Rest in Peace, Michael. You have fought the good fight, you have finished the race.
Michael was instrumental in strengthening and building up our Boys’ Brigade Ministry known as the 1st Johor Bahru Company. He joined BB in 1966 and assumed its captaincy in 1974 at the age of 22! He held this position on and off for many years until he retired in 2009.
In 1995, Michael was honoured by His Majesty Sultan of Johor with the “Heart of Gold” award for his outstanding BB work and service to the youth. He was also a Chairman of the East Asian Regional Fellowship and a National President of the BB Malaysia. We thank God for the privilege of celebrating his 65th birthday with him last September.
In 2002, this is what he shared in the 50 Years of Faithfulness, published in conjunction with Holy Light Church (English), Johor Baru, Golden Jubilee Celebration
I remember the durian trees in the church compound. They were probably the best durians you could find in Johor Baru. So much so that Church Members would ‘book’ the fruits even before they’ve ripened and fallen to the ground.
Church life was so laid back then. We had such great times, just hanging out among the Durian and Rambutan trees.
My association with the church started with the Boys’ Brigade. I was in secondary school at Sek. Dato Jaffar when a classmate introduced me to the BB. This was back in 1966.
I still remember my first time in “Sunday School” (which was held on Saturday). Coming from a strict Hindu background, I was awe struck on seeing the Cross in Church. Something about it shook me deep and strong.
The following two weeks, I absconded from Sunday School. It was not until my classmates persuaded me, that I went back to BB meetings. And, like they say, everything else is history.
BB changed my life. I found Christ through the BB in 1968.
Deacon Christopher Tham Kok Meng counseled me. His love and concern touched me & subsequently won me over. At that time, I just could not fathom why this Chinese man would want to care for a poor Indian boy like me.
That was my turning point. With Christ in my heart, I was ready to smile at any storm. I became active in Church – from the Choir, Youth Fellowship, Sunday School and, of course, BB. I had a burning desire to learn anything and everything about being a good Christian. Filled with youthful zeal and excitement, I even became a Church Deacon while I was still a Bachelor in my Twenties.
By the grace of God, I also moved up the ranks in BB. By 1967, I was promoted to L/Cpl, and then to Cpl and Sgt. I even had the honour to lead the BB band as Drum Major. And to cap it all, I was appointed Company Captain at the age of 22!
It was also in Church that I met my wife, Janet, who was in the Girls’ Brigade (who eventually went on to become the 1st JB Girls’ Brigade Captain). We were married in 1977, and during the last 25 years in marriage, The Lord has blessed us with four children.
I praise God that despite business and family commitments, I still manage to find time to serve in the BB. Today, not only am I the Captain of the 1st JB Company, but I also serve as the Chairman of the East Asian Regional Fellowship (EARF), which overseas BB work in Asia, and I am also the National President of the BB in Malaysia.
It’s only by God’s grace that I’m able to serve in such a capacity while still being actively involved in BB extension work in Thailand.
People often ask me. Why do you sacrifice so much time, effort and money in the BB? My answer is simple. This is what I enjoy doing best. And the greatest pleasure comes from seeing boys plucked from our streets and transformed into upright citizens through the BB; and to see them eventually come to a decision to give their lives to Christ. Just like I did, all those years ago.
I owe it all to God. I was a nobody. I did not particularly excel in school, neither do I posses any special skills or talents. And if I am a somebody today, it is only because God first loved me and gave me the opportunity to excel through the BB Ministry. And the Church, through Christ, has inspired me to do great and wonderful things ever since.
This Church will always hold a special place in my heart.
Source: HLCE FB Page