One of my great encouragements in disciple making for Jesus is to see His disciples making disciples. One great disciple of Jesus whom I come across is in the person of ‘Pastor Joseph’. A disciple of Jesus whom I introduced to you more than two years, he really makes a difference for Jesus.
Who is this ‘Pastor Joseph’?
I brought him to survey Long Malim, Ulu Belaga, more than two years ago in 2010. It is a Penan (former ly nomadic) settlement with more than 200 people. It takes about 12 hours from Miri, not to mention travelling on dangerous timber road. This Penan tribal group is numbering at least 20,000. They are probably the most left behind group in Sarawak. Most of them are uneducated. SCAC is making disciples among them in a small way especially at Ulu Belaga in the recent 3 years through education and short term mission. We have touched quite a few hundred Penan. Most of the long houses which we are reaching will be flooded to make way for building of Murum dam. They will be resettled else where. Long Malim is one such place. I have reminded them that where they go, we will follow them and make them disciples of Jesus.
I believe bro Joseph Tan with a heart of great love for Penan because of his love for Jesus, ever since he met them, he continuously mobilizes his home church (Yi En Methodist) and other Miri District Methodist churches to go to do short term mission there for the past 2 to 3 years. He used his Jesus given BM speaking ability to the fullest and make disciples among the Penan. If more of us (younger generation of SCAC) are like that, you can imagine we will have no shortage of missionaries among the Penan. He taught them Ten Commandments and disciple them with systematic material. He mobilized other disciples of Jesus to be drivers, BM speaking brothers and sisters to teach the Penan children the word of God and invite them to come along to do cooking and social concerns. He mobilized team members to pray for needy Penan families. He taught them to exercise their spiritual authority to pray for the sick. He taught the Penan to be clean in their environment and set good example for them to follow. He made sure mission team members left behind no rubbish before we left so that we provided good example for Penan!
This ‘Pastor Joseph’ is also encouraging other Methodist churches to adopt a Penan long house like Yi En Methodist church. He prepared them to do it by bringing other disciples of Jesus with him and let them participate in the ministry. His effort is yielding fruit, for example, Mei Ann Methodist is now taking up Long Menapa.
This trip I went in again and served with him. I overheard the Long Malim people calling him ‘Pastor Joseph’! In the Methodist church, we do not call a person ‘pastor’ unless he or she is officially commissioned or ordained by the church. Penan people are not aware of it. However, as he goes there so often, he shepherded and disciple them as I described above, no wonder he is called ‘Pastor Joseph’. His other team members do not get that title. Therefore, I told him the Penan people had ‘ordained’ him to be their pastor. He must have gone there so often that he became part of their life. His pastoral role must have earned him the title.
Can we pray for more such ‘Pastor Joseph’ to come forward to serve the Penan of Ulu Belaga?
More Such Missionaries Please
This is my 7th mission trip to Ulu Belaga and I was called by Jesus to visit our SCAC 6 brave lady missionaries. It was an urge of the Spirit of Jesus as I always believe that they need prayers and encouragement in that tough and dangerous environment of ministry among the Penan. It is very tough to teach the Penan who do not have basic in BM and Mathematic. Daily travelling on the timber road is dangerous. Yet I was told they were all trained to drive. Ladies driving on timber roads and risking their lives for Jesus. By faith board of evangelism, SCAC prayed and appealed to churches for missionaries and they bravely responded in faith. They also live as neighbors along side the timber workers. They are really brave disciples of Jesus. If not because of their love for Penan children; and if they are not touched by the love of Jesus, they may not be there. Let us always uphold these brave missionaries of Ulu Belaga in our prayers. At the same time, let us pray for more such brave missionaries to be there at Ulu Belaga.
1. Pray that where the Penan are resettled, churches will be built and BM pastors posted there.
2. Pray that Penan children will go to government schools nearby. Pray that SCAC will mobilize resources to support them in whatever we can.
3. Pray that more full time and short term missionaries will go in a more aggressive manner as time is running out as most of these long houses are going to be flooded in one year time. Remember once their lives are touched by Jesus through you, they forever belong to Jesus.
4. Pray that SCAC will send missionaries to unflooded areas to help in the area of education. There are long houses being identified, pray that SCAC will survey them soon.
5. Pray that SCAC will develop a holistic vision for Ulu Belaga Penan soon.
‘Pastor Joseph’ honestly shared with me he is tired after all these efforts. I really pray more
‘Pastor Joseph’ will step forward and pay the price for Jesus and take turns to go in and this can relieved ‘Pastor Joseph’ and we all survive longer at Ulu Belaga. When I encouraged ‘Pastor Joseph’ he always replied that he just wanted to give an account to Jesus one day he meets Jesus. Will you?
I pray that I will be there more often during my sabbatical next year. I pray that as disciples of Jesus, we all make our life counts for Jesus like ‘Pastor Joseph’. Can you do that at where you are?
A Faithful Disciple of Jesus,
Pastor Law Hui Seng
(Miri, 21st December, 2012)
Posted By Teresa Han