It is my pleasure to introduce Pastor Kenneth and Loo Ann Toon in this issue of Kingdom Family. They have a journey of sincere service to the Lord Jesus and a family life of Kingdom living up until this stage when both their children have grown up. I recall how their son, Benjamin, brought up under the prayer of his parents, was a little toddler standing in the time of worship, sucking his dummy but deeply soaked in God’s presence with his eyes closed. That picture was most amazing and how I wish that photo is still available. Eliza was a natural when she danced as a little girl during the worship time. Now she writes with passion and pour her heart out fluently through her mighty pen.
Kenneth is a faithful man and servant of the Lord whose destiny in making money for Jesus was seen in a prophetic picture I had over him. I saw gold coins falling upon him from heaven. He is fervent for the Lord as a dad to his kids and a shepherd to his people with his good-natured personality. Loo Ann is the great support and partner in ministry and business to Kenneth, while busy mothering the two children in the ways of the Lord. Their partnership as a married couple is a great witness. How did they do it all? Please read on…
Our Reflection on Kingdom Family Cultureby Pr Kenneth & Loo Ann Toon
When we were planning our wedding 22 years ago, we felt led to have Joshua 24:15 “But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” as a foundation and blueprint to build our marriage and family. As we faced many storms along our journey, we are glad that this verse has continued to keep us grounded in serving God even as we are tossed by waves of trials and uncertainties.
For Loo Ann, the best decision she has probably made in her life is making adjustments to her work options to focus on raising our kids, Eliza and Benjamin. It was a challenging time for us financially and also for her moving from a fast paced, dynamic working life. That challenge meant she had to constantly seek the Lord and it is during this time that she grew most as a Christian.
We realized that both our kids were very sensitive to the Holy Spirit especially during the first few years of their lives. Eliza would have visions of angels and at one time, saw Jesus standing at the foot of her bed. Ben had the experience of being slain in the Spirit at the age of two. We can’t really pinpoint what developed their sensitivity. However, we would often fill the house with worship even as they sleep.
One Easter, when Ben was about two and a half years old, Kenneth read the Easter story to the kids and shared the gospel. That Sunday, Ben answered the altar call by himself after service and accepted the Lord. Until today, it still amazes us. Never underestimate a child, no matter how young. Matthew 5:8 says, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”
Over the years, we have seen them lose that sensitivity to the Holy Spirit as other things clamor for their attention. Our deepest regret is not knowing how to keep their purity towards the things of God and protecting that.
It is important to us that we work out our faith so that our children know God’s greatness and faithfulness. In the last few years, especially after we started our business, we began to learn to integrate our faith into our family, church and business. It’s not so much about family, church and work life balance anymore as we no longer compartmentalize God. On the other hand, everything that we are and everything that we do in our lives revolve around God. There is no longer a segregation of that which is secular and spiritual.
We thank the Lord that our children have been a blessing in releasing us to serve the Lord. They have been very supportive and understanding in helping us with our busy schedules. We make it a habit as a family to eat together as often as possible. The children understand our priorities as ministers of God. Most importantly, they know they are important to us.
Building kingdom family culture is a life-long adventure of learning. As we journey together as a family, we learn and grow together as a family with God in the center of our lives.
1. Why is it important to have God’s Word as the blueprint in building my family?
2. As parents, in what ways can our personal faith help our children to grow in God and build our family?
Pr Jeremiah Yap
All mission trips count for God’s destiny for the nations. But personally it is not often that a mission trip turns out to be a clear God’s destiny moment in a nation. I noted Cambodia. When our Pastors went there after Communism, it was a destiny defining moment. Twenty plus years of investing into that nation by our leaders and members, Pastor Barnabas Mam in our 2013 Pastors Retreat informed us that over 400 churches have been planted since that beginning. Russia was another experience where I was privileged to plant 2 churches. Today, the door to preach in Russia is closed.
Now it is Kobe. The prophetic word before we went, “This is the time for Japan”, turned out to be in a time when the Holy Spirit was moving in extraordinary ways 6 weeks prior to our arrival at KBF. Their people received prophetic revelation, a girl baptised in the Holy Spirit by herself in a meeting, man insisting on being baptised despite of typhoon, and so on, were some of what the Holy Spirit was doing (in a previously conservative church).To be part of their season was pure privilege. Thanks to Pr Lawrence who requested me to go and teach them Kingdom Family. He opened the door also for Kobe beef!!! Jokes aside, his fervency for NLRC to be moving into global mission is so integrated in God’s Kingdom mind and God’s destiny into the nations.
