2008年4月12 日早上9时，我们一行人平安到达文冬（彭亨）。这是一个坐落于吉隆坡及淡马鲁之间的一个小镇。我们于9.30am到达了文冬卫理公会。CREST 的黄瑞明医生 和Lana女士已在那教会里设立视听设备。经过简短地互相介绍后，我们也赶紧地加入他们的筹备工作。
~Choong Pei Yiing
At 9.00 a.m. on the morning of 12th April 2008, we arrived at Bentong, a small town that sits almost exactly halfway between Kuala Lumpur and Temerloh. We arrived at Bentong Methodist Church at 9.30 a.m. Dr Ng Swee Ming and Lana Wong from CREST (Crisis Relief Services & Training) were already in the church setting up the audio visual requirements for the day. After a brief introduction of ourselves, we too quickly joined them in the preparation.
When close to 30 participants were seated comfortably, the church Pastor gave a welcoming speech and introduction to the guest speakers (Dr. Ng, Lana, and Pastor Andrew). Time was quickly passed on to a sister who led us in a time of worship with songs. At 10.30 a.m., the first session of the day began with Dr. Ng and Pastor Andrew as the interpreter. Dr. Ng explained that one of the means to fulfill the Great Commission is via Christian Disaster Response. The Christian churches have in the past responded to Crisis or Disaster by collecting donations from members, mobilizing members to provide assistance as and where needed, prayer coverage, allowing the use of church premise as relief centres, cooking, delivering food and supplies, blood donation, etc.
However, there are limitations to the support rendered by Christian churches today. Christian volunteers were not prepared or equipped to respond effectively to disaster victims, time which was critical to reach the needy was also required to raise support in cash and kind and there was lack of tangible “unity” within the body of Christ i.e. when churches of different denominations render assistance in isolation.
While participants listened attentively, more was shared on how Christian churches and individuals can get involved in this ministry. The action steps proposed were as simple as volunteering oneself to be trained in Basic Disaster relief works.
Disaster relief works can be one of the most effective ways of fulfilling the Great Commission, as stated by Dr. Ng at the start of the session. How true when you think about simple acts of love like feeding the hungry in a war-stricken country, providing shelter to the homeless, playing with the children who have been made orphans because their parents died in a trapped building after an earthquake？When these victims feel the touch of love tangibly, they’re nearer to the love extended by a Sovereign Creator of Heaven and Earth. In fact, Jesus Himself said in Matthew 25: 35-40, “When you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.”