Saturday, 6 July 2013

St Peter's Ipoh, House Blessing

I arrived at Ipoh station to be met by the Vicar of St Peter's, the Revd Frank Lin.  Frank's passion and zeal for Jesus is immediately evident.  He's spent much of his life in in Ipoh, and before being appointed to St Peter's three years ago, served for twelve years as the Vicar of St Michael's in Ipoh.  

Whereas the congregation at St Barnabas Church in Klang is predominately made up of Indian's, St Peter's Church is largely made up of Chinese.  They have services in English, Cantonese, Mandarin and Bahasa Malaysia (Malay).  

In the evening after supper, I joined Frank and his wife Su-Lin for a house blessing.  It was very different the house blessing I had expeirenced whilst in Klang.  Firstly it was a lot more informal - whereas Viji had worn robes, Frank was in a normal shirt, and for sprinkling the house with water he used a bowl from the kitchen.  In Klang I was able to follow the service because it was in English, but the house blessing in Ipoh was in Cantonese (Frank speaks five languages, and has no difficulty switching between them).  They began with a time of very charismatic worship, and then used a short service of house blessing which I was informed was taken from the Alternative Service Book (ASB), with a reading from Psalm 91.  We then proceeded to pray in each room of the house, with Frank getting members of the church who had gathered for the house blessing to pray in the various rooms.  As we moved from room to room there would be more singing.  After the house blessing was completed, some Chinese soup and cakes were served.  

The house blessing was a less formal affair in Ipoh, with fewer people present, but it was none the less a very powerful service.  

This house blessing was for a family who had moved into a new home.  But Frank told me that because traditionally non Christian Chinese people have shrines in their homes, he is often called upon to cleanse houses once people become Christians. Deliverance ministry is clearly an important aspect of Frank's ministry, particularly amongst those who are new to the Christian faith. 

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