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January - February 2012

Issue 66

A Marathon & Relay Race Combined

Make Disciples Matthew 28:19

Multiply Leaders 2 Timothy 2:2


Two Races, One Life

To finish well in life, one has to finish well in two races - a marathon which requires stamina and endurance to run for the long haul and a relay race which requires running well with others.


A Marathon & Relay Race Combined by Senior Pastor Dr Daniel Ho

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very person on earth is involved in a race of life. Whether a person realises it or not is immaterial. For a Christian, his or her life is a marathon race and not a short 100 metre sprint. Every follower of Christ is in for the long-haul. Interestingly, the word, “race” in Hebrews 12:1 is the Greek word “agon” from which we get the English word “agony”. The marathon race, as we all know, is truly demanding and agonising! Laying a right and strong foundation for such a race is therefore critical. Building ourselves up in the Word of God and the exercise of prayer are just as crucial for the race of life. These continue to remain central in the life of DUMC.

DUMC is, the mid-week cell groups across the Klang Valley. The cell groups provide a place for mutual accountability and support, prayers and encouragement and outreach and missions. The cell group is a powerful platform to inspire one another on in our journey of life. It is a “home” for the singles and the marrieds. In the cell group there is authenticity, a humble submission to God’s Word and one another and a desire to apply God’s Word in our lives. That is why there is always change and growth over time in every cell member. The cell structure is powerful in raising strong and faithful disciples of Christ as we have witnessed over the years.

All athletes recognise the importance of discipline if they are to do well in a race. Likewise, for a follower of Jesus Christ, discipleship and discipline also go handin-hand. Christians discipline themselves through the rigours of instruction and training in order to be equipped. An undisciplined person can never hope to do well in a race. Hence, a whole menu of teaching and training is laid out each year for every person in DUMC in order that we will be equipped effectively for the race. This menu is both for the young and the old, the beginners and the experienced. No one is left out in the process and we would do well by availing ourselves to them.

As much as the Christian life is a marathon run, it is also a relay race. One generation is supposed to pass the baton rightly to the next to ensure that we all finished the race well together. Hence, learning and growing is done in the context of the community where the experienced pass on all that they have learnt to successive generations. So, we come together to learn and share in corporate worship. Weekend worship celebrations therefore become a highpoint for all believers to be inspired for the race.

The best learning and growing experience is always set in the context of a small community such as our cell groups. This is also where the heart-beat of

in daily Christian life. The latter, for example, equips us to deal with forces of evil and darkness and principalities and power which will invariably confront us in our practice of faith and journey in life. Finally, we want to be intentional in raising generations of leaders. Leaders must multiply themselves. Apostle Paul said, “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others” (2 Timothy 2:2). We want to give a strong push to this discipling-mentoring culture so that we raise up strong and godly leaders in a certain culture. These leaders will reflect a culture of authenticity, generosity, faith, courage, humility and holiness. More than that, we also take on the biblical perspective of a two-generational leadership development and succession plan. This is crucial for effective longterm leadership capacity and transition. But it will be leaders who are also servants. Such servanthood culture pleases God, touches lives and impacts the world. May we accomplish this marathon and relay well to the glory of God.

Classroom context learning and training in our School of Leadership is also an important part of equipping exercise. These lessons are not just cognitive in nature. Courses such as “Prayer as a lifestyle and “Spiritual Warfare” are affective and of great practical relevance

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Seek First His Kingdom and His Righteousness As there is no better way to begin the New Year than to seek the face of God, DUMC usually begins the year with a 14-day Fast & Prayer accompanied by Church Morning Prayer at 5.30 am. This year was no different. The 14-day Fast & Prayer started on 2 January 2012. When we “seek fir st His kingdom and His righteousness”, God promised in Matthew 6:33 that “all these things will be given to you as well.” Isaiah 30:18b also promised, “Blessed are all who wait for Him”. Many who have been to the Church Morning Prayer have in the past testified how much they enjoyed and benefitted. The response this year to the Church Morning Prayer was very encouraging. On the first morning, Hall 1 which is the usual morning prayer venue, was totally packed even after extra chairs were added. Almost 700 people turned up and Pr Daniel immediately called for the venue to be changed to the Auditorium for subsequent mornings. It was thus heartening to see average attendance of about 700 people every morning with many bringing their young children with them. This year, we also did something new. We focused on 14 psalms of ascent, one psalm each morning. And instead of Pr Daniel delivering

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sermonettes every morning, all the pastors took turn to do the sermonettes and Pr Daniel would do the final wrap-up. To gauge the response to Church Morning Prayer, people were randomly approached to share about their experience, what motivated them to wake up each morning for church and how they have benefitted. Here are some responses which will surely encourage you. Soo Wei Leng As the Word of God is new every morning, it charges me up for the day and gives me the peace to face the day’s challenges. Prayers also enabled me to stay connected to God. Pat Wong It was such an awesome experience to worship God early in the morning, feel His loving presence and being able to pray with one another. Prior to the Church Morning Prayer, I was hesitant about attending. I was afraid of being late for work but I have learnt to put my fears aside and just trust Him. I sensed the Lord telling me to trust Him as He is in control of my life just like the conductor of an orchestra.

Rupert Ling In this season, I am reminded that God does not record our sins or none of us would have been alive. And whenever we sin, we should be quick to confess and ask for His forgiveness. Mark Chay I like the ambience in the morning worship and I could sense God’s presence. I also received assurance from God that He heard our prayers. Arthur Ngo & family The psalms are short, direct to its point and ministers to our hearts. Every morning, Edna (my wife), Sharon (daughter) and I received and learnt a new message. We appreciate the sharing and insights of the different pastors on


message, I was overwhelmed with joy that I could not hold back my tears. the psalms of ascent. We are enlightened that God is faithful. He keeps no record of our sins. He protects us from the enemy. Ong Hooi Siang I enjoy soaking in His presence during praise and worship so much that I drove myself to church even when one of my eyes was not well because of an infection. I also find peace, assurance, joy and strength when I focus on God and His promises. Tan Boon Hoe This is my first experience of morning prayer having just being led by Pr Daniel to re-dedicate my life to Jesus on 31 October 2011. Although Psalm is not an easy book for me to understand, I have learnt many attributes about our God from the Church Morning Prayer. I have learnt that He is our protector, helper, provider and creator. As He is holy, we should quickly seek His forgiveness when we have sinned. Kumbang anak Samat @ Bugs Psalm 126:5-6 “Those who sow with tears, will reap with songs of joy. Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them” Last year, I had a burden for the lost just like Jeremiah (in Jeremiah 9:1) and Paul (in Romans 10:1). Through the psalms, the Lord is saying to me, “You will return to the field, not to sow but to reap; not to weep but to rejoice.” When I received this

