Year of Jubilee by Senior Pastor Dr Daniel Ho
n 16 September, 50 years ago, the Federation of Malaysia, comprising Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak, was formed. 50 years is a crucial time in the history of a nation and the Bible calls this year the Year of Jubilee. In Leviticus 25:10, God’s people are called “to proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants.” The Year of Jubilee thus ushers in a time of freedom. It is a time where people are free to be the kind of people God has made them to be and where the land is released to rest and rejuvenate itself. Everything is restored to its original owner and everyone returns to their own property and land. It is a time where all encumbrances are removed and every bondage broken. It is truly a year of freedom. In this Year of Jubilee, may Malaysia experience the same freedom and breakthrough. That people from every ethnic and religious group in the nation would be treated with dignity and respect and live without fear or favour. True freedom comes from justice and fairness. This is where the rich do not become richer at the expense of the poor. God has designed into the economy of the world such that the rich and poor would live fairly and equitably. This is crucial for any nation if the nation is to experience genuine freedom and the people are to live in peace. People are not exploited and the land is not abused by the greed of man incessantly. The Year of Jubilee is also a testimony to faith. When we release both people and the land to rest, one has to trust God for provision and His continued blessings ahead. This is what it should be really for the people of God: faith to believe God for His continued supply;
both for a good year and another great year ahead! This is also what we want to believe God for this beloved land of ours, that He will turn this nation around and make it into a great nation. With the kind of talents, gifts and experience of the people in our nation as well as the resources available, there is no reason why Malaysia cannot rise up to become a leading nation in Asia. Much ground has been lost but we want to have faith as God’s people to believe that we can turn our nation around. A good example is in football. Malaysia was one of the leading nations in Asia in football in the late sixties and the seventies. There is no reason why this cannot be repeated today. And as in football, so can it be in many other fields. We need faith in God to believe that a day will come when Malaysia will be transformed into a leading light. Many Malaysians around the world are already among the leading lights in their respective expertise. In the meantime, it requires radical commitment and hard work from everyone in the nation. It is a call for all to stay and play their part. Finally, the Year of Jubilee says that there is a future for the people and the land. With that freedom and faith in God, it means that there must be a great future ahead. This was what the people of God had when everything returned to square one as it were. People, land and things were all returned and restored. It meant that justice was restored and equality had come; that all abuse and exploitation had ceased. It meant that the poor and marginalised can once again live with dignity and respect.
When there is justice and equality in the land and among the people, there is real hope for the future. This is what causes a nation to be strong: where exploitation of people and the land ceases and abuse of power or position stops. Justice and righteousness are the concerns of God. He uses His prophets to speak against injustice and unrighteousness again and again (Example: Amos 5:21-24). Nobody feels good and safe in a nation when there is no justice and equality. God wants every person to live freely with a sense of worth and to treat one another with dignity and respect. This can only happen when there is justice and righteousness and only a nation built on these values will be strong and lasting. God’s throne is everlasting because it is built on the foundation of justice and righteousness (Psalm 89:14). He wants every nation to replicate this on earth because God desires every nation to be strong. In this Year of Jubilee, may we all in Malaysia experience true freedom, real faith and a wonderful future ahead. May we all as a people of God rejoice in this year of release, rest, restoration and renewal. Let us pray unceasingly for this to come to pass so that there will be great celebration, joy and hope for our nation.
Klang Valley Combined Churches
Prayer Meeting by Low Mei Ling, Floodgates
n Tuesday night, 11 September 2011, the vicinity around Dream Centre was abuzz with life and activity. Cars and people were making a bee line for Dream Centre. Inside Dream Centre, DUMC’s ushers were busy making sure that everyone had a seat and different language speaking groups were ushered to the correct sections of the auditorium. Direct translations in Mandarin and Bahasa Malaysia were available for people in the gallery. Shortly after 8.00 pm, the auditorium which can accommodate 2,700 people was packed to the brim. Christians from different churches in Petaling Jaya and Kuala Lumpur had come to Dream Centre for the Klang Valley Combined Churches Prayer Meeting. What an encouraging sight it was to have God’s leaders and people from different churches and denominations braving the mid-week traffic to come together as ONE to seek His face and pray for the land. God’s people can make a real difference to their land for in 2 Chronicles 7:14, it is said, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their
land.” As God’s people, we can pray and turn the fate of our nation around so that our nation will be blessed. The Combined Churches Prayer Meeting started with a time of worship. Pr Daniel led the time together with a sharing on the meaning of the Year of Jubilee based on Leviticus. It is essentially a season of restoration, rejuvenation and celebration of liberty. As Malaysia enters into the Year of Jubilee, one would like to see the essence of Jubilee being experienced by all. However, for some people groups like the Orang Asli of our land who have been living in the jungle for generations, their dwelling rights are now being questioned. Development in the name of progress has over the years encroached into the jungle land which they consider to be their home,. For these people, the meaning of Jubilee will mean that their rights to the land are being acknowledged by the authorities and restored to them. At the Combined Churches Prayer Meeting, this people group was represented by a group of young Orang Asli children. They first sang a beautiful song which is said to have been received by one of the children from God. It is amazing how God gave her this encouraging song even though she may not have any musical background. This group of
young children have been observing the 40-day fasting & prayer initiated by National Evangelical Christian Fellowship which started in August. They also participated in prayer by standing in the gap for their people group, confessing their sins and pleading for Go d’s forgiveness. We too can stand in the gap to pray for justice and righteousness to prevail for them. In Malaysia, there are various non-government organisations like Jubilee Ministry led by Ang Wan Kuan who served the Orang Asli in the villages and helped them to be light houses to their own people group. Various pastors from different churches took turns to lead in prayers for different issues. Pr Danil Raut led the congregation to pray for God to strengthen the Bahasa churches which are said to account for 10% of the churches in Malaysia. Pr Dr Chew Weng Chee of SIB KL led the prayer for a just and righteous government so that there will be peace and harmony in our land. He quoted 1 Timothy 2:1,2 which say, “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.”
He also prayed against all the forces which are out to destroy peace and harmony.
community, when one member is in trouble, the community will step in to help the family of the affected member.
Pr Phua Seng Tiong of SSMC echoed the same theme in leading the congregation to pray for God-fearing leaders to be placed in strategic positions and for the removal of individuals who are corrupted and stir up dissensions.
