2022年3月刊 ∙ MARCH 2022
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2022 IS THE YEAR TO "SERVE THE EAST"
Written by Rev. Andrew Wong, Translated by Earnest Chiam
The Israelites journeyed from Ramases to Sukkoth. There were about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides women and children. Many other people went up with them..."
During the Chinese New Year, I came across two reports in the news that lingered around my mind during my daily morning devotion, as I meditate on the passages in Exodus and the circumstances surrounding the Indigenous people, our firstborn of the land.
The Desperate Need for the Indigenous Firstborns to Drive the Revival in Our Land
On the 11th day of the Chinese New Year (February 11), Dato Sri Dr Wan Junaidi, the minister in the Prime Minister's Department for Parliament and Law announced the enforcement of the amendments to the Federal Constitution in relation to the Malaysia Agreement 1964 (MA63). This might be the dawn of the day where equality for Sabah and Sarawak with the Peninsular to be finally established after fighting for it for decades. What was initially being agreed upon when the two Borneo States joined the formation of Malaysia in 1963, to be equal in status as the States of the Federation, was dismally being put off when the Constitution being inexplicably amended in 1976. The longing hearts of the Sabahans and Sarawakians in the long 45 years must have been the same as the Israelites after their own 40-year journey into the Promised Land of Canaan for which was supposed to only be weeks-long! We are praying that 2022 to be a spark for God's restoration of the Indigenous Firstborns to their rightful place and identity. We believe that God will bring to us a spiritual revival, driven by the Indigenous people, sparked by the restoration of States' proper status and the people's legitimate identity. Bangkit Anak Negeri & Pribumi!
The Desperate Need for the Chinese Church to Walk Humbly with the Indigenous People
On the 14th day of the Chinese New Year (February 14), Prime Minister Dato' Sri Ismail Sabri presented the report on 2020 Population and Housing Census. According to the report, Malaysia's population now stands at 32.4 million, with the Bumiputera as the majority people group at 69.4%, and the Chinese at 23.2%. Looking deeper into the numbers, we can find that Other Bumiputera (Indigenous People) is standing at 12.2% of the people group, and the number is showing that while the population of Chinese people is shrinking, the Indigenous population is growing. With the indigenous people already occupying the largest number among the Christian population in Malaysia, there is a greater need than ever for the Chinese believers to stand with the Firstborns (Anak Sulung) of the nation, to take up our place as the "key minority" Christians in the nation! The heartfelt words of Reverend Daniel Chin, a good friend in Sabah, rang in my ears, "In the early years our Chinese ancestors left their home and travelled far to this foreign land, with the hope of a beter life. They often carried the hurt as an 'orphan' in this strange land, often felt like a victim in this place." Generations passed, and the Chinese finally found our root here. It is through Christ and His redeeming grace that we the Chinese Christians can shed our negative feeling, to be freed from the spiritual baggage our people have carried. And so it is important for us to humbly recognize the firstborn status of the indigenous people in this land, and we must give our best to restore them to their rightful place and to help them claim their spiritual authority. The Chinese Christians in Malaysia are like the "many other people" in Exodus 12:38 - where we , after having witnessed how the great and awesome God is with the people of Israel, chose to walk out of Egypt with the Israelites, the Firstborn. If the Malaysian Chinese are ready to walk humbly with Gof and to be united with our Indigenous brothers and sisters, in our faith we will witness even more and greater works of God, and we will together receive the revival God is bringing to us!
In January 2022, I have busily walked through many towns and villages in Sabah and Sarawak - attending the graduation ceremony for the fourth batch of trainees in Micah Centre, visiting the prayer warriors in Northern Sabah, spending time in fellowship with the BEM indigenous leaders in Sarawak. Throughout my trip I could feel it in my spirit that now comes the time for Sabah and Sarawak. May you and I not miss this greatest time to serve the East!
农历年十一（2月11日），负责国会与法律事务的首相署部长旺朱乃迪宣布涉及1963年马来西亚协议（MA63）的2022年联邦宪法（修正）法令正式生效。这意味着沙巴和砂拉越漫长争取与西马半岛享有平等地位的春天真正临到。原本早在1963年共同组成马来西亚时，就可以与半岛同享联邦的地位与保持宪法赋予的建国承诺，却因1976年的修宪而拖延至今。苦等45年的沙巴砂拉越子民，肯定深刻感受到以色列人原本只需要十天就能抵达，却绕大圈子走足40年才走到迦南美地的心情！祈愿2022年是神恢复原住民长子身份与地位的美好启动。相信神要透过原住民带来的属灵复兴，将随着联邦宪法恢复沙巴砂拉越 “邦”与原住民的地位而启动！Bangkit Anak Negeri & Pribumi!
农历年十四（2月14日），首相拿督斯里依斯迈沙比利公布和推介的最新2020年大马人口及房屋普查报告显示，我国人口有3,240万人，土著是大马的大多数族群（69.4%），华裔只占了23.2%。仔细一看，土著当中其他土著（原住民）其实占了12.2%。华人人口每下愈况，但原住民人口却有上升的趋势。原住民本就占大马基督徒人口很大比例，华人基督徒其实越来越需要与原住民长子（Anak Sulung）连结，成为这片土地上 “关键少数”的基督徒！这让我想起沙巴的好兄弟陈伟强牧师语重心长的一番话：“早期华人先辈远离家乡，南下来到大马这个异乡寻找美好的生活。内心常患有 “孤儿” 的受害者的情结。几代以后，华人得以落地生根。靠着耶稣，被神救赎恩典救拔的华人基督徒得以脱离负面的情怀与属灵包袱。我们应当谦卑承认并竭力恢复原住民在这片土地 “长子”的属灵位份与权柄。大马华人仿佛出埃及记12章38节说到的 “混杂多族的一群人”， 因为见证了大而可畏的上帝真实与以色列人同在，而跟着长子以色列一同出走埃及。大马华人只要持续谦卑与神同行并且刻意与原住民连结，相信我们将一同经历神预备要赐下的复兴！