre). SMCGC Lay Leader Fidella Tiew thanked the GMC members for their strong support. “We are very grateful for your love shown to us and we hope we can build our new church building together,” she said.

GMC Pastor-in-charge Rev. Lisa Ting, in her luncheon speech, thanked God for the blessed and auspicious event.

“People say time is a relative term. 25 years can be a long time or just pass like in the blink of an eye,” said Rev. Lisa. “In 1982 I was only four years old when seeds of foundation of this church were first sown during the English worship service at Mei Ann Methodist Church.”

Rev. Lisa then briefly touched on the growth of GMC and expressed her heartfelt thanks to all the members who did the church-planting in Taman Tunku, Tudan and Senadin.

Through the years Grace MC is known for its outreach and missions ministries, and warm Christian love, added Rev. Lisa

“We may have a small congregation but our members are faithfully embracing our Methodist quadrennial theme ‘Spreading Scriptural Holiness, Transforming the Nation’ as our spiritual compass,” affirmed the good shepherd.

Rev. Lisa summed up by asking the church members to join her in reciting the church’s purpose statement – ‘Building a strong and united church where every member is equipped with works of service through whom Jesus Christ is made known.’

Pastoral Care on Overcoming Homosexuality

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Rev. Tryphena Law conducting the training.

by James TC Wong

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. – Genesis 1:27 (NIV)

MIRI - Homosexuality can be a controversial or even a taboo subject to talk about especially in the conservative state of Sarawak.

Eighty church pastors, leaders and members from the different Christian denominations attended a full-day training on “Pastoral Care and Counselling to Homosexuals” organized by the Sarawak Chinese Annual Conference (SCAC) at Grace Methodist Church on Aug 9.

Trainer Rev. Tryphena Law, a Pastoral Counsellor and Executive Director from PLUC (Pursuing Liberty Under Christ) was assisted by Sylvia Quah.

Established in 2002, the Selangor-based PLUC is an interdenominational evangelical Christian ministry that administers sexual wholeness to the sexually relationally-broken people especially homosexuals.

PLUC also works with churches and NGOs. Using 1 Cor 6:9 -11 as its spiritual compass, PLUC believes in the restoration of homosexuals under the healing power of Christ Jesus.

In her opening statement, Rev. Law reaffirmed that humanity is created in God’s image (Genesis 1:27) and all people are children of God. (John 1:12).

Rev. Law also reminded the participants: “We are Bible-centered, and we speak the truth because only the truth will set us free.”

From a spiritual perspective, overcoming homosexuality is possible to those desiring to walk in right communion with God.

There is much debate on people born either homosexual or heterosexual, and people believe they have no choice but to be who they are made to be.

“No one is born genetically gay. We can’t overcome homosexual confusion with our will. And it’s not God’s will for anyone to be trapped in homosexuality. Therefore, those in sexual brokenness can be transformed with the power provided by the blood of Jesus, ” said Rev. Law.

“Do not use the Bible to condemn or judge the homosexuals,” Pastor Law reiterated. “Let’s exercise Grace and Truth because recovery is a process, not an event.”

The training covered four main sections; 1) Ministry Introduction and Overview, 2) The Stream of Sexuality – Childhood, Adolescence, Healthy Heterosexuality, Broken Sexuality, 3) Raising Gender-teaching, and 4) How to journey with the sexually-broken.

An interesting Q & A session between the participants and Rev. Law followed after the training ended.

Participant Dorothy Kuek was glad that she attended the event. “I have attended many talks on homosexuality, believe me, this training is heart-touching and spiritual. It changes the mind and moves one to love. Powerful, praise God!”

“The training has been a great blessing and eye-opener especially in understanding the background of LGBT (IQ),” said Pastor Andy Anyi of Miri BEM On The Rock.

“I feel that people affected are crying out for help and they need to know there is hope. I pray churches are aware for this aspect of social need and the opportunity for ministry,” commented participant Leong Mui Foon.

The 11-days training covering Miri, Sibu and Kuching was organized by the SCAC.

