Pensiangan Mission Trip

The world offers you comfort, but you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness. From the 30th June until 14th July 2017, 19 students from CSS (Catholic Students’ Society) of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Skudai, Johor Bahru, also known as GIFT (Growing In Faith Together) went to Pensiangan, Sabah for a mission trip.

The main aim was to support the construction of kindergarten at Tanjung Harapan, Pensiangan and building of water closet for kindergarten at Kampung Tinanduk, Pensiangan. Throughout our time there, the team was exposed to many things, which we were not used to seeing or experiencing in our daily lives. This opened our eyes to how we can really be God’s hands and feet to spread His love to the world. This report will provides a brief overview of what the team experienced during mission trip.

Leaving for the trip, I was unsure of what to expect; we were told that we would work on the projects that briefed through Whatsapp group while we were there. Looking back, we could not have planned the incredible experience that unfolded.

We arrived at St. Francis Xavier Cathedral, Keningau on Friday afternoon and stayed at the pastoral guesthouse. It’s a very long and tiring journey from Kota Kinabalu as the road is so challenging some of us were feeling nauseated. Once we arrived at St. Francis Xavier Cathedral, our team leader, Rayvinshie briefed us and we meet with our supervisor for the project, Mr Adrian Banie Lasimbang. The group was split into two teams which will served at different places, one at Tanjung Harapan and another one is at Kg. Tinanduk. We bought all of our equipment, materials and including our food and drinks at Keningau. Exhausted and after having dinner, we reflected and prepared for the day.

After the morning Mass, we prepared ourselves for another long and more challenging journey and this time we rode on 4 x 4 wheels. Thanks to Ford Ranger Owner Club Borneo Region, we started our journey in the morning from Keningau and arrived at Pensiangan in the evening and we settled down in St. Michael Chapel.

Warm welcome from the villagers and we felt very happy as that night we were having dinner with a variety of ‘lauk kampung’ made by the villagers.

Next morning, a team left to Kg Tinanduk from Tanjung Harapan and another team will stayed behind. After 30 minutes of journey using boat by riverside, we safely arrived at Kg Tinanduk led by our supervisor Mr Adrian. As I was staying at Kg Tinanduk, our team spent the week doing construction and working with kids. We spent most of our time outside completing the toilet construction, digging a manhole and painting and drawing of the kindergarten side walls. A visit by Sister Dorothy also helped and inspired us to keep working during our mission.

Even though the week was physically exhausting, I believed that each one of us found rest and peace in the surroundings with thick jungle view and flowing rivers. It helped us to get away from busy city life and the fresh air environment helped to refresh us every time we woke up on the next day.

As from Tanjung Harapan, the team was doing renovation at kindergarten by replacing the wooden floor using wooden plank and cleaning the room of kindergarten.

Apart from that they replaced the ceiling of pastor house. Besides, a tuition was done for Form 3 students every evening and motivational talk was done for the student of SMK Pensiangan.

Much of the week, the team developed a strong, working relationship with the villagers not just among the young generation but also the elders. Besides work, the team spent their time to visiting a waterfall and enjoying it, as the creation of God never failed to impress.

In many ways, experiencing another culture so different from ours has broadened our perspective on what is important in life.

We believed that we must go to those villagers no matter how far as long as we can reach there, to spread the good news of Lord. The hospitality being provided by the villagers was very much appreciated.

Hopefully, we will be able to join the mission trip again in the future.

Overall, the trip was amazing, seeing how God can move through every single of the team members to be ambassadors for Jesus Christ. Many great friendships have been formed, and relationships were strengthened through this mission trip but most importantly, we all learnt that if we are willing and obedient to God’s calling, He can and will use us to do so much great things in His name.