6 Dec 2014 by Jason Law CM –
In huge parts of the world today, many ministers of God serve from a voluntary love for God and His people and from a genuine heart of service. Often, they do so in isolated or unfamiliar environments full of challenges and loneliness, without a word of complain or an expectation of material rewards. Recognizing this heart of service among the servants of God under its umbrella, SIB Semenanjung recently undertook steps of acknowledgement towards them in an appreciation night held at Park Royal KL.
The Appreciation Night was held on the 30th of November in conjunction with a Christmas Dinner. The theme of the night was ‘Live to Give’, reflecting the calling of the ministers that were being thanked. The objective of this event, organized by the PPP SIB Semenanjung, was two-fold; as an act of appreciation to the evangelical servants of God under the covering of SIB and as a collective celebration of Christmas.
Taking a reminder from Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13) concerning the Christian attitude towards leaders, the 5 practicals in appreciation were:
- To pray for them and their families
- To treat them with loyalty
- To treat them with respect
- To be a person of trust to them
- By coming to celebrate the event in gratitude
In his message, the president of SIB Semenanjung, Reverend Danil Raut, shared that there were many other days to commemorate the other people in our lives. Among these are Boss Day, Secretary Day, Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, Teacher’s Day, and so on. The month of October has been set apart to appreciate pastors throughout the world. Yet the pastors that are serving among the native people in Malaysia have often appeared neglected.
‘Since becoming president in 2007, I realize that many of the pastors that are serving among the native people of Malaysia had never been given appreciation. This is due to a simple reason; the churches of the OA where they are serving are poor, and could not afford to properly show them appreciation in a tangible manner. It is the reason why I am so thankful and appreciative of the initiative and effort of the PPP SIB Semenanjung in organizing this Appreciation Night,’ Reverend Danil conveyed.
‘No pastor is perfect, and sometimes good advice and admonition should be given to them (1 Timothy 5:20). But the responsibility of pastors is also a heavy one (Hebrews 13:17), and a pastor that stays true to God deserve respect and appreciation which is two-fold (1 Timothy 5:17). We must never be slack in this, for our leaders need our support and the words that build them up while undergoing their challenges,’ he shared.
Mervin Garawat, the director of the ‘Live To Give’ event, who is himself an active minister for God, shared that this was the first time that SIB Semenanjung had organized such an event, and that he was pleased with the response. ‘Initially, I didn’t know how smoothly the event would run, but the turnout has been supportive and the look of joy on the faces of people encourages me to have more events like these in the future,’ he shared.
Part of the benefit of such an event is that it draws the members of a church from throughout the nation in friendship and unity. Youths from the different branches of SIB Semenanjung fellowshipped like old friends, and the night was enlivened by many presentations.
NOTE: All photos kindly contributed by the youths of SIB Semenanjung.
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