21 Dec 2013 by Adeline Lum CM-
The Prison, Drugs, and AIDS department of Malaysian CARE threw a Christmas party on 14 Dec at KL Wesley Methodist Church, for those who have journeyed out of drug dependence and prison.
More than 200 people came from Kuala Lumpur, Rawang, Seremban, and Johor for the Christmas party, entertained by Christmas carols by CARE staffs, praise dance performance by Sungei Way Christian Church, and a guitar performance by trainee Lee.
With 60 staffs for the last 20 years and interns from all over the world—UK, Korea, United States, Sweden—the Lord has provided financially for Malaysian CARE every year, despite their RM700,000 deficit this year. And like how CARE have trusted on God’s providence, Kenneth Wong—director of the Prison, Drugs, and AIDS department— has also learned how to trust God when he started working in CARE ten years ago.
“When I came into the ministry, it was not about what I could do but what God could do in us or through us. He has to deal with our selfishness, prejudice, and biasness, to transform us into the image of his son,” Kenneth said.
Of all ministries, the Prison, Drugs and AIDS ministry may garner the least compassion due to the people’s background. But how can we judge? In the parable where Jesus’ feet were washed, He said, “Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little (Luke 7:47).”
Likewise, who do you think would love Jesus more—the drug addicts, prisoners, and people living with HIV/ AIDS who a found a new hope in Christ or people who did not commit these antics? If we were to look at them through the eyes of our Father and His Love, we would understand His forgiveness and compassion for other people as well, shared Kenneth.
“Why are we so hardened? We deserve death but Jesus gave us His Life. It’s not what they (prisoners, drug addicts, and person living with HIV / AIDS) deserve but what we choose to give in grace. Although our deeds are like filthy rags, God has chosen to love us,” he said adding that only one in every 15 prisoners has a visitor.
The attendees sang and danced to the performances, having shown a restored life by the nurturing hands of Malaysian CARE. Many have benefited from their continual love and support; one of them was Jenny who was diagnosed in Hospital Klang with HIV.
“I didn’t know who to turn to. The doctor passed Malaysian CARE card to me. He said they could help me. I didn’t want to go at first but they kept visiting and calling me. After that, I feel okay to see them,” said Jenny who was moved by the CARE staff who would visit her everyday in the hospital.
Not only she learned more about HIV, Jenny also received support from CARE financially, physically, and emotionally, at a time when even her loved ones abandoned her. Touched by their genuine love, she saw Christ in them and accepted Him later as her personal savior.
“After knowing Christ, I can feel peace in me. I am like a newborn; I realized God has sent a family to me. Nobody gave me hope but Malaysian CARE,” said Jenny who has journeyed with CARE for 12 years now.
Daniel, another former gangster and prisoner, was also puzzled why CARE staffs wanted to help him without any conditions. “Sometimes, my mood is not good but they will also help me. No matter what, as a human, you would only help a person if there were power, wealth, and position in return. But they only told me that they are helping because Jesus loves me,” said Daniel. Touched by their relentless love, he accepted their love. Knowing Christ later on, he realized that God’s Love has no barriers. “Even when everyone don’t love you, Jesus would stubbornly choose to love you,” he added thanking CARE for helping him in his accommodation and transportation.
Another family helped by CARE was Madam Tan. “We are not so poor now and there’s more hope. I am really grateful to CARE and because they helped me, so I promised them to payback by doing well in my education,” said the oldest daughter of Madam Tan. The family was thankful that CARE provided them groceries, school supplies, and also Christmas presents. Not only that, they were also thankful that a CARE staff has accompanied her family to the hospital during times of need.
Such were the stories of people, whose lives were changed from the labor of love and care by Malaysian CARE. The Christmas evening ended with dinner, filled with delightful faces of those who have tasted the goodness of Christ in the CARE staffs.
Indeed, the greatest satisfaction in life is knowing that you have made a difference in another person’s life. Would you like to volunteer for Malaysian CARE? Please visit http://www.malaysiancare.org/
NOTE: Pictures were credited to Samuel Lim from Malaysian CARE