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Posts Tagged ‘Grace Methodist Church Miri’

IMG_0272 Group pic
Group pic

IN A SIMPLE certificate award ceremony, The Reading Bus programme was concluded on December 18, 2010 at Gereja Tudan Methodist.

First launched in Miri by Grace Methodist Church three months ago, the fortnightly English reading series has produced significant results.

The Reading Bus is a mobile library programme.

It is the brainchild of Kuching-based Bethany Ministries Pastor Cheli Tamilselvam and his wife Lai Mei.

A demographic study reveals there are 20,000 residents within a 10 km radius of Tudan and Permyjaya mostly of the Iban race.

The majority of students living in this area find it difficult to cope with the increasing demands to perform well in English in school.

Many fail to make it beyond secondary education.

According to Pastor Cheli’s observation as an educator, one of the main factors for failure was the serious lack of proficiency in the English language.

The Reading Bus activity is carried out back to back with the Village Alpha.

Village Alpha provides church volunteers a basic but crucial tool for evangelizing to the unchurched.

With the seeds of Christ’s love sown, Gereja Tudan Methodist is now experiencing an increased congregational attendance in their Sunday service. In addition its Sunday School class has doubled to more than sixty children.

There were also heartwarming stories related by Mr. Richard Lin, the lead volunteer and member of Grace Methodist Church.

“We were told that the children would eagerly wait for The Reading Bus two hours ahead of scheduled time in each of our visit. We were delighted to discover a voracious reader named Romica, a 10 year old girl. We also hear that unchurched parents of the students are becoming more receptive to hearing the Good News when approached by the members from Gereja Tudan Methodist.”

Mr. Aaron Hii, the Missions Chairman for Grace Methodist Church was clearly elated with the results of this ministry.

“We encourage other churches in Miri and beyond to duplicate what we’re doing. Believe me, it is a powerful tool to do outreach. After visiting us at Tudan a few times to observe, Gan En Methodist Church and Piasau Baptist Church have undertaken to run the programmes at Lambir and Taman Tunku respectively,” he added.

IMG_0242 A student receiving his certificate
A student receiving his certificate

In the certificate award ceremony the outgoing Pastor-in-charge of Grace Methodist Church, Rev. Law Hui Seng reminded the 75 recipients to use the English language often. “The English language, like all languages will be forgotten easily if not used,” he advised. “When you are proficient in English, you will have better job options in the future.”

Rev. Law also thanked all the volunteers for their sacrifice and love.

To bless all the students of The Reading Bus, a set of encasement full of books was formally presented by Rev. Law to Pastor Chan Jing Mei of Gereja Tudan Methodist.

IMG_0234 Rev Law (left) presenting the bookcase to Ps. Chan Jing Mei (far right)
Pastor Chan (right) receiving the bookcase from Rev. Law (left)

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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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AN AMAZING yuletide cheer swept across Miri city last weekend as more than ten thousand Christian faithfuls and people from all walks of life converged at the City Fan to celebrate an early Christmas.

The theme this year is “Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace.” Two thumbs up!

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Members from my church, Grace Methodist, getting ready to join the parade.

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Along the 4 km route around the city centre people flocked to the streets awed by the one hour procession of joyful singing with warm exchanges of glad tidings.

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After the parade we assembled at this area. Rising up splendidly behind us is a newly erected Christmas tree adorned with gigantic silvery ribbons and blue lights. The 30-foot tall magnificent luminous steel structure, generously donated by a local conglomerate, was constructed in Bintulu and transported to Miri for the grand evening.

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Datuk Bandar Miri Lawrence Lai Yew Son presenting a souvenir to Deputy Chief Minister of Sarawak YB Patinggi Tan Sri Dr. George Chan Hong Nam.

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Christmas parade Organizing Chairman Fr. Andy Lee of the Roman Catholic Church Miri Diocese thanked the committee members and Miri City Council staff for their tireless efforts in organizing the event. “We want to give thanks to Our Almighty God too. Incidentally this is also an event of many firsts – for the first time we have a crowd of more than ten thousand; we have a manger on the stage; we have a 30-foot Christmas tree; we have thirteen denominations celebrating a Christian event together and last but not least, our Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister are with us on this wonderful occasion,” beamed Fr. Andy Lee.

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Kuala Lumpur-born Vince Chong, the first winner from the reality TV show Akademi Fantasia.

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He entertained the crowd with Christmas and Christian songs. But the song I liked most was the 1989 hit “Have I Told You Lately” written by Van Morrison, and made popular by Rod Stewart. Vince changed the lyrics to “Have I told you Jesus that I love you…”

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Obviously the crowd enjoyed Vince’s singing.

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Gereja SIB youths gave a dazzling dance performance.

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I was impressed by this youth’s dancing skills!

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Sidney Mohede of the True Worshippers from Indonesia brought the crowd on to their feet.

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He has excellent stage presence and showmanship.

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Sidney asked the crowd to illuminate and wave their mobile phones as they sang along.

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WHAT a fabulous day to get married!

This morning I attended the church wedding of my friends Tiong Hoo and Hui Chu’s son Eric. The lovely bride Olivia is from Indonesia.

All the best to you Eric and Olivia! May God bless and keep you always!

Hope to see you again in Melbourne one day, cheers!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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”.

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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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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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Group pic of the graduates with Rev. Law Hui Seng

There were smiles and congratulatory handshakes at Grace Methodist Church (GMC) as the students received their sign language certificates yesterday morning.

Also known as MySL, the basic course started in last April. It is one of the outreach programmes under the auspice of the Membership and Evangelism ministry in GMC.

The course is intended to equip more people in the marketplace with the sign language skill for effective communication with the hearing impaired.

Twenty-one people graduated. Most of them are working adults from other church denominations.

Assisting the principal instructor Victor Hii were his wife Kristy, church volunteer Lucy Kong and 4th Miri Boys’ Brigade Captain Roseline Lee who are all proficient in the basic sign language.

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Rev. Law Hui Seng presenting a certificate to a student

In his congratulatory message Rev. Law Hui Seng praised the students for their purpose and perseverance.

“The sign language itself is a language. Like all languages, if unused it will be forgotten. Seize the opportunity to communicate with the hearing impaired. It can also be a wonderful ministry in your respective church to share the good news with the hearing-impaired community,” encouraged the Pastor-in-charge of GMC.

IMG_3682 Joseph Ang, the top student doing his sharing by speaking and sign language
Joseph Ang delivered his speech in English and by signing

One of the promising students is Joseph Ang.

Even the axiom “shoes come in pairs” holds true as his reason to join the class was initially just to accompany his girlfriend Genevieve, a school teacher.

Contrary to his expectations, Joseph was hooked from lesson one.

“I want to thank GMC for offering this useful course to the public. Without the opportunity I wouldn’t have discovered the fascinating world of sign language. My new found focus is now on the next elementary level. In the long term I aspire to be an instructor. I hope to create more awareness about our hearing-impaired community. Though a minority group, they too need our love and due consideration,” shared the 29-year old administration executive working in an oil and gas contractor company.

IMG_3748 Instructor Victor Hii
Julia, wife of Rev. Law Hui Seng received a badge for not missing a single lesson!

Registration is now open at GMC office for the upcoming elementary class (Aug 21, 2010) and the basic course (Aug 22, 2010).

For more information, please email Victor Hii at victorh@tm.net.my

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