by Richard Lee
25 September 2011
Have you ever experienced something unusual in your personal life before? Maybe some interesting or unique experiences that have happened in your family or maybe in the church? Some out of norm event that has taken place before?
Last Sunday, I was the guest speaker in Kuala Lumpur church of Christ. Before the church service, I went to pick up 4 Singaporean brethren from one of the hotels down town. Everything went on fine and was normal during the bible class. Mid way through the bible study, suddenly the building swelled! Not in a physical sense. Visitors started flowing in. Not the 4 Singaporean brethren. Not a few but many visitors. Where did they did come from? Church service! Asians! Must be from the Philippines, I thought.
I was teaching about the Bramble tree from the book of Judges when they came in. Initially, a few men came in, then more men and women came in to listen. The first surprise I had, was that they came from Indonesia. Not Sumatra, Java or Borneo but from Sulawesi. Wow! What are they doing here? Who have brought them here?
The second surprise was that their tourist guide, a local Malaysian, who has never stepped into any church building (it’s just a guess as I did not have the opportunity to meet him) left them in front of the Kuala Lumpur church building.
During the break, before the worship service started, I was told that they were looking for a Methodist church around that area but their tourist guide (who does not know the right hand from the left hand about Christianity) have dropped them in front of the building. Interestingly to me, the Kuala Lumpur church building is not located in a very conspicuous place where every passerby will be able to spot it. Its frontage is facing the main road and runs parallel to Jalan Perhentian. So, unless a passerby is looking for a specific place (in this case, a place to worship), the church building is not readily noticeable. My next question, why Kuala Lumpur church of Christ? There are other church buildings along Jalan Ipoh and Jalan Sentul nearby. They have good location and can be easily seen from the main road.
My third surprise was that they are all church members from Sulawesi. They were looking for a Methodist church, according to Christopher, but they were not Methodists. They were looking for a place to worship and had “stumbled into” the Lord’s church. Is it a coincidence?
I was the preacher for the day. I am the guest preacher. What am I going to do? What to preach? My sermon title given earlier was “Two are better than one”, taken from the book of Ecclesiastes 4:9-13. Now what? I told myself then and there to change the lesson. Yes, two are better than one, the visitors and our local members. Two groups of people are better than one. I will preach but one sermon and that to cater for our friends from afar. I guessed you know that I preached about the Kingdom of God. If so, you are right! My lesson started from the book of Daniel chapter 2 and went on and ended in the book of Acts chapter 2. I preached on the ONE church and the baptism by immersion and membership by the Lord adding baptized believers into His body, the church.
It was an unusual experience, for the first time in my life, I had more than FORTY visitors (both locals and Indonesians) in a congregation listening to the unadulterated gospel preached to them. I was taken aback a little. Later, I came to know that they were all “pastors” from a reformed evangelical church known as GMIM church (Known in English as the “The Christian Evangelical church in Minahasa or Bahasa Indonesia “Sinode GMIM-Tomohon”.) Their group leader, Mr. Sumakul, holds a Th. M., and Ph. D. He told me that they are the largest “christian” group there. How many members? 800,000 members! I asked myself, is any soil (heart) so hard that the Word of God cannot penetrate?
Before they left, I gave them a few booklets by bro. Roger Campbell on miracles, bro. Christopher gave them some booklets by bro. Perry Cotham and bro. Liew distributed a number of Bible Correspondence Course cards. We trust that the lesson shared and the booklets and the Word of God will stir their hearts to ponder on the truth with regards to the church. We ask that you pray for them that when they go back and reflect upon what they have heard and read those booklets as well as search the Scriptures, they will be directed to the TRUTH as they were directed to the church building.
What a day! What a surprise on 11th September 2011! Have you seen some-thing unusual lately? Preach the Word!