February 21, 2010

Ground Breaking Ceremony at Mei Ang Church Miri - 1

 (Psalms 91:1-4)
1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!” 3 For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper, And from the deadly pestilence. 4 He will cover you with His pinions, And under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark. (NASB)

 More than 40 years ago when the Sibu Foochows moved over to Miri to seek jobs. Many also found work in the  Foochow owned timber companies . In order to gather together for Sunday services as Methodists they initiated a plan for a property to be bought. In just a few short years they were able to build a church and called it Mei Ang (Beautiful Peace) situated next to Chung Hua Primary School.

Since then Mei Ang Methodist Church of Miri has grown tremendously  with three services on Sunday (to packed house) and different activities for the members and their children on other days. And it is now time for rebuilding. Today this is a precious piece of prime land and the best plans have been made to maximise land usage. Furthermore today the church does not only serve the Foochows only as Hakkas and Hokkiens are also worshipping here.

On 21/2/2010 the Mei Ang congregation and President Datu Dr. Su Chii Ang held a ground breaking ceremony to mark the beginning of rebuilding of the church.

This brings to mind what Winston Churchill was once quoted "We shape our buildings and then they shape us."  To many of the in-coming new population of Miri the construction of the original Mei Ang Church has indeed shaped the population of Miri to a certain extent. One obvious social change in Miri has been the opening of business hours. Shops before the coming of the Foochows were opened only after ten in the morning. When the Foochows arrived in the business scene Foochow run coffee shops open at five in the morning. The markets start selling fresh vegetables as early as 4 in the morning.

Meanwhile the congregation has rented part of the first floor of Mega Hotel Building as its temporary meeting place and the Parsonage has been re-sited too.

The old church which has been stripped bare. Only the walls and the beams are left.

Dr. Su presiding the ceremony.

Ground breaking...cangkul-ing sand.

Part of the joyful congregation!!
The happy Datuk Ting Ong Hua who will build the new church.

Hallelujah!! We shall build up a strong church!

Part of the group ....waiting for the photographers to snap and give instructions.

At the end of the ceremony the Women's group dish out the Hoon Ngan Long (egg and rice vermicelli) into white bowls.....equivalent to Size No.1 Foochow soup bowls

Dr. Su and friend enjoying the Foochow refreshment.

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