Where will you be my darling? Where will you be when the dark is rising?
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
So yeah, I'm still in Kuala Lumpur. I've been here many times, usually with relatives. Only, I've never been to cellgroup meetings nor church services up here before... get my drift? Read on.
Friday I went to my sister's cellgroup meeting. She's joined City Harvest Church KL, so she's ended up in cellgroup W19. Yeah, later on, they were shocked to find out my cellgroup was E458. Look at the number difference... haha! Anyhoo, her cellgroup member Issey drove us to the place, where we had our cellgroup meeting. W19 didn't use a house but one of CHC KL's rooms for their cellgroup meeting. Met a bunch of new people, and had our cellgroup meeting! It was the usual, except the people aren't as fluent in their English as compared to Singaporeans but that didn't do anything to stop the presence of God coming. Some unique differences compared to our cellgroup meetings in Singapore: their songsheet is on the same piece of paper as their sermon notes, one on each side; they don't have a defined testimony time, instead its at the end of the cellgroup meeting, when everyone's just doing their own stuff, the cellgroup leader will ask if anyone has anything to share. Anyone can speak up and give their testimony's during this time. A little informal, but at least its refreshing to see a difference. Anyway, my sister's cellgroup leader is Faith (no, not you Olivia =x), and she's one of the vocalists during the services on the weekend.
After our cellgroup meeting, the people who had cars (almost half of the cellgroup) drove to go somewhere to fellowship. DROVE. Haha! With all my previous cellgroups, no one's ever driven for cellgroup meeting's nor fellowship before. It's always the MRT, bus, or walking somewhere nearby. This time, we drive. Woots! Freaking nice feeling to actually be in a car to go for fellowship. We went someplace all the Kuala Lumpurians all know about, so naturally I was a noob in where they were going to eat. Turned out to be some Bak Kut Teh place, and the bill for the entire cellgroup cost RM70 plus. No big deal for Malaysians, 'cause the value is lower and its split up by over 10 people. Either way, all the new friends didn't pay, because the members insisted on chipping in for us. I think it was common courtesy or something, 'cause half of the people who ate didn't pay, and it was footed by the working adults. Thanks!
Next day I woke up at 4pm. Service starts at 5:30pm. Craps? Actually, I don't need to worry. In KL, everything is by cars, and that's like so much faster than buses and MRTs. I took my time getting ready, and because that weekend was a special anime dress-up weekend, they said to cosplay or at least look stylish. I only brought a few shirts up, so I made-do with what I had =/. Well, I drove the car to CHC KL, with my mom guiding me. I've driven to church before, and rightfully saying, I'm probably the only one to do that in all my cellgroups. Sorry to brag, but Kwok Weng drives a lorry... I don't think he'd drive that to church. Chee Kiong drives his family car, and I assume he hasn't driven it to church. So, I'm the only one! HAHA! So anyway, my mom guided me to the place, and I must admit, I'm not impressed by the building. I've never seen Hollywood Theatre before, but I assume it was about the same. 'Cause the place was in some (using Singlish, don't mind) ulu-ulu place that looks like a big industrial area. I parked under a tree, and my mom, sister and I went off.
I may not be impressed by the outside, but the inside was quite... unique. It rings a bell of the Jurong West building, except its much smaller. And I mean way. You can take a few minutes to cross from Alpha to Echo in the Expo premises. You take an even shorter time from terrace to front row seats in Jurong West location. You can go from terrace to the stage in a matter of seconds in CHC KL. Yeah, it's really small, probably one-third to half of the Jurong premises. But size aside, it's still unique. The background of the stage is cut-out silhouettes of the city skyline, while the choir is probably 20 people at most. All the seats face forward, and regarding seats, that's another unique thing. Making up a half of the entire auditorium, the terraces don't have chairs at all. Instead, they have real terraces, something like big steps of a staircase. My family managed to get seats on the ground though, so we had chairs. Really comfortable chairs I might add. Did I mention I love their cushions?
The atmosphere of the praise was brilliant. The volume was also really loud because of such an enclosed space, so it was loud and great, really something to enjoy. The worship was also very good. We sang God of My Forever, who's beautiful lyrics really reminded me that God is always with me... even when I'm heavily broken. The presence was just so great it brought me to tears during worship. Imagine crying in worship next to your mom. I think I'm right in saying few of you have ever experienced that before...
So this week, being the anime weekend, during praise and worship, scenes of mainly Naruto and Bleach were on the LCDs with the lyrics. This week was also had a guest speaker from Word of Life Church (Pastor Ulf's church), Joakim Lundqvist. A humorous speaker, he's one of the most youth-oriented pastors and from what I've heard, also spoke during lessons in Bible school for CHC Singapore. He started the New Generation movement, where it involves inspiring youths to reach out to their campuses with the fire of Christ. In just two years, 3400 people have been saved through this movement. Yikes huh? Pastor Joakim shared about Jesus and Unexpected People, and toward the end of the sermon, gave 3 examples of unexpected people who really made a huge difference for themselves and their campus. I found them really inspiring... so I thought I'd mention them here.
