Monday, October 19, 2015

An International Service

It was a truly international service yesterday. We had a medley of 4 songs, three in Malay and one in English. Then the worship song was Agnus Dei in English and Malay as we had two guests from Singapore in our midst. We didn't want them to feel left out but at least could worship together when we sang the English songs. To make it a truly indigenous service the offering song was in Dusun, the language of my church members, the majority tribe of Sabah. It was accompanied by a beautiful dance by 4 young ladies of the church. It was a memorable service. I preached from Matthew 's Gospel on the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus saying on "do not give what is holy to the dogs, do not give pearls to the pigs lest they trample on you..."
I read the passage in Malay then in English for my Singaporean friends and occasionally repeated myself in English during the major points. Mainly it was in Malay as I know my congregation is Malay speaking. By 11.30m sharp after 1.5 hours, the service concluded on time. A mother in church was moved to give Dusun necklaces to the visitors and I was so proud of my church that they went the extra mile to welcome strangers and visitors in their midst. My guest commented that "your church did not want to make their pastor look bad." One guest asked me whether it was better for her to pick up Indonesian or Malay. I was moved as it was the burden of my prayers that my Singaporean friends would catch the vision of mission in Borneo. Malay is an easy language to learn and in fact master in no time. With Malay, one could minister to 70 diffident tribes in Sabah and Sarawak.

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