Wednesday, April 30, 2014
My Biblical Stand on Marriage I received the call from my personal Lord, Jesus, this morning (2nd April, 2014) while driving my twin children to school to write this article. I was never so convicted to write an article like this. I was convicted by the Spirit of Jesus to preach and teach it but I was never so convicted to write an article on it. I strongly believe that this article will serve Christ’s purpose for the readers. If you happen to read this article, it is Jesus who wants you to read it. I shall begin with a few scenarios of how Christian marriages are threatened by divorce and the causes of Christian divorce. It will be followed by my heart cry for a lot of Christians who ever divorced who are very ignorant of the consequences of it. Then, I shall share with you my strongest stand on Christian marriage. I pray that this convicts you and it empowers you to follow Jesus in His stand of marriage. I will also not hesitate to share with you my struggles and joy in my marriage. Finally, I pray that you will learn how to help yourself or others in case of any marital problem. The Scenario In my last 19 years of pastoral care ministry, I have heard and even personally counseled some Christian couples in their troubled marriages. My experience of involvement is very much dealing with both Chinese and indigenous people of Sarawak. As all these cases unveiled themselves, I just felt for many of them, they did not even know what Jesus taught about marriage. Of course, there were some who knew it and they still went ahead with the divorce. This explains why I am so convicted to preach and teach about it. These few causes of divorce are quite common and prevailing. I would even go to the extent of saying the devils capitalize them and they become the devils’ weapon to destroy the Christian marriages. Of course the couple concerned made their willful decision to divorce. The causes are: extra-marital affairs; irresponsible life partner; immaturity as a person; no sense of Christian marriage; violence; and parent-in-laws’ intervention. Consequences of Divorce as a Christian Christians out there who have opted for divorce have claimed that they had thought seriously about the consequences. As I come to know the cases and tried very hard (with prayers and counselling), they still chose to divorce based on personal grounds, not on biblical ground. They might have thought of the consequences for themselves (first and foremost), the children (if any), the family members/relatives/friends/neighbours and in most cases, that is all. Very few would take the biblical teaching (seriously) by Jesus, our Lord, whom we have to be responsible to, as His disciples. If we do not obey His teaching, how can we regard ourselves as His children, Christians, and disciples. If we say we have accepted Him as our Saviour and Lord (Master), we must allow Him to save our lives from sin (including the sin of divorce), and rule our lives. His words have the authority over our lives. Most of the times the option of divorce is very much driven by emotions of hatred, unforgiveness, jealousy, bitterness, disappointment, frustration, shame, helplessness and even depression. We let these emotions which are capitalized by the devil to rule us. Of course, at the stage of divorce, when a couple makes up their mind, they always claim, the relationship cannot be saved. I want to very much say that most of the times, they receive bad counsel from the people around them. Most of us who try to help may do it out of sympathy do not act according to the great sanctity of Christian marriage. This is where I very much want to explain that we most of the times do not see the deep consequences of divorce. 1. Jesus has taught that those whom God joined together, let no man separates it as man and woman whom God joins is one flesh (Mathew 19:6). Jesus further teaches that whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery (Mathew 19:9). The only ground for Christian divorce is adultery. However, Jesus qualifies Himself by saying that even if a husband divorces his wife, if he remarries gain with another woman, he commits adultery. I believe what Jesus is advocating is this: there must not be divorce at all. Divorce is our human idea owing to our deepest sin. On the other hand, my article is also not served as a means to condemn those who are already divorced and remarried. I want to sincerely say to those of us who were divorced and remarried that Jesus loves all of you. He also comes for all the people who are divorced for the wrong reasons and forgives you all. Do ask Jesus for forgiveness and repent, never to repeat your mistakes again. 2. Christian marriage is the union of both the female and male as husband and wife, one flesh. By no means, any of the life partner discounts the one flesh that is expressed in sexual intimacy. I am afraid there is no greater intimacy than this sexual intimacy. The sharing of each others’ body is so sacred that it is done upon the approval of God in a Christian marriage. Without the holy matrimony, there should not be any sex with your boy friend or girl friend. Fornication is a sin. If this had happened, one should ask Jesus for forgiveness and repent. When two persons are united in Christian marriage, part of their soul is now attached to his or her life partner. There is no shame or guilt involved for the God ordained marriage. When a person commits adultery, he or she carries with him or her part of the life partner’s soul and be united with another soul. Part of the soul of the opposite sex now is again attached to him or her. For example, when a married person who commits adultery, when having sex with the adulterer, he or she could be thinking of his wife or her husband. Why? Because each body is attached with part of the soul of the life partner. He or she will never enjoy sex in the fullest as intended by God because of our sin. 3. The deep consequence of divorce is that the children will very much suffer the consequence. Children will grow up without a good model of how to be a good husband and a good wife; and also they would be short of a parenting model. That is children learn how to do parenting from their own parents. All young children who experience parental divorce would also feel insecure and not loved as much as children with both parents around, everything being equal. In fact, that insecurity can be avoided if we obey Jesus’ teaching on marriage. 4. Parents who are divorced would leave behind a bad legacy for their children. Can you imagine, your children, grand-children and great-grand-children would look back and they have to face the fact that their ancestors are divorced? The devil can use it to cause insecurity and bring about more divorces in the family. As if, a curse can run in the family. My Struggles and Joy in Marriage There are always tensions in my marriage. There is the tension of not spending enough time and spending enough with my wife and four children. I see that when my wife starts to complain I have not given her and children enough time, I need to adjust my time between ministry and family. There is the tension between setting good example and bad example in pastoral care. I always learn from my mistakes and ask Jesus for forgiveness so that I can be a better pastor, father and a husband. When I do well as a father or a husband, I will give testimony about it. There is tension between practicing what I preach and not practicing it. I pray for opportunities to practice what I preach and I also admit my own failures and empower my sheep to learn from my mistakes. I take all these tensions positively because I know that Jesus does not waste any of them. He uses tensions to teach me to be humble to obey Him. They teach me to do reflection and strike a balance in life. There are always disagreements in my marriage. I do not believe that there is any couple under the sun where they do not disagree. Most do not share because they feel so ashamed of it. I am not ashamed to share because I possess my Christian identity. I am much more concerned about how Jesus views me in the bible than how people view me and my marriage. Whatever sharing I put forward regarding my marriage in this article is meant to illustrate and how do I deal with my struggles. I pray that they will not be misunderstood as I have ‘issues’ in my marriage. In the process of sharing, I pray you get the feeling from me that we all have struggles in marriage and we need to work on each of them and emerge victoriously. The followings are a few disagreements which we have been trying to resolve. A few disagreements are: whether to allow our children to suffer the consequences of their bad decision; our children to go overseas to study or not; and to buy phone for our 3 young children or not. When there are deep disagreements like these, I always turn to Jesus for help and ask Him to intervene. I have no immediate solutions after I pray but at least, I myself keep calm and not be angry. I give myself more time for both sides to think more and be patient. In my experience, at the end of the day, there are times my wife realizes my stand and she agrees with my point, and vice-versa. We do not allow our disagreements to disturb our relationship and affect our ministry. When we have conflict of ideas and even convictions, we do not throw out cursing words, words of threats, words of condemnation and words that degrade. Though we may say things that express our unhappiness and sometimes, we may show our anger, we are able to control our anger. The older we grow, praise the Lord, the faster we are reconciled in any conflict. We do not allow the devil to capitalize on our anger and attacks us. As we grow older (I am 48 and my wife is 50), we are not perfect in our marriage relationship, but we become more understanding; forgiving; grateful; and