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A mission trip to the interior of Betong and Lubuk Antu from 17 – 21 June 2018 accomplished. It was a trip to “the end of the age” as the Bible mentions in Mathew 28: 19-20.

A small team (Cikgu Oi with her three students and me, together with a local pastor) without fear in our hearts we went forth as we believe faithfully that all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to us. Our first station was Ulu Betong known as Lidong. Pastor Henry led us there. Our journey from Betong junction took more than an hour to reach the longhouses there. We had a gathering in the evening at Rumah Thomas, Ulu Brangan. Though all longhouse folks are Christians, only a few families joined the fellowship due to different denominations of belief. At night we visited Rumah Philip, Lubuk Sebuyau. Here all families joined the fellowship. Even a family invited us to spiritually cleanse and bless his room through prayers.

Lidong area has no water supply .The people there depend on rain water only for their daily use. They take their baths and do their washings in drains dug out by the Drainage & Irrigation Department. It is only during high tide that the water from Batang Lupar River flows into the drains and often it tastes salty. We did not have a proper bath that night. We pray that the people here will enjoy a better livelihood in the future and that they will have the spirit of oneness in Christ among themselves.

The next afternoon we journeyed from Lidong to Rumah Baba, Nanga Kapu at Lubuk Antu. The journey took more than two hours. Not all the adults came out to hear the teachings of God in the evening. During our conversation, Tuai Rumah Baba revealed that it is because of the love and grace of God that he is still alive today after an acute sickness. The children enjoyed the Sunday school stories, songs and activities. Some even wept when our team said goodbye to them. The adults here need more spiritual nurturance so that they have total faith in God.

On the third day, Pastor Andrew led our team to the interior, Ulu Bawie. The hilly and winding road passed through timber camps. The journey from Nanga Kapu to Ulu Bawie took us about one and half an hours. It was really an adventurous ride for any new comer! Ulu Bawie is more like a village, two longhouses with many families and one with a few families. There is a children playground and a pre-school built by the Korean missionary to meet the needs of the children’s education here. Just imagine the nearest primary school is three hours’ walk from Ulu Bawie.

A thick photostated Bible

At night we had a gathering at Rumah Luta. They brought their own Bibles. My eyes caught sight of a thick photostated Bible carried by a lady. She told me that Bible is more than ten years old! They sang joyously and listened to the words and teachings of God attentively. The next morning we had our worship together with two longhouses at the village chapel. That morning I shared with them the words of God from 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18, ‘Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.’ Then we visited Rumah Chenan nearby. This longhouse still holds on to their old beliefs. I shared with them about the old and new creation, and be bold to change and surrender their lives to God.

That afternoon we made a stopover at Rumah Julius, Ulu Kapu Baru. The longhouse is new and consisted of only a few families. Pastor Andrew baptised a number of adults, youths and children later that afternoon by a river. Then in the evening we moved to Pastor Andrew’s room at Rumah Bara, Nyato.

Let us pray for more missionaries and mission trips to go to this remote land. We have to teach them the commands of God and nurture them spiritually. Uphold them in our daily prayers for their better livelihood and their children’s education, and that they will come to worship God together in one spirit, as Christians.

Though these longhouses we visited have differences in their beliefs, they all have one thing in common. They cordially extend to us the same invitation- Datai Agi ya! Meaning Come Again! Sure we will because this is the will of God.

It is our mission in life to go out to bring the good news to the unreached. Acts 20:24 says, ‘However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me – the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.’

The indigenous people need the Lord.

By Jason Siew
Nyelong Park Methodist Church, Sarikei
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