Just came back from a 12-day trip to KL/PJ. Bernice was with me for the first four days. Haven’t been there since a short trip in early 2020. We stayed with dear friends Shu Leong and Yek Han. I have known them since 1976. I was still in Dental School, and they had just graduated, he as an engineer, she, a pharmacist. We were members of a small church that had just been formed. They were Malaysians and committed Christians. They shared that they believed the Lord wanted them to go home to serve Him in Malaysia.
After working for a few years, they went home and have continued to serve there till today. They joined a church and served in the same church all this while. With their professional training they could have had a comfortable life in Singapore. Many Malaysian professionals who trained in Singapore did that. But my friends did what they believed God wanted them to do. I too believed that the Lord wanted me back in Malaysia. By returning to Malaysia, Shu Leong and Yek Han modelled for me what that looked like. Spiritual friends model for us what it means to follow the Lord. They show the way and inspire us to do the same.
Since I hadn’t been back in KL/PJ for some time, I wanted to catch up with as many friends as I could. I knew I wouldn’t have time to catch up with all the friends I wanted to see, and I hope that those I couldn’t meet this time will forgive me. Next time, ya.
As I met up with many old friends, I realised afresh how much they model for me how to follow Christ.
* Friends burnt out from ministry but who had the courage to step back so they could rest and heal. One of them reminded me not to burn the candle at both ends.
* A friend who stepped away from traditional ministry structures to pioneer work with indigenous groups.
* A designer who works at renewing the urban landscape.
* A friend who had to make changes in his work so that he could make time to care for mum who had had a stroke.
* Lawyers who fight for justice in the Malaysian legal system.
* Friends who struggle with serious problems in their own lives or in their families, depressed but still pressing on.
* A friend who had to deal with cancer. She is better and showing much courage. She and her family continue to journey on in their lives and their service to the Lord.
* A ministry couple going through painful changes in their ministry life, wounded but pressing on.
Dear friends you inspire me and show me how to follow Christ. In 1 Corinthians 11:1, Paul says: “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ” (NIV). All good friends in Christ should be able to say that to each other.