Over the past three years, Kairos Asia has been working actively with the youth from the Covenanted for Christ Community (CfCC) based in Penang and Taiping. Again this summer our S/W brother Peter Legaspi from the Philippines went with a team of brothers and sisters to lead two-week households for men and women in Penang. We interviewed him about his experience.
What numbers are we talking about for this summer outreach?
They were very modest, and you could be tempted to ask whether it was worth it. Five men and two women from Malaysia together with fifteen Filipinos and one Singaporean actually participated in the households. We originally had twenty on the list, but many dropped out. But that is pretty typical when you just break ground in a new area. People have yet to catch the vision before making the necessary sacrifices for such a program.
But we had other activities such as evangelistic events, parties, picnics, sports events, and those drew larger crowds. We have to remind ourselves that we are at the beginning, and winning a stable core takes time.
What was the goal of the visit?
We wanted to help this fledgling group in Penang gain vision to reach out and become attractive as a group to people who don’t know Christ. So we chose the topic “Widen the tent pegs of your heart” from Isaiah 54. Malaysia is a free country, but there are still some cases when Christians are experiencing discrimination. That can make them reticent to speak to their friends about the Good News. A very different situation from the Philippines!
Do you think your work was successful?
It is sometimes hard to say at the time. But after we left I heard that the core group has begun to meet regularly and they are starting to reach out to their fellow students. God is clearly at work in these young people. One man even expressed to me his interest in investigating living single for the Lord. And a number of them are planning on visiting Manila in the not too distant future, in part thanks due to friendships they established with Filipino members of our team. Such a visit will surely help broaden their vision.
What is your long-term goal?
We want to establish a university outreach modeled on CYA (Christ’s Youth in Action) in Manila. So we are also going back and giving a retreat this November. But we have to be realistic: Getting established in a new country brings cultural, linguistic and religious challenges, and it will take us a while to overcome them and get firmly rooted. This is real front-line mission so please pray for us!