Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The End of One Chapter

Standing at the Podium and with a sense of great relief, I handed over the Synod seal to the incoming Moderator, Rev. Kong. Yesterday afternoon marked the end of a significant chapter of my life. This was my second term as the Moderator of Gereja Presbyterian Malaysia. The first time when I was elected as the Moderator, I was relatively young.; perhaps the youngest Moderator in GPM history. That was 12 years ago. The learning curve was steep then. The stress was unbearable. I could hardly sleep the night after I was elected. I had a great team and we had brought significant change and impact to GPM.

Now at the age of 54, although gained more experience in the ministry but in no way less stressful. The Presbyterian system is queer. A Moderator is expected to function in full-time capacity and yet his main work is with the local church. Bishops of other denominations serve full-time and they do not pastor the local church. No one will understand the difficulties face by the Moderator of GPM except the previous Moderators. But God’s grace is totally sufficient for His servants.

Rev. Kong shared his story with the delegates that must have sent chills to our spines. Just a week ago before he was inducted as the Moderator, he found out that his blood pressure shot up unbelievably high. When he was smiling, he noticed that one side of his face was stiff (expressionless). He did not realize that it was a sign of stroke. The two years ahead will be daunting. This is his second term too as the Moderator.

I am on my way to Billings, Montana. It’s not frequent that an Asian pastor gets to be the keynote speaker at the Mission conference. The PCA leaders are gracious and they give me the privilege to take the rostrum. Their gesture speaks more of their graciousness than my ability or credential. I am looking forward to speak what God has taught me all these years in His mission. It will be a great time to do networking for my church CDPC.

The bonus of this trip is that my son, Samuel will accompany me. We will be camping at Changi airport tonight before the next flight at 6am. We have a lot to talk and to catch up. Sam is expecting me to let down my hair. Good thing that I still have much hair. I will compensate for the lost hours during my tenure as the Moderator, its pay back time.

Sarah is at Vancouver representing her college in the women chorale. She is having the whale of time. We will see her soon in Grand Rapids.

Constance is just contented to be at home. She loves her work at the Pre-School. She tries to learn the computer at the last minute hoping to catch us in Skype. We manage to get batik silk for our hosts in our last minute frantic shopping. She is ever so thoughtful.
We will miss her.

NB: The article was written just the day I stepped down from being the Moderator. The same night Sam and I flew off to Billings. But the photos were uploaded after the trip back to Malaysia to show the great time Sam and I had in Billings and Grand Rapids. What a big load was off from my shoulder. No more carrying the burden of the denomination!

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