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KK Archbishop’s presence consoles affected villagers

Abp meeting the peopleKIAU NULUH – The presence of the CAC (Catholic Archdiocesan Centre) staff together with Archbishop John Wong in Kg Kiau Nuluh Jun 26 has boosted the villagers’ faith in God in the aftermath of the recent Ranau earthquake. Some 100 villagers gathered at the chapel as early as 9.00 am although they were told that the CAC team would only arrive at 11.30 am. Fr Michael Modoit, parish priest of St Pius X Bundu Tuhan was with them.

Kg Kiau Nuluh is located about 60 kilometers from Kota Kinabalu.  They were one of the communities which had been impacted by the Jun 5 earthquake. Up till today almost a hundred aftershocks have occurred, and they still live in fear and insecurity.

Paulina, a local teacher in Kiau Primary School, spoke on behalf of the village.  She thanked the archbishop and his staff for their visit and their concern.  “It is not the donation of goods that matter so much for us, but more so the presence of the Archbishop, which gives consolation to us,” said an emotional Paulina.

She added that the visit gave them new strength during this difficult time.

Archbishop Wong consoled them, with translating help from Sr Anita Lintanga fsic, and told the people that the team has come to lend them support as all those affected by the disaster were always in their thoughts and prayers.

Although he was physically far from them, Archbishop Wong assured them of his support.  He urged them to bring their needs to Fr Michael Modoit, their parish priest, who would in turn relay them to their bishop.

The Archbishop also met with the younger sister of Robbie Sapinggi (pic), one of the fatal mountain guides of the quake.  Their family belongs to the community of Kiau Nuluh.

Donations of food such as rice bags, milo, packet noodles, tinned food, as well as items such as mattresses, pillows, canvas and many others were donated by caring individuals from Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur and as far as Australia. These were channelled through the Archdiocese Human Development office for the people in Kg Kiau Nuluh.

Besides the staff, there were others who have responded to volunteer their service as transporters to deliver the goods.

Aside from visiting Kg Kiau Nuluh, the Archbishop also spent some time in Bundu Tuhan with the families of the slain mountain guides Joseph Solugin and Valerian Joannes.

The much consoled Joannes Lubok, father of Valerian, was in tears.  Surprised and touched by  the Archbishop who came to visit them, they were certainly uplifted in their spirit.

As was Rozita Daimin, wife of the late Joseph, who was visibly touched and consoled by the physical presence of the Archbishop. – Linda Edward

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