Campus Alive

June 18, 2009

Welcome Juniors!

Filed under: CA Updates,Please Note — campusalive @ 1:09 pm

CA flyer third sem

The second half of 2009 brings exciting news! Cedric, Charis, Li Sia, Krystal and the ALG seniors have begun to reach out to our new juniors, especially the Japanese program ones. Now as we prepare for the return of the Ausmatian, ALM seniors, and the new arrival of the other program juniors, we are reminded of our responsibility as seniors to love and care for them.

Early January 2009, we launched CA calling for this year. To build a generation of faith and love in hope of a revival, by reaching out to our fellow friends. People! Revival is imminent, and will come, but at a cost. Our love, our lives, our energy and time. Indeed it will be God who brings change and hope into people’s lives, but it is our hands and hearts that show His love. We are called to walk the talk, and talk the walk. Jesus is the best thing that has happened to us, so let’s share His awesome friendship with others too!

Campus Alive will start officially in the second week of June. Thursday night, as usual. Look out for the flyer!

And for the juniors, welcome to INTEC. We hope that your stay here will be life-changing. We hope to see you and have a really great time knowing you. God bless y’all!

June 9, 2009

The Miracle Zone Experience…a mission trip to Indonesia

Filed under: Sharing — campusalive @ 12:30 pm

We had just endured a 12-journey, over endless potholes, bumps, hills and valleys that had left a layer of dust on our faces, numb behinds, backaches and headaches in the sweltering May heat. It was a welcome sight, then, when we finally entered the half-completed entry gates. We were in Manggala, Indonesia, now part of the new Malawi province. As our bus faithfully rumbled alone, we caught the first glimpse of the landscape around the place, and we were astounded. Hills and valleys surrounded us, as we were located on the high spot of the area. My only reaction was to say, Lord your creation is so beautiful. And that’s when we spotted the sign by the side of the road.

Beware! You are entering a miracle zone.

We had arrived in Living Waters Village, a place of second chances, hope and miracles for God’s beloved children.

If you’ve never heard of the place, it’s a 200-hectare sanctuary for Indonesian children who have been orphaned, abused, or come from poor backgrounds. It started when God called a man, Pastor Ronny and his family to reach out to the tribes in Indonesia. What began as one house and not more than 50 kids more than a decade ago; has now evolved to a village-like area of hostels, planned schools, radio station, airstrip, praise and worship centre, and many more. Pastor Ronny is preparing for what God had told him; that 2500 kids would soon worship Him in the place.

The children get there in many ways; some of which are even tragic. Some children were abandoned and found. Some were brought there by their parents or village people. These people are willing to travel for days just to get to the place. Upon arrival, the children are immediately assimilated into the group. What amazed us, was the transformation of the children’s lives. When we got there, we could not tell that these children were from such terrible backgrounds, for indeed, quoting Pastor Ronny, “It is the work of the Holy Spirit in these children”. Of course, Pastor Ronny is like a father to them, reprimanding them verbally for their mistakes and constantly advising them during mealtimes; but in all things, these children are changed and healed through their encounters with God.

We arrived on Saturday evening, and were due to experience God in a big way the next morning. Before the morning service, we assembled for prayer. That was a moment to be remembered. For when the children opened their lips to pray, their hearts cried out to God in a way that ripped through our very souls. Many of us from the mission team could not hold back our tears. God’s presence was overwhelming in the place. Were their prayers elaborate? No! It was simply sincere before the Lord. The children were able to pray aloud and worship openly; and many of them were just 5 or 6 years old. Indeed, it is true, “blessed are you who are poor, for the Kingdom of God is yours”. All that these kids have in their lives are blessings from God, and with such thankful hearts they have experienced God in such a way that many of us in the city don’t.

You may be wondering what sort of missions we did there. Well, in Living Waters, missionaries serve and bless others mostly through work and helping. Every morning and afternoon, the guys did physical work under the sun. As I mentioned earlier, there are plans for so many buildings and facilities. The areas that we covered were laying pipes for water in the stream, construction site work, brick making, and a bit of gardening. Do the kids work? Yes, those who are new don’t go to school for a year, so their daily duty is in the vegetable farm, construction, cleaning and so on. It’s really pretty much like a whole community doing work together. The women in the team spent time teaching the kids English, colouring, Mandarin and one sister even taught piano and singing. The kids enjoyed it thoroughly. In fact, all the kids actually needed was someone to spend time with them.

Brick-making

This is where I learnt something. I was intending to go and teach guitar, which I did, but only to a few, because they were already so talented! Most of them had developed a good ear, which surprised me, and needed only to understand the theory of playing. Half of my guitar notes were useless the moment I went there. I was also pleased to see that a Singapore church group had donated an almost complete set of guitars, piano and equipment for worship. The children were very grateful.

Another aspect was the food. Mealtimes were the best moments of the day, and I never knew that just eating rice and vegetables could taste so good. Indeed, the Indonesians are master chefs. Missionaries are supposed to eat together, but by the second day I found myself with the kids at mealtimes. It was indeed a joy to share their food and talk, and interact and learn and also bless them. Before every meal, there would be Bible reading. For dinner, Pastor Ronny would give a short devotion. All the kids would obediently listen and learn.

Sometimes we as Christians are too afraid to ‘over-spiritualize’. We say short prayers before meals, zoom through our day, work and come home and that’s it. Do we spend time investing God’s word into our children and family? I like the way Pastor Ronny briefs the children every morning before work. He says, do this work for the Lord, because this is our ministry. And indeed, even the trash-collectors considered their work as a way of serving God. Can we see our studies and careers in God’s light? I’m sure we can.

