Category Archives: Grace Methodist Church

Nigerian Home Prayer Meeting‏

IMG_0058x for connection
Rev. Lisa delivering her exhortation.

by James TC Wong

MIRI – At the invitation of a group of Nigerian expatriates working in an international MNC based in Miri, Rev. Lisa Ting attended a monthly home prayer meeting hosted by the Ayodele family on the evening of Apr 5.

Also present were Richard Lin, the Chairman of Grace Methodist Church (GMC) Membership and Evangelism Ministry and Roseline Lee, the Boys’ Brigade Captain of 4th Miri Coy.

Before the prayer meeting commenced, Rev. Lisa gave a brief exhortation to the expatriates and their families.

The pastor-in-charge of Grace Methodist Church first thanked the hosts for the blessed opportunity to pray with them. The good shepherd also asked the expatriates on how they viewed their posting to Miri. “Do you enjoy working here? How do you adapt to the lifestyle here? How do the locals treat you? The questions were responded with a variety of interesting answers, both from the adults and children.

In her exhortation, Rev. Lisa used Moses in the story of Exodus to convey the message of journey, trust and transformation. “I encourage you to re-think why you were posted here. Is it just because of work or because God also wants to use you for a greater purpose and plan?” asked Rev. Lisa.

IMG_0072x for connection
Rev. Lisa encourages those present to re-think their purpose in Miri.

Rev. Lisa then urged those present to help their fellow Christians in Miri. “Our personal struggles are the preparation for God’s call to us. Help us as we play our part in His plan to fulfil His purposes,” summed up Rev. Lisa.

During the prayer meeting, the items presented for petition included praying for Nigeria and Malaysia, and also praying for the workplace.

Refreshments were served after the meeting ended.

Forum on Church Growth

IMG_9463for-web
One for the album! Group photo of the participants.

By James TC Wong

MIRI – Church Growth was the central theme for the SCAC English Forum organized in Miri from Feb 7 – 8.

Held at a local hotel, the event drew participation from Trinity Methodist Church (Kuching), Faith Methodist Church (Kuching), Wesley Methodist Church (Sibu), Nyelong Park Methodist Church (Sarikei), Emmanuel Methodist Church (Bintulu), Senadin Methodist Gospel Campus Centre and the host church, Grace Methodist (Miri).

The SCAC English Forum is a biennial event for the English-speaking Sarawak Methodist churches congregation with the purpose of discussing and implementing church growth plans and strategies, training and developing leadership, providing ministry skills and the election of office bearers.

An election was conducted during the closing session of the last day. The newly-elected office bearers for 2014-15 are:

Chairman Rev. James Chin Wesley MC, Sibu
Dy. Chairman & Auditor Dr. Wong Sung Ging Emmanuel MC, Bintulu
Secretary Dr. Gracia Tiong Trinity MC, Kuching
Treasurer James Law Trinity MC, Kuching
Committee on Worship & Music Bryan Hii Wesley MC, Sibu
Committee on Christian Education Lau Mee Ting Trinity MC, Kuching
Committee on Lay Activities Jason Siew Nyelong Park MC, Sarikei
Committee on Missions Rev. Lenita Tiong Trinity MC, Kuching
Committee on Christian Social Concerns Pastor Tiong Huong Ong SMCGC/GMC, Miri
Committee on Evangelism Rev. Samuel Law Emmanuel MC, Bintulu

English-Forum-for-Connection
Top LR Rev. Lisa Ting, Rev. Dato’ Dr. Su Chii Ann, Rev. James Chin. Bottom LR Rev. Dr. Lau Hui Ming, Chang Jih Ren, Dr. Wong Sung Ging.

In her welcoming speech, Rev. Lisa Ting warmly thanked the participants for their attendance. She then commended those from outstation for taking the effort to attend the Forum in spite of their busy Chinese New Year schedule and festivity.

The pastor-in-charge of Grace Methodist Church also commented on the Forum’s theme, Church Growth. “The theme chosen is timely as we now live in uncertain and unpredictable times.”

