Updated: Mar 24
It has always been my heart’s cry to minister to my own race - the Kenyah people in Sarawak, but God had yet to open the opportunity for me to do so. Many of my relatives from my village migrated to Kuala Lumpur for job opportunities and to further studies, but due to the metropolitan lifestyle, I never had the opportunity to get in touch with this diaspora. When the Malaysian government announced the implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO) in March 2020, we were unable to do ministry as we usually did, as we could not move about to visit people or run our physical Life Group. It seemed impossible to pioneer due to these limitations but God has His ways.
One day, God opened the door for me to connect with people from my own tribe (Lepo Ke’) of the Kenyah people, now in Kuala Lumpur. When my uncle passed away on 22 June 2020, my relatives requested me to conduct the funeral and I was so surprised that almost all of those who attended the funeral were from my tribe in my village. At that time, the government had implemented a less restrictive lockdown whereby people had more freedom to move around. At the funeral, I was intentional in finding the “man of peace” amongst my relatives so that I could spread the gospel to my tribe. I managed to meet these two brothers, Anthony and Foster.
After exchanging phone numbers, I consistently kept in touch with them to build trust and to build a relationship with them, as we were like strangers before meeting each other at the funeral. I got to know that they have an older brother named Johnathan. I invited the three brothers to my house for dinner fellowship a month after we met. On that day 19th July, Johnathan decided to rededicate his life back to the Lord.
I continued to fellowship and minister to these three brothers, especially when Johnathan needed to undergo a painful medical procedure to remove a tumour from his body. I managed to visit him at the hospital a day after the surgery and prayed for him, as he was in great pain. He felt a warm sensation like the heat of a fire flowing through his body. Immediately he felt less pain and received peace from God. The brothers were touched by the act of love, and they became interested to join the church. It was the perfect timing, as the government had allowed for church services to convene onsite, although at a lesser capacity with strict SOP in place. I encouraged them to join the Bahasa Malaysia (BM) service and introduced them to Pastor Kenawang and other BM church members so they got to know more people from the BM service.
Working together with Pastor Kenawang, we pioneered a new life group (LG) in their house and had consistent bible study on Friday afternoons so that they could be grounded in the Word of God. From 1 Jan 2021 onwards, Pastor Kenawang together with another leader, Susan, reorganized the working adult ministry in the BM service by starting a new working adult connect group. Previously, some of the single working adults were either in family or student LGs, and some were not in any LG at all. The first physical gathering was on New Year’s Day, with the new working adult connect group having an identity and a new sense of belonging.
When the government announced another MCO in late January, the gathering became virtual and met weekly on Friday evenings on Zoom. The three Kenyah brothers were also channeled to this group and they have been very responsive in the group. As the brothers showed more commitment in Sunday service and LG, they began to show interest in serving, so Ps Kenawang continued to find opportunities to get the brothers involved. The brothers were rostered to be interned in the media team for the weekly live streaming of the Sunday service so that they could be trained to be cameramen to expand the team.
Meanwhile, my family and I continued to find opportunities to connect with the Kenyah contacts that I have, we maximize every opportunity to connect by visiting their homes and inviting more contacts through special gatherings. We desire to reach as many of our relatives as possible so that they can be discipled in the community of believers. God has taught us that He is the Lord of the harvest, he is looking for harvesters in His kingdom; even with the various restrictions and uncertainty caused by the pandemic, God’s kingdom is still advancing powerfully. We have learned that we have to be intentional to connect, follow up and pioneer new groups and this requires thoughtful planning and collaborative effort to make it work. It will always start small, and with persistence, it will grow into something substantial eventually.
Romans 1:16-17 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. For in the gospel, the righteousness of God is revealed - a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”