In the Malay language, the word “Kawan” simply means friends. We’ve had the privilege of serving at the Kawan Drop-in Center on the island of Penang, Malaysia this month. Open three days a week, approximately 80 to 100 people enter through Kawan’s doors each day. Not only do they serve breakfast and lunch, Kawan also provides showers, a clothes closet, and an area for people to sleep. The sleeping area is quite popular, because It’s actually illegal to sleep on the streets in Malaysia.
The staff at Kawan continue to amaze me. Folks, this is no ordinary soup kitchen. Kawan stays true to their name in its goal to be a place for friends of all ages, of all races, and all classes to come and receive love. With Chinese, Malay, and Indonesian people, it is truly a cultural melting pot that serves dang good food.
But Kawan is not simply a place to get fed – it also is intentional about helping people grow spiritually. From 11:00 to 12:00pm each day, they have a bible study, which many locals attend and are eager to question you on various aspects of the Christian faith. When opportunity arises, staff offers prayer, and many have professed faith in Christ as a result of the love they have received at Kawan. Love is definitely a theme of the center, which isn’t a surprise, considering it is located at 37 Love Lane.
I took my video camera around with me today during our time at Kawan – I thought you’d like to see the “insider’s perspective” of a typical day serving here. I’ll introduce you to a few of my new “kawans” too!
Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40) May God continue to use Kawan to love on “the least of these.”
————- April 28 Update————