Category Archives: Grace Methodist Church

BB Farm Outing

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One for the album! Photo taken in front of the wild ferns (bilin) plot.

by James TC Wong, 4th Miri

MIRI - As part of its ongoing activities for this year, the Boys’ Brigade 4th Miri organized an educational outing to a farm on April 11.

Located about 25 km from the city, the privately-owned the 12-acre vegetables and fruits farm is nestled between the Kuala Baram industrial and agricultural zone.

Upon arrival, the Boys and Officers were warmly welcomed by farm owner Yong Hua Soon.

At the first stop of the tour, the visitors were introduced to the process of ferns planting.

Scientifically known as ‘Stenochlaena palustris’, the ferns ‘bilin’ or ‘milin’ is a favorite local dish in Sarawak. Used to be harvested wild, the ferns dish served in restaurants is now commercially farmed to meet the increasing market demands. However there are also many individual vegetable farmers who still pluck the ferns in the wild to sell in the tamu (local markets).

The visitors were also shown the germination, planting, caring and harvesting of water melons. They also learned that days to maturity range from 70 to 90, depending on the variety.

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Farm owner Yong (front, dark glasses) telling the Boys that water melons need fertile sandy soil to thrive.

“We’re now experiencing a dry spell weather which affects the production of our vegetables and fruits,” said Yong. “Hence, we need to pump water from the canals and pray for the rain to come soon.”

Other vegetables and fruits available at the farm are pumpkins, ladies fingers and bananas.

“I didn’t realize a farmer’s work is so tough,” said 10 year-old Junior Tan Zhe Herng. “From now on, I won’t waste any food on the table.”

13-year-old Senior Jupiter Kong was humbled to learn the many challenges a farmer has to overcome. “Now I have learned to respect farmers, and appreciate the hard work and effort they have to put in,” he added.

After 90 minutes, the visitors thanked the owner for the guided tour. “We wish to express our deep appreciation to Mr. Yong. Today our Boys have discovered much. They are now required to make reports from their observations from this learning experience, ” commented 4th Miri Captain Roseline Lee.

WHAT’S YOUR STORY? – Experiencing God’s love through Disciple Class

God changed my life through Disciple class, says Rose Yaw for web
God changed me through Disciple Class, says Rose Yaw.

WHAT’S YOUR STORY? is a new series of life-changing testimonies by GMC members. Sharing stories of trials, and God’s faithfulness and love is our gift to the community.

by Rose Yaw, Grace Methodist Church, Miri

GOD CALLED me to take Disciple Class Red Book in 2014 when I prayed that I would surrender to His calling. I shared with my buddy about it. In turn, my buddy told Jean Seow my intention. Jean told her that her plan for 2014 was to start a Disciple Red Book Class for her Friday morning Chinese Small Group.

I was invited to register for the class. At the start of the study, it was like watching a television series like the ones from Hong Kong or Singapore with episodes to look forward to every week.

As the course progressed from reading Exile to Kings and Prophets, it dawned on me that I was like the Israelites who had forgotten God’s love and promise. I felt I was wrong all these years by being proud just because I could speak English well and had been exposed to the Bible from young. I had been a hypocrite to others and tried to portray myself as a good Christian by going and bringing my children to church. I showed myself as a submissive wife (in the wrong way) and was living a pretentious life. The list could go on to show that I had not been living a truthful Christian life.

Reading the Bible every day and doing the homework six days a week as well as praying for our sisters was a disciplined routine for studying Disciple Red Book. God transformed my life and I started to have peace with myself. I also accepted myself and others for what we are. I reminded myself that I am sinner who is weak but God is great, merciful and loving.

I also witnessed life transformation in our Disciple group. Everyone was teachable and humble in learning together. They were very helpful in explaining the Chinese meaning to me during our group discussion.

Not only I experienced God’s love while studying Disciple Red Book, I also experienced God’s love everywhere and even among the unlovable. I would pray everyday and at any time to God which previously it would only be when I needed Him. Now I can pray and have this special relationship with God. It is such a wonderful feeling even as I write this testimony sharing of God’s love for me. It felt just like when I experienced my first love.

