It is almost three and a half years ago. Out of the blue I received a photo of me at one of the most interior places you could get to in Sabah, namely at Salarom Taka. In the middle of no where there is a huge SIB church that could seat 1,000 people but I was the preacher for 4 sessions at the Combined Youth Conference of the 9 Interior Districts. I remember that about 700 youths turned up and they told me that previous Conferences saw crowds of more than 1,000. Except for the State level Youth Conference it has been a long time since I preached before 1,000 people. Perhaps in Tongod, Kalibatangan, another interior place three hours from Telupid when I went there in 1997 to preach before 1,000 Anglican youths. It was unforgettable at Tongod as it was forgettable in Salarom Taka.
God worked mightily in Tongod but I fell sick after my first sermon in Salarom Taka. It was an afternoon session and the music was deafeningly loud. I was pouring sweat throughout as the church is not air conditioned and I went back to my room with a fan blowing straight into me and I caught a cold and flu for the next two days. I realised why God’s presence was absent in some of the denomination’s events. There was no longer fervent prayers before Conferences. It was more a show and a social event. They might have rehearsals but it was just the singing. There is no hunger in wanting to hear God through His Word. No wonder Amos thundered that let the noise of your songs ceased before Me, saith the Lord. Four years ago I preached before almost 6,000 people gathered, but I felt empty. I was seated literally in front of two or three huge speakers and my ears were ringing and my heart was pounding most of the time during “worship” but it was not worship when the beat and noise take over. I felt the Holy Spirit like a dove could not rest on a people like that, drowned by the sound of the music, but the spirit and the hearts are far from the Lord. Yet tried as I might since that day was 15th Sept and it was Malaysia’s National Day the next day. I spoke 5 things about Sabah as I pray for Sabah now as it faces a Snap Election soon. I cry out to the Lord to fulfill His purpose for Sabah. When Sabah’s Christians are revived, we might just see a mighty revival throughout the country in Jesus’ Name.