Tek’s clinic in Melaka was left unoccupied after his brother retired. We approached Pastor Moses Tay of Gateway Church to see if he could use it for any Christian ministry. Through his introduction, we were glad that Open Hand Community Service Centre is using the downstairs as a feed-the-poor centre and Pastors Jeremiah and Phebe are using the upstairs as a church, Vineyard City Church. We tell their stories here.
Open Your Hand Wide
Feed the poor and needy
By Angeline Lim
It all started in December 2015 when our church and another church (both being new churches) held a combined Christmas Celebration for a community of mostly non-Christians in a low-income neighbourhood in Melaka. After the event, our leaders started to visit the homes in the kampung (village), and we felt saddened to see their living conditions. We soon started a care group there using one of their homes and bring them to church service every week. We help them in various ways, including supplying monthly groceries, and adult diapers to a few families.
On 15 January 2016, I received a prophecy from Pastor Anton Cruz from India about feeding the poor and blessing the widows. The following month, God gave me a dream which confirmed that the church should reach out to the urban poor.
After much prayer and sharing my vision with the leaders and the church, the Open Hand Community Service ministry was started.
As Deuteronomy 15:11 says:
‘For the poor will never cease from the land; therefore I command you, saying, “You shall open your hand wide to your brother, to your poor and your needy, in your land.”’
After a year, The Open Hand Community Service committee began looking for a suitable place to expand the ministry but to no avail.
In June 2018, Pastor Moses Tay bumped into me at a mall and asked me for five minutes to spare. He shared with me that Dr Chong had assigned to him his shop (Former Waishin Clinic at Jalan Munshi Abdullah, Melaka) to be used for any church ministries… for free!
I conveyed the good news to the church committee. They unanimously agreed to use the shop lot as the Open Hand Community Service Centre to kick-start the Feed-the-Poor project.
Minor renovations soon took place in September and October to turn the former clinic into a food Centre. God’s hand was indeed upon it all. Even before the renovation was completed, donations in the form of cash, furniture, electrical appliances, utensils, etc. started coming in. On 4 November 2018, the Centre was dedicated to the Lord.
Pastor Angeline Lim (Left) and Goldie Chong in the centre
Tek & Goldie with the volunteers who serve at Open Hand Community Service Centre
On 15 November, the feeding programme commenced, staffed by cheerful and dedicated church volunteers. The first batch of 20 people came. Since then, the Centre offers afternoon tea on Tuesdays and Thursdays. As the centre is strategically located in the heart of town, it is easily accessible to all. Majority of them walk, cycle or ride motorbikes to the Centre.
It has been three months now and the Centre receives an average of 40 people (mostly Chinese-speaking) per session. Of this, 70% of them are men of 60 years and above. Occasionally, these men will request for used clothes, sandals, towels, toiletries, and we readily supply to them.
We are looking into turning the men’s urinal toilet into a bathroom so that those who live in the streets will get the luxury of a proper bath.
It’s a joy to see them tucking into the food heartily and happily…and even more so to know that they appreciate a place to sit down and eat, and interact with the friendly volunteers…as compared to other food distributing centres in town where they have to wait to collect their food and after having done that, they go off hurriedly/disappear without being attended to.Left: An old schoolmate of Tek’s from 60 years ago who came for the first time asked for Dr Chong. We happened to be there that day!
Outreach at festivals
The Christmas party held on 20 December was a wonderful one.
It was a blessing that a hotel generously sponsored a good spread of delicious food for the crowd of more than 50 (fullest capacity).
Praise God that 18 people received Christ as their Saviour!
We also celebrated Chinese New Year on 31st January with them and they were really happy.
Christmas party 2018
We thank our Heavenly Father for His providence. We would also like to thank Dr Chong and Goldie, for sharing their resources, and Pastor Moses for being a good steward so that our church could reach out to our community in Melaka. Even though we are a small church, God is willing to use us. Indeed God is so gracious.
Footnote: Angeline Lim received God’s calling when she was a second-year undergraduate in University Malaya. After graduation, she worked as a personnel officer in a hotel in Melaka, then entered full-time ministry in 1986. She planted Calvary Harvest (Assemblies of God) in 2014 in Melaka. She is married to Kelvin Teoh and they are blessed with two daughters and a son, and recently a grandson.
We give God the glory,
for Psalm 145:15-17 says:
The eyes of all look to you,
and you give them their food at the proper time.
You open your hand
and satisfy the desires of every living thing.
The Lord is righteous in all his ways
and faithful in all he does.