The Vine Press – July 2020

JULY 2020 Newsletter


Blessed 54th Anniversary PJEFC!

PJEFC commemorates her 54th Anniversary in a year that we will always remember! Not only us, but the whole world will remember how everything turned topsy-turvy by the Covid-19 invasion. Almost overnight, nations went into lockdown and the familiar way of life mostly vanished. Social distancing, sanitizing hands, wearing masks, Zoom calls, and working remotely became the enforced norm. The inability to publicly gather contributed to a destabilising disruption. Sigh!

Though the situation has eased, there is a danger of the virus making a quick come-back if we let our guard down.

Under such circumstances, how can we celebrate this occasion? Some of us are still moaning over our ‘losses’ while adapting to the ‘new normal.’ The Psalms sermon series taught us to release our sorrows to God. He hears and understands. The recently concluded ‘Walking with God in Pain and Suffering’ series provided comfort. As Jesus suffered, so will His disciples.

The apostle Peter said:

‘In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.’ (1 Peter 1:6-7)

So rejoice in the Lord, that through trials, we experience God’s presence and sustaining power. Our faith is strengthened while God is glorified.

Ecclesiastes 3:4 says there is ‘a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.’

5th July, our Anniversary Day is a day for rejoicing! Let’s cheer up by practicing Gratitude and Joy in Adversity.

  1. The basis for gratitude and joy is the LORD
  2. Troubles are temporary
  3. We can choose Joy!

Reflect on the goodness of God and give thanks. Count your blessings! Share what God has done in your life. What new things or life lessons have you learned? How has God met you in your hour of need, or used you to bless somebody?

Also, how has God blessed PJEFC?

God started the Urdu & BM ministries while growing the Nepali ministry. Joshua, Samuyal and Edwin helped stabilise these ministries. Sin Yi joined the Media department at the right time when things went digital.

Thank God for providing PJEFC with young pastors (Ps Alexa, Ps Ruth, Ps Melissa, Ps Jeremy and Ps Yu Yong) and staff members who are tech savvy, creative and innovative. He provided in advance, knowing that such hard times are in store.

Dan Reiland in his recent article ‘How to Gain a Healthy Stability during a Time of Disruption’, mentioned:

COVID-19 is a once in a lifetime nightmare, and it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to see what God wants to do in and through His church….We need to be able to let go, or embrace, whatever is necessary.

It may be in the end that God didn’t ask us to change the church as we know it that much. It may look more like innovations and improvements to what we know. Perhaps the change He wants is more inside us.

So much has changed, continues to change, and we are not yet sure where it will land. …In times like these, it’s best to find true stability within yourself. The kind of stability that finds its foundation in Christ and is not shaken by what’s going on around you.’

PJEFC, stand tall & firm! Rejoice in Your Lord! Greater things are yet to come!

We worship a good, good God!

Blessed 54th Anniversary!

Lai Sheong
(PJEFC Pastoral Team, Joy Ministry)


SERMON SERIES

05 JULY : Live as Jesus Lived – Ps Jeremy Lim

12 JULY : Lead as Jesus Led – Ps Alexa Ho

19 JULY : OMF Guest Speaker – Dr. Tai

26 JULY : Youth Sunday – Dr. Hera Lukman


What PJEFC Meant to Me

Some five decades ago, PJEFC was a young church in Malaysia and I was privileged to serve on the church committee in various capacities for several years. Without a proper theological training, I learnt to be totally dependent on God as I constantly reminded myself of the words of Jesus in John 5:30 where He said, “ … I can do nothing on my own…”

PJEFC was the centre of activities for many of us with young families. Apart from Sunday worship services, where the leaders took turn to preach, we prayed, played and learnt together. During those happy years, PJEFC was my life!

Paul Lim


THE POWER OF PRAYER NETWORKING ONLINE

I joined the Joy Prayer Group that met every Thursday as a learner about 2 years ago, attending fortnightly due to other commitments.

In January 2020, while sharing our resolutions for the year 2020, I remembered mentioning my desire to focus on reading the Chinese Bible.

My daily devotion material is the Chinese Bible and a Chinese Devotion Book which I have been using for the past few years. This year, I decided to read and pray completely in Cantonese as well.

As Covid-19 spread and the MCO began, we stopped meeting until we used Zoom in April to continue our Joy Prayer. Recently, our very own PJEFC missionaries Bob and Kim Teoh joined our Zoom Prayer from Gloucester, Australia. Members of this group from the beginning, they remained in our WhatsApp prayer group after migrating. Thank God that we can pray together virtually via modern technology.

On 19 May 2020, Kim called me for help. Her Chinese friend, Sandy, is unchurched because there is no Chinese-speaking church near her even though she is a believer. She reads the Bible on her own and has limited knowledge of English as Cantonese and Mandarin are her heart languages. Kim encouraged her to join an online Kairos Course in Chinese that was conducted by Operation World. On that particular week, Sandy’s assignment was to pray for other races in different countries.  Sandy did not know how to pray for the nations. Her prayer life was very simple – pray for her family, her children and her needs. I then shared with her on how to pray regarding her homework assignment.

In return, I was blessed by her testimonies. When she was a student in lower secondary, she loved to listen to a Bible broadcast over radio at 5.30am. She would throw a thick blanket over herself and the radio; reduced the volume so that nobody knew what she was doing. It was illegal to listen to the Gospel in China. If discovered, she could be jailed. She told God, “God, if you are real, bring me to other places where I can hear your Bible and will not be caught and put in jail”. When she started working, God answered her prayer. Within 2 months of her application (in 1990’s, it normally takes 10 years for an application to be processed) she obtained approval to migrate to Australia. Alone in a new culture and foreign language, God sent people to lead her to a church, taught her to speak simple English, run a restaurant and moved her to Gloucester where she met Bob & Kim.

Sandy knows God had blessed her a lot and I can see a “fire for God” in her. She is in touch with a Chinese church in Brisbane and a number of non-Christian Chinese restaurants owners, of whom she desires to reach out to. Through ‘prayer connection online’, Sandy moved a step to the right. In God’s timing, I believe that she will impact some of her contacts, too.

Our first conversation ended with my prayer in Cantonese, blessing her homework, praying for her family in Australia and China, and her role in God’s Kingdom in accordance to His will.

God is amazing! While I am still seeking the Lord on how the MCO period will benefit my Christian walk with Him, God showed me that ‘while human movement is limited and controlled, God’s movement is boundless’. He continues to see our heart, knows our thoughts, hears our prayers, and examines our motives.

“Thank you Lord, for YOU know all our weaknesses. Some are tired of the workload, while others are worried about their finances; but God, you are in control. You are faithful and just. Safe guard our hearts Lord, so that we will not be easily distracted by the world.”

Roman 8:28 says, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

Connie


JUNE 2020 NEWSLETTER
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