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KOTA KINABALU – Finding the truth about the meaning of life in the most simple environment amongst ordinary people is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. However, that is what was offered to 20 young seminarians and aspirants in the Alpha course which provides answers, centred on Jesus and his teaching, to questions of life and faith.
It was the first Alpha exposure for the seminarians brought in by Fr Wilfred Atin and Fr Michael Modoit, spiritual directors to the aspirants and the Initiation Year seminarians respectively.
The course, consisting of 15 sessions, was held once a week from June-Nov at the Catholic Diocesan Centre for 10 sessions, followed by a weekend away which includes 3 or 4 of the talks. The program was run by the Alpha team from Sacred Heart Cathedral.
The program exposed them to the basic introduction to Christianity in a defined setting which encourages praise and worship, fellowship, sharing of meals and exchanging of thoughts and views in small groups. Finding that it was not specifically on Catholics tradition, many of them did not expect much from it. However, after going through a few sessions, Alpha began to make good sense, and they come for Alpha night with much anticipation.
The weekend away was held over 2 days in Bundu Tuhan Retreat Centre Oct 24-25, encompassing an introductory session on the Holy Spirit. Most had a profound experience during the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Their experience in encountering God through Alpha is best shared in their own words of praise and testimonies. – Linda Edward
Revival is the one word that describes my whole experience with Alpha, especially the weekend away in Bundu Tuhan. I feel my inner spiritual life renewed and I received the gift of wisdom from God. He also gave me the gift to sing in tongues, that is singing in spirit and in truth. – Ricky Abi, aspirant
Alpha course is very interesting and has contributed to many changes in my life and my initial journey in this priesthood vocation. I experienced the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit in my heart. – Gabriel Lim, aspirant
I thank God for the privilege to experience Alpha for the first time. I have not only experienced a deepening of knowledge but also encountered extraordinary people serving God through their genuine and humble sharings. During the baptism of the Holy Spirit, I felt God’s Spirit came on me, a sense of unworthiness overwhelmed me. But at the same time, I was able to praise and worship God. I felt so refreshed. – Davie Anak Entalai, IY
Alpha has helped me to re-energize my catholic faith in the seminary and I’ve met many wonderful people in Alpha. – Andryano Kevin, aspirant
To experience the outpouring of the Holy Spirit of God as a seminarian is particularly special. We were given time to reflect on our sins and repent before the Lord, I spent time to do this before the blessed sacrament and told God that I sincerely want to change. I have re-experienced the stirring of God’s powerful love outpouring on me. I have also received words of encouragement and affirmation from Alpha brothers and sisters and I am encouraged to press on in this journey. – Sylvester Wong, IY
I felt the presence of Mother Mary during the baptism of the Holy Spirit session. Though my eyes were closed, tears welled up. Suddenly, I felt a touch on my shoulder. I looked up and saw an image of Mother Mary. She stood beside me and told me to believe in ‘them’. I didn’t understand at first but suddenly the image of wedding feast at Cana came to me and I remembered she told the servants to follow ‘his’ instructions. Then it was clear to me that ‘them’ was referring to God the Father, Jesus Christ and Holy Spirit. – Henry Anak Jimbey, IY
In the sharing group, I learnt and gained new experience in terms of evangelizing our catholic faith. – Nathaniel Donovon Petros, aspirant
Alpha has helped me to know more in depth about Jesus, which has in turn helped me to gow in my faith. – Morti Lambutan, IY