Native Counselling Camp
The Native Counselling Camp had begun from the 14th to 24th of December 2018. The audience of the Native Counselling Camp was mainly the 17 aboriginal children of ages ranging from 9 to 13 years old. In comparison with the children living in the city, the academic standards of the aboriginal children are relatively low. However, the difference was not because of their intelligence quotient (IQ) or abilities are not as good as others, instead, the lack of guidance is the main reason. To elaborate on the situation, there is no solution whatsoever presented to them when they face academic problems. Therefore, most of the children have a level of literacy that is beyond ideal. It is feared that with this level of literacy, the possible difficulties and obstacles they might encounter whilst reading the bible will encumber their faith in the long term.
Hence, the Education Affairs has set down aims to assist them in 3 aspects namely, their faith, academics, and living skills; placing extra efforts in strengthening the fundamentals of each subject. The Malay language, English, Mathematics and other core subjects were arranged in their daily course schedule – this is to allow the children to know that learning/studying is not too difficult a matter. Music lessons were also provided to allow the children to serve God in the church with music and hymns while cooking and sewing lessons were to improve the kids’ living skills where it is hoped that they can be experts in either one of these skills in the future.
Although the counselling camp lasted for a mere 7 days, the teachers had given in their all in teaching all that can be taught for the time when they meet again will probably be a matter of a year’s time. In this coming year, the children will have to be independent in facing academic challenges. It is hoped that this counselling camp can be of some help to these kids. May the Lord take care and remember these children of pure and true heart/intentions or innocent children and guide the steps of their faith. Thanks are to God also for moving the hearts of the teachers and volunteers through His love to help one another diligently. May the Lord remember.
National New Teacher's Training
- Date: 31 Aug – 2 Sept 2018
- Venue: West Malaysia GA
- Speaker: Sis. Phei Chein and Sis. Ruth Liew
- Attendance: 30 new soldiers of Christ from churches across the country
Thank the Lord Jesus for His encouragement! The three-day National New
Teacher's Training was held at West Malaysia GA from 31 Aug to 2 Sept 2018.
There was a total of 30 new soldiers of Christ from churches across the country who
joined the force of Religious Education (RE) teachers. This includes 11 brothers and
19 sisters who received the baton of being a RE teacher.
The program was compact and practical. Our children today are more precocious (mature) than the children of the past because of their early exposure to electronic products and the Internet. Teachers can no longer teach with traditional teaching
methods. They must incorporate a variety of teaching methods to make the classroom livelier so that the words of the Lord can be easily implanted in the children’s heart.
National 2nd Batch of the RE Counselors Training
The National 2nd Batch of the RE Counselors Training is a two-year training. The year 2017 was the 1 st year of training and this year is the 2nd year of training. The main objective of the training is to train a group of new counselors who are able to do the pastoral care and counseling work, that the RE students, RE teachers and parents are able to receive assistance when they are in need. Education Affairs has specially invited Mrs. Eld. Chen Guang Zhao (Sis. Chen Rui Fang) from Taiwan to assist in the training in year 2017 and 2018. Thank the grace, guidance, and protection of our Lord God that the Counselors have successfully completed the two-year training. There are 16 members in the RE Counseling line at present. May a double portion of the Spirit be upon Elijah to be with each counselor, that they may pastor the little lamb of God with all the knowledge
they‘ve learned, with love and through relying on the Holy Spirit. May all glory be given unto His holy name!
National Parenting Seminar
- Date: 22 – 23 Sept 2018
- Venue: Olive Garden, Port Dickson
- Speaker: Mrs. Elder
A simple breakfast began the day, and we then headed straight to Olive Garden. Through the car windscreen, the sky outside was still dark and we passed through palm oil plantations. We arrived at Olive Garden by 9.40 am and the seminar had started 20 minutes earlier. Looking into the church chapel, I could see parents were all seated and scattered across the chapel. Mrs. Elder with her grey short hair was standing in their midst with a microphone in her hand. I walked swiftly to take a seat and when I lifted up my head, I saw the projected slide with the title, “How to maintain the husband and wife relationship?” There were six main points:
- Husbands and wives need to accept each other’s family background, and not to change each other’s ways but to pray for one another. They need to treat each other’s parents and children in the same way.
- To cultivate common interests between spouses, and to allow spouses to have a time out and intimate moments.
- To have a good communication channel between a husband and wife.
- Complement each other in marriage, in each other’s servitude to God and work. Serve the Lord together. Walk together with one heart.
- Praise each other: Can compliment each other using sticky notes.
- May the love of Christ be manifested in the family.
The Lord wants a husband and wife to understand the teachings of serving in the church through their service at home. If they regard serving their home liken to serving the house of God, then they would understand the love of God. Their home would
then be filled with the love and sweet aroma of God.
Our family is “excellent” or “liken to a lock”? Do a husband and wife give each other cold shoulders, fight with each other or respect each other? There are three types of marriages, namely
- A husband and wife were married out of love, but the more they live together, the more distant they have become.
- A husband and wife are from different family backgrounds, but after they have learned to get along, they will walk together
with one heart.
- A family who often migrates or mercenary marriages.
Mrs. Elder divided everyone into two groups. Everyone was given a piece of tissue paper and were requested to fold the tissue paper three times according to personal preferences. Then everyone would shut their eyes and recollect five major or minor
matters in their lives, regardless of happy or sad matters, they would make five holes on the piece of tissue to represent those matters. When the tissue was unfolded, there were many big and small holes on it. Mrs. Elder then asked each person to overlay the tissue paper with the partner’s tissue paper, someone then shouted with amazement, the small and big holes had disappeared once the two tissue papers were overlaid on each other. This simple activity told us that God had created a helper for men as it is not good for men to live alone. As everyone has sadness or unhappiness, all these could be resolved as long as we
are willing to share our feelings. This simple experiment allowed me to realize that a husband-and-wife relationship is to complement each other, to comfort one another in times of sorrow, and to share with one another at times of happiness. Although both had different experiences, both would produce a different outcome if they were willing to walk together
in one heart. As everyone encounters differently as they grow up, the outcome would also be different. A blessed family can only be established via healthy individuals (heart + physical + soul).
