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The verse, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few” (Mathew 9:37) was deeply rooted in my thought after the survey cum short mission trip to some riverine longhouses around Song along the Rejang Basin.

It was a pioneer trip organised by MSIP from 19-24 March 2017. Our team consisted of 11 members led by Raymond Lee and assisted by Pastor Listari. Heartfelt thanks to the three brothers, Tuai Rumah Sylvester ak Ragai, Cikgu Nyambung ak Ragai and Brother Joseph ak Ragai who untirelessly accompanied our team to the longhouses.

From Song, our hired van, 2 hilux, and 2 longboats soon reached our first station, Rumah Seligi, then in the evening we crossed the Rejang river to Rumah Panau at Nanga Musah. Our trip covered Rumah Demang, Rumah Bagan, Rumah Tagi, Rumah Philip, Rumah Anjan, Rumah Sauh, Rumah Japok and Rumah Jawa. Some longhouses were difficult to reach as we had to walk up the slippery hills and wooden belian stairs.

The long houses were built on higher grounds to avoid floods and prevent enemies to ascend and attack the longhouses in the olden days. It was a great experience for some of us as we had to drag our longboat on the way to Rumah Jawa as the water level was too low and murky. Our last station was Rumah Sering along Rejang river about 25 minutes boat ride down from Song at Nanga Temiang.

We could see joy among the longhouse folks because they had waited for so long for mission teams to come and share God’s words with them. We all rejoiced as we sang songs of praises. Apart from doing the blood pressure examinations and diabetes readings, our medical team also gave talks on hygienic and healthy living to them. At each longhouse we shared our life message through our testimonies, life lessons with God, Godly passions and the Good News of Salvation. Our team also distributed Iban Bibles to them. For the illiterate elders, we encouraged them to hear the good news from the radio early morning. The children listened attentively to the Bible stories from our Sunday School teachers and enjoyed the paper cuttings and colouring activities. The teenagers also had a friendly fellowship with our young members.

What touched me most was an elderly woman who stayed alone waiting for someone to share God’s message to her. While waiting for our boat to pick us up, she told us it’s been a long time she didn’t hear God’s words .Upon her request we sang some songs for her and she was delighted.

Participating in a mission is an essential part of our living for God’s glory. Our mission is a continuation of Jesus’ mission on earth. Jesus calls us to go for him. A mission trip is a wonderful privilege journey. Telling others how they can have eternal life is the greatest thing we can do for them. Our mission has eternal significance. It will impact the eternal destiny of other people. Our mission gives our life meaning. The Bible says The Great Commissioner is given to every follower of Jesus.

The trip just ended, but the journey is continual. We have to go again to do the harvest. Every longhouse folk parted us with these words, “Datai Agi!” meaning Come Again! Let us pray that we will always be on the outlook to reach to the needy in the interior. The indigenous people are our brothers in Christ.

By Jason Siew S. A.
Nyelong Park Methodist Church,
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