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

(photo journey of a short mission trip with medical service to Nabawan and Tataluan, interior of Sabah, Malaysia 15 – 17 July 2016) – part 1 here

The roosters crowed way before dawn, life sure starts early in the rural village.  We got up before 6:00am, queued for the bathroom while still feeling slightly groggy, packed, got ourselves ready by seven for group morning devotion to really wake ourselves up, enjoyed a simple but tasty breakfast before departing for our next destination.

One more thing before we left…

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a group picture is very necessary! our team with Ps Ishak and a few of his church members

About an hour and a half later after we left Nabawan, we reached Tataluan, the second leg of our journey.  Just after our van turned in to the village, in a distance we could see the villagers in their colourful beaded traditional costumes waiting for us…

the welcome

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the Murut folks donned their traditional costumes to welcome us!


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then their started dancing…


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oh… even the parang (a type of machete) was out!

The older generation presented this dance “alang ra hayang” to us that was performed in the olden day to welcome back their warriors to the village after their victorious headhunting conquests (the Murut people were the headhunters of Borneo in the bygone days).

After the beautiful dance accompanied by music from beaten gongs we were ushered into the church for a nice tea break.

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delicious tapioca and sweet potato snacks. it is the Murut’s hospitable culture that every family contributes something to welcome friends and guests

time to get to work…

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pharmacists were all set


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villagers queuing up…


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doctors in action


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a long queue outside the little green house next door for the dental service


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smaller space for the dental team this time but at least the facility was better with a wash basin available


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kids lining up for the free gifts


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after I was done with my photo-snapping round, I sat by the back doorway of the green house, away from the mid-day heat to pen down some thoughts and enjoy the surrounding greenery

More villagers turned up for the medical service this round and there were 115 patients for medical service and 83 for dental with 93 teeth extracted. Great job to both the medical and dental teams.

evening fellowship

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praise and worship, and we learned a lovely Malay worship song from Elliot who was leading the worship


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a relaxing night with funny icebreakers from brother Stephen

Sunday

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Gem heading toward the church in confident strides and was ready to preach at the Sunday service


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everything looked so serene early in the morning


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Steadfast and Grow in Christ


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Sunday service


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Gem delivered a powerful sermon to encourage and strengthen the church (scripture verses taken from Ezekiel 33:7-9 and Deuteronomy 5:4-6)


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lovely song presentation from the Sunday school kids (1 Timothy 4:12 Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity)

I felt the presence of God so strong during the service through the songs we sang, the sermon Gem preached and the kids’ unpretentious presentation. I was touched and I shed some tears…

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Church chairman Philemon presented rice in a hand woven basket to Gem as gift


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dentist Dr. Wesley Tan receiving the basket of rice, from his expression we gathered it must be heavy!


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Dr. Wesley Tan with fellow dentist Dr. Michelle Shu. Everyone in the medical team, the doctors, dentists and pharmacists were all given a basket of rice, a nice gesture from the village folks to express their appreciation


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we are all brothers and sisters in Christ (kau sahabatku, kau saudaraku…)


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a group photo with the congregation

after the service

A short excursion…

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we took a very short walk from the house we stayed in to get to the river bank where we would take a boat ride to see a famous limestone outcrop


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spectacular Batu Punggul


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another view of Batu Punggul

reflection — the purpose

It was a great trip.  I visited places I had never been, gained new experience and perspectives on things, met some new friends, got to know some old friends better and helped out in whatever way I could though I personally thought I only played a very small part in a much bigger plan.  At the end of it, I asked — what was the real purpose of me being there?

I never intended to join the trip but things changed one evening when I attended the prayer meeting at church.

“Go for the mission trip!” I heard God speak to me during the time of worship.
“Why?” I asked.
“There are things for you to learn, and things for you to do”, God answered.
I doubted so I did not pay heed to the exchange and continued to sing (how dare I!).
“Go for the mission trip!” I heard it the second time, loudly and clearly.
Unbelievably, my response was “BUT, why?” (sounded like whinging…)
The same response, “There are things for you to learn, and things for you to do!”
The next morning I contacted Gem to inform her that I would like to join the trip.

So I packed, went and went with full anticipation that God would open my eyes to something amazing that He had lined up for me.  When we got there the realisation did not take long to dawn on me what it was that God wanted to show me after I had a chat with Ps. Ishak.

Before we concluded our previous mission trip which I took part in 2 years ago (you can read my blog A Weekend Off The Beaten Track here), we took a detour to visit Ps Ishak’s church BCCM Nabawan that was still at it’s previous address.

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the old church on stilts that were starting to give way


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how long before the building collapses?

They were desperate for a new building but the local authority did not grant its approval for the construction after a wait of 10 long years!

This time as we went, 2 years later, a lot has changed.

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the church we stayed in and where the medical camp was held — a temporary rented house they now use as the church building

As for the area where the old church on stilts once stood —

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the old structure has been torn down as approval to construct a new church building has finally been passed! Praise God!

This is just one of the many hurdles overcome as the building plans have yet to be approved.  Once that done and with all the other things falling into their respective rightful places with God’s blessings, Ps. Ishak informed that the church would be completed by end of 2017!  It was great to hear this piece of truly wonderful news!

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in 17 months’ time, we would be seeing the new church building of BCCM Nabawan here!

I knew this was what God wanted me to witness — the long wait is coming to an end; the desperate cries of His people never went unheard and in His sovereignty and timing God answered their prayers.  All He wanted was for His people to wait upon Him and trust Him.

This is my faith lesson — I lose patience a lot of the times, I get distracted most of the times and I question God many a times.  God in His gentleness and loving-kindness used this trip that encompassed the things that I love – the rural areas, the village folks, the ethnic culture and the nature to remind me to just trust Him, focus on Him and have faith in Him.  When He calls me, He does not want me to over-analyse things but to simply respond “yes Lord, here I am!”.  Not “why?’, not “when?”, not “how?”, but “here I am!”.

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Psalm 145:6-8

They tell of the power of your awesome worksโ€”
and I will proclaim your great deeds.
They celebrate your abundant goodness
and joyfully sing of your righteousness.
The Lord is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and rich in love.

(end of part 2 of 2)

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

  1. What a trip Evon. Thank you for sharing. Your presentation was so vivid, I followed the whole trip through all the beautifully taken pictures and your poetic description of the journey and actions๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘.
    And many lessons learned too. That God is a faithful God and we must always have faith in Him๐Ÿ™ใ€‚ ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: I followed His voice – short mission trip (part 1 of 2) | Colourful Threads of Life

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