Pecah Bateri and Tanah Merah, Kuantan, Pahang
March 24-25, 2012
Left to Right : Rev Richard, Ps Sigar, Helen Jacob, Obaji, Grace Low and Johnson,
Syeto, Elder Peter (KPC), Selinna Chin, So Yeh, Rae Cho, Millie Tan, Ps Greg Lim,
Deacon Allan Ho and Kolade. Alicia Chew holding camera.
There were 13 of us from SAPC who went on an Orang Asli (OA) exploratory and learning trip to Kuantan, Pahang on 24-25 March 2012.
We have with us the youngest 6 years old Johnson as well as an energized 69 years old Helen Jacob in this trip. Helen was assigned the task to journal the accounts of our trip. This report is based on her account with additional narrative from Selinna who consolidated into this report.
The 13 – Johnson and his mum, Grace Low; Millie Tan, Obaji, Kolade (both from Nigeria), Rae and So Yeh Cho (from Korea), Alicia Chew, Helen Jacob, Syeto, Ps Gregory Lim, Rev Richard Tok and Selinna Chin.
Day 1 – 24th March 2012
Our day began early, where most of us started to gather at SAPC grounds from 6.15am. Alicia was first to arrive with minimal traffic, she told us chirpily despite an early rise. The SAPC of 13 assembled by 7am with Ps Bob Weniger meeting with us before his usual morning run and prayed for our journey mercy and for God’s mission and purpose to be done.
We got into groups of four and we were blessed to be driven by Rev Richard, Ps Greg and Brother Rae. We left KL by 7.15am. We had some minor detour but finally got onto the Karak highway and our first stop was at Lentang around 8am where we had a quick breakfast and continued our drive to Gambang Toll. I heard later that each car had some great fellowship and conversations. Ps Sigar, Elder Peter and Deacon Allan Ho (OA leaders) from the Kuantan Presbyterian Church met with us at Pecah Bateri. We parked and they took 2 cars and 2 rounds to ferry us into the WaWa village, Chinni District on off-road paths.
While Ps Sigar drove us in, he was showing the areas which he is helping the village to build so that there’s a better condition area where the various families can gather. He is also helping them start a new crop of bananas and pineapples. While he was showing us, we cannot help but noticed that modern factories have started building on OA land, which also drove the OA clan who is Jakun in this area further into the jungle.
Wawa Village- Bahari’s families
The families here are all related. There’s about over 30 families living in that area. As we approached, we saw a dozen children playing at the general area.
When we got out of our cars, they dispersed and ran into hiding. But some stayed back and curiously looking at this group of us trying to say hello. It was a valuable time learning about their day-to-day living while we wait for the rest of group to be driven into the village. The men were in the jungle on their hunting duties while the woman were at the main house with their children.
We found a local Chinese man who has married to one of the family members with a 16 year old daughter, who happened to be visiting the relatives. Managed to speak with him and he showed me the tapioca which is their main staple as they often do not have rice. He was translating to some of the OA women who are all gathered in the main house where they cook and take care of their young.
Luncheon with Bahari’s families
Ps Sigar blessed us with his home cook lunch, he is a wonderful cook. The meat of wild boar was love offering from Brother Allan. Ps Sigar woke up at 4am to prepare this scrumptious meal for over 50 people. Rev Richard said grace and very quickly the children and women queued up as we helped to serve the meal.
Amazingly what I have observed was that the men in this clan waited until the women and children have all been served before they came for their meal. Many of the children and women came for seconds. Looking at our own group, our faces showed great satisfaction as well with the meal. That’s how tasty the dishes were.
Rev Richard shared God’s word in Bahasa and encouraged the OA, as he relate the great gift of creation, giving examples of the God’s creation of fishes, berries and us. How thankful we must be with all these blessings and love of God. Ps Sigar and Ps Greg also shared the word of encouragement.
We were introduced to the OA and we enjoyed our brief fellowship. Our team blessed the children with goody gifts and Ps Sigar brought bags of second hand clothes for distribution.
At about 2.30pm we stopped by Bahari’s house where the old church was for a toilet break. We found Bahari’s wife ill with diarrhea and vomiting and some of us prayed over her for God’s healing hand be upon her. We asked Bahari to take her to the clinic nearby.
We were driven to our meeting place where the cars were parked and continued with our journey to Tanah Merah, with Ps Sigar, Allan and Peter leading the way.
We arrived at Tanah Merah OA village at around 4pm. This village is next to Pahang river.
