Richard Toh – Wisma Chairman
MESSAGE TO MESSENGERS OF MALAYSIA BAPTIST CONVENTION
“Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchmen guard in vain.” Psalm 127:1
“These people say, ‘The time has not yet come for the Lord’s house to be built.’ ” “But the Lord said, it is time.” Haggai 1:2,4 (paraphrased by RT).
For over 60 years, MBC has been talking about building projects but often times, it was just a good idea, since the timing was not right. In the last few years, MBC has been getting her house in order in the areas of administration and constitutional matters despite being short- handed. We are now more poised than ever to do something for our Lord. The vision of MBC is to unite the Baptist and to do mission in our nation and beyond. Apart from working at the strategies, the Executive Committee felt that it is time to have a building that the Baptist could be proud of. We want to call it WISMA BAPTIST.
There are many issues to be ironed out but the mission is clear. Our fore-fathers’ original mission is to provide spiritual, educational and community works. Therefore, Wisma Baptist is to house the MBTS Klang Valley campus, MBC headquarters, and to provide community works.
A steering committee was formed comprising of Dr. John Ong (MBTS), Dr. Sim Quan Seng (First BC), Rev John Kok (Kuala Lumpur BC), George Tee (Pantai BC), Pastor Chan Theam Lai (Canning Garden BC) and Pastor Richard Toh (Community BC, PJ). This steering committee left no stones unturned as they explored the strengths and weaknesses of all the properties held under MBC. Wisma Baptist emerged as the best option for the Baptist to move forward. The next tasks are to tackle the usage of the building and the strategies for MBC to be relevant to the churches in the coming years. In this area MBC will continue to explore with pastors in our nation for relevant inputs.
Perhaps the questions in many peoples’ mind are ‘why have a building at this time’ or ‘why not use the money raised for missions or missionaries etc.?’ These are pertinent questions, and the fact is, we can have both. I feel the building will be a legacy that we can leave to the future generations of Baptists – something they will be proud of, and all the Baptists in our nation can rally behind this project. It can be the beginning of a unifying effort to doing something meaningful.
Why this time?
I have been meditating on 2 Corinthians 8:1-5. Paul was collecting for the poor saints in Jerusalem because of the famine. Paul was exhorting the Corinthians to follow the example of the Macedonian churches. The Macedonian churches were remarkable, resilient, and in the midst of hardship and suffering, they demonstrated the most Christ-like ways. They thought of others and their predicament more than their own safety and needs. They begged Paul to allow them to give to the saints in Jerusalem. I have 6 observations from these verses.
They gave out of severe afflictions, trials, and extreme poverty.
They gave beyond their ability and with great generosity.
They considered this giving a privilege, a partnership in the Gospel.
Their giving was accompanied with overflowing joy.
Their giving was first to the Lord and then, to the project.
Their motivation for giving was from the grace of God.
Application: When we give to Wisma Baptist, we are not giving to bricks, stones and cement but to what happens inside the building – the students, the community works, the poor, etc. We are giving to the future of Baptist work in our nation. It is unselfish giving. It is giving for the glory to God.
So the timing and economy is not the issue, but rather, it is in God’s plan. The Executive Committee and I believe it’s in God’s plan and it’s time to build Wisma Baptist. Our decision is unanimous. Now it is up to the messengers to decide.
When this project was presented, it was given a unanimous vote by the messengers at this 63rd AMC at Malacca BayView Hotel, on 22nd June 2016.
筹划指导委员会成员有：王美锺院长(马来西亚浸信会神学院), Dr. Sim Quan Seng (第一浸信教会), Rev John Kok (吉隆坡浸信教会), George Tee(Pantai BC), 曾添来牧师(桂和园浸信教会) 及卓振金牧师(牧邻浸信教会)。筹划指导委员会竭尽所能检讨马浸联属下所有产业的强项和弱点之后所得出的结论，浸信大厦便是让浸信宗前进的最好选择。我们下一步的任务要着手在大厦的使用，以及未来马浸联与教会在相关合作上的策略。在这方面，马浸联会继续与牧者们进行交流以提供相关的意见。