I want to thank my ex-Pastor Lisa Ting and present Pastor Lenita Tiong, and also my Disciple Red Book group. I really treasure your love and support which no words can describe. God bless you all.

Disciple Class Graduation

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Rev. Lenita Tiong (left) presenting the certificates. Photo credit – Michael KK Lee

by James TC Wong

MIRI - Twenty-two church members who successfully completed their Disciple Red and Green studies were presented with their respective certificates and pins in a simple ceremony held during the Sunday Worship Service at Grace Methodist Church on March 8.

The nine-month course commenced early March last year.

Disciple Red Book – Becoming Disciples Through Bible Study is a 34-week study that moves the biblical story from Creation to the New Jerusalem. The study covers all the books of the Bible and participants read and study about 80% of it.

Disciple Green Book – Into the Word Into the World encourages people to be open to hearing God’s Word through the Bible and to be guided into their chosen ministry in the world by Scripture and their study of it. This study focuses on Genesis, Exodus, Luke and Acts only. The uniqueness of this study is the inclusion of the spiritual disciples whereby every week, one particular discipline is included for reflection and practice. The participants are also required to keep Sabbath and to experience rest and rest in the midst of busyness in life.

Facilitators for Disciple Red Book were Amy Shih and Alfred Sibat. For Disciple Green Book, the facilitator was Leong Mui Foon.

In his testimony, Hong Kuan Boo was grateful that his peers encouraged him to persevere in completing the Disciple Red Book. A required commitment is a disciplined routine of studying the Scripture and the time needed to reflect and make notes after the reading. The 53 year-old father of three who works for an MNC also commended the facilitators for doing a good job. “We learned to depend on God to make decisions and during the course, we developed a close rapport as we learned from each other,” he added.

29 year-old civil engineer Desmond Ling, who completed Disciple Green Book, commented that the study had also helped the students to grow closer as they shared their experiences, burdens and prayers with one another. “Personally, I was dealing with new commitments at work and had family crisis at home during the duration of the study. I thank God that I am able to complete this study despite the hurdles.”

One of the Disciple Red classes was conducted in Mandarin to help sisters who are more proficient in Chinese. For many of them, the systematic study of the Bible was a new refreshing encounter with the Word of God. Rose Yaw, one of the participants wrote: “God transformed my life that I started to have peace with myself, accepting myself and others the way they are and reminding myself that I am sinful, I am weak, and God is great, merciful, love.”

Bishop Richard B. Wilke, who created The DISCIPLE Bible Study Series, has always said that the Disciple Study is not for information but for Transformation.

Intake for 2015 Disciple Red Book has commenced. For those who are interested, please email Charles Ling at lingcharles@hotmail.com. Come join us and be an everyday Disciple!

WHAT’S YOUR STORY? – The lost key

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WHAT’S YOUR STORY? is a new series of life-changing testimonies by GMC members. Sharing stories of trials, and God’s faithfulness and love is our gift to the community.

by Chen Pei Cheng, Grace Methodist Church, Miri

EVERY MORNING upon waking up I give thanks to God for being alive to live a new day! I pray to commit everything to the Lord. Only then will I start my day’s chores.

Sometime in January, the Girls’ Brigade (GB) room in the annex house was relocated to Isaiah Room in church. Thanks to God’s guidance, the moving was smooth. I want to give thanks to all the GB officers who were involved including our dear Pastor Lenita who joined in to help.

One of the officers requested that I duplicated the key for Isaiah Room. For convenience sake, I put the duplicate key together with my house keys.

The following Sunday we attended the church worship service. When we reached home after that, something strange happened – I could not find the Isaiah Room key with the bunch of my house keys! I became worried and kept telling myself that it couldn’t be. Inside the house, I looked high and low and my kids helped me search inside the car several times but to no avail. We were at the point of turning our house upside down in the search for the keys.

I suddenly had an idea; I could go and duplicate the key again and nobody would know. On the other hand, I felt guilty about my carelessness. Two days passed and I still couldn’t find the key. I prayed to God to help me but nothing happened. I was getting more worried and didn’t know how to explain to the GB officers and Pastor about my carelessness.

