By Rev. James Wong
I was transferred to BCCM Sandakan on the 1 January 2008. After spending more than four years in Sandakan I am reluctant to leave. I believe it is true that what people say will soon be forgotten but how people make us feel will remain for a long long time. Many of you have made me and my wife felt welcomed and loved, so it is not easy to leave BCCM Sandakan behind us.
My Church Family. There is a sense of being uprooted again in a transfer. It is always a sad thing to leave behind good friends. As a pastor, my closest family is the church and sometimes, it is the only family that I have in the real sense of the word. I spend more time with the church than with my family members as they are away from me. In the end, it is the good friendship that I have gained in the Lord that means the most to me and my wife. I have to accept the fact that there is a season for every thing. There is a time to let go no matter how much I want to cling on.
New Assignment. Leaving Sandakan is no more an option for me now due to the requirements of my duty as a Dean and the need for manpower in a congregation in KK. My new assignment will be pastoring an emerging congregation known as Canaanland Mission Centre in KK, just opposite the road of BCCM KK church. I will be serving the congregation there with my able colleague Pr Alice Thien Fui Chu. There are six pairs of twins in that congregation and perhaps it is rightly called a church of twins!
Inspiration. The commitment and sacrifices of many individuals and the church council members have been most inspiring to me. The Sandakan church is complex and her ministries are many. No one individual can do it all. Like the clock that keeps ticking forward, our unity of purpose has enabled us to move forward in the circumference of our limitation and imperfection in many areas. Any progress in the church is always the result of good team work, support and encouragement for one another.
Moving on. My transfer will be in stages beginning 1 May. By the first week of July when the Alpha 3 run finishes on 6 July 2012, I should have relinquished all my duties to my successor Rev. Johnny Wong. I urge everyone to give your undivided support and encouragement to Rev. Johnny Wong and all the staffs of the church. Those who are serving the church are primarily motivated by encouragement and appreciation. The Bible says, “Encourage one another daily …” (Heb 3:13).
We are heading towards a greater future of open doors. "When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us." (Alexander Graham Bell). Let us pray for each other that “God will open a door for our message” always (Colossians 4:3).