The Indians in Malaysia generally refer to the rubber and oil-palm plantations as estates. It was a word used by the British when huge tracts of land in then Malaya, was opened for the cultivation of rubber and later oil-palm. The British had brought in Indians from India to clear, cultivate and tap the trees for the latex which brought in much revenue. Generations of Indians had made the estates their homes and they have many stories to tell of their hardships, their tedious labour, their poverty, their lack of housing, medical, health and educational needs. Many of the estates still bear semblances of lack in various forms.
My grandparents and parents have their roots in estates in Johor, and though my parents later moved to Singapore, my early memories of visiting the estate, is still vivid in my mind. That is why after I had accepted Christ, the pull to do ministry in the estate was great.
Over the last 8 months, my husband and I have been ministering in Karak and Bentong in Pahang. We had visited 6 estates to share the love of Christ, to pray, and to provide foodstuff, clothes, toys, etc. It has stirred my heart with sadness at the plight of many families there without even bare necessities, it has brought tears to my eyes when I filled the children’s hands with toys and see the awe, the surprise and the smile on their faces, and the tears of joy in the mothers as I handed needed foodstuffs for their family. Each time we leave from KL, our small Kelissa is packed tight with goods given with love by my many friends. Seeing this, some in Karak say they are praying that God will give us a bigger car to bring more things and bless the people. God knows!
Each visit has led us to many non-believers who welcome us warmly. We have heard many amazing testimonies that bear witness to our wonderful and loving Jesus. One day, just as we were about to return from Bentong to KL, we were taken to visit a mother and her daughter. The mother, Muniyamah, related that when she was young, she had slipped and skidded down a slope. As she slid down the slope, the wet laterite mud had gone into both her ears. She had gone to the estate clinic and was given some medicine to clean the ears. It did not help much and with the daily chores and life’s burdens, life went on with occasional ear-ache. Over the years, she slowly lost her hearing. Life was tough and lonely and for eighteen years she had lived in a silent world. One day, her grown-up daughter accepted Christ. The mother came to know about Jesus but did not commit herself to accept Him. One afternoon, while waiting for her grand-daughter to return from school, she had fallen asleep. She did not hear the heavy rain nor the voice of her grand-daughter calling for nearly two hours from the gate. Her Chinese neighbour had to throw stones into the house to hit her and wake her up. She found her grand-daughter wet and shivering. Even after she had bathed and fed her, the shivering did not cease. She cried bitterly to Jesus about the consequence of her deaf problem on the child, and won’t He please heal her. That night, while she was sleeping, she felt a hand stroking her ears gently and calling her name. She awoke with a start and saw Jesus in the form of a Good Shepherd with one lamb in His arms and one lamb on His shoulder, calling her name. It was an awesome moment, and He then vanished. In the stillness of the night she then fell asleep. The next morning she woke up to hear her grand-daughter saying good-bye as she left for school. She signalled the girl to repeat it. She could hear! She remembered how Jesus had come as a Good Shepherd and healed her. She said, “I am a poor lady in the estate, ignored by people, but Jesus came to me, touched my ears and healed me, how great is His love for me.” She is so vibrant for the Lord now. As I prayed for her, the Lord reminded me to give her some money which I had kept to give someone, and to give her daughter a nice blouse which I had brought with many other clothes to give away, but which had strangely been left behind. I saw such joy on their faces as they praised God for who He is.
Another miracle happened to a lady who was a clerical staff in the estate office. She is a faithful Christian and a person of high calibre. Because of her Christian faith and disciplined life, she faced many difficulties from the staff and management. One of her managers who opposed her suddenly became friendlier. One day, she had to leave the office earlier for some personal matters. It was then 3pm. When she asked permission, the manager said it was okay, just sign off as leaving at the usual 5pm. In her hurry and without thinking, she signed off as 5pm and as she rose from her chair, she heard a loud voice calling her name, “……, don’t do it.!” She knew it was God and was shaken. She realized that her action would have affected her Christian testimony. She then cancelled it, signed off as 3pm and went to see the Manager. She said that when he saw what she had written, his face turned dark and evil. She said, “I saw the devil’s face.” The Lord protected her testimony in the midst of those who would have wanted to smear it. It is a lesson for us all – to be people of integrity for we worship a righteous God.
God wants to do great things and miracles in the estate will continue …………….