Category Archives: Grace Methodist Church

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.”

i-Kasih Community Outreach

IMG_3458 i-Kasih Group pic for Connection for web
One for the album – church members and Pastors taking a group pic.

by James TC Wong

Dec 20, Miri – In this season of joy and giving, Grace Methodist Church has joined Mei Ann Methodist Church, Hwai En Methodist Church and Gereja Methodist Tudan in distributing food packs to the less-privileged families.

The food pack, consisting of Milo, rice, cooking oil and sugar were presented to 120 families residing in the Tudan Resettlement, Permyjaya, Batu Satu Kuala Baram and Kg. Pasir Lutong.

To aptly name the community project, “i-Kasih” was ingeniously coined from the English word ‘I’ and Bahasa Malaysia ‘Kasih’ which literally means, “I Love”.

A demographic study reveals there are 20,000 residents within a 10 km radius of Tudan, Permyjaya, Kuala Baram and Kg. Pasir mostly of the Iban race. Many are vulnerable families who find it difficult to cope with the increasing costs in daily livelihood.

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Two families residing at Kg. Pasir Lutong receiving the food packs from Methodist members.

“With this ‘i-Kasih’ outreach project, we wish to bless needy families in a small way. Through this, we hope Methodist churches can befriend beneficiaries and their families through future church-engagement events like the pre-Christmas Celebration to be held in Gereja Methodist Tudan (GMT) on Dec 21,” said Chia Kah Pheng, the Chairman for Social Concerns Ministry at Grace Methodist Church.

“Christmas is the season to share our love with the needy and to give them hope in the darkness. United as Methodists, we uphold our Social Principles to stand together with the poor and under-privileged group,” said Wong Kung Kui, the project organizer and Chairman of Gereja Methodist Tudan.

Rh. Tatom Mission Trip

Sharing early Christmas joy with the folks at Rh. Tatom.

by James TC Wong

Nov 28-29, Miri - Nineteen people from Grace Methodist Church (GMC) including two from Senadin Methodist Campus Gospel Centre (SMCGC) and one from Sidang Injil Borneo (SIB) made a visit to Rh. Tatom, Selangau recently.

Organized by GMC, the purpose of the trip was to minister to the residents of Rh. Tatom and to celebrate the joy of Christmas with them.

“We’re thankful to God for this blessed opportunity to visit and minister to the people of Rh. Tatom,” said team leader Richard Lin. “Rh. Tatom is no stranger to us as we have been in contact with them for the past years and have seen them grown.”

BB Evangelistic Rally in Miri

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Rev. Lisa asking a Boy to share his thoughts.

by James TC Wong

AUG 16, MIRI - This year the Miri District Boys’ Brigade Evangelistic Rally was hosted by 4th Miri at its Sponsoring Church, Grace Methodist.

The annual event was well-attended by more than a hundred Officers and Boys from all the six Companies locally-based.

In her welcoming message, 4th Miri Captain Roseline Lee thanked all the Officers and Boys for their participation. “We are deeply encouraged and excited to see all the six Companies here today. We also want to take this opportunity to welcome you to listen to our Pastor’s rally message.”

GMC Pastor-in-charge Rev. Lisa Ting delivered an interesting exhortation containing the elements of evangelism.

She first began by asking the Boys’ perspectives on how fulfilling their lives were on a scale from one to ten. With the different responses received, Rev. Lisa then invited some of the Boys to share their thoughts on stage.

“If you stood before God now and if He were to ask you, ‘Why should I let you into my Heaven?’, what would you say?” continued Rev. Lisa, again receiving several enthusiastic responses from the floor.

During her 40-minute exhortation, Rev. Lisa also covered ‘Life’s Purpose’, ‘How to receive Salvation’, and ‘Living a fullest life with Christ Jesus’. The good shepherd also shared her personal story on her fears and hopes during her growing-up years; from a child to teen years and subsequently on to becoming a young adult.

“But ultimately you need to remember this verse from Romans 8:39 - No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord,” said Rev. Lisa as she summed up her message.

Following that, a group photo taken and light refreshments were served.

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One for the album!

Celebrating 25 years To The Glory of God!

