Heilbronn, Germany : The partnership is between the Protestant Churches and the Catholic Churches in Heilbronn in Germany and the Basel Church of Malaysia (BCCM), Protestant Church Sabah (PCS) and the Roman Catholic Church of Sabah which comprises all the three dioceses. The Sandakan Diocese was the latest inclusion into the partnership upon the establishment of the Diocese. The aim of the partnership based on the agreement with Heilbronn and the Roman Catholic Church of Sabah is 'To experience fraternal unity and enrich each other in whatever possible way along Christian journey, thus to experience and share together the Salvation of the Lord for all mankind'.
A group from Sabah consisting of 12 participants ~three each from PCS and BCCM Sabah and six from the Roman Catholic Church with two representatives each from the three dioceses respectively. This is the first time that participants from Sandakan Diocese has joined in the trip to Germany. Sandakan was represented by Fr. Jasrey, the rector of St. Martin, Telupid and Raymond Wong of St Mary's Cathedral, Sandakan. The group left for Germany on the morning of 21st September 2012 where the journey to Heilbronn took more than 15 hours of actual flying time spent in the plane with transit at KL and Abu Dhabi, the capital of United Arab Emigrates.
The group arrived on 22nd. Sept morning at Frankfurt Airport and was met by Rev. Ralf and Stefan at 7.00 in the morning with a temperature of about 10 degrees celcius. Then the group traveled by coach to Heilbronn taking about one and half hours.
The assigned host families were all waiting to receive the group at Obereiseheim, Herzog-Str.13. The participants and the host families met and were introduced to each other at the first contact over light refreshment.
On the first night the group met the Heibronn Partnership committee together with the host families over dinner. Peter Seitze welcomed the group and gave a brief history of the partnership over the years since 1980 until the present time. A young lady named Michelle Wong from Tenom, who is working in Heilbronn and helping in the local churches was also introduced to us. She presented a few songs on the piano.
Some folk dancing were presented by the community of Heilbronn and the group from Sabah then introduced themselves individually. We had a good time mingling around, cozy and light, getting to know each other. The night ended at about 9.30 pm and returned to their respective foster homes together with their hosts.