KOTA KINABALU – Despite the heavy downpour on the opening night of the Gaya Christmas Celebration on 15 Dec 2015, many turned up for it. In its 11th year, the annual event is organised jointly by the Sabah Council of Churches and Kota Kinabalu City Hall. This year’s event was co-hosted by the Borneo Evangelical Mission (SIB) and Calvary Charismatic Centre with the theme Love Came Down. It lasted four nights Dec 15-18.
In his address, Kota KInabalu Mayor Datuk Abidin Madingkir said that the uniqueness of the event lies in the fact that “the churches of different denominations would take turns to organise the event on behalf of the Sabah Council of Churches.”
“I view this as an opportunity for the churches to work together with City Hall as the local authority, not only in organising this event but also collaborate with us in other programmes in the future,” the mayor added. “Programmes such as this can become a channel that would unite our people in the city.”
In a speech read out by Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman urged the people of Sabah to stand united with the government of the day in ensuring political stability, social prosperity and social growth for the benefit of all.
Among the heads of churches present was Archbishop John Wong. Among the stalls set up were those of the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, the Good Shepherd Services, and Class 1965 of St Francis Convent Secondary School.
Gaya Christmas Celebration 2016 will be hosted by the Roman Catholic Church.