Pr Daniel continued with prayer for the Church and he led everyone in the auditorium to cry out to the Lord for a revival in the land. When we, His people gathered in unity to seek His face and pray for His Kingdom (which is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit) to be established on earth and in Malaysia, we can be confident that He will not only hear but answer our prayer. In closing, by faith, Pr Daniel led the congregation to declare that a new season of Jubilee has begun. Rev Chan Theam Lai of National Evangelical Christian Fellowship then wrapped the evening with a benediction for all.
Next, Pr Jeremiah Yap led the congregation to pray for the coming 13th General Election. He prayed for the Kingdom of Heaven to be established on earth as it was originally intended and that every polling station be filled with God’s presence to break all manipulations and evil plots. The congregation also prayed that the leaders elected will be competent, genuine and committed to integrity, justice and righteousness. As the Church is the hope of the nation, Pr Wong Fong Yang led everyone to pray for unity among the churches of Malaysia. He highlighted Ephesians 4:3 where God’s people are to “make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” If the church is the alternative society, non-believers need to see unity among God’s people. Pr Wong also led the prayer for boldness to be God’s witnesses. If there is unity in the
It was an evening well-spent, exercising our authority as privileged children of God to intercede for our beloved land of Malaysia. May righteousness, peace and joy prevail in this land!
Prayer Items for Malaysia God will place God-fearing leaders to govern our country. People will confess their sins and repent from all kinds of exploitation. The spirit of fear and the works of the evil one will be demolished in Jesus’ name. Justice and righteousness will prevail in all arenas of Malaysia. God’s presence will be in all polling stations in the coming General Election. Orang Asli’s rights to their land will be restored in Malaysia’s Year of Jubilee. Churches in Malaysia will be united in prayer for God’s Kingdom to be established. God’s people will be bold witnesses for Him. God will send a revival to the land of Malaysia.
Global Kingdom Partnerships Network
by Pr Alex Tan, NextGen “A low profile gathering of high profile people” - that was how Pr Daniel Ho described the recent gathering of 60 youth pastors of mega churches from across the globe that are part of Global Kingdom Partnerships Network (GKPN). DUMC had the privilege to host these young and dynamic pastors from 7 to 10 August 2012. Most of them are leading youth groups that have more than 1,000 members. The four-day GKPN Youth Table gathering was a powerful time of sharing of what God has been doing in the churches, communities and countries represented. Every story was inspiring. Every question asked was related to the common desire of seeing the next generation won for the Lord. The morning devotions led the facilitators, namely Dr Elias Dantas, Pr Edmund Chan, Pr Ann Chan and Pr Daniel were timely, soul searching and refreshing. Although many pastors arrived with low energy level having travelled more than 20 hours, their hearts were soon quickened and their minds awakened by the common vision shared by everyone and the desire to learn from one another. Every church represented had a story that reflected God’s grace, goodness and greatness in the work that is being done among the youth in that land. Methods might vary but there was this common hunger to win more souls for the Lord.
The atmosphere at the Youth Table gathering was one of faith, hope and love for people. Many things were shared, taught and caught at the four-day GKPN Youth Table gathering. Besides the focus on inside-out leadership from Pr Edmund Chan, among the themes communicated were: The need for out-of-the-box thinking in reaching the next generation A belief that transformed people can transform the world through partnerships The employment of strategic and purposeful life-giving, evangelistic youth-focused events The fundamental design of church being about authentic relationships The role and focus on young people in building strong families The importance of strong and effective discipleship The importance of small groups both for evangelism and discipleship The need for sensitivity to the Holy Spirit when engaging with the ever-changing youth culture and language The constant need for leadership development to serve a growing harvest The openness to remove stifling structures, replacing them instead with life-giving ones.
The need to constantly raising of youth’s awareness to community and destiny issues. Methods employed in reaching the youths may differ from country to country, from church to church, from ministry to ministry but the compelling message and passion remains the same - to further the gospel of salvation to the next generation. The GKPN Youth Table was a wonderful opportunity for Kingdom-minded pastors with kindred spirits from around the world to befriend one another and network for the glory of God. The friendships that were formed during the four-day period were very precious indeed. It was not all work. There was also time for leisure at Sunway Lagoon Theme Park. One of the delegates experienced a roller coaster ride for the first time, making it the ride of her life. The visiting pastors were overwhelmed by the welcome and warmth of our DUMC people and pastors who worked tirelessly to make sure they have a positive experience in Malaysia. For DUMC to host the gathering, it just goes to reflect our commitment and belief in reaching the next generation for Jesus! Let us do our part by investing into the next generation. This generation; for the next!
by Elliott Koon, PJ North 5
ne Tuesday morning in early August, I woke up with acute pain in my back. My wife, Charlotte quickly rushed me to the hospital where a 6mm stone was found lodged in my already swollen left kidney. To manage my acute pain, I was given four pain-killer injections that first day. My urine was cloudy and dark like Chinese tea. Although I needed a surgery, my doctor could not operate on me right away. He wanted to wait for the stone to move from my kidney to my bladder and for that, he gave me some medication. On Tuesday night, Eric Chin, a fellow church member messaged me from Singapore to say that he sensed that God has already cast out the stone. As I read his message, I suddenly felt a sensation in my back. The following day which was Wednesday, my doctor fixed my surgery on Thursday. As my pain had eased and I was on oral pain-killer, I was feeling quite comfortable. Charlotte and I decided to spend our time in hospital with God. We read a book by Bill Johnson entitled “When Heaven invades earth”. Encouraged by the book which reminded us of who we are in Christ and revealed the authority that we have as God’s precious children, we prayed with conviction for the stone to be removed. Fellow cell members also rallied around us in prayer. In particular, Dennis Low prayed that the stone be gone in Jesus’ name. Another member, Lionel Yap prayed, “Let this be a testimony that God will use to touch people’s lives.”
Charlotte wisely suggested that I should have another ultrasound before the surgery. I cannot explain but just before the ultrasound on Thursday morning, I had this sense of excitement deep within me.
stones measuring 1mm and 2mm that were seen in right kidney during admission. She also could not locate the 6mm stone in my left kidney. However, my left kidney was still swollen.
The radiologist took a long time to scan my two kidneys, bladder and ureter. She printed out her images and discussed with colleague. At the end of the session, when I asked if she had seen the stone, she replied that my doctor will discuss further with me. I was puzzled with her non-committal reply.
Nevertheless, my doctor was adamant that the 6mm stone was still inside me as it was highly unlikely for such a big stone to be discharged naturally. I also confirmed that I had not passed out any stone. He tried to coach me to agree to a surgery that afternoon itself. But I told him that I had no more pain. When he examined me physically, I also did not feel any pain. I claimed that “I was healed!”
