(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.
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.”