Sabah: Jan 2015

Saturday, January 31, 2015

For those of you who follow me on Instagram, you would have known that I went to Sabah on a mission trip from the 25th to the 29th of January. The trip lasted for 5 days, but the ministry work was only 3 days long. Just a little insight, I fell sick and got admitted into the hospital a few days before I was scheduled to go to on the trip. With only 2 days to recover and rest, I contemplated as to whether I should go to Sabah. Fears of falling sick again and not recovering properly crept into me and lets be honest, I was absolutely terrified of having to go back to the dreaded hospital again. But as the days drew closer, I took up the challenge, crawled my way to Sabah.. and all I can say as I am back home safe and sound, is that I don't regret making the decision to have gone. Why? Well, continue reading on to know why.

So the three of us (myself + Rachel x2) took separate flights from the rest of the team because we booked the tickets earlier and prices were cheaper too. We look pretty alright for about 3-4 hours of sleep, waking up at 4am and reaching the airport by 5.30 huh? The flight to Sabah took about 2 hours and 15-30 minutes. I obviously slept on the ride there (and had some very unflattering photos of myself sleeping.. but the photos aren't with me so :) ) 

An all time mandatory plane photo.... of the sunrise & plane arms. It was a very smooth flight, no screaming children (thank the Lord) nor bad turbulence.

This picture was taken when we first arrived at Kota Kinabalu. We were ferried by car + van to the KK Baptist Church where 1/4 of the team were at. This 1/4 of the team had previously gone to Pitas, another area in Sabah to do missions (a week ago) and joined the rest of the team in KK for the second part of the missions. So basically, I attended the 2nd half of the mission trip. From left to right, we have Aunty Shirley, Rachel Ng, Aunty Anne and Aunty Gek Kim. We were resting in one of the rooms of the church whilst waiting for the other half of the team on the second flight from KL-KK.

I forgot to take some photos of the bus we took from KK to Keningau. The bus ride from KK to Keningau took approximately 2 1/2 hours. We arrived safely, checked into our accommodation and attended a engagement party of one of the teachers who taught in the school. The picture below is of Rachel and I, and we so totally did NOT plan our outfits. 

You can also tell that she really loves me.... Always pushing me away and stuff like that.

Okay! So the picture above was taken at the engagement party in the bride's house. There were about almost a hundred people (my estimation can be pretty bad but..) around that night. We all managed to take turns to squeeze in the tiny area there and enjoyed a very delicious meal cooked by the nenek. Also, when we arrived at the house, it was raining very heavily.. so all 15 of us enjoyed a muddy and wet walk down the slope from the road to the bride's house. Yes. It was a fun experience. Who knew our iPhone light feature could come in so handy when we could not see anything whilst walking down the slope.

See how closely seated we all were with each other? Yes, it was due to space constraints, but I thought that it was a very lovely night. The food was good, the company was great and it was a good experience. We left and went straight to bed (after a shower of course), prepping for a full day of mission work tomorrow because, I mean, travelling can be crazy tiring.

The next day we started off our mission work in the school with the kids. This was my second time back to Keningau, and just like the first time round.. the kids ran up to meet us as our truck arrived into the school. I think we all felt like a celebrities being swarmed by paparazzi except I think our experience was 10x better.

This is one of their classrooms. This particular classroom is out in the open. A big tent covers it and shields it from the rain.


These are some pictures of the kids as they line up for assembly. Some of them come to school for just 10 minutes, and are sweating like mad cows as they lined up for assembly. I don't know how they do it.

So our ministry work consisted of a character building session, games, songs, art & craft as well as teachers training. So the kids were divided into different classes throughout the day and followed a rotation process. Here are just some pictures of how each session went down. :)

Myself, Indran and Su Ann were in charge of the Songs team. We taught them three songs in total for the three days that we were there. One thing about these kids, is they absolutely love to SING! and.. they have an amazing talent in learning songs so quickly.

Did I JUST MAKE A GIF? (anyway how cute is Melmon) Bless his heart <3

Say hello to Freddie. He was in the Games team along with Rachel and Michelle. The kids especially loved the games session and always came in to my singing class extremely tired and sweaty. From the pictures, I would assume that the kids loved the obstacle course game day. :) Anyhow, good job games team!

Aside from all the games, singing and fun.. the kids did some learning as well. We had character building classes in English and Malay as well as lessons on good moral values. Here is Aunty Laina, an ex-teacher who was in charge of taking care of one character building session.

Crafts team! The girls in particular loved to do the arts&crafts. Here's Rach (my annoying friend) who was helping out in the crafts team. I am especially proud of her for coming on the trip. She was very reluctant to go, not very keen on being around kids... but my persuading and forcing did her well I'm sure. This girl, I believe, has learnt so much about herself, discovered new talents and abilities and has fallen in love with kids. :) Proud of you girl, for coming! x

Here is Aunty Gek Kim, the one in charge of arts and crafts. She did an AMAZING job in preparing all the crafts for the kids. Everything was well thought, planned and carried out. She is so lovely and so wonderful!

Indran & Su Ann & Syanti who were helping me out in the singing team. We had to come up with games for the older kids as they learnt the songs so quickly we had so much time to spare.

My heart feels so happy as I see the kids enjoy singing and learning. Aside from enjoying singing and learning, these kids loveeeeeee and I mean absolutely LOVE taking photos. One shout, "MARI AMBIL GAMBAR ( lets take a photo ) and the kids just swarm you just to fit into that one picture. 

As you can tell from the pictures below...... Rach & I are struggling to find a place in this photo. Perhaps the kids don't even want us in there! :( HAHAHA!

This is me.... explaining songs on the chair... BECAUSE... I was way too tired. Who knew explaining and teaching new songs to students could be soooo tiring?

We play JENGA when we have free time and when we are bored. 

These are the dedicated teachers who sacrifice their time and effort to teach the kids. They have no experience and some of them are only in their early 20s.. (I even met a teacher who is 17), and yet, I truly salute them for wanting to try and give their best in order to provide education for the children.
They don't earn much, yet God has provided and ensured that their finances and well-being are always taken care of.

Anyhow, three days later, we eventually had to say goodbye. To have the kids shake our hands and give us hugs as they slowly left the hall was heart wrenching. This trip was an unforgettable one because of the kids. The feeling that they made me feel was indescribable. The sight of the kids trying so hard to answer the questions asked in English in order to win a biscuit bar was so beautiful. To see them so determined to pronounce the English words made my heart feel happy. These kids yearned for education, they yearned for love and a friend but yet with the little they have, they still had joy. To see them smile and sing the English songs with so much enthusiasm and joy was a definitely a beautiful sight to see. The kids didn't have to do anything to make you feel loved.  Most of the kids in the school either had no true friends, or siblings.. and so they found a lot of joy in having all of us there. To the kids, we brought them joy. Little did they know that they too, poured out so much love and joy to us unconsciously.

So this was the whole team.. in total. We were all of different age groups, and we did not know each other very well. Some of us have never even met each other before. But truly, we praise God because we were all able to work so well together and as a result, this mission trip was a successful one.

I hope you enjoyed this first blog post. As you can tell some of the pictures are edited and some aren't. I apologise for the inconsistency. I had so many photos to upload.. and definitely could not edit them in time. This blog post honestly isn't my best.. but I was rushing through this blog post as I wanted it to be up tonight. I might just do a Sabah 2 post because I have lots of photos to post!


I hope you all had a lovely day. x

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