STM to Rh. Ansi

Group photo of the Rh. Ansi STM (short term mission) team.

by James TC Wong, photo credit – Irene Chee

JUN 28-29, MIRI – Ten members from SMCGC (Senadin Methodist Campus Gospel Centre) joined the GMC STM (short term mission) team for a 2D/1N trip to Rh. Ansi, Balingian.

The 2D/1N trip was one of the scheduled programs under the Membership and Evangelism ministry with the purpose of outreaching to the residents of the longhouse and bringing them the Good News.

TESTIMONY by Adam Tiong Year 2, Chemical Engineering, Curtin University Miri

THOUGH my Disciple One Class (Red Book) was completed a year ago, some of us have remained close and still keep in contact with each other.

It was a challenge to prepare for the trip as we were only briefed a few weeks earlier before our semester exam ended. So we decided to act after our exam.

By God’s grace, we were able to prepare for our assigned work; the Youth Fellowship and the Children’s ministry. We met and planned, and got everything joyfully done within three days!

In a blink of an eye, it was time to go to Balingian on Jun 28. We left GMC at 7:30 am. During the 5-hour journey we practised what we needed to do and it was a great time of fellowship for us and our driver, Brother Hong.

We arrived at Rh. Ansi, warmly welcomed by the residents. After unloading, GMC members started off the program by inviting everyone for a session of praise and worship. About 30 residents joined us.

Top LR Clockwise - The SMCGC team with the kids, Kids doing a presentation, With the youths, GMC M & E Richard Lin presents bibles to the Rumah Tuai
Top LR Clockwise – The SMCGC team with the kids, Kids doing a presentation, With the youths, Team leader Richard Lin presents bibles to the Rumah Tuai.

After exchanging some self-introduction through ice-breaking, we formed two groups; youths and children. I was with the group in charge of nine youths. As we did some introduction and ice-breaking, we shared the Good News with them.

As we went through the program, it dawned upon me that the opportunity God gave us was timely. The session could be one of the most important days in their lives as we shared about Christ Jesus.

Our activity was not too difficult and we had them acting out a drama. I felt our caring attitude is an important aspect as we carried out the ministry. Hopefully we have left a good impression on them about Christian love.

In the evening GMC members served a scrumptious dinner to all. Following that, a movie on Jesus and His ministry was shown. A brief sharing was subsequently done by Pastor Johnnycal in the Iban language.

Thus ended the day, and we went to bed after rehearsing our songs in preparation for the next day.

After waking up the next morning at six and showering in the freezing water provided, we gathered to do our devotion.

At 8 am, we went off to the local church and attended the worship service there. After the praise and worship session (which we were in charge), two of our members Joseph and Barbara shared their testimonies. Brother Richard from GMC also shared. Their testimonies touched me knowing that they had to endure hardships to know Christ.

And so our mission trip was completed as we returned to Miri after the worship service. All in all, it was one of the shortest mission trips that I have ever participated but definitely no less in importance.

I now have a better understanding on different types of non-believers. My bonding with my Disciple classmates has deepened.

I want to thank God for giving me this wonderful opportunity to serve Him again in the mission field and pray that He has used me in some small way to touch the lives of those we met.

All glory and praises to God Almighty!

Fun Outing @ Taman Awam

Teamwork in action!

by James TC Wong

MIRI - Taking opportunity of the festive school break, the Disciple Two Class of Grace Methodist Church invited the children from The Methodist Children’s Home for an outing at Taman Awam on Aug 3.

Nestled in the lush greenery secondary forest 3 km from town, Taman Awam is a popular family-oriented park with a children’s playground and water play. In addition, there is a tower observation platform, jogging trail and botanical garden where soft adventure activities with convenient amenities can be enjoyed.

The afternoon activity started with a thanksgiving prayer led by Disciple Class facilitator Leong Mui Foon. Following that, an ice-breaker was introduced whereby the children were instructed to think, plan and stay united to enjoy the game. After the exciting and hilarious active carrying of water-filled baloons, the children proceeded to the water play enjoying themselves to the fullest.

