It was great that the New Fellowship Hall was completed in time for Christmas, and for ushering in the New Year 2012.
Our student friends from SIB Alive presented a Christmas medley in the New Hall.
Young Christians and pre-Christians from Malaysia and China.
Backed by an international team of musicians.
After that, we were entertained with an action-packed movie clip produced by the church media team. I could imagine the amount of sweat and labour put into the production... the actors, costumes, shooting angles and motions, lightings, sound tracks, editing... everything done to excellence. I salute you guys. More to come?
Then auntie Janny shared her story of surviving breast cancer, and the miracles she experienced along the way... such as having an Oncologist right in our church, and the government employing a Cardio-thoracic Surgeon in KK. Many times, we see illnesses break even strong people. Not very often do we see people emerging even stronger from a horrible illness. My mentor Steven Wu also had a close brush with death while battling NPC. Today he goes around telling everybody how he was transformed from a church leader near despair, into a spokesperson who could not stop talking about the power of God.
This year we had an invited preacher who flew in all the way from Delhi... Dr. P.G. Vargis, the founder of the Indian Evangelical Team. Despite his busy schedule, he HAD to come... coz our pastor has the same name as his wife, and therefore commanded the same 'fear & obedience'... hehehe.
The evening before, Dr. Vargis had a session with church members. He was a very good story teller and actor (I think dancer as well). He shared with us stories about his missionary work in India, how he walked in unwavering faith, and experienced the realness of God first-hand.
- Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. What He did in the New Testament days, he can still do today.
- pray for your own train to come back. Don't just harap Dr. Vargis, or your pastor to pray for your train.
- 'I will keep praying and keep coming back to check my blood, until I get my miracle'... and he got cured of chronic diabetes in 5 days.
- he prayed for his mentally-retarded little girl to be accepted into a regular school. She did. She finished 49th out of 50 pupils in the first year, and kept getting better and better. Today she is married and doing a PhD in the USA, to be conferred 'Dr.' Annie Vargis soon.
- what gift did you bring for God this year? He does not need your money, or little presents. Did you win any soul for Him?
- don't think that evangelising in India is easy... preachers and believers get ostracised, tortured, even killed. But we still baptised 600 people in a day! How did we do it? We never stop telling people about Jesus.
On Christmas day, Dr. Vargis chose not to preach on Jesus' birth... coz everybody else would be talking about it, and Jesus was definitely not born on a cold winter night. He talked about the story in John 21 (google it) about the risen Jesus appearing to his fishermen disciples.
- John 21:4 Why did the disciples not recognise Jesus? Because they have been at sea (the turbulent world out there) for too long.
- John 21:6 They were still casting nets the usual way, but got a bountiful harvest this time... what made the difference? Before that they were labouring in their own strength, this time they laboured in obedience to Jesus.
- John 21:7 Why did Peter acted so kiasu? Because he was a Singaporean. Hahaha... no la. He wanted to be first to meet Jesus. He had only Jesus in his mind... the other disciples were still thinking about their catch, the boat etc.
- John 21:9 Why did Jesus prepare a coal fire? Because he knew the fishermen would be shivering on return from sea at dawn. Jesus knows our basic needs, and he knows how to provide for them. Read 'basic needs', not luxurious fancies.
- Do not be nēpios (little children) that keep running back to your pastor to change your soiled nappies... (rhymes well isn't it). Grow up, folks.