Sunday, April 2, 2017

Church in the Jungle

Gereja di Hutan. Although the distance from the College is a mere 4kms but by the time we reached there it was a different world. There stood a beautiful church barely 2 years old in the midst of some dense forest. Along the way we went past just one or two huts but left and right we saw oil palm plantations and rubber trees the two main sources of agriculture in this area. Apparently for the first time I got to know an SIB church that has no resident inhabitants. All the church members come from a nearby village and only on Sunday they come together to worship in this 40 x 75 ft church that could easily seat 500 people.
But the congregation is only about 60 adults and together with the children they come close to a hundred. What an amazing church right in the midst of nowhere and what an amazing story how the church was built by members' contribution and one generous donor. Our service began at 9.30am sharp and ended only 3 hours later. The church members put up a show for the visitors where the children's ministry alone presented two dance items and a song with the youths, ladies' and men's fellowship each presented a song. As it happened to be the first Sunday of the month I was asked to conduct the Lord's communion though there were 2 elders who could do that as well. I got to preach just after 11am and I preached for 45 minutes on Isaiah 33 with the final verse it shall be that no inhabitant of the place will say "I am sick" and I asked for the sick to come forward to be prayed for and that went for another 15 mins. By the time I finished it was 12 noon and the elder came up and continued his story of how this remarkable church was furnished with fans and beautiful mosaic with one visitor from KL donating 3,000 tiles to the church. We broke for lunch and by the time we finished it was almost 1.20pm and we took leave and returned to the College. While I was sitting and waiting for my turn to preach I said to myself that it was just as well I did not preach last night or else I didnt think I had the energy to stand for more than an hour officiating at the Lord's table, preaching and praying for the sick. Tonight I will revise my notes for tomorrow and I have to get about 3 chapters of the fourth Gospel covered in about 3 hours.

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