Subsequently after the lost key incident, the GB officers had a meeting with Pastor. At that time there was a heavy downpour and I was thinking of excusing myself from attending the meeting using the reason that I have poor vision and also the long distance I had to drive to church. So I sent a message via Whatsapp to the Pastor telling her I couldn’t make it. After that, I felt a certain heaviness in my heart realizing that it was the first meeting with our new Pastor. However, amazingly at about the same time the heavy raining ceased and I believed God wanted me to attend the meeting.

Once I stepped into Pastor’s office, I said, “Yes, I made it!” And Pastor replied, “Yes, you made it. Praise the Lord!” At the end of the meeting, Pastor asked if there was any prayer request. I didn’t know why but during the meeting Pastor kept picking up and putting down a key. I just felt like something was not right and was thinking whether I should tell them that I had lost the key.

I took the courage and told Pastor what happened. I still remember how she prayed. She prayed like this: “Dear Heavenly Father, please be with Pei Cheng, help her to find the Isaiah Room’s key.” After that prayer, I felt relieved.

On the way to pick up my son Dylon, I wondered whether God would help me. At the gate of our house, Dylon asked for the key to open the gate. As usual, I passed a bunch of the keys to him. He took the keys and returned shortly after opening the gate exclaiming, “Hey Mum, isn’t this the key you were looking for? I was dumbfounded and said “Oh yes, Pastor prayed for me and now I have found the key!”

From what I’ve just shared about how we looked high and low for the key but couldn’t find it and later God opened my eyes and my son found the key. For me, this is a miracle! My faith was weak throughout this incident, I now know that nothing is impossible for God!

Fellowship and bonding during CNY visitations

CNY CNY visitations at GMC members’ homes. Photo credit – from various sources.

by James TC Wong

MAR 5, MIRI - As the new pastor-in-charge of Grace Methodist Church (GMC), Rev. Lenita Tiong took the opportunity to visit church members during the recent Chinese New Year (CNY) holidays.

Accompanying her were Associate Lay Leader Tan Kok Chui and some members of GMC. They visited homes of LCEC leaders as well as members who especially held Open House on the first day of the New Lunar Year.

These visits allowed the new Pastor to know her congregation better and vice versa. Frederick Wong, Honorary Captain of 4th Miri Boys’ Brigade, was elated to receive the visiting group on the first day when he held an Open House. “Though the visit by Pastor Lenita and the church members was brief, it meant a lot to me and my family. We really appreciate the singing of hymns and Pastor’s blessing prayer upon my household,” he said.

GMC Lay Leader Michael Lee praised God for the fellowship opportunity. “Pastor Lenita, leaders, i-Youth and the Boys’ Brigade visitations encouraged us greatly,” he added.

“It’s wonderful for our good shepherd to visit her flock during this festive holidays. Not only it provided time for fellowship and blessing, but also time for bonding as a family of God,” commented Paul Wong, the LCEC Vice Chairman.

For Aaron Tie, a New Zealand PR spending his first Chinese New Year in Miri, said the event was meaningful being blessed by the sincerity from brothers and sisters-in-Christ. “The worship and prayers for the families who opened their houses were so unique and important on the first day and I enjoyed it much. I am thankful that I could join the visiting group after the CNY Worship Service. It was a wonderful experience and a great start for the Year of the Goat,” he added.

Kuala Lumpur-based Sunway College student Emmanuel Lee also joined his parents Simon and Sally for visitation. The 18-year-old who was back for the CNY break said: “The best thing about it was we could actually gather and have fellowship with one another and even sang Christian songs in each house that we visited. It was indeed and enjoyable experience for me.”

For Rosanna Ting, wife of Dr. Roy Wong, it was a blessed visit from the good pastor and church members. “We had a wonderful time of fellowship, praise and worship and a blessing prayer. A very effective way of pastoral care. Thank you all for the much treasured visit,” she said. Her son Daniel Wong, who was back on holidays from his studies at the National University of Singapore, played the piano for the worship and singing during the home visitation. It was so good that the Associate Lay Leader gleefully declared that they would bring Daniel and the piano along for next year’s visitations.

After the weekend, Pastor Lenita also dropped by the GMC Ladies Fellowship Group to share blessings with them. The good shepherd and her team also visited house-bound members such as Michelle Chong and Alfred Sim, as well as Uncle Hong Yin Tiew who was recently admitted to a private hospital.

