For the past two years, local partners in Malaysia have been facilitating a program called the Bible engagement program amongst Indigenous believers. Many pastors have in turn expressed their gratitude as they have seen significant growth in the lives of the congregation. One pastor reported that his congregation has grown in maturity and knowledge of the scriptures, which is later translated into the character and lifestyle of the believers.
In February 2023, Open Doors local partners in Malaysia chatted with some of the pastors serving indigenous churches in rural Malaysia on how the Bible engagement program has been aiding the congregation since the program started.
With a population of over 140,000 registered indigenous people, along with multitudes others who are not registered, indigenous people groups are generally neglected by the government and many of them live with very little every day.
In the 1908s, a missionary group entered this particular village and ministered to the people there and most of them accepted Christ. Since then, there has been a new generation of believers who call Jesus their God but do not know what that means. There was no further discipleship being done for this village.
According to the church elders, this led many astray, and only a few families remained believers in Christ.
The Bible Engagement Program seeks to help believers not only receive Bibles in their native languages but also learn how to read them and apply them to their daily life.
According to the pastor, the involvement of local partners undoubtedly transformed many people in his congregation throughout the year of involvement. Because of the transformation, many have responded in faith through baptism, an outward proclamation of an inward transformation. The believers, no matter how young or advanced in age, made the conscious decision to be baptised in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
The local pastor also stated some brief but vivid testimonials of the transformations that happened due to these programmes and fellowships conducted.
Wafa, one of the young women said, "I used to go to church solely for rituals, but now my perception changed. I have more fellowships and join the programmes and activities. The Bible studies allow me to ask questions and that has sparked my interest in learning more about the Word. It has been a pretty adventurous journey for me.”
According to the church’s pastor, she has taken on the role of a Sunday school teacher. Additionally, Wafa is currently leading Praise and Worship and has been actively serving in the church's programmes.
We concentrated not only on the spiritual part of the segment but also on family and community development, including marriage and family. Another church leader shared, "After attending the Bible study, my perspective on my marriage and family has dramatically changed. In our marriage, particularly in the context of our family bond, I've learnt to respect and value my wife. Much has improved as a result of the knowledge gained from bible studies.”
Praise God for his faithfulness. Now, a new generation of believers is being discipled in the way of the Lord.
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