It was clear that the Holy Spirit was awesomely at work in this mission trip, and we were just privileged to be part of it. For the prophetic teaching, we taught on the baptism in the Holy Spirit when we were told only 5 people pray in tongues in KBF. At the end of that session, Pr Akira told us that 100% of those prayed for spoke in tongues. One of the highlights was the prayer preparation before the trip. The Lord gave us prophetic insights of Japan and Kobe. Much earlier the Lord showed me a bunch of keys. In our prayer time, he showed me that Kobe is the womb of Japan. The womb is where new birth begins before entrance into the world. Could it be that God intends to birth revival using also Kobe? Upon releasing that word, Pr Rob told us that “Kobe” means “God’s Gate (or God’s door)”! They have been praying for revival. If they would steer their lives well, KBF can be mightily used by God for revival for whole of Japan. That would be incredible!
Wong Kar Sum
The presence of God was strong throughout the teaching seminar of Kingdom Family, sharing of testimonies, prophetic ministry as well as the Sunday worship services.
I felt a stronger presence of God during this Kobe mission trip compared with other trips I had gone to in the past. During one of the pre-mission prayer sessions, a thought flashed in my mind about people that were cast aside, i.e. the elderly, the under-performers and the weaker ones. During the mission trip, I sensed God’s heart for different ones in KBF who were going through struggles. I was teary and felt God’s love for them as I prayed for them. This made me realise that the Holy Spirit had been speaking to me during those pre-mission prayer sessions. Even as Pr. Jeremiah and Aunty Susan were proclaiming a season of birth for KBF and Japan, God was showing me that He loved all His children personally.
I gathered from our conversation with people at KBF that they were experiencing the move of the Holy Spirit even before we arrived in Kobe. The presence of God could be felt tangibly and the hearts of the KBF members were so open to receive the messages that we shared with them.
This mission trip has changed my perception of church life and my Christian walk. While I have tried to build the foundation in the Word all this while, I could see and feel the difference in ministering the Word together with the Holy Spirit and the presence of God compared with just ministering with the Word only. This Kobe mission trip gave me a fresh understanding and revelation of Kingdom life.
Soon Vi Vian
During the recent mission trip, I feel privileged to see how God is working in Japan through Kobe Bible Fellowship. I was amazed to see various nationalities during the international service (English with Japanese translation).
We received positive feedback from the church leaders: encouraging prophetic ministry, good timing and confirmation from God. Some even noted that the message from Pr J was the same as what Pr Rob had shared recently. The Kingdom Family concept was enlightening for some (e.g. A home school teacher who has a passion for the youth mentioned she was “shocked” as she received a revelation of the teaching).
Most of the KBF members were expecting something from God. When the Holy Spirit moved within their hearts, they were released. A particular young lady who had depression before said she was really blessed by the divine arrangement of God. She recently started speaking in tongues during one of the pre-service meetings prior to our trip. She also testified that she began to open up to people more in the recent months.
Besides the teachings and the sharing of testimonies, we gathered that they also learned by observing our team. One of them shared with me that she gained something by watching me asking their pastor what he would like for a drink. It was during a buffet dinner, where I brought two different types of tea to the table.
Overall, it was a blessed trip. I was encouraged by their hospitality, kindness and commitment to serve the Lord. Some of them also prayed for me. I sense that this is the beginning of a remarkable journey for the people in KBF for it was proclaimed that the timing of the Lord for Japan is now. With the excellent translators and commitment from the pastors and leaders, I believe they will flourish in their Kingdom-living and soul-winning focus.
Upon arrival in Kobe, I felt a sense of excitement and hunger in the people in KBF. Beyond the smiles and polite gestures, there was a deep desire to hear from God. When I stepped into their sanctuary and as they began worship, I felt a sense of peace and presence of God. I really enjoyed the communion with God during that worship.
As Pastor Jeremiah prophesied upon them, tears flowed and I could see that these were tears of joy and their hearts were so open. As we prayed for them during and after the sermons, tears flowed in us as we prayed for them. The Holy Spirit was truly working in and through us and in them.
The confirmations that we get from them were amazing. According to them, Pastor Jeremiah’s prophecies were consistent with what was happening in their church in the past six weeks. This was also amazing to us as a team to KBF.
After sharing my testimony on fear, some of them came up to me to share about their difficulties in overcoming fear and depression. I was truly encouraged that there was a purpose in sharing this testimony. God has prepared their hearts to receive our sharing and prayers for them.
