article by ds/st
photos by Claire Andrew, Daniel Zullian and Tamsi
Day 1 ~ Monday 14th May 2012 : Sr. Veronica Kandaung fsic, the Director of the Sandakan Diocesan Catechetical Office and two representatives from the Diocesan Youth Apostolate together with Claire Andrew and Sunday Samuel, a trained Catechist, visited Sukang, the first station of the Paitan Missionary Area, some 3- hour drive from Sandakan. Upon arrival at around 4.30 pm, we were warmly welcomed by Catechist Peter Saimin and some local youth, staying nearby St. Francis of Assisi's Chapel. In the evening, a very cordial gathering was held to spice up the relationship between the DYA team and the local youth so that the upcoming program to be held the following day would help them express themselves freely.
Free expression of the Ultimate Ninja version.
Siput-siput or also known as Tuntul by the Sukang youth.
Day 2~Tuesday 15th May 2012 : The event of the day held at the chapel started at 2 pm with a medley of 'sing- along' action songs followed by an Opening Prayer led by Anna Teresa Amandus. The session on 'Ice Breaking' or 'fun time' is to let loose one's feeling and to integrate freely among members. The session has indeed brought the young people much closer, interact more intimately and became more attached.
|Our potential youth leader|
|Breaking the barrier, building relationship|
The next session was the spiritual preparation for the youth before leaving for the Sabah Youth Day-3 in Tambunan scheduled in August 2012. 'Rooted and built up in Christ, firm in faith', Colossians 2 : 7, is the theme picked for this year SYD-3. The session was divided into three parts. 'Rooted' was presented by Anna, 'Built up in Christ' by Claire Andrew and 'Firm in faith' by Sharon Tan. The session was brought to a close with members offering their lighted candles and prayed in front of the Cross.
'Rooted' by Anna
Built up in Christ - Claire Andrew
Our translator - Sunday Samuel
Firm in faith - Sharon
Small group sharing.
|The parable of the pencil|
"You will be able to do many great things, but only if you allow yourself to be held in God's hand. And allow other human beings to access you for the many gifts you possess" - Parable of the pencil.
That same evening, we were invited to the house of Mr. Maisin and family located a short distant from the chapel. It was a beautiful get together in the house of a local parishioner who had so warmly welcomed us. Sr. Veronica Kandaung, fsic blessed the family.
Day 3~Wednesday, 16th May 2012 : We traveled to Kg. Tujuh Ribu accompanied by Catechist Peter, Christopher and Damasus together with two other youth from Sukang, Daniel and Larry. The two-hour journey from Sukang was bumpy on the gravel road leading to the estate. On arrival, we mingled with the local folks in that area in search of Catholics. We met an Indonesian family, Marcilinus's family. They have been working there for less than a year and Marcilinus, like John the Baptist told us that there are more Catholics in Kg.Satu Ribu, an adjacent Kampung. We went over and invited them to join the "get to know" activity at Marcilinus's house. The activity started with some action songs to warm up the engine, followed by some 'breaking the ice' game.
"For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” - Matthew 18:20
Day 4~Thursday, 17th May 2012 : We divided ourselves into two groups; Peter Saimin and his members from Sukang went to another Kampung to locate for local Catholics while we, from Sandakan, left for another settlement. We met a few Filipino Catholics who are staying there and we had some sharing with them. They longed to be visited, they yearned for pastoral care and service.
|We are glad you came|
|Thank you for sharing with us|
We returned to Kg Satu Ribu and on this day ' The Lord's Ascension' at around 3.30 pm we gathered for a prayer service led by Sr. Veronica. She said that a red sash will be placed on a priest's chest when he passed away as a sign of his courage and loyalty in rendering his faithful service to the Lord. She added that, she is aware that the local people, baptized some10 years ago had never been visited since then. She urged them to remain strong, persevere and be faithful for the Lord has promised that He will be with us always, till the end of time. Right after the service, we had a simple but meaningful fellowship. They were simply overwhelmed and expressed much joy with our visit for they had never been visited for so long.
After bidding farewell to our 'foster family' who allowed us to stay overnight at their place, we went back to Sukang.
Day 5~Friday, 18th May 2012 : Although it was a long journey, tough at times but all of us are very happy to have found new family members and encountered new experiences with Him. We went back to Sandakan at around 10 am and arrived safely at 1.30 pm.
"'Then I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply. I will set shepherds over them who will care for them, and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall any be missing, declares the Lord'- Jeremiah 23:3-4