Last year, I came to seek God’s face alone but this year, God has enabled my wife and two young daughters to join me in seeking His face as a family. Catherine Chang While morning devotion prepares oneself for the day, the 14-day Church Morning Prayer is excellent as it will prepare me for the whole year. It is wonderful to have God as my partner right from the start of the year where I begin by telling Him that I need Him in my talk and walk to be what He wants me to be and that I do not walk alone. This was my third year participating in the 14-day Church Morning Prayer. For the last two years, Pr Daniel had shared his personal thoughts, vision and plan for the church. Knowing and understanding the direction of the church is also important and as he shared, I also learnt to understand him as a person and a leader.

morning prayer. Thirdly, there is a fellow brother in Christ who needs transport from me. Fourthly, I would like to be the catalyst for the attendance of my children. Fifthly, I have to overcome both old and new obstacles that may be obstructing my spiritual growth and finally, I would like to reinforce “discipline” into my life. I have also benefitted in many ways. By being consistent in my attendance, I have re-built some discipline into my life. I am pleased that my children are attending the morning prayer with me. I have also been able to accompany a new fellow brother in his time of need. I have had the privilege to pair with others in prayer. Above all, I have been able to “communicate” with the Holy Spirit over certain matters of personal importance.

This year is even more wonderful. I have heard from more than 10 pastors, sharing their thoughts from different psalms. This is one way I could know my pastors better. How would I get to follow them if I do not know them, right? Robbin Khoo There are many reasons which motivated me to attend this year’s Church Morning Prayer. Firstly, I needed to seek the Lord for yet another year’s journey with Him as my “travelling partner”. Secondly, I wanted to lead a new believer who is on fire for the Lord to experience the early

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Irene Lim, visitor from another church I was so ENCOURAGED to see so many people seeking the face of God in the early mornings of a new year. It is great to see the church obeying the call of Pr Daniel as DUMC's shepherd, and how the shepherd quietly supported his pastors by sitting in front as they took their position in the pulpit. I also appreciate how Pr Daniel would wrap up each morning and lead the flock in prayer covering many areas of one’s lives. What a great way to build momentum for the body of Christ in the New Year. It was indeed a joy to be in the company of fellow believers to meet with God, worship Him and hear what He had to say through the messages. I also love to hear the sound of the shofars, as if calling in the glory of God and I imagine

how it would please His Holy Spirit as He comes and fill the sanctuary. It was awesome to be in God's presence each morning!

mighty and loving. How guilty I have been of doing things on my own strength and not necessarily by His Holy Spirit's leading.

As I tuned in to hear God's words in the Psalms, I realised there is so much more we can learn and build our character to be of service to Him. I was reminded to check if I am walking with Jesus Christ and turning to Him for ANYTHING and EVERYTHING. I was also reminded of the "Martha spirit" in me. I need not do great exploits. This message escalated and confirmed the Scripture I so desire to focus in 2012.

As a visitor to DUMC, it was indeed wonderful to see so many leaders and pastors worshipping corporately. Seeing men seeking God and huddling together to pray, what a sight to behold! It will so wonderful to emulate. I pray that I do not let the ember die but I would be able to bring the zeal and encouragement of DUMC to my smaller and much-to-learn congregation.

In John 11:40, Jesus said, "Just believe and see the glory of God". How I want to increase my faith and trust God who is

All glory and praise to Him. May God’s favour rests on DUMC as you make disciples and multiply leaders.

Reconciling with one’s sin by Dr Paul Nah, PJ North 2

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before the 14-day Church Morning Prayer, Pr Daniel kept encouraging the church to attend. He had good reasons to. Prayer he reiterated is the power house of the church. The need to pray is our humble admission that we can do little spiritually without the help of the Almighty God. I heard his plea. But I was reluctant. Getting up in the wee hours of the morning is not my cup of tea. I am after all an owl and not a lark. Larks sleep early and wake up early. They should be the ones to attend early morning prayer. In contrast, I am an owl. I sleep late and wake up late. I am only good for watchnight celebrations. But Pr Daniel’s plea spurred me to commit myself.

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I was impressed that DUMC had so many pastors who could deliver such inspiring sermonettes. This is proof that the baton of leadership is being passed on to the next generation. Each sermonette was a gem in

its own right. But I was particularly touched by the session taken by Elder Pr Datuk Kee Sue Sing on the 11th morning. He dealt with the difficult subject of reconciling with one’s sin and he did it with such gentleness, care, tenderness and non-judgementalism. Anguish of the soul, he said, can come through harbouring sin. No Christian is exempt from this challenge. But having sinned, we must not be tempted to hide or trivialise it. Help is but a prayer away. Pr Kee then shared about a sinner who was struggling with a sin he had committed over and over again. He came before God, head bowed, to ask Him to forgive him for the 19th time in that same month! God replied, ”Where have you sinned for 19 times?” For it says in Psalm 130:3, “ If you, O Lord, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand? “ So at best this sinner had only one sin that is in current need of being settled.

There are other verses in the Bible that comforts us as we struggle with sin. Micah 7:19 “You will ...... hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.” 1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” Hebrews 10:17 “Then he adds: ‘Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.’” Pr Kee then exhorted all Christians who were struggling with sin to go forth to the altar to pray for God’s forgiveness. I said to myself, “No way am I going out there and let everyone know that I am a sinner?” Then my wife next to me got up. She nudged me, not gently, with her right foot. Having lived with her for 39 years, I could read her body language well. She was, in effect, saying to me, “I am a sinner and I know you are too. We both need to go to the altar.” With some reluctance I yielded.


Abstract art to depict DUMC values by Adeline Chia, First Touch Ministry

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he 2012 DUMC calendar is a celebration of dreams interpreted into action in the form of abstract art. The shapes and colours illustrate discipleship and the culture that we want to build as a church; a culture that is: • Humility • Holiness • Authenticity • Generosity • Faith • Courage • Servanthood

How did the idea come about? The idea of a desktop calendar for everyone was birthed at a meeting in mid2011 where Pr J-Son, Tau Fei and I explored on how we can convey and integrate DUMC values into the marketplace. It is one of the first projects of First Touch Ministry (FTM). This new ministry which started in the second half of 2011, seeks to create an environment and culture where “everyone” who walks through the doors of Dream Centre feels welcome and is touched by the Lord through His people. One of the components of FTM is publication. Putting a desktop calendar in every DUMC member’s workplace and home gives DUMC members the platform to use the abstract art to introduce DUMC values to the people around them. We have often heard of testimonies where people get saved by just picking up a literature about salvation or reading a poster on God’s love! Imagine the time frame of 12 months that God can work through the calendar.