loving towards one another. I can see that God use our tensions, disagreements and even conflicts to humble us and causes us to turn to Him and allow Him to protect us in our marriage. When we counsel troubled Christian couples, we always share how we go through our marriage problems and challenges. We send a strong message that says even a pastor and his wife face marriage problems and all of them can be overcome, if not, at least, we can put the problems under control. One of the things I always do when I have negative thoughts about my wife is I will always think of the good things she has done for me and my family. I realize that it helps me a lot. For example, I always think of how she untiringly cooks 3 meals for us almost every day without fail. This positive thought is so powerful that it always cancels my negative thought of her. I may even forget about my negative thought of her. In this way, I experience joy in my marriage. I also experience joy when in the midst of a serious disagreement and after we go to Jesus in prayer and much communication and clarification and waiting upon God’s timing, we come to an agreement. This agreement makes me feel that we are united in this issue and we know we can move on together and we are powerful for Jesus. For example, now, as we have come to an agreement about children to go overseas or not, we experience much peace. This peace yields great joy in our marriage. My Prayer In the event that you yourself is challenged by your own marital problem, do hold on to the foundation of marriage set by Jesus. Once you let go of that foundation, you start to entertain divorce. The worst question you ask in any marital problem is not how much you have suffered. No doubt you have suffered and we suffered in our marriages because we are sinful in our ways. We have not dealt with those sins and we allow them to accumulate to a point until we feel so hopeless and helpless to overcome our problems. In order to deal with those piles of problems, you need to work from that foundation of marriage. From there, deal with each root problem objectively. Admit the root cause of it and do not accuse the other side as far as possible. As far as possible admit your own problem and ask God for forgiveness and ask your partner for forgiveness. Pray hard for both sides to be willing to communicate and be honest about the root problems. I am of the strongest opinion that once you have the initial stage of conflict, you need to settle the conflict as early as possible. If you cannot settle it, get someone who is matured and committed to Jesus. Your pastor is a good choice. You may go for some marital counselling. The earlier you deal with your marriage problem the better chance of reconciliation. The marriage enrichment seminar of different kinds out there is good. The one conducted in Mandarin by SCAC Board of Wellness is excellent. When you have a marital problem, do not go the lawyers for solution as they are not really trained to help you to reconcile with your life partner. Christian lawyers out there, when people approach you for divorce proceeding, by all means encourage them to seek counselling or you try all ways and means to help them to see the hope in the marriage. You are pleasing Jesus by doing so. Remember going for divorce is going against Jesus. How dare you do that? Can you stand His wrath on you for your disobedience. Most of us who divorced did not think about this and we suffered the wrath of God. Do we need to face it or not? I pray that you have caught a certain principle of Christian marriage or you understand a little more about Christian marriage and you will not choose divorce as a solution if your marriage is under threat now. I pray that Jesus protects your marriage and grants you continuous joy to set a good example for the brothers and sisters around you and you glorify Him. By all means, allow your marriage to be a testimony to both the Christians and non-Christians out there. May your marriage become the gospel to other peoples’ marriage! It means others are attracted to come to Jesus and be saved and become His disciples because your marriage has taught them the powerful gospel. Leave a legacy of godly marriage for your children, grand-children and great grand-children. A Faithful Disciple of Jesus, Pastor Law Hui Seng (Easter, 20th April, 2014) Posted By Teresa Han
Friday, December 27, 2013
Dear faithful disciples of Jesus, Let us be disciples of Jesus when we are on earth. In future, when we see Him in person we will have a lot to share with Him how we obey Him on earth. Of course He knows our every move on earth as He is right inside us. I had great encounters with Him in this year’s posting for my ministry and family. Please do not misunderstand my writings below as I am not writing to complain. And Jesus knows I am not complaining. I am writing to share with you how I had communion with Jesus in my posting to Sibu. I obey Jesus in this posting. Before Posting
Praise the Lord for a great fruitful year of Sabbatical this year. Right from the beginning of the year I sought Jesus about my next posting. This year, though it is my Sabbatical, I travelled quite a bit to Sibu, Bintulu, Marudi, Limbang, Kuching, Penang and even Kota Kinabalu to preach, give trainings on reaching out to the indigenous people, and attend seminars. I asked Jesus about how He was going to use me.
I honestly told Jesus I was enjoying my ministry in Miri , at the district and Sarawak Chinese Annual Conference (SCAC) Board of Evangelism levels. I was always welcomed in every Methodist church here in Miri. For the past few years because I travelled around to preach the word of God like John Wesley in Miri, I even self-titled myself John Wesley of Miri. (A few very close fellow pastors called me by this self-titled name to make fun of me. I called myself as such because I love John Wesley approach of travelling around, preaching the gospel and making disciples, really making a difference for Jesus) Miri Methodist brothers and sisters love me and my family very much; and treated us very well. We enjoyed serving Jesus and making disciples with them. I did entertain the thought of being posted elsewhere in Sarawak but my family will not move with me. (After my posting, almost everybody assumed that my family is not following me to Sibu. I found out that it was because they thought I had purchased my house in Miri and my family should live in permanently. In fact, when we purchased the house, we told Jesus that we were still willing to move around as posted as family according to the itinerant system. It is a powerful strategy of connectionalism in Methodism. Furthermore, living apart from my family is not healthy and not pleasing to Jesus) I will travel regularly to come back home to see them. Nowadays, so many people are doing it.
I feel so good about living in my own house which we purchased more than 3 years ago. Every time, when it rained, I thanked God for this provision of a house and a home. Our whole family feels so comfortable with this house. We did not have this wonderful feeling when we stayed in parsonages for the 17 years in ministry before I left for further studies. I appreciate every corner and inch we have in the house. As for the parsonages, we always thank God for all the provision of facility but we just had a feeling that we would live there temporarily. When we moved into this newly purchased house, we felt so good that we hoped we would not move away anymore. Of course we also feel the presence of Jesus in the house with house. It is through His provision that we were able to buy the house. We told people we would probably retire and live in this house when I retire at the age of 65 (I am now 47).
My children are so used to their school and started to get involved in the ISCF. They built up good friendships and loved to be with these familiar faces and close friends. I could feel their friendship was bearing fruit and they were becoming more and more involved with their friends. They like Miri very much because of the friendship. One child even prayed to Jesus 10 times a day sometime before the end of November SCAC posting, to remain behind in Miri. He even asked me to pray the same prayer. I had to tell him, we need to obey Jesus wherever He called us to serve. I said He could go ahead and prayed the way he did but in the end we need to obey Jesus. I also prepared him and the family by telling them the possibility of moving away was high! Lots of people asked us to stay back also. I also told them the same thing.
I hope you can imagine with me the good treatment, feeling so at home, being so welcomed, loved and acceptance, great comfort, familiar environment, people, ministry, and the great fellowship that we enjoyed. I think there is nothing seriously wrong with all these. Jesus understands me when I say this. He understands I am always pursuing Him even in comfortable environment, luxurious treatment and loving community life. We could still stay around to make things and people better in the name of Jesus. My wife could still go back to do Girls’ Brigade ministry and bless the sisters in ladies group. Why do we want to leave such a friendly, familiar environment and community?
I told Jesus about all these above things. At the same time, I also told Jesus I was prepared to follow Him and pay the price to do it. Given a choice, my wife and children all would choose to stay back. I tried to entertain this thought as it was so natural and logical to choose the familiarity and comfort. As I had more and more serious communion with Jesus in my private dialogue with Him, in my private prayer and devotion time, I told Jesus about the tensions and struggles I had in my heart. I really tried to justify staying back. All the above reasons were rehearsed in my mind and heart. Jesus knew it.