“I do pray that these sessions will have an impact on all of us and when we return to our own respective churches, we shall able to convey and put into practice what we have learned during these two days,” she added.

Rev. Lisa concluded her speech by thanking the Organizing Committee , praising them for a job well done.

SCAC President Rev. Dato’ Dr. Su Chii Ann was invited to give his exhortation to the participants.

“We should be mindful of our purpose on why we are attending this forum,” he began.

The SCAC President gave pointers on how to accomplish the most for the event. “We need to evaluate what we are doing for the Lord and be accountable,” he told the participants.

“I hope the three talks will empower you, and you in return will encourage one another to do better. Enlist the right people for the right job. The elected committee will have to fulfill our Methodist quadrennial theme, that is – Spreading Scriptural Holiness, Transforming the Nation,” said Rev. Dato’ Dr. Su.

SCAC English Committee Chairman Rev. James Chin in his opening message gave a background on the formation of the English Ministry.

He recalled that in the year 2000, a group of Pastors from the English-speaking churches got together with the mutual purpose to network, support, encourage one another, and to share resources.

This led to the formation of the English Liaison Committee and eventually, the English Ministry Committee was formed under the umbrella of SCAC.

The good Reverend also fondly reminisced that the first Forum was hosted by Emmanuel Methodist Church in 2008 held at the Sibu Methodist Centennial Park.

Rev. Chin also mentioned the subsequent Forums and the acknowledged the respective serving Chairmen of the English Ministry Committee. Following that, he presented the report card of events initiated or organized by the English Ministry Committee.

“We have produced the Connection, a fortnightly station of the Chinese Methodist Message. We also organize the biennial Youth Convention, the Methodist Heritage event, and initiated the Short Term Missions (STM) Course in English at Sibu Methodist Theological School,” he summed up.

SESSION 1 – Equipping disciples in our churches; growth from a clergy’s perspective by Rev. Dr. Lau Hui Ming. Reference – Streams of Living Water (Richard J. Foster), Invitation to a Journey (M. Robert Mulholland Jr.)

“Is the issue here that we have not done enough to disciple our congregational members for church growth? asked Rev. Dr. Lau.

“The goal is about being conformed to the image of Christ. Growth is the outflow of this transformation and maturity in Christ,” explained pastor-in-charge of Trinity Methodist Church Kuching. “Life transformation is not just informing of minds but transforming of lives.”

Rev. Dr. Lau also quoted Mark 1:17 to illustrate the meaning of sitting loose to the world and forsaking everything that is against our duty to Christ.

Other main points of Rev. Dr. Lau’s talk included maturity of the church members, confusion by congregation over the word Discipleship, congregation’s eagerness for instant growth and resistance to long term growth, holistic spirituality, and finally total obedience and surrendering to God.

“We must let go our ego and follow the Covenant Prayer of John Wesley,” concluded Rev. Dr. Lau.

Session 2 – Equipping disciples in the marketplace; growth from a Lay Perspective by Chang Jih Ren.

Chang Jih Ren began his session by quoting The Great Commission (Matthew 28: 19-20).

He then showed the statistics of 2013 SCAC church attendances, various ministries and fellowship groups attendances. “Though there is a slight increase in the overall figures, the data shown in these slides are worrisome,” he warned.

“There is good reason to be greatly concerned because of the drop in numbers in some of our church-based ministries and fellowship groups.”

“What is discipling? Is it teaching a new believer? Holding his hand? Showing him how to read the Bible? Telling him how to overcome temptation? Teaching him how to obey God?” Chang asked the attendees.

He went on to explain why discipling is so difficult.

“Not only you must know the know-how; you also need time, commitment and sacrifice.”

“Jim Peterson (Author, Lifestyle Discipleship) says America has 40 years of Discipleship programs and yet they are not discipled,” Chang said.

Chang also showed a chart of Marketplace Culture versus Disciple’s Counter-Culture and bemoaned about today’s Christians’ attitude.

“You know when we are too comfortable, we think we don’t need God. Many Christians today don’t have compassion for the lost soul which means God’s salvation is no longer important to them.”

