Wednesday, October 3, 2018

A Week that Was

As they say a week is eternity in politics. But as for me, I feel just the same that this past week I have been totally engaged with many things. So I get a welcome reprieve with my upcoming trip to Singapore for a few days but upon my return to Sabah, I shall be occupied fully with various speaking engagements until the College graduation in the 2nd week of November. In the past week, I had watched the Senate judiciary committee hearings, sometimes live when Judge Kavanaugh made his response to Dr Basley Ford's allegation of sexual misconduct. I have been reading constantly since then up to an hour or two daily on different media outlets, conservative or democratic-leaning over this Supreme Court nominee. Ultimately, as far as I am concerned - is the nominee telling the truth? I will come back to that, God willing. But first my ministry for the past fortnight has taken me over 1,200 kms in all.
It was an eventful trip to the north of Sabah, to Kudat town where I visited the Tip of Borneo. The 500kms to and fro was made bearable because I was travelling with my students and their families and we chatted all the way there and back. It was a happy occasion. We stopped over in a student's village, just 20 minutes off the main road but the road leading to the village was bad and I had to engage my 4-wheel drive mode. My pick-up truck was covered with mud through and through. I realized it was for such trips that I bought my car in the first place to be able to reach remote villages that ordinary sedans or cars can't get to. The weekly car-wash adds to the budget and often-times I travelled by faith without being certain when my salary is paid into my account from month to month.

The fellowship with my good friend the Kudat pastor was a highlight and we commiserated with each other on our impending departures from our current ministries. Really, if God ever puts me back in the HQ, I will fight with all my heart and strength to alleviate the sufferings of SIB pastors in terms of their work conditions, respect and worthiness and their remunerations not just for themselves and for their families. Most pastors serve with a heavy heart with little respect from elders and leaders of the church and being moved around all the time and often-times they take a pay-cut in their next posting as their seniority or length of service is not taken into account.

As for my lectures, it too has been unsettling as I have to navigate between visiting lecturers who take precedence over the core courses I teach, something that never happened in my 6 years in Singapore. Just before my trip to Kudat I drove back and forth Kota Kinabalu just to teach a 2-hour long course on the Malaysian Constitution. So straight after my Singapore trip I will rush back to College to complete my two other courses in Eschatology and Romans before driving 5 hours from Namaus, Ranau, Tambunan, Keningau, Tenom, Kemabong to the place of ministry in Ulu Tomani.

Last Sunday afternoon I attended the AGM of the SIB KK District which went for 7 hours. I sat through the whole proceedings including the election of the leaders of KK District. I wanted to test my stamina for meetings because if I want to serve the larger SIB denomination, there are many annual meetings here and there that will last a whole day.

On Monday I had dinner with a senior leader who was with me in ministry for a while so our friendship goes back to more than 15 years and even before that I had encourage him as a young man to return to ministry when he was out of the limp for a while. We discussed many things but sad to say I could not convince him over several important matters. Obviously, as our denomination's AGM is on the horizon he also asked me about it. He was for the status quo but I tried to persuade him to embrace change. But ironically and coincidentally, when I reached home after dinner, I got a text message from a District informing me to be ready and that they would support me all the way. So the whole evening until mid-night I was in two-mind over this with my friend advising me on a certain course but there are many out there hoping for change.

My lawyer friend whom is my closest friend who will speak frankly and not afraid of being offensive offered words of encouragement. He asked me a point blank question, "What can you do for your Church if you are elected?" I guess I have about 7 weeks to figure that out, and in my forthcoming ministries in various places and conversations with friends I pray that I shall know with a measure of certainty of what God has planned for me. Fulfill Your purpose for me, Lord. 

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