After leaving Kuala Lumpor to meet for lunch with a group of pastors in Melaka, Friday on the west coast, we then drove 2.5 hours to a city of 250,000 called Kluang. The city was delightful. Our first stop was at the Rail Cafe, the downtown version of the historic coffee stop at the railway station that has been serving great coffee, toast and softboiled eggs to rail passengers since 1938. The most interesting thing about this 3rd generation landmark is that it is run by committed believers who have produced generations of pastors and committed believers. After settling in our hotel (without Internet) we had dinner at Barney's Pizza with a bunch of pastors. Barney is part of the coffee family who lived in San Diego and involved in Calvary Chapel.
One of the great folks we met was Jit who is the youth pastor of the Agape Presbyterian Church. Jit was on Wayne Cordiero's staff for 15 years at New Hope Church in Honolulu. He has 400 youth from the community playing sports every Saturday and has a great vision for community transformation. Sam and I hung out with him until 1:30am this morning talking ministry.
On Saturday 250 folks from Kluang showed up for the 9:00-4:00 Externally Focused Church / Community Transformation conference and then another 400 showed up for the Million Leaders Mandate graduation dinner. Of course it was a great dinner. Malyasian food is a combination of Malay food, Indian food and Chinese food. Sam and I feel totally bloated but we're hardly complaining.
This morning after coffee and toast and a local dish at the original Rail Cafe, we drove back to Kuala Lumpor and met at TGIF's for lunch with Teresa Kok, a Christian Parliment member who was re-elected to her third term. Richard spoke of what he and the team were doing with Marketplace Leadership Center and Million Leaders Mandate as well as what they are trying to do with externally focused churches and nation building. It was really one of those divine apointments as Teresa talked openly about the needs of the people and how the church could help. She told how as a young school girl, as part of her Catholic education, she and other youth went and lived among the poor of Malaysia. It was there she decided she wanted a career in public service. When we talked about mobilizing cell groups in missional ministry, she said theat 50 such groups could change the city!
So our days here just get better. Malaysia is in a very unique position in the world. It is one of those countries that is racially, religiously and linguistically diverse that is small enough where believers can really make a kingdom difference for all peoples. And Sam and I feel that the three key leaders (Richard, Simon and Pic See) who will train 2500 leaders around the country in the next few years, are setting the stage for God to do something special in this country.