Behind the project When God’s work is done in God’s way, God Himself provides. When it comes to budgeting and all the necessary approvals, we found this to be so true for this project.

The concept of having abstract art for a church calendar is interesting but not easy. It takes a creative mind to think out of the box. For every piece of artwork representing each month of the the year, we have a description for the artwork which also depicts a value towards creating a certain kind of culture in DUMC. These descriptions are to be easily understood even by pre-believers. In the course of this project, I was certainly desperate in prayers. There were many nights when the project team had to work into early morning. I became anxious with each unfolding day as it meant nearer to year end and the distribution timeline. By the time the final artwork was ready for the printer, we were behind schedule but thank God for

wonderful partnerships and many who went the extra mile, the calendar was ready in time for distribution during the Watchnight celebration. It was entirely God’s inspiration, grace and strength that brought us through to the final product that you now have on your desk. I thank the Lord who is a God who does not work according to man’s timing but His timing. All glory and praise to Him alone!

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Restored

by God’s Grace

by Lynette Yee, PJ North 3

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was raised in a Christian family. I attended church services since I was a toddler. As a child, I attended Sunday school and as a youth, I was in every church camp, choir and performance. I held leadership positions, faithfully went for Bible study sessions and joined short term mission trips. As a newly married young adult, I was regular in church attendance, prayer meetings and cell group. Then a series of events shook the very foundation of my faith, beginning with the birth of my daughter and the eventual breakdown of my marriage. With one disappointment after another, I concluded that God did not care. One morning, after another sleepless night, I decided to turn my back on God. I took a big box, put in all my Bibles, my study guides, my Christian books and threw that box out. Then I packed one suitcase for myself and one suitcase for my daughter, and left my marriage and my home. I stopped attending church and cut off contact with most of my Christian friends. Thereafter, it was a quick downhill slide. I turned to alcohol. I started smoking. I took recreational drugs and was into one

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destructive relationship after another. That was how I lived for 13 long years. When my daughter turned 13, I decided to take her out of the local school system. Her father decided to send her to a learning centre that was being set up in his church. Initially, I was very cautious about the other parents at the centre. I subsequently found them to be genuinely warm, despite me being a non-churchgoing divorced mother. Their unconditional acceptance was new to me. Bit by bit, I opened up to one of the mothers. When I revealed some unpleasant truths about myself, all I received from her was compassion and kindness. I was not judged or frowned upon and this really moved me. Although I was shown the love and compassion of God, initially, I refused to acknowledge it. After 13 years, I was bitter, angry, resentful, ashamed, guilty, hurt, scarred, fearful and hardened. I was torn. Here was God, nudging me, reminding me, gently but consistently. And there I was, feeling fearful and condemned. I was determined to stay away from God. After all, I had survived on my own for many years.

One night, after a bad day at work and at home, the years of buried hurt and pain surfaced and I felt extremely broken. The physical pain in my heart was so bad that I could hardly breathe. All through the 13 years, I only cried a few times but that night, I must have cried for two hours. I felt like I was alone in a deep hole, surrounded by nothing but darkness, desperation and despair. I had a choice. I could end it all with the bottle of pills I had in my hand or I could reach out to ask for help with the phone in my other hand. It was almost midnight. I sent a text to the only real friend I had. My text read, “Are you busy? I need your help.” Almost immediately, as if she had been waiting for me to ask, came her reply, “Call me at home.” I did. My friend listened to my crying for a long time. I cannot recall our conversation if we had one. She prayed for me and I remembered feeling God’s love and compassion flowing through her into me. That was the start of a long and often painful healing process. Issues that I had buried, even forgotten, surfaced one by one. I cried every night. But God is faithful and very personal. Over the next


three weeks, God showed me time and time again that He was with me. In the first week, I received the same Bible verse at least eight different times from different individuals via email, text message and Facebook. The verse said, “My grace is sufficient for you, My power is made perfect in your weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). Never before had the word “grace” meant so much to me. After everything I had done and said, after experiencing the goodness of God as a child and a young adult and willfully walked away with full knowledge of what I was doing, living in absolute contrast to the morals and principles I had grown up with, and in total disregard for the Word of God, there was NOTHING in my life or in my character that deserved His forgiveness, mercy and love. I was unworthy. His grace was all I had left. I continued to cry at night for various reasons. Sometimes, I felt sad. Other times, I was afraid or struggled to forgive myself which was not easy. There were times when I was moved by how real and personal God was. One night after I had fallen asleep from sheer exhaustion, I woke up in the middle of the night and had an awesome experience. There was a very real, warm, bright, reassuring and holy Presence in my room. It was so pure that I did not dare to breathe for fear that I would contaminate the atmosphere. After a while, the presence faded but the sense of awe lingered for a long time.

I had previously also experienced the manifestations of evil spirits in me and they were always scary. God delivered me from them last August. God also delivered me from all my addictions and unhealthy habits. I woke up one morning and had no desire to smoke or take drugs and I had no withdrawal symptoms. I used to take pills at night to sleep. I have not taken a single pill in the last year and a half, and I sleep well every night. Do I still cry? Yes, I do but it is no longer from pain or hurt. I cry when I reflect on the grace of God and His unfailing love for me. He reached out to me even though I was unworthy of Him. My story is an on-going one. I am still learning. The Bible has come alive for me. God teaches me and speaks to me through His Word. I have started to attend DUMC weekend celebrations. I now hunger for more of Him and I desire to be in His presence always. God has been bringing individuals who are hurting into my life. If I could pass on some of the compassion, grace, mercy, kindness and love that I have been shown and if that someone could be rescued from the brink of despair by the reality of a personal God, then my struggles would have been worth it. His grace is abundant for all.

On another night, while I was in bed, I suddenly realised the stillness in my room and I heard a voice saying, “My peace I give to you.” Then a warm feeling covered me like a blanket and I felt a deep sense of assurance. I have since felt the same warmth many times. Sometimes it comes down upon me, flowing from my head all the way down to my toes. Sometimes, it starts from the inside and spreads out. Other times, it envelops all of me at the same time.

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Tamil Congregation Christmas Party 2011

by Low Mei Ling, Floodgates

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small group of young adults and youths were on their knees in the Concourse very engrossed in something. As I neared them, I recognised one of the young adults. He explained that he had designed a Christmas Kolam and they were in the process of transferring the pattern onto the floor. Kolam is a form of Indian painting drawn using colourful rice powder. Hours later, the same group was still on bended knees working on the Kolam. Having marked out the outline of their picture in white, they started to carefully fill up the picture with colourful rice powder. It was a very tedious process which required much patience. I saw the same group of people enthusiastically working on the Kolam again the following night. I was very touched by such commitment. They were members of our Tamil Congregation preparing for a big Christmas Party on 11 December 2011. There were both hard work and excitement as different groups prepared for weeks prior to the party. Another group had been busy coaching the children to do ornaments for decorating a huge Christmas tree during the party. There were also the dance and singing practices.