When I returned to my room, I was quite tired after the procedure and I soon doze off. In my sleep, I saw a picture of me bending down to reach Jesus’ clothes but before my hand could touch his clothes, Jesus placed His hand to touch mine and said, “Elliott, you do not need to be like this anymore.” I used to think that I need to beg and pray for His healing. I thought I had to reach out to Him but in this dream, He showed me that He has already reached out to me. As His son, I have direct access to Him. He is already in me. When I received this revelation, I broke down and cried. My whole body shook and I felt His love which was so big like a hurricane filling up the vacuum in me. I played the song, “How He loves us”. I have never felt so loved by our Heavenly Father.
My case was most puzzling for him. In the end, he decided to discharge me on the condition that I will repeat the ultrasound in a week’s time, which I happily agreed. A week later, I went back to the hospital. The same radiologist attended to me. She scanned my kidneys, ureter and bladder. This time, she confidently declared “No stone”. Arising from this episode, I now know how much my Father loves me. I can rest in His love each day and look forward to the future with confidence knowing that it is not what I can do but what Christ in me can do!
Later that afternoon, when my doctor saw me, he said, “I don’t trust the ultrasound.” The radiologist could not find the two tiny
by Charlene Thum, Australia
“...God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work”. (2 Corinthians 9:8) In 2008, I joined a large international Management Consulting firm in Kuala Lumpur. In this firm, all career paths and progression of the staff are clearly defined. Typically a university graduate would come in as a Business Analyst for two years and then progressed on to be Consultant shortly thereafter. In 2010, I was being considered for a Consultant position. Six months prior to the performance review, I was given steps and actions that I would need to take to demonstrate the required capabilities and skills of a Consultant. Being a perfectionist by nature, I did everything I could in my capability and strength so that I could move up to the next level. However, I did not make it. I was devastated and extremely disappointed when I did not get the promotion.
I left the company shortly thereafter to join another firm. Not long after, I also left Malaysia and migrated to Melbourne, where I joined a boutique Consulting firm at the same level as my previous position. I no longer wanted to “fight” for promotion. After six months with the company, there was a performance review. Prior to the review, I was asked what I wanted out of this review. This time, I was uncertain as to whether I should ask for the Consultant post. I was no longer confident if I had the capability and character to perform at the Consultant level. As I was in a period of transition and change, I felt there were many times that I did not do the right things at work. However, I felt the Holy Spirit whispered to me, “Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you shall find, knock and the door will be opened” (Matthew 7:7). This thought also came to me, “If I ask the Manager for a promotion, I would not be asking the promotion from the Manager but God Himself. Two weeks later, I was pleasantly surprised to be informed that I was given the Consultant position. There is nothing I have done to earn the promotion, especially since most of the time, I was trying to find my feet in a new location and settle into a new lifestyle. I was also reminded that in life, it is sometimes not about what you know, but who you know. And guess who we know as believers? God Himself! I also recalled Pr Daniel’s message for 2012 – that this year will be a year of promotion. As my promotion was clearly by the grace of God, I am humbled by it all. I would like to encourage all in the marketplace who are often faced with challenges arising from office politics and manipulations, to know that our God is GOOD and that He is Able. Know also that our promotion comes from Him alone.
Letting go….and letting God by Helen Solamadan, KL
etting go of hurt and disappointments, and letting God deal with them is often easier said than done. Last June I was presented with an opportunity for a promotion. I was thrilled as I was keen to move up and take on new challenges. After a lengthy process of interviews, I was shortlisted, along with one other person. We were both going to have one final interview with the head of department and after which a decision was to be made. While preparing for that final interview, I was curious as to who the other person was. Upon further enquiry, I found out that the other candidate was a very junior staff. I was taken aback. I met all the requirements for the position, especially in terms of years of service and qualifications while the junior staff did not have both. At the final interview, the interviewer wanted to ascertain how serious I was about climbing the corporate ladder. I pondered for a moment and then told him that I am looking to better myself. However, I am also a wife and mother and a firm believer in work-life balance. As such, while I am ambitious, I will tread carefully in my quest to “climb the corporate ladder”. I felt good for being brave in laying down the clear line between home and work. I did not regret my answers. Two weeks later, I got the call. I did not get the promotion. As I have expressed that my family was important to me, it was
assumed that I would not be able to spend long hours or extra time at work. The unmarried junior colleague of mine was deemed to be a more suitable candidate. I was crushed. The years of experience and qualifications were now seemingly worthless. At this point, I had to make a choice. I could react very negatively and choose to limit my efforts in my work and simply see it for what it was – a job. Or, I could honour what God has given me – a job that I love because I am passionate about teaching and a job that is providing for the needs of my family. I could also continue doing what the Word of God says in Colossians 3:23-24 – “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” I decided to learn to let go and let God fulfil His will. I may have thought that the position was suitable for me and the time was right, but God’s plans are not ours. Isaiah 30:18 says, “Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.” It was an ego-crushing and thoroughly humbling moment.
especially seeing the junior staff in that position. However, with the love and prayers of my loved ones, and the determination to honour God, I learnt to slowly let go of the disappointments and let God do His work in my life. Who would have thought that the whole scenario could take a complete change a few months later? A higher administrative position suddenly opened up and I was approached by my Director to fill this position without the need to go through an interview and at my terms, which means I need not clock extra hours unless absolutely necessary. The terms of this promotion, are far above my expectations. I can have my work-life balance. I even received an apology for the “unpleasant situation” in the whole promotion exercise. I have now experienced the meaning of the phrase, “let go and let God”. God is great and God is good. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” When I held on to this promise, I saw how God worked wonders in my life.
I chose to continue to work with enthusiasm, excellence and joy. It was difficult,
Leading from the
Inside Out by Eileen Wong, PJ North 2
hen a pastor kicks-off a conference by saying, “The Church is in serious trouble”, it warrants the Church’s immediate attention, more so when the crisis plaguing the Church is not about the lack of leaders nor volunteers nor missionaries nor church programmes. Here, the crisis is one of lack of spiritual depth and authenticity in our Christian discipleship. How Christians live and how the Church operates may be disturbingly similar to the ways of the world, when we are distinctly called to be countercultural. A hard question the Church needs to ask itself is, “What kind of disciples are we making and what kind of church are we building?” While we may be busy in getting people into heaven, the question we need to ask is whether we are also getting heaven into people.
