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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Mission Trip (part 11) (SIB Pekan)

again, i woke up freezing and blur blur... haha... i had to. it was 7. breakfast was 8. we all got up and prepared ourselves to go to the meeting hall. we sat there and talked, waiting for breakfast. apearently, there was a funny incident between pr tom and freda involving the bathroom. i won't go into details but since this is my electronic diary, as long as we can remember, its good enough for me.

pr juliana came and served us the usual tasty and filling breakfast. pr tom then asked pr juliana whether she could guide us into the pekan because he wanted to buy stuff for his sermon. it was our last church today and we heard that all the SIB pastors in the district were coming to hear him speak. she said yes so we were pretty excited. but wait, there was one more important question. this was how it went (if i remember it clearly):

------------------------start of conversation----------------------

us: er... pastor, adakah pastor akan masak makan tengah hari untuk kami?
pr jul: um... kalau mau makan di pekan, tak payahlah.
us: oh ok. kami mau makan di pekan bolehlah?
pr jul: boleh. jadi tak perlu masak untuk kamu semua lah?
us: tak payah. terima kasih pastor.

-------------------------end of conversation----------------------

u can guess what was going on in our heads. KFC!!! here we come! suprisingly, we always had chicken in the kampungs. but this time, we were more hyped about this chicken. haha. and so after breakfast, we helped to clear up the plates. we went into the kitchen to put the plates there. that's when i saw a fishbowl with a goldfish in there. emergency dinner? i dunno.

we got ready by 10am and we (except juan) all walked to the pekan. on the way, we stopped by the milk collection plant to buy milk. pr tom had a bottle of 100 ml mineral water with him so he asked if he could buy the milk. the ppl said yes so they cleaned his bottle and sold it to him. nat also had his 1 litre mineral water bottle with him so he also bought some. it was already pasturised and cold so it was refreshing under the hot sun.

we walked into the pekan and jalan into a hair shop. why? coz pr tom wanted a shave. makes him look better for preaching. haha. we didn't want to go out of the shop coz it had air con but we still went out. pr juliana then led us to a cybercafe. sort of. it is one, but unlike the other cybercafes that we usually go to, this one was like a libary. everyone was quiet, doing projects or homework, and very soft relaxing music filled the place. they even offered computer classes. pr jul went off and said she'll be back in an hour plus. so we payed first before using the comp and went to use.

the first thing i checked was my email and facebook. when i saw all the comments about the grad pics, i suddenly missed everyone back home. i caught up with the progress of the youth who went to the salvation army to do charity work. they even did one of our dramas which was "blinded". i so wanna see! bet they had a great time doing it, just like we did. i even chatted with melody leong and she told me what a great time she had during City in Worship. that must have been a great scene coz it was held in esplanate. can you imagine the crowd? oh yeah, halfway into my computer time, guess who came in? pastor raynold from Kampung Soronsob! the fun guy that gave us eagle meat for breakfast! we were hey hi! he was suprised to see us there as well. he even asked me for my msn. i still have his. haha.

at around 11.45 pr juliana came back so we left the place. she took us to a souvenir shop at the cornner of a row of shop lots. there were some cute stuff on sale, including big, bendable, flower that matt has. there was also a soft and fluffly hand. appearntly, if u hit it, it makes a sound. something that nat really loved to do. haha. i bought a tube of super glue for the buckle of my pouch bag that broke in the last kampung. it was only 90 cents! talk about offers. bernice bought a dolfin thingy and a mug for her parents while yi lin bought handphone acesseries for freda and bernice. she also bought stuff for dorathy. so cute... i can't remember what else anyone bought but i know that we left the place for lunch.

we asked pr jul for directions to the KFC because that was somewhat the highlight of the trip here. she couldn't follow us because she had to go back to cook lunch for the students so she told us the directions to get there. we thought we were going the right way but manatau we were taking the long way. she pointed to us the correct way coz we were so far from her already. we walked around a building and then we finally saw it. we thanked pr jul and went on our way. we could smell it from the road across. we were happier still when we entered the place. mission trip go eat KFC. best mission trip ever. haha.

we ate to our hearts content. well, we did. matt just slept on one of the tables while we ate. we just make jokes that he was waiting for his "date" to arrive. maybe he was tired so we went on with our meal. suddenly, in the distance, a figure came. he walked past the field, and towards us. we saw, we guessed, we confirmed. it was pr tom. he was looking for us and he knew where. well, sort of. he was walking pass the KFC until we waved like nutcases at him inside the place. he finally saw us and came walking. when he came in, he was clean shaven.

well into our lunch, something happened. can't give you the details coz if i did, someone will hate me forever :P long story short, i had an extra orange fizz while some of them went to buy stuff. we bought some KFC goodies for pr jul and juan and went to the supermarket. we met up and i went with the others to go back first. i jom the bathroom first coz i felt so sticky and dusty from all the walking.

after bathing, everyone was back and rested for a while. later in the afternoon, we had devotion by pr tom. it was a continuation of the day's before about the 10 comandments. halfway thruout devotion, it started to rain heavily so we went to take our clothes that were hanging to dry in. oh did i mention, we can hang our clothes at the clothes line between the kitchen building and the main building. so anyway this church, SIB Pekan was our next and and final ministry . so after devotion was our practice time for our service later. since it was our last practise, we decided to go all out. nat and yi lin were picked for testimony. nat's testimony about his salvation was hilarious as he tried to find the right words. it was relaxing for all of us as well. then we practiced the heart drama. pr tom gave kevin some tips on how to utilise the steps of the stage to pull his devil act to be more extreme. yi lin then practiced her testimony which was pretty smooth. good job :)

after practice, we went back to the asrama to rest. we had some more snacks and rest. since we had like 2 hours till dinner, we were all super relaxed. since our dress code was the blue sym shirt and jeans, we just bathed and wore our shirt while still in our shorts. we decided that we will change only before dinner. kevin came in to talk, because he said girls are better listeners. now that's a man that's up for grabs! haha. matt came in as well as nat. we yabbered all the way until we had to change into our jeans. bernice went to bathe while matt said he'll give us only 30 seconds to finish changing. funny. considering it was our room! we changed within 30 seconds but matt never opened the door. we thought he was being gentlemanly but turns out he just left. bernice came in but she was in her shorts. (i will skip this part coz something very funny happened but not appropriate to tell u... this is only for the memory of the girls of SYM 2009)

skip to after all that, the guys came in again to gel up their hair kevin got his eyes done. the gelling was done on time but kevin's eyes were not. so we went to the meeting hall to finish up. yi lin borrowed my blush while i kena makeup attack again by bernice and freda. this time is extra bombing. my hair. bernice used gel to give my hair a wet look while freda used her sunsilk hair repair thing to get my hair into place. she kept saying about rebonding and stuff like that. wow. guess i messed up my hair that bad huh... bernice and freda likes to do makeup and hair for ppl so i guess i got help from the experts. well, give me few more months and my hair will be long and hopefully smooth. haha.

soon it was dinner time. we sat in the dinning room which was actually long tables in the midde of the room and chairs along the wall. there was a man and his wife who cooked all the food. we all sat in our places except yi lin and kevin who had to finish up. as we had our dinner, we talked with the man and found out that he's a teacher. freda's brother came later and joined us as well. pr jul came after and served us another dish. after doing kevin's makeup, yi lin came in for dinner. kevin followed but i nearly spit out all my food when seeing him.

he was pink! the devil was sorta blushing! it was so hillarious. everyone was asking yi lin why was he like that and she said made him look evil from afar. immedietly, finally, dinner was alive again with laughter. thx yi lin, for that. it was starting to get awkward when no one talks at the dinner table. and so we continued our dinner with lots more noise and laughter. since the group that i was in for children ministry had to do this last time, we asked for everyones sweets and got all the stuff ready. freda went to her brother's room to borrow his water boiler so that we could have out "slumber party" later. then we all went to the church after dinner.

at the church we were suprised to find the number of ppl there fewer than other churches. we were expecting alot of ppl including VIPs of the area but i guess the earlier storm prevented that. so we greeted the ppl there. the youth there were mostly girls that sat in the front row with pr jul. there were few more families around so we went to shake their hand as well. so far we only saw 1 kid there so pr tom said that there won't be any children ministry that day. yeah!!! now all of us would get to see pr tom's sermon which is supposely the most action 1. i went to ask about their ohp but turns out they don't have one because they were using lcd to project their lyrics. pr tom then told me to check whether they our songs in their computer but they didn't. so i had to type them out but there wasn't enough time so we had to stick with the old fashioned way of holding the mahjong paper. both me and kevin were in charged of it because he was next to me.

