Category Archives: Grace Methodist Church

BNTS in Miri

page
Top to bottom – Group pic, Squad Commander reports to the Camp Commander, Bugle call for retreat at the closing of the training.

Story by James TC Wong, 4th Miri. Contributor – Cpt. Yong Soon Fuan, 5th Miri.

MIRI - The Boys’ Brigade in Malaysia, Sarawak Northern Region Council (NRC) held a Basic Non- Commissioned Officer Training Course (BNTS) at Riam Methodist Kindergarten from July 17-19.

Led by 20 Officers and Helpers, 25 members from 1st Bintulu, 2nd Bintulu, 4th Miri, 5th Miri, 6th Miri and 1st Limbang (ages 14 – 17 years) participated.

BNTS aims at developing youth to be a Christ-centered leaders to be equipped with the 3 C’s – Calling, Competency and Character. Participants were encouraged to learn from the BB founder, Sir William Alexander Smith on Pioneer’s Character. Unity, teamwork and humility were emphasized during the course.

Modules like Christian character, communications, how to conduct meetings, presentation skills and planning were taught through interactive activities. Groups also re-converged to reflect on their mistakes made so that lessons could be shared and learned.

Excited on the newly-acquired knowledge of learning, the participants had to experience challenging activities that instilled the elements of discipline and strictness.

The 3D/2N training would be an unforgettable experience for all the participants from Bintulu, Miri and Limbang, as new friendship and bonding were formed.

One of the coaches, Cpt. Roseline Lee (4th Miri) praised the Boys for their patience and resilience. She also expressed concerns on the challenges faced by today’s youth. “Our teenagers must learn to be more self-reliant and understand the consequences of being ignorant. We are surprised that many of them are lacking in life skills like having a sharp eye for observation and doing chores. Our course will definitely equip them with these skills, and also teach them about teamwork, leadership and self-reliance,” said Cpt. Lee.

Camp Commander 5th Miri Cpt. Yong Soon Fuan reiterated that the training course would strengthen leadership skills in every BB Member and Officer. “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another – Proverbs 27:17, personally I hope all the participants have learned the key lesson on leadership, that is, a leader develops a leader. Interaction among Members and Officers is one of the unwritten modules that further encourages everyone to stay enthusiastic for the BB ministry. Today the BNTS may have ended but the journey for BB Members and Officers have just started,” summed up Cpt. Yong.

On July 19 all Officers, Helpers and Boys attended the Sunday Worship Service at Gan En Methodist Church. 5th Miri Chaplain (Sponsoring Church – Gan En Methodist) Rev. Tie King Siing closed the training with a prayer followed by lunch served.

A Timely Response to Pa’ Adang

page1
Top left clockwise – Group pic, Opening of a new road, Roadwork completed, Carrying timber. Photo credit – SMPC

Story by James TC Wong, Contributors – Rev. Jabez Tiong, Colin Wong, Jason Soh, Adam Tiong

MIRI- Senadin Methodist Preaching Centre (SMPC) organized its first mission trip to Pa’ Adang from 29 June to 6 July recently.

Led by Rev Jabez Tiong, the majority members were from SMPC. Life Methodist Church, Hwai En Methodist Church and Permy Methodist Church also sent senior adult members to assist.

The main objective of the mission was to provide infrastructural support; transporting aggregate stones and sand for the following mission team to construct a new church in Pa’ Adang. A roadwork to enable vehicular transport was also opened from the river bank to the new church.

“In terms of stamina and physical work, the Miri Curtin Campus students found the trip to be extremely challenging,” said Rev. Jabez. “This was because they had never experienced this arduous job before,” added the pastor-in-charge of SMPC. The good shepherd was also quick to commend that he was proud of the team overcoming various challenges and members were able to focus on the tasks at hand by following a disciplined schedule without the distractions and availability of internet access and telecommunications.

The ministries of the Children’s Sunday School and Social Concerns were an integral part of the mission as well. Using interesting thematic methods, the teachers were able to teach the Penan children with different approach.

“I would like to thank Grace Methodist Church for supporting this mission trip financially. I also wish to appreciate the four adults from our other Methodist churches who play a supervisory role; taking care of the students by providing food and teaching them living skills which they could never learn in the lecture halls. May all the glory be to our Heavenly Father,” summed up Rev. Jabez.