“To grow a good church, you need good leaders. To grow a great church, you need a great team. To grow a spiritual church, you need God.” - Pr Edmund Chan DUMC organised a discipleship conference themed “Leading from the Inside Out” from 27 to 29 July 2012. The key speakers were husband and wife team, Prs Edmund and Ann Chan, from Covenant Evangelical Free Church, Singapore. Their call to us as a local church is to return to the biblical blueprint of authentic discipleship and intentional disciplemaking. It is a high call to know God as He has revealed Himself, to know who we are in Christ and to live out that calling in our individual lives and ministry.
First, living from the inside out According to Pr Edmund, many Christians today suffer from toxic spirituality. Some run after emptiness, while others
run on empty. In our inner chambers, we battle spiritual poverty, weariness of the soul and exhaustion. We are worn out by unrealistic expectations and performance traps, and emotions that are frayed primarily due to our own egos that get in the way. Pr Edmund said that our spiritual life is a life to be lived, not just to be known nor studied. Our spiritual life, also known as the inner life, is the divine centre that God expresses Himself to us. To live from the inside out means what we are in the inside, precedes what we do on the outside. To live from the inside out starts from the “upside-down”, that is, “up from God down to us”. When we focus on above, God then moves down to us to reveal what is within. And when God brings revelation into our hearts, He changes our hearts from within, so that our hearts are true to Him, true to Christ’s character and the calling to which God has called us. When we live lives from the inside out, our focus, goals and priorities will change because our core values are no longer of the world’s standards, but of God’s. Diﬀerence between life from the inside out and life from the outside in
Life from the inside out Authenticity Character Reality Being good Being
Life from the outside in Accomplishment Competence Rituals Looking good Doing
It therefore calls for a radical reorientation of how we define “success” for our lives and ministry. What are required are a change of perspective and a change of our inner posture. And this is radical discipleship.
Then leading from the inside out in our private lives Pr Edmund Chan said that the hardest terrain of leadership is personal leadership, that is leading ourselves. It is easier to lead others to an extent because it is easier to spot other people’s flaws, fix others and tell them what to do. But if we are honest with ourselves, all of us have blind spots and need a reality check from God. We need to overcome lack of purpose, lack of direction and the lack of self-control in our own lives. We need to face up to our own inner demons and subsequently cultivate godly habits.
“The hardest terrain of leadership is personal leadership. We may be concerned with how we lead, but God is concerned with how we live.” – Pr Edmund Chan To lead oneself from the inside out, Pr Ann Chan simplified it to three things putting Christ, character and calling first. This means that firstly, Christ takes pre-eminence and not just prominence, in our lives. When Christ takes pre-eminence, it means we trust Him completely and surrender control over our lives to Him. Secondly, it means we take the inward journey to our hearts and allow God to work on the “shady” areas in our lives. Thirdly, it is about living out the calling in our lives which is to live the Christ-centred
life and do the entrusted to us.
Journeys with God
Pr Ann Chan went on to describe the three different journeys that God can take us through – the Emmaeus experience (Luke 24), the Moriah experience (Genesis 22) and the Dothan experience (2 Kings 6), where in each of these journeys, our faith is deepened and our spiritual sight is sharpened.
Moving to leading from the inside out corporately
key thing is that people learn in the process.
Pr Edmund highlighted that one of the concerns in churches today is the lack of succession planning. The reasons can range from lack of intentionality, to lack of know-how, or it could be due to the leader’s own leadership complex.
In delegating responsibility, he called leaders to empower the people the authority but not to abdicate their responsibility. Leaders should also allow room for successors to make and learn from mistakes. When mistakes are made, leaders are to come alongside their apprentice and take responsibility. The buck should stop with leader. He also encouraged leaders to throw their weight behind their successor, profile them and celebrate their different leadership styles (while maintaining the church DNA).
Expounding from Exodus 18, Pr Edmund highlighted Jethro’s concern as he watched his son-in-law Moses attend to the needs of the Israelites from morning to evening. Jethro warned Moses that what he was doing was not good and that he would only wear himself out. He advised Moses on what he needed to do to lighten his load. (Pr Edmund challenged the pastors to delegate their work to focus on what God has primarily called them to do, which is the work of preaching/teaching and prayer. This is synonymous with the teaching of Scripture both in the Old and New Testament in Exodus 18 and Acts 6). Pr Edmund challenged the Church to be intentional in discipling and delegating to the successor. The Church leadership must have succession plans in place and be intentional in implementing them. While the Church may not grow was fast and big, he says the more important and
Bringing it home
This means: • Be real. Have reality checks. Ask the Lord to reveal the true condition of our soul. • Be focused. Know what God requires and desires. • Be rested. Be secure, have trust and rest in God. Sleep the perfect sleep of faith. • Be humble. Do not let our ego get in the way but redefine ego – Exalt God Only! Finally, they challenged us to let our lives personify biblical values so that the Word of God is seen to evidently come alive. Demonstrate it and model it because “Example explains everything!”
In summary, true Christian discipleship is one that is anchored in the Word of God and powered the Holy Spirit. The call is simple. Let Christ be pre-eminent in your life. Let Christ be the centre of your life. Focus on Him. Abide in Him. Everything else will flow out of there and fall into place. To do this, Prs Edmund and Ann invited us to take stock of our lives, take charge of our lives and take care of our lives.
