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Posts Tagged ‘Christian love in action’

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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Until recently, I would describe myself as in “call waiting” mode for church-related mission trips.

“Call waiting” is a feature available on most phone networks. This useful feature shows the calling party’s ID while the called party is already on the line with someone else. Often it is up to the called party to decide whether he or she wants to respond to the caller.

For years, my Pastor has prompted me to go to “the ends of the earth” but his encouragement seemed to have fallen on the deaf ears of a disobedient Christian.

As a Small Group leader, I had never gone to any missions-related trips and I would justify my non-participation by saying that it is sufficient that I am serving the other needs of the church.

I’ve never prayed to God to use me in the missions ministry; perhaps it’s because I’ve never felt the need to go in that direction or maybe I was reluctant to depart from the comfort zone of urban dwelling.

In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord directs his steps. – Proverbs 16:9

But I didn’t expect God to send a match that would change my course.

Towards the end of last December my Small Group members Richard and his wife Joyce resolved to serve in the Short Term Missions (STM) for the whole of this year.

This type of commitment calls for a trip every quarterly.

Though Richard and Joyce were new members in my church, I was amazed by their bold decision.

When Richard first invited me to join the first trip in last March, I politely declined him in an incoherent manner. My wife Roseline was not pleased by my response, and chided me for being insensitive to our own Small Group member.

The month of June came recently and Richard again extended the invitation of the second trip. This time I accepted without hesitation. On hindsight my wife also played a large role in influencing me to participate.

Twenty-one of us left on June 12, 2010 in a convoy of five cars. Our destination Longhouse Rumah Tatom, is 320 km away from Miri. Three other participants drove from Sibu to join us at Stapang, Oya.

Our initial journey was all but smooth.

We met with the first obstacle after driving for about an hour. A sister-in-Christ in my car received a nasty bump on her head as we were cruising along the uneven road at Bekenu. After applying first aid, we decided to stop by Bintulu General Hospital so she could receive further aid.

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The second obstacle was more dramatic – our car engine stalled as we were nearing Bintulu. However we did not waver knowing He would not forsake us for doing His work. We called for help and a replacement car arrived and we were on our way again within the hour!

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We arrived safely at the 38-door longhouse Rumah Tatom around 3:30 pm, welcomed by our host Mr. Tading Ak Rumpang and Pastor Jonathan Nora of the Selangau Iban Methodist Church.

Since our schedule had been set back by an hour’s delay due to the car breakdown and detour to the Bintulu General Hospital, we quickly proceeded to carry out what had been tasked – Children’s Ministry, Youth Ministry and Women’s Ministry.

Having the gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them. – Romans 12:6

God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary work.

As a novice in missions trips, I was amazed to see the different gifts applied for the purpose of ministry from each team member.

Husband and wife team San Lin and Cynthia were much appreciated by the children in the Sunday School activities.

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Chiew Moi’s exceptional storytelling skill was manifested when she narrated the story of The Prodigal Son in Bahasa Malaysia.

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The unseen hands in the kitchen were a great blessing to us. Though assigned as photographer, I was unexpectedly called to help in the F & B category. Remembering that one needed to be flexible under such circumstances, I happily obliged. My first experience of using wood for cooking was enjoyable despite the scorching heat.

We praise and thank God for answering our prayers in Rumah Tatom.

There was the tale of a drunkard man turned sober – he married and settled down, much to the relief and joy of his family. His mother subsequently requested Pastor Jonathan to remove the charm ornaments in her home. Testimonies from youths (in written and oral form) on how they were transformed after accepting Christ inordinately warmed our hearts. Showing unprecedented action of faith, a sister-in-Christ Madam Jelawa, even stepped forward and agreed to be our coordinator in Rumah Tatom!

When you feel impelled to help fill a need, when you are inwardly driven to serve – listen to those thoughts. You don’t want to miss God’s call. – Cindy Hess Kasper

We drove home to Miri the following day. Though the trip was short, I knew we had done our best to sow and plant the seed of God’s love.

Near or far, everyone should at least go once on a mission trip in his or her lifetime – not only to impact others, but also to allow others to impact us.

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Because in the process of recognizing our own smallness, we’ll be embraced by God’s greatness.

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“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” ~ 1 Peter 4:10 (New International Version)

Miri – We praise God for over 400 people who responded to the health screening at Dewan Taman Tunku recently.

Following the successful “Christian Love In Action” project by Grace Methodist Church (GMC) last June, the Social Concerns Ministry of the Miri District of Methodist Churches organized a similar health screening on April 25, 2010.

“We have two health screenings in our pipeline this year,” confirmed Magdalene Huang, volunteer worker for the Social Concerns Ministry. “The next screening will be on this coming August 8 at the newly-completed Tudan (BM) Methodist Church. Today is our first job and we are blessed to have so many volunteer workers from the participating churches of Mei Ann, Gan En, Yi En and Taman Tunku.”

The health screening is a platform that the Social Concerns Ministry shares as an outreach to the needy and the lower income group.

