GIFT organises mission trip to Bunan-Tebedu

A group of students from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM Johor) under Catholic Student Society GIFT organised a mission trip to parish Bunan- Tebedu Aug 3-20.

Sep 14, 2018

By Casson Jonquil
A group of students from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM Johor) under Catholic Student Society GIFT organised a mission trip to parish Bunan- Tebedu Aug 3-20.

The mission team consisted of five campus students from UTM Johor and one student from Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI). A pastoral worker from the Youth Commission office of Kuching acted as the spiritual guardian for all the team members. The activities for this mission trip was guided and arranged by Fr Galvin Ngumbang, from the Commission for Mission and Human Development, Kuching.

Upon arrival at Leopold Memorial Centre (LMC), the team were given a warm welcome by Fr Galvin and the Parish Youth Ministers (PYM). For the first four days, the team stayed at Leopold Memorial Centre (LMC) to prepare their objective and plan for the mission trip in the kampung.

While in Leopold Memorial Centre, the team was given the opportunity to follow the parish priest to different kampungs to celebrate Mass with the villagers. Fr Berksman and Fr Selvan, Claretian priests from India, gave us a warm welcome when we arrived. Each church has its own beauty and uniqueness. Being able to experience the presence of God is just magnificent.

As part of the mission, the team helped to clean the Leopold Memorial Centre and St Martha Convent. Everyday there would be morning reflection and Bible sharing.

On the fifth day, the mission continued on to Kampung Saan. There, we were placed with two host families — Mr Mathew Asan and Mr Jelery. This mission was to journey with the families on their daily activities. It was a pleasure to have Fr Larry Tan SJ, chaplain of Kuching Campus Ministry to celebrate Holy Hour with us in the afternoon.

As we journeyed with our host families, we learned many meaningful lessons from them, going to an orchard, and clearing the land for paddy plantation were interesting skills that we learned from our new families. Through the course of the many conversations, we learnt about the struggles of finding a job and living in a state where modern technology is beyond reach. We all worked together and their gratitude towards our presence was truly humbling. We grew to understand the struggles faced by the people from their perspective.

On the final night, we maintained silence throughout Holy Hour which was celebrated by Fr Benard Jim Bujang, who came from St Stephen Bau Parish. After that, we had a fellowship dinner together with Frs Selvan, Benard and PYM St Jude.

Overall, this mission trip has been impactful in ways that cannot be explained. We were challenged to learn by living and we left with a renewed sense of passion, peace, and joy for life.

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