Pastor Matt Fielder, Senior Pastor of Kingdomcity Kuala Lumpur, sat down with Christianity Malaysia for an amicable conversation on how he fell in love with this country 15 years ago.
“Something hit me when I came to Malaysia. I made a prayer to God and asked Him to break my heart for this country. And I have never prayed this in any of the country I have been in before,” said Pastor Matt who had been travelling extensively as an evangelist to many nations before.
It all began when he met three international students from Malaysia in his university student ministry in Adelaide.
“For some incredible reason, I seemed to have an affinity and connection with Malaysian students,” said Pastor Matt.
In only two years, the international students of his university ministry rapidly grew to 300 people. It was during that time as well, he found that many Malaysian and Singaporean students backslided from their faith when they came to Adelaide.
Hence in year 2002, Pastor Matt visited pastors in Malaysia and Singapore to build a relationship with them. He hoped to immediately receive and connect arriving Christian students in Adelaide and Australia to the church, so that none would lose faith.
Little did he know, God was weaving the beautiful thread of him settling in Malaysia. From that one visit, it multiplied to 60 times in the next 13 years!
“Every time I landed, I used to hear that beautiful voice in the airport, ‘Selamat datang Tuan-Tuan dan Puan-Puan.’ And that was it. I was in a mess every time I came. I found that I came alive here!” said Pastor Matt.
He also added how God molded his shepherd heart by first taking care of Asian university students.
“Once I started looking after my Asian family, it made me pastoral. It broke me and softened my heart. So, it brought a pastoral heart in me, which I didn’t know I had. So, yea, that’s a big thing for me,” said Pastor Matt.
In year 2008, Pastor Matt was prompted by God to make his visit a permanent stay. During a visit to minister in a friend’s wedding in Malaysia, he met up with his 16-year friend Pastor Mark Varughese who was the Senior Pastor of Kingdomcity Kuala Lumpur at that time.
“For some strange reason, we felt like we would work together. And because both of us have a heart for this country, it just continued from there,” said Pastor Matt.
And finally, in year 2013, Pastor Matt sold everything he had and moved to Malaysia with his wife Lisa and two daughters. With five suitcases and 20 boxes, he made his one-way trip to Malaysia.
“We felt the calling back in year 2000. But my daughters were five and three years old at that time as well. We didn’t move over until they were fourteen and seventeen years old. I wanted them to be in agreement. So, in 2011, both of my kids felt that God had spoken to them as well,” said Pastor Matt.
People would often ask why he would move from Australia to Malaysia, to which he retort why would he not. Malaysia is such a beautiful country with amazing people and food!
“I tell people that I was born in England and raised in Australia. But I was made for Malaysia. I have always felt like this is home. And people are kinda shocked to hear that,” said Pastor Matt.
Even when he had an accident in Phnom Penh, he wished that he could go home back to Malaysia! The church feels like family to him. Thus, when he landed in Malaysia, he went to the church on Sunday even though he was on leave.
“I was in church even though I should have probably rested. But I have to go and see family. I am not preaching or doing anything. I am just attending. But it’s your uncles and aunties who are there. They are giving you a big hug or the young ones talking to you. That’s family. There’s nothing better,” he said.
Firmly rooted in Malaysia now, Pastor Matt Fielder had no intention of leaving the church. He is a massive believer of being planted. In his whole life, he had only been to only three churches. He was in his first church for 18 years, before joining the Planetshakers church for nine years. And even then, Planetshakers was birthed from his first church.
“I am planted in Kingdomcity now. That’s the bottomline. God can say whatever He wants, and we will do exactly what He wants us to do. But I believe that where we are is exactly where we are supposed to be,” said Pastor Matt.
He shared that being planted in the ground provides us an unlimited space to grow our roots deep and wide, compared to a pot plant. Only when we plant ourselves in a church, we begin to grow. ‘In fact, God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as He wanted them to be.’ (1 Cor 12:18)
“If you are a guest in the church every week, you may only see five per cent of what is happening in the church. it’s like eating in a fast food restaurant every day. You missed home cooked meals,” said Pastor Matt.
More than a church, Kingdomcity is a home to Pastor Matt. And more than just church members, the people of the church are family to him.
“The defining culture of this church is acceptance of all people. Everybody that walks through the doors walks into love. That is our passion. Our whole purpose is to make this church feels like home,” said Pastor Matt.
Indeed made for Malaysia, Pastor Matt is rooted in love for his church and the people in Malaysia.
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