I came from Kg Tabilung Baru in Tambunan. I am 20 years old. I was born to a poor and broken family. My father was a drunkard and because of this, I have a difficult and painful childhood. As I was growing up, I promised myself not to be like my father. If I were married, I would not want my own son to experience what I had experienced. I promised myself that I would study hard until I earn my degree from the university. I want to make my mother happy during her old age.
But after I started my secondary school, everything in my life started to go wrong. I mixed with wrong friends. I started to smoke. Instead of going to school, I escaped. I fought and I stole. I knew then that what I did was wrong but they gave me such a thrill that I could not stop myself.
One day I fought with my father and I ran away from home and followed my friends. We went anywhere we liked, did everything we wanted and slept anywhere we could. I stopped schooling at Form Two.
I began to think that my life was not important anymore, and I lost hope altogether. Walking aimlessly, I lost my way in the dark.
That was until one day, I suddenly saw a light at the end of the tunnel and it showed me the way to get out of my darkness. It was Montfort. Yes! It was Montfort Youth Training Centre – the light that taught me to break away from the darkness of my life.
I can still remember clearly my orientation week. It was the most challenging time of my life. I felt I was living in a nightmare – waking up as early as 5:30 am to do morning exercise, jogging or jungle trekking. Household chores like cleaning. The most terrible of all, no handphone! No smoking. It was so agonising. I felt like running away from Montfort.
But whenever I felt like this, I told myself, “If my seniors who had graduated can survive through this, why can’t I? If I stop now and surrender again when the battle has just began, then I will be a loser for the rest of my life.” The word ‘loser’ challenged me and at the same time, gave me encouragement to move forward.
Montfort emphasises on speaking in English. I thought, “I didn’t even finish my schooling, how can I speak English, what more to read and write?” At that moment, I decided to master the language. I am proud to say that because of that, I was selected to sit for the Malaysian University English Test (MUET) together with 10 of my classmates.
Can you imagine, a person like me who did not even finish his secondary education can participate and succeed in a pre-University level test?
Besides achieving skills, the most important thing I have learnt through our character and spiritual formation is knowing God. As I know more about God, I started to hope again and pray with faith. I started to believe that the love of God is real – it is not a fantasy!
The most important value I gained here is love. Loving one another and loving God. Through love, I learn not to be selfish, to give, appreciate and to give thanks.
Saying the words “Thank You” is not enough to everyone who has helped me. I am also happy to share with you that I have received a job offer and will start work with an established aircon servicing company in Kota Kinabalu. –Nexron Petrus