SHINING SUNBEAM (PART 2)
By Asian Beacon
In part one of Shining Sunbeam, Pastor Alvin shares how God called him into this ministry, and how God has generously provided for him and his staff. In part two we continue the testimony where God provided the funds for him to pay his staff.
“There where I stood, I picked up the phone beside me and called another pastor. I said to the pastor, you really have to pray for us. I really don’t have money to pay the salary of my staffs’. When I put down the phone, the normal postman came to deliver the mail; there was a letter for me and when I opened the letter there was a cheque enough to pay for everything,” pastor Alvin said and referring to these many miracles in which God provided for them.
He testifies at other times of testing come like these, God would always send someone to come and pay for whatever they lacked.
“Even our electric bills are covered by God’s divine provision. Quite recently we did not have funds to pay rental. But God is good. After some prayer, a Good Samaritan came and paid the rental that we owned for three months. Of course, it isn’t smooth sailing. Sometimes we owe our staffs one- or two-months’ salary due to financial constraints. But our staffs are very understanding. They are even willing to let us deduct 20% of their salary to maintain the place,” Pastor Alvin said.
But hard times do not deter him or the staffs to stop serving.
While God provides for the financial part of Sunbeam, but thanks is also due to the hard working and dedicated staffs that the children who enter Sunbeam become contributing members of society in the end.
This is through Sunbeam’s Community Learning Centre.
“When the children come to us, they are very backward in their study. Coming from broken homes and an environment where their parents are always quarrelling, etcetera, these children lack the will to study. So, when they are going to school, they cannot keep up their schoolwork and thus give a lot of problems to the teachers and they are also low achievers. So, to their caregivers, what is the purpose of continuing sending them to school! This type of children need help. They need personal tutoring to get them back into the normal routine. This was God’s calling for me in this area. Teachers would call in about the children’s poor results. I was very upset. One day, I heard a voice, telling me to start a home schooling, so, in obedience to God, I started the community learning centre. We had small classes to coach the children until they were ready to sit for their exam. And through the years at least four or five of them obtained good results, and got sponsored to colleges on scholarships,” Pastor Alvin testified.
“At present there are four children of Sunbeam in Sunway College. Two in Inti College, two in TAR College and two or three in USCSI. Some have already graduated and are working in all sorts of professional fields. There was one who graduated some years ago. He is now in mass communication doing very well in remote music, and he is teaching music. And he wants to set his own school here. Another recently graduated in business and investment. There was one child who came out and became a charted accountant. So, I believe that this type of children has the potential, but only need someone to care for them and to encourage them,” the pastor said.
He added that he does not believe in forcing students to work hard to get good grades. Instead he helps that find out in whatever they are good at.
“Not all can do well in their studies. Like one of them. He told me he doesn’t like to study. I asked him what he like to do. He said that he like to meddle with engines. So, I got in touch with some the nearby workshop, and introduce him there and at the same time send him for training. Today he is doing well. Another of our boys also didn’t like to study. So, I send him to a friend in air-conditioning and electrical industry for on the job training. Now, he is doing very well too. I connect children to jobs they like. I don’t force them to go into fields they don’t like to take. We help them and bring them to the right channels. It is important that these children have something that they aspire to become. All of them came from broken homes. If we leave them alone, the girls may end up being involved in prostitution or become massage parlour girls or both and the guys easily become involved in drugs, and in selling pirated VCDs,” Pastor Alvin explained.
“So, the task of Sunbeam home is to protect them. To help them give back to society, to become contributors to society. These children have the ability. It’s only how we help them. Most of the children are good in music. We help them form their own band. Many of them are serving in church and in the church worship team. I have sent some students to Brogar Music Academy in Indonesia which is linked to Hillsong. It cost some money, but by the grace of God we got the money for them to go there,” he testified.
He added that when people see that Sunbeam is genuine and is really helping others, many will want to contribute. But Pastor Alvin does not take their money upfront. Instead he tells them to come and see Sunbeam for themselves before donating.
“First thing is to find out for yourself first. Donors are welcomed to come and see where their money is going. Every month we need 140k. The biggest amount goes to is home-schooling. Teachers here don’t’ come cheap. We cannot get volunteers to teach at such a level, so we are willing to pay them according to the normal rate outside. That’s why our children can do so well,” the pastor explained.
He also added that there people who give huge donations in terms of food stuff.
“Sometimes we have more than enough food. So, we give away whatever extra. We give to the poor and needy. Even poor Malay couples are given basic provisions like rice, cooking oil and so on. But most of the extra food we give to the Orang Asli. We passed them to Pastor Moses who is involved in the ministry. Some Orang Asli children are also send here to our school. One of them did very well and scored eight A’s in SPM. That particular student is doing engineering in Sunway now. So everything here is from goodwill and goes to help the children,” the pastor added.
Pastor Alvin’s story has been compiled and written in a book entitled the Lost Boys.
He also plans to have another book written.
“After the new year I am going to write another book. It will cover the miracles he experienced in the ministry for 24 years. To me it’s God giving these miracles to do this type of ministry that I am running and therefore all glory goes to him,” Pastor Alvin concluded.