It is always good and comforting to be home and worshipping at one's own home church. On Easter Day I had the opportunity of worshipping together with other Wesleyans at a Combine Wesley Easter Church service at the Sibu Civic Centre. More than 1500 turned up with children and older generations. As Easter coincided with Ching Ming many people who have migrated overseas had come back.It was good to be connected!
It was heart warming to see three generations worshipping together in church. And it was really good to bid a hearty "So nice to see you again after so many years!!"
And for me it was "coming home" because I could see my cousins and uncles and aunts...grand uncles and grand aunties all in the same hall. But more importantly it was good to see a cousin preaching from the pulpit and other cousins serving as ushers and choir members. More than 40 years of life flashed before me eyes.......
My former students have become parents and my own teachers are very senior members of the church. Some have passed on....and new and younger ones (fifth and sixth generations of the pioneering families )are coming forward to serve the church and Sibu in general in various capacities.
New generations enjoying eggs for Easter Breakfast at the Civic Centre
Giving an egg to a young child - the future of Sibu. Like in the past mothers continue to play an important role. Mrs. Mary Hoover started Yuk Ing Girls' School in Sibu with the principle " Christianised and educated girls are the foundation of a Christian society. Good Christian wives form the basis of a good family." Many Methodist missionaries like the Hoovers in the past started schools for girls in Malaysia e.g. Methodist Girls' School in KL which undeniably provided the foundation for so many great families in Malaysia and in fact the world.
By chance while waiting for my sister I met up with my younger brothers' classmates(Desmond Cheng and Jason Tai) and spouses after a period of more than 30 years!! I was in Upper Sixth in Methodist School when Desmond was in Form Three and I was already a teacher serving in the school when Jason entered the school . Thus I remember them as little junior secondary school boys and now they are community leaders and leading members of the church! We were all laughing...saying that God has really blessed them bountifully. They are not only looking like Towkays but they are big Towkays.
Good humble brother Charles Tiong (my clansman)- a very senior Government Officer- giving out eggs.....Eggs are symboloic - the beginning of life - the beginning of hope.
This is such a good Easter Morning..It is always good to welcome worshippers warmly to the church and it is equally important to see them off.....Andrew Kiu in the photo....saying...hello...Be Connected!
In fact a long time friend commented only very recently that she has only seen many true and strong friendships and lasting fellowship in Sibu as a whole and in Wesley Church in particular. That is why she would always remember her stay in Sibu but because of her own career she has to be in another part of the world.