MY PA’ ADANG STORY by Colin Wong

GREETINGS and may the peace of the Lord be with you!

I joined Pa’ Adang mission trip as I was invited by my senior, Jason Soh. At first I was reluctant because I intended to proceed with my research project during the semester break. However, he asked me this question: “God or study comes first?” I was shaken and persuaded. I was then assigned to the Children’s Sunday School ministry.

Before the mission trip, our pastor kept on reminding members that we were not going for a holiday. To serve, we had to adapt and be prepared for any circumstances and changes, he warned us.

The life in Pa’Adang is completely different from that of a city. There are no 24-hours electricity supply, no internet connection, no air-conditioning and inadequate water supply (where all men including pastor were required to bathe in the river). Due to the need of building a new church, all men were required to do physical labor (to move stones and sand) while women were mostly in charge for the Children’s Ministry and meal preparations. I was excited and energized on the first day work as it was a new experience.

Nonetheless my physical strength started to diminish after a few days. I was tired and unenthusiastic. My feet and hands were bitten by sand flies. The irritation made me uncomfortable and frustrated. I began to complain inside my heart. I forgot the objective of this mission trip, that was – to serve.

Thank God, my attitude and thoughts changed when I was working with Pastor Jabez. He did not complain – neither did he show any grievances or dissatisfaction albeit the trying circumstances. At that moment, I felt embarrassed and ashamed. I realized how weak I was – spiritually, physically and emotionally! Instead of complaining, I could have thanked God that He provided us good weather, breathtaking scenery and sufficient food and drinks. Although some fell sick, I could thank God that He has not let anyone of us be injured or harmed. If only I could be faithful in these little things, then I can be entrusted with the larger ones.

On the fifth day, the second mission trip team arrived in the evening. The team comprised of brothers and sisters -in-Christ with distinguished professions. Due to the rain, they arrived slightly later than expected. Therefore they had to work overnight after dinner to build the foundation. I joined them. When I saw all of them working collaboratively and wholeheartedly, my heart was deeply moved. Everyone was faithful in their work for the Lord, and not for men. The scene reminded me that we are each part of the body of Christ, and we are gifted in different areas. When we act on the gifts given and work together heartily, we can do great things.

I hope that I am able to apply my knowledge not only in my future job, but also in God’s work. I hope I can serve more willingly and faithfully.

Proverbs 3: 5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight.”

My Pa’ Adang Story by Jason Soh 

IT WAS a wonderful 8-day mission trip travelling from Miri to Lawas, and from Lawas to Pa’ Adang, and back.

I spent a total of 6 days there to have a better experience with God. Technology has been one of the factors that causes the ignorance of God’s creation. Throughout this journey without any distraction from hi-tech devices, I was to able see Mother Nature with a better insight.

I could see and hear the cries of the needy to build up their physical and spiritual needs. From this mission trip, I have realized that it is insufficient to support the natives financially only; manpower is also very crucial. One of the limitations of the natives has is education. Therefore it will be good to focus on education to secure the future of the younger generations and create awareness in the world’s happenings.

The sermon preached by Pastor Yahya struck me in living my daily life. He preached “Strengthening our faith in the world today”. An example given by him was “building houses on rock and building houses on sand”. He reiterated an underlying basis that we have to be strong in our faith by reading the Bible and doing God’s work to prevent our “house” to fall.

Furthermore the preaching from Pastor Yahya brought a great impact to my life. He spoke on his acceptance of Christ and his experience of being a pastor in Pa’ Adang. It was a great testimony seeing how God has chosen His people to commence His ministry in the great place Pa Adang. It is my pleasure to meet Pastor Yahya and to know more about him. His sacrifice of moving from the urban town to a rural place has humbled me greatly.

In Matthew 19:26 – Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” This has inspired me that “with God everything is possible”. No matter how small and insignificant we are, if we have faith in God, everything is achievable.