On the other hand, there was this constant thought and voice in my heart and mind to tell me to follow and obey Jesus; and I would not go wrong. I would not regret. Obedience to Jesus was at stake. At the end of the day, not my will be done but Jesus’ will be done. I have often taught and challenge my fellow disciples of Jesus to obey Him and not do our own will. Could I do it in this posting?
As I sought Jesus, I got a very clear answer from Him about the posting. I heard Him through the still small voice in my heart that said, “Move out of your comfort zone.” When I heard it I knew I was going to leave Miri. I dare not write about this until now as I had to wait until the posting was over to testify if it was Jesus telling me. Now, it has become a reality, I can write this testimony. Even then, as a result of my communion with Jesus, I told people at that time my chance of moving away was very high. I based my answer on the communion with Jesus.
One brother quoted another sister saying that I would definitely stay back in Miri. Later on I asked her about it, she said that she actually prayed for me to stay back in Miri. However, she accepted the posting with great obedience. I have to confess I laughed and laughed because he was so certain about it! I hope I did not offend him for that laugh. I could afford to laugh like that because we are so close and I believe he is matured enough to take my laugh. I actually shared with him about my request to minister a BM congregation and at the same time teaching one BM subject in Sibu Methodist Theological School. My objective is to train more theological students to develop a burden and vision for the indigenous people of Sarawak; and become Bahasa Malaysia speaking pastors. If Jesus were to grant me my wish, then, I would be posted back to Sibu. I used the word ‘back’ because I grew up in Sibu.
A few brothers and sisters really expressed their wish that we stay back in Miri. Tudan indigenous brothers and sisters also expressed their wish. I told them I did not mind if SCAC posted me there. A Kuching sister said she prayed for me to serve there. I reminded her about what Jesus wanted for me. I confessed to her and all others who asked me about the posting, I said I had my preference and priority but I would obey Jesus by just following the decision of SCAC Board of Appointment posting. If they did not give me what I preferred, I would take it also. I have this mentality because I believe in following Jesus I need to be prepared to pay a price.
The SCAC Board of Evangelism recommended me to be a full time director in its October meeting. This was my second choice. I told many people about it. If they thought this was the best way to use me, I obeyed.
I believe I have prepared well for my posting in terms of accepting the leadership decision. I had done my homework in prayers and obedience. I had also prepared my family well. When they heard the news, my wife especially did not take it by surprise. She took it calmly. In fact, she sort of expected that we would move away.
I was posted to a mandarin speaking church and doing part time in the Board of Evangelism. It is not my preference, and my priority. However, I took it calmly. I had always wanted to obey Jesus and pay a price to serve Him. I humbly accepted the posting. As I reflected about the posting I even told my wife there must be something that Jesus wanted us to do at En Tao Methodist Church. He has arranged great things for my family there. We need to go there and see what Jesus has installed for us there. My wife said she would expect me to be busy there.
My children also took the posting calmly as they more or less expected it. They did not like it but they learnt to take it. I jokingly told them that they would learn Foochow dialect in Sibu and that was their mission.
We also have to cope with the stress of packing about 80 boxes of belongings. My whole family is so happy that we are going to stay at parsonage and we can bring along our faithful dog, Liotcy. We have always loved him and he loves us. He is very faithful in looking after our house and he is such a play dog to us. He barks aggressively and fiercely. I even have to trouble my brother to drive over from Sibu in order to transport the dog to Sibu.
On the night of 28th November, after the posting, En Tao Methodist Church lay leader, his wife and the outgoing pastor Rev Yong were there to greet me. I could feel the excitement of the couple as we shook hand. I was no stranger to them and vice-versa. We talked very briefly about the ministry there and we ended with a prayer at about 11.15pm. I went to sleep peacefully as I learn to obey Jesus.
Comparing this posting of moving away from a place to the previous postings of moving from Bintulu and Kuching, I found that I was much well prepared as I had the whole year to do so. The previous two postings were not totally prepared as I was not at all prepared to move. I was also not given any hint that I would be posted away. However, in those two encounters, we still gladly obeyed Jesus. As we looked back, we saw how the plans of Jesus unfolded in our life after we had gone through the motion in Kuching and Miri. That is why I strongly believe that Jesus has something great installed for us in Sibu this time.
A few church leaders have already called me to welcome me to go back to Sibu. They have booked me for preaching in their churches. They look forward to working together with me. I thank Jesus for such excitement from these disciples of Jesus. I look forward to building up new relationships with a new congregation, community of pastors, and Sibu community. I thank Jesus for the many new opportunities and challenges which He will bless my family with. We will be trained and molded to be more like Christ in Sibu. He will bless my children with new teachers, classmates, church friends and a completely new learning environment and community.
With all the excitements and forward looking that I have in my mind and heart, I really want to say, “Sibu, I want to embrace you with love.”
A Faithful Disciple of Jesus,
Pastor Law Hui Seng
(25th Dec, 2013, Miri, Christmas)
Posted by Teresa Han
Wednesday, December 25, 2013
Today is a day of great evidence of learning from failures. If Grace still did not learn from her 3 previous mistakes, she would fail again today for the fourth time during the car driving test. The car driving test looked so easy to some and yet it was so difficult. For the past one year, she learnt driving a car from a coach. She passed her law test. She passed her driving on the road. Then she failed 3 times consecutively in 45degree slope test. Because of these failures, she could not continue with the 3-point turning and L parking. The failures shook her confidence and it was so devastating to her! She wanted to give up trying. At first, she did not even want to discuss with me what her problem was. Each time she failed, I encouraged her to try again and I also told her I did not mind. The first two times she failed it did not bother me much as I believed she should be able to grasp the skill after more practices on the slope. However, she failed the third time. The third time she went for the test, I even called back from my journey to Ulu Belaga mission early in the morning and said a prayer to ask Jesus to give her confidence and I prayed against fear and failure; and I asked Jesus for success at that time. Yet, she failed. I reconciled with myself and explained that it was not God’s timing for her to drive a car yet. However, deep down in my heart, I felt that I need to do something to help her. I felt like as a father, I need to come in with strong support to make sure that she would pass this time. If not, I was afraid she would fail the fourth time. It could become a blow in her life experience. It was really a great test for her life. She must pass this time so that it could build up her confidence to move on in her life. My wife and I prayed for Jesus to open a way for us to help her. We knew the coach had done his best. Grace kept saying it was the problem of the clutch! The car for the driving test is having too high a clutch and she was not used to it! Yet, we did not have the privilege of training using the exact car for the test. We prayed about it. Praise the Lord for Jesus led us to think of the exact car type that the church owns, the small Kancil with manual clutch. Beside using the coach’s car for the usual practice, we use the church car to do more practices on the slope. This car is also having high clutch which Grace had to get used to. I sat beside her during the extra practices at the Road Transport practicing and exam ground; and observed what was her real problem. I instructed her on the coordination between the clutch, handbrake, brake and petrol paddles, and how much to release and the timing to put down the handbrake and release the clutch. All the previous failures had to do with untimely release of handbrake, insufficient clutch release and releasing the petrol paddle too soon. Rev Wong Kee Sing coached me on the timing to release the clutch on our way back from Ulu Belaga mission survey. I forgot about it. I was confident in coaching my daughter with this simple equipping. During Gace’s extra practices, she actually applied what her coach taught and I just came in to help her to identify the main cause of her 3 