KUALA LUMPUR - Konferensi Uskup-uskup Katolik serantau Malaysia-Singapura-Brunei (CBCMSB) dalam…
“Only God can turn a mess into a message, a test into a testimony, a trial into a triumph and a victim into victory”
I grew up in Kg Lakang which is located between Tuaran and Tamparuli. My parents took care of me until I was two years old. That was when my parents divorced and my mother left the family. After that, my grandmother took care of me and my younger sister for a while.
When I was in primary two, my father took me to live in Tambunan as he was transferred there while my sister stayed back with my grandmother. We lived there for five years. After that, we moved from place to place. I jumped from one school to the next, once every one of two years whenever my father got transferred, even as far as Kuching, Sarawak.
That was the most unsettling time of my life…
I started to disobey and become rebellious against my father and the elders of my family. I was involved in undesirable activities such as hanging out with the wrong crowd, drinking, smoking, stealing and fighting. I dropped out of school when I was in form three. Once in a while I got caught by the police and was put in jail until my father came to bail me out. In fact, he bailed me out many times already. Then one day I was sent to Henry Gurney for two years. For the first time in my life, not only had I lost my mother, I also ‘lost’ my father. I began to lose hope and gave up on life.
After Henry Gurney, I soon found a job as a mechanic but my father asked me to apply to Montfort. At that time, I wanted to continue my studies in Institut Kemahiran Malaysia (IKM). God always works in a mysterious way because I was not accepted by IKM, and instead was accepted by Montfort.
I recall clearly the day I came to Montfort. The brothers, officers and my Big Brother welcomed me like their own brother. Still there are some parts of the programme that pushed me to my limits – waking up early in the morning to do morning exercises. On Tuesday we have meditation, I fell asleep sometimes! Then there is roll call and each day there are five roll calls!
Here in Montfort we cannot hold any pocket money. Whatever we need, be it toiletries or snacks, we have to ‘buy’ them with our merit points which we have to earn. We earn them by doing daily house chores and by following the programme like keeping discipline, time management and speaking in English!
I gained a lot of good values here, for example 5R values – being Responsible, being Reliable, being Respectable, being Responsive, and build good Relationship. These are the values that have helped me a lot in my personal growth and character development.
Montfort taught me to appreciate the little things I received. I grew up without a mother’s love. It was Montfort that taught me that it was my mother who had carried me in her womb. Because of this, I started to believe that love is the source to care for each other and the source to forgive as I will never fully understand why she left us.
Montfort brought me closer to Jesus and through Jesus to forgive. That was how I could choose to forgive my mother. I do not blame my parents for the life I had gone through. I realise that I cannot hide behind my family for my actions but to take full responsibility from now on.
Now I must put all the values I learnt from Montfort into practice. Wherever I go, I will uphold the Montfort spirit and bring to life all the Montfortian teachings. – MYTC