I was personally overwhelmed that God opened this door for our New Life mission team. It is not every mission trip where we can see the Holy Spirit so strongly through us. I believe that this mission trip is a calling for the whole team to expect more from God, not just in future mission trips but in our daily lives.
Just before I left for Kobe, my boss was not happy for me to go, as they have postponed the company sales event to the weekend I was away. And we had a big sales target to meet. Pr J prayed that God would give me favour and that, even though I am in Kobe, my team would exceed the sales target. When I reached home on Monday, I found out that we have indeed exceeded the target! We sold 109 cars that weekend. Praise the Lord!
My concerns – two important points to consider for Kobe
What is needed to keep this move of the Holy Spirit in KBF growing so that the church may reap a revival and not suffer any damage as in past charismatic renewal?
How is KBF going to join/support Pastor Rob in preaching the Gospel, trusting for revival, to the whole of Japan?
If these are also their concerns, and if requested, we should help them in moving ahead in order that God’s plan and destiny of Japan for Kobe may not be disrupted by the evil one.
In this segment of Kingdom Family Series, I wish to introduce Pastor Weng Cheong and Yee Fun. Both of these are our home grown ministers of God. Came to New Life and born again in our church, they have grown to be successful ministers in our NLRC Church Family. They are our spiritual son and daughter. We are very proud of them. We have seen them in joy and in tears on account of labouring in the Lord’s harvest field. But they have never complained not ever thought negatively about God and our spiritual family. They tenaciously served from one stage to another. Today, they are effectively serving God with their family with wisdom and in the power of the Holy Spirit. They told me repeatedly, more than ever, they feel the Kingdom vision and church planting are unique to NLRC and it is God’s call to our Group. So they are into building foundations for future success. If they have to restructure, they will do so, so that they will groom up strong leaders for future multiplication. These are special God’s servants indeed.
The Values of Kingdom Life & Kingdom Family
by Pr Wong Weng Cheong & Ng Yee Fun
Understanding of Kingdom Life should not remain just theory, more importantly it is how we apply and live out its values in our daily living.
Esther and I place great emphasis on the family, so much so that everything we do starts from the family. I praise the Lord that we enjoy a good marital relationship, and God blessed us with three daughters. Most worthy of thanks is the fact that they are all very teachable. They have a sense of security and good self-esteem in their growing up years. Whenever they are faced with obstacles or failures, they know their home is their best refuge. Dad and Mom are always there by their side when they need a shoulder to cry on, to guide, strengthen and encourage them to get back on their feet again. As parents, we know we have to portray the image of God the Father before our children, with love and honesty, according to the Scriptures. Whilst our foundation of life is firmly rooted in God’s righteousness, Yee Fun and I are careful to show them God’s unconditional love and acceptance. These explain why our home is filled with laughter always. As Yee Fun is one who honors her husband, as a father, I know that when I love my wife dearly, our children will feel the warmth and love of the family.
“I like my family” is the expression of joy from our daughters regularly. We are truly grateful to the Lord for all these.
Our daughters spend their growing up years in church life and are serving in church ministry. They are growing spiritually in knowledge, wisdom and faith in the Lord. Yee Fun and I are so encouraged by them.
I want to make a special thanksgiving about my 94-year-old mother. She has been staying with us all these while and we take care and look after her. Despite being afflicted with Alzheimer’s Syndrome since over 20 years ago, God has taught us to put in practice the culture of honor and filial piety towards her. Our children witness how we love and take care of their grandmother since young. As a result, I have never heard them murmur while taking care and cleaning after grandmother. Praise the Lord. “Honour your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.” (Exodus 20:12)
Praise the Lord for giving us a chance to put into practice these Kingdom values. I am convinced that an exemplary life is the most effective means to pass down our legacy to the next generation. In these end times, let’s bear witness to these values that undergird Kingdom Life and Kingdom Family through our personal walk and family.
Introducing Pastor SS Loh and Vivienne…
If there are two words to describe Pastor Loh and Vivienne in New Life Restoration Centre PJ, these would be “tenacity” and “faithfulness”. Knowing them from the early years of pre-Christ to now, they have remained faithful to Jesus and the church for many years. I have also seen Loh’s tenacity in beating life’s odds to muster Christ’s victory in his personal life. From that, he and Vivienne have successfully raised a family that trusts in Jesus.