A scrumptious dinner was served before the outing ended.

One for the album – The 2014 GMC Disciple Two Class (Green Book) with the group from The Miri Methodist Children’s Home.

“I really appreciate the Disciple Class students for organizing this outing for the kids and the older children, ” said Vivian Lo, the acting Superintendent of the Home. “Apart from the school and festive holidays, this is one activity the children can take a break from their daily routine and come here to have fun, Praise The Lord!

Ten-year-old Joshua was overwhelmed with the experience and the food. “When can we have it again?” he asked cheekily when the outing ended, bringing laughter to everyone present.

Established in 2004, The Miri Methodist Children’s Home provides basic needs and proper education to the underprivileged children in their care. Using a holistic integrated approach with love and warmth, it is hoped that the children will grow up well spiritually, intellectually and physically, and becoming good role models in the community.

An Evening of Worship Splendour

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The Miri District Methodist Choir.

by James TC Wong

MIRI - It was an evening of worship splendour as the Miri Methodist Choir performed to an appreciative audience at Mei Ann MC on July 12.

Since its inception in 2009, this choir group has continued to thrive with the objective of promoting Worship Music and raising the standard of choir-singing in the Methodist churches in Miri.

Music Director Bong Wui Choo thanked Mei Ann Methodist Church for providing the concert venue.

“We thank God for His provisions and blessings. We are like an extended family performing in other Methodist churches when invited,” Bong added.

Each year the choir has a list of scheduled engagements in and around the Sarawak Northern Region.

New singers are also welcome to join the choir. “Not only will they get the opportunity to develop and practise their musical talents, he or she has to be passionate and committed to this ministry because we are serving God in the long term,” Bong reiterated.

With a repertoire consisting of classical Messiah (Handel) genre and contemporary songs, the choir also has a strong link to singing traditional hymns.

Chicago-trained and renowned Miri music instructor Lau Buong Hoo was the conductor.

Youth Sunday

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The GMC i-Youth and their Advisors.

by James TC Wong and Ashley Wee

Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. -1 Timothy 4:12 (NIV)

MIRI - The i-Youth of Grace Methodist Church celebrated its annual Youth Sunday on June 22.

A slide show on the i-Youth activities throughout the year 2013 was shown before the President’s report.

In his speech as President, Jacky Chai thanked the Advisors and all the parents for their support. He also introduced all the committee members of the current year to the congregation.

Youths Jeremy Lee and Sharon Khoo shared their experiences on the weekly Youth Fellowship on Saturday evening. Glorifying God, both youths testified about having a great time learning The Word and while interacting with their peers.

“Church was more of a getaway rather than true worship. But participating in the Youth Convention held in Sibu two years ago made me learn good things. I promise God that I will never allow myself to fall back into my old ways,” declared Sharon.

The youths did well in the areas of Ushering, Praise and Worship, Skit and Offering.

Before the service ended, the youths gave a presentation (Awesome God) to show their love to the Almighty Father.

Workshop on Leadership

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Workshop in session.

by James TC Wong

JULY 5, MIRI – At the invitation of Grace Methodist Church, consultant and trainer Dr. Leonard Yong (PhD; Med; B.Sc) conducted an in-house workshop “Leading with Emotional Excellence” for ministry volunteers.

The renowned Malaysian industrial psychologist is no stranger to the church having conducted a similar session some years before.

Dr. Yong has gained international recognition for his research and consultancy work on creativity and emotional intelligence. He has consulted and conducted numerous workshops on EQ and Creative Thinking for leaders in MNCs.

The session started with ice-breaking activities followed by self-discovery questionnaires. Answer scores of the participants were then plotted in the chart to better understand self-behavioural style.

Based on LEONARD PERSONALITY INVENTORY (a model combining the 4 Greek Temperaments and the Big 5 Models), one can identify a person’s emotional orientation and locate a person’s preferred behavioural orientation on any of the five dimensions; Openness, Neutral, Analytical, Relational and Decisive Dimensions.

