Remembering our pastor

We loved Rev. Suwito.

By Chong Kwong Tek & Goldie
He was our pastor for many years in Melaka. His sermons were simple  –  unlike many of the sophisticated crafted religious  3- point essays that some pastors love to present.

Every Sunday we benefitted from his sincere Bible- based messages.

At that time Rev Suwito was commissioned to translate the Bible into the National Language. This would have given him a very deep understanding of the Bible. Yet he was careful not to ‘show off’ his Biblical scholarship. Instead he faithfully used the Word as the sharp ‘two-edged sword cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow… to expose our innermost thoughts and desires.” Heb.4:12

He preached from his heart, from his personal experience.

Rev Suwito had  a very heavy load – he was our full time pastor; he was also translating the Bible. In spite of this he carried out his pastoral responsibility with love and care. He was always available beside the sick beds &  family crises of our members. He & his wife were so loved & appreciated that one of my assignments as the then Lay Delegate to the Annual conference was to ensure that they would remain in Melaka.

He was one of the longest serving pastors in Melaka Wesley.

We remember when their first born Aubrey came into the family. Because of a birth defect the family went through a rough patch. But the godly couple stood up strong, modelling for us that we can continue to put our faith in our God in spite of a setback. After surgical correction Aubrey grew up a healthy well adjusted boy. We are also delighted that daughter Juwita is now a beautiful sweet singer- worshipper,  a precious fruit nurtured in a loving family.

Rev Suwito loved the youth in the church.

(Melaka Wesley) click to enlarge

(Melaka Wesley) click to enlarge

During our time as counsellors of the MYF he always gave the youths his full support. He opened his pulpit to many evangelical speakers who helped them to be grounded in the scriptures and to be able to discern heretical teaching. Many present-day pastors & church leaders proudly claim Wesley Melaka as their mother church.

Long before many mainline churches saw the contribution of the Holy Spirit movement, Rev Suwito welcomed Rev Peter Young , the Anglican charismatic priest, the then General Secretary of Scripture Union Malaya to his pulpit.  Thus our folks had a  ‘head start’ introduction to the power gifts of the Holy Spirit.

When the evangelicals in the Methodist churches formed the Aldersgate Fellowship led by Prof Khoo Oon Teik of Wesley Singapore, in order to resist the liberal teaching ‘smuggled’ in by some American missionaries into the Methodist church, Rev. Suwito gave us his full support.

This layman- led Fellowship played quite a major role for the church to remain firmly in the evangelical tradition of John Wesley.

We remember Rev Suwito with love. He was our shepherd who mentored us in our Christian journey in Melaka.
 “The Chongs with Hannah & Chua Cheng Chye (Lay Leader of Melaka Wesley)

“The Chongs with Hannah & Chua Cheng Chye (Lay Leader of Melaka Wesley) click to enlarge

We still see his consistently smiling face – a result of an inner joyful life of serving God, a model  for us his sheep to emulate .

We saw his family as a powerful demonstration of a Christian family.

Dr Chong Kwong Tek, encouraged by Rev Suwito, served in several capacities in Wesley Melaka – as  MYF counselor, Chairman of  LCEC  & Conference Lay Leader for the Malaysian Conference  between 1965-1971.   Goldie Chong also served in different capacities in Wesley. end48

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