Posted on 18-Aug-2014
Written by Mr. Andrew Tan, Lieutenant of 12th Kuala Lumpur Company
Jesus said, “I am the vine and you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” [John 15:5 NIV]
This is so true. In fact, never has it been so real especially for the past 7 years or so in the Brigade. God has been humorous and amusing at the same time as I look back how He has called, prepared and equipped me in the youth ministry. It all started when my friend decided to reach out to a group of Form 3 students during our campus days. Being an outgoing person, she felt a burden to reach out to a group of youngsters as their PMR was just in a few months’ time. When she approached me for help, I thought “why not” since I had the time and we shared one common mission – to share Christ to these youths. Hence, we became their friends quick enough; they and she shared one common sport – basketball. For me, I decided I wouldn’t be their ‘burden-in-the-game’.
During those days, we rented a shop-house nearby my campus. It was our ministry house and was occupied by 4 guys and 6 girls. The reason we guys stayed there was to be ‘bodyguards’ to our sisters in Christ. Our ministry house was located in an area surrounded by factories and shop-lots. So, the church leadership decided the boys were a necessary asset to the ministry house. These youths would sometimes cycle to our house asking us to teach them to do homework. We told them they could come at any time and they didn’t have to pay us a single cent. We didn’t want them asking their parents for any more money. Besides, our mission was to plant the seed. As time passed by, these boys began to enjoy coming to our rented home. In between lessons, we managed to share Christ with them. And surprisingly one of them really enjoyed listening to our stories! He actually told us that there were times he just wanted to come over to listen to my stories rather than to ask about homework!
Guess what happened after about three months? Two of them actually accepted Christ during one of our Cell Meetings held in our ministry house! I remembered it was during our Moon Cake celebration. Now I couldn’t recall what I shared exactly. But one thing for sure was these two youths looked up to me as their big brother and took my advice to accept Jesus as their new found friend! They were so joyful and became even closer to me. All of us really praised God that night for we had two new brothers in our midst! Later, one of them actually scored straight A’s in his PMR! All these couldn’t be happening if our God wasn’t involved. And these experiences paved my ministry to the youths later on. Praise God!
My journey in the Boys’ Brigade began about 7 years ago when I joined Sri Sempurna as a teacher after having served in the corporate training, running camps for youths and young adults for 3 years. To be frank, I knew nothing of BB. The only thing I knew it was kind of similar to Scouts and Cadets, but with a twist; the twin pillars in BB make it different from any other Uniformed Units or Youth Organizations. This has caught my attention. Since I always went back to school every Saturday, I made it a point to observe what they were doing every Saturday. And hence, these began my inching into the 10th Kuala Lumpur Company; first as a distant observer and later joining on board as an Officer.
It took me two years to pick up as much as I could in BB. Though I was just a Warrant Officer that time, I was given the opportunity to sit in the KL State Council as the then Training Chair and later as its State Secretary until now. I made it a point to be present in every BB events; State and National and I even visited few Companies. All those visits proved to be significant as I met Officers especially those from rank and file who became my ministry partners. Some of these have become my closest buddies whom I would turn to whenever I needed even just a listening ear. We all would agree that serving the youths require a lot of energy and drive!
Years passed by and I have seen many lives of these young BB members being transformed by God’s Word. It gave me such joy when I hear of those whom I have led to Christ and have discipled before are now doing so well in their ministry and career. God, throughout these 7 years, has indeed seen me through my every storm, struggles, challenges and tough times. More so, when I decided to resign from Sri Sempurna to complete my Masters. Upon graduation from my post graduate degree, I came back to the education world as I knew God wanted me to stay in the teaching career to reach out to more youths.
I joined Wesley Methodist School Kuala Lumpur in last June, and when I thought I could finally settle down in my teaching career, God decided to take me out of my comfort zone. Initially I was quite reluctant to move out. But eventually, I decided to make that move since He has given me the peace. The Officers Council gave me the blessing and I was transferred to 12th Kuala Lumpur Company last September, exactly three months after joining WMS Kuala Lumpur. Some of the boys, who were once in my NTS squads, welcomed me gladly into their family. Thanks to Capt Nicholas Yeap for the extended invitation and warm welcome too.
It has been almost a year since I have joined the school and the Company. I thank God for two of my Boys whom I have led to accept Christ at the beginning of the year. Harvesting then continues even until PESTA where we saw another 7 more souls added into the Kingdom. At the same time, many more lives have been touched through the various settings and events made available; Easter celebration, Chapel Services, Christian Fellowship gatherings, Prayer Rally and Youth Alpha. On the Company level, we are thankful for the many Boys who have come on board of leadership position in the various departments to facilitate the smooth running of the Company. Moving forward, I am thankful for a group of parents and friends who have been very supportive of the Brigade ministry. May the LORD watches over you and blesses each of you greatly.