From Relativism to Marketplace Lifestyle Trends, Chang touched on Faith Privatisation and Detached Behaviour which are obstacles to getting closer to God.

Chang then showed the steps of how Jesus discipled his followers by showing His intimacy with God, integrity and love for them.

His session ended with a touching story of Taiwanese Cardinal Paul Shan Kuo-Tsi (1923-2012) who in the face of life and death, showed great foresight, turning a difficult time in life as an opportunity at the service to all.

SESSION 3 – Facilitating the Two: Christian Growth Strategy from EMC Perspectives by Dr. Wong Sung Ging.

For the opening, Dr. Wong asked the floor: “Many are Christians but few are disciples? There is no difference between a Christian and a Disciple? There is a real difference between a Christian and a Disciple? All disciples are Christians? All Christians are disciples?

“Our objective is to understand the challenges we face in disciple-making today, to confirm our focus on growing people with a process and to introduce Christian Growth Strategy and share our Christian Education experiences,” said Dr. Wong.

Dr. Wong also reiterated that disciples are made in all spheres of life, within and outside the church. Christlikeless is the true mark of Discipleship, he declared.

“Disciple deficit, losing the next generation, materialism, secularism, consumerism, relativism and syncretism are challenges we face today and in the future,” warned Dr. Wong.

He also touched on spiritual growth, saying that it has to be an intentional effort.

“It requires developing habits. It is a process and is demonstrated more by behavior than by beliefs. It also needs relationship and takes a variety of spiritual experiences.”

The Associate Lay Leader of Emmanuel Methodist Church Bintulu outlined the Christian Growth Strategy into Basic, Intermediate and Advanced.

Under each category, growth objectives, expression in Life and Ministry, Short and Long Term programs were given with suggested curriculum.

After the Forum, feedback were sought from the participants on the two-day event.

Daniel Cheng from Sibu said, “It reinforces again the importance of a Christian transforming a life. Discipleship is a journey with Christlikeness attributes; it’s not about programs but relationships.”

Medical doctor from Kuching Simon Wong commented, “The Forum has allowed me to catch up with my friends. It was well-organized. More importantly, it helped me to re-ponder on the issue and the cost of discipleship at the marketplace.”

Chairman Rev. Chin summed up the Forum by reiterating on the importance of disciple-making. “We need to get back to the basics that are so important.”

Paedo Communion & CNY Celebration

IMG_9278for connection for web
A historic moment in GMC as a baptised child partook in the Holy Communion.

by James TC Wong

MIRI – Feb 2 Sunday Worship in Grace Methodist Church (GMC) will be fondly remembered as a historic day in years to come as baptised infants and children partook in their first Holy Communion along with their parents.

In accordance to the 2012 directive given by the General Conference of The Methodist Church in Malaysia, GMC like all the SCAC churches in Sarawak, began last year the necessary preparatory works to allow baptised children even below age of 12 to partake in the Holy Communion.

Sacraments are important in the Methodist Church. A sacrament is an outward and visible sign of an inward and invisible spiritual grace of God.

There are two sacraments in Methodist Church; Baptism and Holy Communion (The Lord’s Supper). Both ordinances given by Christ Jesus are regarded as outward signs through which God gives His grace. When the church participates in them with genuine faith and repentance, blessings and grace of God are experienced and received.

GMC CNY
Pics show Pastor Lisa’s CNY Open House at her parsonage and CNY visitation.

CELEBRATING CHINESE NEW YEAR 2014 – Following the Worship Service, the congregation at the invitation of Rev. Lisa, visited her parsonage to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year.

Scrumptious finger food and tidbits were served as the members enjoyed the auspicious occasion in warm fellowship.

Marie Ling, who returned home for the holidays, was visibly elated with Rev. Lisa’s Open House.

“It was encouraging to see everyone mingling with one another today. What a moment to share among brothers and sisters-in-Christ, regardless of race or background. I got the opportunity to really get to know many people, including our Nigerian sisters and savouring the delicious steamed dumplings!” said the Year 3 Accounting undergraduate of Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM).