service started nicely. holding the mahjong paper with both hands and not being able to relax one leg proved to be a challenge. there wasent much vantilation going on so it was pretty hot. not to mention i was wearing a blouse inside of my shirt so i was sweating on my arms fast. i prayed to God that He would give me the strength to hold on and He did. Praise God. if not, i would have been lying on the floor, passed out from the heat. My testimony. :)

the drama went well. kevin's devil movements were the best in all his other times in doing it. utilising the steps were a great idea. pr tom's sermon later was different than the rest. the milk that he bought was used as part of his visual aids during the sermon. it kept ppl awake and attentive. espeacially when he gave out different kinds of milk to the congregation. everyone had a great time. even after ministry. we spent time with the youth and took photos with them. because it was getting late, we all went back to the asrama for debrief.

we came back to the asrama to find it out of electricity. appearently the switch tripped so we were walking around trying to get it back on. everyone had their torchlight on so it was disco minute. haha. the boys of the asrama were poking out their head to look what was going on. pr tom finally managed to get the electricity so we were all "yeah!". but the night was not over. we still had debrief. and so and 11 something at night, there we were, sitting on the couches, having debrief. suddenly, juan jumps up and says "yes!" all of us were like, huh? he then points to the ground in front of freda and shouts "freda! crockroach!" freda immediatly withdrew her legs and looks "where? where? where?" all of us were looking for it as well. manatau that juan said "yes! APRIL FOOL!" we looked at him like, are u serious? but in the end we all laughed. how could we forget?! it was the 1st of april already! freda whacked juan while we all became, u know, its a feeling. i can't explain it. u had to be there urself. after all that happiness, we all went to our rooms.

we the girls, thanks to freda's foresight, had hot water to cook our instant mee. word spread quick and soon juan and kevin joined us as well in our room. all in all, we had a great time of fellowship and fun. slumber party SYM 2009 style. only we can pull it off. haha. we all only had few more minutes till lights out so we finished our food and went to bed at the final night at the asrama.

yes it's me
8:22 PM

Monday, April 27, 2009

Mission Trip (part 10) (Kg Lotong)

let me first clarify that some of the timeline maybe out of order in this post due to my forgetfulness. hehe. dunno wat was wrong with me :P

we woke up at 9 which was a fresh new change in our schedule because we have always been waking up at 7 or 8 to get ready for our transport but since we were already in our location, we got the extra sleep. i woke up aching at the neck and freezing because i was sleeping on the top bunk and i was really really close to the celing fan. plus, the place gets really cold at night so i kena tembakan sejuk by the place. but hey, who says u dun get air con when u’re in mission trip
right?

so we all woke up and got ready by 10am. the toilets are a separate building by itself. the men are in one side while the girls next to them. theres also a sink outside the toilets for you to brush your teeth and stuff. the bathroom was a bathroom in a room next to the kitchen which was a separate building from the main building. i know. confusing, isn’t it? actually its not. its just the way i explained it. thats why bernice says my words are too hard to be understood. haha. we met in the meeting hall for breakfast which was mee goreng with egg omelets and fried rice and milo. all this was done by pr juiliana herself. a really good chef and self-sacrificing pastor if i may add. while we were eating, pr tom anounced that he was going to the pekan to shop. we were allowed to follow if we wished or we could stay back in the asrama. our answer: oh yeah!
so we all got ready and by 10.30am, we left the asrama without kevin and bernice coz for some reason they didnt want to follow. kevin was in his room when we left while bernice was standing at the main door, telling us as we walked away to “oi! remember to buy snacks ya!” good reminder. i was wondering what to do there other than to just jalan for fun. haha.

we walked along the road for a while. we passed by some buildings you don’t really see in penang. such as, a milk collection plant, a driving range (i have no idea what’s it do but its defitnetly not learning how to drive), a latex collection plant and such. we walked somemore into the pekan and it really is a nice place. the place is like a park, with trees and grass and concrete “benches” that u can sit on and u’re oso surrounded by shops. pr tom went into a cyber cafe to check up on his email. because the cyber cafe is kinda small, we decided to keep on walking and stopped by a coffeshop nearby.

i ordered my usual kopi while freda had tea and matt had some sort of lemon tea thing. its made by themselves thats why penang dosen’t have it. its even more sour than “sui kam peng”, he claims. oh well, i could never tahan sour anyways the tv in the coffeeshop was on and the channel was WWE. we watched the ppl doing smackdowns, punches, fake kicks and bla bla bla. we saw pr tom wondering around looking for us outside the coffeshop so we called out to him. he came and sat with us while watching WWE with us. there was a whole story going but none of us couldn’t figure out what was going on. so we basically watching all the fighting for fun. then we left to buy essentials.

we went to a kedai runcit to buy snacks and stuff. we almost paid when some1 anounced that there was a superstore nearby. so we dropped everything and went to it. i was wondering what was a superstore until we reached the place. its a supermarket. yes i should have known from the word “store” but i thought it was something different, you know? we even went to this place where its a wet market downstairs and a supermarket upstairs where everything is bought in bulk. bernice thought that penang dosent have this kinda stuff. obviously she havent been to mydin. haha. well, except the wet market but yeah, you get the picture.

so we walked over to the supermarket and bought our stuff. i bought cereal fun packs for only 6.90 when the kedai runcit was selling at 7.20. talk abt timing! yi lin and freda bought some sort of sunsilk hair repair thing and some snacks and mee cup (i think). after all the (white chicks style) “shopping”, we all headed back to the asrama for lunch.

we had a nice lunch at 1 so we were quite stuffed. later we went to the church in front for devotion. after praying for Kg Soronsob and stuff, we had our devotion which was led by pr tom. (fast forward to sometime later) we went back to freshen up for the next kampung. we (the girls) had snacks for tea and we all were preparing for the next kampung.
our transport then came at 4 (i think). there were 2 vehicles: one was a mini van while another was a car. i got into the car with yi lin, matt and kevin if i’m not mistaken. the journey there wasn’t as long as the one to the previous village. in fact, we went past a KFC so we were all kfc……. haha. the road was dusty again but it was ok coz we were all covered up in the car and we went by lots of padi fields.

we then came a empty space with lots of houses and grass. we stopped in front of a wooden house with long tables and benches. we said thanks to both the drivers and greeted the ibu-ibu there. they were preparing tea for us so we went to the church to practice. the church was moderately big. there was a big alter space and a door by the side as well as a main door in front. after practice we prayed for the service as well as the people there. it was then the ibu-ibu had finished preparing tea for us so after prayer we went to eat.

we were served donuts and tea. we talked with some of the youths there as well as those who cooked for us. it was about 5 and the sun was going down so some kids came to play badminton outside on the empty space next to the church. we played with them and got to know the kids there as well. then some of the teenage girls went to the church stage and started playing the instruments. they played everything. the electric guitar, the bass and even the really new looking drums. wow. talk about an all female ensemble. some of us followed them and when it was too dark, the kids went back to bathe while the rest of us went inside the church to watch them.

some of the girls were also the dancers for their church so they started dancing. yi lin and bernice followed them in dancing and then hyper-high nat oso joined them. freda, who reconised the song they were playing to, decided to sing with them on the mike. kevin played along with the acoustic while aaron took over the bass. daniel tried to follow the beat in the drums but he couldn’t so pr tom showed him. when daniel tried again i also tried to follow by pretending to play air drum in front of him but all i got was yi lin filming both of us. don’t ask me why. i deny “it” all! matthew then took over the drum from daniel and i watched the dance. nat asked me to dance along but i refused because i know can’t follow the steps. he told me that he couldn’t follow it as well but he was following just for fun. these words encouraged me (thx nat!) and soon i found myself dancing the dusun dance along with them. my actions were really “rough” if compared to their graceful moves but it was still fun.

after all that jamming session, the girls left to bathe and get ready for church because there were people coming already. we took the time to cool off (it was really hot) and we greeted the people that came. while waiting for the service to start, nat met his aunt and cousin who was really cute and shy. i asked nat if he came from this kampung but he told me that only his aunt lived here, not his family. freda also spotted her brother who came just to see her ministry work with us so she was pretty…. i dunno what she was feeling. haha. but i knew the pain in my neck was hurting so much that i couldn’t even turn my neck to the right so i asked freda to help message it. it did feel better but i was making too much noise that she told me to keep quiet. so i bit my finger to muffle the noise. aaron was sitting next to me and judging by the intensity of me closing my eyes and the drool that he mistook for tears, he told freda that i was crying. she stopped immediately.
i was like no no u didnt! aaron was eh? not meh? i went no…… we would continue but service was starting already so we just got ready. we did the acceptance drama while daniel did the salvation testimony and bernice did the thanksgiving one. then elfreda’s group went to do children ministry in the house where we had our tea, leaving all of us to listen to pr tom’s sermon.

after the sermon, the pengerusi of the church asked us to do a performance. we were like, what?! what r we gonna do? so we ran and got freda, who was finishing up, to come over and help us. we sang of of the songs that was meant for arrangement 2 of the song list but the villagers were singing it more than we did. haha. we had to do one more but we had no other malay songs to sing so we decided to do a english song. we sang My Redeemer Lives (if i’m not mistaken pls confirm) and matt had to explain the song after singing it.