failures. We finally concluded that the main cause was the timing to release the high clutch. Her minor problem was not pressing the petrol paddle deep enough. I reinforced on these 2 points and got her to practice extra 5 times (about half an hour each time) before the test today. During the extra practices, I studied with her how soon to release the clutch, and how deep she should press the petrol paddle by using the church car which has a high clutch. Praise the Lord she herself realized the main cause of her failures. My wife also came in to coach her and both of us helped her to identify her real cause of failures. She herself really discovered by herself the cause of her failure. This identification actually ensured her to do the right correction. I believe if she had not discovered her own cause of failure and learnt from there, she would still fail the fourth time. After the third failure, I kept reminding her to trust Jesus to help her to pass this crucial life test. I said we need to pray and ask Jesus to help her to overcome anxiety, loss of confidence and fear. In fact, every time we practice together, we pray for Jesus to help and at the end of the training I always got her to thank God for the guidance. She understood my point and she trusted Jesus to do the test. Today, I was present to watch Grace to sit for the life crucial test. Before she went for the test, I prayed to bind the spirits of fear, anxiety and no confidence and cast them out! She also disciplined herself not to be talking to others before the test to keep calm. I also reminded her to grasp the opportunity to test the high clutch of the car she would use for the test so that she would know how much to release. Praise the Lord as I prayed somehow, she needed to wait for quite a few minutes before she went for the slope test. She had plenty of time to test the clutch. As she went up the slope, I continued to pray for Jesus to help her. On the top of slope, I realized my heart was beating so fast, I was so stressed! When she pressed the petrol so much (I could hear the loud engine noise from about 70m away) and then… I thought she was going to slip and failed again. I expected the worst to happen! That was the most anxious moment. Then, I saw that the car did not slip but she waited for quite many seconds to try again. I asked her what happened after the test, she said she sensed something was not right and that was why she did not proceed to release the clutch and handbrake. She actually stopped for many seconds in order to pray and asked Jesus for help to do the right thing. Then, she tried again confidently and calmly. I believed the Spirit of Jesus intervened at that crucial moment of pass or failure. Finally, she was able to pull over the slope steadily. I could imagine her emotion of joy, victory and release. As she came down the slope, I noticed that she stopped below the slope. I was anxious again for her as no driver did that before her. I was wondering what happened. Again, I prayed for Jesus to help her just in case she faced any difficulty. Later on, she told me, in fact she just stopped to say a prayer to thank Jesus for the success at the slope! As she proceeded to the 3-point turning and L parking, she just kept waving to me to tell me from far away that she succeeded. You could not imagine how excited I was in my heart at that moment as my daughter had passed this difficult test of her life. Then, she went on to do the other two slowly. Again I wondered why she took such a long time to do the 2. I did pray for Jesus to help again and again and I was anxious for her. I thought the exam officer might fail her any time. Later on, she told me her engine stopped several times owing to mishandling of the clutch in the midst of turning. She actually prayed to remain calm and restart the engine. In the end, she overcame everything and she emerged victorious! In fact, I did not know whether she passed or failed as she spent donkey years talking to the officer. I thought the exam officer was trying to tell her why he failed her. Finally, she came down from the shade where the officer stood to test the learning drivers. I could not wait for her to come near me to tell the result. I kept shouting from 70m away and asked if she passed or not. From far, she just kept putting up her two arms and waving. Was it a pass or a failure again? As she came running nearer, I saw her smiling face, then, I realized she must have obtained a pass. True enough, as she ran nearer, she answered me, she passed the test. She also shouted at the top of her voice to her mom in the car 40m away that she passed, in response to her question! If Grace was not humble to learn from her failures, she would fail again and she might not be able to take the blow. She would blame herself for her failure. Praise the Lord she is willing to admit her problem and rectify with us from there. I find that it is the same spiritually. In life, if we do not admit that we are proud, greedy, self-centered, having jealousy and unforgiveness and blaming others for our own problems as the main causes of our problems, we will not repent and learn, we will never progress in our relationship with Jesus, others and ourselves. Who wants to enjoy being with proud, selfish, and greedy people? Who wants to interact with people who have hatred and jealousy? Who wants to work with people who like to blame others for their own mistakes? We are our own greatest enemy. The moment you conquer your own enemy by admitting your own problem, mistake or sin, you learn to repent and improve to be a better disciple of Jesus. If not, no matter, how rich, capable, wise, and famous we are, we are still far behind. Therefore, let us be humble and admit our mistakes and even sin, so that we can learn. Will you? Pastor Law Hui Seng (23rd Dec, 2013, Miri) Posted by Teresa Han
Dear faithful disciples of Jesus and friends, Praise the Lord, in Jesus’ timing, we have crossed path, and we spent 12 great years (2002-1013) with one another, though for the last 3 years, I was doing my theological studies and sabbatical in Miri. The first 9 years, I shepherded GMC and at the same time moving around to do Sarawak Chinese Annual Conference Board of Evangelism ministry. Let me appreciate you and apologize to you. Appreciations
Thanks very much for accepting me and my family as imperfect people, with flaws in our characters, relationship with you and Jesus. In the midst of all these, you all have accepted me and my family with open arms and love. I know you forgive me as you continue to relate to me and pray for me. You have tried your best to pray, support and help me (and my family) to be a better shepherd (and better disciples) of Jesus.
You all have treated me and my family with great love and blessings. We are never in shortage of material needs. You took good care of our physical health and well being. You even facilitate to provide extra hands for my family so that my wife could be less stressful with the four very young children then. Grace, my oldest child was in primary one then, now, she is doing her ‘A’ level at Kuala Lumpur Methodist College. The physical supports granted so genuinely have helped us to go very far as we feel supported and we do not have to worry about the physical provisions. We felt we were strong to love and bless others in church and beyond.
I came to GMC, Miri, at the age of 35 and I leave at 47 (by next year March, I will be 48). GMC is instrumental to bless me with a platform and the means to search deep into the person of Holy Spirit. Together we dared to touch the so called sensitive issues of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The Red, Green, Yellow and Purple levels of 9 month disciple course have greatly deepened and widened my understanding of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. It is actually through this disciple class, Jesus placed in us the burden to make disciples among the prisoners and so do prison visitation and bible studies.
As GMC allowed me to make disciples among the indigenous people of Miri town, it is here I caught the vision of training more disciples of Jesus to be Bahasa Malaysia speaking pastors. And I have the great privilege to serve with brothers and sisters among the big Miri Methodist family to reach out to the indigenous brothers and sisters.
At the district level, I had a chance to serve and preach at all the 15 Methodist churches and preaching centres. I was always welcomed and we had great fellowship that led to long lasting relationship that enhanced the disciple making. Many of you are still in contact with me in these 12 years. These contacts are very powerful because you all shared your hearts with me and I learnt so much from your honest sharing. Your sharing taught me to be more humble in Christ as I learnt that a lot of things in life I was unaware of. I learn to do deeper pastoral care and healing.
In GMC, among Methodist church brothers and sisters and friends, when my family and I spent time with you all, you made us feel so at home. The friendships we experienced are a great treasure. These friendships shall become great motivation for us to love Jesus more and make disciples of all nations. Through these powerful friendships, we learnt how to build up deep and close relationships that enhanced discipleship. Through these friendships, we learnt to follow Jesus.
