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DSP Ang Seow Aun, A.M.N., is a good communicator who can relate to the public.

MIRI – Last Saturday (May 20) I attended a Personal Safety talk at Agape Grace Methodist Preaching Centre (AGMPC), Jalan Airport Mciti Square.

Organized by AGMPC, the talk was primarily intended to create safety awareness among the youth and children.

I was delighted to see the good turnout which meant that people care about combating crime and crime prevention.

Prior to introducing the speaker, Frederick Wong warmly welcomed the attendees. Being a former Polis Diraja Malaysia (PDRM) Officer, Wong also mentioned that most people take safety and security for granted, and cautioned against doing so.

In his self-introduction, speaker PDRM DSP Ang Seow Aun mentioned his credentials and his working experience. Following that, he briefly talked about the roles of Police Officers and how they play the central role in the law enforcement system, monitor criminal activity, take part in community patrols, respond to emergency calls, issue tickets, make arrests, investigate crimes and testify in court as needed.


Good turnout for the talk.

DSP Ang also elaborated on a “Crime Triangle”, which has a combination of three basic elements; opportunity, target and culprit. Based on a target plan, PDRM is working hard toward Zero Tolerance Policing, added DSP Ang.

“We have also formed Community Policing in Miri and I praise the successful Neighborhood Watch Groups especially the JKP Pujut Adong,” said DSP Ang.

DSP Ang also announced the Volunteer Smartphone Patrol (VSP), a free app available for download. “When witnessing a crime or an accident, and you can swiftly alert police through this app,” DSP Ang pointed out. Just launched on March 25 this year, the public can now easily provide first-hand or on-the-spot information by uploading photos or videos of accidents, crimes or disasters that require emergency response.

Before concluding his talk, DSP Ang also talked about Citizens’ rights, Internet frauds, Business and Recruitment (Jobs) deceits, Counterfeit cheque scams, Spoofing/Phishing frauds, Ponzi/Pyramid frauds, and How to be safe from internet frauds. “We are also working hard to regain and instill public confidence in PDRM and we are seeking your co-operation and help to combat crime,” DSP Ang said as he ended his session.

The floor was open to Q and A before the session ended with light refreshments.

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May 1, Sibu – The crowd prayed for the youths during the closing session of the 2011 Methodist Prayer Convention.

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Obviously not even the best kaya toast in Miri could momentarily halt the National Director of Alpha Malaysia from sharing his passion over the coffee table this morning.

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GIRL
Never miss a great candid moment – I couldn’t resist to covertly snap this cute and feisty girl when covering an event at her school last week.

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Last night my Small Group hosted a farewell gathering in honour of our outgoing Pastor-in-charge.

Early next year Rev. Law Hui Seng will be leaving Grace Methodist Church to further his studies at the Sabah Theological Seminary, Kota Kinabalu.

Clearly a man after God’s heart, Rev. Law will further develop his gift in the Bahasa Malaysia (BM) language.

With the intent of becoming a good role model to the BM congregations, Rev. Law will undertake his Master’s degree covering cultural barriers and the making of matured discipleship among the indigenous people.

More than 30 church members and guests were present including Pastor Connie Yong and her husband Pastor Wong Lik Kai, my church’s Chairman Michael Lee and his wife Michelle.

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We also invited the Sunday School carolers from our church for the joyful occasion. Praise Lord for their wonderful singing and glad tidings!

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Each Christmas carol received an enthusiastic applause from us!

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Here’s a memorable group photo for the album!

Do enjoy the video we made to appreciate our loving and dedicated shepherd.

Pastor Law has been our church for the past nine years and more than often we take for granted that he will be with us forever.

Thank you dear Pastor for all you have done for us. From our Small Group we wish you well and leave you with this verse from Numbers 6:4,

The Lord bless and keep you.

Remember we’re just a phone call away so keep in touch often!

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IMG_6226 Foo with Starfish
A man was walking along a beach in Mexico. And he saw that what had happened is the tide had gone out and there were tens of thousands of starfish left stranded on the beach, dying for lack of oxygen, in the heat of the sun. And there was a young boy who was picking up the starfish one at a time, going down to the sea and just throwing them in, and going back to get another one, pick it up and going back and throwing it into the sea.

And this man went up to him and he said, `Look, can’t you see—there are tens of thousands of starfish out here! I don’t really think that what you’re doing is going to make any difference.’ And the young boy picked up another one, and he went down to the water’s edge and he threw it in the sea, and he said, `I bet it made a difference for that one!’

