A Mission Trip to Pensiangan For an English Camp Program

Pensiangan, Sabah – On the 14th until the 21st of June 2019, a mission trip to Pensiangan, was held for an English Camp program in Sk Pekan Pensiangan k9 that was led by Lawrence Thien. The members of the team a collaboration between 3 from Class of 75’ Science of St. Mary’s Secondary School Sandakan which includes Lawrence, 5 volunteers, 4 from PNG (Preparing for Next Generation) team, Sister Dorothy and 7 youths (6 from University of Technology Malaysia also from the Melaka-Johore Diocese and 1 from SEGi University).

The purpose of the English Camp program was to encourage the students to speak in English and also improve it. Pensiangan is a quite challenging place as it is located in the interior parts of Sabah. The team expected there to be no electricity nor cellular connection but when they arrived there, it was not like how they expected it. There was a wifi connection at the clinic and school and there was also electricity, but only at night until at around 5AM. The experience there really meant a lot to them, because it taught them how to be humble about life as they adapt to the villager’s way of living.

There were a lot of activities that been held during the English camp that can boost up the skills of learning English to the students as well as to identify the students who have the ability to learn English faster. The activities such as reading, poem recital, drama/mime, spelling bee, show and tell, storytelling, public speaking, crossword puzzles and action song have been done throughout the camp with the cooperation of the school’s teacher and the team member as the judges, had encouraged the students to participate in English-based activity and also increased their level of confidence to compete among themselves.

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The youth from the team were given a chance to give their thoughts about the things that inspired them the most and how that special things can motivate them to achieve their stage of life that they are currently in. There was one student in the school who shared her thoughts of not wanting to take the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia examination because she did not have the confidence to pursue her studies to the higher level and felt that the live she has been living right now was already more than enough. The confession of the students had opened the eyes and hearts of the youth to motivate them more about the importance of education in their life.

During the free time that the youth had in Pensiangan, they were able to help Sr. Dorothy in the kindergarten to teach the children there. It is a good opportunity for the youth to teach them as it is a first step for the children to improve their way of living as they are the future of the new generation in Pensiangan. The youth were also able to teach the older villagers English as they wanted to learn the daily conversation sentences in English. In that way, the villagers can communicate with all the visitors that come to the Pensiangan in English. The PNG team were also given the opportunity to share their ideas of Jesus Christ in a Sunday school with the Christian’s children in Pensiangan. There were a lot of activities that enable the children to have an exposure about the good deeds that should have been done by a Christian follower.

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By the end of the mission trip, everyone in the team has decided to become more giving towards others and help the needy as the command from Hebrews 13:16 says that ‘do not forget to do good and to share with others; for with such sacrifices God is pleased’. The presence of God throughout the journey had motivate the team members to keep on going until the last day of the mission trip. Even though the group consists of people from different denominations, they could feel that the love that God has given to them is equal. The sacrifices of the volunteers to help others have impressed and leaving a good example for the youth to become a much better person who knows how to help others in the future.

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