My Pa’Adang Story by Adam Tiong 

AS WE disembarked next to the river, I jumped off the pickup truck and stretched. A little distance away was the 50-meter wide river that we had to cross to reach Pa’Adang, our mission field. We all began to unload all the equipment, materials and personal luggage. We began forming a relay line across the river to move all the things from one side of the river to the other.

smpc pa 2
Transporting our things through teamwork.

Our mission to Pa’ Adang was to assist the Penan people living there to construct a new church so that their old church can be converted into a school. Pa’ Adang is not accessible by road hence all the materials used for construction have to be carried into the Pa’Adang village.

Our mission team’s objective was to pave the way for the next mission team that would be arriving the following week. That team was led by Rev. Ling Biu and would continue the construction of the new church which they hoped to complete. Our team would attempt to collect as many raw materials such as sand and stones for the team, including doing some other preparatory work such as road construction and hostel building.

While I was helping to carry all our equipment from the river to the village, I decided to carry two items; a heavy piece of roofing felt and another smaller plastic bag filled with odds and ends. It was approximately one kilometer walk to the village. At the beginning, it was relatively easy even though the roofing felt was quite heavy. Overtime though as I began to tire, I couldn’t hold the roofing felt properly as the plastic bag of odd and ends became quite troublesome.

Looking back while writing this testimony, I realized that this situation reflects certain parts of my walk with God. In becoming a disciple of Christ, I have learned to carry my Cross through life. However along the way we become so bogged down with other worries of life that carrying the cross seems harder than ever and we are sorely tempted to put it down. The opposite in fact should be the case. By setting aside all other worries and focusing on carrying our cross, our journey through life will be a lot easier and purposeful with Christ by our side.

For the first two days that we were there, the men were divided into two groups. One group was to collect and transport sand and stones from the nearby riverside to the building site, and another group to clear and prepare a temporary road up to the building site from the existing church. I volunteered to join the group that was going to create the road, seeing as I had never done that before.

Under the supervision of Bro. Gilbert Hii, we began to clear and level a road from the bottom of the hill where the old church is located, up to the top of the hill where the building site for the new church is located. We began by clearing away the undergrowth that blocked a straight path up to the building site, and then leveling any uneven ground with gardening hoes and shoveling the excess dirt into holes or low parts of the road to make it more even.

During the first day working on the road, I decided to do all I could and put all my energy into it. I tried to work and hard and as fast as I could, and at the beginning declined to take a break even when I felt tired. By the end of that first day I had lost all my energy and even fell sick going into the second day. I had to take the second afternoon off to recover from my sickness.

While recovering, I realized that I had fallen into the trap of taking too much pride in myself. Most of the time, we become prideful in the form of boasting or recognition. However from this experience, I realized that choosing not to admit our weakness is also a form of pride that is equally dangerous. By admitting that we are weak or lost in certain parts of our lives, we can then allow God help us in those areas. By allowing God to work in our lives, we can then benefit ourselves, the people around us and the work we do for our Lord.

Going back to work the following day, I decided to go join the group collecting sand and stones at the riverbank, as I heard that there would be more shade there so I could recover better. Working slowly, I understood that I had reached my limit the day before by overextending myself in the work process. By focusing too much on the work and what I myself could do, I forgot to focus on God in the process of the mission. It was a sharp reminder that we all are God’s tools and we need to be humble enough to set aside all our worries and pride to let God work through us.

smpc pa6
Collecting sand and stones.

All throughout the mission I was constantly reminded at the beauty of God’s creation. As we woke up at around 6am every morning for daily devotion, we could see the breaking of dawn as the sunlight hits the hilltops surrounding Pa’Adang that were still covered with low hanging clouds. Cold crisp air gave way to a clean fresh earthly smell as the day progressed to noontime. After work each day, all the men would bathe in the river to conserve water in the hostel. The river is very clean and we used it for bathing and washing our clothes. There is a part of the river that rushes over a bed of rocks which is ideal for scrubbing our clothes. The water is clean and cold, and rushes along quite fast which makes it ideal for rinsing. In the deeper part of the river, the current slows and turns greenish as it becomes deeper, making a very refreshing scene. As night, the air turns fresh and cold again, and due to the lack of night activities, we sit around the dining table talking and singing along to songs from our mission pamphlets until we went off to sleep around 10 pm.

