Partnering With MyReaders To Address Illiteracy In Bangsar

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We’re delighted to partner with MYReaders, a community-led group that seeks to address illiteracy in the Bangsar low-income community! In its first week, MYReaders made contact with students from SMK Bangsar to ascertain their current literacy level.

Find out more about their first week:

Thank you @bangsarlutheran for hosting our volunteer training session! #rumahpapa

A post shared by Alex Lim (@alexstmiles) on

 

Please consider supporting the great work that MyReaders is doing. Follow them on Facebook or email them at team[at]myreaders[dot]org[dot]my.

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Commissioning Meera

Commissioning Meera

Today, we commissioned Meera Mahadevan as our missionary, through the ministry of Alongsiders International.

With this, BLC has committed to regularly support Meera in her work through financial giving, prayer as well as practically; by checking in with her family (especially her mother) and offering help whenever needed.

Meera has been a member of our BLC Family for many years now. She serves as a greeter and leads small discipleship groups, especially for women. She was previously in the mission field for many years before returning to Malaysia, where she eventually became an experienced corporate coach and journalist.

At her commissioning service, Meera shared how the circumstances that led her to return to Malaysia, her personal struggles, and her longing to return to the mission field during the years she was in Malaysia led her to question what God was up to. Meera shared how God was faithfully at work – all the lessons she learned in the intervening years started to make sense when she received the call to Alongsiders International.

Alongsiders International equips compassionate young Christians in poor nations to walk alongside those who walk alone: to love, welcome and encourage the most vulnerable children and orphans, in their own communities.

Meera will serve as Alongsiders International’s Asia Leadership Coach. She will be based in Kuala Lumpur (an answer to prayer, especially for the sake of her mother) but will travel to support the work throughout the region. From her Alongsiders International profile:

She enjoys walking alongside the leaders from different cultures and challenging them to discover the many new and exciting ways to lead and grow the movement in their countries. In this process, she helps them to realize their potential to lead and fulfill God’s purpose for each of them in Alongsiders. In all of this her passion remains people and building relationships.

Please continue to:

  • Pray for Meera as she serves as our BLC Missionary at Alongsiders International
  • Support Meera and her family by regularly checking in with them (especially her mother). Where needed, offer practical help.
  • Support BLC’s mission work through your generous financial giving. Every week your mission offering (the one that goes into the basket) goes to support initiatives and people like Meera. If you would like to give directly to BLC through a bank transfer, please contact rumahpapa[dot]admin[at]gmail[dot]com.

More pics from Meera’s commissioning service here.

Let There Be Light at Batu 20!

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Photo credit: Moh Foong

This past weekend, a group of adults and children from BLC went to help install solar-powered lights for our orang asli brothers and sisters at Cameron Highlands.

The project was mooted so that the children of Batu 20 could have a light source to read and study at night; without relying too much on a fuel-powered generator which cost more money than the community could afford for regular, consistent night-lighting.

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Photo credit: Moh Foong

While some of the team worked on installing the solar panel and lights, others conducted various activities including…

Playing games with the children:

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Photo credit: Moh Foong

Teaching the women of the community how to cook delicious Indian snacks (which is not something they’re used to making):

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Photo credit: Moh Foong

Refurbishing their blackboards (the kids were really helpful here):

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Photo credit: Moh Foong

A special thanks to Rubini, our Missions Catalyst, as well as the team working with her; for getting this project off the ground!

...and there was light! (Photo credit: Benson Ting)
…and there was light! (Photo credit: Benson Ting)

We also thank God for the generous person who donated the solar panel, the BLC Family who contributed funds towards the project, as well as the adult and children volunteers who made the trip up to Cameron Highlands!

More pics available here.

Insert requisite
Insert requisite “How many Lutherans does it take to change a light bulb?” joke here.

Sermon: Responding in Hope and Prayer – Rev. Benedict Muthusami, Open Doors Malaysia

Yes, and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.
– 2 Timothy 3:12

This week, we were blessed and challenged to hear from Rev. Benedict Muthusami, Director of Open Doors Malaysia, a ministry dedicated to serving the Persecuted Church. He preached from 2 Timothy 3:10-16.

Rev. Benedict’s sermon was a powerful reminder about the “bullied” people in our midst and the power of prayer.

We sometimes forget, we are one church that stretches across the world. Whenever one part suffers, we all suffer.

While the message highlighted solidarity and awareness, through it all, there was also a tone of hope: hope in the awesome power of God in the midst of great evil.

We also heard a powerful story of prayer across the world that made a real difference.

Sometimes we get so caught up in the smallness of things that we miss the bigness of God.

So what should we do when we are “bullied”?

We need to respond in love and prayer:

Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. – 2 Chronicles 7:14.

That’s a call to us.

***

As part of his visit with us, Rev. Benedict also shared that Open Doors is celebrating its 60th Anniversary this year.

He also shared with us the World Watch List, published annually by Open Doors International. The watch list ranks the top 50 countries with Christian persecution.

We were dismayed to find out that Malaysia has climbed to #37 from #40 the previous year, due to issues of religious freedom and the use of Bahasa Malaysia bibles.

In support of Open Doors’ ministry, we dedicated our missions offering this week to them.

