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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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One big BB family, all glory to God! Photo credit – Aaron and Abel Wong.

THE Year of the Rooster had my family visiting Mom in Kuching. We arrived late on Monday night (Jan 23). Eldest son and d-i-l flew in the following Thursday morning; youngest son arrived from KL on the same afternoon – yes, the family was wholesome again!

On Reunion Dinner night (Jan 27), I was delighted to receive a WhatsApp message from the BB Sarawak State Commissioner, Hon. Capt. Lo Hoi Fook. He caught wind that we were in town and graciously extended an Open House invitation to my family for the first day of the Lunar Year.

We arrived at Commissioner’s house around 6:30 pm. The rain arrived too. In my heart, I was silently encouraged by Deuteronomy 28.12, “The Lord will open to you his good treasury, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hands…” Yes, raining is a blessing!

Armed with an umbrella and a big smile, Commissioner warmly welcomed us and brought us in one-by-one from our car that was parked at the gate. One lady Officer Lt. Chris Han and her family had earlier arrived before us. Within an hour, more guests came.

Hannah, the Commissioner’s wife, was equally welcoming and hospitable. All of us felt very much at home. Stepping into their house makes one feel like stepping into a mini BB depot! I was awed by the BB commemorative and award badges, and other paraphernalia adorning the walls and in the cabinets.

The specially-ordered home-cooked food made me almost fall off my chair! The Lo’s family certainly knows how to be a great host! More guests arrived as we were savoring the scrumptious dinner.

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Hannah, the warm and hospitable hostess (left front) and Commissioner Lo behind her.

We had a wonderful meal with our fellow Officers, their spouses and children. The few hours just flew by in a blink of an eye because we enjoyed every moment. We learned from Commissioner that he had been inviting the BB Officers and their families to his house every Chinese New Year for the past many years. “I can still recall some of the Officers were single then and now they are married with kids! It’s a pleasure for Hannah and I to see our Officers grow and progress through the years,” the good Commissioner commented.

“This is our yearly activity for the first day of Chinese New Year. And it is the best gathering of all,” declared Lt. Desmond Chan of 2nd Kuching.

Lt. Michael Hung also of 2nd Kuching expressed his thoughts with fondness. “I was a young Officer then when I was first invited to Commissioner’s Open House. It’s so heartwarming. We chat at the same level, we laugh, we enjoy the good food and most importantly, we have special bonding time,” he said.

“It’s wonderful to be reunited with fellow BB members and their families. It’s like a big family coming home from a hectic year of work and school. To see all the familiar faces gives me a wonderful sense of nostalgia and reminds me of the fun times with our BB family,” added Lavender Bong of 9th Kuching Coy Girls’ Wing.

In the car on our way home, my eldest son proclaimed he had such an awesome evening and in future his children will be enrolled in The Boys’ Brigade in Malaysia! This is, indeed, a “BBlessed” family we have, all praises to God!

The writer serves as a Warrant Officer in 4th Miri Coy, The Boys’ Brigade in Malaysia. His wife is the Captain of the mentioned Coy.

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