I followed His voice – short mission trip (part 1 of 2)

(photo journey of a short mission trip with medical service to Nabawan and Tataluan, interior of Sabah, Malaysia 15 – 17 July 2016)

Dad said he would pick me up at 6:00am on Friday morning for breakfast before dropping me off at church to meet up with the rest of the team.  6:00am!!!  It definitely was far too early for me to finish the bowl of noodles I ordered although the area we went to with lots of eateries and a morning market was already buzzing with activities and full of early risers. The strong cup of black coffee had certainly helped with my waking-up process.

It has been two years since my last (and first ever) mission trip organised by our church of the same nature, i.e. leading a team of doctors and dentists to the interior of Sabah to provide basic medical and dental service to the villagers. Though I was excited about this trip and could not wait to see what God had in store for me, I still had slight apprehension about giving up creature comforts to rough it out over the long weekend.

getting ready

We were informed to be at our meeting point at church no later than 7:00am to help with the loading of items onto the respective transportation before our targeted departure time at 7:45am.

mission trip nabawan-tataluan day 1 (1)

loading of bags and boxes onto one of our vans

mission trip nabawan-tataluan day 1 (2)

loading of more boxes and bags

mission trip nabawan-tataluan day 1 (3)

eh, the buckets are coming too?

being prepped mentally and spiritually

mission trip nabawan-tataluan day 1 (3.5)

our pastor, Ps Renny dropped by to pray for us and release her blessings to send us off

mission trip nabawan-tataluan day 1 (4)

let’s pray…

on the way there

mission trip nabawan-tataluan day 1 (5)

a pit stop on the Kimanis highway and managed to be treated to some leftover durians by a generous durian seller — finger-licking good!

finally, we arrived…

After just over 4 hours with about an hour’s brunch break in Keningau, we arrived at very small town Nabawan.  We proceeded to our base, Basel Christian Church Malaysia (BCCM) Nabawan not far from the town centre.

mission trip nabawan-tataluan day 1 (5.5)

base for the medical service and where we would put up for the night

mission trip nabawan-tataluan day 1 (6)

the pharmacists setting up shop (seated from left – Goh Qing Liang and Florence Chong)

mission trip nabawan-tataluan day 1 (7)

the doctors checking out the medications available (from top Dr. Christina Martin, Dr. Lee Yu Wei and Dr. Amie-Anne Augustine)

mission trip nabawan-tataluan day 1 (9)

working out the layout in the hall and moving furniture around to allocate space for registration, medical consultation and dental service

mission trip nabawan-tataluan day 1 (8)

dental team setting up the necessary

mission trip nabawan-tataluan day 1 (10)

the registration team and helpers being briefed

mission trip nabawan-tataluan day 1 (11)

but first, let’s get our power recharged before facing a long and hard-working afternoon ahead

mission trip nabawan-tataluan day 1 (12-O)

and also get this out of the way first — camp commandant Gem handing over bibles for the BCCM churches in the area and 2 fans for BCCM Nabawan to pastor in-charge, Ps. Ishak

open for business…..

mission trip nabawan-tataluan day 1 (13)

ever cheerful fresh medical graduate Chloe rendered assistance in registration

mission trip nabawan-tataluan day 1 (14)

Chloe’s sister Claire helped share the responsibility in manning the registration counter

mission trip nabawan-tataluan day 1 (15)

the girl-power medical team in action

mission trip nabawan-tataluan day 1 (16)

all hard at work

mission trip nabawan-tataluan day 1 (21)

dispensing…

mission trip nabawan-tataluan day 1 (18)

dentist Dr. Michelle Shu flexing her muscles on tooth-extraction with the help of young assistant Elliot Heng

mission trip nabawan-tataluan day 1 (19)

Dr. Wesley Tan trying to pacify the brave young patient with soft words and encouragement while handling the needle expertly at the same time!

mission trip nabawan-tataluan day 1 (20)

really non-stop back-breaking work the whole afternoon servicing patients of all ages

mission trip nabawan-tataluan day 1 (17)

the efficient 2-member team dental assistants – Wesley’s mum Margaret bearing the afternoon heat washing dental tools outside and passing them to Elliot through the window to disinfect

mission trip nabawan-tataluan day 1 (22)

at one corner Pit Fung got her assistants to help pack stationeries to be given out to the village kids

mission trip nabawan-tataluan day 1 (23)

happy kids

mission trip nabawan-tataluan day 1 (24)

folks from the nearby villages coming for the medical and dental services

mission trip nabawan-tataluan day 1 (25)

buzzing in the hall

The medical and dental service concluded at around 6pm with 87 patients for medical and 53 for dental (49 teeth extracted).

the other bits and pieces

The “official” role that Gem had assigned me to for this trip was to be the “journalist and photographer”.  That was easy I thought as all I needed to do was to help a little here and there when needed and then spend the rest of my time walking around taking pictures of the team members hard at work and all of the happenings.  While I was trotting around and shutter happy only then I realised my presence actually intimidated the shy villagers while they were consulting the doctors especially the young kids when they were getting their teeth extracted!  To put the village folks at ease I decided to be subtle and quick at the same time to take the shots, and then disappear out of their line of sight!

When I thought I had taken enough shots of the actions, I took a breather and went for a short stroll with two brothers to the nearby village in the early evening.

It was great to be in the countryside, a totally different landscape from what I am used to in the city.  Here there are fruit trees growing abundantly in the surrounding, chickens everywhere, kids running around, big open space, lots of trees and flowers, basic wooden dwellings and people lead a very simple life.  But as for us the city folks, the first thing we noticed when we arrived and were more than a little bothered by it was the two dreaded words that appeared on our smartphones — no service!

What I captured during the walk…

mission trip nabawan-tataluan day 1 (26)

good looking bananas!

mission trip nabawan-tataluan day 1 (27)

unripe rambutans

mission trip nabawan-tataluan day 1 (28)

an amazing view with the early evening sky!

fellowship evening

After dinner we were joined by quite a few members of the church for fellowship.  An enriching evening of praise and worship and sharing. It was especially encouraging to see the villagers who made the effort to come on foot and not even the young kids on tow managed to deter the mothers from joining us.

mission trip nabawan-tataluan day 1 (29)

started with praise and worship

mission trip nabawan-tataluan day 1 (30)

sharing of words by Gem

mission trip nabawan-tataluan day 1 (31)

split into small groups to share – scriptures taken from Romans 12:1-12

mission trip nabawan-tataluan day 1 (32)

before the evening came to a close, BCCM Nabawan presented to Gem a memento with bamboo woven panel, craft of the local Murut people and witnessed by Ps. Ishak

It was a tiring day for us started with the long car journey that began early in the morning. We managed to sort ourselves out with the usage of the bathroom as we had to share one bathroom among the 20 of us, made do with whatever space we could find to lay out our sleeping bags, put up the mosquito nets and some sprayed insect repellent generously before we called it a night.

Exhausted but satisfying was the general consensus for the first day of our trip.  We knew when the morning came we would all be refreshed and renewed, and more than ready to face another exciting day ahead!

(end of Part 1 of 2) – part 2 here

2 thoughts on “I followed His voice – short mission trip (part 1 of 2)

  1. Pingback: a boat ride to see a huge rock – Batu Punggul | Colourful Threads of Life

  2. Pingback: I followed His voice – short mission trip (part 2 of 2) | Colourful Threads of Life

your thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s