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CAKE CUTTING DURING LUNCHEON! Front row – LR SMCGC Pr. Tiong Huong Ong, Miri Methodist District Lay Leader Mr. Lau Kung Mei, GMC Lay Leader Mr. Michael Lee, SCAC President Rev. Dato’ Dr. Su Chii Ann, GMC Chairman Mr. Alex Tiang, Miri Methodist District Superintendent Rev. Esther Law, GMC Pastor-in-charge Rev. Lisa Ting. Photo credit – Chang Yi.

by James TC Wong

MIRI - Grace Methodist Church turned 25 years old with a simple yet meaningful celebration to honor God on Aug 10.

A thanksgiving service was held with SCAC President Rev. Dato’ Dr. Su Chii Ann as the guest-of-honor and preacher. Miri Methodist District Lay Leader Mr. Lau Kung Mei was also present to witness the joyful occasion.

In his opening sermon, Rev. Dato’ Dr. Su acknowledged and thanked the founding members of the church. “I’m delighted to see several of you today faithfully serving God and this church,” praised Rev. Dato’ Dr. Su. “With God’s grace, I believe your church will grow from strength to strength in the years to come.”

To avoid complacency, the SCAC President challenged the congregation to move out of their comfort zone and do more to advance God’s kingdom.

Drawing the verses from Mark 10:17-23, Rev. Dato’ Dr. Su recapped the parable of the wealthy young man who wanted eternal life but his worldly possessions stopped him from venturing forward to what Christ has to offer. “Eternal life is not a commodity to buy and sell. It is a free gift received with faith,” he reiterated.

“Ask yourself – after 25 years in GMC, how can I go farther in the future? What is lacking in me?” the good shepherd asked the congregation.

“Hence you need to be committed, and commitment means action, love and obedience,” elaborated Rev. Dato’ Dr. Su, giving more explanations with examples.

In closing, Rev. Dato’ Dr. Su summarized his sermon with the following: “Commitment needs action, Action without love does not last; Love without obedience is not real.”

Other highlights during the service included a hymn by the GMC Choir and the i-YA (youths) performing a dance. PPRC Chairperson Mrs. Amy Shih also gave a brief report of the church’s history and walked the congregation down the memory lane with a video clip.

Following the service, a celebration luncheon was held at a local restaurant. Proceeds from the sale of the luncheon tables went to the building fund of SMCGC (Senadin Methodist Campus Gospel Centre). SMCGC Lay Leader Fidella Tiew thanked the GMC members for their strong support. “We are very grateful for your love shown to us and we hope we can build our new church building together,” she said.

GMC Pastor-in-charge Rev. Lisa Ting, in her luncheon speech, thanked God for the blessed and auspicious event.

“People say time is a relative term. 25 years can be a long time or just pass like in the blink of an eye,” said Rev. Lisa. “In 1982 I was only four years old when seeds of foundation of this church were first sown during the English worship service at Mei Ann Methodist Church.”

Rev. Lisa then briefly touched on the growth of GMC and expressed her heartfelt thanks to all the members who did the church-planting in Taman Tunku, Tudan and Senadin.

Through the years Grace MC is known for its outreach and missions ministries, and warm Christian love, added Rev. Lisa

“We may have a small congregation but our members are faithfully embracing our Methodist quadrennial theme ‘Spreading Scriptural Holiness, Transforming the Nation’ as our spiritual compass,” affirmed the good shepherd.

Rev. Lisa summed up by asking the church members to join her in reciting the church’s purpose statement – ‘Building a strong and united church where every member is equipped with works of service through whom Jesus Christ is made known.’

Pastoral Care on Overcoming Homosexuality

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Rev. Tryphena Law conducting the training.

by James TC Wong

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. – Genesis 1:27 (NIV)

MIRI - Homosexuality can be a controversial or even a taboo subject to talk about especially in the conservative state of Sarawak.

Eighty church pastors, leaders and members from the different Christian denominations attended a full-day training on “Pastoral Care and Counselling to Homosexuals” organized by the Sarawak Chinese Annual Conference (SCAC) at Grace Methodist Church on Aug 9.

