Tuesday, September 30, 2008

EduCare & WidowCare Fundraiser

As previously mentioned, here is the post on the Assemblies of God charity dinner.

I was contacted by the committee earlier in month to come give a testimony during the dinner about how EduCare has helped me. Rev. Jeremiah Kong who contacted me based on a list given to him did not realize that although I applied for the EduCare scholarship for my studies in BCM I did not get the scholarship. I informed Rev Jeremiah that I did not get the help, upon realizing that he apologized profusely. It really wasn't his fault but he felt so embarassed about it. I was already helping Shanti to find some PKs (pastors' kids) to give special numbers during the event, but I volunteered my help in any other way to Rev Jeremiah. He thanked me and apologized one last time before hanging up.

Few days later I got an email from Rev Jeremiah asking me to emcee the event. That was when I kinda regretted opening my big fat mouth. However I thought that if they felt I could contribute in this way I would give my time.

For those of you who are still blur let me inform you. Educare & WidowCare is a fund set up by the Assemblies of God of Malaysia to help our ministers. Many pastors who work in the outskirts do not "earn" enough from their job as a "minister" to support their families. So AG Malaysia wanted to help support some of our workers by helping them with their children's studies and also by taking care of some of the widows that are left behind. I understand that this might not add up for some of you. You might ask why God does not provide "properly" for these people who are working for him. I believe this would be one of the ways that God would use to provide for these servants. There is a general rule an there is always an exception to the rule. God works in different ways with different people.

Anyhow, I believe that Christians should be more sensitive. Keep your eyes opened, take good care of your shepherd so that they can minister effectively without external pressure or duress. Might discuss this more in another post.

Here are the event details:

Date: 22nd September 2008 (Monday)
Time: 7:30pm-10:00pm
Venue: Dewan Sivik, Petaling Jaya
Price: RM100.00 per seat
Estimated Attendance: 600 (60+ tables)
Guest of Honour: Yang Berhormat Teresa Kok

The event was to start at 7:30pm. I was asked to be there by 5:30pm. I met many who were part of the committee when I arrived. We were all there doing last minute preparations. I went over the script with Shanti my "co-host" and made some changes. Some of the people who were giving special presentations (including Juwita Suwito, also a PK) were also there setting up.

I soon realized that it will be an hour since the opening till diner will be served. Taking into account Malaysian's "flexi" time, it will be almost 9pm before anyone had anything to eat. That certainly worried me as I did not want to become the "hate figure" of the dinner. They will be seeing me coming up and making announcements but there will not be food. There would be many hungry (and angry people). I suggested to Shanti that it might be good to adjust the time so that there will be less hungry people. After some consultation, Shanti finally told me that the schedule will be adjusted as the guest of honour would also rather not give a speech to 600 hungry people.

Here's the itinerary for the dinner:

7:15 - Arrival of Guests
7:25 - Arrival of VIPs
7:30 - Opening Ceremony (Hip Hop Dance by Christian Dance Fellowship of Malaysia)
7:35 - Opening Address by hosts (Shanti & Lemuel)
7:40 - Opening Prayer by Rev Ronnie Chin
7:45 - Praise & Worship (Good Tidings, Shah Alam)
8:00 - Song Presentation: "I Surrender All" by Rev Sean Prasad
8:05 - Greetings by Rev Terrence Sinnadurai
8:10 - Speech by Rev Ong Sek Leang
8:15 - Speech by Guest of Honour (YB Teresa Kok)
8:20 - Dinner served
8:20 - Live Band Performance by X4JC
8:40 - Testimonies by
Rev Jeremiah Gan (his son recipient of EduCare fund)
Sis Sharon (recipient of EduCare fund)
Rev Ezra Muthu
9:00 - "My Love Gift" Pledge (Rev Terrence Sinnadurai)
9:10 - Table Lucky Draw
9:20 - Finale by Juwita Suwito

So that was the official plan. But when time came for YB Teresa Kok to give her speech she went on and on about her ISA detention. YB Teresa Kok who is the Member of the Selangor state Assembly for Kinrara, almost did not make it for the event due to her ISA detention. YB Edward Lee, Bukit Gasing State Assemblyman (who I just found out is my BCM classmate's father) was ready to stand in on her behalf. YB Teresa Kok, as we know was released and made it for the dinner. I do feel that it was not right for her to be held for such a long time for such menial issues. She spoke for about her ISA experience and how she felt God had helped her during her time in detention for about 25 minutes but only spoke about 3 minutes on the EduCare & WidowCare fund. The crowd sat and listened intently to her speech. In some ways she is like Malaysia's own Nelson Mandela, but of course Nelson Mandela is a whole other league. She did however pledge RM5,000 to the fund and applaud the efforts of the committee to take care of the pastors and their families.

So the schedule was screwed beyond recognition. Everything was pushed back, by the time we reached Juwita's part of the schedule there were few people left. Juwita was advised to do just one song, she decided to perform her song "Leading Change". Despite the 40-odd people left in the hall Juwita gave her best. It was like an intimate concert with her fans. Those who stayed behind had a chance to interact intimately with her while she sang. Those who stayed on screamed for more and Juwita duly obliged. By the end of it she sang 3 songs, everyone got into it. It was like a karaoke session with Juwita. I must say her attitude impresses me. She's such a pro, even with so few people she gave her 100% knowing that she was using her talents as God wanted her to.

So that was the EduCare and WidowCare Fundraiser. It is great that the Assemblies of God Malaysia is doing this for their credential members. We have to take care of our ministers. There were some Canaan Church people who were around, I caught a glimpse of Joshua taking some pix of the event. You can read his account of the event on his blog. The better pix here are from his flickr account, the sucky ones are from... "other people". I think I might have to get a camera of my own, can't trust anyone with their cameras. End up with no good pix, as you can see no picture of me hosting the dinner.

Anyway if you would like to contribute towards this fund, speak to your pastor. Or you could also visit the Assemblies of God Malaysia's website for more info.

For the more visually oriented:

Arrival of YB Teresa Kok

The VIP Table

Teresa Kok presenting gifts to some individuals and companies

Mikayla was not left out, she too will soon be a PK

Some PKs that were there. R-L: Shanti, Kenny, Reuben (I assume you know Melanie by now).

Juwita Suwito (center) with X4JC. Watch out for the release of X4JC's album at the end of the year

Mikayla and Shanti. Shanti was recently featured in a newpaper article.

My mother got in the action as well.

My mother wanted a picture with "someone famous"... I think she was talking about me.

Way better pictures from Joshua. Didn't find any of me though...


joshuachay said...

Sorry, but I didn't take any other pictures than Teresa on the night. Thanks for the credit tho'

Lemuel Yee Ngan Foong said...

Hahahaha... no problem man. I should have taken some pix myself, but was too busy what I was doing. And Melanie was busy with Mikayla. My mom took vids, but they're in Philippines now... So I'm left with not-so-good visuals for my blog, just trying to give an excuse for my sub-standard blog...