After the Sabbath service, the activity session required us to form into groups comprising of either 4 to 8 people, or 5 to 10
people. In total, there were 11 groups. Each group received a balloon, a pair of scissors and a roll of masking tape. Mrs Elder
wanted us to wrap the balloon within a limited time, and to ensure that the balloon did not explode due to external forces. When
Mrs Elder asked us all to start, the chapel was filled with sounds of tape-pulling. As everyone were busy wrapping the balloons,
suddenly there was an explosion. After one of the groups’ balloon accidentally exploded, everyone became more cautious in handling the balloon. 10 minutes later, the balloons were “clothed” with thick layers of masking tapes. There was a group that had creatively layered the balloon with small pieces of masking tape, making the balloon likened to a durian. We could not help but laugh. Mrs. Elder invited Dn. Paul Wong to explain the reason for wrapping the balloon in that manner. His answer was that all group members were too attentive in trying to wrap the balloon without good reasoning, and thus that was the outcome of the group members’ diligence. Everyone in the chapel then burst into laughter. With a smile, Mrs. Elder invited Dn. Paul Wong’s daughter Enya to answer her question, “If you have been wrapped like this, would you be comfortable?” She shook her head and replied, No, because it would be very tight. After listening to her reply, I thought to myself, parents’ presumed protection for their children might not necessarily bring positivity to the children’s heart and soul. We had often forgotten to listen to the children’s inner voices and feelings.
The next thing that made everyone laughed was when Elder’s wife asked us to tear off all the tapes from the balloon during the final minute. I believe everyone had a hard time doing that because before that we wrapped those balloons with sticky tapes to ensure that they were thick enough, but in the end, we had to tear off all the tapes. Whilst Elder’s wife was counting up to 33 seconds, there was a loud balloon “pop” from behind–another balloon exploded again!
Likened to the tapes that had wrapped the balloons, parents were all the time perceived to be over-protective toward their children. When children were being over-protected, they would explode like the balloon. Children naturally dislike being disciplined. When the actions of the grown-ups caused their children to feel being much controlled, they might end up quarreling with their parents or cause trouble outside. When parents faced such problems in the process of protecting their children, they need to resolve it soonest possible. Thus, that was the reason for having only one minute to remove the tapes. Without a quick fix in the shortest time, children might choose to leave their homes. In the midst of rectifying the problems, parents should also consider their children’s feelings. Otherwise, it would end up like the balloon that had exploded halfway. This was because
the stronger the pulling force is, the higher the probability of the balloon’s explosion.
Home is a place to love one another, and not so much of reasoning with one another. Love forbears everything just likes how Jesus loves us. A matchstick might seem to be worthless or insignificant, but its ignition could destroy a house. This is how powerful its destruction is. Thus, it is important to let your children feel your love because, with love, the destruction caused by a matchstick would not occur. A matchstick represents the suppressed inner voice within oneself:
- Unable to control oneself
- Irrational decision-making
- Stubborn and indifferent personality
- Narrow-minded and cold attitude
Parents should not pressure nor suppress their children when cultivating them. Additionally, parents should disallow their children from being domineering because the inappropriate method of nurturing them would lead to a deviant personality. Subsequently, this behavior would affect their lives at work or their marriage in the future. Whether parental teaching is a form of criticism or support has much to do with the formation and development of children’s life. It is important to understand a child’s feelings so that the child could feel his/her sense of existence. A mother’s emotional stability is also very important because only a happy mother could raise a happy child. Parents should rebuild paternity communication mode by communicating with their children frequently so that they could channel out their sense of understanding, trust, and love to their children. Parents should always accompany their children throughout their growing up years. Parents should share the joys and sorrows of life with them, listen to their thoughts, understand their characteristics, affirm their strengths and satisfy them with love. Love, trust, and support are the three most important points, and none should be ignored. The way of disciplining adolescents should not take the form of authority whether in their tone or treatment. Parents must bring their children to the church, help them to build their faith so that faith can be part of their lives, and eventually guiding them to entrust their inner problems to God.
Elder’s wife kept emphasizing accompaniment! Accompaniment is very important in the process of educating children, and the cultivation of children’s personality. Parents should also examine the relationship between the husband and wife, and the
original family patterns, especially the parent-child relationship with the previous generation because the original family pattern could be duplicated and shared. We couldn’t change the past, but we could change the present because now is related to the future.
Lastly, this seminar has benefited me greatly, and it is beyond the elaboration of my write-up here. The handouts prepared by the Elder’s wife were so incisive and transparent in which I think the contents contained were from the professional perspectives and research. Thank God for His guidance and grace because everyone benefited a lot from this seminar.
RE Personnel Seminar
- Date: 2 – 3 June 2018
- Venue: Petaling Jaya Church
- Speaker: Pr. Hee-Bong Oh (Korea), Dn. Isaiah Chang, Sis. Chin Phei Chein, Dn. Aaron Tan
- Attendance: Southern Region – 2, Central Region – 26, Perak Region – 4, Northern Region – 0
Pr. Oh shared how he personally led the teenagers, and also briefly introduced the Korea GA’s RE system, in which the preachers of the Korea GA are directly involved in the local churches’ and RE works. This seminar was initially held for Regional Heads and local RE Chairpersons only, but later it was opened to the class-in-charge of each class of all the local churches as the number of registrations for this seminar was low.