Discipline was an essential part of life there. Devotion began at 5.45, and by 5 the children had got up to bathe. No one was late for anything, except occasionally us missionaries! And of course, Pastor Ronny was always the earliest. He is a man of prayer, because one day I asked him what time he got up for his own personal moment with God. “Oh, today was 4.30, but yesterday I started praying at 2.30”. Prayer, an essential part of God’s work. The more we work for Him, the substantial Indonesian and was able to relate to them because I was an Iban. I felt that one week wasn’t enough, that in this sort of mission work, it is a lifelong investment.

There was Joni, a young boy of 12, small sized yet with eyes that shone with hope. He followed me around when I was done with work, learnt guitar from me, and asked me many questions about my life here. He had an older brother that lived at the river in Living Waters village, taking care of the sand pump. He was happy, he said, to live there.

There was Joja, who’s 18 this year, and headed for his last years in school. He intends to be an English teacher. Life in school has taught him substantial English, a hope for a better life for his peers and the importance of education.

There was Lia, a cute girl of 12, Iban-Chinese by parentage. She was talkative, eager to mix with us missionaries, eager to know about our lives. Then there was Sudi, an Indonesian girl with dimples and a lovely voice. She dutifully carried an exercise book around so that she could learn English words from us.

These are precious lives. And the stories are endless. I can only fit four here. But each child has a story to tell, has a hope that he or she carries, and has a love for Jesus. I was overwhelmed.                                                                

LESSONS LEARNT

  1. 1. God loves everyone, therefore everyone deserves the best.

Many of us are guilty of segregating, of being bitter towards people who aren’t like us, of forgetting that God equally loves each soul. Pastor Ronny built houses for his construction workers, of brick and stone, tiles, equipped with proper facilities. How many contractors in Malaysia treat their foreign workers as such? The children sleep on the same pillows as the missionaries, using pillow covers that he brought from Australia. They wear only first hand clothes and good quality second hand clothes. In fact, there is a policy of discouraging donation of second hand clothes. The kids deserve the best. The question for each of us here; do we treat our Indonesian maids with respect at home? Do they eat at our table, just as the kids of Living Waters ate with us there?

  1. 2. Fast and Pray – so very important!

Pastor Ronny does so when faced with a tough decision. In fact, all of his plans were of God’s. The Praise and Worship Centre was realised out of a vision given from God when he climbed a hill one day. Such intimacy with the Father demands a level of commitment to spend time with Him. If we are to see revival come to INTEC and see our friends get saved, we need to pray hard! For with God, nothing is impossible!

  1. 3. People, Wake Up!

We all are faced with this very crucial question. Why is it that we need to go out of our lives in the city, to leave behind our careers and handphones and emails to go to a place where God is there in His greatness and love, experience it, and feel all fired up? Could it be, that in our lives we have been so distracted that we forget how meaningful Jesus is to us? Is it so, that in our lives we have become so blinded by the comforts of technology and wealth and meaningless conversation that we have neglected our true faith? Or even sadder, why is it that so many people are unwilling to go out?

I don’t share this blindly. Joja, the boy I mentioned above, once asked me when I’d be back. Immediately my own mind flew to my family commitments, my studies, my friends in Kuching, church activities, and I replied, “I don’t know really.” It’s a safe answer, fine. But his reply impacted me. “Tidak apa. Mungkin kamu sibuk di sana ya?” (Maybe you are busy there in the city?)

I’m saddened to say this, but many youth, even Christians have been weakened by the world. More youth doubt God, doubting who He is, and what He has done or CAN do in their lives. Many years ago, I myself was complacent once. It took a personal experience and losing something so valuable in my life for me to realise God was there for me.

After seeing lives transformed in Living Waters Village, I believe that all believers are in constant need of heart, passion and power. Hearts that are willing to seek Him. Passion for the lost. Power to change the lives of the lost, hurt and broken.

Where We Go From Here

Since January, we’ve been talking about revival in INTEC. Touching lives. Reaching out. If there’s one thing I learned from Pastor Ronny and his team, it is boldness. He’s been to jail. His whole family was in danger of a villager mob once. He’s operating in the world’s largest population of Muslims! People, don’t see you something? God is real. And nothing can stand in His way. This is a call for us, that in our lives we need to stop fearing, we need to stop saying that we’re weak, because when we are with Jesus and Jesus with us, none can separate us from His love (that’s a verse, by the way).

As we enter a new semester, let’s strive to make Jesus known. There are people who need His love. It’s a pity when we become complacent and forget to share something so precious inside of us. We’re all in this together, guys and girls!

Living Waters Village is always in constant need of spiritual and physical blessings. Let’s pray for Pastor Ronny and family, the few missionary couples who are also serving there, many of whom gave up their lives to come over, and also for the kids, that they may grow in faith and influence the world’s largest Muslim populated country. We are praying over the possibility of organising a CA mission trip if anyone is interested to go to Living Waters. Possible dates are end year 2009, or mid-year 2010.

Physical needs are finances (but Pastor Ronny encourages people to go, not just give), expertise like doctors, engineers, dentists and so forth to help out in building the place. Maybe even a missionary pilot in the future, when the airstrip is completed! The possibilities of serving are endless there.

Many people think that, well, if God doesn’t call me to go, I stay. I beg to digress. Jesus commanded that we go into the world and make disciples. In Isaiah 58, we are exhorted to help the needy and poor. It’s a duty of every Christian to pay the debt of love that we have. We’ve been given this love so great, and it is time to give back and bless others who need it. God bless you.

(If you are interested in going, helping, contributing in any way, please contact me at larryen90@yahoo.com so I can get in touch with Ps. Ronny) Written by: Larry, ALM 9

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