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All the effort was well worth it when you see the excitement of both the young and old who came to the party. More than 600 people packed into Hall 1. Although the Tamil Congregation started with the children ministry a few years ago, it is interesting to observe that the adult segment has grown very fast. Even at the party, there were more adults than children. It is amazing to see how when God’s people heeded His call to sow, He provided the increase. It was probably the first Christmas party for many who came. After a welcome address by Pr Daniel, there was carol singing, a skit and dances that carried the Christmas message. Many were delighted to go home with huge hampers of goodies when their numbers were drawn. Amidst the fun, the true meaning of Christmas was also conveyed to all. Pr Ravi explained the significance of the star on top of the Christmas tree and how Jesus can make a real difference in one’s life. Many hands went up in response to Pr Ravi’s altar call. As the party came to a close, there was a look of satisfaction on the faces of the volunteers of the Tamil Congregation.

People had a wonderful time and the turnout was higher than expected. Seeds were sown in the lives of many who needed to know the Lord. There was also an unexpected bonus. One of their fellow volunteers decided to take a step of faith to believe in Jesus, led by Pr Daniel. What a Christmas present for all who serve in the Tamil Congregation!


“Cili Padi” XYZ Camp 2011 by Liew Hong Jin, Floodgates

“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12).

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he recent XYZ Camp is aptly entitled “Cili Padi”. Just like the Cili Padi, small but extremely spicy chillies, our youths may be small in size but they can be big spiritual giants and prominent change agents for God. The XYZ Camp held in Bayu Beach Resort, Port Dickson from 18 to 21 December 2011, was attended by 200 youths. On the first day of camp, brother Kau Sern, who is also a DUMC zone leader encouraged everyone not to pre-judge or jump into conclusions but to follow the Lord, who does not judge based on outward appearance but looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7). This point reminded me of a message I once heard that if we act based on “T.H.E.Y.” which is the fear of men and not on the reverence of God, we will reap devastating consequences. Brother Kau Sern shared on how Saul, the first king of Israel lost the Spirit of God when he did not obey God but gave in to the demands of the people because he was afraid of them. Hence, in all that we do, we need to check our motive. Are we doing because of fear of God which will result in God’s glory or out of fear of men? Pr Pragas Kanapathy of Excel Point Community Church, who was our camp speaker echoed brother Kau Sern’s message with the equation “SIZE ≠ POWER”. He shared examples of

many young people like David and Josiah who were mightily used by God. David was still a boy when he was anointed as king by Samuel. Josiah was only eight years old when he became king and he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord. In the 18th year of Josiah’s reign, he ordered for the renovation of the temple with the tax monies collected. The Bible also records the account of a boy whose five loaves and two fish were used miraculously by Jesus to feed five thousand people. As “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (according to Acts 4:12), Pr Pragas encouraged everyone to put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ. He also urged us to exercise faith and live out our camp verse, 1 Timothy 4:12 at all times and in all trials. He expanded on Hebrews 11:1 about “faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see”. He shared with great conviction on how God had financially provided for his wedding and for a mega event, “Revo@Pisa” which involved the gathering of thousands of young people in Penang for His purpose. He asserted all these were made possible because of faith.

of the past but during the altar call on the third day, God really ministered to me. He helped me overcome my issues. I am no longer bonded by the shackles of my past. Indeed, “For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10). God also spoke to me during Pr Matthew Foo’s session when he spoke on Songs of Songs 2:15, “Catch all the foxes, those little foxes, before they ruin the vineyard of love, for the grapevines are blossoming!” Those “foxes” are similar to the temptations of the devil but because God loves us, He will help us to catch those “foxes” that ruin our vineyard of love. We should thus not depend on our strength but His strength to overcome our issues. Towards the closing of the camp, when Pr Foo spoke about not holding on to the past but move forward by the grace of God, I believe God intervened and set many free from all kinds of bondages. And when the Son sets us free, we will be free indeed.

The highlight of the camp for me was to soak in God’s manifest presence and be ministered by Him. On the first three days of camp, I struggled with my issues

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Kindle

7 stories that stirred hearts and changed lives

by the ”Kindle” team

DUMC’s Punctuation ministry

which produces our yearly stage productions decided to do something different this recent Christmas. Instead of a traditional musical, nine members of “The Vessel” (DUMC Performing Arts Academy) staged “Kindle” on 16, 17 and 18 December 2011. It was a collection of stories based on people still living today, told through monologues, dance and songs. The presentation was simple yet very powerful and impactful. Many in the audience echoed the sentiments that it touched them to the very core as “there was a part of me in those stories.” It was amazing that majority of the nine members of “The Vessel” involved in Kindle had no prior serious performing arts experience. By joining “The Vessel” in early 2011, they committed themselves to regular classes in singing, dancing and acting for almost the entire year. The time commitment was taxing but the end result was worth it all. “The Vessel” was birthed as a result of casting difficulties in previous productions where an actor did not sing or dance; a dancer did not sing or act. On top of that, it is the vision of our church leadership that God’s people should also

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make a difference and impact in the domain of performing arts. To give us an idea of what it was like to be in “The Vessel” and be involved in “Kindle”, here are what some of the members have to share.

Kao Chee Ming, actor When I turned 50 last January, I decided to maximize my next 20 years in active service. I started an office fellowship and besides being involved in other ministries, I wanted to sharpen my skills in singing and dancing through “The Vessel”. I confess I was initially confident. However, after watching video replays of our rehearsals, the reality set in. I did not like what I saw and it was a humbling realisation. As it was too late to withdraw, from then on, I committed it to the Lord in prayer so that the performance became a “pray-formance” – as taught to us by Michael Voon, the director of “Kindle”. God is good. When I fumbled in my performance on the second night, I felt very bad but I was comforted by the words that were released to me earlier, “God is not done with you.” God graciously dealt with me within 24 hours and my “pray-formance” peaked on the

following night. I also knew that His message cut through from the feedback given to me at the end.

Sara-Ann Yong, actor

Prior to joining “The Vessel”, I did not know anyone in DUMC as my family had only just joined the church. Now a year later, I have made many friends. My role in “Kindle” was not easy. I praise God for the strength and courage He gave me to portray the role. I also thank God for giving me the opportunity to shine His light and the confidence to sharpen my acting abilities. It is amazing how a group of strangers has come together by God’s grace and grown to become a family. Being a part of “The Vessel” and “Kindle” family has been a tremendous blessing. I am glad to be a member of the team that made a difference during those three nights of production.