Trainer Rev. Tryphena Law, a Pastoral Counsellor and Executive Director from PLUC (Pursuing Liberty Under Christ) was assisted by Sylvia Quah.

Established in 2002, the Selangor-based PLUC is an interdenominational evangelical Christian ministry that administers sexual wholeness to the sexually relationally-broken people especially homosexuals.

PLUC also works with churches and NGOs. Using 1 Cor 6:9 -11 as its spiritual compass, PLUC believes in the restoration of homosexuals under the healing power of Christ Jesus.

In her opening statement, Rev. Law reaffirmed that humanity is created in God’s image (Genesis 1:27) and all people are children of God. (John 1:12).

Rev. Law also reminded the participants: “We are Bible-centered, and we speak the truth because only the truth will set us free.”

From a spiritual perspective, overcoming homosexuality is possible to those desiring to walk in right communion with God.

There is much debate on people born either homosexual or heterosexual, and people believe they have no choice but to be who they are made to be.

“No one is born genetically gay. We can’t overcome homosexual confusion with our will. And it’s not God’s will for anyone to be trapped in homosexuality. Therefore, those in sexual brokenness can be transformed with the power provided by the blood of Jesus, ” said Rev. Law.

“Do not use the Bible to condemn or judge the homosexuals,” Pastor Law reiterated. “Let’s exercise Grace and Truth because recovery is a process, not an event.”

The training covered four main sections; 1) Ministry Introduction and Overview, 2) The Stream of Sexuality – Childhood, Adolescence, Healthy Heterosexuality, Broken Sexuality, 3) Raising Gender-teaching, and 4) How to journey with the sexually-broken.

An interesting Q & A session between the participants and Rev. Law followed after the training ended.

Participant Dorothy Kuek was glad that she attended the event. “I have attended many talks on homosexuality, believe me, this training is heart-touching and spiritual. It changes the mind and moves one to love. Powerful, praise God!”

“The training has been a great blessing and eye-opener especially in understanding the background of LGBT (IQ),” said Pastor Andy Anyi of Miri BEM On The Rock.

“I feel that people affected are crying out for help and they need to know there is hope. I pray churches are aware for this aspect of social need and the opportunity for ministry,” commented participant Leong Mui Foon.

The 11-days training covering Miri, Sibu and Kuching was organized by the SCAC.

STM to Rh. Ansi

Group photo of the Rh. Ansi STM (short term mission) team.

by James TC Wong, photo credit – Irene Chee

JUN 28-29, MIRI – Ten members from SMCGC (Senadin Methodist Campus Gospel Centre) joined the GMC STM (short term mission) team for a 2D/1N trip to Rh. Ansi, Balingian.

The 2D/1N trip was one of the scheduled programs under the Membership and Evangelism ministry with the purpose of outreaching to the residents of the longhouse and bringing them the Good News.

TESTIMONY by Adam Tiong Year 2, Chemical Engineering, Curtin University Miri

THOUGH my Disciple One Class (Red Book) was completed a year ago, some of us have remained close and still keep in contact with each other.

It was a challenge to prepare for the trip as we were only briefed a few weeks earlier before our semester exam ended. So we decided to act after our exam.

By God’s grace, we were able to prepare for our assigned work; the Youth Fellowship and the Children’s ministry. We met and planned, and got everything joyfully done within three days!

In a blink of an eye, it was time to go to Balingian on Jun 28. We left GMC at 7:30 am. During the 5-hour journey we practised what we needed to do and it was a great time of fellowship for us and our driver, Brother Hong.

We arrived at Rh. Ansi, warmly welcomed by the residents. After unloading, GMC members started off the program by inviting everyone for a session of praise and worship. About 30 residents joined us.

Top LR Clockwise - The SMCGC team with the kids, Kids doing a presentation, With the youths, GMC M & E Richard Lin presents bibles to the Rumah Tuai
Top LR Clockwise – The SMCGC team with the kids, Kids doing a presentation, With the youths, Team leader Richard Lin presents bibles to the Rumah Tuai.

After exchanging some self-introduction through ice-breaking, we formed two groups; youths and children. I was with the group in charge of nine youths. As we did some introduction and ice-breaking, we shared the Good News with them.

