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Promises Kept in Malaysia

After years of waiting, relocated villagers in East Malaysia have a completed place to worship.

Finally, after years of waiting, the villagers of  “Bengoh Dam Resettlement Scheme” have a place to worship!

Why is the area called “Dam Resettlement Scheme?” Because four indigenous villages were displaced to make way for a new hydroelectric dam in Sarawak, East Malaysia. They were moved to a new development, built by the contractor constructing the dam, which was given the descriptive name Bengoh Dam Resettlement Scheme.

Unlike the villages now flooded by the dam, this new settlement offers electricity and water. It is also closer to a town that offers better education for the villagers’ children. Even so, losing ancestral lands to the dam project has not been easy. Nor was it easy for Christians in these villages to lose their local village churches.

All Saints Church, Eastern Malaysia

All Saint’s Church at Bengoh Dam Resettlement Scheme was built as part of the developer’s social responsibility to help the relocated villagers adjust to their new home. The building’s structure was completed, but money ran out for any furnishings or concrete paving outside of the building.

With an ARDF grant, the interior of the church is now complete! By helping to place the finishing touches on this building, ARDF donors have created a place where displaced villagers can be welcomed and where they can grow in their faith and as a new community.

Coming out of Malaysia, this is great news! Last week, the Most Rev. Moon Hing Ng, the Archbishop of Southeast Asia, gave a report to the ARDF Global Trustees. He highlighted the tensions in South East Asia due to the Islamization of the region. In Malaysia, the law is rarely on the side of minority Christians. “Ridiculous things are happening!” he commented.

Villagers worship in the newly completed church. All that remains is to pave parking lot to allow access during the heavy rainy season.

Malaysia is a strategic partner for ARDF. In fact, the ARDF Global Trustees recently approved another project in Malaysia. Stay tuned for more information on how you can continue to bring Christ to the indigenous population of Malaysia!

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