Reaching & Sowing into
next generation of Cambodia by Pr Jonathan Yeoh & team
n early August, Pr Jonathan Yeoh who heads our Children’s Church led a team of nine people for nine days to Cambodia. Collectively, they visited a total of 36 homes, preached in 18 churches, ran a two-day workshop to train 120 youth and held a rally that attracted 1,140 children. As God worked powerfully through them, it is estimated that more than 1,000 Khmers, both young and old committed their lives to Jesus. Pr Jonathan Yeoh If there is one word to describe our team, it is “Joy”. On this trip, there was so much joy in serving God and serving one another. When faced with a challenge, the joy of the Lord was our strength. I could not have asked for a better team. Ju-Li and Jaen fitted in very well even though they have not worked with the other team members who are children’s leaders. At every preaching point, we experienced God’s divine hand. His presence was so real that we wept with the Khmers at the end of each service. Never have I spoken so many times within such a short period, and after each session, the overwhelming response from especially the youth just showed how hungry they were for God and His Word. During the rally, the children were just as hungry for the truth. God provided the funds for this rally through the children of DUMC. Our hearts rejoice knowing that these precious lives will now have a new life in Christ. In them, lies the hope and future of Cambodia. Our prayer is that they will grow in faith. They will be the ones who will build a God-fearing nation and
touch the hearts of fellow Khmers with the gospel of Jesus Christ. We consider it our privilege to partner God in sowing the seeds into their lives. Monica Lee, PJ North 1 The passion of the vibrant local youths in serving the Lord really captivated my heart. For two days, we trained 120 youth helpers from nine churches and immediately thereafter, they helped to organise a rally for the Khmer children. It was wonderful to see them applying what they learnt in the workshop at the rally. Although the Children’s Rally was scheduled to start at 9.00 am, children started to arrive in lorries and motorbikes as early as 6.30 am and even at that hour, 30 of the youth helpers were already in line to welcome the children. There were far more children at the rally than we had expected. When I led Praise & Worship with the local youth, I felt as though I had seen all these children before. I then recalled that I once had a dream where I saw multitude of children worshipping the Lord. God was fulfilling this vision He once showed me. I thank God for giving these children the opportunity to know Him. What a beautiful sight to see these children with their hands clapsed tightly, accessing the King of kings in prayer. Edwin Tan It was good to witness and partner God in His work in the Baray district of Cambodia. We were involved in many activities ranging from open-air evangelism, home visitations, preaching in churches, training
the local youth to organising a Children’s Rally. During the training of the youth, I shared with them on prayer, Bible-reading (journalling) and worship. They really desire to learn and grow. In organising the Children’s Rally, these youth helpers rose to the occasion by taking charge of some of the responsibilities. We pray that God will use them to spark a revival in Cambodia. I am simply awed, humbled and grateful for the opportunity to play a small part in His Kingdom building work. Evelyn Yap, PJ South 1 Before the trip, I was fearful that I might not be able to share and teach well. However, when I saw the poverty stricken children and many without clothes and footwear, my feelings of fear turned into compassion. The Lord impressed me to teach the pre-school teachers the importance of prayers and the curriculum. I felt the Holy Spirit’s presence as I taught the teachers to my best ability. I also encouraged the parents to pray for their children. As we worked with the local youth, I was touched by their fervent prayer for their pastors. As most of them are aiming to go to university, I pray that God will answer their prayers and His favour will be upon them during their university entrance examination. Colin Hoo, PJ North 4 When Pr Jonathan Yeoh first invited me to join this mission trip, my boss did not approve my leave as I was needed for a project. However, a month later, my boss broke the news that I was to be retrenched because of the company’s financial situation. I was disappointed and a little devastated. This
was the second time I had been retrenched. But I was quickly reminded of my prayer. I had earlier told God that if He had wanted me to go on this mission trip, He had to help me with the leave or have me fired. In a way, my prayer was answered. On the day I was retrenched, I asked Pr Jonathan if I could still join him. He gladly accepted me and quickly arranged for me to go for the Missions Candidates’ Preparation Programme 1 (MCPP1) training. I then prayed for a faith-building experience in Cambodia as I desired a deeper relationship with God. In Cambodia, I was initially very anxious when faced with new tasks like preaching in a church and sharing my testimony during home visitations. As I learnt to rely on God, I experienced many personal breakthroughs. I thank God for this mission trip which has rekindled my first love for Him and taken my faith in Him to a new level.
Wayne Wong Most of the Khmers we met were ready to receive the Lord. During one Sunday celebration, the congregation was hungry for the Word of God. Although it was a hot and humid day, the worshippers had come from afar to worship God. My heart was touched by the many who stepped forward to testify and praise the Lord. During home visitations and outreaches, I could sense the strong presence of God. The local youth were amazing and played a big part in hosting the Children’s Rally. I am very blessed by the youth and I thank God for the many children who gave their lives to Jesus.
made everything fall into place seamlessly and beautifully.
Jaen Ang, PJ North 2 We had good weather, good opportunities and good teamwork in Cambodia. Although it was the rainy season, God granted us fine weather. We had bright and sunny weather during the day with occasional rain at night.
But He also added a little humour one Sunday. First, I went to the wrong church! And when I arrived at the right church, I was asked by one of the members if I would like a shower since I was dripping wet with sweat. Everyone then exploded into laughter. That was the ice breaker and I felt very much at home. On my way back, I had a shower of blessings in the form of the bullock’s pee. Hence, it was not just work as I had fun too!
Five weeks before the trip, I had an accident in Hanoi but God blessed me with speedy recovery. Back in the office here, there were some major issues that physically and mentally drained me. Four hours before our departure, I pinched a nerve on my back as I bent down to pick up a piece of clothing. But thanks to our awesome God, the pain subsided after my team members prayed. As a dietitian, I was also not sure how I would fit in with the team who were mostly children’s leaders but God had His plan. There were needs among the local pastors and the children care givers in the area of nutrition and health, and I had the opportunity to share on this subject on two occasions. I now learnt that if we are willing to avail ourselves, our God will create the opportunities. I am really amazed at how God put us together as a team. Each of us has our different strengths, played different roles and did different work but somehow, He
Juliana Yeo My excitement turned to fear at our first mission meeting when I learnt that we had to preach “solo, not in teams and in “two” and not just one church. I asked myself, “But who am I?” God then reminded me that it was not about what “I” could do but what “He” could do through me. When I eventually saw the hunger for God in the faces of the congregation after my simple message, I thanked God for allowing me to be His channel. As long as we are willing, God will use us.
Ju-li Yeo On this trip, I learnt to trust God in everything. He showed me His unfailing love for the team and people of Cambodia. One morning, a huge and painful popped up in my mouth but after the praise and worship during our devotion, the ulcer just subsided. God healed me! The smiles on the Khmer children reminded me of God's unending and unfailing love. My heart rejoiced when I saw these children soaked in His love and His presence. Hundreds of them raised their hands and took their step of faith to believe in Jesus. The Khmer children were very simple and contented. A packet of rice and a tiny toy brought them much joy. I pray that they will be the next generation which will rise up to be the leaders of Cambodia for Jesus.
Butterflies in the Killing Fields by Vera SL Tay, PJ South 2
Ten of us led by Roger Heong were in Cambodia, the Kingdom of Wonder for eight days of mission work in May 2012. We began our trip by visiting Toul Sleng Genocide Museum, followed by an audio tour of the “Killing Fields” or Choeung Ek Genocidal Centre. At Killing Fields, the sun blazed merciless upon the vast green fields. As I walked towards the trees, there was an eerie silence. Several people dotted the grounds, walking pensively around it. Suddenly there were sounds of trucks screeching to a stop and truckloads of frightened and blindfolded prisoners got off. Many were dragged to the ditches. It looked like they were awaiting a sinister death. I held my breath in silence. Propaganda music began blaring in the background and then to my horror, the mass execution of these people began. Farm tools, axes and bamboo sticks were used to bludgeon these people to death. Their screams were drowned by the loud music. I was choked with emotion. I could not believe what had happened. As I walked away horrified, I passed another grave of 166 headless victims believed to be soldiers who have betrayed the Khmer Rouge government. If this was bad, what I saw next sent a chill down my spine.