I recalled Loh’s early personal challenges. With his discipline in scripture memory and church ministry and support, he beats the devil at his intentions to “kill, steal and destroy” (John 10:10) people in this modern world with deceptive spiritual and emotional attacks. Loh and Vivienne often say that simple faith in Jesus is what we need. By their simple faith, they have been blessed and they are into the journey to bless others, growing in the ministry of marriage counselling. Their journey of learning and serving in the marriage ministry can only be more and more competent. I can foresee a greater demand for this ministry as people find their need of Bible values because worldly principles are not solving marital difficulties. In the world, their common way is separation or divorce; all ending only in pain.
As Loh and Vivienne grow in their ministry, may the Lord’s wisdom increase with anointing that breaks the yoke of heartaches in marriages and families. Enjoy their Kingdom Family story…
Kingdom Family & Culture
By Pr SS & Vivienne Loh
I (Pr SS) am blessed with a wonderful wife Vivienne and two lovely daughters Sherine, Suzanne, our son-in-laws Aalva and Aaron and two beautiful grandchildren Kate and Jack and one grandchild on the way for Suzanne and Aaron.
We thank the Lord for His love, saved by His divine grace some 33 years ago. Our children were blessed to be brought up with godly values, guidance & influence in church environment. Our home life and church life were interwoven, so much so that, to our children, church was their spiritual family growing up from toddlers to teens. Wherever we went they went, from church services to leaders’ meetings, cell groups, prayer meetings you name it. We spend time as a family whenever we can. We always enjoy the time of bonding with them. During their teens both of our girls were involved in areas of worship and youth leading. And today they are mother and mother-to-be, they continue to experience God’s divine guidance for their lives. Vivienne and I see the importance of godly values in homes, in churches and beyond. The Lord has placed a desire and burden in our hearts for families in the areas of building strong Marriage and Parenting skills. We told the Lord we will give ten years of our lives to serve Him in this area and to raise more couples to perpetuate this ministry for families.
In order to build a strong family, to raise godly off-springs, husbands and wives need tools and skills based on God’s principles in order to work together in agreement and knowing each one’s own role(Malachi 2:15, Amos 3:3). Today, heads of families must have a desire to learn God’s principles to safeguard their children’s destiny and to leave a legacy of faith by teaching God’s truths to their children. We endeavour to model godly parenting, to raise our children in God’s ways, instead of adopting the manner in which we were parented by default.
When our children were young, as a family we pray together daily (today we address it as family altar). As we look back, it is through prayers and with the Lord’s guidance that our children grew up secured and emotionally stable throughout their teen and adult years. Although there are challenges, they know someone greater (God) is with them to help them. Glory to God! Whenever our children, son-in-laws and grandchildren come to visit us we will include praying before they leave for their homes. We can never stop praying for our children and their family.
We now see in our granddaughter Kate who is keen in composing her own music & song, we pray that she will excel in the area of worship. Sherine ensures her children pray before their bedtime. For our son-in-laws, we pray for the Lord’s guidance upon them to lead their family in Kingdom living daily.
Vivienne & I have completed the season in our lives in raising our children in God’s way. Now they have family of their own, we are grateful to the Lord for all that He has bestowed. All glory to our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
1. What is your understanding of ‘headship’ in a family?
2. How should the head of a family (together with the spouse), lead and guide one’s family into Kingdom Living? If you are a parent, how would you endeavour to parent in God’s way?
3. Which are the specific areas you intend to disciple your family in?
I like to introduce Pastor Kwan and Vera of our NLRC Chinese ministry. They both do us proud as our spiritual son and daughter who were saved and born-again in our House, and groomed to go out on church planting. They pioneered the Shah Alam and Klang Chinese churches. They have their eyes keenly on greater disciple-making with a heart of faith for mega impact on the Land of Malaysia. Pastor Kwan told me not long ago, that with his discipleship vision and system in place, he is fully assured of multiplying church growth and churches.
They are now spiritual father and mother in their own right. Vera has been a very important pillar behind her husband Kwan and has been very instrumental in the upbringing of the family and the church. They meet their challenges in the church together and have kept a close eye on their two children so that they may also be raised in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. There is a very bright future in their ministries. We take this opportunity to also congratulate Pastor Kwan on his completion of his degree in Master in Ministry this year.