the remainder of elfreda’s team came back and distributed their sweets to the congregation. we were then invited for a very late dinner at the house where we had our tea with the other villagers. it was a very wide varity meal and we had a fun fellowship with the people there. bernice and i had a conversation with teachers and 2 sets of twins and few more people.
soon, we had to leave the place. some of the youth there took photos with us and we got into our transport. i got into the van with nat, aaron, bernice, yi lin, freda and daniel. pr tom sat in front with the driver. we waved goodbye to the people as we left and went on our way. it was a very dark place with no street lamps and the road was dusty. we joked all the way back to the asrama.

when we got to the asrama, freda went to the toilet first while we went to the church because the students who will be going to school the next day needs to wake up at 5 in the morning. we sat on the pews outside of the church had had our debrief. pr tom then told us that we can go to the pekan tomorow to do whatever we wanted. we could even eat kfc if we wanted, provided that pastor juiliana doesn’t cook lunch for us. can u imagine the feeling in our hearts? haha… and so we all went back into our rooms and went to bed, only to awaken to another wonderful day that God has made.

yes it's me
11:21 PM

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Mission Trip (part 9) (Kg Tallas)

we sat on the truck talking and laughing as usual. we went past some paddy fields and came across a SDA church that was having service. seems like we had to get the people before they did. the roads were also dusty as to the fact u can see the covering of dust on the cars that were parked along the road. some unpleasant words were writen there as well but i won’t eleborate more after travelling for quite a considerable distance and time, we realised that we were in a town. i was a bit happy to see something familiar after 6 days in the interior. we went on futher away from the town and were going past some land with alot of lalang. suddenly we were slowing down and we turned into a church. oh wow, i thought, what happened to the village? i read the sign in front of the church that said “SIB Pekan”. freda then told us that this was where she got hiro, her dog. we stopped in front of the church but only pr tom got down. appearently, our next transport was late so we stayed in the truck. aaron and nat were playing a game where each person took turns to say a really depressing story of their make believe girlfriends and see if they can keep a straight face the whole time. nat was the obvious winner coz he’s face never changed while aaron couldn’t stand it and laughed everytime he heard nat’s story and every time he told his own story. juan was asleep which was a miracle considering the loudness of the laughter that came from matt, aaron, kevin and me.

after waiting for around half an hour, another truck came. the people in there greeted us. so we took our bas and we went to…the back of the church. there was a building there and a lady who greeted us. she is Pastor Juilina or something like that..hehe.i can’t really remember. but she’s the youth and children’s pastor of the church in front and the building is an asrama for the kids who live in the kampungs and need a place to stay as their school is in town. shes the head of the whole asrama and according to freda, her eldest brother is also staying in the asrama coz its closer to the school where he works as a teacher. he just wasen’t there coz he goes home during the weekends.

we put all over stuff in a room that was stated “pelawat”. cool. i quickly change into my skirt and left my jeans on the bed and got outta there. it was a narrow passage way so if we nothing to do we were to stay outside the asrama. a dog came by and freda became super friendly with it. reason? that dog was hiro’s mother and another dog that soon came after was hiro’s brother. i forgot their names but who cares, right? well, freda cares but lets go on with the story.
we werent going to this church but another one in a kampung so we all climbed in to the new truck (this time with pr tom at the back with us) and we set off for a wonderful journey ahead. wheee…………………

……..ouch! woah! ah!!! i’m falling off! those were the screams and shouts of the poor 12 ppl who were sitting at the back of the truck. haha… we went by a lot of differnent terrain such as paddy fields and a lot of trees. the roads were so dusty that i tried to minimise as much talking as posible. the roads were almost like no ending, as bernice calls it. then we came to a hill. the slope was like more than 45 degrees that the driver changed the motor into a 4 wheel type. when we went up, you can feel the change in energy of the truck just go up. we passed by a lot of rubber trees and the road became rockier and rockier. we went up and down the whole time and we were all holding on to the railings for dear life coz we could fly out the back. it was like being pulled into a black hole at the same time we were having fun. espeacially with freda who couldn’t stop “melatar-ing” the whole journey there. we went by beautiful scenery along the hills. the roads was also super rocky to the fact that some parts of the road were actually rocks.

after travelling for an hour, we came by a clearing with a real-life buffalo in front of us! for me, it was a new experience because i have never seen a buffalo so up close before! i know, what’s so great about seeing a buffalo and yada yada… u kinda had to be in my shoes to know this feeling. we went in futher to see more houses, all of them on stilts. the driver parked the truck under the garage and we all pilled out. an old lady walked by us so yi lin and i said good morning to her but the lady seemed to be “scolding” us, i guess? we looked at each other confused until the driver told us that she was “off”. oh…. that makes sence.

we then procceded into a house right next to where we were and ushered into the living room. the kitchen was in another section of the house where all the ladies and kids were at. the living room was big. 2 single couches were at one end of the room while at the other was the double and triple couch. pr tom and i sat on the double couch while the other 3 girls sat on the triple couch. the guys sat on the floor next to the single couches and benjamin sat on one of the couches. matthew was practicing with the guitar together with kevin while everyone else rested and slept because we all didnt really have enough sleep. did i mention that it was a HOT day and there was no fan there. so u can imagine the heat and sweat that was coming down our necks, wave by wave. thank God that an occational breeze came by once in a while. hey, can’t blame for wanting to experience nature as it is. its like when u r in a “hot” situation, God comes in to refresh u so that u can face the troubles. i still believe the best way to experience God is by nature, not manmade stuff.

anyways, after waiting a while, an elderly man came in. he’s the man of the house so we went to greet him. he sat on one of the single couches and talked to us. turns out he has 5 or 7 sons (i can’t remember). the eldest is already a father and the youngest is still studying. his eldest son was sitting on the varendah outside, carrying his newborn child. so cute… we talked to the old man more and realised that he was the pengerusi of the church and the entire congregation consisted of his family members throughout the kampung. the pastor of the church then came to meet with us and suprise, suprise, he was our driver to this village. guess if u didnt have someone from the kampung to take u here, u wont be able to find it even until the next day. he had a friendly chat with us and invited us to have breakfast first.

man were we full after breakfast. i mean, who can take in more food after the eagle meat meal? not to mention that we were more tired than hungry so we just ate up. it was nice btw. the cili just made it even nicer. no wonder we were able to eat the second rounds. after breakfast, the bell rang for service. we went towards the church after putting on our shoes and yeah, remember tat i told u that i should have brought my flats? well this is the prob. becoz my stupid heels were 2 inches high and they were strapies, i took a long time to put on my shoes and was the last person of the group to reach anywhere. seriously, its not nice to bend down and fasten the buckle of ur shoe when u’re standing 2 feet in the air and on the edge of FALLING DOWN!! so anyway, we walked over to the church which was like just 3 metres away from the house we were at.

the church was like the houses around it except that it had a brass bell hanging in front of the doors and a sign above it that says SIB Tallas. it was all made by bamboo. we went up the steps (yeap, steps) into the sancutary. it was a really cute church as to the fact that it had wooden benches and a stage with the musical insturments. we were to do the acceptance drama but we were seriously drained out, as evident when we were doing practice. but we all prayed for strength and that we would be able to give our best during ministry.

it was a service of change for all of us as we usually did our service at night but becoz this was a morning sunday service, we all were abit more “hot” than usual. the guys were wearing their long sleveed shirts and tie while we the girls were covered neckto feet. well, freda and yi lin at least. bernice and i were only covered to our knees. doing the drama on heels wasent as bad as i thought. i didnt fall down or anything embarressing so it was a smooth show all the way. yi lin’s group was in charge of the childern’s ministry and it was their last time so pr tom told them to give away all their sweets so that we wouldn’t have to bring back to penang all of it. the congregation wasnt as much as the other villagers but i can tell they had a good time. they were mostly rubber tappers as seen from the number of tapped rubber trees near the village. pr tom’s jokes kept the old man laughing so much that he held his stomach. must be really funny to him i guess. i suppose after hearing pr tom’s jokes again and again made me “immune” to it so i just smiled everytime he made a joke. after service we all headed back to the house to rest.

we went back to the house to see the kids running around yi lin and aaron while holding their lion masks. some of the kids were really getting into the character of a lion that they were so cute roaring. i took some photos for memory sake and plus the little girl was so adorable. the eldest son of the old man then turned on the tv and put on a hillsong live album. i was like, yeah! hillsong! were all sitting at the same place as we first came with the exception that kevin had switched places with yi lin. she was on one of the single couches playing with the ids. everyone who needed the rest slept again. i wanted to, but with the song going on and the heat going on, i just couldn’t. so what i did was sing along softly along with the album. at that time, they also took out a stand fan so we wouldnt feel so hot so it was really kind of them to do so. we had lunch with them as well and the dishes were as good as the amount they served us. man it was so good that i didnt realise that breakfast had gone away so fast and we were really hungry! during lunch they changed the cd to one of a indonesian christian singer doing a large scale concert like hillsong. really good man i tell u….