Erin Lim, dancer I was excited at the opportunity to join “The Vessel” as I have always wanted to sharpen my skills in performing arts. I prayed for God’s provision as I was financially tight. To lessen my parents’ financial burden, I was planning to pay my fees by installment should I get a place in the academy. What a pleasant


were completed within a week (drawing and painting). After that, it was full steam ahead for the art pieces for the exhibition. With a full-time job, I woke up at 3.00 am every morning to paint. It was amazing how God moved as I completed all the 18 pieces of art within two-and-ahalf months. Usually it would take me that amount of time to complete 1 piece. Each time I picked up the paint brush, it was as if God held my hand and moved it. His inspiration and direction were crystal clear in each piece of work. Thank God for the privilege to honour Him first and foremost with the gifts that are His. I am but His vessel to use. Hallelujah!

Chow Hung Lan, Head of Punctuation

“Kindle” was a journey that took me from the depths of racism to the joy of being a Malaysian. In writing the scripts, I discovered hidden and unspoken thoughts within me that needed to be dealt with.

surprise when I was informed that on top of passing the audition, someone had fully sponsored my fees! How this person knew my need, I do not know. But I thank God for answering my prayer in a way beyond my imagination. The Lord is not only my Saviour, Comforter and Friend, He is also my Provider. “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever” (Ephesians 3:20,21).

Annice Lyn, dancer

I was initially afraid to join “The Vessel” but went ahead when I felt God urging me forward. Throughout the programme, there were many ups and downs. Nevertheless, the joy of the Lord was my strength and continues to be. It was a privilege to be part of “The Vessel”. I learnt more about myself – my strengths and weaknesses through the months of training. I am glad to be able to glorify and praise God through performing arts. It is also wonderful to know of the salvations on the three nights of production.

Rebekah Lee, singer

God’s sovereign hand was in every process. He inspired every member one step at a time, one day at a time and when He eventually put everything

together, it was like watching a beautiful movie with its pieces fitted exactly to the plot in perfect pacing. God taught me that He is the One who has the perfect timing. I walked away from “Kindle”, humbled to have been part of something inspired and directed by Him.

In the “Suresh” story for example, I saw my own ugliness and realised that there was a racist in me. Whilst we often point a finger at others for their racist remarks, I realised I can be racist towards my own “race” – those who live and think differently from me. As the words poured onto the page, so God too, poured out His grace in forgiving a hypocrite like me.

Angela Saik, singer

In “Tanah tumpahnya darahku”, the pictures of the various mission schools that accompanied “The Way We Were” reminded me of the obedience of our spiritual forefathers in heeding His call to “make disciples of all nations.” I am proud to be an alumni of the Methodist Girls’ School Ipoh where the first seeds of the gospel was sown into my life. To this day, I remember Mrs. Subramaniam’s words when I was eight, “Always start the morning in prayer, thanking God for a new day.” Thirty years on, these words still ring in my ears. If not for the missionaries who gave their all for God, I may not have heard those words.

Tommy Chen, set designer and artist

“Kindle” left a deep mark in my life as it did in many others. Thank God for His hand of mercy on those of us who could very easily forget His grace upon our lives. Thank God for His love towards those who, before this, never knew Him. May the seeds sown in the messages behind the stories take root and grow deep in each life.

“Kindle” kindled my love for my country, the outcasts and those hurting in silence yet unable to help themselves out of the black hole. I am very encouraged to hear testimonies of how the message and stories from “Kindle” hit home for many, convicted some hearts or to the very least, created an awareness on people, things and issues surrounding them. God willing, I pray that many more hearts would be “kindled” in days to come as DUMC continues to bring forth a pertinent message of how we ALL need the true and living God in our lives, our homes, our church and our Malaysia.

In the midst of preparing for my art exhibition scheduled in January 2012, I was approached to design the sets for “Kindle”. With only three months to go and many more pieces of art to complete, there was a tug-of-war within me – to serve the Lord or to think of the deadline that I have to meet. With much prayer and grace from God, the sets

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Sewing for a better future by Mary Anne Tan, PJ South 1 Since 2007, Jumble Station (JS) has been helping many poor single parents and it is gratifying indeed to see some of them emerging successfully after overcoming some rather crippling psychological challenges. One example is Adrian Ong who flew so high as a much vaunted local fashion designer back in the late 1990s but fell so low to the point of attempting to commit suicide when his business partner abruptly quit and left him with huge debts in 2007. Adrian became a single father when he “adopted” a baby girl left in his rented premises by the girl’s parents. Over the last three years, Adrian has been assisted, encouraged, mentored and guided by JS co-founders. There are many poor people out there who need to be taught to fish rather than been given a fish on a daily basis. They need to break their crippling poverty cycle to go beyond just surviving. Yet to achieve that, they need to master the skills that will enable them to obtain gainful employment or the income they require to feed and care for their children.

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Realising this, JS had Adrian to train the more disadvantaged groups to learn the art of fashion designing and sewing so they will have a new skill for their survival. Adrian runs a small boutique just above the Jalan Othman bus station at PJ Old Town and he specialises in baju kurungs, baju kebayas as well as wedding gowns. Four women were specially selected by JS to join this brand new sewing station. Normala is a mother of three kids whose husband earns barely enough to feed the family. Suhaibah is a single mother who currently works in the mornings at JS. Ani has a deaf mute kid while Yong Fong Pheng is an illiterate, deaf mute mum who has problems getting jobs. The four began lessons in September 2011 twice a week from 7.00 -10.00 pm. They were taught the basics of how to sew a child’s baju kurung before moving onto the intermediate lessons of adult dresses and graduate to high end fashion within a one year period. Three other newcomers who are also keen to learn sewing have signed up for

the course and they are just as excited to be a part of this newly established JS collaborative project. The idea is to get all these women trained to expectations so that they can work from home in their own time and the clothes they make can be sold at Amcorp Mall where JS has a weekend presence while others will be set aside in anticipation of the coming year’s Hari Raya celebration. Those who are keen to learn sewing and fashion designing may contact Adrian at 012 661 9211 for more details. About Jumble Station Jumble Station (JS) is the social entrepreneurship arm of Parents Without Partners, an NGO. It collaborates with Community Excel Services on Food Bank and all matters pertaining to the needs of single parents in DUMC. JS operates a secondhand shop and accepts all undamaged items (clothes, toys, collectibles, books, CDs, DVDs, furniture, electrical and electronic items, gifts etc) except plants and pets. Please call 016 220 2958 for collection of bulky items or drop them at either Dream Centre or F1-01-05 Angsana Flats Subang Mewah USJ1 Subang Jaya.