Pastor J and Susan
by Pr Liew Wing Kwan & Vera
God’s Kingdom is one in which God’s rule prevails. As Paul said in Colossians 1:13 (God) has delivered us from the power of darkness and translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son; we are God’s people and citizens of His kingdom and the powers of darkness have no authority over us, the redeemed. Kingdom family simply means that Jesus is the head of the family in which all matters are to be in line with His purposes and will and they are not to be run according to one’s wishes and preferences. We need to constantly remind ourselves that Jesus is Lord.
We have two children whom we regard as God’s inheritance for us. We have named one child “ Yi Le “(meaning God is the joy in his life) just like Enoch who walked with God and the other child is named “ Yi Xin “ (meaning whose heart is after God’s heart) just like Dorcas who helped the poor and needy. Since when they were young we have dedicated our children back unto God. In raising, teaching and nurturing our children we have diligently inculcated in them the truth, concept and values of God’s kingdom. We often take them with us to the mission field to let them experience the reality and greatness of our God. In kingdom family, our most important duty as parents is to bring our children into a living relationship with God so that they can experience for themselves the reality of God and His guidance in their lives.
In God’s kingdom the family has a very important role to play. In particular, the parents’ testimony and foresight have great influence on the spiritual growth and zeal of their children. As parents we have to make sure that we live our lives in alignment with God’s standards so that we can be good role models to our children. In addition we have to be careful not to allow the values of the world to make inroads into our lives. Instead, we are to recognise the priority of family in God’s kingdom – let’s keep the most important thing as the most important thing.
Questions to ponder:
1 A secular theory proposes: “Do not let your child be disadvantaged right off the starting line of the (rat) race “. How will this theory potentially affect parents in their parenting style?
2 If you are like most Christian parents who do not want their children to be disadvantaged, what concrete actions can you take in the area of your children’s spiritual / faith development to prepare them to finish the race of life well?
Being a subject or a citizen of a nation has its privileges. When I landed at KLIA2 from a recent trip, I was surprised by the huge crowd that was queuing at the passport control. But Malaysians promptly cleared through the auto gate system within minutes. It’s so cool.
Likewise in the kingdom of God, we have privileges. It is not just eternal. We also have the King’s heavenly life that we may enjoy on earth. More than that, we have a purpose to live for in the Father’s business while on earth. We have a destiny.
Husbands in particular must not miss this. God has a system. It is His divine order. It includes giving the husband the privilege, opportunity and position for God to pour out His heavenly blessings to flow to his wife and children. This is indeed an awesome privilege! So what does it take for the husband to enjoy God’s kingdom privileges and be useful to God to bless the entire family?
Some would say you need to be born again and enter the kingdom of God. You would become a child of God. These are given. We are not talking about privileges as children. We are talking about privileged dads and husbands. Maybe that is the problem. Most people only think of themselves as children of God, not as grown-ups in God.
Husbands and dads have responsibilities along with the joy of having a family and the fun that comes with watching little children grow, working through with the wife as a couple; managing a household that becomes as a home, grooming the family to prosper with a good future for the family. This is the dream of most newly-weds.
The main factor about being privileged by God for the family is entrustment. God is entrusting husbands with a family. Anyone can get married and have a family. Anyone can have the privilege to be blessed by God because Jesus died for all. But some do better than others and are able to experience God’s blessings, love, hope, faith, favour and power in and through them. Especially in times of crisis or desperate need, people turn to the Lord for help or healing. Some receive God’s mercy and grace, while others just wonder. The main question is how serious are we in this entrustment God has given us toward leading the whole family in the ways of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Associated with entrustment is alignment. It is needful to realize that our life, outlook and attitudes, must be aligned to God’s truths under His open heaven. Unfortunately many, who have come to Christ, keep their outlook according to their own thinking, not in heaven’s wisdom, not in God’s ways of love and faith. At times it is too late to muster these in crisis.
One of the greatest stumbling blocks in marriage, family and even in church life is about money. People quarrel, fight and divorce due to money. Strangely, money has a way to reveal a person’s true inner self. Whether one has a big heart, narrow mind, stingy spirit or a heart of giving and generosity are related to how one looks at money. It determines if he will be easily given to bitterness and misery or to joy and freedom. To the husband, be reminded that these affect the wife and children, and also other relationships. If not careful, this may even pass down to the children’s outlook in life, affecting their future relationships.