On a separate occasion, the 4th Miri Boys’ Brigade led by Captain Roseline Lee and officers also visited their members’ homes last Saturday as part of their scheduled CNY activity.

WHAT’S YOUR STORY? – Witnessing a spiritual awakening

IMG_3808a Photo credit image – James TC Wong

WHAT’S YOUR STORY? is a new series of life-changing testimonies by GMC members. Sharing stories of trials, and God’s faithfulness and love is our gift to the community.

by Y E Wong, Grace Methodist Church

MIRI - Year 2015 will surely mark a milestone in the annals of GMC. On Jan 4 Sunday Worship Service, God spoke to us through our new Pastor-in-charge Rev. Lenita. In her sermon entitled “The People of God”, the good shepherd tenderly reminded the congregation of how wonderful and mighty is the God we serve. Her inspiring and touching delivery on the importance of the word of God in our lives drove the message home. The anointing of God was very much felt when she continued to encourage the congregation to embark on the “Walk Through The Bible” exercise together as a family of God.

“Walk Through The Bible” is an initiative by the District Laity Commission to encourage the church members in the Miri District to read through the whole Bible in 3 years. This year we are reading from 2 Kings till Psalm 150 and the program requires participants to read only a chapter a day. And at the end of the week, there are some factual questions to be answered. These consists of simple True/False statements, filling in the blanks and multiple choice questions. The questions are set by the pastors in the Miri District and the target is for half the average attendees of Sunday worshipers participate and for these to obtain at least 50% of the marks.

After the service, 66 members immediately signed up to participate in the reading program. In the days and weeks that followed, registration came in like snowflakes through Whatsapp, email and sms. By early February, two weeks after the commencement of the exercise, we were still receiving registration which has hit a record high of 153 (for a small congregation of 230)! Equally encouraging is the response of over 90 participants who had submitted their answers. Praise the Lord!

We have no idea of the wonderful things God has for us when we humble ourselves and love God enough to live His Way. Let us continue to encourage one another to walk through the Bible together as one body!

LCEC INSTALLATION

GMC 2015-16 LCEC
Top pic – Rev. Lenita Tiong conducting the installation. Bottom pic – Congregation praying for the LCEC members. Photographer – Abel Wong Ing Hwa.

by James TC Wong

Feb 8, Miri - The newly-elected 2015-16 Local Church Executive Committee (LCEC) members of Grace Methodist Church (GMC) were formally installed this morning during the Sunday Worship Service.

Witnessed by the congregation, the solemn ceremony was conducted by Rev. Lenita Tiong, the Pastor-in-charge.

The LCEC is an administrative body whose functions are to administer the day-to-day life of the church. It is also responsible to the Local Conference.

All glory to God!

2015-16 LCEC

Pastor-in-charge Rev. Lenita Tiong
Lay Leader Michael Lee
Associate Lay Leaders Tan Kok Chui, Yung Teck Chung
Chairman Alex Tiang
Deputy Chairman Paul Wong
Recording Secretary Cheryl Chen
Treasurer Wong Sing Ngii
Finance & Stewardship Ngu Hieng Kiing
Membership & Evangelism Richard Lin
Program Monica Tiong
Missions Aaron Hii
Christian Education Charles Ling
Christian Literature Wong Yieng Eng
Social Concerns Chia Kah Pheng
Worship & Music Ling Zing Tieng
Property Management Desmond Ling
Children’s Sunday School Vivien Lim
Internal Audit William Law
Multimedia James TC Wong
PPRC Amy Shih
Boys’ Brigade Roseline Lee
Girls’ Brigade Eunice Ho
Elective Stewards Hwang Boon Huat, Yvonne Lee, Joanne Ting, Brian Hwong, Ha Wen Zhe

SMPC Dedication Day

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Clockwise – From top right SCAC President Rev. Dato’ Dr. Su Chii Ann blessing the new parsonage, Group photo in front of the new parsonage, Ribbon-cutting of the new chapel and SMPC office, Group photo outside the SMPC building.