Who do you call when in distress? by Maggie Ee, PJ North 2

"I call on you, O God, for you will answer me; give ear to me and hear my prayer" (Psalm 17:6).

O

n one early Saturday morning at 3.00 am in mid-October 2011, my daughter, Mary-Ann called me from a police station in Florence, Italy. It was 8.30 pm on Friday in Florence. My heart sank even though I am a relatively strong person. What could have happened? Mary-Ann works in UK and was on a work assignment in Florence. The trip went well until the eve of her return to London. She just had dinner with a friend in a nice restaurant at the hotel she was staying. As it was winter time, she had her overcoat on another chair. The coat also covered her bag which had her passport, UK work permit, purse, house keys and other personal items. After dinner, to her horror, she could not find her bag and she needed all the documents to re-enter UK the next day. Mary-Ann was in a fix. She was stranded in Florence with no travel document and no money. Fortunately, her phone was in her pocket while her laptop was in her hotel room. Although I was awakened from my sleep, I could still tell her that she needed to make her way to the Malaysian Embassy in Rome to get a temporary passport. However, when I did a quick google of the Malaysian Embassy in Rome, there was no emergency number to call and the embassy was closed for the week-

end. Like any mother, I wanted to go to the rescue of my daughter who was in distress but here I was in Kuala Lumpur and 9,800 km away from Mary-Ann in Florence. What could I do? In the wee hours of the morning, I sank into my chair in my dark bedroom and cried out to the Lord, “Please Lord. Please help Mary-Ann. The situation is way beyond me.” I then prayed for the Lord to send a person to help her or send someone to me tomorrow with the telephone numbers of the Malaysian Embassy in Rome. After praying, I was at peace. I called Mary-Ann and asked not to worry but to get a good night rest. I promised to help her from my end in the morning although at that point, I had no idea of how and where to get help. I also have to work the next morning as Saturday is usually a very busy day at our coffee shop. When the morning came, although I was anxious for Mary-Ann, I never doubted God. At the coffee shop, I scanned the people who streamed in, hoping that one of them could be an angel from God. First, Mary-Ann’s company travel agent came in. She tried to help but her office also did not have the emergency number that I wanted. Then, lo and behold, a friend whom I have not seen for months walked in. After hearing about my daughter’s predicament, she told me not to panic. She promised to get me help. I

was relieved. As she is an influential person, with a few phone calls, she will probably be able to get the emergency number that Mary-Ann needed. However, I was stunned when all she did was one phone call in front of me and many mobile numbers of the Malaysian Embassy were forwarded to me. How was this possible? I had no prior idea that my friend was with an entourage from Malaysia which had just visited Rome two weeks earlier. She also alerted the Foreign Ministry to extend help to Mary-Ann. God could not have sent a better angel. On Monday morning, Mary-Ann was met by an Embassy staff at the Rome Central Station. The officials at the Embassy not only issued her a temporary passport but also went all out to help her get back to London smoothly. It was first class help that she received. Mary-Ann and I were in awe of our Almighty God and how He resolved her problems so amazingly. For those of us with children living abroad, we are naturally worried and often feel helpless when our children are faced with challenges so far away. Having gone through this recent episode, I will no longer be as anxious as God has shown me that He is just one prayer call away. Jesus said in Matthew 21:22, "If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer."

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Breaking new grounds in Nepal by Ng Shiuh Yun, KL Zone

O

n 24 November 2011, Pr Kelvin Yong assisted by Katherine Mah led six other members comprising YT Loh, Cathy Loh, Juliana Yeo, Keith Loh, Stanley Woo and I on a 10-day mission trip to Nepal. As this trip involved exploring potential local partnerships in new places like Imadol, Dhadingbesi and Maidi, we did not know what to expect prior to the trip. Nevertheless, we knew that God was in control and all we needed to do was to trust Him. Indeed, God looked after all our needs. In Kathmandu, He provided us with very comfortable accommodation at Love Action Nepal Guesthouse operated by Franklin, a Malaysian missionary in Nepal and a good friend of Pr Kelvin.

Miracle in Imadol During our first three days, we connected with Atonement Church in Imadol, a small town about 30 minutes away from Kathmandu. This church was estab-

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lished two years ago by Pr Padam, a Nepalese who found Jesus while working in Malaysia. We worked with the children and the youths, visited homes, preached at their celebration, did prayer walks, scripture planting and reached out to non-believers in open-air evangelism. To attract the crowd to our open-air evangelism, we sang Christmas songs, worship songs in Nepalese and English, danced, performed skits and shared our testimonies before inviting them to accept Jesus as their Saviour. We thank God for the salvations and especially for two new believers who later led us to visit Ah Mah, a paralysed old lady and Man Bahadur, a young man who was given another six months to live. Ah Mah has not been able to walk for two years. She lives with her daughter and son-in-law. We sang worship songs with her and prayed earnestly for her healing. However, nothing happened and we sensed unforgiveness on her part. On

our second visit, we worshipped to draw down the presence of God and prayed earnestly again for the Holy Spirit’s guidance. We brought Ah Mah out of her small dark room into the open. In the open where there was light and amidst the beautiful setting of the sun in the valley, the Holy Spirit led Pr Kelvin to see tattoos of the devils’ fork on her arms. The tattoos were tribal curses. Pr Kelvin then let her in a prayer to release her husband who has passed away three years ago, forgive her four sons who have abandoned her and break the tribal curses. While he was praying, Ah Mah started to move her feet even though she was seated. Before we helped her to stand, Katherine sensed the need to wash Ah Mah’s feet. We were thrilled and excited when Ah Mah started to stand. We tried to help her to walk but as her leg muscles have not functioned for two years, her legs were not strong. It will take some time for her


Cross-shaped scar

legs to regain strength. Nevertheless, we thank God for the amazing miracle and we truly believe that God has started Ah Mah on her road to recovery. The other person we visited was a 23-year-old man named Man Bahadur Tamang. After an operation two years ago, his condition did not improve. He is now given another six months to live. We shared the gospel and testimony with his family. When Man Bahadur decided to take a step of faith to accept Jesus as His Saviour, his countenance changed almost immediately. From being a subdued person, he became joyful. He lifted his shirt to show us his surgery scar. To our surprise, we saw a crossshaped scar that looked like a perfect cross. As Jesus has already marked Man Bahadur with His wound of eternal salvation, we believe He will live to tell His testimony.