This mission trip helped me understand more about myself in terms of my values and understanding God. It also enabled me to be closer to God’s creation; to understand why and how we go about doing His will. Although it was a tough week, all in all it was one of the most memorable missions I have ever been and I thank the Lord for leading me to Pa’Adang.

2015 Bible Knowledge Quiz

2015 BK Champions SMK Methodist Sibu
2015 Champions SMK Methodist Sibu!

Story and pic by Wong Kung Kui

MIRI – The 4th Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) Bible Knowledge (BK) quiz Sarawak Zone was held at SMK St Columba on July 11 with the participation of 120 secondary students throughout Sarawak.

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

Many Christian parents and students are still not aware that BK is offered as a subject in SPM. Students can opt to take up BK in their respective schools and it is not limited to missionary schools only. Hence the quiz also hopes to raise awareness among students in BK.

“The BK quizzes are student-friendly, fun events. They are not exams. Last year’s individual quiz (BK14) saw excellent scores from Forms 1-6. Oral quiz gets SPM BK candidates to notice details, major events and God-moments. Get into the Word now. God speaks to the reader, the seeker and the Bible scholar,” said Kua Kun Han, the founder of BK quiz. Kua founded the BK quiz 19 years ago with the cooperation from the Malayan Christian School’s Council (MCSC), Scripture Union and some BK teachers from KL and Selangor.

In addition, BK 15 contestants (Form 1-3) who are not sitting for their SPM this year were able to benefit by participating in the written quiz hence preparing them as future SPM BK candidates

SMK Methodist Sibu took the 1st and 3rd place in the SPM BK Oral Category, with SMK St Columba clinching 2nd place.

In the BK 15 Upper Form (4-5) Category written quiz, Fourth Former Jemima Hii Beng Eng (SMK Methodist Sibu) was placed first followed by Victor Lee Zheng Siang from SMK Dato Permaisuri and third place both from Form Four SMK St Columba, namely Florence Wong Jia Yi and Roshanth Aaron James.

Marina Wong Mei Ing, a Form Three student of SMK St Columba Miri topped the Lower Form category (Form 1-3). The second place went to Gerald Lisson Ralphie of SMK Lutong Miri followed by Esther Lau Yi Ci, a Form Three student from SMK St Columba.

The judges were Rev. Lenita Tiong (Grace Methodist Church, Miri), Catherine Chia (St. Joseph Cathedral, Miri), and Sii Ling (Grace Methodist Church, Miri).

Meechang Tuie, the Chairman Teachers’ Christian Fellowship Miri and Principal of SMK St Columba was present to congratulate and give away prizes to the winners.

In his closing speech, Meechang welcomed and thanked all the participants and judges for their support to the event. He encouraged participants to study harder to deepen their faith in Christ. “For God’s Word is the foundation of Christian faith,” he said.

“I would also like to thank the organizing committee, the helpers and students for a job well-done. I believe it is right and good for us as a Mission School to host such a significant and meaningful event and let us be reminded to work closely to glorify God. I hope this event will continue to bless more students,” he added.

“BK Oral Quiz East Malaysia Zone has started in year 2012 in SMK St Columba. This year marks another breakthrough for BK quiz, because a new regional center started in Kota Kinabalu. I am hoping to see more participants from other divisions in Sarawak to join the quiz in near future. Indeed I’m so thankful to the Christian teachers in SMK St Columba. They have shown unity in Christ working together as a team to make this event a successful one.” said Wong Kung Kui, the Coordinator for the quiz.

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

Chief Judge Rev Lenita Tiong from Grace Methodist Church took the opportunity to encourage and motivate the participants. “You all have done a great job in today’s quiz,” she praised them.

The top finalists for SPM BK oral quiz have qualified to join the national finals at SMK Assunta, Petaling Jaya on Aug 1. The grand finale is the climax for the event and the organizer is expecting 600-700 participants from throughout Malaysia.

BB Enrolment Sunday

IMG_4882ab
One for the album – group photo of BB 4th Miri! Photo credit – Abel Wong.

by James TC Wong, 4th Miri

JUNE 28, MIRI - The 4th Miri Boys’ Brigade (BB) held its annual Act of Enrolment and Re-Dedication Service yesterday at its sponsoring church, Grace Methodist (GMC).

