Tenom is famous for its coffee. But we didn’t buy any coffee this time. I drove to Tenom last Thursday stopping overnight in Tambunan before heading to Baru Jumpa, Tenom the next day. Baru Jumpa means (just met or just meeting now) is 28kms south of Tenom further to the southern border of Sabah with Sarawak and Kalimantan. The people here are mostly Lundayeh tribe or Lumbawang as they are called in Sarawak and many of their ancestors lived in the highlands of Borneo across the three borders of Sabah, Sarawak and Kalimantan, Indonesia. Many years ago people used to travel by foot up and down these mountains to visit other villages. The SIB church started in 1957 and I was introduced to the founder of the church on Sunday. He told me he was past 80 now and I replied I was coming to 55. “You are a young man” was his response. Yesterday I preached nearly an hour before a congregation of about 200 people in a church that can easily seat 1,000 people. The church is one of the biggest in the State and the pulpit is about 50 feet from the front rows.
Most were seated at the back but the sound system was good and everyone heard God’s message. I spoke about faith and walking with God based on Hebrews 11 from the lives of Enoch, Abraham and Jacob. Each of the fathers had their strengths worth emulating. I also spoke from Hebrews 5 on feeding on solid food and not satisfied with milk. This year’s theme in our denomination is “Becoming A Mature Church”. On Saturday I gave two lectures on our Church Constitution. I feel that could be the last time I would be doing that since I have been out of the leadership for more than two decades and it is better for current leaders to speak on this topic even though the Constitution has not changed much since 1994. The Baru Jumpa leaders drove all the way to the Tenom township to have breakfast with me and we drove back together for the church service. I stayed two nights in a hotel paid for by the church. I think the first night by the HQ and then 2nd night by the local church. Last year I also stayed in a hotel for two nights and I paid for that myself. Now I am prepared to go for ministry on my own costs and not expect the church to foot the bill. It is better to give than to receive, says apostle Paul though it is also written the labourer is worthy of his wages.