Ushering in Jubilee across Malaysia
Compiled By Debbie Loh
MALAYSIA Day and the country's Jubilee Year were ushered in with a joyous celebration in Kota Kinabalu, where an estimated 14,000 Christians filled the Likas Stadium on 16 Sept 2012.
People arrived as early as 4pm to eat together to symbolise the ending of the NECF 40-Day Fast and Prayer for the nation. The national anthem, Negaraku was sung, followed by the sounding of shofars and trumpets to mark the start of the prayer rally. It was an all-out celebration complete with 1,200 flag bearers carrying the Sabah and Malaysia flag, 300 dancers with banners, 120 tambourine dancers, 300 shofar blowers, and a 50-member choir in addition to the worship team. These participants worshipped and performed on the football field of the stadium and ministered powerfully to those who attended the prayer rally.
The Mayor of Kota Kinabalu attended and gave an inspiring speech. Later, all present in the stadium stood up to make a pledge for nation-building and the rally ended with a fireworks display.
| God bless each and every Malaysian!
Praying for the Aboriginal people.
Praying for the different states in Malaysia.
"It was an awesome time for the church in Kota Kinabalu and the land of Sabah. God's presence was felt strongly among us," said Pastor Steven Choon of SIB Skyline.
Earlier in the morning, 5,000 Sabah Christians had gathered at Padang Merdeka in Kota Kinabalu to commemorate the 1963 signing ceremony for Sabah to form part of Malaysia. The City Mayor was also present at the event where a declaration was read out and the Holy Communion was served, conducted by native church leaders.
In Miri, about 800 people gathered at SIB Canada Hill which overlooks the city. It was a moving display of interdenominational unity with leaders and members from the evangelical, Roman Catholic, Anglican, Methodist, Seventh Day Adventist, Baptist, charismatic and Pentecostal churches all in attendance. The meeting began with the blowing of shofars towards Miri city to declare that the Jubilee has come.
"It was a united time of praise, worship, exhortation and prayer," said SIB Canada Hill's Pastor Robinson Simunyi.
The Hope of Jubilee celebration for the Klang Valley at FGT Subang focused on prayer for the country, people and the land. Christians were called to restore their faith in the nation, to love and be loyal to Malaysia, to be a blessing to the land and to transform it for God. They named each ethnic group by name, asking for forgiveness and renewed love. Flag-bearers of Malaysia's 13 states and three federal territories moved around the hall as people stretched out hands in prayer for each state and territory.
Pastor Khoo Kay Hup of FGA KL then led in corporate prayer for Malaysia to prosper. Pastor Edwin Agung of SIB Brickfields prayed in Bahasa Malaysia for healing and unity among the races and Rev Esther Kong of GA611 Bread of Life Centre led in seeking God for forgiveness for sins. NECF Secretary-General Rev Chan Theam Lai then led the gathering in a declaration of God's blessings on the land, people and country.
In Malacca, about 1,500 people from different local churches gathered at Dataran Pahlawan Melaka where the churches put up a cultural dance performance to celebrate the occasion. Johor Baru churches gathered at Pusat Kebajikan Kalvari where over 600 Christians met for worship and intercession. The event was organised by the JB Pastors' Fellowship, and in keeping with the fellowship's 2012 theme, "Passing the Baton", the prayers were led by mostly younger pastors and leaders.
Kuala Terengganu churches held a combined prayer service at Lifeline AOG and saw a turnout of almost 100 Christians, including representatives from all denominations including the Roman Catholic Church. A local leader said such a good turnout had not been seen for a long time. The exhortation on the Old Testament teaching of the Jubilee principle was an eye-opener for many Terengganu Christians.
There were also joint gatherings between churches in Alor Star, Kota Baru, Tawau and Kuching. Though Malaysia Day has come and gone and we have ushered in Malaysia's Jubilee, NECF is not ending prayer efforts for the Jubilee Year. Combined monthly prayer meetings among churches will continue to be held in the Klang Valley and churches in other regions are urged to do the same. Together, let us do our part to fulfil Malaysia's redemptive destiny!
Sarawakian Orang Ulu dance performed as part of the Jubilee worship at Kuching Trinity Methodist.