Friday, July 31, 2009

Shekinah Community Center Sunday (July 26th): Prophetic Conference, Ipoh

So I went missing for the whole of last week. I was attending a prophetic conference in Shekinah Community Center (SCC), Ipoh, a.k.a. the mothership. SCC is my church's mother church.

I was initially quite reluctant to go, firstly, Ipoh was supposed to be a small town, what could Ipoh offer that I couldn't already get in KL? Then there was also my thing about the "prophetic". Many times I just substitute prophetic with pathetic, it really didn't help when I was trying to pay attention during the conference, everytime the speaker said "prophetic", my mind automatically switches it to "pathetic". It was really funny, to me, only. A real inside joke.

So I mentally prepared myself for a week of boredom. I was prepared to fast internet, stay indoors if there weren't any place to go, and bear a week of pathetic conference. I gave up on my "P" night on Monday and left before I could catch up with anyone, I only met Ke Xin when she came earlier to twist perm my hair, but you would have already had your share of that story by now. I left my wife, daughter, friends, and internet at home and headed due north for Ipoh.

Drive alone was nice, quite therapeutic and cleansing in a way. Music blasted from my aunty's new speakers as I drove her car. I arrived slightly late and had to find the church. For a brief moment I thought my GPS got me to the wrong place, but a brief call to Pas. Henry confirmed I was in the right area. The place was littered with pubs, cafes, cyber cafes, hawkers, and even discos (some dodgier than others). During the duration of my stay I have cristened that area where SCC was located as "Sodom and Gomorrah". I figured this shouldn't be as bad as I have initially prepared for. Worse come to worse I could camp it out in the cyber cafe.

Conference already started and the prophet-speaker already has begun the seminar. I see two familiar faces, Pas. Sam (from Baguio Philippines), and Pas. D'ton (from Bangkok, Thailand). I met them earlier in the week for a dinner on the day of their arrival, I also previously met them during my trip to Bangkok. We were going to be roomies throughout this conference.

The conference was great, for me I was reminded that I need to sharpen my spiritual gifts and not just rely on physical ministry. Many of the supernatural things can't be explained or understood so I just have to trust God when it comes to those things.

During the conference the speaker prayed for the manifestation of "golden glory" and true enough gold dust started appearing on people. Pas. Nagu, being Indian (dark skinned) was the most obvious of all, his face and hands was sparkly from the gold dust.

It is interesting why God would do something like this. I guess he's God and he's just showing off. It's just fantastic when God decides to show off a little... fantabulous!

There were also people who were healed, especially those with backaches due to uneven legs. We (the participants) would pray for the legs to be lengthened and true enough legs were lengthened. Then back problems just went away, it was a miracle. Of course there was also prophecies that were made.

The conferences were held during the night so days were free. So we had time to do some shopping. I spent most of the day with the foreign pastors. Being the local, I showed them around and basically played their host. If gained nothing else from this trip, the friendship built would be well worth the effort.

During one of the days, Pas. Henry brought us all up to Cameron Highlands for a cup of tea. The foreign pastors were also here for a meeting with the various national youth directors. Vietnam and Cambodia could not make it, but Philippines and Thailand was present, and guess who represented Malaysia?

Meeting lasted about 15 minutes, and time to travel to Cameron Highlands from Ipoh is just over 1 hour. Then the rest of the time we had tea and goofed off.

Other days I spent getting to know the people of SCC as well as getting to know the area around the church. Of course the eating was one of the highlights, for me it's the fellowship around the table.

I was supposed to head back straight after the final session late Saturday night, but I finally decided after much deliberation that I would attend the worship service in SCC. It was great getting to see how things are done in the main church. I was introduced to the church, and as expected, people were fascinated at me. I know I'm not the stereotype pastor, in fact, I'm quite the opposite. My newly permed hair got even more stares. But I am happy that people don't immediately recognize me as a "pastor". I'm just a normal guy that loves Jesus and want to serve him. I do the work of a pastor, but I don't want the "stigma" that comes with being a pastor. Christians and non-believers alike often act differently (and many times weird) when they realize you're a "pastor". Pastors are just people like you and me trying to make the most out of our lives. Anyway I was introduced to SCC.

After Sunday service I had the privilege of having lunch at Howard Leow's house. Howard studies Artificial Intelligence in KL and attends our church whenever he's around. He was going to hitch a ride from me back to KL so his mother invited me over to have lunch at their home. It was a great experience for me. They were real village folks and I had an authentic Hakka meal that is rare in KL, even though I myself am a Hakka. I had the chance to embaress myself with my horrible Hakka.

I left Ipoh with a very different perception of the place then when I first came. Ipoh is ready for harvest. So many young people so near the church there, SCC needs a youth worker badly. SCC is right at the heart of the hotspot, less than 100 meters away young people meet up to eat, play, and party. Someone just needs to invite them to come eat, play, and party in the church! God please send more workers, workers who can understand and meet the needs of these young people in Ipoh! I desperately want to go back to Ipoh, but next time I want to bring a small team along with me and try to make a difference there. It will also be good bonding time for me and my small team of ministers. For now I consider this more of a recon trip. People in Ipoh get ready, I'm coming back for you soon...

I arrived in KL at 4:30pm, just in time for futsal. Perfect way to cap off this fantastic week.


Anonymous said...

That's a nice, little story from a young and devoted pastor. Indeed, Ipoh needs youth workers, and SCC is in the heart of happenings there. Young people let their hair down in that vicinity (Bandar Baru Medan Ipoh, a.k.a. Bangsar Ipoh) and SCC is in the right location to offer them hope for a brighter future. God knows your destiny...He has asked you to go back to SCC Ipoh to do His work.

Caryn said...

I'm glad that ur perception of Ipoh changed while you were there. Hehe. Though Ipoh's a small town, but it has great potential.. And it's really a great place. I survived 17 years there, so it's probably not bad a place = P

Gosh, I miss Ipoh after reading this post. lol.