Friday, February 1, 2019

49 Months in Ranau

As I drove back to Kota Kinabalu yesterday evening down to Tamparuli hills, I felt a sense of relief and peace that I had not felt for a long time. I have concluded my Ranau ministry and it had taken 49 months to be exact from 31st December 2014 to 31st January 2019. It was on the 31st December 2014 when I drove at dawn to Ranau to begin my pastorate at a town church called Muhibbah. I arrived there at 7.30am filled with hope and it was an eventful year that was interrupted by the Ranau earthquake on 5th June 2015. When I packed my things yesterday at noon after almost 30 hours of lectures I was left alone with one student helping me.
I did not want to make a big fuss so quietly did my stuff and moved out. The night before I had dropped by the Principal's house for an hour and chatted with him and another District leader and their wives. On Wednesday noon, the College started the fortnightly community lunch and prayers. I was the only lecturer present besides the Principal who led the short prayers and again I conversed with him over lunch about several things including what transpired over the recently concluded AGM. Around College, things were as normal but with a 28-acre Campus with only less than 50 students on Campus, it looked sparse and quiet. Every year since 2015, student numbers had dropped. Even the 4th year BTheol class only had 4 students from the high of 12 in 2016 and 9 last year in my Revelation class. This is inexplicable as the College's programmes were accredited in 2015 and one would have thought with accreditation there will be more students. Just past noon, the students walked down from their classes and about 12 male students came over to my flat and lent a hand and said goodbye. One male student who was my home group member lingered on and I gave him a hug seeing that he wore a sad face not wanting me to leave just yet. But it was time to go. At 1pm sharp I left the College, stopped by at Kinabalu Park for lunch and reached Kota Kinabalu just before 4pm. I was 54 years, 6 months and 5 days old.

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