This free community-oriented service was made possible through the collaboration of the Miri General Hospital Eyes Clinic, the Sarawak Society for the Blind (Miri branch) and the Malaysian Diabetes Association (Miri branch).

Professional services and equipments were rendered in the areas of eye, blood sugar and blood pressure checks. From the Miri General Hospital, prominent Eye Specialists Dr. Hisham Mohd. Kalaf and Dr. Chieng Lee Ling together with eight nurses were at the Dewan from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm to serve the people.

Dr. Chieng commented, “Our primary aim is to identify those with potential deteriorating eyesight. We want to carry out corrective measures at this stage. It’s so fulfilling when you witness a visually-challenged person recovering from his sight. The joy on his face says it all.”

At hand to help were three Specialists from the Sarawak Society for the Blind (Miri branch) and five volunteers from the Malaysian Diabetes Association (Miri branch).

Here are the statistics derived:
Respondents – 426 people
Eye checks – 374 people
Blood sugar level checks – 345 people
Blood pressure checks – 340
Glasses prescribed – 111 pairs
Serious eye cases referrals for further treatment at the GH – 25

An elated Magdalene Huang summed up her thoughts and conveyed her fullest appreciation after the event, “GMC first sowed the seeds of this ministry and we took the cue. Therefore we want to applaud Ling Hui Chu and Chia Kah Pheng of GMC for their selfless efforts and for connecting us to the relevant parties. Though GMC is not directly involved in this project, we are touched when Rev. Law Hui Seng and some of his flock came to help us on their own initiative. Our heartfelt thanks also goes to the Miri General Hospital, the Sarawak Society for the Blind (Miri branch) and the Malaysian Diabetes Association (Miri branch). We also wish to thank Nestle (for sponsoring Milo drinks) and Mr. Y.K. Yang of Yang Low Ophthalmic Opticians for his passion and generousity. Last and certainly not the least, we are grateful to DS Rev. Esther Law and all the church volunteers for blessing us so abundantly in this project. All glory to God.”

To find out more about this life-changing ministry, you can email Magdalene Huang at oceanlove2727@yahoo.com

At the Dewan Taman Tunku
People streaming in between 11:00 am to 4:00 pm at Dewan Taman Tunku.

Blood pressure reading
Blood pressure reading.

Church volunteers helping out
Visual reading assisted by church volunteers.

Eye check
Staff from the Eye Clinic of the Miri General Hospital doing a good job.

Testing for sugar levels
Volunteers from the Malaysian Diabetes Association (Miri branch) doing their best for the people.

Social Concerns Ministry Worker Magdalene Huang  in action
Social Concerns Ministry volunteer worker Magdalene Huang helping out.

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Health screening @ Taman Tunku
Last Sunday my wife and my church small group member were among the many volunteers at Dewan Taman Tunku when more than 400 people from all walks of life benefited from the free health screening similar to last year’s project undertaken by Grace Methodist Church.

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During my recent visit to Sibu, I took the opportunity to drop by one morning at Xin Fu Yuan, Brooke Drive to take a look at their Praise Dancers. This church is well-known for their team of dynamic instructors. Last June they successfully hosted a Praise Dance Convention with a participation of hundreds of Praise Dancers from all over Sarawak.

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The exercise regime was held in the void deck of an adjacent building next to the Sanctuary. I thought this was great because come rain or shine, the people could still attend.

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All who attended were ladies.

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The instructor on duty that morning was Madam Goh, wife of Rev. Jonathan Wong. She’s an excellent instructor with lots of patience.

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There were other instructors present too.

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What a nice pose from the instructors!

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They even agreed to do a jumping shot for my camera!

Praise dance schedule at Xin Fu Yuan are as follows:

Mon – 8:15am
Tue – 7:30pm
Thu – 8:15am
Fri – 8:15am

Admission is free. Exercise regime is one hour. If you are in Sibu, why not drop by one day to try out? You won’t be disappointed, I promise! :p

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No matter what, people love happy surprises.

My Small Group member’s birthday falls on next Monday but last night after our Bible discussion, we took the liberty to surprise her with a birthday cake.

Of course, she was caught by surprise!
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I went to buy this chocolate cake at Ma Baker. The quality was excellent! 🙂

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Singing the birthday song in two versions; English and Mandarin.

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The birthday girl removing the decorations before apportioning the cake.

Happy birthday Joyce! Thank you for blessing us in our Small Group!

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IS THIS IT?

If God did exist, what would you ask? (Alpha.org)

Come this Friday evening, my church will receive a guest who is a member of Wesley Methodist Church, Sibu. The visitor, John Tiong will share with our church members on Alpha, an inter-denominational evangelism tool.

According to its USA website, over 13 million people have attended an Alpha course. It offers an opportunity to explore the meaning of life, running in tens of thousands of churches of all denominations, and at universities, in prisons and on military bases across the world.

Here’s a good testimony on Alpha:

If you interested to know more, why not drop me an email to reserve your free seat? 🙂

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