Personally, I have made some mistakes and sinned against you and Jesus. Jesus had dealt with me about my sins. I suffer the consequences of my sins although I am a pastor. Some of you know I made mistake in terms of my unwise speech, hurting words, bad decisions and insensitive to your needs. I also had my negligence in my pastoral care. As a result some sheep are lost!
At times, my motive of ministry might be due to pride and I had not glorified Jesus! I had glorified myself. Jesus has mercy on me. He dealt with me. I asked Jesus for forgiveness as I had every tendency to glorify myself.
I also ask you for forgiveness as I treated GMC and personal needs lightly and I did not address the hurts and problems deep and serious enough.
At the district level, I ask for your forgiveness as I neglected to do follow up and broke my promises from time to time, as a result, the cause of Jesus was not pursued.
I am also very sorry about being judgmental and condemned some of us. Please forgive me for acting like God. God has mercy upon me. Sometimes, I saw the big sin in you but I was not able to see my own big sin. Jesus had dealt with me. I need His help and forgiveness very much.
My prayer points:
a. Pray that my family pursues Jesus only in our earthly life.
b. Pray that we humble ourselves and we submit our life to Jesus everyday and obey only Him.
c. Pray that we are able to adjust to the new Sibu environment in terms of school, church, ministry, people and roads as quickly as possible. (We are posted to Sibu for the year 2014)
I pray that we all honor and obey Jesus and His teaching and make disciples of all nations while we are on earth and while the opportunities are there!
A Faithful Disciple of Jesus,
Pastor Law Hui Seng
(Miri, Sabbatical, 23rd, Dec, 2013)
Posted by Teresa Han
Sunday, September 8, 2013
As I remain faithful to Jesus and obey Him to do mission and making disciples of all nations, He empowered me and my deliverance team to glorify Him. I prayed to Jesus to give me opportunity to do mission and ministry during my sabbatical year. He just gave me opportunity after opportunity. How Jesus Christ of Nazareth empowered me and my deliverance team in my second encounter really humbled us. We really experienced the empowerment and His presence with us. This time, it happened in Miri (my last deliverance ministry was done in KK), we did three times of deliverance, last Saturday (29th June), Monday (1st July) and Tuesday (2nd July). Each time it took us more than three hours. I shall describe the great two months experience and the precious lessons learned. The Encounter – 29th June Saturday That Saturday my fellow pastor called me to join him to do pastoral care to a middle aged lady to find out whether she was demon possessed or not. The moment I got into the church van, we prayed for forgiveness of our sins; precious blood of Jesus to cleanse us and protect us from harms of the devils, diseases and accidents. We also prayed for Jesus to empower us to discern the spirits. Along the journey going to the lady’s house, from the pastor’s description like how the demon manifested, I said before seeing her, I could confirm that she was demon possessed. Our team consisted of three matured ladies (church leaders), my fellow pastor and the husband of the demon possessed lady. Even before we arrived, the husband told us the demon already knew. As I was still outside the gate of the house, and about to enter the door, the demon spoke out in English (the sister is not well versed in English as told by her husband; and the demon knew that I speak in English) and asked me, “Who are you?” in a very loud fierce voice. As if the demon wanted to scare me and stop me from approaching it. I was not bothered and not feared at all as I know Jesus has empowered all of us His disciples to defeat the devils of all kinds. The demons never stop using scare tactics throughout. I just walked straight to the lady with smiling face. Then, the demon, in a very fierce look and with great anger, shouted out my name in mandarin with the pastor title. As if it wanted to scare me and tell me to back off. (I am the leader of the team and I will continue to do follow up with my fellow pastor.) I am well equipped to do deliverance. Last year, I even gave a seminar on how to do deliverance to about 30 brothers and sisters at Kingfisher Methodist Church (Mandarin congregation) last September, 2012. Eventually, I joined a team to do deliverance on a youth. We delivered him from possession of 29 devils. I am aware from the teaching of the bible and from experience, the demons always lie, scare, pretend, using fierce looking, shaking, manifest themselves through a different voice, twisted face, great strength, controlling the physical body, and enter someone’s body because of footholds. With all the empowerment from the Spirit of Jesus, I was not scared at all. In fact, I told myself and taught others, demons should be scared of the disciples of Jesus because we are filled by the Spirit of Jesus. At first, I planned to worship, and then, counsel her. As we worshipped in singing “In the Cross” in Mandarin, we observed that the demons in the presence of God, struggled. The demons inside her struggled as she sang the song. I could not proceed with my counseling. I went straight to confront the demons and asked the demons in the name of Jesus to tell me their names one by one. While I confronted the demons in the name of Jesus, my team members prayed and sang the cross song. The lady’s husband helped to hold her and sat her down. Praise the Lord, we all experience unity in team work. They obeyed all my instructions. The demons had no choice in the face of Jesus, when we bind and commanded the identified spirits in the name of Jesus to leave her body. Most of the spirits after some struggles, like shaking her body; begging us to let them stay; crying, shouting and looked pitiful, then came out. A vomit is a sign that showed that at least one demon is out. Some of the spirits who were chased out were spirits of lie, pretension, hatred, self-pity, divorce, human beings (a few of them), Thai god, China spirit (coming from a flower jar purchased) and many other spirits which names I could not remember. The demons teased, intimidated, scared and challenged us all the time. There was one spirit which was most stubborn and refused to come out. I asked in the name of Jesus to tell me the reason for refusing to come out. It said it wanted her and her husband to be divorced, only then, it would come out. I reckoned the spirit as the spirit of divorce. Praise the Lord, before the deliverance, under the leading of the Holy Spirit I had asked her husband about their husband and wife relationship, he said there was no problem. Therefore, I could tell the spirit of divorce that their marriage was blessed by Jesus; they love one another; Jesus bind their marriage; and they would not be divorced. Only after quite a few bindings, the spirit of divorce came out. We came to learn quite a few footholds in the house and on the lady herself which caused the demons to enter her body. Most of these were as a result of interpersonal conflicts and bad feelings towards one another; a flower vase that contained syiling; some clothing that was given by particular individuals who had bad relationship with her; some cooking utensils given by certain close family member; some belongings like two golden rings with jades as decoration and a few other items. When these things were shown to her, the demons inside her manifested. A few of these things actually were directed and pointed by her that they contained something not right. The demons actually tried to stop her from revealing these items, but she overcame the demons and pointed out item by item. I could see the demons tried to zip her mouth and not allowed her to tell us the items which became the footholds for the demons to enter her. I believe that these items must have been cursed, worshipped or some kind of black magic must have been done to them. For each of these items, I asked the demons what was the relationship between it and the demon. Each of the demons just reveal the relationship and I bind the demons and commanded them to come out one by one. We really experienced the power of the name of Jesus Christ. Any refusal for the demons to come out, I always said Jesus ordered them to leave her. Before the binding and commanding for each demon to leave the body, I always identify the demons. I observed that a vomit was a sign that at least a demon had come out. The vomitings were a lot and I roughly estimated that the first encounter at least 30-40 demons had come out. In the end, after more than 3 hours, it was late afternoon, about 6pm. I needed to go for a wedding dinner and we were all tired. But, I made it a point to stop and concluded there were many more demons which were not out yet. We need to come back again. I remember to pray a prayer that cut the soul tie with all the lingering spirits. I commanded the spirits not to follow us home. I prayed for the precious blood of Jesus Christ to cover and protect us. I also requested all of us to go back home to pray and discern the causes for these demons to go in. I had also advised the lady to see a psychiatrist just in case the demons have caused some damage to her mental health. Before this, she was actually on psychiatrist medication. I also cannot rule out the possibility that her mental health problem could have caused the demons to enter. The demons actually manifested during her first visit to the psychiatrist. She was asked to come back later. In fact, it was after our intensive deliverance where she was better. Then, the psychiatrist prescribed the medicine for her. I made sure her husband gave her the medicine dutifully. He did it very well. I must say he was very instrumental for her recovery. He showed a great understanding and patience towards his wife. On the other hand, she was able to do all the house work well even in the midst of going through the deliverance. In other words, the family still functioned normally in the midst of the great spiritual warfare. 