By Judy Wong
Dear Pastors and Wesleyans,
It has been a week since we celebrated our Golden Jubilee, especially with the Thanksgiving Dinner on 3 May and the Thanksgiving Services on 4 May,2008, culminating in the opening of our Archives Center after the 5 pm service.
Many of you have been so encouraging in giving very kind remarks regarding the efforts put in by the organizing committee.
Quite a few have said, “You must be exhausted!” Remember my reply?
“Yes. This time it’s really Heck-kao-bear-leng-kao ( in Foochow)!”
What does that mean? What I meant was that I was truly exhausted and overwhelmed. There were indeed so many aspects to look into. But it’s been worth every ounce of my effort and the efforts of many others who had worked so hard to ensure the smooth preparation and running of all the events and programs. This includes those who worked tirelessly and quietly in arranging and providing transportation for our guests throughout the whole week.
Thank you and thank you ALL again.
Well, how do I feel now? —–Still getting over how amazing and wonderful it has been! God has been so good and gracious to us during the whole week, including the fine weather we had. The special feeling began when I first got to meet some of our former pastors and missionaries at the staircase of New Capitol restaurant on 29 April at 7 pm. One of the unforgettable remarks was when Sandy Davis gave me a hug and said “Do I know you before? I used to be Sandy McCaig.” Well, what can I say? The Sandy that I saw and remembered was 48 years ago. At the first instance some of them really looked like strangers to me.
After all were seated, I continued to steal many looks at all of them as I tried to recapture/recall what my mind was used to and unconsciously hoped to see. It took a while for my mind to compute before I knew for sure who was who. While eating, I began to enjoy and reap the harvest of all the hard work. I kept marveling at their excitement and exclamations such as “You were there too in 1961?” “Remember that time when — “, “Was it ’62 or ‘63? “. “Oh, yes I helped play the piano together with David Johnson in the production of the musical Carousel or was it the Gypsy Byron?’ “Who was the main character?” “Where is Maimunah now?”
Dear pastors and friends, in my welcoming remark I had hoped that your “Homecoming” would be a memorable one. Indeed it has been. We could all see and feel how much you all enjoyed the various places you visited, and the food you tasted, including durians (hopefully the taste and smell would last a would last a long time). Our apologies though for packing in such tight schedules, sometimes giving you enough time only to take a bath before the next event. Our excuse is, it’s Sibu hospitality!
Much as you had been thrilled and blessed to see the progress of our church and SCAC as a whole, we have been the beneficiaries again. Your sharing especially during the Forum will long be remembered. Many Wesleyans who never knew you before shared how much they enjoyed and learned from the Forum and they understood the bonding. Even though the “boy with the missing shoe” stole the show, your group rendition of “And Are We Yet Still Alive!” was most touching.
As for former Wesleyans who came from far and near, we treasure your presence. Thanks for taking time and making efforts to come. It was such a surprise to see Mrs. Teo. Besides those who came back from US, Australia and different parts of Sarawak, I also found out after dinner that Roselyn (Toh) came all the way from Dubai.
Well, all good things must come to an end. To all Wesleyans at home, thank you one and all for your support and participation. Let us continue to be committed in our service to God through WMC. If and when we do go down the valley, let us be united and uphold one another so that we can climb the next mountain top together!
We have all sung the Wesley Jubilee Song. Wesleyans who were at the Praise Night heard Rev David MacDonald sharing the “birth” of the song. Rev David MacDonald shared,
A few weeks ago whilst beginning my own preparations for the 7.30am service, a hymn tune came
into my mind which I remember singing when I was minister at Wesley 50 years ago.
The words I believe were – Joyful, joyful we adore Thee and the tune was from Beethoven’s 9th Symphony ‘Ode to Joy’. I notice the tune is also in Mission Praise no 600.
It seems to go well with the tune and I would very much like to dedicate to Wesley Church.
Now, listen and meditate on the words while our Evening Choir singing our Jubilee Song –
On this day of celebration,
We would offer thanks and praise
For the way that God has led us,
Guiding us throughout our days.
We have seen His sovereign purpose
In the coming of His Son
Jesus, ‘Word made flesh’ among us,
Reconciling all in one.
Help us to proclaim His Gospel,
Telling of amazing grace,
Seeing love expressed in suffering
On the Cross – to save our race.
Now we know death could not hold him,
He arose to set us free,
Here in majesty and splendour
Jesus reigns in victory.
Holy Spirit, source of power,
Working with God’s people still,
Changing lives and old directions
Teaching us to know his will.
Now equip us for his purpose,
Share the gifts which you inspire,
Now let Pentecost renewal
Come on us like wind and fire.
Tune [‘Hymn to Joy’ Beethoven’s 9th]
[David H MacDonald 2008]