Category Archives: Grace Methodist Church

BB Enrolment Sunday

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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.

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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

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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.

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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

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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

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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!

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!