As we went through the program, it dawned upon me that the opportunity God gave us was timely. The session could be one of the most important days in their lives as we shared about Christ Jesus.

Our activity was not too difficult and we had them acting out a drama. I felt our caring attitude is an important aspect as we carried out the ministry. Hopefully we have left a good impression on them about Christian love.

In the evening GMC members served a scrumptious dinner to all. Following that, a movie on Jesus and His ministry was shown. A brief sharing was subsequently done by Pastor Johnnycal in the Iban language.

Thus ended the day, and we went to bed after rehearsing our songs in preparation for the next day.

After waking up the next morning at six and showering in the freezing water provided, we gathered to do our devotion.

At 8 am, we went off to the local church and attended the worship service there. After the praise and worship session (which we were in charge), two of our members Joseph and Barbara shared their testimonies. Brother Richard from GMC also shared. Their testimonies touched me knowing that they had to endure hardships to know Christ.

And so our mission trip was completed as we returned to Miri after the worship service. All in all, it was one of the shortest mission trips that I have ever participated but definitely no less in importance.

I now have a better understanding on different types of non-believers. My bonding with my Disciple classmates has deepened.

I want to thank God for giving me this wonderful opportunity to serve Him again in the mission field and pray that He has used me in some small way to touch the lives of those we met.

All glory and praises to God Almighty!

Fun Outing @ Taman Awam

Teamwork in action!

by James TC Wong

MIRI - Taking opportunity of the festive school break, the Disciple Two Class of Grace Methodist Church invited the children from The Methodist Children’s Home for an outing at Taman Awam on Aug 3.

Nestled in the lush greenery secondary forest 3 km from town, Taman Awam is a popular family-oriented park with a children’s playground and water play. In addition, there is a tower observation platform, jogging trail and botanical garden where soft adventure activities with convenient amenities can be enjoyed.

The afternoon activity started with a thanksgiving prayer led by Disciple Class facilitator Leong Mui Foon. Following that, an ice-breaker was introduced whereby the children were instructed to think, plan and stay united to enjoy the game. After the exciting and hilarious active carrying of water-filled baloons, the children proceeded to the water play enjoying themselves to the fullest.

A scrumptious dinner was served before the outing ended.

One for the album – The 2014 GMC Disciple Two Class (Green Book) with the group from The Miri Methodist Children’s Home.

“I really appreciate the Disciple Class students for organizing this outing for the kids and the older children, ” said Vivian Lo, the acting Superintendent of the Home. “Apart from the school and festive holidays, this is one activity the children can take a break from their daily routine and come here to have fun, Praise The Lord!

Ten-year-old Joshua was overwhelmed with the experience and the food. “When can we have it again?” he asked cheekily when the outing ended, bringing laughter to everyone present.

Established in 2004, The Miri Methodist Children’s Home provides basic needs and proper education to the underprivileged children in their care. Using a holistic integrated approach with love and warmth, it is hoped that the children will grow up well spiritually, intellectually and physically, and becoming good role models in the community.

An Evening of Worship Splendour

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The Miri District Methodist Choir.

by James TC Wong

MIRI - It was an evening of worship splendour as the Miri Methodist Choir performed to an appreciative audience at Mei Ann MC on July 12.

Since its inception in 2009, this choir group has continued to thrive with the objective of promoting Worship Music and raising the standard of choir-singing in the Methodist churches in Miri.

Music Director Bong Wui Choo thanked Mei Ann Methodist Church for providing the concert venue.

“We thank God for His provisions and blessings. We are like an extended family performing in other Methodist churches when invited,” Bong added.

Each year the choir has a list of scheduled engagements in and around the Sarawak Northern Region.

New singers are also welcome to join the choir. “Not only will they get the opportunity to develop and practise their musical talents, he or she has to be passionate and committed to this ministry because we are serving God in the long term,” Bong reiterated.

With a repertoire consisting of classical Messiah (Handel) genre and contemporary songs, the choir also has a strong link to singing traditional hymns.

Chicago-trained and renowned Miri music instructor Lau Buong Hoo was the conductor.