Also present were Rev. Lenita Tiong, the pastor-in-charge of GMC, 4th Miri BB Chaplain Tan Kok Chui, and Honorary Captain Frederick Wong.

Enrolment Sunday is an important element in the life of the Boys’ Brigade and of the local Church. It is a time during which the Company and the Church unite in reminding each other of their objectives and obligations. It is also a time for new Boys to formalize their membership and to accept the teaching and guidance of the Company and of the Church. For Boys renewing their membership, it is a time of reflection and affirmation of their promises for the future. Officers and Helpers also re-dedicate themselves to accept the privileges and responsibilities of leadership. The congregation also promise to support the work done by the Company and pray for their Officers and members in keeping their motto and faith.

“Thank God we have new members from SMK Dato Permaisuri Miri who are enrolling today. We also want to thank the school teachers-in-charge for their commitment in sending their Boys to the Parade every Saturday afternoon,” said Captain Roseline Lee in her message. “We are also looking for more helpers in our ministry,” she added.

The solemn Colour March-in and March-out were received and given by Chaplain Tan.

Honorary Captain Wong and the congregation witnessed the Act of Enrolment and Re-Dedication of Officers and Helpers conducted by the Chaplain.

Private William Chen was promoted to Lance Corporal while Lance Corporal Howard Chiu was promoted to Corporal. Warrant Officer Raymond Tie was promoted to Lieutenant.

A performance was presented by the Seniors and Juniors before the service ended.

Pastors’ Appreciation Sunday in GMC

For Connection
(Clockwise Top-right) Associate Lay Leader Tan Kok Chui leads the congregation to pray for Rev. Lenita; Lay Leader Michael Lee presents a bouquet of flowers to Rev. Lenita; Chairman Alex Tiang presents a love gift to Rev. Lenita; PPRC Chairwoman Amy Shih edifies Rev. Lenita.

by James TC Wong

MIRI - June 14 marked a special day for the Sarawak Chinese Annual Conference (SCAC) as the Methodist congregations honored their pastors and church workers for their hard work, sacrifices and blessings.

In Grace Methodist Church (GMC) yesterday, workers Oliver Wong, Jessy Yong, Siddai and Rev. Lenita Tiong were acknowledged for their contributions.

In her speech, Amy Shih, the Chairwoman for Pastor-Parish Relation Committee (PPRC) thanked Rev. Lenita for her love and dedication shown towards the church members since the latter’s appointment as the pastor-in-charge of GMC six months ago.

Shih also took the opportunity to read out some edifying notes written by church members and leaders.

“To me, Rev. Lenita is a Godly woman who honors God in all that she says and does. She is wise in God’s eyes, like mentioned in Proverbs 31:26.”

“She is a friend and sister whom I can count on; always helps me to see my worth in God’s eyes and reminding His good works and grace in my life. She spares her time to minister to the needy regardless how busy she is. She has a personal touch. I am amazed by the effort she puts to remember the names of so many members.”

“She has a powerful mind to face daily challenges with undaunted courage. A wise leader who is very firm on her decisions and directions but yet when you work with her, you won’t feel intimidated like lady bosses do. Instead you can feel her humility, sincerity and willingness to listen to you and your opinions, and guide you through the problems. Yes, she is a rare Foochow woman who speaks very gently; always affirming people with encouraging words together with her signature smile.”

“Though I only came to know Rev. Lenita not long ago but the encounter with her is really like we’ve known each other. She is very encouraging and guides me through trying circumstances. I believe our church is truly blessed as she encourages us to be nearer to God each day. I thank God for her presence here. I thank Rev. Lenita for committing her life for God.”

“When Rev. Lenita got to know about our Sunday school H4kids, she didn’t stop showing concerns and praying for the program. She would always ask about the progress of the program and shared prayer requests during Thursday evening. I am greatly encouraged by her for being a great shepherd and coach to us.”

Visibly elated, Rev. Lenita thanked everyone for their love and care. “Let’s aim to make GMC the beacon of light in our community,” she urged the congregation.

