When Family First Malaysia (FFM) was launched at the LeQuadri Hotel on May 28 2016, her Founding Chairman, Elder Tan Tek Seng who is also the Deputy Chairman of Family First Asia shared an analogy. In that analogy, he related how families exist like a tree whose many branches may grow in different directions, but is rooted on a single core, root, or foundation. One year later, that tree as embodied by FFM itself has grown strong and many other trees besides.
Family First Malaysia’s 1st anniversary celebration on April 30, 2017, was one that gathered partners from as far afield as the US, Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Australia, as well as friends that were nearer home such as Indonesia, Singapore, Myanmar, Vietnam and Philippines. 11 countries in total attended the celebratory dinner that was held at Cyberview Resort & Spa, Cyberjaya.
In one of the testimonies, Marcus and Charlene, from the FFM’s Young CEO Couple Club, shared about how God covered them with His presence throughout the years and how He taught them, through many trials, the power and significance of a strong family. God did not just restore and cover the health of their daughter who were born with a partially-formed diaphragm (now 9 years old), but also provided miraculously the bill for her operation. God also brought Marcus through stage 2 cancer where he is today a cancer survivor. Throughout all this, it was the power of the love of family between the couple that brought them through so many trials.
Some of the other people who shared their testimonies were Dato CC Ngei, co-founder of Feruni Ceramiche, who shared about transforming a boring tiling business into a modern, state of the art lifestyle business to attract young talent, and Tan Sri Chan Ah Chye whose life is transformed by his faith in God, which helped him to get back up from a 5-billion debt.
The dinner was graced by the performance of ethnic East Malaysian traditional dances, and a presentation by the well-known lip-music performer Yu-Lun Lee. Lee performed a solo rendition of Mozart’s Turkish March and a duet of ‘The Prayer’ with his father.
Family First Malaysia is a non-profit organization built on a goal of supporting parenting led by the fathers and supported by the mums as locomotives to reach the community to build the society towards a strong nation.
According to Dr Peter Ting, the President/CEO of FFM, she has a three-fold mission, encapsulated in the 3 Fs: Family (doubling love, joy and peace in the home and restoring broken relationships; using the Home as the starting point of leadership training), Finance (Ethical income and profit generation, with zero bad debts and modelling right stewardship of money), and Fitness (doubling mental and physical health through cultivation of positive mental attitude, holistic exercise and nutrition, resulting in high energy and wisdom to achieve things of big and lasting impact.)
Eight values (the dignity of a human being; families as cornerstones; happy families; the power of prayer; power of partnership; integrity and high moral standards; and compliance with all legal laws, local or national) shape its culture.
Elder Tan shared in spite what Family First Malaysia has achieved in her first year, it is only the beginning. Family First International is in her 5th year with her presence in 11 nations. He emphatically stressed that, ‘This is only possible by the grace of God. This movement is so crucial. We believe that instead of running around too much, doing too many good things but not having a focus, we are here to do what God has called us to do. And this is to intentionally disciple at least one couple every year. If we disciple 3 couples a year, and do the same in subsequent years, in the 12th year we would have impacted 534000 couples and more than a million lives.’
Indeed the mission is huge but it was born also from a huge vision. Family First as a global presence was first birthed from the vision of the Honorable Professor Gregory Slayton. He has a record of distinguished service in the academic, business and governmental fields. He was the US Ambassador to Bermuda under Presidents Bush and Obama, and he was honoured for his diplomatic work there with a Distinguished Foreign Service Award by the Congressional Black Caucus, the first Republican to receive such an honour.
Yet Professor Slayton has also known the simple truths of the importance of a strong family. Abandoned by his own father when he was still a boy, he found a foster family in that of a Chinese American family who gave him the experience of growing up in a loving family. Growing up in two very different families, he wondered what made the difference in them and he found that while the Chinese American family was a simple one and outwardly not very different from most of the other families around him, this family had the presence of God in their lives.
“I discovered that they were Christians and knew a God who loved them and was paying forward that love in return,’ he expressed. Professor Slayton learned an important fact of life. ‘Healthy and strong families made a whole lot of difference in a person’s life and it shapes everything about that person. It was what gave me a hope and a chance in life. This is why I made it a commitment to plant strong families all around the world, wherever I go.’
Acutely aware that the vision of Family First to reach 100 million Asian Families is huge, Professor Slayton believes that if we all play our part, it is not just a pipe dream, but can be an actual impact on the world, to the glory of God. The dinner ended with a collective prayer and commitment by Dr Peter and his wife, Dr Abby, to answer to the challenge, that every generation would mentor the next generation, and that no generation would be a lost one.
NOTE: Family First is a non-profit organisation that exist to TRANSFORM Next Generation Fathers, supported by Mothers, to build better Families resulting in a better Workplace, a better Society, and a better Nation. You may find out more about the organisation through their website at http://familyfirstmalaysia.com// or through their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FFM4U/?ref=br_rs
All photos were kindly provided by Luxeray Visual Company
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