soon, we had to leave because it was going to rain and with that kind of terrain we had to go on, it was advisiable that we go while its still dry. so we had a group photo with the old man’s family and we again, climbed into the truck in similar fasion. well, not really, the truck was backed to the steps so it was much easier to get into the truck. oh ya, we had an extra passenger with us! he was a 13 year old boy who needed to go to back to the asrama after his weekend back home. so he came with us in his school uniform and sat in the middle of the truck. it started to drizzle as we said goodbye to the people and off we went to the jungle of rubber trees.

the journey back was just eventful as getting there. we were going down slopes of rocks and the eldest son of the old man and his son (i think) followed the truck at the back with his motorbike. it was nessesary coz we needed his help to remove rocks that were blocking our path. halfway through the jungle, we stopped. we thought that the driver was gonna change the motor of truck but manatau we were actually changing drivers! we took this opportunity to take photos and videos for the final editing. it was fun making the truck shake as if we were travelling.

then the new driver came in a car with other people inside. pr tom shook hands with him and so the old driver stood at the edge of the truck as he was also going into town. pr tom decided that since he was already outside, he wanted to try doing what the old driver did. we then left after waving goodbye to the old man’s eldest son and parted ways at the juction. while we were travelling we stopped again on top of a hill in front of a giant rock. appearnently we were being given the opportunity to take pictures in front of the rock. we climbed out of the truck and climbed up the rock and posed for pictures. felt like on top of the world k... it was fun climbing up all the rocks in baju kurung and heels so the pictures looked really gaya man...hehe...we went on and on until we got back to the asrama. we were given time to relax all the way till dinner. so the girls took our bags and went to our room. there was a double decker bed as well as sleeping space on the floor so we were quite happy. ah…nth beats cleaning off all the dust than a nice bath….

during dinner, we were treated like vip’s by the students who were staying there as well as the pastor. the assistant head of the SIB pastors of kota marudu were also there as well as other AJKs. we sat outside due to the limited space of the dining hall but we had a great time as well. after giving as a brief history of SIB Pekan, pr tom introduced all of us to the people present and then we all had dinner. after dinner, freda’s brother came back so she was so excited to see him again. she went to find him in his rom while the rest of us minggled with teh students. i found bernice in our room doing stuff when she told me she had a splinter. thanks to that, i did my very first, on my own, no one there to bug me, “sugery”. haha… i used a needle and *i don’t u wanna know what i did, its quite taxing on the heart* and i got the splinter out! good thing bernice didnt scream or anything if not i’ll panic and end up poking her hand instead. her pain resistance, way off the chart. i think. haha.

i went out again to join the rest in talking to the students. nat was the main star as he constantly made the group laugh. if u wanna know what he did, don’t coz its quite contagious anyways, we all went to bed at 10 pm and had sweet dreams coz we

really

were

tired.


zzzzzzZZZZZ………..

yes it's me
2:01 AM

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

We again sang songs just for the heck of it and we were driving on tracks and untarred roads again. dust was everywhere. freda and yi lin were trying to cover their face from the oncoming dust attacks while bernice and i were facing the “facial treament”. though the many fun time, we only travelled for less than half an hour when we reached our next village, Kampung Soronsob. a sign made by a trackter wheel states the name of the village and the houses there were all cemented stilt houses.

we stopped in front of a yellow house just like the rest and a man and some women came out to greet us. ps tom had a chat with our driver who was apparently the assistant head of the church. the man who came out of the house also greeted pr tom and the rest of us. turns out that the man is the pastor of the church and he was the former pastor of SIB Tagaroh. he moved out of there to pastor the church in this village about 3 months ago. we would be staying in his house which is the house that we stopped in front of. we put our bags in the living room , took the stuff that we need for practice, and went to the church which located on top of a small hill.

the church was quite big. it was quite sometime since we saw a big church so we were a bit relaxed. we sat down on the front pews and rested while pr tom and the pastor talked. a lot. after talking, the pastor went out so we started our practice. the pastor dropped by again during our “heart” drama and i garrentee i could’nt stop smiling and laughing the whole time.

after practice we went back to the house for lunch. at the dinner table, the pastor told us we could speak in english. the reason? because he wanted to learn. wow. not a problem for us. so we started joking all in english. this pastor was also quite a joker. he made alot of jokes that made all of us laugh everytime, kinda like aaron. but he was cool and stuff. he also played some music during lunch. the songs were all the vbs soundtrack that the SYM team did last year. he was the pastor then and he really liked the children’s camp so much that he copied the soundtrack into his handphone and plugged it in for us to hear while eating. yi lin, freda and i were singing along to some of the songs. wait, freda? yeap. turns out after her sis did vbs last year, she copied the songs and played them at home and taught freda all the steps. cool huh?

during lunch 2 cats were walking around. the pastor rears them and they recently had 3 kittens. they were being kept upstairs. so after lunch we went upstairs to relax. the stairs were located at outside of the house so we kinda had to get out of the house to go up. the first thing i noticed when i got upstairs was the tv playing. i was like, that’s a tv. what’s a tv again? and how do u work a tv? seriously, i haven’t seen a tv in 5 days so i was a bit “out” i guess….? it was playing GMB concert music so it was nice to hear christian music in a different language for a change. the kittens were there on the couch and every1 was happily playing with it. they were so cute; they kept climbing up and down u and their claws, well, werent so shy to stay in their paws.

the pastor changed the cd to one of a guy named nick vujicic. he is an incredible man who is living his life as a testimony unto God. he was born without arms and legs and he still praises God for everything in his life. the video shows of how he lives his life and a sermon that he gave to a congregation in america. i tell u, the things that u might think is impossible for a guy in his in posistion to do, he can do it. the pastor then took the kittens into his room and dint come out for some time. i was watching the video intenstly until, it felt better to stretch my legs towards the tv and my head on the floor…man it feels so good to lie down like this…oh my eyes are so heavy…i’ll close them for a while….maybe i can listen while closing my eyes…

the next thing i knew, the tv was off and someone had woke me up with some of us just waking up. i woke up finding the pastor sitting down on one of the couches looking and smiling at me. man that was embaressing. but then it was time for devotion so we went downstairs to get our stuff. after devotion, we prayed for Kg Lampada since we didn’t have time to do so when we were there. we also prayed for the pastor here and the ministry that we were going to do.
after praying, we were given time to relax and bathe. those of us who needed to hang our clothes were given hangers and pegs to help us. it did feel like home for a change. around that time was also the exercise time for the villagers. the youth and parents all came to the vollyball court in the middle of the village which is also across from the pastor’s house. since the house had a varendah, those who were waiting for our turn for the bathroom watched the ppl play sepak takraw and badminton. even the pastor went to play with them. its kinda like pr tom playing cs with us sometimes. haha.

after an hour, the pastor went to check on the villagers and there was a big commotion at the house opposite our house. appearntly the villagers managed to trap an eagle and they gave it to us to eat. we all so excited about the eagle that we took alot of photos with it. its dead btw. the pastor then plucked some of the feathers and gave them to us as a surveniour. i still have them in my house and they serve as a reminder of what i had encountered there. the pastor then announced that it will be cooked just to let us try how it tastes like.

we didn’t have the eagle for dinner but after dinner and drawing the devil patterns for kevin’s face, we prayed and relaxed for a while. we also took some photos just for fun (wait for the pics, they’re really cool!). when pastor told us it was time for service, we went to the church for ministry. when we went to the front door of the church, the congregation lined up to the door, children first, then adults. they were all greeting us in a line and all of us greeted them back. it did give a wonderful friendly feeling. the youth were all so excited abt us that they were the most enthusiastics ones there. when we were doing the drama, they all pulled out their super-more-canggih-and more expensive-than-mine-or-the-rest-of-us handphones and cameras and started recording it. after that it was my group’s turn to do children ministry so we gathered all the kids and went to pastor’s house to do ministry.

we played an icebreaker and when it was time for worship, we realised we forgot the guitar! what to do? sing accapella lor. easier for a person who is tone-deaf (yours truly) to lead the kids. haha. children ministry went on as usual until it came to craft time. i can’t help but realise that there was someone looking in the room from the window outside. i thought it was the boys outside who didnt come in but they told me it was a 12 year old girl who was too shy to come in. the boys tried to get her over but she was still too shy. it really reminded me of when i was that age, i was just as shy but i was being hostile coz i wasent ready to join a new children’s group after being pulled out from my last one. i wanted to meet her but my duty called. so i went back to help the kids with their colouring and stuff.