IMG_5889 Praise and Worship

Back to back from the successful launching of the Reading Bus outreach in Tudan, Grace Methodist Church (GMC) has stepped up another level and organized training for leaders and helpers to facilitate on the Alpha course.

It is also the church’s desire to animate its congregation to impact the marketplace.

Held at its own premises, the 1½ days intensive training ended on October 9, 2010.

Forty-nine church members enrolled in the training conducted by a lay team of four members from Alpha Malaysia.

IMG_6177 The trainers

The four trainers were Alpha Malaysia’s National Director Mr. Foo Lai Wei, Mr. Yip Siew Kee, Mr. Lee Kee Huat and his wife Gay.

Last April a group of GMC leaders attended the 2010 Alpha Conference in Kuching. They discovered that Alpha members’ convictions about their faith are strong and their preparatory training on evangelism is simple, duplicable and effective.

According to the Alpha Malaysia website, over 15 million people worldwide have now attended an Alpha course. In Malaysia, thousands of people have attended courses in hundreds of locations across the country.

Alpha runs in hundreds of churches throughout the country as well as in homes, schools, national service camps, workplaces, homes for the elderly and prisons. It takes place over ten weekly sessions, and also includes a weekend away. Each week begins with a meal, tea or coffee with the other guests and the hosts of the course.

People attend for a variety of reasons. Some want to investigate the concept of God from a Christian perspective; others want to know if there is a point to life; others may have attended church their whole life, but have never really understood Christianity.

Breakout exercise after lunch

GMC’s Prayer leader Sally Tan who attended the course said she was encouraged by the tools used to reach out to the pre-Christians. She also added that the course was also a journey to discover Jesus in a non-intimidating environment.

Another elated participant and LCEC member Wendy Tiong said, “It’s an excellent training, especially the acronym for A.L.P.H.A – it’s for everyone.” (A – Anyone can come, L – Learning and laughter, P – Pasta, popiah, prata, pizza, H – Helping one another, A – Ask anything).

“The Alpha weekend was simply too great! The seeker-sensitive approach is considerate. This course will help our church as it transforms people and fills them with the power of the Holy Spirit,” said Rev. Law Hui Seng, the Pastor-in-charge of Grace Methodist Church. “We’re excited to have 191 Starfish (people) to pray for now and we are looking forward to inviting them to the Alpha course. I pray we will continue to make disciples of all nations.”

Sticking the symbolic starfish

In the Alpha training course context, saving the symbolic Starfish stranded on the perilous beach is used to illustrate how one can make a difference to a pre-believer by sharing the Good News with him or her.

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” – Matthew 28:18-20

For more information on the Alpha course, please email info@my.alpha.org

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if i could sing

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Hwang Meillian has had cerebral palsy since birth. Against all odds she’s achieved more than what the average person could possibly dream of. This is the story of an outstanding painter and teacher, her remarkable journey – one filled with surprises – and her perseverance in handling whatever came her way.

Miri – August 25, 2010

IT WAS AROUND 9:00 am when I called Magdalene Huang, the Chairperson of the Social Concerns Ministry of the Miri Methodist Churches. I had intended to seek for Magdalene’s help to interview Hwang Meillian before the latter’s en route to Taipei via Kota Kinabalu. You’ve got it – James, said Magdalene happily when she called back ten minutes later. We’ll meet for an early lunch.

I arrived at the restaurant early. Magdalene was already there. Strangely my mind went blank, unsure of what to expect. You can communicate with her in English or Mandarin, Magdalene advised with a smile. Dr. Hwang is fluent in both languages.

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SHE WALKED IN CONFIDENTLY, with only a slight limp, and smiled to everyone in our private dining room. We were introduced. Pleasantries were exchanged. When Meillian sat down, she whipped out her pad and wrote, “Hi, how are you?” Her spunky personality caught me off-guard. I thanked her for the interview despite such short notice. I was then introduced to her personal assistant, Miss Chu Ching-Hua. Lunch was served and the topic of discussion was on generalities. “I’m beginning to feel tired today,” Meillian wrote again in the middle of the lunch. I knew she and her PA had been in Kuching, Sibu and Bintulu for the past week giving motivational talks at schools, churches and children with special needs. Miri was her last stop.

Facing formidable challenges from birth

HER PARENTS WERE HEARTBROKEN when they learned of their child’s cerebral palsy at birth. Whether or not the disability was the result of medical malpractice, it was nevertheless devastating to know that their child’s life would be difficult in the future. But one thing they were certain of – their child was a precious gift from God and they would do anything to bring her up to live the best life she deserves. As a child, Meillian could only lie flat because her neurological disorder affected her body movement and posture. Her parents refused to give up and loved her even more. They tried every medical cure they know of. Time spent with her was ample. Meillian’s dad, a Pastor, often read bible stories to her. Whenever visitors came to the house, Meillian’s parents would always introduce her by saying, “This is our daughter. God loves her and we love her too.”

