7979吗哪暖心 · 文/蔡欣仪
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Love that Satisfies the Soul
Manna’s Warmth · Written by CSG
Sabah, Sandakan Abba Love Revival Center (ALRC), one of HISTEAM 7979 Care Station is situated at an industrial zone which is close to a hill. Living at the hills are some poor families that ALRC arduously make effort to care for. Rev. Jackson of ALRC shared: “In order to deliver food aid to the recipients, we either have to climb uphill or walk downhill and sometimes we need to carry heavy load while walking on dense forest’s trails.” Despite all these obstacles, Rev. Jackson did not choose to retreat but instead continue to strive forward, because he believes, in this end time, only Abba Father’s love can satisfies people’s soul; only Abba Father’s love can mend poor families broken souls.
Houses on the hills.
| We only have one request
More than 10 years ago, Rev. Jackson’s often had a thought came to his mind, whenever there is disaster, different charity organisations would flow in to help. However, where is the cross of salvation? He was prompted to start caring ministry, wanted to help the needy, and let them experience God’s love.
A fire disaster became the ignition for Rev. Jackson to start caring ministry. A native came to him in the middle of the night asking for help. That fire had destroyed the house of 6 Christian households in the village. In just one night, 29 persons lost their accommodation. Once Rev. Jackson aware of their predicament, he quickly called up few brothers and sisters for old clothes, he also spent some money to buy them some non-perishable food.
When the aid arrived, those disaster victims make one request: “We still have one request, can you give us 6 Christians households one Indonesian’s language bible each? We can’t worship without a bible”. When Rev. Jackson and his church members heard this, they were so moved by it. After a disaster, they were left with nothing, yet they didn’t asked for material, they only asked for a bible. Thereafter, Rev. Jackson bought them some bibles.
“More than 10 years ago, we were not a church yet, we were operating as a center, that encouraged Christians around us to gather here for worship.” Initially, Rev. Jackson started the center by faith based on the vision he received, turned the place into a place of worship, minister and pray for those in need. Occasionally, he would organised evangelistic meeting and invited external speakers to preach and blessed the community.
| Jesus can help them
Since the establishment of this church, they had been caring for the welfare of children from poor families, mostly children of single parent or orphans. The church does not only provides homework guidance and provide life coaching, they also taught them other languages. As of today, there are as many as 60 children brought up in such manner.
Year 2019, the church joined HISTEAM 7979 and set up 7979 Care Station with the intention to start Under Privilege Children Companionship Class. However, out of sudden the outbreak of COVID-19 virus in Malaysia, followed by phases of MCO, has delayed the opening of Companionship Class. Praise the Lord, caring operation did not stop. During pandemic, the poor families’ life had gone from bad to worse. In the month of July year 2020, in the midst of pandemic, the church launched Manna Food Bank ministry. Through Manna Food Bank ministry, they are able to walk into the lives of the poor, to care and to accompany them through those critical period.
Every delivery of Manna Food Bag is an opportunity for Rev. Jackson to build relationship with the recipients. Through listening, sharing and prayers, they have managed to build close relationship which is as close as family members with the recipients. These families always look forward to the bimonthly delivery of Manna Food Bag. It is not just because of the Manna Food Bags, instead more of the company and the encouragement, which have brought hope to their lives. Although, many recipients are nonbelievers, but they knew only Jesus can help them in such times.
“Even though they are very poor, yet they always served me food.” Rev. Jackson shared this with hearts full of gladness and thankfulness. Whenever Rev. Jackson pay visit to them, they will prepare some food and gave or served him home grown chilies or fruits that they had reserved for him.
Last year, under pandemic attacked, the church chose few families that were seriously hit to apply for Manna Food Bank. With the bimonthly Manna Food Bags and a brother who is in restaurant business passed leftover food to Rev. Jackson to be distributed among the poor families, they finally managed to weather through those difficult times.
Besides this, due to the grace of God, last year the church received an offering from Sarawak. The church used this fund to buy some non-perishable food distributed to more than 150 households, among these households are some illegal foreign workers.
| As long as God provides, offerings flow in, the church will continue to serve
Brothers and sisters in church are mainly recipients of Manna Food Bags who then accepted Christ and joined the church, therefore majority of the church members are of poor families. They live at the hillside, they have no transportation to come to church, so they depend on church brothers and sisters to fetch and send them back. “If the church has a gospel van, it would be able to transport church members to and from church as well as safely transporting the children of Companionship Class.” Rev. Jackson said this hopefully.
May the church continue to raise the banner of God’s love in this community. Just as their church’s name: let the community be able to experience the love of Abba Father. At the same time, continue to expand their ministry, so that more will be blessed. “Hope that our church can become the spiritual ‘specialist hospital’ for this community” bringing hope to them, complete this end time harvest through God’s hand. Let God’s revival come upon this Kingdom, individual life and families.” Rev. Jackson expressed. Do God’s work with a heart to serve, live by faith. As long as God provides, offerings flow in, the church will continue to serve. Because God can turn nothing into something, turn the poor into rich.