when service ended, the parents came to retreive their kids and kevin and nat took the remainding kids back to the church while bernice and i stayed back to clean up. some youths came knocking at the door to meet us. we got to know them and soon freda and yi lin came as well. we talked for a while then we left the youths who came to help prepare our supper to go back to the church to meet up with the rest. the other youths were praticing the songs for the next day’s (sunday) service while some of them who were dancers were practicing their steps. the music was so upbeat i couldnt help but to jump along with them.

when we went back to the house for supper, we talked with the elders of the church. supper was milk biscuits and tea. it was nice and refreshing after all the work we did. after a while the youths of the church came and we all chatted with them into the night, kinda like what we did in tagaroh. we showed them the video of the entire sym journey and encouraged them to go for sym next year. because i was at the back of the living room, i didnt realise just how much time we used just by talking. and we had to wake up at 4 the next day to get to the next church for sunday service. ah!! how could i forget! some of us had already gone to bed and i was nearly a walking zombie.

when i went to bed, i was so super sticky and i became mosquito food for so many of them. i kept walking up coz i was so itchy that i had to put my mosquito repellent on so much. thank goodness i was covered myself entirely with my sleeping bag so the mosquitos couldnt get me. muahha! take that suckers (litterally)!!! unfortuantely one of our team members got a stomach problem in the middle of the night but by God’s grace, God healed ‘em (name is kept ayonomous for a reason that this author will not get into trouble later ;p)so we were relieved.

we all woke up at 4 to bathe and we had the fastest bath we ever had. i bathed for only 3-5 minutes and we had to wear our sunday best because hello?! its sunday and we had to dress appropriately according to sym rules. i wore a long sleeve blouse while yi lin and freda wore baju kurung and bernice wore a blouse with a something like a flowing skirt. because my skirt was black, when we travel i would get dust all over my skirt and it would be very visible. so pr tom gave me permission to wear my jeans but i had to change into my skirt once we get to our next location. we had to trade our sport shoes for our nice shoes and i brought my heels with me. bad choice. why? i’ll tell u at the next post. shouldda brought my flats. haiz… oh well, too late to cry now. so we packed up everything and put all our stuff downstairs like how they were went we came.

then we had breakfast. remember the eagle? it was so kind to be our breakfast in the form of a soup. haha.

yeah i know that eagles are endangered and all that but hey, think of it this way, no 1, the eagle was stealing the villagers chickens. no 2, they caught it with a trap, no 3, this is the villagers way of life so the govorment can’t do a thing about it. satisfied? good. no? then tell me the last time u had eagle meat. jkjk…now lets continue on with the adventure.

the meat was tough coz according to pr tom, all carnivours meat were like that. gee, does that mean human flesh are like that too? dun think i wanna know that right now. the truck came during this time and the driver had breakfast with us. after the wonderful breakfast, we prayed for the pastor and his family. he is really a brave man for taking up this role of pastoring a church of a kampung that he was not born in. in spite of all this, he still manages to keep a smile on his face and make jokes with everyone. he really is a man who desires God for his church and village.

after praying for them, we got into the truck. we never had a problem with getting into the truck but this time was an exception. the girls are in skirts! so what we did was the girls got into the truck first by stepping on “strategic locations” while the guys turned their head away to avoid being “flashed” at accidently. soon everyone got into the truck and we all waved goodbye to the people there as we left for kampung no 6.

yes it's me
5:33 PM

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Practice was…. yi lin was trying to figure out what freda did during the drama and i was going nuts about how to show money. i kept coming out at the wrong timing so we had to play the song all over again and again. i think i made some ppl really mad so i’m really really sorry for the trouble and thank you all for ur patience we practiced all the way until 12 something then we went back for lunch. the pastor was also there and he said that he came at 9 to pick us up to go rubber tapping but we were all at the river at that time. so he just cancelled the whole visitation.
lunch was nice, espeacially when u don’t realise the amount of time and energy used to do that drama over and over again. it was really energising. then after clearing up, we helped yi lin’s group do stuff for her children ministry. after that we just slept becoz it was raining and the weather was like a natural air con that we just couldn’t help but just sleep. i took this opportinuity to look outside of the house.
at the outside of the house was a little shack that the little kids were using to play teacher. it was both inspiring and awakening. the little kids weren’t playing some silly daily life in school. u know what were they “teaching”? they were reciting bible verses and singing all the children songs used in church! i mean, if little kids are doing this, then y r we adults not? these kids werent forced to do any of these, they were doing it out of their own free will! arent kids supposed to follow what adults do? it seems like we have to follow their example.
after resting for an hour, we all got ready to help yi lin’s group for childern’s ministry. it was around 2 pm and the kids were all already waiting for us. we came down and did it normally. appearntly it wasent a school holiday and some of these kids were from different villages and they all skipped one day of school just to come for this ministry. i was so touched. plus this childern ministry is differnt in a sence that we had to pray for all the children by laying our hands and personally whisper a prayer into their ears. after that we released them back to their parents.
we went back to rest and get ready to go to the river to bathe. this time we just bathe and didnt wash our clothes. the river was so nice and we played the water theme-park thingy again.haha. then a little boy told bernice that the river higher up was nicer so both of us followed the boy up. it was really nicer than the lower part of the river. remember what i said about the river water was clear eoungh to see the rocks at the bottom? this place was even clearer. aaron, nat, juan and kevin followed us after a while and soon we were having a skipping stones lesson/competition. i skipped stones for the first time in my life and it skipped twice! i was so happy that i finally got to do something that i only read and watched on tv. kevin was good. he mananged to skip the stones for 5 times or so. hero man, hero... after playing for 2 hours, we, the girls went back first to the house. who did we see sitting on the varrendah playing with kids? freda! we were like, yeah u’re back! and she brought food supplies (chipsmore!) and extra sarong for all of us and that jacket that i asked her to bring coz i left mine at home.
and so we were all yeah we get our old parts back for the drama and i was super glad becoz if i acted my new part, the whole thing would be a disaster. so we all had dinner and we went to do service. well technicaly, they did the service as in praise and worship and we just did the drama and pr tom preached. freda’s group was in charge of children ministry so i had to go along to help take pictures of it. a slight miscommunication on my part nearly threw the whole thing into crazyness but at least it was ok in the end. then we all went back to the house for debrief.
after a whole lot of teasing and debrief, we went to bed hot but because it became cold at night, i thank God that i was wearing my long sleeved white frontliners shirt to keep me warm. one thing though, we woke up scratching because we forgot the mosquito coils! oh well, what to do. i went to the toilet b4 going to the river. man that toilet was even cleaner and not so smelly compared to the one at the second village. who said it was unbareable… 5 years of school toilets really make u immune to smells i guess. we went to the river again for the last time to do our morning stuff. then we had breakfast and prayed for the village.
the truck came around 10 but we didnt know that. i was buzy accompaining bernice to the toilet when kevin was shouting to us to get our stuff into the truck. so we quickly went to the house and packed everything. we walked to a bus stop and prayed for the pastor there. the truck was waiting there as well. it was the same kind of truck that brought us here and we had to sit just like last time. while yi lin was saying goodbye in the truck, a mak cik stuck her head and hand out to shake her hand. yi lin see her but when she saw did, she freaked out. it was so funny… anyways we all got into the truck and went on our way to kampung number 5.