Expatriate and church member Ayo Ayodele and family were also present.

“An exciting experience it was to see the congregation young and old coming together to share the Chinese delicacies; I wish our Chinese members good health, peace and abundance in the Year of the Horse,” he added.

Rev. Lisa also visited some members to serve the Holy Communion as they were unable to attend church.

The Pastor-in-charge then visited various houses of her flock to rejoice with them the happy occasion.

A Blessed Christmas Outreach!

_MG_2937crowd The attendees enjoying the evening.

Story by James TC Wong, photos by Ling Yii Yang

DEC 21, MIRI – With the full support from its congregation, Grace Methodist Church has ingeniously combined a children’s puppet show and a home-cooked buffet dinner as its Christmas outreach for the Miri community.

More than 200 congregational members, friends and guests attended the evangelistic event held at the church premises.

_MG_2907buffet Delicious home-cooked dishes by GMC “Masterchefs”!

The evening commenced at the newly-renovated Annex House with Rev. Law Hui Seng leading in the table grace, followed by a scrumptious dinner of Sarawak Indigenous, Chinese and Western cuisines.

_MG_2955 aaron The Young Adults Praise & Worship team led the congregation to an uplifting singspiration.

Following that, the first program of singspiration led by the Young Adults Fellowship team uplifted the congregation with a rendition of specially-selected Christmas and Christian songs.

The highlight of the evening was the puppet show presented by the Children’s Sunday School helpers.

_MG_2980puppets The puppets delighted the crowd.

In a modern-day twist tale, “The Three Unwise Men” (Permission not sought; Credits – www.ripplesministry.org), the script is about God’s gift of salvation and how so often we miss the point.

Three successful persons – a smart professor, rock star celebrity and wealthy businesswoman are in constant pursuit of worldly things and ignored the greatest gift of all when offered.

_MG_3051pslisa Pastor-in-charge Rev Lisa delivering her outreach exhortation with Pastor Tiong Huong Ong as translator for Mandarin.

In her exhortation, Rev. Lisa reiterated that the three people were very blessed having offered a great free gift; eternal life.

“However, in this puppet show, it tells us that all of them rejected the free gift. Do you think that is wise to reject eternal life?” asked Rev. Lisa.

The good shepherd continued to elaborate on the verse John 3:16.

“The Bible says, For God so loved the world so much that He sent his one and only Son (Jesus Christ), so that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. So how do we get this gift?” Rev. Lisa questioned.

“By faith,” answered Rev. Lisa.

“Saving faith is believing only in Jesus Christ for our eternal life. To grow in our Christian faith, we need to read the Bible, pray, worship, fellowship and witness. And the greatest blessing you have is that Jesus loves you forever,” she summed up.

Guest Shirley Ling was visibly elated with the event.

“I’m so glad my friend Tracy invited me. The people here are so warm and friendly, and I really enjoyed myself. I hope I can now attend the Sunday evening service since I’m on duty for half-day on Sundays,” said Ling who works in a local optician shop.

The evening ended splendidly with everyone singing and wishing each other, “We wish you a Merry Christmas!”

Because of Jesus’ Love

IMG_8104for connectionfor web
The Nativity Float from Grace Methodist Church drew loud cheers from the crowd and well-wishers.

by James TC Wong

Dec 7, MIRI - Prayers for fine weather and good attendance were answered in a normally rainy season as the city joyfully celebrated its Christmas Parade, pulling in the largest crowd since its inception six years ago.

Officially endorsed by the Sarawak Tourism Board, this year’s Christian event was themed “Because of Jesus’ Love”.

Miri Methodist Church was honored with the role of the Chair in the Organizing Committee with members from Sidang Injil Borneo, Roman Catholic Church, Anglican Church, Baptist Church, Calvary Charismatic Centre, Christ the Livingstone Fellowship Church, Seventh Day Adventist Church, Full Gospel Assembly, Miri Latter Rain Church, New Creation Church, All Nations Gospel Church, Full Gospel Tabernacle, Hope Miri (Hope International Ministries) and Glory Place.

