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Project is True Ray of Hope in Malaysia

Sunday 6th May 2007

A church project in Malaysia has been described as 'the work of the Gospel' by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams. Dr Williams was visiting the 'Ray of Hope' centre run by two Anglican churches in Malaysia around a hundred miles south of Kuala Lumpur on Sunday 6th May, 2007.

At the centre children, from a few months old into their teens, with severe learning difficulties, are given education and care to enable their families to help them make the most of their capabilities. As well as social skills, the youngsters at the centre are helped in skills for life and employment.

The Ray of Hope Centre is an outreach project of St Peter's Church and St Augustine's church. The project's chairman, Datin Mary Yeoh both welcomed Dr Williams and briefed him on the work of the centre. Also present was the Rt Revd Ng Moon Hing, the new Bishop of West Malaysia, consecrated the day before, who was fulfilling his first engagement as bishop of the diocese. Bishop Hing served in the parish before his consecration and remains closely in touch with the project.

Following a Eucharist in the centre's chapel, Dr Williams toured the facilities, which include a computer room and a room laid out as a café in order to help children acquire skills for use in the work environment. The visitors were briefed about the work of the project and its plans for expansion as well as the challenges faced in meeting the needs of children with difficulties and their parents.

Dr Williams joined the youngsters for singing and games and the guests were then served coffee in the centre's 'café'.

"It's an absolutely wonderful project," said Dr Williams, " and this is exactly what preaching the Gospel can mean when Christians are given real inspiration and make things happen. When a church looks to serve those around them and helps to give them what they need, then they are showing the love of Christ and making Him visible in the world. This is a true 'Ray of Hope' and there are many examples of this in Malaysia."

Dr Williams' visit to South East Asia continues.

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