Under a Chankiri Tree (Killing Tree) were soldiers laughing as they held babies and infants by their feet and smashing their little heads against the tree. The tree was stained with blood, hair and brain matter. Then I heard one of Pol Pot’s saying, “To keep you is no benefit, to kill you is no loss”. This saying was to harden the hearts of the soldiers and ensured that there will be no seed of rebellion among the newborn babies. At the memorial were scores of skulls and bones. A total of 1.7 million Khmers were killed in the late 1970s. My eyes brimmed with tears. Having seen what the Khmers have gone through, God caused a stirring in my heart for them. After walking the land and meeting the people, I began to feel a love for them. The walk through the “Killing Fields” was a walk through darkness and a portrayal of how evil the human heart can be. Just when I thought all hope was lost, I saw butterflies. A sense of joy and hope flooded my heart. When Jesus was hung on the cross, the disciples too would have felt helpless, thinking that all hope was vanished but Jesus resurrected on the third day. Our God is alive! Today, we serve a living Saviour. When the Khmers have Jesus, they will experience His love and have hope for a brighter tomorrow.
It was against this backdrop that we began our mission work to reach out to the Khmers. Although we went and worked as a team, every one of us took home very different lessons. Annie Moh As I stepped forward in faith, God blessed me with great teammates and many wonderful experiences. Never in my life have I shared so much of my testimonies during the outreach and home visitations. The trip has given me a better understanding of God’s heart for the Khmers and the work of our Cambodia Missions & Services in Cambodia. Truly, the best gift we can give to the Khmers is the love and hope of our Lord Jesus Christ. Roger Heong On 28 May during one of our village outreaches, the local police was enquiring about our group. The enquiry reached the District Officer. When he heard that we were part of Pr Samreth’s group, the matter was resolved as they recognised that Christians had brought about positive changes to their community. Pr Samreth sits on the monthly local government meetings to discuss on community development projects and he has also been consulted on the selection of village heads. All glory to Jesus.
David Khor This is my third mission trip to Cambodia since 1996. Over the years, I have seen how God has blessed the Khmers both spiritually and economically. However, many Khmers are still spiritually impoverished and longing to hear God's grace and love for them. Jesus said in Luke 10:2, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field". I encourage everyone to make a mission trip to Cambodia for a life-transforming experience. Deborah Heng Most of the Khmers live in very basic conditions – elevated huts with four walls and a few windows. Their huts are usually without furniture or electricity. All they have are one or two pots for cooking and mats for sleeping. Many of them are sick and when we visited them, they stepped out in simple faith to be prayed for healing. Lew Tau Fei In Cambodia, I witnessed what it is like to live lives that are fully dependent on God's provisions. I now understand the real meaning of poverty. Drawing on the compassion of Christ, we gave our all to the Khmers. In return, we experienced God. Tears of the Khmers flowed freely and their hearts touched as we shared with them the gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit. These are valuable experiences which will help me grow as a disciple of Christ. Sin Clare A Khmer lady testified, “Ever since I accepted Christ into my life, even though I am poor, there is JOY in my life unlike
other non-believing families.” Praise the Lord! Although we live in different countries, speak a different language, have different cultures, we have the same God who loves and cares for us! Goon Hoong Chataluk Church has a proper church building with walls, a platform and a pulpit. Many in this church are fishermen and farmers. When I had the privilege to preach in this church one Sunday, it was encouraging to see many youth in this church. Many came forward for prayers. I thank God for being able to bless the people notwithstanding our limitations and also to learn from them. Catherine Tan I took a step of faith to join a team of people whom I did not know but had one common purpose, which was "to share about Jesus" to the Khmer people. Relying on God’s authority, presence and partnership, I became His mouthpiece, sharing boldly His Good News. In Cambodia, the Lord not only opened my eyes to see what He wanted me to see but He also planted His love in my heart for the Khmer people. Addrie Soo I met Khmer Christians who truly live by faith and not by sight. Even though their circumstances may seem hopeless, they really trust Jesus to provide for all their needs. I was very impacted by their faith in Christ. I learnt three things from this mission trip, namely faith, hope and love. I was blessed by the Khmer Christians on this trip. There is no perfect timing to join a mission trip. When we avail, God will make the way!
Living by faith
by Ng Phaik May, Floodgates Meng Teck, Sally, Tommy and I were in Myanmar earlier this year. Our team was small but God was there to see us through every step of our trip. I am humbled by how He used us when we obeyed and placed our trust in Him. While in Myanmar, we were blessed to have met Pr Nandar and established ties with Divine Mercy Ministry (DMM). Pr Nandar, an incredible lady of faith co-founded this ministry that reaches out to orphans and HIV-positive women in 2008. At 16 years old, Pr Nandar started to attend nursing school where she saw many patients dying. She used to question where people go when they die. At 18, she started to work in a hospital. Her father was a wealthy and devout Buddhist who built pagodas while her mother was a fourth generation Christian. When she accepted Christ at a youth camp, her father was naturally disappointed. She continued to share the gospel with him and when he was later diagnosed with cancer and could not find answers to his questions in Buddhism, he accepted Christ. In 2007, Pr Nandar received her calling from God to go into children and women’s ministry while holidaying in Israel. When she was ready to start an orphanage in 2008, she prayed for a free place to house
the children. Her brother who was working abroad offered his house in Yangon for use as orphanage. All she had at that time was US$20 and she prayed, “God, please help me as this is Your ministry, not mine.” When she opened her wallet, she found an additional US$50 in it! This caused her faith to rise as she knew God was at work. As she did not wish to go out to look for children, she told God to send her the children and God sent her 15 children within a short period. Pr Nandar continued to trust God to supply the needs of the orphanage. When she laid her hand on empty bags of rice, the orphanage would receive donations of rice the following day. As the orphanage did not have money for doctors, whenever a child falls ill, all the other children would lay hands and pray for the sick child. Often, 20 minutes later, the child would be miraculously healed. In 2010, when the number of children increased, Pr Nandar shifted the orphanage to Mobi which is 90 minutes’ drive away from Yangon. She built dormitories for the children on a vacant land that belongs to her husband. The orphanage currently houses 40 children and is self-sustaining. DMM receives request calls to house orphans from all over Myanmar.
