Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Strangers & Aliens in Sabah

I praise you Lord for you have comforted me and have not let my enemies rejoice over me. Lord, they have banished me from my land as a bird that is banished from its nest (1QH iv 8-9). Now I dwell in a land of plenty and peace but to me it is a wilderness for I am a foreigner and an alien far away from my people and my land. Twice within a month I have gone back to my land of birth. Instead of peace there was war on terrorism in the East, not far from my hometown of Sandakan.

Lahad Datu was and is a special place. More than 40 years ago I flew on a plane to Lahad Datu when it was still called Malaysia-Singapore Airlines (MSA). Lahad Datu is a town where many of my relatives lived for generations. Lahad Datu was the place where I had a clear vision of the Lord. That took place in 2005 where I preached in 3 churches during an interchurch event. The Suluk community is probably the majority city dwellers in Lahad Datu. There are many Filipinos and Indonesians in Lahad Datu far more than the locals. I remember telling my SIB church there to reach out to the foreigners and aliens. Whether they are legal or illegal migrants we Christians must always show love and compassion. The illegal immigration problem has been a bane in Sabah for decades. Only now through this violent intrusion the authorities are awakened to the security problems in Sabah. May God help us to be vigilant and above all to show compassion to all who come to our shores, preaching the gospel of peace to all.

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