CARE BANK and RIPPLES went to Mara Evangelical Church to engage with the refugees there. It was a great exposure and outreach trip to join the Mara refugees in their home church off Jalan Ipoh. Several Ripples and young adults went along.
We jointly gave food and sundries as love gifts which they hugely appreciated. They intermingled freely with the congregation. We were treated to a special Corn soup that they had painstakingly prepared for us. It was good seeing how experimental the Youth were who ate everything they were served!
Ripples took charge of the 9 a.m. Youth Service after which we attended the 11 a.m. Main Service.
Bryan Yee from Ripples shared this at the Youth and Main services at Mara Evangelical Church on May 27 2012. It was wonderful seeing Bryan share with exuberance and so much confidence. Praise the LORD!
We hope it will not be the last engagement with the refugees. Giving them a window to see the OTHER side of the world was invaluable.
Here is Bryan's sharing.
There was a time in the history of Israel and Judah, when the people had to leave their country, much like how you have all left your country.
For them foreign powers had taken over.
The young people of Judah were taken to Babylon where they were to learn the language and culture of the Babylonians. They lived and worked among the Babylonians.
Even through all of this, Yahweh did not forget His people Israel. He gave them many promises that He would restore them to their land. The Israelites did not understand why God would punish His chosen people.
And it shall come to pass that as I have watched over them to pluck up and break down, to overthrow, destroy, and bring harm, so I will watch over them to build and to plant, declares the Lord.
But God is sovereign. He does things independent of us. Sometimes we as humans do not understand God’s plan for us. But He is always watching over us.
While Israel was in captivity, God gave them a promise:
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”
God gave Israel a new covenant. In this covenant God will put the law into their hearts and minds.
Christ will become that law which is in their hearts and minds.
Through their time in exile, God gave them a promise of hope. This hope is fulfilled in Jesus Christ:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.”
And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
It was hard for the Israelites to see God’s plan when they were captives in a foreign land. Today, I’m sure many of you can relate to the Israelites living in a foreign land.
Sometimes, we, like the Israelites, do not understand why God does certain things. But we, like the Israelites, all have a part to play in God’s continuing salvation plan. Sometimes that plan brings us through hardships.
No one can be sure what God’s plan is or how He works. God may choose to allow you to go back to Myanmar, to your land. And if you do go back, each of you has a part to play in His salvation plan for Myanmar.
Back in my church, our youth group is learning how to be different kinds of youths. We, you and I, are the next generation! We have an opportunity to impact the society around us! To make a difference.
So if God does bring you back to Myanmar, are you ready to be a channel through which God can bring the Gospel to Myanmar?
Are you ready to be used in His salvation plan? Maybe He has put you here in Malaysia to prepare you? Or maybe He will use you to change Malaysia?
When we cry to God and ask Him, ‘why?’, we can only trust that God sees the bigger plan.
“For thus says the Lord: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
- Bryan Yee, 27th May 2012