Have been having a great week in Malaysia. Catching up with old friends and making some new ones too!
We are staying with Alan & Lai Forng Tan. Their church, Klang Harvest Assembly, which started 20 years ago with 60 people is just about 800 people strong now. It’s exciting to see the ministry and the work going on there.
I also got to catch up with a small group of business men whom I met last time for a lunchtime meeting of the Full Gospel Business men’s fellowship at their offices.
There was a visitor to the group who wanted to take me out after lunch and chat to me. He was particularly interested in the fact we’d been to Cambodia and wanted to talk more. His story is fascinating!
His name is Joshua Lee. After a strong Christian upbringing in the Brethren Assemblies in Malaysia he went in to Bank management and quickly rose to be a senior bank manager and extremely successful. He said that he became very wealthy and worked long hours. But his faith suffered for it. He took less and less interest in God or Church.
When he was about 48 God challenged him and ‘called him’ to leave his job as a bank manager and become a missionary to the poor.
The call was so strong he obeyed and left his job, with no clear missionary work to go in to. His friends and colleagues (and family) thought he was crazy. His church suggested he train and become their pastor to begin with. He started down this line but knew it wasn’t for him – he’d been called to be a missionary to the poor. Eventually God led him by a series of meetings with people to some remote villages in Eastern Cambodia about 10 years ago. These were fairly similar to the villages I’d visited in the North West of Cambodia. No electricity or running water and very basic accommodation. He took food and medical aid into these small villages and people with the specialist skills to help the villagers dig their own wells and develop small businesses. He would plant a small church and then move on to do the same thing, by local invitation, in the next village. He’s been doing this for 10 years, and each time he returns to Malaysia God takes him back to look after the churches in the small villages and then on to a different part of Cambodia to do more work.
He is a remarkable man. Supported by individuals and his local church he’s faithfully taken physical, spiritual and social aid into these remote villages for many years. He’s also spent a number of months going in to the ‘Golden Triangle‘ in Burma, one of the most dangerous places on earth, with the gospel.
He’d come to the meeting on the spur of the moment and found the content of the message that day was especially relevant and gave specific answers to his prayers about the timing and content of his next mission trip.
We had a great couple of hours together and I hope we can stay in touch because I’d love to follow his fascinating ministry. But, keeping ‘tabs’ on him might be quite a challenge!
The same evening I went to a ‘Cell Group’ in a local home. All the groups meet on Friday evenings. They have a meal together and then share testimony, sing and bible study together. The evening started at 7pm. We got home at 11.45pm – and we were the first to leave!
Today (Sunday) I had the great pleasure of going back to ‘Alpha Colours’ Church which I’ve been to the last two times we’ve been to Malaysia over the previous 5 years. So it was great to catch up with people and see how this small, young, church has developed. Virtually everyone was under 35 (bar me and one or two others) and full of energy and love for the Lord. We had a great morning and lunch together. I look forward to catching up with them again in a few years time, God willing, when they will hopefully have moved in to bigger premises to house their growing congregation.