written by Felicia Tan

The trip to Sabah was indeed a memorable one. I remember the challenges that I faced for the first 3 days as I tried to adapt to the students’ routine and lifestyle. Waking up at 5 a.m. was something I hadn’t done in the past 4 – 5 years. As an introverted person, being the first to approach someone is reaaaaaaaally a difficult thing to do. Preparing myself mentally before the trip helped a little, but I wasn’t really sure of what to expect. One of my daily task was to tutor the students, mostly for Maths, English and Science. Of course, there were times where it took me some time to solve the questions as I had not been studying Maths for more than 5 years. Nevertheless, it made us realised that I’m not superior to them. We learned together, studied and played together, had meals, cooked and had devotions together, ultimately we had fun and enjoyed each other’s presence. I realised that the students don’t need a “tutor” or a “teacher”, they need someone to be alongside, walking through this phase of life.

The devotions with Terence gave me a new perspective on what “missions” is all about, the importance of building a long-term relationship and not just merely “helping” people with what we are good at. This trip also gave me the chance to realign my heart and to shift my focus solely on God and the people around me, away from all the distractions and being glued to social media. I’ve learned to step out of my comfort zone, to put people before me and to be humble at all times. Looking at the students being so disciplined, I feel ashamed of myself for the way I behave sometimes. They have never once complained when they’re being asked to do something and they do it diligently. I’m humbled by this experience and I pray that God will continue to bless each and every one there. Definitely looking forward to going back soon!

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