IMG_8067
The Northern Region Boys’ Brigade.

Also participating in the parade were The Northern Region Boys’and Girls’ Brigade from Bintulu, Miri and Limbang.

Guest-of-honor Dato Sri Idris Jala, the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department and CEO of PEMANDU, was warmly welcomed in City Fan when he arrived at 6:00 pm.

IMG_7922
The dignitaries and the Organizing Committee members standing for the national anthem.

His message was a timely resonation on the true meaning of Christmas; the birth of Jesus, Our Savior.

“Christmas is also a time for renewal of peace and spreading love,” he proudly announced.

Dato Sri Idris also mentioned the recent passing of Nelson Mandela and what the latter had stood for. “We can learn to be tolerant like Mandela; applying love over persecution, and hope over despair and hatred,” he encouraged.

In her opening message, Organizing Chairman Rev. Esther Law Chu Ee welcomed all the dignitaries and attendees, praising the Lord Jesus.

Rev. Law, who is also the Miri Methodist Church District Superintendent, also thanked Datuk Bandar Majlis Bandaraya Miri Lawrence Lai Yew Son for supporting the event in the past years.

“This parade enables all the Christians to gather together. This also indicates that we have religious freedom in our multiracial country where we live in peace and harmony,” declared the good shepherd.

Rev. Law also thanked all the volunteers from the respective churches for their hard work and the sponsors for their generosity.

“May the Kingdom of our Lord befall in Miri, in our hearts and together we walk in the light of God’s way,” Rev. Law said as she concluded her speech.

Datuk Bandar Lai in his speech said that Malaysians were fortunate as religious freedom in the country was a constitutionally protected right, allowing every citizen  to profess and practice their religions peacefully.

“It is truly a blessing that we can assemble here freely to express our faith peacefully,” he said. “That is why the preservation of the existing peace and unity must be protected at all costs.”

“I urge all Christians to keep on praying for our country’s continuous peace and harmony as well as for our people regardless of their race, religion or culture,” added the Datuk Bandar.

IMG_8223for connection for web
The Methodist contingent.

The parade kicked off with thousands of participants from the churches. For this project, the Miri Methodist Church specially constructed eight dazzling floats with selected themes taken from the Bible; Creation, Noah’s Ark, The Ten Commandments, King David, The Nativity Story, The Cross at Calvary, The Resurrection and The Great Commission.

IMG_7972
The youths enjoying what they like to do; taking selfies!

While warm greetings were gleefully exchanged between the participants and spectators, colorful balloons were also given to the children lined along the parade route in the city center.

IMG_8511
The Miri Methodist District Choir.

Other highlights included performances from True Vine, Roman Catholic Church, Good Shepherd Anglican Church, Full Gospel Assembly, Christ the Livingstone Church, Drum Nation and Miri Methodist Church.

IMG_8663
The popular Christian artiste Juwita Suwito.

Malaysia’s popular Christian artiste Juwita Suwito thrilled the crowd with a wide repertoire of Christmas songs as the second part of the celebration began.

Among the dignitaries also present at the parade included the Deputy Speaker of the Senate, Datuk Doris Sophia Brodie, the Assistant Minister of Social Development (Sports) and the Assistant Minister of Communications, Datuk Lee Kim Shin and the State Assemblyman for Telang Usan, Dennis Ngau.

BBGB CAMP

IMG_7222for connection for web
One for the album!

by James TC Wong

MIRI – 4th Miri recently organized a camp to mark the end of its many character-building activities carried out in the past eleven months.

More than 30 members from the Boys’ and Girls’ Brigade participated in the 2D/1N camp from Nov 15-16 at Grace Methodist, their sponsoring church.

By 7:00 pm, the campers had completed their registration. BB Captain Roseline Lee led in the opening prayer followed by the announcement of ground rules and singspiration.

Four teams were formed consisting of Pre-Juniors, Juniors and Seniors. The campers were quick to settle down to name their own team leaders.

IMG_7027 for connection Cups ice-breaking game for web
Learning how to do “Cups”!

