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.

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#GettingToKnowYou – BLC Council 2015-2017: Rubini Murugesan, Chairperson & Missions

[Since we have just installed our BLC Council for 2015-2017, we thought it would be good to get to know them better. To do that, we are posting a profile of each council member – a profile a day for the next 7 days! The profiles will cover the roles and responsibilities of each council member, as well as a short question-and-answer interview – in their own words.]

[Update, 17 Jul 2016: Leigh Wong has accepted a job position overseas; so he has stepped down as Chairperson and will serve as Secretary. BLC is delighted and proud to announce our first-ever Madam Chairperson – Rubini Murugesan!]  

Rubini

Rubini Murugesan serves as Chairperson of the Church Council (2015-2017), as well as the Council Member overseeing the missions portfolio.

As Chairperson, she is responsible for:

  • In partnership with the Pastor, to provide general oversight and coordination among the Church Council to further the ministry of BLC
  • To call for and chair/be the presiding officer at all meetings of the Church Council and of the congregation. (In the event of the chairperson’s inability to perform his or her duties, he or she may appoint a Council Member to serve in his or her stead)
  • Provides oversight for church administrative matters and is chiefly responsible for the BLC Administrator’s role.
  • In partnership with the Pastor and Secretary, submit a written report to the Annual Meeting of the congregation and to the General Meeting of the Lutheran Church in Malaysia and Singapore.

As a Council Member, Rubini oversees our Missions work. In this capacity, she is responsible for:

  • Championing the relationships OUTSIDE the BLC Family congregation, including highlighting and explaining to the congregation the mission needs and plans
  • Leading all members of the congregation in both personal and congregational outreach with the Gospel to those yet won
  • Overseeing the organizations we support, including ensuring they receive financial support on time every year, as well as reviewing this list and making the recommendations to add/drop as necessary
  • Working with the OA partner congregation, including driving initiatives to strengthen this partnership/relationship
  • Working in the context of supporting the Lutheran Church of Malaysia’s Mission work

Getting to know… Rubini!

Tell us briefly about yourself?

  • Name: Rubini Murugesan
  • Hometown: Ipoh, Perak
  • Single – therefore no children.
  • Live in a Condominium which does not allow its occupants to have pets – therefore no pets.
  • I am in the legal line.

How long have you been at BLC and what were your first impressions about it, when you first came?

I have been in BLC since 2006.

My first impression was that BLC had a very funny seating arrangement. Round tables – almost similar to sitting at a dinner table – but it was a great way to get to know each other although the introvert part of me used to opt for the chairs which were not set around a table.

BLCians were very friendly. They still are.

What was your initial reaction to being asked to join/remain in Council?
Fervent prayers to the One above to give me strength to be able to continue with the responsibilities of being in Council.

What do you do during your free time?
Walk, travel and read.

What’s your favorite…

  • Food? Bak Kut Teh
  • Drink? Coffee
  • Movie? Anything that has explosions, fast cars and hunksJ
  • Smell? Coffee
  • Music genre? Hip Hop /Contemporary Pop
  • Book or literary genre? Biographies
  • Conversation topic? The next place that I would like to travel to is…..

What would you consider your strength(s) and weakness(es)?

  • Strengths – able to work in a team and/or independently. Accommodating.
  • Weakness – not having the ability to say no. Not very good with time management.

Can you share what your personal dream and aspiration is, for the next 10 years?
To be able to manage my time better so that I can enjoy a balanced life.

What is your dream for Malaysia (or the world), for the next 10 years?
That Malaysians become colour blind, race blind and religion blind. That we learn to live harmoniously together and be less judgmental about each other.

What does it mean for you to follow Christ today?
To follow Him and to live by his examples.

What do you think God is saying to you lately?
Look around you and see how you can help others around you keeping in mind that you were blessed to have others around you that helped you through this journey called life.

What’s the most random thing you can think of right… NOW?
I have to finish this questionnaire if not my Chairman is going to ‘k-tish’ me again…:p

What’s the best way(s) to get in touch with you?

  • Catch me on a Sunday – during fellowship sessions
  • Call: +60 16 271 5067
  • Other: Face-to-face conversations are my favourite….and if those conversations are done over coffee – even better.

#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!

Special Offering Collection for Malaysian Flood Victims – 28 Dec & 4 Jan

As many of you are aware, several states in Malaysia have been hit with some of the worst floods in recent history, affecting more than 160,000 victims from Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang, Perak, Johor, Perlis and Kedah.

(Photo credit: The Star)

Malaysians from all walks of life are rallying together to pray and to also contribute to rescue and relief efforts. The Lutheran Church in Malaysia will be donating RM30,000 for these efforts and, to support this, BLC will set aside our “Missions Offerings” (the baskets that go around) for the next two Sundays (28 December 2014 and 4 January 2015) as our contribution. Please come prepared to contribute to this urgent and dire need.

