SMAGOW is the name of our annual church family camp. It is a time when our congregations go away for three days and two nights for teaching, seminars, games, fellowship and food.
SMAGOW 2020 postponed until further notice
Please read the letter from the SMAGOW Organizing Committee below
Dear brothers and sisters,
It is with great sadness that I must inform you that due to concerns over the spread of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) and in view of the Ministry of Health’s recommendation of the cancellation of all mass gatherings, the Pastoral team has come to the difficult decision that SMAGOW 2020, which was scheduled for 1-3 May 2020, will be postponed until further notice.
The Pastoral Team is monitoring the situation very closely, and in due time will announce whether this will be a total cancelation or a postponement to a time later this year. Once a final decision has been made, we will share more details and, if necessary, arrange for the refunding of all SMAGOW registration fees. If you would prefer a refund immediately, you may request it by emailing smagow [at] stmaryscathedral.org.my. Please provide details of your registration, your original bank-in slip or receipt, and the details of which bank account you would like the refund to be made into. Latest updates will be posted on this page.
In the meantime, please continue to pray for wisdom for the Pastoral team, for the Lord’s mercy and protection, and for God’s will to be done in these rapidly evolving circumstances. Please also pray that the Lord may comfort the organizing team, who have put so much work into organizing SMAGOW and for all who will experiencing the inevitable disappointment of the news of this postponement.
We know that we serve a God who is sovereign over all the changing circumstances of this world. And we know that he is a God who is able and willing to bring good out of even the darkest of situations.
When Peter preached at Pentecost he declared:
23this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. 24God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it. (Acts 2:23-24)
In these verses we see God’s total sovereignty. Though the cross was a great evil and injustice, even so it was the definite plan of a loving God who desired the salvation of the world. Similarly, we trust that all the disruptive and distressing events of the present are in the hands of the loving God in whose book is written every day ordained for us before it comes to be (Psalm 139:16).
We also see in Peter’s preaching the glorious reality of the resurrection of Christ. God raised Jesus from the death to be Lord and Christ, providing us with the wonderful assurance that the evil and suffering of this fallen world are not the end of the story. Even now, he sits on the throne of heaven. We look forward to the day when Jesus returns and all who trust in Christ are raised to enter a whole new creation where “death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4)
Our camp theme this year was to be “Living by Faith”. Although we had desired to learn how to live a life of trusting dependence on Christ as a church family together in the comforts of Bayview Melaka, in God’s sovereignty and goodness he has deemed it better for us to learn this life of faith experientially in the tumultuous circumstances of the present. The writer to the Hebrews reminds us that “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). He encourages us, like the fathers of faith before us, to look past our present circumstances to the “better country” that is to come, heaven itself (Hebrews 11:16).
Thus, despite all that is happening let us continue “looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God”. (Hebrews 12:2). Let us not be weary or fainthearted or give way to fear or anxiety. Rather, may God use this time to strengthen our faith in him, that we may indeed live by faith and not by sight.
Please be assured of my prayers for us all and that I, and the rest of the Pastoral team are ready to hear and to help in whatever ways we can in the days ahead. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need our help or have specific prayer needs.
Your brother in Christ,
(On behalf of the SMAGOW Organizing Committee)