Story by Peter Laguna Wong, Photos – James TC Wong

MIRI – Jan 31 2015 marks another historical day in the annals of Senadin Methodist Campus Gospel Centre (SMCGC), now officially known as Senadin Methodist Preaching Centre (SMPC). This day marked the officiation and dedication of the parsonage and the chapel as well as the office of SMPC. The event was graced by our President of Sarawak Chinese Annual Conference (SCAC) – Rev. Dato’ Dr. Su Chi Ann, our Miri District Superintendent – Rev. Simon Ting, Methodist church members from all around Miri, members of SMPC, as well as the Boys from the 4th Miri Company. Amidst the jovial anticipation, the noon started with a simple dedication service for the parsonage before moving on to SMPC’s chapel and office. And what a blessed noon it was, with singings of hymns and prayers and rites in a meaningfully memorable Methodist fashion before ending with a high tea fellowship session.

During the service, Rev. Dr. Su Chi Ann firmly exhorted all those present of the vision and mission of SMPC, summed up nicely in the form of the five ‘looks’:
1. To ‘look around’ for various existing opportunities to evangelize in Senadin.
2. To ‘look out’ for lost souls and those thirsty for the word of the Lord.
3. To ‘look after’ the congregation of SMPC and guide them to spiritual maturity.
4. To ‘look up’ to our Abba Father above to for strength and providence to carry out His great commission and to remain focused onto Him.
5. To ‘look forward’ to the years ahead, full of blessings and challenges for SMPC at every turn.

Rev. Dr Su reminded all as well that everything in the past, present and future are 100% God’s work, and we all should be rest assured in continuing to serve Him. At the same time, the Great Commission is also 100% our work, and therefore we should shoulder it with great fervour and faith.

This simple dedication service has also showcased the unity of the Methodist members. From SMPC starting out 12 years ago as a humble 1st floor shop lot, to its interior renovation and upgrading, to its extension to the adjacent lot, and now to having a chapel and office on the ground floor as well as a parsonage we can truly call our own – all these will not be possible without the benevolent givers, the expert planners, the fervent doers, the passionate prayer-warriors, and the ardent supporters from all walks of life tirelessly contributing all they can. For these we truly thank you all from the bottom of our hearts. SMPC will surely continue to grow and steadfastly be the channel of blessings. To God be the glory.

Pre-Christmas Celebration in Tudan

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The famous tambourine dancers of GMT giving a performance.

by James TC Wong

Tudan, Miri - More than 350 Tudan residents attended a pre-Christmas celebration including singing songs of praises and tambourine dancing at Gereja Methodist Tudan (GMT) on Sunday night, Dec 21.

For the second consecutive year, Grace Methodist Church (GMC) has supported GMT in their Christmas event in the hope of sharing joy with the Tudan residents during the season of giving.

Guests Rolland and Gary said they were glad to be invited to the event for the first time. “Now we know the true meaning of Christmas and why Jesus was born, ” added the elated teenagers.

Another newcomer Ting Leh Hong felt blessed and joyful during the three-hour program. “I’m so glad I came here tonight,” she commented.

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Everyone was served with delicious food.

A scrumptious dinner was served to all to end the celebration.

BB Love Box launched in Miri

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The happy beneficiaries taking a group pic with the BB.

by James TC Wong, 4th Miri

Dec 22, Miri - To celebrate the Christmas season, the Miri Boys’ Brigade handed over gifts to 147 beneficiaries at Gereja Methodist Tudan (GMT) yesterday.

Affectionately named as the BB Love Box, the community project first started in Kuching in the year 2012 whereby the Boys’ Brigade members organize, collect and distribute presents to needy families irrespective of their race or religion.

An accommodating feature of the BB Love Box is that the beneficiary gets to pick three gifts from a wish list of five items; school bag, stationery, socks, lunch box or water bottle.

Witnessed by the GMT Pastor-in-charge Rev. Ling Biu, the gifts were handed over to the beneficiaries by BB Officers and Boys from 3rd Miri, 4th Miri and 5th Miri.

Speaking after the presentation, the Chairman of Miri BB Love Box, Captain Clement Hii (3rd Miri) said: “I’m so glad we are able to carry out this unique project in Miri for the first time. The Kuching Boys’ Brigade has done well by raising 3,600 presents; we will try our best to do more next year with the help from the public and other NGOs.”