DMM has a separate venue contributed by Pr Nandar’s mother where HIV-positive women would gather to worship and fellowship on a regular basis. Pr Nandar and her team would minister to these women where they will share the Word with them and encourage them. DMM is currently substantially funded by Pr Nandar and her family. Whatever the ministry lacks, she would look to the Lord. The one resource she currently needs most is labour. DMM needs more workers to help with both the women and the children. What is Pr Nandar’s vision for the future? As she is happiest when she can give and bless others, she hopes to be able to replicate DMM all over Myanmar. Pr Nandar is a very warm person and although we have only met her a few times on this trip, we connected with her like old friends. Her life is a testimony of God’s faithfulness and abundant grace to those who live by faith. From Pr Nandar’s life and ministry, we can see that our God is truly a prayer answering God. We will never be in want when we have Christ at the centre of our lives because He is the good shepherd.
God journeyed with us by Van LV, Myanmar
y family which comprises my husband and four children aged between one-and-a-half and 13 years are waiting to be re-settled in the US. We have attended all the required preliminaries for re-settlement. We left Myanmar a few years ago because of persecution. However, our journey in recent years has not been easy. First, my husband contracted tuberculosis (TB) which meant that he could not work and had to be confined indoors. I sold umbrellas to help pay for our family expenses. I once had RM300 from the sale of umbrellas which I was going to pay the supplier. However, I was robbed that day. I cried out to God for help and He sent brothers and sisters from DUMC to give us food packs and financial assistance. When the TB spread from my husband’s lungs to his bone, I had to take care of him and also our children. There were many occasions when we did not know where our food will come from and how we will have money to pay for the rental of our room that houses the entire family. Looking back, I have only this to say. God has never failed us. He has also not forsaken us. He journeyed with us. Our friends helped us with whatever little they had. There was a time when my husband had a growth on his chest, equivalent to the size of a golf ball. The growth felt soft but was hot and reddish. We had planned to see
the doctor but before we visited the doctor, during our family worship one evening, the growth suddenly burst and pus started to ooze out. I cleaned away the pus with a toothbrush and it left a big hole on his chest. I covered the wound with a bandage. A sister from DUMC bought us some cream to apply on the wound. After that, the wound healed. God is really wonderful and great. He intervened at the time when we needed Him most and I am thankful that my husband healed so unexpectedly. My husband has successfully completed his TB treatment in March. When he went for his medical check-up in April, we were overjoyed when the test results showed that he is cleared of TB. On one recent Friday, we were almost out of food again and I asked the Lord what we were to do. Later that day, when I was in church for a prayer meeting, to my delight, I saw that the food packs from DUMC had arrived. I requested to collect our food packs that Friday itself instead of waiting for the usual distribution on Sunday. Thank God for the timely arrival of the food packs because we would have run out of food the following day. Only God knew how close we were to the edge. Once again, He came through just in time for us!
During our struggles, we remember those who are in similar plight as us. Many of them are in a worse state, especially if they do not know Jesus. They do not have the hope that we have in Him. For us, God is only a prayer away. I know that God hears me always. He is our Saviour God on whom we can depend on. Psalm 91:14-16 says, “Because he loves me, says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.” My family and I are very grateful to God for the food packs from DUMC Foodbank and also the financial assistance from our brothers and sisters in DUMC. We will always remember them in our prayers.
Over the years, as a result of our struggles, we have not only grown closer together as a family but have also drawn closer to God.
God, our help
in time of need
by Pam Dibble, PJ North 2
t my first cell meeting in April this year, I asked the cell to pray for the Lord to guide my daughter, Keiisha-Anne in making her choice of University. Within a few days, she decided on studying Human Rights Law in a university in Montreal and she said, “I have peace” about the decision. As “I have peace” is not common phrase to Keiisha, I believe it was a decision led by God. Being a resident in Canada at the time, volunteering at a Legal Aid Bureau and totally dependent on her father’s financing for her education, Keiisha could apply for a study visa from within Canada. We had a corporate immigration consultant in Canada to submit her application. Before her University course starts in early September, she visited me in Kuala Lumpur in August. However, barely 24 hours before her scheduled departure on 26 August, Keiisha received a call that her Student Visa application had been rejected by the Canadian Immigration. We had not expected a routine visa application to turn into a crisis especially with less than a week before orientation and the start of term. We prayed and we also alerted my cell group and family members to pray. In my Quiet Time, I sensed the Lord saying, “Trust Me”. We were told that we should try to apply afresh via Singapore. However, on further checking, that process would take too long. The news received over the next few days was also not encouraging. The University was going to de-enrol Keiisha first and if she did not get her visa by a
certain date, she would have to defer her course till the next year in September 2013. As Keiisha had already taken a gap year to work with Orang Asli in Malaysia and then the Legal Aid Bureau in Canada to find out if she was suitable for Human Rights Law, another year of deferment would not be good. At this point, it would be untrue to say we were at total peace. The uncertainty and the need to wake up in the middle of the night to call different departments of the University took a toll on us. There was tension and we were starting to snap at each other. Keiisha was very upset about having to miss the orientation for foreign students. Then all of a sudden, things began to fall in place. The Director of Admission at the University showed some compassion and agreed to a late start subject to the Law faculty’s agreement. Keiisha must get her visa by 7 September 2012. To circumvent certain visa requirements and expedite the visa application process, Keiisha would fly into Los Angeles and submit her application from there. I was able to update my cell that “God is moving”. Their prayers and words of encouragement helped to ease much of our stress. Keiisha departed from Kuala Lumpur on 1 September for Los Angeles where upon arrival, she had now up till 7 September to get her student visa into Canada. Just before she took off, my cell group prayed with Keiisha over the phone committing her to the Lord and praying for God’s favour to be upon her in her application. It was comforting to know that we were not
struggling alone but we have people journeying with us and upholding Keiisha in prayer. On arrival at Los Angeles, Keiisha was initially detained at the immigration department because her paperwork for on-going travel to University in Canada was not in order. Much prayer was needed and two hours later, she cleared the immigration and spent a night in transit in Los Angeles. The next morning she flew into Calgary, Canada and after 45 minutes with the immigration officer at the airport, she was awarded a six-month Student Visa. The officer at the counter was very compassionate when she heard Keiisha’s plight. She was also touched by Keiisha’s honesty. We know that it was not by chance but by God’s divine appointment that this person was at that counter at that very time! That was Monday morning on 3 September 2012, well ahead of her University deadline of 12 noon, 7 September and Keiisha had the student visa she needed to continue her studies. As a mother who was thousands of miles away from her, I was relieved, happy, elated and very thankful to God for His favour upon Keiisha. God is good and His ways are indeed higher than our ways. All praise to our awesome God who hears and answers our prayers!
