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Wife bakes cake for Rev. Winnie.

THE METHODISTS in Sarawak traditionally hold the Pastors’ Appreciation Sunday in the month of June. This is usually done during a Sunday Worship service when pastors would take a break and together with the congregation, listen to a guest or Lay preacher preach. Towards the end of the service, a simple presentation of cake-cutting or gift of flower bouquets would follow. Sometimes snippets of appreciation from the pew are read out too.

Last evening, my wife and I had the opportunity to appreciate two pastors dear to us. When informed of Rev. Winnie Lau’s invitation to a hotpot dinner, Roseline decided to bake a cake to appreciate the former and also one for Rev. Lisa Ting whom we knew would be attending too.

Another cake for Rev. Lisa.

Rev. Lisa, presently the pastor-in-charge of Sibu Wesley Methodist Church, had served in my former church in Miri. During her 4-year tenure, Rev. Lisa was a good shepherd to all. She loved her congregation. I remember when a bereaved fellow church member lost her husband in Kuching, Rev. Lisa took a flight there to console her. Rev. Lisa was overjoyed when a church brother’s ailing dad accepted Christ and wept when he passed away shortly after baptism. Applying a collective leadership style, Rev. Lisa was a strong supporter in the church’s ministries and encouraged church leaders to attend courses to deepen their spiritual walk with Jesus Christ. She was an ardent supporter of The Boys’ Brigade and encouraged my family members as we served in the Love Soup and Tudan Christmas outreach together with our team of church volunteers.

Enjoying cooking with the hotpot.

A pastor at Sibu Zion Methodist Church, Rev. Winnie is our new but very close relative. She addresses Roseline and I as ‘Qing Mu’ and ‘Qing Jia’ because her youngest sister Tina is our daughter-in-law. Roseline and I were very touched when Rev. Winnie insisted on treating us to dinner. I told my wife that it should be us giving the treat but the good pastor wouldn’t hear of it!

Rev. Lisa serves the garnishing.

In the midst of our fellowship dinner, it dawned upon me that these two young pastors shall be in the future team of leaders leading Sarawak Methodists. Listening to their conversation on church-related ministries, I thank God for their humility and servant leadership.

One for the album!

Last Wednesday, I also met up with Rev. Sii Hee Tiong, the Field Director of SCAC Missions Board. Wanting to get feedback on his ministry from a congregational member, Rev. Sii asked me questions and received frank answers.

I commend these three fine pastors. All glory to God!

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Cutting of the 15th Anniversary Cake. Photo credit – Aaron Wong.

by Lt. James TC Wong, 4th Miri Coy

June 18, Miri – A wonderful BB Enrollment Sunday as we celebrated our 15th Anniversary. Yes, God has sustained us!

The narrative of this journey first began in the year 2002 when then the pastor-in-charge of Grace Methodist Church Rev. Law Hui Seng, and a small team of like-minded church volunteers shared the same vision to start the Boys’ Brigade (BB).

“I can still remember it was a great struggle for us. We went to Sri Mawar Primary School to recruit. We had just a handful of boys joining us initially,” commented Rev. Law. “We held our weekly parade at the school and subsequently we moved the parade to the church.”

“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:19

Success is seldom the work of one but a team. Our salute and appreciation go to the pioneering officers; our first Captain Frederick Wong (now Honorary Captain), Eddie Woodford and his wife, Flor Nera, Tan Teck Choon, Vincent Kueh, Tiong Tung Yew, Margaret Lee, Anthony Ho and Moses Goh.

4th Miri group photo taken in 2003. Photo credit – 4th Miri Hon. Capt. Frederick Wong.

Our appreciation also goes to our other past two Captains; Clement Chin and Andy Chew who were dedicated to the BB ministry. Past and present, we also extend our thanks to our fellow officers and helpers who braved to undertake such a challenging ministry.

A big ‘Thank You’ to Rev. Law Hui Seng for his ‘never-give-up’ attitude to introduce BB to SJK (C) Chung Hua Pujut. Despite getting rejected by the school in 2008, Rev. Law never gave up hope. The good shepherd, as I remember, encouraged the congregation to pray earnestly during the weekly prayer night for acceptance. The breakthrough came two years later. The increase to the Boys’ membership greatly motivated and encouraged us!

Following Rev. Law, the next pastor-in-charge in GMC was Rev. Lisa Ting. Rev. Lisa during her four-year tenure, encouraged the BB ministry enthusiastically and never once missed our Enrollment Sunday!

Capt. Roseline Lee delivering her report during the 2017 Enrollment Sunday.

By God’s grace, my wife Roseline became the fourth Captain in the year 2010. Since 2015, she has been appointed as the State Secretary in the Executive Committee of The Boys’ Brigade Sarawak State Council. Presently Sarawak has 40 Companies with more than 4,000 Members.