We settled down and rested a while from the heat of the day, some helped with sweeping the floor and Syeto helped cleaned the fans and toilet. Helen and Alicia mopped the floors in preparation for fellowship.
Kolade, Elder Peter and Johnson played ball with the OA kids.
Then all the sisters got busy helping in the kitchen with our chief chef Ps Sigar. We, the sisters, were all so blessed spending quality time with Ps Sigar as he narrated some of his experiences with OA and about his family. We had so much laughter as he shared his first experience while visiting the city for the first time, how he helped a woman give birth and attended first aid course as he had to be the person helping OA with their cuts and bruises.
Once there was a boy who had a bamboo which cut across his leg and Ps Sigar had to help remove it. What great work he is doing. While he laughed at us, city dwellers, trying to help with the cutting and washing of vegetables, with minimal utilities. Our sister Millie, Alicia, Grace and So Yeh were very skilled; preparing the vegetables, garlic and onion with big cleavers.
It was certainly my first experience to prepare and cook a whole bag of 5kg rice. Helen helped with pounding of sambal. Later on Elder Peter came with ice creams to cool us down and stayed on to lend a hand with pounding of sambal. (Note for future visits to bring smaller knives and food processor – was common mentions by many of us)
Dinner was served at 7.30pm, while the OA families mainly children joined us. The meal as expected was exceptionally tasty where we ate al fresco under the starry night sky. Elder Peter headed home after dinner, and we parted with appreciation for his company and sharing.
Praise and worship service led in Bahasa started at about 8.30pm which was led by Ps Sigar. Rev Tok introduced each of the group members and shared God’s message with great encouragement for the OA present.
Ps Sigar led the worship songs in Bahasa while he played the guitar. It was wonderful to see the eagerness of the children in their worship and praise. It was a joyous time of praising God in their midst. Ps Sigar shared the word with the message how Paul did not put himself as important, but focus on God’s work. If it was focusing on ourselves and desires, all will be futile. In God’s work, there’ll be fruits and blessings. Allan left us after worship for Kuantan and we said our goodbyes and thanks for his generosity.
Worship and Praising Lord Jesus !
Ps Sigar brought bags of second hand clothes for the adults and children. There were much laughter and excitement among the children getting their hands full.
Sisters So Yeh, Millie, Helen and Selinna and brother Rae helped to distribute goodies to the children.
It was indeed a full day of various experiences for us. Before we retired for the night, we thanked God for a fruitful day and experience with the OA in these 2 areas.
Day 2 – 25th March 2012
We started the day at 7am, where we praised God for a new day He has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it. Our Gracious Lord blessed us with good rest to start the second day. Ps Sigar and our sisters prepared a very satisfying and warm breakfast of meehoon and porridge at 8.20am. The OA children and couple of adults came and joined us for breakfast. At approximately 9.15am, we joined together for our morning dedication and devotional. Ps Greg shared God’s word from Isaiah 40:28-32
28 Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
We were all very much encouraged and strengthened in our Lord. We continued with prayers for the mission for the OA work and Rev Richard led us to share our personal experiences and observations of the one and half days. Rev Richard shared the history and background of OA in Malaysia. We have learned much of the nature, custom and predicament of OA in Malaysia. We also learned a little more about mission and what it takes for the different bodies or individuals’ role in mission.
After presenting Ps Sigar with a love gift, we packed and started our journey home at 10.45am. We bid farewell to Ps Sigar as he heads for another village nearby. We are thankful for his dedication and love for our Lord Jesus for the work with OA in these areas.
Ps Sigar recommended that we take the road along the Pahang river. The drive was scenic and lovely as we are filled with gratitude to our Lord for this weekend. After one and half hours drive into Temerloh, we stopped by for luncheon at a local coffee shop. After a wonderful lunch, we headed back to KL.
We twelve and little Johnson have formed a close fellowship this weekend. For myself, I will not only cherish and be more grateful all that the Lord has blessed me, but more importantly the priceless learning about cross culture mission. I can be bold to say on behalf of the group that as individual and as a group, we are thankful to our Lord Jesus for the learning experience of mission to OA and be more sensitive to OA of their need in peninsular of Malaysia.
Indeed there’s much more to learn and this is just the beginning for many of us 12 who has the privilege to be part of this trip to experience and learn about mission. We hope that many more of SAPC congregation will have this amazing experience and visit OA in this area in near future and learn the heart of mission.
We give all Glory and Honor to God for all that He had done.