When aligned under God, submitted to Him in His economy and financial wisdom, there is freedom and blessings, and definitely less anxiety. There will be greater peace and joy, two characteristic components of the kingdom of God (Rom 14:17). Jesus made it clear that if we seek first His kingdom and righteousness, physical needs (and I believe it definitely includes money) will be added to us. What it means is the priority of the dad and husband in God’s kingdom thinking than his own preoccupation, logic and self-centred ways. God’s order has its own rules in order that His system flows in His divine blessings. Read the Bible for yourself and decide your obedience to God’s standards. Don’t live on hearsay.
Husbands who are called to privileges in God’s kingdom must decide. Stay in your own thinking and remain in the family setting you have created (good or miserable), or be aligned to God’s heavenly wisdom which God destined for good and prosperity, and be influential around you, usable by God as light of the world. Most significantly is the spiritual legacy you leave behind to your wife and children, whether it is of faith, love and hope, or is it just plain old misery.
To see how one complements the other in a marriage, look at Pastor Patrick and Bee Long. Most are familiar with Pastor Patrick because he is at the front in ministry. Let me introduce Bee Long. Apparently at the back, she is by no means a laid back person. She is a very effective professional teacher and is at the top in her profession. Very thoughtful, stable, faithful and dependable in anything entrusted to her.
Both pioneered our first two NLRC Chinese churches. Both are pastoral at heart and are still at it since their early start with us in 1980’s. Bee Long is one of our first converts in her university days. I still remember how she was “matched” to Patrick in the church that was in Damansara Utama by the Lord in an interesting way. We “gave her away” on her wedding day from our home to be married to Patrick. This is special and it brings back a good fond memory. It is great to see the family has grown up. Enjoy their testimony on kingdom family…….
Pastor Jeremiah Yap
Kingdom Family Culture
By Pr Patrick Lai & Bee Long
In our world, all earthly kingdoms indicate a measure of either past or present possession of real power or control over a domain. And since God called us a “royal priesthood” (1 Peter 2:9), there must be some real substantial power innate in us, his children, and we are called to possess and inherit the nations (Psalm 2:8). In the Kingdom of God, we have only ONE KING – the Lord of Lords and King of Kings- the Lord Jesus Christ, and we are to surrender all our rights and wrongs to his sovereignty. For us, the little ‘royals’, herein lies the work cut out – how do we live out a surrendered life in the kingdom?
As Pr Jeremiah has proclaimed Kingdom annual themes, the deeper one delves into the subject of Kingdom Life, there is no escaping the reality of spiritual power and warfare. When our daughter Grace was born, as a young father, I had to learn to exercise my responsibility as the spiritual headship over the family especially when my first born was very ill while in infancy, very much related to the onset of haze, a new phenomenon in the 1990s. Sensing there was a tussle in the spiritual realm, Pr J and leaders rallied in prayer with Bee Long and me as young parents, fighting and asserting our authority in Christ, and Grace recovered from prolonged bouts of coughs and pneumonia. Those were early days of Kingdom reality.
But Kingdom parenthood was not without some fun in everyday life. In the early days of our bi-vocational ministry, we travelled weekly with our babies, Grace and Elise, in Klang valley and sometimes further afield, on week nights and Sundays. For mobile convenience, we had the biggest and sturdiest baby potty which travelled with us when the girls were young. Although Patrick was not much of a driver, but for family reunions on Chinese New Year, we travelled from Johor to Perak every CNY, and we had worship song sessions in the car as they grew up on those trips and we listened to our favourite cassettes, CDs on songs and musicals. Bee Long was good with babies, remarked some other ladies. It was no wonder the girls had good early childhood. And I (Patrick), on the other hand, had to learn fast as a father as the years flew by, when babies turned into young ladies almost overnight.
On hindsight, we have much to be thankful for, Grace and Elise learnt much about God and his presence in the local body of believers, built friendships, found their spiritual mooring as they commit themselves to Lord, the church, be it at children church or youth church level. They learnt discipleship through participation and leading. And each has found her niche in church ministry and has her own mission stories to tell. Grace went on mission to Sri Lanka in her teen years without us when the Tamil Tigers were still a real military threat with their suicide bombers, and Elise had one month teaching experience with Peribumi children, living among the Penans in Borneo jungles. Bee Long and I can’t emphasize enough the role of parents – working with the local church leadership and body of believers that has benefited our family – to be found in the family of God.
(Psalm 84:10) Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
1. What do you understand from the verse 1 Peter 2:9 about who we are in God’s eye?
(NIV) But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
2. What are some fun memories for your family when children were growing up?
3. How do you think 1 Peter 2:9 & Psalm 84:10 apply to you personally and in your family life relating to church life?