A DECADE GUIDED BY HIS HAND

Dr Ng Ooi Leng

In 2014, a decade ago, I became involved with the ElShaddai Centre, having been invited by Andrew, the founder. This marked the beginning of a journey that would shape ElShaddai Centre in significant ways. Three key initiatives emerged in that year. Firstly, we conducted frequent mobile medical clinics, taking simple outpatient healthcare services to various communities for two other reasons, to foster relationships with community leaders and to study community demographics and conditions. These included the Somali and Sudanese population in Gombak, the Myanmar Muslims in the Selayang wholesale market, the Rohingya community in Tasik Permai and others. I would like to expressed our heartfelt appreciation to volunteer doctors, nurses and others in the ElShaddai Healthcare for Refugees (EH4R) team and especially to Apex Healthcare who supported us with medicines till today

Secondly, we assumed a pivotal role in organizing the inaugural National Diaspora Symposium scheduled for Sept 2015. The main objective of this symposium and subsequent ones bi-annually is to encourage local churches to come forward and engage with the diverse diaspora population at our door steps.

Thirdly, recognizing the need for a framework to enhance our conversations with churches, we outlined and adopted the ethos of ElShaddai. This framework, comprising five essential components, served as a guiding philosophy, ensuring coherence and
effectiveness in outreach efforts. Briefly summarized, the five components are:

  1. Partnership over Ownership;
  2. Catalyse Movement not Build Monument;
  3. Organic System not Corporate or Institutional;
  4. Flat Leadership Structure Not Hierarchical;
  5. Value Passion and Talents over Positions or Titles.

Four years later, in 2018, the scripture Matthew 5:13-14 resonated with newfound significance and revelations. “You are the salt of the world” inspired a deeper commitment to engage with diaspora communities and to delve beyond surface interactions. The focus
shifted from conducting mobile clinics to establishing learning centres in diverse communities, addressing the fundamental needs of both children and parents.

Recognizing that empowerment and transformation demand sustained presence, embedding ourselves within these communities became crucial.

The injunction, "You are the light of the world, a city on a hill," served as a catalyst for shaping ElShaddai Centre, the organization,

around four key characteristics:

  1. A community of called out people;
  2. A corporate witness;
  3. A conducive ecosystem.
  4. A culture of effective partnerships;

Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic years of 2020-2022, ElShaddai Centre, already firmly established in Christ, remained agile and adaptable, swiftly navigating obstacles to further engage with marginalized diaspora communities. Through
strategic partnerships with churches and other NGOs, we mobilized resources to distribute aid, established shelters to protect children at risk and single mothers, stepped up on social emotional support. Emerging from the pandemic, new centres were established in  previously untouched areas, beyond the Klang Valley, to regions across Malaysia, including the distant state of Sabah in East Malaysia. The pandemic crisis presented unprecedented opportunities to share our love to those most in need. And established partner churches nationwide answered the timely call to respond according to our faith.

Looking ahead, we anticipate breakthroughs in two significant frontiers:

  1. Relationship reconciliation and holistic healing, encompassing spiritual, physical, emotional, and social dimensions;
  2. Advocacy frontiers, marked by a stronger voice and increased momentum for diaspora communities, both locally and globally.

In reflection, the past decade has been marked by remarkable progress and significant milestones, demonstrating the enduring impact of our collective efforts in bringing positive change. As we look ahead, in awe of God’s amazing love and grace, may we
become an inspiration for a new generation to be committed to advancing the mission and driving further impact in the years to come

1 John 4:18 - "There is no fear in love; but perfect love cast out fear." And so FEAR NOT, but persevere in perfecting our love for God, for one another and for those most forsaken.

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