UP and down the hills ……through the slippery jungle paths…… across the shallow rivers…… walking as Christian soldiers until we reached our destination.
This was how the survey-cum-mission team ventured to Ulu Layar, Betong, and Ulu Kemalih and Kemedu at Ulu Entabai, Julau. The trip was jointly organised by SIAC and SCAC (MSIP) from 28.03.17 to 30.03.17.Our team consisted of 15 members led by Pastor Mathias and Rev. Lau Hui Sieng. It was an eye opener for most of our members.
Mark 16:15 says, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.” We were thus out of our comfort zone venturing into an unknown world in the interior where not many people or mission teams had visited.
We went along the Ulu Layar road, and then onto a feeder road which was bumpy and narrow, bending and slippery, until we reached Rumah Ngubang at Jelau Atas, meaning the furthest or the most interior. We had a friendly fellowship with the longhouse folks and inspected their church building sponsored by Yung Jin Church, South Korea. After that we went to visit Gereja Methodist Iban, Ulu Layar where Pastor Mathias is in-charge. From there our two four-wheel vehicles took us to the end of the road where we were happy to see some young porters ready to carry our goods and knapsacks by their motorbikes. Our journey by foot began.
It was strenuous. To overcome our tiredness and thirst, we rested, joked and laughed. We continued our walk with joy. Then at a junction we used four-wheel drive again to reach Rumah Suing Ensan, Teberu, Ulu Kemalih, Ulu Julau. The total journey took us around two hours. However tiring the journey was we were filled with new spirits and awesome experiences.
That night we worshipped with them. Some of us shared our life testimonies. We thanked God that only one door or family still practise the Adat Lama or superstitious beliefs in that longhouse. Most of them revealed that their lives have been transformed after accepting Jesus as their Saviour. We also prayed for the needy. Next morning, we had morning devotion together with them.
After lunch, we proceeded to Rumah Giman Kemedu by four-wheel drive again. We waded across the swift flowing and cool river water twice to reach the longhouse up a hill. We took time off to visit a nearby longhouse, Rumah Dennis, which took us 15 minutes on foot.
We had our night worship at Rumah Giman. Not only did our members share personal testimonies but also some of the longhouse folks stood up and shared their lives after they became Christians.
The next morning devotion saw long house folks joining us. After a heavy breakfast served with rice we left Rumah Giman.The return trip was more challenging to us as we had to carry our own knapsacks.
What I saw and touched me from this trip is the transformation of the longhouse folks’ livelihood. They dare to stand up to witness the presence of the power, love and grace of God fulfilling their daily lives. One woman shared how she overcame Satan spirit filled dreams through unceasing prayers at night. Another man testified that his life had changed from the days he practised superstitious beliefs. Today he enjoys more peace and has no fear to face any unforeseen circumstances. Many revealed that they pray. They believe that God has provided them with fruitful harvests from their pepper vines. Another feature I saw is that the elders and teenagers there are not addicted to smoking and alcoholism. Their new beliefs have really SOARED to a higher level-They Seek, Obey, Adjust, Revive.
They are living a new life with the presence of the Holy Spirit.
Thanks to Pastor Peter Shin and Pastor Mathias Yusser for their untiring initial efforts. For many years they not only bring the good news to the indigenous people in the interior, but also baptise them. I can sense they are still longing for more and frequent mission teams to come.
Jesus said, “All of us must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent me, because there is little time left before the night falls and the works come to an end.” So get started in your mission of reaching out to others now! We will have all eternity to celebrate with those we have brought to Jesus, but we have only our lifetime in which to reach them.
The indigenous people need the Lord! Act now!