For the ice-breaker, BB Helper Abel Wong introduced “Cups”, the latest percussion beat popularized by the movie, Pitch Perfect.

The game contains the elements of team-building and unity with the intention to teach the participants to perform an unique rhythm by hitting plastic cups on the floor in a synchronized pattern.

[youtube_sc url="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uD3Lypu_hn0"]

To everyone’s delight, the campers performed “Cups” splendidly during the camp closing.

A video testimony on how God has transformed ex-drug addict Singaporean Kelvin Soh was shown to the campers, followed by an active open floor discussion led by the BB Captain.

In the following morning, the first session for the Seniors started at 8:30 with a talk by GMC Sunday School Superintendent Vivien Lim.

Entitled “Friends”, the one-hour talk essentially covers the aspects of friendship experienced by teenagers.

The Seniors were also invited to play a rope game to demonstrate the power of a team’s ability to solve complex problems when they collaborated.

IMG_7086x rope game for web
Can you help me to unrope?

“When you are in a tight spot and don’t know what to do, you should seek help from people whom you can trust,” said Lim as she explained the lesson learned from the game played.

Abel Tan was the coach in the second session, “Overcoming the fear of Public Speaking”.

“Public speaking or communication is feared by many people,” said the 32-year-old MNC Petroleum Engineer and member of the Toastmasters Club Miri.

Drawing examples from the Bible, Tan reiterated that Moses too struggled when God wanted him to confront the Pharaoh.

“Moses gave the excuse that he did not have the gift of the gab. But God rebuked him because Moses was focusing on his ability rather than focusing on what God can do,” he said.

IMG_7146x for web
Overcoming the fear in public speaking.

Tan encouraged the Seniors to trust God in the area of public speaking and communication. “Even if we are poor in communication and have bad experiences in public speaking, we can become better if we trust God to help us in this area,” he added.

While the Seniors were busy with their morning sessions, the Juniors were given a hands-on learning bakery lesson by the BB Captain who was assisted by GB Captain Eunice Ho and other Officers.

IMG_7068xw
Hands-on preparing shredded carrots for cupcakes.

After three hours, the Juniors were all smiles as their carrot cup cakes turned out to be satisfactory.

Other highlights of the camp included a Bible “Word Search” and a Station Game organized by the Seniors.

Before the camp closed, the BB Captain presented a Commendation Letter to Pte Jonah Lau Li Xuan who had saved his friend from a drowning incident on Nov 3, 2013.

IMG_7354 Pte Jonah Lau receiving the Commendation Letter for web
Capt Lee presenting the Commendation Letter to Pte Lau.

“We commend Pte Lau for his initiative and quick action in responding to a life-threatening situation. His bravery and civic-mindedness are exemplary to every Boy in our Company, hence making us very proud of him. May Pte Lau continue to glorify God in his future endeavours for the advancement of His Kingdom,” said Lee before presenting the letter to him.

With the announcement that Team C emerging as champions, food packets were distributed to every participating team.

The camp drew to an end with the singing of the BB Vesper.

A fond farewell but not goodbye …

IMG_6855b Farewell but not goodbye to the Chews (web)
One for the album – we love you Andy and Siew Yew!

by James TC Wong

OCT 30, MIRI – Last Saturday’s i-Youth Fellowship Night in Grace Methodist Church was indeed a special one as the youths honored their advisors Andy Chew and his wife Siew Yew with a potbless dinner, tributes and souvenir gift.

Also present were Pastor-in-charge Rev. Lisa Ting, Rev. Law Hui Seng, i-Youth helpers and well-wishers from the congregation.

After serving as youth advisors for almost four years, the dedicated husband-and-wife team are relocating away from Miri.

In her welcoming speech, i-Youth President Teng Li-Fung expressed her heartfelt thanks to Andy and Siew Yew for their love and dedication in their ministry.

She recalled an occasion when she decided to re-join the i-Youth after receiving encouragement from Andy. “Thank you Uncle Andy and Aunty Siew Yew from the bottom of my heart,” said the bubbly teenager. “Without your encouragement I would be backsliding and won’t be what I am today serving our Lord Jesus.”