Apart from praying and contributing through our Missions Offerings, there are also other ways in which you can help. This article lists out 11 practical ways that you can channel your help through to those affected.

For more timely updates on the flood crisis, visit this website.

#GettingToKnowYou – BLC Council 2013-2015: Sheryl Chong, Missions

[Since we have just installed our BLC Council for 2013-2015, we thought it would be good to get to know them better. To do that, we are posting a profile of each council member – a profile a day for the next 8 days! The profiles will cover the roles and responsibilities of each council member, as well as a short question-and-answer interview – in their own words.]

SherylChong

As a Council Member, Sheryl has been appointed to oversee our Missions work. In this capacity, she:

  • Chiefly responsible for and champions the relationships OUTSIDE the BLC Family congregation, including highlighting and explaining to the congregation the mission needs and plans
  • To stimulate and lead all members of the congregation in both personal and congregational outreach with the Gospel to those yet won
  • Oversees the organizations we support, including ensuring they receive financial support on time every year, as well as reviewing this list and making the recommendations to add/drop as necessary
  • Works with the OA partner congregation, including driving initiatives to strengthen this partnership/relationship
  • Works in the context of supporting the Lutheran Church of Malaysia’s Mission work

Tell us briefly about yourself? 
I’m a PJ/KL Malaysian, 28 going on 29, I was in academia for a while but now looking to see where life takes me.

How long have you been at BLC and what were your first impressions about it, when you first came?
I started attending in 2008 and thought it was cool that like my the church I attended during my uni days, BLC allowed the kids to run around during service. =)

What was your initial reaction to being asked to join/remain in Council?
Umm … I was hesitant and reluctant.

What do you do during your free time?
I watch films and listen to a sinful amount of kpop. Yes, I am out and proud.

What’s your favorite…

  • Food? – Easier to say what I don’t like. I don’t like fresh coriander leaves.
  • Drink? – Ribena and Vitagen.
  • Movie? – This is a difficult question.
  • Smell? – Freshly baked bread, coffee and rain.
  • Music genre? – KPOP!
  • Book or literary genre? – I think Agatha Christie should be a genre by herself because she is that awesome. But for favourite book, it’s Kazuo Ishiguro’s ‘Remains of the Day’.
  • Conversation topic? – KPOP! Sorry, Kpop.

What would you consider your strength(s) and weakness(es)?
Strengths? I’m warm and friendly and have pretty neat handwriting. Weaknesses? I over-think and according to my friends, am a terrible person to watch ‘X Factor’ with because I diva my way through it.

Can you share what your personal dream and aspiration is, for the next 10 years?
Hmm … to build or make tangible what is intangible in my heart.

What is your dream for Malaysia (or the world), for the next 10 years?
Better public transportation, those machines in European supermarkets which spit out coins when you feed it your plastic/glass bottles, Malaysian drivers to collectively learn to indicate and stick to their lanes. And World Peace.

What does it mean for you to follow Christ today?
I don’t know if this makes sense but you know how you learn to wait out (or wade through) the first impressions of everything as you grow older? I feel that’s what God’s kinda teaching me nowadays – to enlarge my waiting room.

What do you think God is saying to you lately?
This may worry you, my good reader, but I never really know what He’s saying. However, I find myself thinking a lot about Matt 6:25-34 – He clothes the lilies and feeds the birds; surely He is looking out for me in these small things and therefore, in the bigger things.

What’s the most random thing you can think of right… NOW?
좋아 니 모든 것이 좋아 …

What’s the best way(s) to get in touch with you?

Sermon: Being Called & Equipped As God’s Hands & Feet (Mission Sunday)

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In celebration of Missions Sunday, this morning Emily talked about being “Called and Equipped to be God’s hands and feet”, based on this week’s lectionary readings.

Participating in God’s mission of healing and reconciliation for the world is something we are all called to in many and various ways. At times the call is small and quiet, an inkling or a pull, and at other times it is blaring loud and clear. Though obstacles arise and things try to pull us away, God can carry us through whatever we have been called to.

As the widow of Zarapheth was commanded to provide food for Elijah, and though she was nearly out of food – the jar of meal did not run empty nor the jug of oil run dry, for as long as it was needed. God provided for their needs.

When God calls us, God equips us and provides for us to carry out God’s mission. The passage from Luke tells us what this mission is, as Jesus has compassion for the widow who has lost her only son. This compassion for someone who represents the epitome of great suffering in first century Palestine, reminds and reveals to us the great compassion God has for us.

This is what we are called to live in and to live out: Living in Christ’s compassion, we live out God’s compassion for the world.

This is God’s mission, which we are called and equipped to participate in.