In 2015, after many prayers and with God’s grace, Capt. Roseline was able to introduce BB to SMK Dato Permaisuri. We were overjoyed because it meant that our ministry covers three clusters; one church-based and two schools.

We will continue to glorify God as we march on in BB!

4th Miri Company group photo. Photo credit – Aaron Wong.

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Group wefie for more than 160 pax!


MIRI – Finding the perfect way to spend a birthday can be sometimes difficult but I was absolutely floored last Friday by the warm reception at Senadin Methodist Preaching Centre (SMPC).

It is no secret that my church volunteers and I have serving Love Soup to Curtin University undergraduates since 2010. And last Friday (June 9, my birthday) was coincidentally chosen by SMPC’s Rev Jabez Tiong when he planned the church calendar of activities early this year.

Much to our delight, ten congregational members from SMPC also cooked chicken soup this time! Since this act was unsolicited and unprecedented, we rejoiced to see our ministry bearing charge.

I also had the privilege to invite Rev George Wong, the former Sarawak State Boys’ Brigade Chaplain and his wife to attend the function. The good shepherd delivered a short speech thanking Rev Jabez (the pastor-in-charge) and added that it was a blessing to be part of the Love Soup event for the first time.

Rev Jabez (left) being served by Rev George.


Also attending the event for the first time was Anna Ngan, a Curtin Foundation Year student from Sibu. She shared: “It was very interesting; a nice experience and memorable for me. Even though I don’t like eating meat but still I ate a lot. Thanks to all the uncles and aunties for preparing various types of chicken soup. It’s very delicious and I loved it. Lastly, thanks to my beloved Jesus for making this event successful. Now I have motivation to burn midnight oil to study hard. God bless us, Amen!”

Curtin undergrad Brian Chew from Kuching enjoying the chicken soup.


“Being away from home, the Love Soup brings a taste of delicious home-cooked food for the outstation students. At home, my mother would often prepare nutritious chicken soup before my examination. This Love Soup reminds us that there are people out there who still care for the students,” said Curtin Third Year Mechanical Engineering Stephen Pan.

Look, no more soup left! Photo by Tang Xin Yi.

“I enjoyed the chicken soup very much, and the best part of it was I could try various types of chicken soup. Thanks to uncle and aunties so much for putting effort on this event and reduce homesickness of us. Love to see the satisfied faces with smiles enjoying the nourishing chicken soup! Looking forward to every Love Soup event although that means final exam is coming,” commented Irene Ngu, a Third Year Electrical Engineering Curtin undergraduate from Bintulu.

Their smiles say it all!


Before the Love Soup ended, Irene, who was also the event coordinator, surprised me with a slice of birthday cake with everyone singing the birthday song. 

Never before had I ever felt the sheer joy of serving others on my birthday as fulfilling as this one. It was then a singular moment to express a lifetime of gratitude and glorifying Christ Jesus!

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Group pic of BCM2018 Sarawak Committee members present last night.

by Lt. James TC Wong, 4th Miri

MAY 15, MIRI – During last month’s Brigade Council Meeting in Muar, it was announced that Miri was unanimously chosen as next year’s AGM venue.

It is a great honor for Sarawak Boys’ Brigade State Council to host such an important event in the calendar of The Boys’ Brigade in Malaysia.

About 200 Officers, Delegates and Observers throughout the country are expected to attend.

Prior to this announcement at the ongoing meeting in Muar, BB Sarawak State Commissioner Hon. Capt. Hii King Ong briefly introduced about Miri. Following that, a powerpoint presentation given by 4th Miri Capt. Roseline Lee received a warm response and applause from the participants.

The BCM2018 Sarawak Committee was formalized last night after receiving the prayer blessing from Rev. George Wong Hin Hung, former Chaplain of the Sarawak State Boys’ Brigade. The good shepherd also gave a short exhortation to the committee members present. He urged them to be extra diligent and hardworking in the BB ministry. “You all have the means to reach out to the indigenous groups of students in the rural areas. You have a duty and you have the capability to do so,” urged Rev George.

BB Deputy Sarawak State Commissioner and Northern Region President Hon. Capt. Lawrence Wong was elected as the Organizing Chairman with BB Sarawak State Commissioner Hon. Capt. Hii King Ong and Honorary BB Sarawak State Commissioner Hon. Capt. Lo Hoi Fook as Advisors.

Other members include Capt. Patrick Tiong (2nd Miri), Capt. Kenneth Law (3rd Miri), Capt. Roseline Lee (4th Miri), Hon. Capt. Ling Yew Kwong (5th Miri), Capt. David Wong (6th Miri), Capt. Tiong Hee Kwong (7th Miri), Capt. Mutang (1st Beluru), Capt. Edmund Wong (7th Kuching), Lt. Hu Wei Ung (ES, SSC), Lt. James TC Wong and Helper Aaron Wong (both of 4th Miri).