1st July, 2nd July, and Follow up With Seven Steps To Freedom 1st and 2nd July deliverance were still very intense and it was still full of confrontations using power enter. It means we bind and command. Altogether, I counted, each time we spent 3 hours to do the casting and each time we casted out at least 30 to 40 demons. In the third meeting, even she herself could do it by herself. A few more household things were identified for connection with the demons. However, this time, I made the decision not to throw them away because there may be no end to it. These things were linked to those whom she had offended. We found that there was a very strong stubborn human spirit which refused to come out. We always asked for the spirit, it always said the name of the human spirit. Eventually, we discovered through encounter that she had not truly forgiven the person whom she had bad relationship with. In view of the numerous demons which were still inside her, and we also found that there might be no end to the deliverance as a certain stubborn spirits would not come out. We also realized that we all got tired if we came to do the deliverance continuously everyday like this. With the leading of the Spirit of Jesus, I discussed the change in the course of our action. We switched to the truth encounter and we were prepared to do a marathon spiritual warfare against the demons inside her body. I purposely discussed our change in front of the demons which were present inside her body. The demons actually smiled through her face. I decided to change the strategy because I sensed that she might not realize a certain truth and she herself had given footholds to the demons that still allow them to stay inside. Another practical reason for the change was it caused tiredness to the team members, especially, my fellow pastor who was feeling the stress and the deliverance ministry affected his overall ministry. We decided to take turns to come to minister using material written by Neil Anderson which he emphasized very much on truth encounter. The material is Seven Steps To Freedom. It contains the counseling element that brings out the truths about bondages. And we only did the weekly follow up. We did not want to fall into the trap of demons that tempted us with longer intensive confrontations which did not result in a total freedom. Our change of strategy proved to be correct. On 22nd August, I did the fifth step of the material. As we entered into the house, I saw a smiling face on the lady’s husband and he declared to all of us his wife was freed totally. I looked to his wife’s face and it also showed her freedom from demonic possession. She was able to smile also! Before this, each time I entered the house, she would tell me that she hated me and she would stare at me and gave me a hatred look. How she was finally delivered from the demonic possession? As I looked back, on 17th August, I did step five with her and I also gave a lot of counseling in view of the step. This step is all about forgiveness. I got her to pray to forgive all the people who had offended her. There was this particular person whose spirit actually haunted her and she had difficulty forgiving. I believe this was the human spirit that was so stubborn and refused to come out. Then, I knew why it did not want to come out because she had not forgiven the person. I got her to pray the prayer of forgiveness for this person many times until she forgave him totally. Interestingly, each time she prayed to forgive him, a demon came out. I believe she was able to understand the truth of the harm of unforgiveness after I explained to her. This definitely set her free from the demonic bondage of unforgiveness. In that meeting, I also found that she got angry easily and I believe it was a foothold that allowed the demons to remain inside. I address the need to handle her emotion of anger. She was reminded not to be so perfectionist and control her anger by counting one to ten. I even asked her husband and her only daughter to check on her and remind her if she did not control her temperament, then, the demons will come back to attack her. She improved a bit after that day. I believe this helped her freedom from the demonic possession also. On 17th August, I still anointed her with the blessed olive oil according to James 5 as usual and commanded the demons that disturbed her eyes to come out after the fifth step. Before this during the intensive deliverance, the demons even covered her eye sight and disturbed her vision. I had to keep casting out the demons from the eyes. I believed the demons took control of her eyes because she always gave the hatred look to people whom she did not like. Her husband said that with that anointing of the eyes and deliverance and the fifth step, she was freed from the demonic possession. No wonder all the family members were smiling in satisfaction. I still continued the 6th Step and she was very steady and I found no more manifestation in the course of the prayer. I declared her free! However, my fellow pastor would still continue with the 7th Step. Their church will do the long term follow up with her. I reminded them that they should channel her to a fellowship and continue to grow from there. Precious Lessons Learnt In the deliverance ministry that lasted for about two months, there are precious lessons which I learnt: 1. The Spirit of our Lord led us to name the spirits which we had thought of. These spirits had never occurred to our minds and we bind and command them to come out, they came out. If we were not sensitive to the leading of the Spirit, then, we could not do the job. 2. I decided not to fast despite the difficulty because we need strength to do deliverance. Furthermore, I use it as the last resort. 3. The Spirit of our Lord led me to prayer which I had never done before. I prayed for the Holy Fire, and the sword of the Spirit to come down to cleanse her. The demons inside always struggled, shook and came out. 4. The demons were not only scared of the resurrection of Jesus, His judgment, and the likes of the above, they were also very scared of the light of God, the holiness of God and the righteousness of God. 5. The demons were always under the authority of Jesus. 6. I believe the psychiatrist medication also helps in the deliverance. 7. There is a place for the power and truth encounters to be operated along side in a deliverance ministry. 8. Material like 7 Steps to Freedom is excellent complement in deliverance. 9. Follow up on the demon possessed is part of the deliverance ministry. One must do the ministry until he or she is cleared of the possession. It cannot be given up half-way. Prayer Points: 1. Praise the Lord for the great leanings in the last 2 deliverances. I was very humbled by Jesus. Do pray that more pastors would be trained to do deliverance. 2. Pray that Jesus will empower me to conduct the deliverance seminar in Miri on 6th September. Pray that the church concerned will set up a future deliverance team. 3. Do continue to pray for me as I am still at the fifth chapter of my book. 4. Pray that Jesus will grant me the wisdom to do the vision for Ulu Belaga Penan Mission. 5. Pray for my daughter Grace who is studying A level at KL Methodist College that she will overcome the English language difficulty and do well. A Faithful Disciple of Jesus, Pastor Law Hui Seng (Sabbatical, 27th August, 2013, Miri) Poated By Teresa Han
Saturday, July 6, 2013
This is one of the rare opportunities to minister among the BM congregations of Sabah Methodist Church. I serve at Sarawak Methodist Churches and ministered to Chinese and BM congregations here. Sabah and Sarawak Methodist Churches are connected because of her strong history of church planting. I felt very privileged to be invited to be their annual retreat theme speaker last end of May, for 3 days. Their theme was very Wesleyan, a theme I love. It was ‘Love God and Man with all your heart, mind and soul’ as commanded by Jesus. The key passage I used to expound on the theme was Deutronomy 6:1-9. It allowed me to touch on both the spiritual and social aspects in Malay language (BM).
As I grasped my once in my life time opportunity, I ate, fellowshiped, preached, prayed and ministered with them, I was all the time encouraged and inspired by the progress of BM ministry of Sabah Methodist Churches in the last ten years plus of great development. Praise the Lord they began the challenging ministry. I would like to take this opportunity to express my convictions for them.
