WE do not have a recipe for a shopping mall ministry. It is a hotch potch of ordinary people who somehow fit together for a common purpose – to provide a weekly time of Christian fellowship.
• Christian employees who cannot go for Sunday service because of their work.
• A boss who saw this and felt that he could provide a platform for Christian fellowship because he had experienced God a new in his life and wanted his employees to have a meaningful life in Christ when they are
• A pastor with a heart for outreach – to go beyond the confines of ministry among the Chinese.
• Christians who can speak BM.
• Senior citizens who feel that they are healthy enough to move around and buy dinner for the fellowship meal.
• Guitarists who can give their time and talent.
A hotchpotch of people synchronised by God, as described in 1 Cor 12: 24b-25:
“God put our bodies together in such a way that even the parts that seem the least important are valuable. He did this to make all parts of the body work together smoothly, with each part caring about the others.”
Some of us believe in the purpose of the Christian fellowship for indigenous mall employees, and therefore joined the fellowship. For others, this purpose grew on them as they served in various capacities.
We have our heartaches when only one came to the Fellowship, but at least one did. Tiara (not her real name) came in her last week of work there. She did not tell us, or else we would have prayed to bless her. We later bumped into her in a new shopping mall and hope to visit her there again. Most of the time, we only manage to celebrate one birthday with them before they move on elsewhere. During the time she was with us, Tiara came almost every Saturday and once she shared how her grandmother brought her to church in her kampung. Actually I found out that grandmothers play an important role to bring their grandchildren to Christ – after hearing so many stories from our Bidayuh and Iban brothers and sisters.
We have our heartaches when some stop coming to the Fellowship. I know they can come because we see some going home – but they choose not to, and this is especially hard to take. In the meantime, we just pray for their spiritual well-being. If we get to know of their parents being hospitalised, we go there with some fruit and pray for them.
We refuse to go down the path of blaming ourselves for this and that, because there are 1,001 things that we are not capable of doing and those may not even be the reasons. We need to be hopeful to keep going. One time before our fellowship began, Sister Pik Kiew prayed, “Lord, please bring the people. You need to encourage us who serve in this Fellowship.”
We have our joys when some came back to the Fellowship after months. The last time Saga came was in April 2018. He came back in Sept 2018, and brought with him some friends. Recently, he also spoke to his boss about arranging the shift hours and said that he felt bad that the church people had prepared and come every Saturday.
We were very encouraged when a Buddhist employee came a few times. Last week she even bought two bottles of soft drinks for us to share, and sent it through her colleagues because she could not come.
I repeat what I have shared before: They will come when God calls them; our job is just to keep the Fellowship going so that we are there when they need us.
By Ting Su Hie, Faith Methodist Church Kuching