Prayer changed the atmosphere in Dhadingbesi In Dhadingbesi which was about two hours away from Kathmandu, we connected with Preret Church. However, all the team members felt weighed down and uncomfortable in this place. Pr Kelvin was very discerning and he led us in a time of intercession where words and vision were released and after which we had a better understanding of the spiritual atmosphere. YT Loh had visions of half-dead animals which looked like carcasses roaming around and then Jesus shone His light to save them from the wild beasts. Other members later saw streams of living water and darkness being lifted up over the area which was heavy in idol worship and thus

spiritually very dry. After an hour of intercession, we felt refreshed, less burdened and brighter having invited God’s presence to the place. In Dhadingbesi, we were led to evangelise to a non-believing family. We count it our joy when we later had the privilege to lead the head of the family to accept Jesus. People in Maidi were hungry for God Maidi was another hour or two away by jeep from Dhadingbesi. On our way to visit Maidi Church which is the “mother church” of Preret Church, our spirit was high. We sensed the Lord’s presence as we worshipped loudly and joyfully in the jeep. It was as though angels were carrying our jeep over very difficult and dangerous mountain dirt road. God’s presence and protection were most comforting. Although we had only a day in Maidi, we had an awesome time fellowshipping with the believers in the local church. They were very hungry for the word of God and we were deeply touched by their faithfulness in Christ Jesus. In Maidi, we also had the opportunities to share three messages in church celebration, preached to the believers, reached out to the children and conduct an openair evangelism at a boarding school in Maidi town. However, it was here that Pr Kelvin had a sudden abdominal pain and we had to leave him behind in the guest house to rest. By God’s grace, he was completely healed soon after.

People were ever ready for God On our final two days in Kathmandu, apart from connecting with NeMUN, an organisation which helps Christian Nepalese who are returning or leaving Nepal, we also did street evangelism. Our church has been praying to reach out to the Newar group in Nepal and on the street, God led us to meet a young student called Punisha, who is a Newari. Katherine and YT Loh shared the gospel with her and what a joy it was to witness Punisha taking the step of faith to accept Christ along the sidewalk of Thamel. A few hours before departing for home, we felt the desire to have another openair evangelism at Ratna Park which is in the heart of the Kathmandu city. An eagle sent by the Lord directed Pr Kelvin and Katherine to the right spot to start the evangelism. In that open park that evening, more than 20 Nepalese accepted Christ after hearing the Good News and were touched by the Holy Spirit. We were in awe of what God did even in our final hours in Kathmandu and what a wonderful way to wrap up our trip. During our entire trip, we experienced God’s amazing grace. He brought us together as a united team, planned our itinerary and protected us throughout the trip. It was also God who loved us first so that we can now share His love to the people of Nepal. He is truly the God of all nations.

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BARIO, a glimpse of heaven on earth! by Maggie Tan, KL Zone

I have heard about prayer mountains and the wonderful encounters people have with God in such places. Last year, when I was asked by Georgia, my cell leader’s wife to check on prayer mountains in Sarawak, I discovered Bario which is in the Kelabit Highlands. Bario was also where the 1973 revival started. However, we did not do anything until a divine meeting with Enne Gerawat at last year’s Malaysia Cell Church Conference. When Enne Gerawat introduced herself over lunch as from Bario, my cell member, Sin Clare and I became excited. We asked her many questions and to our delight, she offered to help us with accommodation and other arrangements when we visit Bario. Enne was one of the youths who experienced the Bario revival. Although initially, we only had four people who were interested in the trip, we eventually had 13 people who made the three-day-two-night trip in December 2011. In Bario, we stayed at Ngimat Ayu Lodge. Our main purpose was to visit the school on the Prayer Mountain where the 1973 revival broke out and people saw the mountain litted up while students were praying for a revival in the school. Today, a monument is erected on this spot. We had a guide to lead us on a one-anda-half hour trek up a rather steep terrain to the mountain. Many people also

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trekked up to pray in the wooden church on the mountain. Today, there are less than 1,000 Kelabit living in Bario. Most of the young people have left to work in the bigger towns and cities while the Kelabits who have remained in Bario are the older ones. While we were in Bario, we were also given the privilege to conduct a church service at one of the local churches. Here are some defining moments experienced by other DUMC members on the trip. Liew Hunni At Bario airport, there was an unusual notice which read “Perhimpunan Pemudapemudi Kristian”. I felt like I was in another country! Then I realised that I was in God’s Kingdom, a land of His people! My experience in Bario was like a glimpse of heaven on earth; soaked in God’s awesome presence in a land of His chosen people where His majesty is portrayed in the surrounding beauty and serenity. In this place, one can only be filled with joy to praise and worship Him. The air at the picturesque Bario homestay was fresh and cool. How I wished I had bigger lungs to take it all in! I experienced God’s presence when we worshipped at the local church. I felt assured and loved, and a great sense of peace. Throughout our stay in Bario, God showed us a

myriad of His beautiful creations. He gave us stunning sunset and beautiful misty morning. He showered us with so much love. Georgia Low “Mountain experiences are not to be missed!” That was the message I received during the Missions Weekend. I am glad I went to Bario even though I was not physically fit. During the few days in Bario, I felt like I was in a different country. The weather was lovely and the scenery beautiful. Although the accommodation was basic, there was much tranquillity, joy and laughter in the air! I felt really at ease and was reminded of God’s goodness and blessings every day! I was asked to preach during the Sunday service at a local church. I was prompted to remind the locals of God’s blessings and favour upon them. Like the Israelites who are God’s chosen people, God has also chosen to bless them since the revival in 1973. I encouraged them to be excited once again so that the next generation will catch the excitement. We experienced the awesome presence of God especially when we were up in the mountain. We prayed for many things but for me, the highlight was when we prayed for the next generation with Bernice, aged ten and Ryan, aged eight, standing as proxies. One of the pointers that I took


home from the trip was the importance of praying and bringing up the next generation well! We are also God’s chosen people and we need to remind ourselves of that privilege. We must not forget what God has done in our lives and we need pass on the good news to our friends and the next generation! Wendy Tan One of my objectives of going to Bario was to have an encounter with God after a great year. I had an awesome experience when I visited another prayer mountain in Murud 12 years ago. Although I did not expect my Bario experience to top my earlier experience, I desired another special encounter with God. Hence when I initially did not have any mountain-high experience, I was a bit worried. I asked the Lord to do something. I then realised that I had expected God to work the same way as 12 years ago and I was wrong. Twelve years ago, I was in a different spiritual and emotional state. Thankfully I have since grown in Him. I now have a sense of stability and quiet assurance that I did not have then and it was heart-warming to realise that. On this trip, God has planted the people of Bario in my heart. I am excited to see what He will do with His people and through me as I avail myself. I am in awe of what God has done in my life and how He has been good to me. The Bario trip was a nice closure to 2011 which had been a great year for me. God is good! Kok Poh Sim I quit my job about a year ago to pursue something else as I was stressed and unhappy at work. But my pursuit did not turn out well. Soon, I was unhappy again. I knew I had to do something about my situation but I procrastinated. I reckoned that when I sink right to the bottom, I would bounce back. Again I was wrong. I was lukewarm towards God and everything else.