yes it's me
1:21 AM

Thursday, April 16, 2009

the road there was dusty and uneven. but despite all those untarred roads, we had a fun time going there coz we were singing our songs for the churches and children ministry all the way there. not only that, aaron and kevin were trying to make it sound upbeat by adding disco sound to it. so what do we do? try to make it sound rappy and all R&B but we ended up laughing beczuse it sounded so funny. even the youths that followed us smiled at us like they were laughing. oh well, we needed the fun we passed by alot of rubber trees and a whole lot of reeds until we came by some houses. the driver got out halfway and started doing something at the tires. i was like, what happen? tire pumchet ah? then kevin said that he was changing the truck into a 4 wheel mode. its necsisary to drive up steep hills and it has to be done manually coz its an old truck. the new ones gets it done automatically. oh… so thats a bit of knowledge for us who don’t have a single clue about interior transport. like, me. haha.
and so we reached the village and the truck stopped at a church. yeah i said a church. its because its the seventh day adventist church of that village. turns out the SDA are also quite prominant in their missions as well. but enough about that. after climbing out of the truck, we saw the first thing that will catch anyone’s and the sound that caught all our ears. the river.
it was so long and wide and fast that we could hear the rapids and see them as well. it was like white clouds on the river. and on both sides of the banks are rocks. big ones that u have to step on to walk around. i’ll tell u why later.
after marvelling at the river, we went to the house for us to stay. it was a typical house, with stilts and all. we went up and put our stuff in the living room neatly (ps tom’s orders) and we grabbed our stuff that we needed for the raptai and headed straight for the church which was right down the slope. the SIB one, not the SDA one.
it was a not so big church compared to tagaroh but it was ok. there was a main door in the middle and a side door at the side of the stage. the windows were big squares with wire on it. the benches were made of wood and it had around 7 rows (i think) on each side.
practice was alright and we had to do the heart drama. problem? freda’s not here with us right now! so pr tom told me that i had to improvise and play both her and my role. it was very hard because she and i although we come out together, what she does is very different from my role. i had to keep up with the timing and i was pretty lost for a while. but in the end it was all good. after practice we thanked the youths who accompanied us here and went back to the house to get ready to bathe and wash our clothes.
we went down the slope of a hill to reach the river. we walked on the rocks and some kids came along to join us. we walked for some distance and the girls settled on some bigger rocks to put our stuff. the boys went a bit more futher and settled there. the water wasn’t as clean as the one in the second village but at least u could see the rocks at the bottom. after putting on our sarong, we went into the river.
wow. the rapids are fast man. the moment u get in there, it starts pulling u so fast u start grabbing on anything to keep steady. since there wasn’t any reeds or trees around, i grabbed the rocks at the bottom that were steady. the whole bottom was filled with rocks. not just small ones, big and huge ones as well. i was going, i’m gonna die! i’m gonna die! but the kids gave me strength in a way. you know how?
they just stood on the rocks by the side of the river and jumped straight into the water. i was like, kid! r u ok? he just poped out of the water smiling. i went, duh… all of them, it was routine of them to do that. i was so shocked. i mean, here i am trying to hold on for dear life but these kids were so used to it. and then i saw what they did for fun during bath time. they would climb to the high part of the rapids and just relax. the water would just carry them down so fast its like something you pay for at a water themepark. only differnce is, they get to do it for free, 24/7! soon the boys of our group decided to try it too. the only problem was, their body was bigger compared to the little boys so they wernt floating on the water, they were going down while saying “ow! ow! ow!” the whole time. pr tom was the funniest. he was going “ah! oh ouch!” the whole time. nat was being a kampung boy all over again. he looked so natural at it the whole time. i was a bit skeptical of the whole thing but bernice was all “i wanna try! i wanna try!” and so she went. she came down yes, but with a price. 2 bruises on her back. yi lin and i were playing with the little girls while washing our clothes.
soon, it was time to go back. the girls went up first because there’s only one room to change in. then the boys came and the girls took this time to do their makeup and stuff. well i couldnt. thank God yi lin and bernice was there. haha. then the wonderful ibu-ibu served us dinner and we had a fun time eating with the pastor. and when we finished, we all went down to do ministry.
everything went well, including the drama. then bernice’s group was in charge of children minstry so that means i had to go too. i tell u, the kids were so obiedient. they listened to every word you tell them and they did everything you tell them to do. hands down, best children ministry for our group. then we all released them back to the church and we all closed up for the night and went back to the house for debrief. turns out that the pastor of the church is a rubber tapper so yi lin asked to follow him to work to see how the work of a rubber tapper is. i wanted to follow and so pr tom told us to be ready by 5am. but the funny thing is that the pastor told us that he’ll get us at 9am. plus we had to perform the acceptance drama. since freda wasnt with us, yi lin had to take over her role while i had to take over yi lin’s role. since i wasnt really that type to do her kind of stuff, kevin playfully joked that i might as well just give them money. pr tom liked that idea so he told me to do that. i was like, God help me. and yi lin’s group had to do a major children ministry tomolo at the church in the afternoon. but i still dunno lor… so we had our maggie and chipsmore for supper and we all slept. girls in the small room, guys in the living room with all the boys bags in the space cut out from the living room.
i woke up at 4.30am to wake yi lin up. prob is, we were both still so sleepy that we went back to sleep and by the time we woke up to get ready, it was already 5.20. oh crap! i quickly woke yi lin up and we both waited outside for the pastor. he didnt show up so i thought he probably left when he din’t see anybody waiting for him. so both of us fell asleep outside, waiting for him. it wasent so bad. we saw lots of different big and colourful bugs. the sunrise was beautiful too.
we went back into the house to sleep at 7am. but i woke up again when i heard knocking on our front door. i opened it abit to find the ibu-ibu outside waiting to cook our breakfast. i was like, ok, boleh tunggu sekejap? then i went to wake aaron up coz he was sleeping really near the kitchen door and i din want him to kena steped by the ppl. after asking aaron to wake up, he began to wake most of everybody. soon everyone was awake and we all got ready to bathe in the river.
we all went down to the river to bathe, brush teeth, wash clothes and play at the same time. this time, i decided to try the rapids with yi lin after been convinced by bernice that it was fun. well, we tried it out. my legs got caught in my sarong halfway so i was struggling for my life in case i drowned. well i din. thats where i realised. the rocks by the side were probably left after the river slowly dried up last time. so im guessing that the river was much bigger than it was now. after that, we the girls, left for the house to change. after all of us had changed, we all had breakfast. then pr tom got a call from freda. she said that she’ll be with us around 5 in the evening, most likely. there was a chance that she could be later than expected.
uh oh. and we had to perform the acceptance drama. and freda is the main star. we were doomed. oh well, improvise. so after breakfast, we headed over to the church to practice the impromptu drama.
*this post shall be continued in the next port when i am fresh and awake :)*

yes it's me
12:44 AM

Monday, April 13, 2009

and so with rain just stopping, we reached a kampung called Tagaroh. a lovely clearing for a village and a huge church if may add. we stopped in front of the church and ps tom came out. we came out as well and there were the pengerusi and some of the woman folk that came out to greet us. the ibu-ibu there came and shook our hands and greeted to us “sonung kesua bon!)
huh?
yeah…then they translate to us that that was dusun for good morning or good afternoon. oh… so we greet them back the same sentence but since they saw us having difficulty in pronouncing the words, they just switched to selamat petang to us. haha. pity us.
then ps tom told us why he’s so relaxed here. last year, the team came here to do the serengeti trek. so he’s feeling very at home at this place. we took our bags and went to the house for us which is just opposite the church. it was the same house they stayed in last year but with a few changes. they reno-ed the place to give it extra space. the bottom part of the house was covered up to become the living room while the outside was painted pink. it really did have a homey feel to it.
and so we went to another house to have tea. the house belonged to the former pastor of the church who moved to pastor another church. the pengerusi was elected just a month ago and it was proving a challenge to him considering he just had a baby 8 months ago. we chated for some time and got used to the place. the kitchen was big and the toilets were good enough for privacy. the girls talked with the mak cik mak cik and they showed diff types of vegetables and fruits. some of us even tried to cook the vege! we then requested to hang our clothes that we washed at the river at the previous church (did i mention that? washing clothes in the river was so fun!) and the pengerusi said that we could use to clothes line at 2 different houses. so the girls took the clothes line at the pastor’s house while the guys use the clothes line at another abandoned house and after hanging all our clothes, we went to the church to do a raptai.
wow. the church has a big space. the alter area is long and big, the stage is big, and by the looks of it, the whole santuary is big. they also have ohp so i was put in charge of it. the whole raptai was good and soon it was time to go and get ready. ps tom told us that the next village that we went to will require a 5 hour climb (oh man!) and also informed us that we also had to do a youth service for them as well. the pengerusi wanted us to specificaly address the issue of the youth there who go to town and get their faith shaken there. so we were required to share to them one by one on the pulpit.
who was not scared at that moment? no idea. coz that was what was going thru our head that time. 5 hours to think of something to say to a bunch of youth for 5 minutes. if stage fright din kill us then, maybe the whole what topic to say to them might. i was going nuts at that time. but that wasn’t the issue yet. we still only had less than an hour to change and get ready for dinner.
this is how the toilets were. four rooms. one bathroom for the guys and one for the girls. the other 2 were toilets for both gender. wow. who ever knew that bathing would take so long. espeacially with 8 guys waiting to use one bathroom. the girls were first to finish bathing (oh yeah!) and got started on putting on our makeup.
we went for dinner at 7pm. the food was nice and we had a nice chat with some of the youth there as well. some were working already while some was the same age as us. soon after eating we went for service. we had to use our torchlights coz it was really dark then.
when we were there, yi lin quickly drew devil motif for kevin’s eyes since he was playing the devil in the heart drama later. introducing him was a funny coz he look weird smiling in his makeup. service went by as usual and yi lin’s group was in charge of children ministry.
after service, we had the youth service. we played games with them while i met a new friend name Fet. she was one year younger than me and was pretty nervous about spm. we talked alot and got along pretty well if u ask me. then we prayed for all the youths and went back home. so we din do the sharing thing with them.
since the ibu-ibu had prepared us some supper, we got to eat doughnuts, some sort of really nice kuih and sago desert. really nice man… since some of the youth didn’t go home yet because the next day was a holiday, we invited them in as well. man did we chat. they came in and talked and we shared our experiences abt sym with them as well. pr tom showed them the sym video and some of them expressed interest to join next year. only thing holding them back was the cost of the whole 3 months. we all talked until 2.30 am and the youth went home. we had a mini debrief and soon we all went to bed.
the next day, we woke up at 8 am. after doing that we do every morning including having breakfast, we went downstairs when we were ready to have devotion. freda had already left for kk to recieve an award from her school (gratz girl!) and pr tom took juan to the hospital or klinik to see a doctor abt his nose. when i went down to the living room, aaron and some others were there already and was just relaxing for a while. aaron was playing the guitar and we had a fun time trying to translate “My Redeemer Lives” from english to BM. then bernice came down and we started devotion. after that we prayed for the previous village and this village as well. it was at the middle of prayer pr tomand juan came back and so they joined in as well.
let me tell u this, in all our prayer times, we never had such a frevernt prayer b4. everyone was passionate in their prayers and 2 ppl became so “high” on the Lord that all of us were suprised at their beheviour. we were all praying halfway when suddenly nat starting clapping his hands. kinda like auntie hannah when she prays. juan also prayed loudly that his words were not stuttering like usual. the power of God? i would say yes. God’s spirit moved.
after prayer, pr tom told us that the hike to the next village was cancelled as the road to that place had closed. both the hiking trail and road to that village had a prob coz it rained last night. so we were to skip to the next village. we all packed up our bags, had lunch and swept up the house.
the pengerusi came in a lorry. yup, that was our transport to the next kampung. it was a truck with a roof over the back, metal bars to keep u from falling out of the sides and a long bangku to sit. after praying for the pengerusi, pr tom arranged us all in a way that the bags is both on our laps and between our legs. then we all sat in it with some of the youth with us. we all waved goodbye to the ppl there and went happily on our way to kampung number 4.