IMG_4792 for connection for web
Lay Preacher Frederick Wong delivering a timely message to the congregation.

Frederick Wong delivered a timely message entitled “Too many hats” to the congregation. “It’s really not easy to be a pastor because he or she often has to play different roles, and yet sometimes receive unkind criticisms from the flock. Every pastor has his or her own strengths and weaknesses. I believe every pastor is Godsend and therefore he or she has our best interests at heart,” said the GMC Lay Preacher who is now on practicum.

Wong also cautioned the congregation against words used or actions that could stumble pastors. “Don’t treat your pastor to a meal because you have an ulterior motive,” Wong said to the amused congregation who responded with laughter. “Just have a good meal and fellowship,” he added. He continued to advise the members with a list of things to do to lift up pastors.

In summing up, Wong reminded the congregation to remember that appreciation, affirmation and prayer support of pastors were needed throughout the year. “It’s tough to be a full-time pastor and God has entrusted Rev. Lenita to take care of our spiritual well-being and therefore let us all support her fully.”

Serving Chicken Soup to Curtin Undergrads

Lovesoup

by James TC Wong

JUNE 13, MIRI - Three Small Groups from Grace Methodist Church (GMC) pooled their culinary skills to serve Curtin University undergraduates nourishing chicken soup at Senadin Methodist Preaching Centre (SMPC) last night.

The centre was packed with more than 130 people turning up for the Chicken Soup, also affectionately called the Love Soup.

Chicken soup, traditionally served in Chinese families, is known to enhance mental alertness and energy.

Pastor-in-charge Rev. Tiong Huong Ong welcomed everyone and thanked the GMC members for their love-in-action.

The good shepherd also commended the commitment and care from the GMC members for SMPC during the past years.

“In fact, at the beginning of this semester, they already requested for the two ‘Love Soup’ dates to be fixed this year. Knowing the different backgrounds of these brothers and sisters-in-Christ makes us even more appreciative of the time, money and effort they have put in for this evening’s program,” praised Rev. Tiong as he noted the presence of a serving GMC hearing-impaired couple.

Penangite Khor See Joo said that she enjoyed the chicken soup. “It’s my first time experiencing such a wonderful event and I thank all who have served us,” said the Year One Engineering student.

“Thank you for the soup with full of love. I felt like I have returned to my home, having dinner and chit-chatting with my family members. Most importantly, the soup was cooked with love. It made me miss home and Mom’s cooking so much. Again thank you very much,” said Darren Gan (Year 1, Chemical Engineering) from Ipoh.

Barbara Ruran (Year 1, Accounting and Entrepreneurship), from Limbang was visibly touched by the love shown. Quoting 1 John 4:19, Ruran said love is a powerful thing. “Love soup reminds me of Christmas day. Crowded but you enjoy eating together. It really fascinates me seeing people sharing soup with one another. This happiness tickles my heart and I’m awed by the love shown by the aunties and uncles who cooked the soup.”

“The love soup event was conducted splendidly and on time. The variety of soups were brewed with love and we were spoiled with overwhelming choices that I didn’t have a chance to try every soup! What an amazing gathering!” said Jacky Chew (Year 1, Petroleum Engineering) from Muar, Johor.

IMG_4762for connection for web

Before the event closed with a group photo-taking, one of the GMC members received a sweet surprise when he was presented with a belated birthday Japanese cheese cake home-baked by Rev. Tiong’s wife, Wang Siew Ling.

A Lively Day Camp

IMG_4573 for connection for web
by James TC Wong, 4th Miri

MIRI – The 4th Miri Boys’ and Girls’ Brigade annual day camp at SJK (C) Chung Hua Pujut on May 30 was well attended with participation from more than 100 students, teachers and officers.

The full-day event included activities in art and craft, and talks. There were also station games and drills of which the Senior Boys took charge.

4th Miri BB Chaplain Tan Kok Chui and GB Officer Chen Pei Cheng gave a talk to the Boys and Girls respectively on “Understanding Puberty”.

Miri District Girls’ Brigade Chairwoman Joana Ngu Leh Huong dropped by for a visit and was impressed with the campers. “I observed that the participants are disciplined and confident in their tasks. They also did absolutely well in marching too,” Ngu praised.

