2007 SE Asia Update 8

I spent some time reflecting this morning. I was just humbled by meeting Pastor Eu Hong Seng yesterday. He is the senior pastor of Full Gospel Tabernacle which has been in existence for about 25 years. They started with the youth (young high school and college students) and now they have a vibrant community of people who love the Lord and love one another.

He is involved in the National Evangelical Christian Fellowship. They are trying to be the evangelical voice in Malaysia. It is powerful to see how they are uniting together to fight the ruling on the Lina Joy case, which was world news. They came together to write up a formalized statement. He is also involved in and the Evangelical Charismatic Churches of Malaysia, which is an association of like-minded churches to build up the local church.

Several things I concluded:

1) Good leadership makes good churches – it was awesome to see some of their top tier people in action (they were hosting the conference we attended). All the staff members were eager to help us and even willing to spend time with “foreigners” like us. I have been a firm believer that these kinds of attitudes do not come automatically. They have to be trained. There is a saying, “Just spend time with some of the leaders of the organization and you will know the heart of the leader.” Even though we didn’t spend much time with the lead pastor, just by spending time with the other staff members, I got a glimpse of their church.

2) Sacrifice is always the seed for great things – it was humbling to hear about the level of sacrifice the church members made in order to buy the land and build the facility. They were sharing stories about how people were down-sizing (selling their big homes to buy smaller ones) and giving the difference as an offering. People took out mortgages and even sold things to help the church. They are now in the process of building a community center and a health center to bless the nation.

3) Working together makes a bigger splash
– since Malaysia is not the easiest place to share the Gospel, they realized that if they work together with other churches they will be able to make a bigger difference. There is something about a unified voice calling out in the wilderness than a lone voice – it is just louder. It was encouraging to see how they were working together with other people and churches to build God’s Kingdom.

4) Big dreams and visions have to come from God – the staff members were telling us that their pastor is constantly stretching them with new visions and revelations. It seems like as soon as they accomplish one milestone, they are endeavoring in another one. They trust in their pastor to hear from the Lord and then share with the rest of the church. It truly has to be a God thing because they are doing some incredible things in this area. I think about that phrase that says, “Attempt something so great for God that it is doomed for failure unless God is in it.”

5) Outside of the box thinking brings innovation – it is great to meet people who have a “can-do” mentality. Since the government would not allow the church to build, they went outside of the box and decision to gather the business people together to start up a new business. Then the business is free (have the legal right) to lease it out to whomever they choose to lease it out to. I was thinking there would have been so many churches who would have given up but this kind of crisis caused them to think outside of the box.

As I am seeing more and more people (and churches) like this, it is causing me to do two things: 1) Be thankful for the people that we have in our churches because we do have people who reflect these traits and 2) pray that God would continue to raise up more people like this as well as sustain those who are living with this Kingdom perspective.
 
 
 
Pastor Eu Hong Seng.JPG
 
We grabbed a quick picture with Pastor Eu Hong Seng