yes it's me
5:30 PM

Friday, April 10, 2009

over the bridges and the rivers, our butts hurts with evry single bump. seriously, the roads were so rocky. well i had to take photos while the sabahans were playing some sort of number fingers game. they played it so many times thru out the whole trip but i still dun get it. haha. well we travelled for a good 20 minutes, i think, where we reached the church, SIB Manggin.
its quite a cute church. one main door in the middle and one door on the side. again, we were greeted by the pengerusi or the pastor (i can’t remember). then he led us to our house to stay. just a tiny slope down from the church. the place was completely wat u wud have to pay if u went to a resort offering the same type of accomadation. one small room to sleep and the kitchen was directly at the other end of the living room. there were coconuts there 2. the toilet was a little shack outside of the house. the walls were made of zinc, one hole in the middle of the roof, four planks to make a hole on the ground, and thats it. thats the toilet. can’t complain since it wasn’t dirty. believe me, if i say a toilet is dirty, it is dirty. all this is thanks to 5 years of training in my school. u wudnt want to go to my school toilet. even this toilet in the interior beats my school flat. anyways, just another slope down is the river.
ahh….the river…. it was so relaxing. the water is so clear u can even see the rocks and sand at the bottom. i tell u, penang has lost this. where else can we find this untapped source?
and so we went to the church to do our rehersal. same thing as the last time so i wont say much abt it. after our rehersal we went back to the house to get our stuff needed for bathing. some kids were there and they agreed to follow us after striking friendship with us. at the river, all four of us were going “ahh! rocks! cold water!” while the kids just hopped from one rock to another. amazing. the guys took the upper stream while the girls went further down. we changed into our sarong and thats where i got my nickname from a little girl, “Si Mata Kecil”. izzit true? oh and becoz she could’nt really say li mei, she decieded to call me “mee” or “mee goreng”. funny.
after bathing in the clear, cool, clean, cold, and did i mention clear? water, we went up to get ready for ministry. the girls got to use the small room first then the guys. ah… so refreshing…. and we left for the church.
same thing. greet the ppl. talk to the kids. and then they pulled me to the back of the church to show me their dance for christmas last year. and they din’t even have a torchlight! they just went up to the stage, grabbed the tamborines there, went to the back, and sent a representative to get me! wow! the boldness man. no wonder Jesus said faith of a child. not being scared at all when u know u have protection. but then i had to cut short their performance halfway coz service started d.
service went as it is. we did the blinded drama and testimonies as usual. then bernice’s group, which is the group i’m in, did children ministry. we sent the kids off to our humble house to begin.
this was how we did it. bernice started off with a simple prayer, followed by nat doing games. he did follow the leader or ikut pengetua. i just kept the kids in the small room to hide em knowing who’s the leader. then it was worship. i was in charge and with bernice playing the guitar, we did 2 songs, anak monyet and bahasa cintaMu. since it was kinda my first or second time worship leading (if u wanna count the time in rkc where the switchbox exploded which btw bernice, i still think it was God telling me something), i didn’t really did a good job. then kevin took over and he did Bible storytelling. Bible story was abt the three friends of Daniel who did not bow down to the statue King Nebucanazaar made. he did a good job and the kids really liked it. and so it was time for craft. bernice, the most artful one with her hands, handled it 2. our craft was a paper fire, stuck on with a lidi stick. all the kids had to do was colour the fire and write the memory verse on it. we kept looking out to the church and realised that the adults were finishing so we hurried the kids up. bernice went into overdrive and taped all the stickers and scotch tape so fast i wonder whether her eyes went still anot. we finally gave the sweets to the kids and sent them off to their waiting parents outside the house. they thanked us, we thanked them. and we went back to the church to meet up with the others.
when we got back it was about empty. but there were still some ppl there so we just hung around and talked to them. suddeny bernice called for her team to come for a debrief. and so the verdict was… we cud be better. games was a bit too long, worship was super long, but overall it was ok. then we realised, we didn’t close in prayer! so we just said we have to buck up next time and we miggled around with the ppl. ps tom took out his laptop and showed the ppl our SYM video. after more talking, we left for home…..
well at least a place to relax and freely talk in english. u see, in this mission trip, when around the ppl there we must speak only bm so being able to speack english freely is a very big bonus. so we had our debrief, ate our noodles and the food that the ibu ibu there cooked for us, ps tom went for a midnight dip in the river with some of the guys, and we all went to bed.
the next morning, i woke up 1 hour earlier coz i really needed to use the toilet. and since ps tom said going to the toilet requires a partner, i thanked God that bernice also woke up. coming out of the room was kinda hard becoz teh guys were all sleeping everywhere on the floor in the living room. wats worse? kevin was sleeping directly in front of the door. somehow we managed to get out of the house. i went to the shack and bernice was my lookout buddy (thanks girl!) then it was time for every1 to get up.
we all went to the river again to freshen up and then we went back to the house for devotion. after that we all relaxed until 12 noon. the sabahans were all confirming the ppl coming for their graduation while the rest tried to sleep in the more and more hot house. u can sweat while lying down. but it was good coz we get to sweat all the toxics out of our body.
remember the coconuts? yeah ps said we can only open them at 12 noon. and thats what we did then. we were all so thirsty that we all told nat to quickly open them. since there was 12 of us, nat had to open 12. man did those coconuts have water. super alot man. there are more stories abt the coconuts but since i’m not too sure abt them i’m not gonna write abt it.
and so we packed up and went to the church to wait for our transport. we were told that our transport wud arrive around…i forgot ;p so while waiting, the kids gave some notes to some of us and we prayed for the church and went to do our stuff. while some of them played with the guitar, some just talked and played with the kids. pretty soon it ended up with everyone sleeping while yi lin taught the kids how to dance while playing the tamborine and me showing the other kids the photos that we took at our previous location while uploading them into ps tom’s laptop. at around 3.30pm, our transport arrived.
we all lined up outside the church, and one by one ps tom arranged our bags in the van while we said our final goodbyes to the kids. one of them kept saying,” janganlah pergi…” but we had to, as much as we din’t like to. after everything was set, we all went off to kampung number 3.