“I want to thank Aunty Siew Yew for reprimanding me when I was naughty,” said youth Esther Su in her tribute to the Chews. “You are like my second family and I’m going to miss you much.”

From West Malaysia, the Chews accepted Christ after moving to Miri ten years ago. “It is not easy to give up our personal priorities and desires,” confessed Andy once when he shared his testimony in church.

But the Chews’ Christ-like service to the people around them has touched many lives. As parents to three teenagers, the Chews are willing to set aside personal convenience for unselfish service.

“The Disciple Class my wife and I enrolled was instrumental to my spiritual foundation,” said Andy.

Despite his busy job schedule, Andy was willing to sacrifice and consecrate his time and talents for the ministries in the church.

He served as Captain in the 4th Miri Boys’ Brigade and was also a Small Group Leader while his wife was active in the Girls’ Brigade and Ladies Small Group catering mostly to the Mandarin-speaking members and friends.

Whether it is in the workplace or at a social gathering, both husband and wife are always trying their best to live exemplary lives, bringing people to Christ whenever an opportunity arises.

“Love people like Jesus does,” Andy told the youths during the Fellowship Night. Using the acronym G-O-D, he reminded them to “love God, be Obedient and be Disciplined.”

Rev. Lisa Ting also praised the Chews. “Their love for the youths and their willingness to sacrifice time come from their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and we are really blessed to have them in our church. I pray they will continue to impact the people they meet in their new environment.”

A fond farewell to the Chews, but certainly not goodbye as we wish them a blessed journey ahead!

BB Founder’s Day – Pursue with Persistency

IMG_6639 DS Rev Esther Law inspecting the Guard of Honor (for web)
Miri District Methodist Churches Superintendent Rev. Esther Law inspecting the Guard of Honor.

by James TC Wong

MIRI – To commemorate Founder’s Day for the Boys’ Brigade Sarawak Northern Region this year, 6th Miri was given the honors to host the distinguished event on October 19.

The celebration was held at its sponsoring church, Permyjaya Methodist.

Present at the event were Rev. Esther Law, the District Superintendent of the Miri Methodist Churches, Rev. Wong Lik Kai (6th Miri Chaplain), Rev. Wong Sing Ming (3rd Miri Chaplain), Captains and fellow Officers from the six Miri-based Companies, Limbang, parents and well-wishers.

The event commenced with the Guard-of-Honor by Rev. Law escorted by WO Raymond Tie of 4th Miri.

This was followed by the solemn Color Guard March-in by the Northern Region Boys with Rev. Law and Rev. Wong Lik Kai receiving the colours.

David Wong, the Captain of 6th Miri welcomed the attendees in his opening address followed by singspiration led by 4th Miri.

The District Superintendent delivered her exhortation underlying the history and current status of the Boys’ Brigade.

She first praised the Boys’ Brigade founder Sir William Alexander Smith (1854 -1914) for his visionary establishment of the world’s oldest uniform youth organization.

Rev. Law also praised the Boys’ Brigade Malaysia on its inception 67 years ago. The good shepherd then commended the hard work of the Officers and Boys in the Northern Region. “Thank God for the sponsoring churches and the support from the parents that we now have six Companies in Miri,” she said.

The District Superintendent also expressed her concerns on the slow growth of the Boys’ Brigade. “The slowing-down in new recruitment not only affects us locally but also globally,” she bemoaned. “The present digital distractions from the internet and social media have impeded our growth and we need to do something about it.”

Rev. Law reminded all present on the importance of having faith in Christ and encouraged the Boys to have discipline. “Do not let laziness, procrastination, distraction and impatience hinder your positive character growth.”

To the Officers, the District Superintendent gave an encouragement based of the 8P’s – Plan Purposefully, Prepare Prayerfully, Proceed Positively and Pursue with Persistency.

IMG_6768 Founder's Day group pic (web)
Group pic – one for the album!