The Lord watches over me by Khan Hung Meng, PJ North 2
hortly after I accepted Jesus as my Saviour in 2011 during an Alpha Course, I took on a new job in the logging industry based in Kelantan. One day, my colleague and I accompanied a geologist into the jungle for a survey. We drove our company’s four-wheel drive vehicle on an old and unused single track road to the survey site which was about one-anda-half hour’s drive from the main country road. Looking back, we were not well-prepared for the trip. We did not carry any food provision. By the time we were done at the survey site, the sky was getting dark. To make our way back, we had to turn our vehicle around on the very narrow and steep sloping road. There was a deep ravine in front and on the side. We had problem reversing the vehicle up the slope as the road was also slippery after a drizzle. We tried various ways unsuccessfully like putting tree branches on the road to create traction. There was barely any phone signal in the jungle. Eventually we managed to call for help but had no idea if and when help could reach us. The more we tried to turn our vehicle around, the closer we seemed towards the ravine. I was really terrified. We had no food supply and our vehicle was vicariously positioned. We also did not have a shelter for the night from the wild animals. Elephants are often sighted in this jungle. Although I was then only a few weeks old Christian, I knew that only God could help us. I went aside and prayed, “God, please help us out of this jungle.”
After further futile attempts with the vehicle and agonised waiting, we heard a vehicle approaching us. Help came in the form of a Malay man and his son. At first he tried to tow our vehicle but it kept swerving nearer and nearer towards the ravine on the side and then, the cable snapped! The Malay man then took over the wheel of our vehicle. Visibility was bad. He turned the vehicle around inch by inch. He was very skilful and brave and was not at all worried about the vehicle hitting the wall on one side or veering dangerously near the ravine on the other side.
level, I told my boss that we had to stop the vehicle to allow it to cool down.
The moment he managed to turn the vehicle around, he accelerated forcefully uphill to safety. We were very grateful to our kind Samaritan and relieved to be out of danger. Deep within me, I knew it was the Lord who sent the angel to get us out of trouble. The Lord was watching over me.
On another occasion, I was travelling back from Gua Musang and shortly after passing through the tunnel near Genting Sempah where the road was going downhill, I experienced problem with my power steering. I found it hard to control the steering wheel and I could hear sounds like ball bearings falling off the vehicle. It was another extremely terrifying experience. To whom could I cry for help again if not to our God Almighty? I pleaded, “God, please help me get this vehicle back safely to my boss’ house in Desa Park City again.”
Not long later, I was transferred to the plantation division of my company. I often had to commute from one estate to another with the same vehicle. One day, my boss and I were coming down from Cameron Highlands and somewhere near Simpang Pulai, I noticed that the temperature of our vehicle was rising very fast again. However, we had run out of water having stopped earlier to cool the radiator with our drinking water. Where could we get water at that time of the night? We were on the highway and there was no shop or house in sight. I prayed aloud for God to help us get back safely to my boss’ house in Desa Park City. My boss heard my prayer. As the temperature of the vehicle was hitting dangerous
I could not believe my eyes when I got off the vehicle. We had stopped at a spot where there was a burst pipe nearby! There and then, I knew it was the Lord who was watching over me again. He had me stopped at the right spot. We cooled the radiator with water from the burst pipe and filled up all our empty bottles. Along the way, we had to make numerous stops to add water and cool the vehicle but we made it safely back to Desa Park City.
The Lord who was watching over me did just that. The next morning, the mechanic could not start the vehicle at all. He was amazed that I could manoeuvre the vehicle back safely over such a long and challenging road. Looking back, it was possible because the Lord was watching over me. It was He who preserved me from all the dangers on the road. The Lord is indeed my protector.
Making time by Pr Chris Kam
was not easy to catch my wife, Stella by surprise. Recently, I managed to spring a surprise on her and it was only for the second time in our relationship. You can imagine how hard it was to organise a surprise birthday party with about 30 people closest to her. We also managed to get friends and quite a few from overseas, to send us video clips of greetings and appreciation for Stella. My eldest son, Ian who is 22 this year, viewed the video clips and condensed them into a 15-minute video which was shown at the party. It was wonderful to celebrate with Stella this important milestone in her life. It was also a celebration of life, the precious gift that we often take for granted. In the process of editing the video clips, Ian had to listen to about an hour of what friends had to say of Stella and at the end of it, he said, “There is a consistency in what everyone said. Mum made time for people.” It was interesting to hear his feedback. He knew that Stella and I have been impacting people’s lives but he did not realise the extent until he heard the video clips. My youngest son, Ashton who is 15, in his speech considered mum a superwoman. Inspite of her long working hours, she made time for all our three sons. Shaun, aged 17 appreciated us for helping him grow closer to God. All our sons’
comments can be summed up in one word - “TIME!” Stella and I wrote out our funeral programme about 20 years ago when we were in our early 30s. It was a very intentional thing. We did it because of a simple philosophy: “If we know how we want to be remembered at our funerals, we need to start living that life now.” We were not afraid to acknowledge the fact that life is transient and short. We believe that if we did not seize the opportunities before us, we will be miserable people in our golden years. True enough, we are closer than we think at this point of our life. What a great delight to look back over the years and see how that intentionality is seen in the fruits of our labour, starting with our own family. It was interesting to hear Stella remarked privately to me after the party that she would rather hear what her friends have to say of her now than when she is gone to be with the Lord! In a way, she has already heard her “eulogies” from her friends and what an encouragement to hear of the fruits of her life. This reminds me of James 4:14b, “What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” Life is a gift from God and what we do with it
is entirely our decision and responsibility. It is good to start the race well but what is more important is how we finish. When we complete our race of life, the only things we can take with us are not our possessions, wealth and status, but the lives of people we have touched for eternity. We can decide to give more than we consumed, charge people up more than we discharged them and leaving people better than when we first found them. It is all within our control irrespective of the circumstances of our lives. It saddens my heart to see Christians disempowered when the full resource of God’s providence and provision are there to help them live life to the full (John 10:10). The most empowering way to live a full life is to live the way of love. 1 Corinthians 13:13 says, ”And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.“ Love starts with making time for people.