Today I went to Chow Kit, the well-known red light district of Kuala Lumpur, with a few new friends from Community Baptist Church.
We gathered together and had a time of prayer before going out into the streets to speak with people.
These friends of mine go to Chow Kit for ministry every week on Thursdays, so they knew a few 'regulars' around the area. Many of them are drug addicts, or used to be. There were also many women who sold their bodies for money.
We met a man sitting on the sidewalk who was from Kuching, Sarawak. He is a Muslim, but he hasn't been going to any mosques for a long long time. He is homeless, but he appears to be well-educated and spoke perfect English. He looks clean and well-dressed.
We start talking to him about Jesus Christ, and I thought he was going to tell us to leave, but instead, he listens very carefully and patiently to what Uncle Gabriel says. He tells us that he has read the Bible before, and he knows about Jesus Christ. Not only that, he has also read about Buddhism. He said that he used to be a devout Muslim, praying 5 times a day. But his life has been filled with difficulty, and at one point he just got fed up and stopped praying. Stopped believing.
But to me, he hasn't truly stopped believing. He agreed that us and everything around us was created by God, it can't be anything else. So what I think is that he stopped praying because what he believed in couldn't give him an answer as to why his life has turned out this way. Which was why he would even pick up a Bible to read, and search Buddhism as well. He is searching for something. He is longing for something. He himself said that he is not asking for riches, he is not asking for a perfect life, he is not even asking for a roof over his head. But what he is searching for is peace. A peace which he has not found as yet.
He told us that he has tried to go to a particular church a few times, but was not allowed to enter because he was a Muslim. I don't know what were the reasons the people from that church decided not to allow him to enter - it might have been they were afraid of breaking the law, or they might have just thought he was a homeless man who wanted money from them. But whatever their reasons were, I don't think they did the right thing. And this is where Uncle Gabriel says "They are not acting like true Christians". Because true Christians can be recognised by their 'kasih sayang'. Their love.
And it hit me, that though I was among a group of people who were generally despised and avoided at all costs, this was where I wanted to be. I loved them. I don't think it would have been possible for me to be able to love these people who were worlds different from us if I didn't have the love of Jesus Christ in my heart. He took the scales off from my eyes and showed me past the physical state of them, past their dirtiness, their poverty, and showed me that they were exactly the same as me - beloved children of God. Though they have wandered off their paths and ended up where they are now, God still loves them as much as the day they were born. And so should we, as people who call ourselves followers of Christ.
The past few months in my life have taught me so many things, but there is one thing that I can be certain of, especially after today. That I see no point whatsoever in a life where I have everything I need and to keep pursuing for more than what I need, without helping anyone else. To me, that is a very meaningless life and a very sad one.
We are all human beings. The Lord has blessed some of us with a lot, and others with much less. Why can't we stop being so selfish and live only on what we truly need? Why waste our efforts on hoarding more and more riches while a fellow human being is sleeping on the street, hungry? Why is there so much pressure on getting that 'perfect' job and sticking at it even if you're unhappy? I find what I did tonight so much more fulfilling than a life like that.