For web IMG_6303
A picture speaks a thousand words – fun and fellowship during the camp!

by James TC Wong

MIRI – Grace Methodist Church recently held a 2D/1N family camp for its congregation at a lush resort about 40 km from the city.

Also in attendance were pastor-in-charge Rev. Lisa Ting, Pastor Tiong Huong Ong and Rev. Law Hui Seng.

This year’s camp theme was ‘The Church as One Family’.

In the three-part series, invited speaker Rev. Dr. Tie King Tai talked on 1) Godly Family, 2) Godly Family as a Church and 3) Church for the Society.

The good Reverend outlined four main points in building a Godly family (Ephesians 5:22-6:4); the submissive wife, the loving husband, children honoring their parents and the important responsibility of Christian parenting.

“As Christians, we are to depend on the guidance and empowerment of the Holy Spirit and not on ourselves,” declared Rev. Dr. Tie, who is also the Principal of Methodist Theological School, Sibu.

He further reiterated that children are to honor and obey their parents, and care for them when they are old.

In the Chinese culture, it is customary for working children to give token allowances to their parents.

Parents are to teach their children with love and bring them up in the training and instructions of the Lord.

“As parents, we need to give exemplary teaching by living and showing good examples to our children. Families are encouraged to have regular gatherings to pray together,” he added.

LR Rev. Dr. Tie King Tai, Rev. Lisa Ting, Michael Lee
LR – Rev. Dr. Tie King Tai, Rev. Lisa Ting, Michael Lee

In the second part of his talk ‘Godly Family as a Church’ (Ephesians 2:19-22), the speaker called upon those present to appreciate the church as a family of brothers and sisters in Christ.

“We’re formed in unity in Christ, and Christ is in control of our church,” he said.

“So often it is easier to show sympathy to a fellow Christian than to rejoice at his success,” bemoaned Rev. Dr. Tie.

A video clip from the popular reality show “Voice of China – Aug 23, 2013” was played to drive home his point.

Would you be insane to help your opponent in a zero-sum singing competition?

That’s what exactly the 60-year-old Hongkonger Simon Chung Wai-Keung did.

During rehearsal for the famous Beatles song “Hey Jude”, the more experienced singer recognized the struggles of his much younger opponent, Bi Xia (22 years old) from Harbin.

Instead of seizing the golden opportunity to remain status quo, the magnanimous elder took the extra mile to guide the young lady through the song and consequently eliminating himself out of the competition.

“Lessons can be drawn from this episode. I don’t know if they are Christians or not but Simon has certainly shown us how generous he was towards his opponent even under such competitive situation. His action and spirit are indeed exemplary to how we should treat people,” Rev. Dr. Tie praised.

IMG_6527x For web GMC Camp
One for the album group pic!

In the last part ‘Church for Society’ talk (Matthew 25:31-46), Rev. Dr. Tie reminded the camp participants to allow the Holy Spirit to empower them to care for the society at large.

“One day we will be judged by the works we have done on earth,” said Rev. Dr. Tie. “We must care for others who are hungry, thirsty, strangers, sick, in prison and those in need.”

“GMC is unique in the sense that you are in a way a family of ‘strangers’ (expatriates). You are gifted in many ways and through this camp I hope you all will come up with new, unique ministries to care for the community, ” summed up Rev. Dr. Tie.

Following the closing session, camp participants were invited to share their thoughts and resolve.

Hearing-impaired Victor Hii was impacted to revive his ministry of teaching the sign language. “I shall seek the advice from Pastor Lisa and see how we can re-start the sign language class.”

Flor Nera Woodford praised God for the camp and suggested to do more for the needy people residing at KM 1, Kuala Baram.

Lay Leader Michael Lee announced that serious considerations and outreach plans for next year were already on the board.

In closing, Rev. Lisa Ting led in a special prayer session.

Other highlights of the camp included interesting creative games and morning devotional study among various designated groups.

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