Other aspects of the workshop included Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and TENT Therapy (T-Thanksgiving attitude, E-Enjoy your work & live in obedience to your conscience, N-No coincidence in our lives,T-Thankfulness to God).

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Dr. Leonard Yong explains a behavioural aspect on a scene from the movie “Gladiator”.

A lifestyle of living well, thinking well, eating well and exercising well is required to implement Emotional Excellence for relationship and innovative leadership, Dr. Yong summed up.

At the end of program, each participant received a customized personality trait booklet for self-development.

“The findings and results of the individual customised booklet have helped me and my husband understand each other even better as we capitalize on our strengths and work to improve on our weaknesses,” commented Magdalene Lee who serves in the Children’s Sunday School. “I’m so glad I’ve attended this workshop.”

Small Group Leader Jean Seow said that the training has helped church workers and volunteers in understanding better the different personalities of one another. “With this awareness, we can easily avoid conflicts and staying focussed on our church purpose statement.”

2014 East Malaysia Bible Knowledge Quiz

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One for the album!

by James TC Wong

MIRI – The 3rd East Malaysia SPM Bible Knowledge (BK) quiz was held at SMK Columba on July 5 with the participation of 90 students from various secondary schools throughout Sarawak and Labuan.

Sponsored by Grace Methodist Church Miri, the event was jointly organized by the Malayan Christian Schools’ Council (MCSC), Scripture Union and SMK St. Columba Miri.

The aim of the quiz was to test SPM BK students’ knowledge on The Gospel of Luke and The Book of Acts.

Moreover, students not sitting for their SPM BK this year were able to benefit through the experience of this event in preparation as future candidates.

SMK Methodist Sibu won the 1st and 3rd place in the Oral Quiz Category with SMK Labuan clinching 2nd place.

In the Upper Form (4-5) Written Quiz Category, Fifth Former David Chieng Kai Tung from SMK Methodist Sibu topped his cohort followed by Janice Jong Yee Minn and Benice Goh Sin Yee, both Form Four students from SMK St. Columba.

Hoo Ci Rui, a Form Three student from SMK Methodist Sibu topped in the Lower Form Category (Form 1-3). The second place went to Form Three student Heirich Huong Sheng Yin from SMK Chung Hua Miri followed by Daniel Chieng Kai Kiong, a Form Two student from SMK St. Columba.

The judges were Chua Ping Ching (Chief), Fr. Alfred Damu (St. Columba’s Parish, Miri), Rev. Lisa Ting (Grace Methodist Church, Miri), and Jacinta Lee (St Joseph’s Cathedral, Miri). Rev. Eric Hii Wen Haur of Mei Ann Methodist Church was also present as an observer.

Supang Daring, the Senior Assistant (Academic and Administration) of SMK St. Columba was present to congratulate and give away prizes to the winners.

Top pics LR – Winning teams from SMK Methodist Sibu. Bottom pics LR – Winning team from SMK Labuan. Rev. Lisa Ting receives a momento from Supang Daring.

In her closing speech, Daring welcomed and thanked all the participants and judges for their support to the event. She also thanked Mr. Phua Seng Tiong, a former Principal from Kuala Lumpur for sharing God’s Word in the opening session.

“I would also like to thank the Organizing Committee, the sponsor, helpers and students for a job well-done. I believe it is right and good for us as a Mission School to host such an important event. Let us be reminded to work closely to glorify God. If other school is willing to host this event in the future, please be assured that we will give them our full support too,” she said.

Chief Judge Chua Ping Ching took the opportunity to advise the students on the Do’s and Don’ts when sitting for the SPM BK examination. “To score high marks, you need to watch out on the spellings and your answers must be more specific instead of giving one-word answers,” she reminded them.

The top finalists have qualified to join the national finals at SMJK Katholik, Petaling Jaya on July 26. The event is expected to draw 600 to 700 participants from secondary schools throughout the country.