CHINESE churches have responded enthusiastically to NECF Malaysia’s efforts to strengthen the Chinese Church in Malaysia.
Since the start of the NECF Chinese ministry a year ago, NECF has visited Chinese churches throughout the country to inform them of the new ministry and conduct current issues seminars in Mandarin. (Before the ministry started, the on-going seminars were conducted in English and BM.)
Those who attended the talks commented that the presentations have given them insights into how events in the country affect their faith and their daily lives, what they, as Christians, can do, and how they can wisely pray for the issues at hand.
Many pastors and leaders have also expressed appreciation for the appointment of a staff for the ministry (Ms Ngeh Hoong Eng) as they now have a specific person to contact when they require assistance, especially on matters relating to the government and authorities.
Some pastors of smaller independent churches said they can now get help for simple (but important) matters such as opening bank accounts for their churches. Comments like this have reminded the NECF staff to be more mindful of the needs of smaller churches, particularly those in the rural areas.
Another noticeable development among the Chinese churches since the start of the ministry is a greater realisation of the importance of unity in prayer – a result of last year’s 40-day Merdeka Prayer and Fast programme where, for the first time, the Chinese churches were involved on a large scale.
To help them participate more meaningfully throughout the 40 days, NECF printed 20,000 prayer booklets in Chinese, and distributed them to some 320 Chinese congregations all over Malaysia.
In conjunction with the Prayer and Fast, NECF also organised a separate Merdeka prayer rally for the Klang Valley Chinese churches. About 1,000 Christians turned up to pray for the country and listen to US-based Dr Ernest Chan, who also spoke at a prayer conference following the rally.
Dr Chan returned to Kuala Lumpur in November to speak at the NECF Chinese Pastors and Elders conference, which many said was a breakthrough for the Chinese Church as it was believed to be the first time leaders from the mainline and charismatic churches have gathered.
NECF also started a Chinese newsletter similar to the Berita NECF. Due to time constraint, only two issues were published last year. Hoong Eng hopes to publish four issues this year. For complimentary issues, please e-mail