Monday, June 15, 2015

Moving Mountains & Mountain Guides

At 5pm I drove to Kibbas, a village 6km from Ranau to meet with a fellow pastor and we went to Kauluan, a village at the foot of Mount Kinabalu to visit a family who lost a son who worked as a mountain guide. There are many ways to donate to the families of the victims but I thought we should make this more personal and it happened that the deceased was a nephew of an elder whom one of our Ranau pastors knew. So with three other pastors, I arrived at the village at 5.45pm after driving on some rather treacherous roads.
Immediately the mother of the deceased mountain guide welcomed us into her house and it was a solemn moment as we saw the photo of the deceased with all his mountain equipment, three pairs of trekking shoes, helmet, jackets, gloves and sticks. I bowed in grief and silence for a moment before being invited to speak on behalf of the pastors' fellowship (photo: Kundasang township, the nearest town to Mount Kinabalu).
I thanked the family for welcoming us and I told them that we shared their grief over the loss of a son. I introduced my colleagues, from SIB Kundasang, Bundu Tuhan and Waang,  three churches situated at the epicentre of the Ranau earthquake. I asked the pastor from SIB Kundasang to share a few words of encouragement and he spoke beautifully from three verses about earthquakes in less than 10 minutes. Then I asked our pastor Treasurer from Waang  to hand over the gift and prayed for the family. It was all over in 25 minutes and as it was getting dark I asked leave and drove on another road on route to Kundasang and then back to Ranau. It was raining heavily and it made the occasion all that more solemn as I reflected on the events of the past 10 days since the earthquake that took the lives of 18 souls, 10 from Singapore and 6 from Malaysia.  It was amazing that none of the SIB members got hurt though at the moment many SIB villages and churches near the foot of the mountain are on a 24 hour watch and alert for floods and landslides.  My Kundasang pastor told me that the earth had not stopped shaking at the foot of the mountain and already often several times within a day he had to bring his kids running out of the house in case a stronger tremor might hit. Yesterday in church I prayed for our children for they suffered the most so that they are protected from fear and trauma from the aftershocks. As far as I am concerned it is business as usual. Since the earthquake I am constantly on the move from one place to another reaching out in the love of Christ per chance more people will come to know the risen Lord and be saved.

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