Friday, September 27, 2019

From North to South

Last night, I got lost attempting to locate a house in Putatan, KK where I was going to pray for a one-month old baby, the first child of a couple whom I knew from Kota Belud. I spoke with the father's brother whom I got to know last month in Tamu Darat. He really looked young for his age, but very mature in his conversations and actively serving the Lord. I joked with him that I prayed to the Lord a week ago why He did not send a younger man, doing all these travelling or journeying and preaching. It took me more than 2 days to recover from my 3-day ministry in Kudat last weekend. By the time I felt fully replenished in energy, last night I drove 60kms, trying to find my way in the dark. And just as I was editing my John's commentary yesterday, I have to prepare for my two sermons tomorrow night and Sunday morning. I will travel to the south, right at the Sarawak border, 17kms from Sipitang. Last week, it was the northern most town in Sabah. Imagine I might travel even further to the islands.

Monday, September 23, 2019

3 Times is Blessed (Life of Joseph)

I have now visited the Kudat church for the third time. I gave a 2-hour end-time seminar in July 2015 with the Ranau's Pastors Fellowship. Last year I led my College Family group and preached a sermon on the Feast of Tabernacles. Yesterday I completed the blessed third time (3 is the number of the Godhead - holy, holy, holy) and God is Triune and God is One. I preached a message from the book of Genesis (origins) from the life of Joseph. I started by reading Jacob's blessings in Genesis 49 where the word, "blessing or blessed" appears five times (5 is the number of grace) and in Deut 33's Moses' blessings on Joseph the word "bless" introduces the prophecy with the word, "choice or choicest" appearing 4 times. Joseph is the prince or leader among his brothers. I spoke about his long and coloured robe, pointing to Joseph's potential and future as a naturally gifted leader. He did not go to School or study in the top Universities in Egypt like Moses but God was with Joseph and blessed Joseph with the gift of leadership, administration and management from Potiphar's house to be in charge of prison and then exalted to be Pharoah's right hand man to lead Egypt, first in the times of prosperity and then, in the times of famine. Joseph went through a lot to say the least.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Journeying for Jesus

I have come to the stage of my life that I prefer to stay put in one place and not travel. I am now at Kota Belud on the way to Kudat and there is 120km to go on single lane road on the way to Kudat. I am not even a third way there but already feeling the heat literally and spiritually. I feel like Peter to whom Jesus said one day you will go where you don’t want to and I am just like that. If not for Jesus I will not want to go. Driving on Sabah roads is a chore and a challenge at the best of times.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Travelling Again

It's been almost four weeks since I travelled to Ranau for a long weekend of preaching and seminar. Tomorrow I will travel again to the north. A leisurely drive will take 3.5 hours. It is a long weekend with preaching tomorrow night and Sunday with a full day seminar on Saturday. May the Lord Jesus grant me strength to do this. In the past fortnight I have been immersed into my book and my hope of getting it to the publishers did not materialise. But I am happy what I have done and it is about ready. Interestingly, I received invitations to teach from two local seminaries as visiting lecturer next year. I have already turned one down, partly because my schedule for next year is uncertain. I have several plans in mind but may the Lord's purpose be done.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Pulau Banggi

I thought I had reached my last frontier in my interior ministry 3 years ago when I went to Long Mio and Long Pasia, near the Kalimantan Border with Sabah. Then, I had gone to Pitas up north slightly east of Kudat, being the most northern town of Sabah. But a few days ago, I received an invitation to preach a series of KKR, revival meetings in Pulau Banggi, an island north of Kudat. It is not a place I plan to go, though I have great burden for the place. As Treasurer-General of SIB 23 years ago, we started evangelising in the island, an hour ferry ride from Kudat and now we have 4 or 5 SIB churches there. My home-church supported the mission there for more than a decade and when I was pastor in KK, I hosted the pastor whom we sponsored there several times when he came down to KK from Bangi Island.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Mission Photos

For five days in a row I struggled to edit my book for publication. It is now almost ready to be submitted to my publishers. I am glad to have found (fingers-crossed) a publisher who is willing to publish my book for a fee. I basically have to pay the publishers for their services but with a publisher it means their website and retail outlets can help to promote and sell the book. Talking with the publisher yesterday and showing him my manuscript in my laptop, he quickly browsed through and the first question he asked me was, "Where are the photos of the mission?" My book is supposed to be my experience and ministry among the indigenous peoples of Borneo, now in my 20th year (6 years in Singapore).

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Editing my Book for Publication

Only yesterday I have a measure of confidence that in the next couple of months my book might see the light of day. Yesterday, being the "longest day" (9.9.19, in Chinese 9 means a long time or longevity) I worked for the longest time, about 12 hours. I did not realise my MacBook was running out of battery (5%) warning came up at 11.30pm and I turned off the computer at 11.45pm when it was down to 1%. Never once since I bought my laptop almost 2 years ago I had run out of battery. I had charged it to the full at noon and worked at a cafe since it has been so hot in the past couple of months here in KK. I was busying editing my book, which had sat on my lap for almost 5 years.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Have I found my True Calling?

Perhaps I have finally found my calling. Going where I please or spiritually speaking, where the Lord commands or leads. This morning I went to visit a church which I had not visited for 14 years, since the time I was district Superintendent in KK. I took about 30 minutes to locate the church. It was located in a shoplot but the township in Penampang had grown so much in the past decade that it was hardly recognisable. I went in late as the preacher was starting his message. When it ended the leaders came up to greet me. Even as the closing prayer was said, the Deputy Chair asked me whether I wanted to say anything to the congregation. I said no but it was a real honour for him to ask. Apparently, he attended the eldership seminar where I spoke in Tenom last May. Later two pastors who serve in the church joined us for morning drinks before the 2nd service. I went back up the Hall as I told the church leaders that I would only attend the worship segment as I had already heard the sermon in the first service. When I went home, I realised that I still retain much goodwill among KK churches and many interior churches.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

"Your time is always right but my time is not yet" (John 7)

Jesus said that to his brothers who asked him why he had not yet gone into Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles. In the past few months, friends and brothers in Christ have asked me many times why I had not applied for a new ministry or job if there is nothing here in Sabah for me. I thank them for their good intentions and prayers but it is hard for anyone to understand that like Ezekiel and Elijah that there are times we just need to wait it out and wait until it is the right time for move on or move again. Like the Tabernacle of wilderness that stayed put when the cloud hovered over it and only when the pillar of cloud moved to another place the tabernacle followed. Isn't that a beautiful picture that the people of God or the church should wait on the Lord and trust in His leading?

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

New Lease of Life

What a difference one day could make. Yesterday for almost a whole day I was listless: "O my soul why are thou downcast? Praise Him. There is still hope in God". Perhaps two consecutive weeks of ministry and travelling had caught up with me. Now it is not just one day for recovery but sometimes like two or three days before I could get back on my feet and my mind regains equilibrium. Now I have more than 2 weeks break before my Kudat trip and after that another preaching engagement to attend to. But last night I was given a new lease of life.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Double Work & Double Joy

I was exhausted when I reached home at 3pm yesterday after preaching twice on Saturday night and Sunday morning service. It was double work, double the preparation - different messages for each service. As Saturday happened to be Independence Day (Malaya in 1957) I spoke briefly about some current national issues and how Christians were to respond accordingly with gentleness, wisdom and full of conviction as we testify to Jesus Christ as Lord and God.