My life turned around after I told God I wanted to change. I began to journal regularly, attend church prayer and signed up for the Bario trip. In Bario, God showed me His mercy and love. He removed my sense of guilt, shame and unworthiness so that I could meet Him. He reached out to me, readily forgave and accepted me. In His presence I found peace, joy and acceptance. In my defining moment with Him in Bario, I wanted nothing else but to soak in His presence. I knew I have caught a glimpse of heaven. To sweeten the trip further, God used my testimony to encourage another person at a local church. He has also blessed me with a new job! Joceline Kow Living in a busy city has made me forget how it feels to have serenity and be in harmony with peace. Every day, I had been loaded and bombarded with information and choices. Decisions are needed almost every minute. As a result, I found that I was no longer familiar with peace and quietness. However, in Bario, I found quietness and peace. On the mountain peak, as I looked down and saw myself as His creation, I was reminded of Isaiah 43:19, “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” God knew I was caught up with the rat race and He brought me to Bario to show me that I do not need to walk on earth with my own strength but to trust and depend on Him. After the trip, I feel I am now living in the present and not just looking into the future.

Allan, Maggie, Bernice & Ryan One of the reasons for us to go to Bario as a family was to allow our children, Bernice and Ryan to encounter God themselves. We thank God for enabling our children to hike up the rather steep mountain. The moment we reached the church on the mountain, we immediately felt the awesome presence of God. As a group, we prayed for many things and when we prayed for the next generation, our children had a special encounter with God for which we are thankful. We truly believe that there was a divine transaction that took place in all our hearts when we were on the Prayer Mountain. In Bario, we also had the privilege to meet Pr Solomon Bulan, the author of the book of Bario Revival. He shared with us about the 1973 revival, the current situation of the Bario people and the work he is now doing with the Penan people. We were physically and spiritually renewed by our trip. We had an awesome time catching a glimpse of heaven on earth, soaking in the beauty of the mountain, fellowshipping with one another and savouring the local produce namely the Bario rice, Bario salt and pineapple. If we had more time, there were many other interesting activities we could have done like jungle trekking, visit the salt lake and trek to the nearby Penan and other villages. Bario is accessible by air and is a wonderful venue for a cell retreat. For more information, visit www.ebario.com.

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What’s your report card like? by Pr Chris Kam

D

ecember ought to be a time not just of celebration but of reflection. Whether it is true that time seems to pass faster as one grows older, time will always be a precious commodity. Each second spent is either spent wisely or foolishly. Carpe Diem! Seize the day! “But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness” (Hebrews 3:13). I wonder if we are called to account for our time one day, what would our report card be like? Over a delightful lunch with an older couple, the husband expressed his loving concern about his wife's over-involvement in ministry as she is a cancer survivor. I appreciate where he was coming from. The wife on the other hand felt that she would really like to do her best in her last lap of life. They both realised that God had given them a second chance to come alive spiritually in their 60's. I know where their hearts are. I was waiting for that stroke of wisdom from the Lord, which I often would pray for when I am stuck and not knowing what else to say because both of them have each other’s interest at heart. It came. I turned to him and asked this simple question. "What would your report card, and your wife's, be like when you meet the Lord one day?" We both know that there will come a day when our works will be judged for our rewards (Matthew 16:24-27; Romans 2:6). "What do you mean?" he asked. I replied him with another question. "Would you agree that someday Jesus will ask us to account for what we have done for Him?"

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face of his wife. My wife and I took the chance to affirm the husband's concern and encouraged the wife to take care of herself too. That begged the question for all of us: What would our report cards be like? I think it is good to review what our 2011 was like and what we hope 2012 will be. I did a short exercise with my office colleagues with this question: "What is one thing you would like to do more, and one thing you will do less, in 2012?" Pareto’s principle opined that 20% of what we do will yield 80% of the result. Often, we are frustrated with doing too many unimportant and trivial things, burning out and feeling very dissatisfied with our lives. That sparked off many interesting discussion in the breakout groups. I am sure each person can list more than one thing each. But often, it is better to do one thing well, than to do ten things and do them mediocrely, or not at all. Why don't you sit down for an hour or so and work that through. It may change the way you live out 2012. There are a number of areas you can work on: Physical (exercise, travel) Social (more time for leisure, hobbies, friends, families) Emotional (counselling and healing needed) Mental (challenging the mind, studies, reading) Spiritual (prayer, Bible, conferences, trainings)

He answered in the affirmative. I asked further, "What's yours like and what's your wife's?" It seemed like something struck him as he was silent for a moment. He said, "Yah ... never thought of it that way."

There will definitely be a need to cut down on time wasters and make more time to invest in things that will last for eternity. They are inevitably always link to people and relationships. I have included a link below where you can download an excellent tool called “Life Growth Plan” to help in your reflection.

His lamenting stopped but not his concern, and I could see a smile on the

Apostle Paul had a different way of saying it and that is to "put off" and "put

on" (Ephesians 4:22-24). The metaphor of putting off the old self of corrupted deceitful desires and putting on the new self of righteousness and holiness is an apt way of showing how to sort out our priorities in life. This requires careful prayer and reflection. I am not suggesting that we earn God’s salvation by our works. Apostle Paul argued that we are saved by grace through faith so that none of us can boast except in the mercy of God (Ephesians 2:8-9). However Apostle James argued that faith without works is dead. The report card here is not about earning our salvation, but the expression of a genuine salvation experience that results in good works. There must never be a disconnect between our professed faith and a transformed life. Even John the Baptist reminded us in Matthew 3:8 that we must show the fruit of our repentance! “A sluggard does not plow in season; so at harvest time he looks but finds nothing” (Proverbs 20:4). Have a great 2012! Life Growth Plan: http://hungryforgodsword.blogspot.com/ (Download “Life Growth Plan Booklet” under “Documents Download”)


KINDLE - Christmas production

Children’s Church Christmas Party

Christmas in Dream Centre

Kid’s Haven Christmas Party

Christmas Day Celebration

Myanmar Christmas Party

Nepalese Sangati Christmas Party

Tamil Congregation Christmas Party

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