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IMG_8564 Group pic before leaving for Rumah Tatom
Group pic before hitting the road

RUMAH Tatom celebrated Christmas three weeks earlier as a STM (Short Term Missions) team from my church Grace Methodist visited the longhouse from December 4-5.

Our team of 24 enthusiastic members congregated at church early Saturday morning.

Pastor Rev. Law Hui Seng, Lay Leader Ting Kong Yu and Missions Chairman Aaron Hii were also present to see us off for our fourth trip to Rumah Tatom this year.

For this holiday cheer season, our ministry activities carried out in Rumah Tatom were related to nativity and giving.

On giving, we remember what Paul wrote in his second letter to the Corinthians, “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.”

Paul had written this amazing line to encourage the Corinthians on the importance of giving.

IMG_8638 Children's ministry
Children’s ministry in action

Doing the Great Commission has positively impacted the first-timers in our team.

One of them is Joseph Ting.

“The blessings flowed both ways. We went to bless them with our goodies, songs and fellowship but instead I received more blessings through their love and warm hospitality,” said the 21 year old engineering undergraduate from Australian National University.

IMG_8645 Youth ministry
Youth ministry

Another missions volunteer and purchasing manager of a public-listed company Monica Tiong was awed by the power of the Holy Spirit. She evangelized to three adult residents who subsequently accepted Christ willingly.

“I feel so blessed to witness the Holy Spirit moving the hearts of the residents in Rumah Tatom,” she happily praised.

Our team leader Richard Lin was elated by the unprecedented number baptisms performed.

“God’s grace is clearly present here. We’ve been visiting Rumah Tatom since 2008 and we’re very encouraged by what has happened,” he commented.

There were seven residents baptized by Pastor Jonathan Nora of Selangau Methodist Church.

In the evening we hosted a thanksgiving dinner for 80 people. Following that, a health talk was presented by our team member Lina, a professional nurse.

IMG_8671 The folks at Rumah Tatom experienced Chirstmas caroling for the first time
The carolers

Christmas caroling may be a lost tradition for many but not for Rumah Tatom as its residents experienced it for the first time.

IMG_8722 Door-to-door caroling
Singing door-to-door

Forming two groups, we went caroling door-to-door starting from both ends of the longhouse before re-grouping at the centre singing “We wish you a Merry Christmas”.

IMG_8768 group pic at Rumah Tatom
Group pic after the caroling

While participating in my third missions trip this year, I never expected to discover the beauty of God’s grace in Rumah Tatom. Bearing witness to seven baptisms, three souls saved and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit in action was more powerful that I’d imagine.

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Clearly God’s grace was with us as we felt the joy and love in our midst of our fellowship with the wonderful folks of Rumah Tatom.

All praise and glory to God!

The missions team wishes to acknowledge and thank the following generous persons for sponsoring the welcoming refreshments at Rumah Tatom: Chia Kah Pheng, William Law, Duan Seling, Michael Lee, Patricia Kiing and Judy Cheng.

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On Christmas eve, my family and I were in Sibu to attend a cantata by the famous Wesley Methodist Church choir. The last time we attended a similar event was two years ago.

It’s indeed a great blessing to attend such a wonderful event. I applaud the Wesley choir led by conductor Cheng Hua Kong. Thanks for a great evening!

Here are some of the snaps I like. Enjoy, :p.

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A short clip uploaded at YouTube is here:

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joy to you and yours

Christmas card 2009.jpg The Wongs

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