4th Miri Boys’ Brigade Captain Roseline Lee thanked the teachers-in-charge for their supporting role in making the event a success. “We are pleased to note that the teachers are proactive and helpful. The Boys are eager to learn new things and we hope to groom them to be the future leaders,” commented Lee.

At the end of the day, gift snacks were given to all the campers.

XEE Thanksgiving Night

IMG_4431for connection for web
Rev. Lenita Tiong (standing 5th from right) with the XEE Team. Photo credit – Abel Wong Ing Hwa.

by James TC Wong

MAY 12, MIRI - After its launch 12 weeks ago, the Grace Methodist Church (GMC) XEE Team re-grouped last night for a thanksgiving dinner to appreciate their trainees and prayer partners.

Also present at the fellowship were Rev. Lenita Tiong and Michael Lee, the Lay Leader of GMC.

XEE is an exciting offshoot of the Evangelism Explosion equipping ministry. Though not new in the SCAC Methodist churches, XEE is nevertheless significant in GMC because it was introduced for the first time. The method of teaching Christians to share the Gospel is through interactive training, small group discussion and role-play. The Gospel presentation is simple and story-driven with room for discussion. It makes witnessing not only non-threatening but an enjoyable activity to look forward to.

In his welcoming message, Richard Lin thanked all the people involved for their commitment and perseverance. Lin, who is also the Chairman of Membership and Evangelism Ministry, commended the prayer partners for their unfailing support throughout the period. “We are also very encouraged with the results we had. In the total number of contact activities, the rejection rate was a low 6.5% as compared to a balanced outcome of acceptance, assurance or neutral-status from the rest,” Lin reported.

The fellowship also provided an opportunity for both trainers and trainees alike to relate their experiences.

Trainer Sally Tan praised God and encouraged the trainees. “Years ago when Rev. Law Hui Seng was the pastor-in-charge of our church, I already had a burden to reach out but didn’t know how. Over the weeks, I was encouraged by the response of prayer partners. It’s not that tough, just focus on Jesus. Be available, have faith, and take action. Leave the rest to the Holy Spirit.”

Trainee Cynthia Hong confessed her shortcoming in sharing the Gospel before knowing XEE. “I wouldn’t know how to continue if a person I approach tells me he or she is not a Christian. After observing how my trainer shared the Gospel and with practice, I have become bolder and confident. Now I’m filled with a purpose in life and I’m so thrilled,” she shared.

Jimmy Shih said he has overcome his fear of sharing the Gospel. “I became a Christian in 2003. I prayed and asked for 3 names; one accepted Christ and two rejected. With XEE, the Gospel is made easy to share. Two persons accepted Christ when I shared the Gospel with them! There is an indescribable joy when the person you shared the Gospel with accepts Jesus. God is faithful and good!”

Nurse Lina Kana was initially bewildered by the memory verses she had to remember. She was also at loss who she could approach to share the Gospel with. Being a grandmother with work and family commitments, Kana at times had wanted to give up the training. “But with God’s strength and prayers, I managed to overcome all my obstacles,” she proclaimed.

All the six trainees have completed their EE Semester Course and will receive their certificates in due course.

BB State Junior Camp

BB Junior State Camp
One for the album – fun activities during the camp!

by James TC Wong, 4th Miri

MAY 2-3, MIRI – The 2015 Sarawak State Junior Camp organized by the BB Northern Region Council at Petronas Games Village drew 67 participants from Bintulu and Miri.

Led by renowned Sibu-based MY Centre trainers, the 2D/1N camp was bustling with various indoor and outdoor activities cultivating character-building, team building and leadership skills.

By 7:45 am, registration was completed and the campers were quickly settled down after breakfast. Announcement of ground rules was made and four teams Blue, Green, Purple and Red were formed.

On Sunday morning (May 3), Lee Song Ping from Permy Methodist Church presented a sharing entitled “B-Booster, B-Brighter” guided by verses from Matthew 5:13-16. A school teacher by profession, Lee encouraged the campers to be the ‘salt’ and ‘light’ in the community. “You need to have a purpose in your life besides learning to help and care for one another,” she said. “Having a good attitude will make you a better person; let the light in you shine so people can see the goodness in you,” Lee continued.

