IMG_7932 Jeremy Lee for web
Youth Jeremy Lee giving his testimony during a prayer night at GMC.

by James TC Wong, Grace Methodist Church, Miri

SIBU – Five youths Jeremy Lee, Chai Chung Ho, Ronald Ling, Martin Ng and Stephanie Lai from Grace Methodist Church (GMC) Miri who enrolled in the Short Term Missions School (STMS) at Methodist Theological School (MTS) in early January this year have completed their course with a graduation service held at Wesley Methodist Church on March 4.

The annual two-month course in English aims to equip Christians (mainly youths) to become Christ’s disciples and to provide in-depth study for the purpose of more effective ministries. Concurrently, three-month courses are also available in Iban and Chinese languages, as well as in Music Ministry.

The total intake for this year was 135 students.

2016_11th_stms_eng_01 (for web)
Group photo of the youths attending the 11th STMS in English. Photo credit:

GMC member Michelle Chee, the mother of Jeremy Lee, was elated that her 17-year-old son attended the course. “I really thank God that I can see the positive transformation in my son. Since his return from Sibu, Jeremy has become proactive in doing household chores unlike before. Last Thursday he even attended the Prayer Night by his own initiative, praise God!”

Here’s Jeremy’s testimony:

For the past two months I had the opportunity to attend the STMS at Methodist Theological School in Sibu. I would like to share my experience and what I’ve learned throughout the course.

To be very honest, at first I wasn’t that prompted to join but in the last minute, I decided just to go for it. I’m glad that I made that decision because until this day I have no regrets.

I’ve learned a lot from doing daily devotion to build up my self-discipline. Almost every day, we had to wake up at 4:45 a.m. to prepare for early morning devotion in the chapel. That for me was the most difficult part!

The lecturers and the pastors treated us quite well by giving us the right amount of time to complete the right amount of work and at the same time, learn as much as possible. We were each assigned to different churches to do our fieldwork every weekend.

At the end of the two months, each of us with our family group were assigned to a new locality during the Mission Awareness Week. My family group was assigned to Julau, a small town situated 45-minutes drive from Sibu. We stayed for four days to share the gospel with the people there. I am grateful for the chance to experience a mission trip.

I also had the chance to experience going to longhouses together with Rev. Diong Pick Chiong of Wesley Methodist Church (WMC). Our group started our journey at 4:00 p.m. and returned around midnight. During the visit, Chung Ho and I were asked to share our personal testimony in Bahasa Malaysia. It was the first time I had to share in a different language other than English.

Other than going on missions, every Thursday after the prayer meeting we had to fast and pray until Friday lunch time. That meant that there was no supper on Thursday night! But before we broke our fast on Friday afternoon, we went to evangelize to the people of Sibu. At first I was really scared to talk but after a few tries and help from my friends, I managed to spread the gospel to a few people. Although I was rejected a number of times but that will not stop me from doing the same in future. I believe that God will speak to them someday.

Every week we had to lead a prayer meeting specifically for the STMS English students. Through this, we were able to come together as a Small Group to worship and pray for each other’s needs. Other than attending morning devotion in chapel, assignments and prayer meetings, we also had physical activities every evening like playing basketball and Frisbee. Every Tuesday or Thursday, we did gardening to clear weeds around the MTS compound. I was fortunate enough to participate in the basketball competition organized by MTS. Although I only played a few games because of my graduation, I still thank God for the opportunity.

On Saturdays we had to clean the whole dining area where we had our breakfast, lunch and dinner. Sometimes even after dinner we would still be hungry . But luckily for us there is a food court about a 7-minute walk from MTS where we could have supper almost every night. Sometimes when we felt adventurous, we would walk to the Pasar Malam (local night market), a 15-minutes walk away. The food in Sibu is too good to resist especially the Kampua (noodles)! There was once when we walked for about 50 minutes with our fellow STMS students from the Chinese and Music class just to have the famous “Shui Guo Bing” at Taman Muhibbah. It was really a great time of fun and fellowship with my peers from all around Sarawak!

I am truly grateful that God has put me in this community of Christ to show me that although we come from different cultures and backgrounds, we can be united as one Body of Christ. I can say that throughout this two months my spiritual life has grown and improved a lot.

I now know that God has a plan for everyone of us and he wants us to surrender all to Him. Although maybe we’re facing some problems in life but through God nothing is impossible. God will never forsake us and His love is never ending. I’ll end my sharing with a verse from Philippians 4:13 (NIV) – I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

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