Let There Be Light at Batu 20!

11222366_10153102546815825_6650953570153721034_n
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.

AdobePhotoshopExpress_bf4d2ad64d65414a83786c9969993005
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:

12109141_10153102603870825_5584304293611673372_n
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):

12074592_10153102603220825_2257254108502989845_n
Photo credit: Moh Foong

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

12079241_10153102604055825_5374815703271585549_n
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.
Advertisements

Highlights from the ISUM Summit 2014

The International Society of Urban Missions recently held its 2014 summit in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur – which was also attended by a few of our church members.

In fact, one of their summit keynote speakers, Rev. Dr. Jayakumar Christian, was our guest speaker at BLC.

ISUM has just issued a several videos to showcase some of what happened throughout the summit.

More videos, including keynote sessions by various speakers such as Jayakumar Christian, René August, Dr. John Perkins, Seeta Gurung and others, are available here.

For more ISUM:

  • ISUM Faceook Group: If you haven’t already, join their facebook group to stay in touch and receive the most recent updates from ISUM: https://www.facebook.com/groups/newurbanworld/ 
  • Connect via Twitter: If you’re on twitter, make sure to follow ISUM: https://twitter.com/ISUMSummit2014
    (Hint, you might find some of our ISUM participants’ minute-to-minute live-tweeting from some of the main sessions!)
  • Save the date! ISUM will be joining with Micah Network next year for their 6th Global Triennial Consultation: September 14th-18th, 2015 in Lima, Peru! The theme will be Integral Mission and Shalom: Peace, Hope and Joy. Mark your calendars!

Enjoy!

Christmas With A Mission

ChristmasWithAMission

Christmas with a Mission is a music festival/concert by the Luther House Chapel‘s Youth.

Through this Christmas music festival/concert, they have a mission is to raise enough funds to buy 2 motorboats for the Pulau Banding Orang Asli community. Pulau Banding is in Temenggor Lake, Perak with an estimated community of 1,600 people.

OrangAsliPulauBanding

The Pulau Banding Orang Asli previously lived on dry land before the Temenggor Dam was built. Since then, they have had to adjust to a new life with different living skills to adapt. They live in shanty huts with leaky roofs and need to learn how to live off the water. Because of the remoteness of their location, there is no piped water supply; no food without fishing, hunting or gathering; or no sanitation services. Without a good boat, access to civilization is severely limited: it is difficult to send children to school; gain access to jobs as well as medical services and maternity care.

All this is why the Pulau Banding community needs the two motorboats.

Come for the music, stay for the good cause!

All you need to do is to come and enjoy yourself with fantastic music (Yes, you can even stomp and dance)!

The suggested love offering of RM35 per entry for the concert. Concert doors open at 6.30pm.

There will also be food sales before the concert starts at 2pm.

The music line up features:

How you can help:

  1. Come for the concert for just a minimum love offering of RM35!
  2. Help spread the word:

Association Of Churches In Sarawak – Official Statement on “Allah” Usage

ASSOCIATION OF CHURCHES IN SARAWAK
Christian Ecumenical Worship Centre, Kuching

The Bumiputera Church will continue to use the word “Allah” as it is the fundamental to all aspects of our profession and practice of our Christian faith.

As we have heard from the public forum today, and has been stated numerous times to the media by church leaders from both East and Peninsula Malaysia, the word “Allah” has been used or spoken by the native communities of Sarawak and Sabah for generations. “Allah” has been used long before the formation of Malaysia and is part of our native language.  It is used in all aspects of Christian faith and practice by Bahasa Malaysia-speaking Christian and other native speaking including in services, prayers praise, liturgy, worship and religious education.  As such, it is reasonable to expect that the word also be use in our Christian publications and multi-media resources.

It thus makes no sense that only Christians in Sarawak and Sabah may use “Allah”.  Christians from Sarawak and Sabah move across the country from East to West to live and work and carry with them their Alkitab and other Christian materials in the Bahasa Malaysia language.  Even non-native from West Malaysia own and read the Alkitab as Bahasa Malaysia is our national language.

It also makes no sense for the Court of Appeal’s recent judgement to be interpreted as being applicable only to The Herald.  While The Herald may have been the case brought before the court, it is our view that the judges have overstepped their boundaries in determining that using the word “Allah” was not “intergral to the Christian” faith.  In deciding thus, the judges have arrogated to themselves a right that does not belong to any human court of law-the right to determine religion.  It is the fundamental right of every religion to determine its expression and practice of its own faith.

As such, the “Allah” controversy is about unreasonable government policies and laws that infringe on the right of non-muslim Malaysians to practice their religion of choice.  In the face of such unreasonableness we cannot and should not remain silent.

The right of native Bumiputras to profess and practice their faith in their own language is safeguarded by the Federal Constitution.  When Sarawak and Sabah agreed to join in the formation of Malaysia in 1963, they did so as sovereign states and with conditions attached; these being known as the Sarawak 18-point and Sabah-20-point Agreements a kind of covenant to which Malaya was a party.

It was not coincidence, it was intentional that the first point in both these agreements concerns the freedom  of religion, Sarawak and Sabah consented to form the greater Malaysian nation with Islam as the religion of the Federation on the express condition that there will be complete freedom of religion without hindrance placed on other religions.  According to these agreements, Sarawak and Sabah were not to have any official religion.

We thus view with grave concern the Court of Appeal judgement on The Herald which has re-interpreted Article 3 of the Federal Constitution to mean that non-Muslim religions may only be practiced in peace and harmony subject to Islam.  We do not believe this was ever the original meaning of Article 3, which simply states that other religions may be practiced in peace and harmony in any part of the Federation.

