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Posts Tagged ‘Social Concerns Ministry’

Group pic including the 'victims'
Group photo of participants with the trainers.

What do we do when a disaster strikes our own backyard or our neighbouring country? Are we prepared to face a crisis head-on? Can we step up and make a difference?

These were some of the probing questions thrown at the participants during the opening session training by CREST in Grace Methodist Church Miri recently.

CREST is a non-profit Christian humanitarian organization based in Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

Since 1998 CREST has deployed multiple teams of Christians from various churches in Malaysia and Singapore to serve in disaster-stricken areas bringing God’s love to the poor and needy in crisis.

Its objective is to train relief volunteers to respond urgently to crises and disasters with medicine, food, clothing, shelter and other forms of aid.

Invited by the Methodist SCAC, similar trainings by CREST were also carried out in Sibu (18-20 June) and Kuching (25-27 June).

Coordinated by the Miri Methodist District Social Concerns Ministry, 132 participants as well as the District Superintendent Rev. Esther Law from the Methodist churches and other denominations attended the free training from July 16-18, 2010.

The 13-hour training were apportioned over three days covering A Biblical Perspective on Disasters, Introduction to Crisis, Personal Preparation for Disaster Response, Personal Survival Skills, Team Dynamics in Crisis Response, Cross Cultural Issues, Mobile Clinic Setup, 1st Responders Triage, Incident Command System, Crisis Response Planning, Base Camp Setup, Holistic Missions and Community Transformation.

Team discussion & planning
Team discussion and planning.

Ice-breaking - A team building task
Ice breaking – a team building task.

A team leader explains her team's Crisis Response Planning
Practical after learning – a team leader explains her team’s crisis response planning and dynamics.

A played scenerio - Chaos at the Mobile Clinic
A played scenario: Despite careful prior planning on the mobile clinic by one team, chaos erupted when another team of “patients” sought treatment. The lesson? Always plan for the unexpected too!

L-R Miri Methodist District Social Concerns Worker Magdeline Huang & Pastor Connie Yong during tea break
Take a break, have a mini doughnut! says Pastor Connie Yong. On her right is Magdalene Huang, the Chairperson for Miri Methodist District Social Concerns Ministry.

Crest trainers L-R Olivia, Lana & Steve
The magnificent trainers from CREST, L-R Olivia, Lana and Steve.

“After this training, my understanding on disaster crisis relief has more depth. More than often what we see and read in the media is only the tip of the iceberg. I’m glad I’ve attended this useful training,” commented William Law, one of the participants from Grace Methodist Church.

“Always remember to put Christ first when you go out to volunteer. It’s all for His Glory, not ours,” reminded Steve, one of the trainers from CREST.

Mrs. Lana Wong, the Executive Director of CREST best summed up the training by saying, “Whatever reason you’re going, your perspective of life will be changed.”

If you or your church are interested in exploring the area of Disaster Response further, or if you want to be involved but do not know where to begin, please email CREST at crest@crestmalaysia.org

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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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