Thursday, March 26, 2020

Living off the Land

It's not as if we are completed isolated from the outside world. Most of my colleagues are serving in the interior of Sabah. Except for the occasional WhatsApp messages, it is more of checking each other's WhatsApp status. In a way, technology has managed to bridge the gap of social distancing. Today I saw how one of my former student who is now a pastor surviving in her village. Her village some 2 hours from Ranau is only accessible by gravel roads. It is atrocious in many ways; I had gone into the area twice - once when I was a pastor in Ranau and then in my final foray into the interior before returning to Kota Kinabalu for good. I saw them living off the land - or more specifically off the river that runs through their land.
A number of villagers in their rakit (bamboo boats) traversed the length of the river looking for fish. Some have found methods to catch fish basically making a net using bamboo and diverting the flow of waters into it so that the fish are caught in the bamboo basket downstream. I don't know whether I could survive long in the interior. Three weeks seem to be a long time, let alone three and a half years of the End-time. My church member gave us some vegetables, corn and a papaya today. She lived in a low cost apartment with no land but she and a few of her neighbours plant vegetables around the housing estate wherever they could find soil and land. In times of crisis and emergency, we can only laud such creativity and instinct for survival. Not only it is healthy and all home grown but it is basically free. We rely on money too much. But the day will come when money will be of no use, but only God-given skills in survival will matter.

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