A year or so ago, I met with a group of young Malaysians who were studying at Sabah Theological Seminary, ten of whom had gone to Cambodia to attend a CHE TOT1 facilitated by our TWR Cambodia staff. One young lady, Zahara, has now graduated and returned to her home village to await her assignment with the Anglican church. Zahara is an orang asli (native people)young lady with a passion to serve her own people and sees CHE as the ideal way to move her communities forward.

I decided to venture out on my own to meet up with Zahara and found myself a local bus heading north to Teluk Intan. We met up with no problem at the bus station and drove out to her village about a half hour away. This is the first time that I have been able to experience the close family connections, gracious hospitality and acceptance of the rural communities of Malaysia. We had to stop several times on our way in to Zahara’s house to meet, greet or share a drink with other village members. The community consists of two small villages just a few minutes walk apart, with a total of about fifty families. It is largely Christian, with four established churches but there are also a few Muslim families living peacefully amongst them.

Church

Dinner

Since I was in the village, Zahara quickly arranged a church service for that evening and over thirty adults and many children arrived to hear me speak, which of course I was totally unprepared to do. With Zahara translating, I facilitated a CHE lesson called What is Good Health. As virtually always happens in this part of the world, at mess of food appeared for all to share after the service. I had the opportunity to meet and pray with a number of the women before we retired to Zahara’s home which she shares with her Mom, niece and nephew. Lots of family members, sisters, brothers, aunt, uncles and nieces and nephews and cute little kids dropped by to visit before bed.

Zandkids

In the morning we met with a village lady with a burden to reach the young people in the village who refused to attend church or even go to school so we did some planning on ways to engage the youth in the village. From there we went to the kindergarten and shared some CHE resources for children with the young lady who teaches around a dozen little cuties and her friend who works in the children’s ministry. I am so grateful for the thousands of CHE lessons that I have so often relied upon in sharing with others.

Girls

Zahara cooked us a very flavourful lunch, including some turtle, and by the time I left to catch my bus back to KL, I was sad to be leaving this close knit group of brothers and sisters. I am looking forward to hearing where Zahara’s placement will be and figuring out how we will work together. I also have standing invitations to bring Steve to meet the folks and stay any time. Oh and a wonderful group of friends to spend Christmas with.

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