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Posts Tagged ‘Missions ministry’

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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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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