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Run the peels under water to rid any unwanted elements.

THIS morning I made citrus enzyme from Sunkist orange peels. It would be my 4th container so far this year. In the first three, I used pineapple peels. Wife loves to mix a cap of enzyme liquid with detergent whenever she does laundry and house-cleaning. For the past few years, I had shamelessly asked for the citrus enzyme from Mdm Yiew Ung (Rev Lisa Ting’s mum) and never once did she ever turned me down. Eventually, I decided to learn from her instead of being so thick-skinned to ask for the free yet indispensable household item!
Good things must be shared! So here’s the method if you are keen to try:

A) 3 kg of Sunkist peel, washed and sun-dried.
B) 1 kg brown sugar (boil to dissolve). Leave to cool.
C) Insert A) and B) into a clean, opaque plastic container. Fill in 10 liters of tap water.
D) Stir the contents in the container with a clean wooden ladle to mix them thoroughly.
E) Write the date on the container and leave it in a cool, dry place for the next three months.

I leave the containers in my wet kitchen where it is cool throughout the day.


Bonus tip #1 – To mix the contents well, stir it once a week. Initially, in the first few weeks, you will need to open the cap to release the gas build-up from the fermentation process. Don’t be alarm to see on some days the container swelling up in size. Just open the cap to release the gas.

Bonus tip #2 – Peels from Sunkist oranges are the preferred choice!

Happy trying, my dear friends! Have a fantastic week ahead!

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Unboxing Tokyo Banana

It’s my first time tasting the famous Tokyo Banana sponge cake, all thanks to my classmate Philip Teng!

Late last month, Philip (who works in Siberia), was flying back to Sibu when he had a stopover at Narita Airport.

I’m truly touched with this gift as Philip and I have known each other since 37 years ago when we were in Form Six, Sacred Heart School, Sibu.

Each piece is shaped like a banana and filled with banana custard made with real banana.

I read that it’s really hard to find Tokyo Banana outside of Japan because they only last for a maximum of 1 week and best consumed within 2 days of purchase. The sponge cakes are fluffy filled with cream made from strained banana puree to give you the natural banana flavor. 

Quite out of this world, I can feel the cake melting in my mouth when I took the first bite.

Thanks a bunch, Philip, and God bless you!

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Handing over our Class of ’78 donation of RM20,000 to Bishop Joseph Hii Teck Kwong, Chairman of SMK Sacred Heart Board of Management. Photographer – Philip Hii

Apr 1, Sibu – The La Sallian spirit was already gloriously alive when wife and I stepped into Level Six at Kingwood Hotel.

One could easily be overwhelmed by the sight of 140 dining tables from front to back in the mammoth ballroom; filled with 1,400 alumni from Sacred Heart, St Elizabeth’s and invited guests.

Though SHOSA (Sacred Heart Old Students Association) has been organizing the annual reunion since 1995, this was only my second time joining the grand event.

Prior to this, we had been informed by the local newspapers that the school fund was short of RM150,000. The shortfall was due to the RM10 million redevelopment program carried out in the past few years.

God is indeed great! Many generous alumni from the respective classes did not want to see their beloved school to be in financial predicament. Standing united with king-size hearts, they collectively chipped in RM352,000! In our heart of hearts, we truly love our Alma Mater! 

Our Class of ’78 were seated at seven tables. Many of us have not seen each other since leaving school; and that was almost 40 years back!

Thanks to Paul Wong (Class of ’80), I was connected to my classmate Chris Tiong whom I’ve only managed to communicate a week ago through WhatsApp. After Sacred Heart, Chris left for USA to continue his tertiary studies. Following his graduation, my classmate went to work in Taipei and is based there ever since.

LR Thomas, Pong Luk, me, Chris Tiong. Photographer – Roseline Lee

 

I also met John Wong (Class of ’80) after 40 years! A fellow athlete, John settled down in Adelaide after completing his tertiary studies. 

LR Me, Clement Teo & Peter Kong. Photographer – George Wong Tuong Nang

Wife and I were overjoyed to meet Clement Teo, our close friend two years my senior. I can boldly claim that Clement is indebted to me because I was his matchmaker way back in 1984 when I introduced Ah Mingko (who later became his wife) to him!

I was also deeply touched when my Form Six classmate Philip Teng bought me a box of chocolates at Narita Airport when he was on transit back to Sibu from Siberia.

Like in all happy events, time is always too short.

But by God’s grace, we shall meet again.

Class of ’78 Sacred Heart & St Elizabeth’s Combined Group Photo. Photographer – Philip Hii

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