yes it's me
9:52 AM

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Mission Trip log
My Team :)
Name Job
1. Pastor Thomas Barnabas (RGBC) (unknown) Team Leader
2. Benjamin Tan (RGBC) (Choleric-Melancoly) Asst. Team Leader
3. Aaron Heng (SIB Likas) (Phlegmetic-Sanguine) Treasurer
4. Bernice Heng (SIB Likas) (Choleric-Sanguine/Meloncoly) Prayer Coordinator
5. Daniel Mak (EPCC) (Phlegmatic-Choleric) Video Camera
6. Elfreda Floria Danny (SIB Kingfisher) (Meloncoly-Choleric) Medic
7. Juan Ling (Basil KK) (Sanguine-Phlegmetic) Time Keeper
8. Kevin Wong (SIB Likas) (Phlegmetic-Choleric) Equipment Manager
9. Li Mei (RGBC) (Sanguine-Phlegmetic) Camera
10. Matthew Lok (SIB Likas) (Meloncoly-Phlegmatic) Worship Director
11. Netheniel Austin Pong (SIB Kingfisher) (Phleg-Chol) Property Manager
12. Yi Lin (RGBC) (Sanguine-Phlegmatic) Secretary
as u can see, my team is very “colourful” u can bet that we had a blast with one another ;p
waddup ppl! i’m back from “the land below the wind”, SABAH. haha. i know….finally i managed to sit on a plane. and i got outta peninsula malaysia too… so thats 2 things i can cross off my “i have never….” list.
let me start by getting to the airport. i nearly got my team to be disqulified becos of the prob at tesco and the morning traffic of mondays. u know bayan lepas…. benjamin was like “hurry, we’re checking in already.” and i was like “i’m trying here!” sish………
so finaly i got to the airport. i quickly did the whole security thing and ran like mad to the counter. luckily pastor tom delayed time by checking in the others first. haha… after giving my ic, i was at rest….
sitting on a plane is fun. well for me its fun coz its my first time and jin keet was like, its ur first time?! haha. so the whole procedre of the safety thing, the lift off, the sound, the senery of penang from the top which btw looks alot like mini monopoly if u ask me, and the the view of the clouds in mid-air is so nice. after all, whats a lot to see in the air for 2 and a half hours?
we arrived 25 minutes earlier than expected. really, i tell u if there ever a thing called saman for flying too fast, air asia will kena so many times man. anyways, we got all our luggage in 15 mins. bernice got her floorball stick from the cabin crew coz it came out or smth i guess. then we “how how tang tang” went out of the terminal and into the airport arrival area.
the sabahans were greeted by their families and to take stuff that they needed for the mission trip. who would’nt after not seeing ur kid for 3 months? i realised that bernice and arron got alot from their dad. aaron looks like and talks like his dad while bernice gets her adventurous side from him. i guess when she’s quiet she becomes like her mom. matthew’s sis doesn;t really look like him. maybe if he took off the glasses. kevin’s parents were….. i dunno, his parents? juan borrowed the heng’s travel bag and dumped his whole luggage into it. haha. nat went home with his parents to return the textbooks he din returned so he wasent present for day 1 in mission trip. elfreda’s dad was waiting for her and he was the one who led us all to our first sabah food. we sat in a “van” persiaran and we went to a kopitiam in sabah.
we went to eat at a kopitiam where i had lemon chicken rice. basically its just fried chicken pieces with rice and lemon sauce poured all over it. its nice at first, but the sourness of the sauce just makes ur tongue go numb after a while. oh ya, did i mention the cost? 6 freakin 50! for a plate that the highest i wud pay is 5 bucks! well it is their signiture dish anyways so who am i to critize right? now i know penangnites tend to be a bit picky with their food when they go to other states.haha. bad penangnite. me.
after the whole big meal and mistaking elfreda’s mom for juan’s mom (they work at the same school! its an honest mistake!) and reuniting with the majority of elfreda’s family, we set off for our first village and church, SIB Manggeris 2.
the senery there compared with kk is totally different. i mean in kk right, looks like a mixture between batu ferringgi and penang town. the route there looks more like on the way to balik pulau if you take the paya terubong road. seriously, its all just trees.
we reached some huts, but we were wondering where the church was. some ladies came and helped us carry our bags but we were like, no its ok then we realised that the church was located on top of the hill! luckily its a small climb so we din die or anything… for a while i thought the whole all the stamina training we did in air itam dam and team building was gonna kick in but since it was just a few meters from where we were so what the heck la….
when we got there we were greeted by pengerusi raphael (i think). after introducing ourselves, we went to the church to do a raptai. looking at that place, the space was like one third of the rgbc sanctuary with no side doors. ps tom said to improvise coz we had to the the aceptance drama. after a slight rehersal, we went back to the house desinganated for us to stay to get ready. after changing, we went out and talked to the ppl that were arriving. appearantly they walked over a hill just to get here. thank God they were teenagers. if they were old ppl.... i dunno what to think. they said that this village has the most number of babi hutan but unfortuantely we din get to see one. although, we did get to see a baby asian sloth. kinda cute... well it has to be, considering all the girls were going "so cute!" at it. Someone rang the "bell", meaning the service has started.
and so the whole ministry went on. first the pengerusi intro us to the congregation (jemaah), ps tom took over and intro us to the ppl 1 by 1. we stood in one line, according to what we wud be doing next and the drama. worship was ok, except the part when we had to keep looking at the lyrics halfway coz some of us havent really memorized teh whole song. haha. pity the guys who had to hold the mahjong paper with lyrics coz they dun have ohp.
after worship we had testimony! elfreda did the salvation testimony. then we did the drama! since space was limited, we tried our best to stay in timing with the “made to love” song. anywho, we made it and testimony again, this time it was aaron who had to share how God had blessed (memberkati) him. then ps tom took over again and send all the little kids to our hse for children ministry. for more info on that, pls ask elfreda’s group coz it was her group that was in charge that day.
ps tom’s msg to the villagers was started off as funny. he used the malay Bible (Alkitab) to speak and the verse that he used was Ibrani fasal 5, ayat 13-14 which translates as Hebrews 5: 13-14. its about christians having to be mature and stop playing church with God. then he passed the time back to the pengerusi and he called for an alter call which every1 came out to be prayed for! we were all like, wow? so we went, guy to guy, girl to girl, and began to pray, all in bm. IN BM!!! i mean, i’m at the border of passing my bm in school and i had to pray in BM?! eh who cares? i just prayed anyways, as the Lord leads la. supprisingly the words came as simple as it was. God’s miracle, if u ask me.
after we were done, we all went to bathe at 10 something at night with no electricity. the bathroom was down at the slope, a zinc shack with running water (thank God) and that was it. 2 girls showed us the way and it was hillarious for them to see 4 city girls with no idea how to bathe together. it was funny i tell u.
no light. use torchlight. no soap. use other ppl one la. —this section is closed and classified and is stored in certain ppl’s minds only. no more writing abt it.—
ok…….. after we came out and yi lin falling down, we, the girls, sat in the house, waiting for the boys to bathe finish. man the stars there is uncountable. seriously, its like a star wallpaper. thats one thing sabah has against penang. sad. so there we were, sitting, talking, eating chipsmore.
ahh chipsmore…. nth like a nice cookie after ministry time. SYM 2010, remember, buy chipsmore for mission trip. its one thing u can look forward to if u want to munch. anyways, after talking and bernice trying to sleep, the guys came back and we had dinner and debrief. we talked about what we saw God work in and through us. we had to write those stuff down into the mission trip handbook. and so after that we went to bed. well technically, yi lin and i shared a room while bernice and elfreda slept in the other. the guys were all in the main room. and ps tom was snoring away 2 minutes after he opened his sleepin bag. i went to bed after reading jessica’s sms.
the next morning, we went to the bathroom. since it was a school day, we knew where we were going to bathe. after that we had our breakfast (can’t remember what it was) and we packed up everything. kevin, being the property manager, checked everything we had and distributed the stuff in the ministry box to all of us becoz we cant carry that long box everywhere we go. and so we played with some of the kids as we waited for lunch to be cooked. –skip to lunch time–
lunch was nice. the chicken, super good man. and bernice was like, i wan summore watermelons! since we suposed to take 2 rounds, i was happy. but pastor tom told us to take not so much coz we had to leave sum for the villagers to eat. it was the ibu-ibu of the village that cooked for us….
oh and did i mention? mr. netheniel left us at the airport to settle some stuff at school and so did not join us at the ministry. but, it was at lunch time that he came to the village to join us, with his dad, mom, and cousin and his aunt i think? anyway, he came back and we were all, austin! and our fellowship continued with matthew sketching a building and yi lin and elfreda playing games with the kids there. those of us who felt emo all of sudden went back to the house to sleep. soon every1 went to the house to sleep.
well, at least i wasent sleeping. the kids followed us into the house too so me being the then most energetic 1, entertained the kids while every1 else had their naps. i took the time to do what i planned to do b4 i came, learn the dusun language. the kids were a great help (and elfreda too) and soon i learned how to put sentences together. after that, our ride came and we all had to go.
the kids were playing something called tikus or something. its basically a game of tag but they dun mind playing it even how old they are. no wonder they’re so thin, they exersice everyday for fun! gone are those days for me…
and so we all gathered outside to pray for the pengerusi with benjamin closing. then we all said goodbye, gave our number to the kids, and we all took our stuff down to the suvournier shop at the bottom of the slope. some of them who were hungry for tea bought jagung that was bbqed. not bad if u ask me. tastes just like steamed ones. we joked with the kids and soon, our transport, a van and a kembara arrived. after ps tom arranged our bags, we left for village number 2.

yes it's me
11:58 AM

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

hmm.....should i? or should i not? hmmm........

yes it's me
10:01 PM