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SANDAKAN – Twelve members of the Catholic Campus Ministry of Melaka-Johor Diocese (Majodi) embarked on a 10-day mission trip to the Paitan Missionary Area of Sandakan 22-31 Jul 22-31. The mission field trip was led by Sharon Lee, the Coordinator of the Campus Ministry and accompanied by their Spiritual Director, Fr Matthew Bun, the Parish Priest of St Elizabeth’s Church, Kota Tinggi.
On the last day, the team took a 4-hour drive to reach Sandakan. They joined the bi-monthly diocesan staff mass, which was presided by Bishop Julius Gitom and concelebrated by Fr Matthew, at the Chapel of the Diocesan Pastoral Centre the next day.
Sharon Lee, the mission leader, in a brief interview shared of their 10-day experience in Paitan:
Grateful to God for the opportunity to do mission work in Paitan, they acknowledged that they were ably assisted and accompanied by those whom God sent along throughout their mission
They prepared themselves spiritually and physically several months before the mission.
For the mission project, their team was assigned to assist in the construction of a new double-storey wooden ‘Tadika’ at Kampung Tawanan, a mission post established in the late 80’s.
The ground floor of the 20′ by 30′ structure would serve as an assembly and activity hall while the first floor would be the classroom. Together with a few local skilled carpenters, they worked hard to ensure that the building would be completed within the time frame.
Despite all their good intentions, they failed to accomplish their goal. They could only put up the basic structure within the given 10-day period. The roofing, walling and flooring have yet to be completed before the building could be handed over for the use of the local children.
Disappointed, but sagely, they acknowledged that their thoughts were not the same as God’s thoughts and their ways not His. Though they expected things to fall in place according to their plan but God knows better.
Looking back they cherished the wonderful ways God led them through certain situations. Along the way they learned to lean on one another, especially in tough times. They have grown much closer and the bond of relationship incredibly strengthened. The experience has also taught them that proper planning, initial groundwork preparation and wider participation are the key to any successful project. They learned to rely on God for all things happen only in His time. – DOSPO, DS