Participant Joan Tie of 6th Miri has joined the Boys’ Brigade for one-and-a-half years. Tie commented that the activities were both challenging and rewarding. “But I like the indoor sleeping arrangement instead of camping outside,” said the 12-year-old who prefers indoor accommodation.

Influenced by his brother, Moses Wong (5th Miri) became a BB two years ago. “I’m glad I joined because I got to know new friends and of course, the games were fantastic!” he said.

BB newcomer Brian Yeo of 1st Bintulu was elated with the camp. “I learned to pack my own luggage and became more independent,” said the 11-year-old.

BB Northern Region Council President Lawrence Wong (Cpt, 1st Limbang) purposely flew in from Limbang to visit the campers. He praised the trainers from MY Centre Sibu for doing an excellent job. “This is the first time the Northern Region has organized such an event. We hope to hold it every year to benefit more Boys and Girls,” he commented.

“I’m glad we were given the blessed opportunity to be part of this camp. We are enthusiastic about Miri’s potential and this trip has made us realize that we can definitely reach out to more youths here,” said MY Centre trainer Angelia Wong.

At the closing, Purple Team emerged champions. Cpt David Wong of 6th Miri was the Camp Commander. Among the BB Officers who dropped by to support the event were Cpt Henry Chew (1st Bintulu), Cpt Clement Hii (3rd Miri), Hon. Cpt Lorenzo Ting (3rd Miri), Cpt Roseline Lee (4th Miri) and Cpt Yong Soon Fuan (5th Miri).

6 Days of Wonder at God’s Backyard

Pa Adang
(L) The Pa’ Adang team, (Top right) New hostel, (Bottom right) Kitchen extension.

by Yung Teck Chung, Grace Methodist Church

PA’ ADANG MISSION TRIP, MARCH 2015 - My heart sank when Rev. Ling Biu of Gereja Methodist Tudan (GMT) announced that only 12 had registered. I felt disappointed. Because of the anticipated heavy physical work to be done, we had hoped for 30 volunteers.

However, Rev Ling was quick to encourage us. Quoting Judges 7:1-18, the good shepherd exhorted that activity and prudence would go with dependence upon God for help in our undertaking. The Israelites had mobilized 32,000 soldiers for battle but God only selected 300. Rev. Ling likened our situation to how God had commissioned Gideon and his selected soldiers into battle.

After the team was commissioned, we traveled to Pa’ Adang somehow feeling a bit apprehensive. But at the end of the trip, we praised God for His abundant provisions as all had turned out well and His promises delivered!

First, God gave us 20 local Penan brothers and sisters instead of 6 whom we had initially requested! This meant that we had 40 more hands to assist with the arduous moving of aggregates, cement boards and timber. Without these extra hands, there was no way the 12 of us could accomplish the construction of hostel, kitchen extension and new toilet block. Not only they were hard working, the Penans were very involved with us throughout our mission there. We truly praise God that we could work with these indigenous brothers and sisters. Indeed we have broken the barrier of alienation and we look forward to even greater participation with them.

Second, we were so blessed with brothers and sisters in the team who were so supportive of each other. We have brother David Wong (Boys’ Brigade 8th Kuching Captain) who joined in the last minute. His architectural expertise had provided great help in drafting the construction drawing. Brother Poh Hee’s plumbing skill on the installation of a new filtration system enabled free-flowing of clean water at all times unlike before when raw water had be boiled first. From the kitchen, brother Ken Hii and my wife Vivien provided enough food to satisfy all the workers. The construction team was so-called ‘amateurs’ but everyone turned out to be perfectionists yielding their best – yes, our team was truly amazing!

Third, by God’s intervention and provisions, a few of the team members were able to carry a survey of the settlement to plan better for future undertakings.

This trip was truly a blessing to all of us. 7 of us had returned after our November 2014 trip. The new participants have resolved to return again in June, July, September and November this year. You want to know why? Come and be part of the team and you will experience God personally! That will make you wanting to return to Pa’ Adang again. What can I say – God is moving in Pa Adang, Amen!