Monday, December 22, 2014

University Malaysia Sabah (UMS) Christmas Festival

I attended UMS Pesta Krismas last night at UMS' Chancellor Hall, the first time Christmas celebrated on Campus. It was grand event. The Deputy VC attended to the guest of honour, a State cabinet minister and MP for Tuaran was also present. As it was raining heavily, the programme started late, about 8.30pm. I enjoyed it despite being my 4th event in 24 hours. On Saturday night I preached concerning Jesus Christ and how by his knowledge he has justified many people. I spoke at length and I had to inject humour from time to time to keep the audience's attention. It was also raining steadily and my wife was worried about the attendance as it was AFF Suzuki Cup Finals between Malaysia and Thailand. But I prayed that the rain would stop by 7pm and it did. I praised God for that because it was raining cats and dogs last night at 8pm and that surely affected the attendance at the UMS function, though at the end 3,000 people turned up in a hall that could sit 5,500 people comfortably. Yesterday I attended my homechurch's 8am service but I had another service to go to at 9am as this church was to celebrate their 4th anniversary and their new beginning as an SIB local church. But I stayed on until the end of the service as the pastor preached an excellent message on Isaiah 11 and I learned much. I was seated behind him because I wanted to let him know I might be leaving the service for another, the elder-in-charge saw me and asked me to say the closing prayer and benediction. It was good that I prayed. The church and its leadership needed some timely encouragement as we, Malaysians are entering an uncertain future in 2015. In my prayer I quoted Matt 6 that if we sought the kingdom of God first our needs would be provided despite whatever external economic situation that we might face in 2015 and 2016. I think we will face tough times in the next couple of years and church members needed much wisdom to lead simple and moderate lives. So I rushed to the other church and before that I managed to chat with the City Mayor and his wife. I told him I will see him in Ranau as he is a Ranau native. Just as I was about to get into my car I caught up with another friend and he invited me to his Christmas open house on 27th. By the time I reached the church the preacher was wrapping up his sermon. He asked the church members whether they wanted to go to heaven and to raise their hands if they did. Most hands went up. But he asked further who wanted to go to heaven tonight? I was taken aback, was that a trick question? After a while, most hands went down but my hand was still raised. The preacher said  he prayed everyday that he would go to heaven the same day to meet the Lord, by that he was ready to die anytime. That message came across powerfully and I was energized by his testimony. It was a grand affair for a church of 100 members but yesterday's attendance was great, about 130 people turned up. When I preached on Saturday, the church was pretty full probably about 120 adults.
When I reflected on last night's UMS event I could see the future of Sabah and Malaysia lies with young believers. The Christian university group from various denominations put up a great show. There was no preaching but through the songs, skits and dances, Christ was put forward as the way the truth and the life and I was proud that the name of Jesus was exalted in our own public University. So I told my church leaders when they invited me to come down to KK once a month to teach to enrol 20 young people below 30 yeas old and another 10 from the church that just declared itself a local SIB church. I need to prepare the next generation of leadership, by the grace of God.

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