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MALAYSIA: New Worship Facility Serves the Displaced

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Project Overview

Anticipated lived impacted: 450 (existing church members and new believers attending church for the first time)

Grant amount: $73,715 (Cost per beneficiary: $163.38)

How can you contribute?
For $765, you can buy one of the 28 pews being installed. For $1,190, you can purchase the pulpit and dais for All Saint’s Church. For $9,523, you can provide All Saint’s Church with a bell and bell tower.

Approved by the ARDF Global Trustees: November 2016

Project Description

In 2005, indigenous villagers of Sarawak (East Malaysia) were displaced to pave the way for construction of a dam. This group of Christians was promised a new home with new churches. And, indeed, the developer built a church building. All Saint’s Church in the Diocese of Kuching was built as part of the Bengoh Dam Resettlement Scheme, which became home to people relocated from four villages: SembanTeleg, Rejoi, Taba Sait, and Pain Bojong.

However, there was not enough money to complete the church. Years later, the villagers are still waiting for the building that they were promised. The building lacks necessary furnishings, including pews! During the region’s heavy rains, the lack of a paved area means churchgoers are mired in mud. In this predominantly Muslim country, it is important to support Christians in their efforts to worship, especially in areas where the government has actually allowed a church to be built. This project will complete the interior of the church and pave a parking lot. Community members will help support the church and provide maintenance of the building through their tithes and offerings, as well as other fundraising initiatives. Those who are unable to give financially will be able to volunteer their time for the upkeep of the building.

In addition to ARDF funds, the diocese will raise an additional $77,000 to complete the building. Like all ARDF projects, this effort has community support that will keep the project sustainable after the work is completed.

In their own words:

“In July 2005, the four villages of Semban Teleg, Rejoi village, Taba Sait village and Pain Bojong village were affected by a huge dam project that necessitated resettlement elsewhere. The company that built the dam, Naim Cendera Private Limited, built a big church and a priest’s quarter. It is named All Saint’s Church, Bengoh Dam Resettlement Scheme, where we worship and give thanks to the Lord Almighty for all the good things that we have received, and to Lord Jesus Christ who has always been on our side.” — Peter Swen Awan, 57, and a lay reader at All Saint’s Church, Bengoh Dam Resettlement Scheme

Read the full report on the project here, or download a summary here.

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