We thank God for His grace and vision which He gave to the Methodist Church Bishop Dr Ong Hwai Teik to convert an empty school building in historical Sitiawan into a technical and vocational education and training (TVET) centre, called Hope Methodist Vocational Centre (HMVC). The vision was to provide living skills so as to empower the poor and less academically-inclined Malaysians, especially those from ethnic groups that have high incidences of school dropouts, to succeed in the market place, perhaps even to be future entrepreneurs.
By God’s grace, it took 2 1⁄2 years of tireless planning and preparation by the Board of Governors (Board) to build the infrastructure and HMVC began its first course, Air-conditioning & Refrigeration, in April 2018 with 9 pioneer students. We thank God that the students had completed 4 months of theoretical and practical lessons in classrooms and workshops at HMVC. Besides studies, the students also had great fun participating in team-building sessions, playing indoor and outdoor games, completing daily basic cleaning duties, acquiring communication skills in English and learning godly and Christian principles. The students also had a 3-month intensive apprenticeship at a renowned Ipoh air-conditioning & refrigeration firm. We thank God that these students have now successfully completed their course and are ready to go into the job market.
On 26th October, a Thanksgiving and Dedication Service cum Graduation Ceremony was held at HMVC with guest of honour, Bishop Dr Ong Hwai Teik. Many local Manjung District Methodist church pastors and leaders, friends, parents, Board members, Methodist Council of Education staff, graduates and staff of HMVC were invited to the celebrations.
The Board chairman, Lt Col (B) Leong Pook Seong gave an inspiring speech thanking God for His provisions and answered prayers. He thanked Methodist Church and Bishop for their moral, spiritual and financial support. He was grateful for the unity of the Board members, HMVC teaching and administrative staff, local TRAC, TAC and CAC church pastors and leaders for their contributions and involvement in making HMVC a success.
YB Dato Ngeh Koo Ham, representing the Perak state government, presented a mock cheque of RM20,000 as a donation to HMVC.
The Thanksgiving and Dedication service was conducted by Bishop Dr Ong Hwai Teik ably assisted by Rev Joshua Chia, Mr Khor Hong Yin, Rev Victor Leong, Mr Ding Poi Kooi and Lt Col (B) Leong Pook Seong. The worship service was conducted by the Bahasa Malaysia Ministry of Wesley Methodist Church, Sitiawan led by Mr Edward Lee.
Bishop Dr Ong Hwai Teik delivered a sermon based on Matthew 15:21-28 concerning “Lord help me and God’s lost sheep” and ended with God’s assurance on giving us all a future and a hope based on Jeremiah 29:11.
The Thanksgiving and Dedication Service ended with Bishop Dr Ong Hwai Teik unveiling the commemorative plaque at HMVC workshop hostel block.
The Graduation Ceremony commenced with an opening speech by HMVC vice-principal, Mr Michael Loh Seng Poh, congratulating all students who were graduating and thanked those present especially instructor/ trainer cum warden, Mr Liew Kam Yoong and English teacher, Ms Uthaya for their support and dedication. Three graduates, Simon Kor, Yusnan, and Bah Lick, shared their testimonies on what they had learned and achieved and thanked God for giving them this chance of a lifetime.
Bishop Dr Ong Hwai Teik presented the HMVC graduates with their hard-earned HMVC graduation certificates and Industrial Training certificates. Mr Simon Leong, managing director of the Ipoh air-conditioning & refrigeration firm, Zone Air (M) Sdn Bhd, gave the graduates the assurance that he would offer job opportunities to them as they had achieved excellent grades and had a great desire to learn.
Besides receiving their respective graduation certificates, each graduate was also given a HMVC Graduation Declaration and Accountability Prayer Card to always meditate on. They were asked to be responsible and committed to life-long learning in their technical skills, be matured God-fearing persons that contribute back to society and nation building. They are to develop godly virtues with integrity, pray and depend everything on God Almighty, be grateful for the training received and always be thankful to God.
The graduation celebration had left behind an important message to the new batch of students and that is they must work hard, strive for excellence, never give up and continue to pray and seek God’s wisdom and direction in order to attain life-long success.
Compiled & Submitted by:
Khor Hong Yin
Methodist Council of Education