Other highlights of the event included performances from the Boys, Award Badges presentation and a cake-cutting to celebrate the 1st Anniversary of 6th Miri.

Dinner was served after a group photo-taking.

Pontianak Mission Trip

by Chang Yi

The team consisting of Aaron Hii (Leader), Hong Kuan Boo (Assistant Leader), Jean Seow (Treasurer), Joanne Ting (e-Kids Coordinator), Margaret Lee (Outreach) and myself (Secretary/Photographer) met at the Kuching International Airport early in the morning of 7th September. It as a sunny morning and every one was freshed faced and eager to travel to Kalimantan for the great mission.

One hour later we were met by Belle Ting, our SCAC missionary and our Pontianak Mission Coordinator.

We checked in G Hotel which was to be our “home away from home” for the next 7 days. It was soon to be proven as a good decision and a blessing from God. We were to get clean water, good pillows and good beds to sleep on. Pontianak was experiencing high temperature and strong sunshine.

Immediately we set out to the Siaga Preaching Center to carry out our chief ministry which was to introduce e-Kids program to the young children of Siaga. More than 56 kids turned up on the first day because Belle had sent out the flyers before we came. The response was too good.

photo 1
The e-Kids program in session

The parents were very supportive. A few parents even walked their children to the preaching center because they were not Christians and they wanted to see the place. Most other kids are Sunday School students.

The graduation saw 34 students attending (last day). The e-Kids program was also well received by the local Church leaders. Although only one room was used, it was not much of a problem. Children and teachers sat in their own small groups on the floor.

A most unusual Sunday was experienced by the team in Pontianak. From 10am to 12pm on Sunday we helped with Sunday School. And then there was another Sunday School at Desa Kapur, some 40 minutes away from Siaga by car.

photo 2 Children Sunday School at Desa Kapur
The Children’s Sunday School at Desa Kapur

Sister Joanne and Brother Hong taught a Sunday School lesson using drawings and stickers. This Sunday school was started by Pastor Suyadi who was encouraged by a non-Christian mother who wanted her son to attend Sunday School. There is no church in Desa Kapur, so she offered her wooden home, by the River Kapuas. It was an awesome experience for the team. More than 36 students came. We were supported by the youths from Siaga Church.

This was followed by an awesome and inspiring church service in the evening. The young Pastor Suyadi preached beautifully. He was dynamic, clear and very fluent.

In the next few days we carried out home visitations in the mornings, and e-Kids program in the afternoons. Most of the people we visited were non-Christians with a member of their family attending Sunday School, or Church service. They do not prevent their children from attending these Christian activities. When we visited them they were very cordial.

One grandfather we visited was amazing. We were touched by his ability to memorize all the prayers printed in the Christian magazines sent to him. He and his wife are Christians. His son will be baptized this Christmas. We were very inspired by this night visitation. It was a good experience for all the team members to use the Methodist Model for visitation.

Our mission handbook included devotions for the team to be together for devotion and debriefing every day at the G Hotel. We felt God’s presence with us. The special accommodation provided was indeed a blessing from God. We spent precious time together for devotion and sharing. This strengthened our team spirit and we encouraged one another.

The car that we hired also acted as a group discussion “room”. A lot of interaction was conducted in the car. Belle was a good listener and advisor.

At times we were flexible to meet local needs, upon advice by Belle and the Pastor, Suyadi. We were blessed to have been able to meet up with the local church leaders who were very hospitable and welcoming.

All the team members felt that there are great potentials for future mission trips from our church. The e-Kids English is a good program and we can help in teaching Sunday School and even training Sunday school teachers. We can conduct health care visitations and child care consultation.

Overall, the team felt very blessed by going on the mission. And it is very important that the mission team and the missionary get along well. There was good chemistry between Belle and every member of the team. The quiet leadership of the two brothers enhanced the spirit and unity of the team, which has impressed Belle and the pastor.

May we continue to pray for the people of Siaga, the growing Methodist Church , the pastor and his family and all those who help . We must pray fervently for their church leaders and missionaries who are serving them.

All glory to God in Heaven.