Weekly Newsletter- January 18, 2019

Sarawak Mission Trip- October 22-28,2018

This was my first time to volunteer for a mission work outside of Penang. I was excited about this mission trip; we were going to a place called Serian in Kuching. Our mission to this place is to hold a health screening for the locals. However when I learned that the destination we were going to is located at a remote area, I’d gotten a bit worried. I was especially anxious about the condition of our lodgings. I wondered whether we would have to camp out by the river? Would it be a proper place? Right until we arrived at our destination, then only I felt relieved and was even surprised that it turned out to be a nice place. I was excited that we were going to stay in a chalet, and there’s a recreation park next to it.

The villagers were very warm and welcoming. They had expressed to us that they were very happy that we came all the way and they appreciated very much on our efforts to help them. We were given the best hospitality by the hosts, and it was very heart-warming. They prepared good breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner for us everyday. We were especially excited during dinner time. The loving hosts/villagers had spoilt our tummies every evening with many delicious dishes. One of the dishes that I loved very much is a fish dish called Enchori, it’s very tasty and I don’t think I can get it any where else. I had a chance to visit one of the villagers’ home during this trip and I had learnt of their traditional way of cooking. Some of them are still using firewood for cooking.

Throughout our services here, I realized these people were very concerned of their own health condition although the majority of this community may be lacking in health information and resources. We could see it from their eagerness to know the results of each medical screening.

I recalled an incident when I was assisting at the dental department. An old lady came to seek treatment and we came to know that she was blind. She wanted to have 3 of her teeth removed because she was feeling pain in them. After she was given the anaesthesia shots, the doctor proceeded to extract her tooth. However she was feeling painful that she yelled out. So the doctor put a pause on it, and proceeded to extract 2 other teeth, and it went on smoothly. Since the patient was still feeling painful at the other tooth even after she was given another anaesthesia shot, we requested the local Pastor to talk to her so that we could get to know more about her condition. Thankfully she felt much relieved after talking to the Pastor, and she claimed that it wasn’t painful anymore. I was amazed that how her situation had transformed instantly. And finally, the tooth was extracted successfully.

On Sabbath day, our Pastor brought us to the village community hall to celebrate Festival of Laity. I learned that this festival is celebrated once in every 2 years by the community. How blessed we were that we had the chance to participate in it! People from far and near came to celebrate this festival; many of them came from the Southern part of Kuching. I was moved by those who made the effort to come all the way to this event although they had to travel from far to this remote location. They also dressed up for event; this showed how enthusiastic they were to participate in this special event. The number of people who came was close to 10,000. I was shocked by this number when I heard it from the Pastor. The event ended at about 2pm that day, we headed back to our lodgings after that and we had enjoyed a good rest that afternoon.

This mission trip has brought us many happy memories, it was a meaningful trip and I have learnt a lot, especially to be grateful of what I have in my life. We are indeed blessed with many things that others don’t have. I admire the simplicity of the daily living of this community; I also saw that the children here are free from stress, unlike most of us in the city. I appreciate very much that our college has granted me such a good exposure through this trip. This was my first mission trip, and I hope that I will be granted more chances to join more trips like this. I must say it was indeed a blessing from God to have brought me to this trip – Tan Yook Kei, Dip 2020-1