First and foremost, I am so encouraged by the BM pastors. Under the leadership of Rev Cecilia, the BM district superintendant, and the strong support from the Chinese congregations and pastors, they are progressing. Yes, they went through all the struggles and challenges, but they persevere. Each of the BM pastors, the young and experienced ones, they seem to know what they are doing. They related well with me. They answered all my questions confidently, honestly and sincerely. I experienced deep fellowship with pastors of the indigenous people. I did not know them well but they were willing to open up. This enhanced our fellowship very much. I just felt the Sabah Methodist churches are in good hands. I took all their individual pastor photos and telefon contacts. I pledged to pray for them and their congregations as they reminded me in their sharing. I am keeping my promise.
Secondly, I sensed that all their BM congregations which made up of different groups were keen to grow spiritually. There is hunger in their life to learn God’s word and be committed to Jesus. They made me feel that Jesus is important in their lives. This I can see through their prayers before meals, their willingness to learn God’s word by turning to the bible when I asked them to read it. They believed in the power of prayers. One or two persons grasped the opportunity to request me to minister and pray for them.
Thirdly, the 178 children, youths and adults did not celebrate the Hari Kamaatan (Harvest Event) in the traditional way but they chose to spend few days in church retreat in a big group like this at Mononod. They came from all over Sabah, Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan, Lahad Datu, Keningau, Tawau and a few other small places to gather and fellowship to learn about God’s word, and participated in interchurch sports. I believe this is a good way to do contextualization. Not that they do not celebrate Hari Kamatan, they do it differently, Christian way. I am so encouraged to see families who showed up. All the churches had tried their best to show up and this enhanced their relationship and great fellowship with one another. Their fellowship with one another is so precious and it is a great testimony of the work of the Holy Spirit. I am so encouraged to see them relating with one another without difficulty, though they come from different tribes (about 12 of them). They include Rungkus, Lundayah, Iban, Sg Tombonuao, Sg Kinabatangan Tampasak, Kadazan, Dusun, Murut, Toraja, Timor, Manado, Bisaya, and Sg Romaneu. Their many cultural dances reflected their rich heritage and identity. I can see that they are proud of their traditional costumes, and dances. Behind all these rich cultural heritage, I am most encouraged by our common Christian identity. We may be speaking different languages and dialects but we are united by Christ. The use of BM as a common language also enhances our communication. I reminded them that it is Christ who brought us together.
Fourthly, many top leaders from Sabah Methodist churches attended the tenth anniversary of Mononod Methodist Church is an evidence of their great support for BM ministry. Their new president, Rev Dr Hii, district superientendants, church leaders and members from chinese churches throughout Sabah came. The president was able to preach in his excellent BM. This futher enhances the relationship with the indigenous people. One chinese church even donated a brand new church van for one new BM congregation. The sharing of resources is an excelent way to make disciples among the BM speaking indigenous people. I can forsee that this willingness will result in many more indigenous people of Sabah turning to Christ. I am sure Jesus is very please about this.
I pray that Jesus binds the Chinese and BM congregations of Sabah Methodist churches with His love. All the meetings and fellowships at different levels, from top to bottom will result in a lot of disciple making. That is seeing both the Chinese and indigenous people of Sabah growing to become strong disciples of Jesus.
1. Jesus continues to raise more BM pastors to shepherd the BM congregations.
2. The cooperation, the fellowship and sharing of resources between the Chinese and indigenous people will continue.
3. Pray that every BM church in Sabah Methodist will produce powerful disciples of Jesus.
A Faithful Disciple of Jesus,
Pastor Law Hui Seng
(30th June, 2013; Miri)
Posted By Teresa Han
Saturday, June 29, 2013
Today is entered as a day in my life as a proud father. I always learn to be a father. All my four children are teenagers now. Though I face strong challenges to disciple and nurture them in the Lord, I always feel proud that Jesus gives them to me.
I want to say I am a very proud father today. Here it goes. My 3 younger teenagers had their inter-house school sports. I was there to cheer for my 2 sons (twins), Tobias and Elliot. Tobias is a school athlete, whom I am proud of. Both were chosen by their teachers for a few events. They finished all the events within today and I was there almost the whole day.
Elliot (Form 2)
He is dyslexia but he has improved so much that his physical coordination is not a problem anymore. For very special reason, his teacher entered him for two difficult events; they were 110m and 200m hurdles. A few days before the sports day, he already said he was not going to compete. He did it last year but he did not do well. My wife and I kept encouraging him to take up the challenge to do the two events. We insisted that he must go and participate. I kept encouraging him with words like, it is a privilege to do it because the others are not selected to represent their house; winning is not important but participation is important; if he cannot jump over the hurdles, he can use his hand to push down the hurdles and just jog slowly to finish the race; and I will be there to support him.
With all these words of encouragement he still felt depressed about it and he kept saying he did not want to do it. However, praise the Lord this morning, he woke up and he went for the sports day! Praise the Lord I remember my promise and I showed up at the sports meet. He still kept saying he won’t go down for the 2 events. He said that his friend had taken over his places. I went to his house sports teacher to confirm it. In my mind I was prepared to accept the decision of Elliot not to contest and allowed another student to do it. He could not stand the stress and I should show understanding. However, upon checking with the 2 sports teachers, they said it was confirmed Elliot was entered for the two events. They did highlight that he was not willing to do it. And the other name was wrongly entered. From then on, I started my uphill task to convince him to do it. This was really a time of father and son talk.
I could feel that he was stressful (because he did not want to get injured) when it was confirmed it was him to contest. I kept telling him, he could just push the hurdles and jogged to finish the race. I gave such advice because it was done before in my school and I saw contestants doing it. After persuading a while, he seemed to say that he could jump over a few hurdles and then pushed the rest. And I said yes. The important thing was to participate. Praise the Lord he was willing to participate. I was feeling happy in my heart for he was willing to contest. Only God knew what was in store for Elliot. He did not practice jumping over the hurdles at all.
And now, he needed to do it during the sports day in front of everybody. I could imagine how he needed to face the awkward position of getting last; pushing the hurdles one by one; having the possibility of injury and the others might tease him for the poor performance. I could see that he wanted to avoid the embarrassment.
To make matter worse, upon checking with a very experienced hurdle runner, to my surprise, my advice to Elliot was wrong. If he pushed with his hand the hurdles, he would be considered as disqualified. It was my negligence not to check the information before I advised Elliot. I was caught in between. Elliot agreed to contest because he could push the hurdles in case he found it difficult to jump over them. Now, he was not to do it. I quickly rushed to him to tell him the truth about the proper way to handle the hurdles. Everything has to use legs! I thought I would get a disagreement to contest from him again. Praise the Lord, he had made up his mind to contest. He said it was not supposed to use hand to push to clear the hurdles (because he already knew it). The race was not designed as such. My heart was so relieved to know he was going to contest. The race was on!
The most nervous moment came. It was the 200 m hurdles in early afternoon after 1.30, under the not so hot sun. My wife, Tobias, Mercy and myself dared not go to the field to cheer him. I myself made a conscious decision not to go near him to embarrass him. My wife confessed to me her heart was beating very fast the more I asked her to see how Elliot was going to perform. The most anxious thing was whether he was able to jump over the hurdles or not. Last year, he failed to do it. Consequently, he was adamant about it. The other four contestants were also lining up for the race. They did warm up and tested the hurdles but Elliot was not bothered at all. I was prepared for the worst!
At this stage, I must not forget to mention that I remember to pray for Elliot before the race. He prayed with me. I actually prayed that Jesus would empower him to jump over the hurdles and finished the race. He believed in the power of prayer. Before, when Tobias ran for the 400m, during the race, he even asked me to pray. I did and I said vocally for Jesus to help Tobias to run well. In the end, Tobias got a silver medal! That might have helped him to trust in Jesus. He (Elliot) is actually the most prayerful child in our family.
