Opening Doors in Malaysia
Posted by on November 26, 2018
The global RZIM team is no stranger to Malaysia. For many years, Ravi Zacharias and members of the RZIM team have hosted conferences, spoken at churches, and held training events in cities across the country. But this year marks two significant opportunities there: RZIM’s first OCCA Fellow based in Malaysia, and an incredible opening up of the cultural atmosphere.
Four years ago, Sum Keong Wong, a native of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s bustling capital city, graduated from the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics in the UK and returned to his hometown. Having responded to God’s call to leave his medical practice in 2013, where he worked as an OB/GYN for 23 years, Sum Keong entered a career in ministry and became a pastor at his home church where he has served for several years. Sum Keong elaborated on how the Lord has called him to a new season:
“The Lord revealed to me that my season of pastoring in my local church was coming to an end. From that point onwards, He has created opportunities for me to link up with business people at the workplace and with college Christian fellowships so as to engage with them, using apologetics in talks and conversations.”
Sum Keong himself encountered Jesus in his college years: “I came from a Taoist-Buddhist background and became a Christian just as I turned 20, being totally convinced that Jesus is the only way, after being exposed to different religious affiliations in a multi-cultural society.” His passion now is to share the transforming story of Jesus, particularly amongst students and business people. With great connections through his local church, and the ongoing support of long-time ministry partners across Malaysia, Sum Keong joined the RZIM team as an OCCA Fellow based in Kuala Lumpur in the summer of 2018.
Almost simultaneously, Malaysia has been undergoing significant changes. A long-standing government, mired in controversy, was democratically replaced through incredible grassroots mobilization, where every single vote mattered. On the night of the election, the entire country was on the edge of its seat. In the wake of this dramatic reversal of political fortunes, many people in Malaysia are awakening to a very different world.
Prayer will play a vital role in this transition, especially as the Christians of Malaysia step into this new climate of questioning and opportunity. Sum Keong highlights the “great need to pray for unity among church leaders, especially across denominational lines… for a greater willingness to work together towards building God’s kingdom in Malaysia.” In addition, there is a need for greater boldness amongst Christian professionals, who may have grown accustomed to religion being a taboo subject with their diverse colleagues. And finally, pray particularly for the young generation, under constant pressure to give up the spiritual for the secular, and for the people of East Malaysia, a former Christian majority, who have recently endured great religious pressure. “Ask the Lord to heighten our awareness as disciples and witnesses of Christ, and to be bold in wanting to share the gospel whenever the opportunity arises,” Sum Keong requests.
May God continue to open doors in Malaysia, and bless her people through the ministry of all who boldly follow him there.
Sum Keong Wong is currently an OCCA Fellow with RZIM, based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He and his wife, Jin Iy, have four adult children.