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One for the album! Front row, 3rd left – Trainers Rev. Samuel Law, Rev. Esther Law, Rev. Ha Siew Hie, Rev. Angela Ting and all the participants.

by James TC Wong

MIRI – The Christian Education of the Miri Methodist District Churches organized a DISCIPLE Facilitators Training at Hwai En Methodist Church from Jan 18-19.

The two-day intensive training drew an attendance of 21 participants including 8 Methodist Pastors who are presently serving in the Miri District.

Founded in Texas in 1986, the DISCIPLE is a short-term program Bible study aimed at developing strong Christians. The study is intensive and requires discipline. For 34 weeks, Study Groups led by facilitators will meet weekly for 2½ hours per session.

DISCIPLE was introduced in the Methodist churches in Sarawak by the Sarawak Chinese Annual Conference (SCAC) 20 years ago. Many Methodist congregational members have already enrolled in DISCIPLE I, II, III and IV.

In her welcoming message, Miri Methodist District Churches Superintendent Rev. Esther Law thanked the participants for their commitment to serve as facilitators.

“Many students who have graduated from DISCIPLE have the misconception that they only needed to be disciples during the 34-week study. This shouldn’t be so – we should be disciples of Christ Jesus in our lifetime journey,” she added.

The good shepherd also reminded the participants to be proactive in encouraging their congregational members to enroll in the study.

At the closing the training was well received with participants awarded their certificate of completion.

Rev. Ling Man Hsi, the new Pastor-in-charge of Yi En Methodist Church, was obviously elated with the training.

“I’ve enjoyed the time with my peers. I’ve also refreshed myself spiritually through the interesting discussions in the DISCIPLE II module. Thank God for the blessed opportunity to be equipped and to be a blessing to others, ” she commented.

“Being one of the two English-educated participants, I didn’t let the language barrier stop me from joining. I soaked up as much as I could with my limited Chinese vocabulary. I greatly appreciate our trainers and course mates who tried their best to translate for us,” said Irene Chee, who attended the DISCIPLE I training module.

The trainers for DISCIPLE I facilitators category were Rev. Esther Law and Rev. Ha Siew Hie (Chin Fu Methodist Church, Kuching) while Rev. Angela Ting (Methodist Theological School, Sibu) and Rev. Samuel Law (Emmanuel Methodist Church, Bintulu) took charge of DISCIPLE II.