First up, a girl called Jannie. During a youth conference in Sweden, where the New Generation movement was sparked, an altar call was made, asking who would step out and start making a difference in their campus. Jannie was the first to respond, and this shocked her leaders. She was possibly the shyest girl in the church and she never talked to anyone unless people asked questions that needed answers. Plus, she was the only Christian in her school. So one day after school, she was waiting at the bus stop when she noticed a girl a short distance away crying. She didn't want to do anything, hoping the bus would come faster and she could leave in ignorance. After some time waiting she decided to talk to the crying girl, which was a big breakthrough for her, as she had never approached anyone else before. Nerve-wrecked while walking towards the crying girl, she summed up all her courage and spoke up. Asking what was wrong, the crying girl poured out everything to her; divorce of her parents, breakup with her boyfriend... well, all the sad stuff. Jannie started to share the gospel with her, telling her that God loves her and that He's taking care of her... you know, the usual. The girl was curious and they talked for hours, ignoring the buses that came. Eventually they went to Jannie's house to talk some more and the girl was saved that day. The next four days, four more girls gave their lives to Jesus. 3 months later, 80 people had been saved in her school, all beginning with Jannie's step of faith towards someone who needed Jesus. Wow...
Next example of the inspiring youths was a guy called Johan. Saved for only a very short while, he was very inspired by the word given at the youth conference. He was hungry for revival as he was also the only Christian in his school and knew prayer was the answer. He knew there was a group of old ladies who always came together for prayer meetings three times a week. So finding out their contacts, he asked them to pray for revival in his school. His idea was to find the biggest, baddest bully in the school and reach out to him, thus, getting over the biggest obstacle he'd face in his outreach. He found it in Amhid (don't know if I spelled that correctly), the biggest and strongest bully in his school. Sometimes he'd knock out people for virtually no reason, just for the fun of it. Johan then asked the old ladies to pray for Amhid, asking God for a way to save Amhid. Then one fine day, after class, Johan was taking his time to pack up his bags when he realized that only Amhid and himself were left in the class. Johan came to realize that the answer for his prayers was himself! Haha... so his heart beating frantically, he started a conversation with Amhid, to which Amhid replied "What?!" The startled Johan slowly talked about Jesus, the Son of God who died for him, that Jesus loved him. Amhid didn't punch him, but instead confessed he'd been having thoughts on spiritual issues. He said his god was never there and he never felt him. From his name, I think you'll know what was his religion. Johan shared more about God and in that classroom, Amhid gave his life to Jesus. With the biggest obstacle removed, Johan took a picture of himself, and using the computer, put the words "I'm a Christian. Ask me why." on it. He then printed many copies and put them around the school. After a few days people who he didn't even know began asking him and he shared about Jesus through this unique method. I've forgotten the number of people saved but I remember it was comparable to Jannie. Yikes...
The final example of an inspiring youth was Annica. A picture of her, as was with Jannie and Johan, was shown on the LCD. I noticed something wrong with one of her eyes but only later did Pastor Joakim confirm my suspicions. Annica is blind in one eye and only has 30% vision in her other eye. One of her ears is completely deaf and the other can only hear about 30% as well. A few weeks before Valentine's Day, she managed to get a list of names of every student in the school. As she folded a heart for every name on the list, she'd pray for them and God would give her revelations. She wrote things to them on the hearts and she continued this down to the last student. On Valentine's Day she went and gave the hearts to every single student in the school. They began wondering how Annica knew all these things about them. Because on the hearts, she wrote things that only God could have revealed. Basically, she prophesied over them and wrote them down. People started asking her how she knew these things and she led them all to the source of it, Jesus.
Amazing... hearing about these three was really inspiring. How creative can you get, like Johan and Annica?
The service ended with an altar call, and the clapping was shorter than in CHC SG, because it took such a short time to go to the front... haha! In Expo, it takes a reasonable distance to walk all the way down. The strength of the claps were just as powerful though... and it ended with Pastor Kevin Loo (senior pastor for those who don't know) speaking a few more words.
W19 and W32, something like N337 and N266 last time, are frequently together and they took many pictures together after the service. After that we went off for fellowship at some place. This time I got to drive... haha! I never got to drive to fellowship before. Imagine 2 cellgroups, several with cars, all driving somewhere to eat. It's like so much more unique than fellowshipping in CHC SG. I didn't know where to go, so I just followed the cars of the cellgroup members going there, so it's like one line of cars all driving together, then upon reaching, all parking at the same time... lmao.
We ate at a famous hangout among the university students, and lucky me, I sat opposite one of the prettiest girls in the two cellgroups, Yu En. We happily chatted throughout the entire fellowship, sharing about our schools, pasts and stuff. After that I got her number and email before we went off and I drove back home, mom guiding me as usual. Quite an experience... service in CHC KL, alongside CHC SG, just 5 hours away instead... haha!