Saturday, March 25, 2017

To the Ends of the Earth

I made my second longest journey ever since my trip to Long Pasia last June which took 7 hours. This time from 9.10am after breakfast I drove for about 5 hours with only a short break for lunch in Keningau and reaching home in KK at about 2.30pm. Even in the best of times and in the pink of health ministering in the interior is a test of endurance. It could be blazing hot during the day and temperatures could plummet during the night. Now I have achieved my two main goals within the year, that is reaching the two farthest outposts of my Church, Long Pasia and Salarom Taka. I am giving up the hope of ever reaching Pulau Bangi, the island north of Kudat because I don't travel well by boat. Suffering from a bad cold in my third and final session, I did not make any altar call but asked that those who felt called to full-time ministry to raise their hands. I would be happy if there were 4 or 5 but about 20 youths raised their hands and I prayed for them from the pulpit. The organizers were somewhat disappointed with the attendance as they expected 1,000 youths to attend but at the end about 730 turned up. Given the venue at the furthest point from nowhere, I was mighty pleased with the turn out.
I spoke about why professionals need to enter full-time ministry. In the past 22 years there was not a single professional entering full-time ministry in my Church. So I gave my testimony how in Singapore that a vast majority of my MDiv students were former professionals and held tertiary qualifications, some from top Universities in the world. Most of our pastors here have only Form 5 (O Level) education and entered Seminary in their late teens or early twenties. I spoke about why entering Universities and work experience are important for ministry - to gain knowledge and skills since most of our church members are working in the world and more and more are getting their tertiary qualifications. I told them that as a former professional I had gained experience in administration, leadership and financial management, skills that would come handy in the pastoral ministry and leading the church. I pray to You Lord that out of 20 or so youths that raised their hands, let there two or three that will take the step of getting the necessary training and in Your time, You will call them into full-time ministry. If that would happen, all my exertions for the past 3 or 4 days would have been worth it and my reward is to see Your people obey Your truth and follow Your call in their lives.

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