We thank Open Doors for visiting us and sharing their heart with us. We also especially pray and thank them for the important work that they do for the Church as a whole.

This Sunday: Guest Preacher from Open Doors Ministry

This coming Sunday, we will have the privilege of hearing from Open Doors International, the world’s largest outreach to persecuted Christians in the most high-risk places.

Open Doors has visited BLC before. We look forward to a time of being blessed and challenged as we hear about the challenges facing the Persecuted Church from around the world.

Our missions offering for this coming Sunday will also be in support of Open Doors International.

See you next week!

#NepalQuake – What We Can Do To Help


Photo credit: NBC News

It has been heartbreaking to read about the death and devastation arising from the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Nepal – the worst in 80 years. According to authorities (at the time of this writing), the death toll has already climbed to about 2,000 people – a number that officials say is likely to rise in coming days. The quake also unleashed an avalanche at Mount Everest which has already claimed lives even as search and rescue efforts are underway.

The earthquake was followed by nearly two dozen aftershocks, including a magnitude-6.6 aftershock. According to media reports, hospitals were overflowing with injured people, homes were damaged, phone lines were jammed and roads had gaping cracks running along them. Nepal’s airport in Kathmandu was shut down for hours, further hampering initial relief efforts.

This morning, in church, we spent time in prayer for the people of Nepal following the this news. However, there is clearly more that we can do. What follows are some suggestions of what we can do wherever we are. We will also share with you what we intend to do as a church. Please join us where you can.
What you can do: 
  • Pray continuously for the people of Nepal. Pray for those in the country who have been affected directly by this catastrophe. Many of them who have to deal with the death and devastation of their loved ones and property. Please pray also for Nepalese who are here in Malaysia – our foreign worker friends who are far away from home and are concerned about news from back home.
  • Be kind and generous to the Nepalese you come across this week. Spare an additional moment to ask them how they or their families are. Stand in solidarity with them. If you are able to, perhaps you may want to buy a disposable SIM card for them to call home as some of them may not have the finances to do so.
  • Financially support international relief organizations listed below, or prepare to do so via BLC in the next two weeks.
Organizations you can support (via CNN.com):
  • The Nepal Red Cross Society is the epicenter of the relief efforts and is a direct way to help the people of Nepal. Here is its online donation link; please note that their website connectivity is on and off, so you might not be able to get through.
  • AmeriCares has sent its response team to the impact zone and relief workers are preparing shipments of medical aid and relief supplies for survivors. You can help by donating online to their disaster relief fund.
  • Direct Relief is preparing and delivering medical resources to local health facilities that are seeing patient surges for quake-related conditions. They are also working with medical companies to secure additional supplies as needed. You can help these efforts with an online donation.
  • Global Giving has created a Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund to immediately help both local Nepalese nonprofits and international aid organizations. Supporters can donate online or text GIVE NEPAL to 80088 to donate $10.
  • The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is preparing an emergency response operation and is prepping resources from its hubs in New Delhi, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok. The federation is releasing funds from its Disaster Response Emergency Fund to support the initial emergency response, and you can further support their efforts by donating here.
  • International Medical Corps is on the ground coordinating their response and sending additional staff and resources to support relief efforts. You can support the Nepal Earthquake Responseonline, or by texting MED to 80888 to give $10.
  • Operation USA is undertaking recovery efforts in Nepal, providing essential supplies for those affected and hospitals in need. You can help their efforts by donating online or by texting AID to 50555 to donate $10.
  • Oxfam International is working to help provide clean water, sanitation and emergency food for those affected by this disaster. Donate via Oxfam America here. You can also donate through Oxfam Great Britain here.
  • Samaritan’s Purse is sending emergency shelter, water, hygiene kits, and other emergency supplies. They are also sending a medical team to offer assistance. You can support this by donating to their Nepal Earthquake Response fund.
  • The World Food Programme is also responding, providing food to those in need. You can help efforts by donating online here.
Numbers you can contact & tools you can use/share:
What BLC is doing: 
The Lutheran World Federation, which has started a large-scale emergency response based in Kathmandu. Its office there has escaped the worst impact of the earthquake. Currently the Lutheran World Relief and other local organizations are actively coordinating response efforts to distribute life-saving supplies such as water, food, shelter and medication for many.
BLC will partner with the Lutheran Church of Malaysia to offer financial assistance for relief efforts through The Nepal Evangelical Lutheran Church, and also to The Lutheran World Relief of Lutheran World Federation and other organisations. We will channel our missions offerings for at least the next two Sundays (3 and 10 May) to the LCM in support of this cause.

If you would send your support to LCM directly, please feel free to channel your financial assistance to LCM’s office (Send your cheques to Level 6, Luther Centre, No.6, Jln Utara, PJ, Selangor. Attention: Joshua/Michael at 03-79565992) or bank it in to the account below:

  • Account name: “Lutheran Church in Malaysia” – Maybank (Account no: 014169325999).
  • Please fax/email/send your bank in slip to finance[at]lcm[dot]org[dot]my or fax No: 03-79576953.
  • Important: Please indicate for ‘Nepal Relief Fund’.

Thank you for your continuous prayer, support and solidarity. Lord have mercy!