DT : daren & tiff

November 6, 2006

AYA Awards Night with Kenneth & Sandra Chin

Filed under: Christian, DEETEE, Events, Frens — delephant @ 7:21 pm

This is a wonderful testimony and article on Kenneth’s Dream Malaysia.  Go Kenneth … Go Sandra 🙂 Awesome work u guys are doing!

This article was published in yesterday’s NST. Check it out! 🙂

AYA Dream Malaysia Awards 2006: Making their dreams come true

05 Nov 2006
Wilson Henry 

He always believed excellence should be recognised and rewarded, and that sometimes all it takes is a spark for great things to happen. WILSON HENRY talks to a man who practises what he preaches.

Kenneth & Sandra ChinSOMETIMES you need showbiz even in outreach work. No one understands this better than Kenneth Chin, the son of the late showbiz impresario, Mike Bernie.

Flash and dash goes a long way when you want to reach out to the youth, to spread a message and values.

And Kenneth, from the Asian Youth Ambassadors, has tried it and it has brought promising results.

The highlight for Kenneth, after years of working with youths, is the AYA awards known as the AYA Dream Malaysia Most Outstanding Award. This award, which started last year, is to recognise Malaysian youth, know their dreams and listen to their stories.

“It is amazing what the youth can do,” said Kenneth. “We wanted the ordinary youth to share their dreams, hopes and struggles, and we wanted to reward them to help realise their dreams.

“We as their parents, friends and teachers should encourage them. I know that I got my biggest support from my dad and that meant a lot to me when I was out there working with the youth.

“I always feel that sometimes we need to take the effort to understand our youth. They too can be world class with their achievements.”

Not many youth have a sense of confidence or a sense of having a dream, says Kenneth. “We always hear of young people in the US (and elsewhere) doing great things, like inventing new gadgets. What about our youth? We need to motivate them. To make them dream and help make their dreams come true.”

The response to the AYA awards has been tremendous, says Kenneth, and it has drawn nominations from varied backgrounds, races and experiences.

“I have always believed in what youths can do.”

Kenneth, 36, became interested in working with the youth in 1995. He recollects how it all began in his house in Ampang.

“At that time, I wanted to do missionary work, to preach the good news. But the more I thought about it, I wanted to work with youths. They are the biggest tribe in the world.”

Kenneth roped in his wife, Sandra Chin, and another friend to work on his dream.

Three people and three guitar chords were all it took for Kenneth to start Asian Youth Ambassadors. That was in 1995. AYA and Kenneth have come a long way. There are over 350 members and 70 per cent are young people below the age of 30.

In evangelical circles, AYA is a known and hip Christian youth ministry that has its own church, media outreach and offbeat magazine.

AYA is different since the main emphasis is on the youth. Observers have commented that AYA’s success is largely due to Kenneth’s presence as pastor and friend.

“It is not enough to start a youth ministry, throw in some computers and provide a place. The youth won’t come. They want your time.

“If you can give them your time, they will come and you can start your youth centre wherever you are.”

Parents and community groups are impressed with the way Kenneth, who trained as a lawyer, works with the youth when he conducts sessions for youth.

“I always tell adults to have faith in the youth, to encourage them to do things for themselves. You will be surprised how the youth can work when you entrust them with responsibility.”

For Kenneth, his early life has been a painful experience and it hastened his maturity.

“The family was broken. My father was divorced twice. I lived with my grandmother and I saw my sister commit suicide. Seeing how shattered my father was, I learnt to see life.”

The experience of losing his sister, Lynette, is still a painful chapter.

“She was not just my sister, but my closest friend since my father was busy with artiste management, bands and roadshows.”

Today, whenever he works with the youth, he always insists that parents and children keep their lines of communication open.

“The life I lived had all the glamour. I remember Sudirman once telling me that if anything happened to my father, he would take care of me. J.J. from Carefree used to sleep in the room next to mine in our house. I used to accompany all these artistes on their roadshows. It was really thrilling.

“After my sister’s suicide, I remember my father always advising parents to talk to their children.

“The work I do today is an inspiration from my father.”

The colourful life of Mike Bernie is the stuff that you read of in books or see in films, and he is often remembered for his much used quote: “When you do something, do it well and do it with care.”

Kenneth takes this to heart. “I know that when I do something I will always do it with care. You can’t go wrong.”

Kenneth’s unusual way of reaching out to the youth might seem offbeat but he gets the message across.

“When the youth don’t want to come to church, you can meet them in a cafe and still share a message. It is how you choose to do it.”

Kenneth has a chill out cafe in Subang Jaya that caters to college students.

“I am worried that sometimes the youth may chill out in the wrong places. Here at my cafe, all they need to do is pay RM1 and they can have a drink, have some food and just relax as if it it is their home.”

Kenneth has produced a free magazine for youths called D2Y2 with a tagline that reads “don’t despise yourself”.

“Youths need to be reminded that they have a gift and that they can make the world a better place.”

For Kenneth and Sandra, it’s a full-time job, working long hours in the ministry and doing outreach work.

But they try to take time off on Mondays and it is spent on “catching up with chores”. “Life is fulfilling and we feel blessed to do this,” says Sandra.

News Source : NST

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