This manifestation of unconditional love deeply influenced this special child and she thrived in the caring environment of her home.

Unlike other children, Meillian’s childhood days in Tainan, Taiwan were far from cherished moments. Neighbours disdained them and often hurled sarcasm at the Hwangs. She’s a freak and only the circus would accept her, they mocked. Grandmother was often verbally abused as she was the one who spent much time caring for Meillian. Countless incidents of outbursts and tears of frustrations were part of her growing-up years.

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Don’t give the child fish, teach him how to fish

MEILLIAN’S PARENTS decided to send her to school. But not until Meillian could pronounce and read like a normal child could. Her mother was determined to teach her how to write. This is easier said than done because Meillian didn’t have the motor skill to control her hand movements at will. To overcome this inadequacy, Meillian’s mother would hold her hand to guide her every stroke. Meillian painstakingly practised for a whole year and finally was able to write and paint by Primary Two. In the process of learning to write, Meillian’s mother had hoped that her daughter would learn to be independent and responsible. On hindsight this course of action proved to be instrumental in helping Meillian overcome many obstacles in her later years.

“IF I WEREN’T A CHRISTIAN, I WOULD BE WEAK AND HAVE NO STRONG OPINIONS.”

Dare to dream

MEILLIAN’S TEACHER Ma Yi-Chiang spotted her gift in painting when she was in Primary Two. Deeply encouraged by her teacher, Meillian aimed to be a good artist. But the road to success is always a bumpy one. Though one must not tar all people with the same brush, it was often her own peers who bullied her verbally and physically. Human patience has its limits and it was inevitable that one day, Meillian refused to don her uniform to go to school. Her teacher Wu Sui-Wei prodded Meillian not to give up. “Meillian, you love to read. Do not give up studying what you like because of what people say about you. If you like writing, you should read more to enrich yourself. This is your responsibility to make others respect you. God helps those who help themselves,” advised her caring teacher. This incident turned out to be the turning point in Meillian’s life.

Meillian’s primary school days might have been fraught with frustrated hopes but she rightly did not allow other people’s criticisms to prevent her from achieving her dreams. As I write now, I am still bewildered how Meillian could have endured so much hardship as a child and still possess so much zest for life today.

“RELIGION HAS MADE ME STRONGER. I’VE LEARNED TO ACCEPT MYSELF. AS SUCH, NASTY COMMENTS CANNOT HURT ME.”

Off to the USA

AT THE AGE OF FOURTEEN, Meillian’s family migrated to the USA. In spite of the difficulty of adjusting to the culture and language, Meillian graduated from high school in 1983 and chose to major in arts and minor in psychology. Her first college was Eastern Los Angeles College, and subsequently California State University. Receiving stares was a norm as Meillian attended a mainstream university, unlike her previous high school that catered to special students. She studied hard. But because of her slow motor skill, Meillian spent more time typing rather than studying her assignments. No pain no gain, as the saying goes. Meillian’s hard work paid dividends when she was awarded a full scholarship, freeing her parents from financial burden. After her graduation, Meillian grabbed an opportunity to showcase her paintings through exhibitions for YMCA in Taiwan to promote cerebral palsy awareness. After the exhibitions, Meillian returned to Los Angeles to pursue her Ph.D.

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They say you see the clearest skies after the torrential rain.

After obtaining her doctorate in 1993, Meillian decided to return to Taiwan to pursue her passion. It wasn’t an easy decision as she had to leave her parents and live independently. Her uncanny wisdom born out of simply coping with her disability shows the strength of the human spirit. When asked what she would do if she were born normal, she replied, “I’m already a normal person now. Why should I need to be indifferent?”

“I ONLY SEE WHAT I HAVE, NOT WHAT I DON’T HAVE.”

Just last May, Mellian was one of the honoured recipients of the prestigious Taiwan international “Love of Lives” award. She received a medal from President Ma Ying-Jeou who praised her for demonstrating hope and love, and obtaining a doctorate despite of her severe disability.

Praise the Lord for everything, says Dr Hwang b

I am grateful to have the opportunity to meet Meillian. It was a humbling experience. All too often we complain too much and fail to recognize that there are so many people out there who struggle with their lives. Life doesn’t have to be perfect.

There is perfection in imperfection as I see in Meillian.

(The title of this story was taken from the song of the same title written by Dr. Hwang Meillian).

Enjoy the beautiful song here:

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