We need more that just a display of and ad hoc benevolence by the Malaysian Government.  We need  a tangible commitment from the authorities to respect and uphold the freedom of religion guaranteed.  By the Federal Constitution which is the supreme law of the nation.

We thus ask the Government to recognise and affirm:

  1. that the word “Allah” is an integral part of, and inherent to the practice of the Christian faith by Bahasa Malaysia-speaking and other native speaking churches in Sarawak and Sabah and Christians in and from these two States;
  2. that the Churches expect that guarantee of religious freedom enshrined in the Federal Constitution when Sarawak and Sabah joined Malaya to form the Malaysian nation will be full respected and honoured; and
  3. that the 10-point Agreement by the Federal Cabinet in April 2011 on the printing, importation and distribution on the Alkitab in which the word “Allah” is an intergral part of the Bahasa Malaysia Holy Scriptures and also on the practice of the Christian faith in Bahasa Malaysia-speaking churches based on the Alkitab, will be fully honoured.

Two thirds of Christians in Malaysia are the 1.6 million Bumiputra Christians of Sarawak and Sabah who use the Bahasa  Malaysia language of worship in addition to their native languages.  The rights of these Bumiputra Christians must be respected and upheld.

Any attempt to forbid the use of the word “Allah” by non-Muslims would be most regrettable and wholly unacceptable as it is a flagrant disregard and betrayal of the Malaysia Agreements which guarantees the inalienable rights of non-Muslims in Sarawak and Sabah to complete religious freedom.

With greatest respect, we asked that these rights be given its rightful place and that religious bigotry, racism and extremism should not be allowed to show its ugly head.  Mutual respect and acceptance of each other community of faith should be the order of the day in a plural society like Malaysia.

We are most heartered by YAB Pehin Sri Chief Minister of Sarawak public stand that Allah is non-issue in Sarawak.  We are also most encouraged to know that many members of Council Negeri  had expressed their dismay and deep disappointment over how the Allah issue was handled.

Malaysia was formed and built upon trust and mutual respect of all that made the rich diversity of Malaysia.  Let us build upon that foundation and defend it from any who would want to rob it away from us.

God bless Malaysia!

Signed,

Archbishop Datuk Bolly Lapok
Chairman, Association of Churches in Sarawak
Dated on:  Wednesday 13th November 2013  Kuching, Sarawak

CFM Statement to Court of Appeals Ruling On “Allah” Usage

CHRISTIAN FEDERATION OF MALAYSIA
(PERSEKUTUAN KRISTIAN MALAYSIA)
Address: 26 Jalan Universiti, 46200 Petaling Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia
Tel / Fax : + 60 3 7957 1457
Email: cfmsia@yahoo.co.uk

CFM MEDIA STATEMENT

14 October 2013

COURTS CONTINUE TO IGNORE RIGHTS OF CHRISTIAN MINORITY

The Christian community in Malaysia is gravely dismayed and very disappointed by the decision of the Court of Appeal to uphold the power of the Minister to ban the use of the word Allah in the Herald publication.

In a wide-ranging decision, all Christian publications in Bahasa Malaysia the name the court has totally ignored the position of our East Malaysian Bumiputra and Orang Asli Christians, who constitute 60% of the church in Malaysia and who are Bahasa Malaysia-speaking.

the welfare of an individual or group must and applying this principle to freedom of religion, this decision is yet another erosion and infringement of the constitutional protection to the freedom of religious communities to profess and practise their faith and to manage their own affairs.

In what would appear to be a re-reading and re-interpretation of Article 3(1) of the Federal Constitution, it would now appear that a minority religion can only be practised and professed in Malaysia to the extent of adherents of the majority religion.

The Bahasa Malaysia-speaking churches have been using the word Allah both before and after the independence of Malaya and the formation of Malaysia. The use of the word Allah by the Malaysian churches had not been an issue all these years.

However, the various authorities in this country by making an issue of it and by what would appear to be selective action or inaction have only encouraged and fuelled further misunderstandings, mistrusts and brokenness between the Muslim and Christian communities. This will only further undermine the unity of Malaysians.

Despite this very negative development, the Christian Federation of Malaysia reminds all churches in Malaysia to always look to God and to pray for wisdom and guidance for all involved as to the next steps that they should take.

We welcome the fact that the decision of the Court of Appeal does not appear to cover the use of the word Allah in the Bahasa Malaysia Bible, the Alkitab.

We expect our Honourable Prime Minister and the Cabinet to continue to honour the 10-point solution with respect to the Bahasa Malaysia Bible, the Alkitab. We shall, therefore, continue to use the word Allah in our worship, liturgy, prayers and educational materials of the church.

As Malaysian Christians we are committed to our beloved nation and our love for Malaysia remains steadfast and we continue to respond with love and not in hatred as we face this on-going trial and tribulation.

Yours sincerely,
Rev. Dr. Eu Hong Seng,
Chairman and the Executive Committee,
The Christian Federation of Malaysia

Batu 20 Orang Asli Visit

We definitely had a very eventful, but joyous Sunday today. Not only were we blessed with a visit by the LCM KL Dean Rev. Francis Ho, we were also graced with a visit from our Batu 20 Orang Asli sister congregation from Cameron Highlands.

20121028-144920.jpg

The group, led by Rev. Chu Fook On, was in KL for the “A New Dawn – A New Journey” LCM Orang Asli concert yesterday.

They presented a Bahasa Malaysia (Malay language) song, Dalam Yesus Kita Bersaudara (In Jesus, We Are One Family) – a wonderful celebration of the kinship we share in Christ.

Afterwards, we had a simple lunch fellowship before they began their journey back home.

20121028-144935.jpgWe thank God for the inseparable bond that we share as brothers and sisters because of what Christ has done for us!