Now, we had to face Elliot’s 200m hurdles race. Will he fall down? Will he be injured? Will he have to face the embarrassment of falling hurdles? Will he… Then, a miracle happened before our eyes. We almost could not believe it. After he jumped over the first hurdle, he almost lost his balance and fell down but he did not! Praise the Lord, from then on; he cleared all the hurdles by jumping over. Though he was behind the other four but he was just about one meter away from the fourth position. He actually tried to chase up. I told him about it. My wife was very happy that he could clear all the hurdles. It was a miracle. We could not believe it. From the grand stand, I went down and I walked over to the finishing point to congratulate him for successfully completing the race. Praise the Lord, he gave me a smile. Returning to the grand stand, even his sports teacher said he could do it. And I agreed with the teacher and I even said before the teacher he did quite well. My wife was so happy that she hugged him. Mercy was also very happy for Elliot.
I believe that miracle helped Elliot to be more confident now to take on the next event, 110m hurdles. I was less anxious then. Now, I dared to go near the 110m hurdle track and prepared to cheer for Elliot. But still, I was not hoping for him to get any medal. He was facing the same two boys who defeated him in the 200m.
As the whistle was blown to get the four contestants ready, and this is in the final, Elliot confidently went to the starting point and put himself in a ready position to speed off. After the pistol went off, he really dashed out. He was going for a miracle of obtaining a medal. He was smooth and fast but he was still the last runner after the 50m. Meanwhile, right from the beginning, after he dashed off, I never stopped cheering by calling his name and telling to keep dashing forward. I was at the top of my voice and I was the only father doing it. My wife, Julia, Mercy and Tobias were seeing from the grand stand. I was very proud that I was there at the track to cheer for him for his first athletic medal in his life.
After running for 50m, a wonderful thing happened and I was so touched that I almost cried, as I kept shouting and cheering at the top of my voice. He overtook the third position runner with strength, confidence, speed and steadiness. He was leading in the third position from then on until the finishing point. There was not a single hurdle from his track falling down. He defeated the fourth place at least by one and a half meter! I was almost ecstatic about the winning of the bronze medal! I kept congratulating Elliot and this time I could see in his face, he was not only very happy but also satisfied. I could also sense that he was very excited and surprised by his achievement.
Upon arrival at the grand stand, after the race, Elliot’s sports teachers greeted him and said his effort had not gone to waste. I could see that they were very happy for us, father and son. Then, my wife congratulated him and hugged him. She was so full of smile and happiness with surprise. Tobias and Mercy were also very happy and we really shared the happiness as a family. We agreed among ourselves to celebrate it later.
Tobias (Form 2)
I am very proud of Tobias in his performance of all the events he took in 400m, 800m, 400x4m, and 100x4m. Probably after this, I am not able to see my children running again as I will be very busy next year doing ministry. This is my sabbatical year, praise the Lord, I was there to see them running and witnessed their achievement.
Before the start of the event, we prayed together. I actually did not think about whether he would get a medal or not. Tobias did say he might get third position. I prayed that Jesus protected Tobias from injury; the Holy Spirit filled him with strength and power to do his best. I saw how Tobias tried very hard during the 400m run. I saw him running consistently with speed from beginning till the end. He was putting in all the energy to beat his opponents. Towards the last hundred meters, he did not seem to slow down. He was behind the first position, a very good school athlete, by about 5 meters. He managed second position among Form 2 boys (15 years). I ran over to the finishing point to congratulate him. I was so happy for him and he was very happy with the achievement also. He was all smiles. I really appreciated his steadiness, confidence, speed, endurance, and strength. I am so proud of him. I told him how he really tried hard to beat others. I was full of praise and encouragement for him as we walk back to the grand stand. Upon reaching, his mother was so happy and full of smiles to congratulate him and hug him. Elliot and Mercy were also very happy for their brother.
Then, after about one hour, he needed to run 800m. We never talked about whether he would get a medal or not. As usual I prayed for strength, power, and protection. I could understand why he did not put in all the energy. It was too tiring for him. Therefore, right from the beginning, he just ran at his own comfortable pace as he had not really recovered his energy from the last race. His strategy was to save his energy for the 100m relay. He completed the 800m and I told him his strategy was right. Though he did not get any medal for this event, he finished the race and he successfully represented his house. He was committed to his house. I still encouraged him for it. I told him, if I were to run, I might not perform at all as it was very tiring to run under the hot sun.
Another hour plus later, he was scheduled to run for 100m relay! I prayed the usual prayer. It was a real challenge because I was not sure whether he had regained his energy. Praise the Lord he looked fine. He was positioned as the third runner out of four runners. All four of them maintained their second position from the beginning till the end. I was both excited and anxious about this event. I was excited because it was really my privilege to see my son being elected to compete with other teams. Seeing the best four teams competing in the final with my son present was so meaningful. I was anxious because I did not know whether they would make mistakes like dropping the relay button, falling down or any kind of disqualification. Praise the Lord for the efficiency of the teachers and students. On the track, they took time to explain to every relay runner how they should accept the button within a limited distance in their own track. Tobias and the team were fast and each member worked out well to finish second. I could see their team work and they all wanted to win and ran fast. They deserved to get a medal. By the look of all the teams, I did expect they might get second or third position. I was really very happy about the second position result. I rushed to the finishing line to congratulate my son and his team members. By doing so, I actually became their friend.
Julia, Mercy and Elliot were at the grand stand to receive Tobias who finished in the second position. Again we were all very happy for him, congratulated him and hugged him. Relay event was team effort, and we thank God for the good team work. They actually did not practice to do the relay. They just communicated among themselves on how to pass the button. It turned out fine. The button did not drop.
Not long after the 100m relay, then, came the 400m relay. I looked forward to it and as usual, I prayed the same prayer with Tobias. This time there were only three teams competing. My son was the second runner as instructed by the sports teacher. My son’s team was at first in the second position. But he was been chased up by another good school athlete. Despite the setback in the process, my son kept his steadiness to run with speed till the finishing line. Their last runner actually tried to chase up but his leg muscle was in pain and he almost could not continue. He struggled to cross the finishing line. Praise the Lord he still finished the race. I still encouraged him by telling him that he had done a good job. The team still got third position despite the setback.
We were still happy for Tobias and his team. We still congratulate him. All of us in the family were so proud of both of them that day. We decided to celebrate at MacDonald. Before eating, as I said the grace for the meal, I thank God for our children having the opportunity to participate in the school inter house sports; for no injury; for the achievement; and our opportunity to see our children running. Also, I prayed that they would work hard in studies like they tried hard in sports. We were all hungry after the sports’ meet, we ate happily and thankfully.
What a joy to see my two sons running on the track though it was just the school level competition. I just felt, even then, the teachers had to select them based on some criteria and my sons were qualified. Not all students got to run and participate. They are the privileged twenty percent who were chosen. I was so proud of them that day.
1. Praise the Lord I am able to write 25,000 words (4 chapters) for my book. Do pray that I will finish another 9 chapters.
2. Pray for Grace (doing A level at KL Methodist College) that she can cope with all the English terms for all her subjects (Economics, Law and Accounting).
3. Pray that I have good health to do mission and preaching among churches and long houses.
A faithful disciple of Jesus,
Pastor Law Hui Seng
(Miri, 24th -27th June, 2013)
Posted By Teresa Han