5 Jan 2012 by Adeline Lum CM-
On 25th December from 10 am to 3 pm, four churches in Kota Damansara— Banner of Love, Community Baptist Church Kota Damansara, Full Gospel Assembly Kota Damansara and River of Christ—joined hands to hold the most vibrant Christmas Carnival at the multi-purpose hall located in Section 7, Kota Damansara. Held annually since year 2002, the crowd this year drew 3000 people from the community!
The Carnival had many exciting activities including children’s colouring contest, face-painting, singing and dancing performances, a newly added futsal competition, 12 game stalls such as sand-art and lucky draw. To add to the festive mood, Michael, winner of the Astro Vaanavil Talent Show, and Celebrity Host and DJ Burn rendered songs in Bahasa Malaysia and Tamil to the families’ enjoyment. For health-conscious visitors, a medical booth was also set up by the Tropicana Medical Centre in Kota Damansara.
The cost of the Carnival was contributed by the churches, amounting to around RM35000 excluding sponsorships and contributions such as gifts, hampers and prizes. This fund was used to provide free food, carnival game prizes, lucky draw prizes and set-up costs (i.e. canopies, tables, chairs, sound systems).
What kind of message do they wish to bring to the community through the Carnival? They wanted to show that the Christians in Kota Damansara are a part and not isolated from the community. Also, akin to God giving His Son 2000 years ago, they wanted to emulate the spirit of giving. In a fund-raising Carnival, everything could be expensive from food, game coupons and merchandises. But in this Christmas Carnival, food was free and games only cost RM1 for three games. Their jumbo sale went as low as “RM1 to fill up a plastic bag” with second-hand clothes, toys and books. Not to mention a total of 2500 gifts for games were prepared to be given away!
What a success! This is the 11th Christmas Carnival in Kota Damansara, a culmination of many prayers by all the church leaders involved, months before the Carnival. Each church was given its respective responsibilities but they cooperated closely to ensure that everything comes together smoothly.
When asked if Pastor Koh Chu Soon, pastor of FGA Kota Damansara, would look forward to collaborate with other churches in the future, he answered: “Definitely! We hope to expand the combined prayer meetings we had before the Carnival, to include all the churches in Kota Damansara, so that we can pray, not just for the Carnival, but for the community of Kota Damansara and our Nation.”
With that said, this event would not be a success without the unity of many churches in Kota Damansara, in which Koh quoted Psalm 133.
1 How good and pleasant it is
when God’s people live together in unity!
2 It is like precious oil poured on the head,
running down on the beard,
running down on Aaron’s beard,
down on the collar of his robe.
3 It is as if the dew of Hermon
were falling on Mount Zion.
For there the Lord bestows his blessing,
even life forevermore.
When brothers and sisters-in-Christ are united, God would pour forth his anointing oil which represents His Holy Spirit and commands His blessings. Unity brings blessings.
The challenge was that every church already had its existing program and plans, which makes adding another program to its busy agenda rather difficult. Hence, although the churches were interested to work together, they try to limit their collaborative projects to a few due to the difficult nature of coordination. So far, the Christmas Carnival was the only collaborative project.
“After the carnival ended, although I feel tired, I feel satisfied to know that in some way, we have been a blessing to the community. Just seeing the smiles of the people who came from the community is a blessing to me,” said Koh.
Indeed, the churches witnessed a significant fruit of their work a few years ago. Recognizing a church member serving in the Carnival, a flat resident seek help for his or her children’s studies. From that encounter, a tuition program had been started for the residents of those flats with around 60 children attending the weekly tuition classes.
When asked what the Lord has taught Koh in this Carnival, Koh quoted Galatians 6:9:
9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
Although at times, they were tempted to say “that’s enough” during the 11-years of having the Christmas Carnival, it is the promise of God that keeps them sowing and serving.
“We have seen that now, the people from the community recognize and acknowledge the good works we had been doing. And in this way, we have built a relationship with the community members,” said Koh. “We know that as we continue to persevere and sow into the community, God in His timing will allow us to reap if we do not get weary.”
Amen to that.