Sibu, Sarawak, East Malaysia, 1 - 5 April 1997
It was Pastor Ong of Asian Outreach who first pursued the vision of a Pan-Borneo gathering of this kind and he presented a compelling challenge based on the motto of D.L. Moody that this task Can be Done, Should Be Done, Must Be Done: a church for every people and the gospel for every person of Borneo by the year AD2000.
Over 1000 people have already arrived at the Prayer Mountain venue in Sibu, Sarawak, East Malaysia for the first-of-its-kind gathering of pastors, evangelists and church leaders from the three nations found on this, the world's third largest island, joined by visitors and speakers from other parts of Malaysia, Indonesia, the region and the world.
The Prayer Mountain facility is hosting this event with some of the key structures just finishing construction literally within hours of the arrival of the first delegates.
The opening ceremonies included some encouraging words from the Assistant Minister of Agricultural for Sarawak, Datuk Ramsay Jitam, a fellow believer in local government. As a member of the Iban indigenous tribe, he made a special challenge to the Iban delegates, representing the largest tribal group in East Malaysia; given their history as head hunters, they have inherited the curse of past sins and now need to rise up with the gospel and evangelise their people who remain relatively unreached among many other smaller, more responsive tribes. This was followed by a warm welcome from the Prayer Mountain host, Pastor Samuel Hoan senior pastor of Sarawak Full Gospel Church. Pastor Hoan said this entire facility has been erected for the purpose of prayer. When Asian Outreach first spoke with him about using the place for the historic conference, they decided to build the large dormitory to house several hundred more delegates. Only yesterday the government was still installing the electricity on the main dormitory. He is just now recovering from a recent emergency kidney transplant operation.
The Prayer Mountain staff have shown tremendous sacrifice and competence already in providing good food for everyone, on time, a warm spirit of welcome and readiness to serve.
The first evening session was opened with extended worship lead by Kuching-based worship team followed by song performed from a Sabah Bible school graduating class providing a visual appeal to the Holy Spirit to have his way with those of us gathered together for the week.
Each night during the conference a team of intercessors is guided through prayer for the various needs of the event from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. This is to support the conference with the necessary protection, guidance and anointing of the Holy Spirit throughout.
The delegates' groups stood up to be recognized from various provinces/states, including a handful from Brunei, circa 50 from Kalimantan Indonesia, circa four hundred from Sabah and well over four hundred from Sarawak. A good number of visitors came also from West Malaysia, and guest speakers represent Malaysia itself, Indonesia, Norway, Australia, the U.S and other nations.
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