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Saturday, May 17, 2014

God's Heart Has A Special Place For The Poor

Reported by DaliusLL and
Photos by Romeo Francis
Sandakan: A 15-member team of men, women and teenagers from BEC Indah Jaya chose to spend their Wesak Day holiday (13th May) by engaging in community work in the Paitan missionary area. Last year they did a similar project in St. Francis of Assisi's Chapel in Kg. Sukang. This year around they selected St. Thomas Chapel of Kg. Kaiboton, some19 KM of gravel road from Sukang. Members of BEC Indah Jaya joined Fr. Thomas Makajil in assisting the catechists in installing some 500 metres of pvc pipes for the gravity water feed  from the water source on a nearby hill directly to the chapel.
It took a great effort to lay, pull and straighten a distance of 500 meter water pipe through bushes and undergrowth. Nonetheless, the members took slightly more than 2 hours to get it done. Unfortunately, the water source was so low due to the long dry season that it took hours to fill the main pipe from the water source in order for the gravity to work to move the water downhill to the Chapel. 

According to the  local catechist, Jocob Alimin, that surrounding households and the chapel depend solely on rain water. The current long dry spell has caused much inconvenience to the day to day livelihood of the locals. With the water gravity feed system in place, local parishioners will stand to benefit ~ they no longer have to worry about water supply. He expressed his appreciation to the team for their good deed in sharing resources with the locals.
While waiting for the water to reach down the Chapel, the group did some clearing of undergrowth around the chapel. Although the Chapel looks a little dilapidated, it is strong enough to accommodate 30 - 40 faithful during Sunday service. There are about 100 baptised Catholics in Kg. Kaiboton and quite a number of migrant Catholics workers from nearby palm oil plantations.
In the late afternoon, the group left St. Thomas Chapel Kg. Kaiboton to get back to St. Francis Assisi Kg. Sukang for another program. The Chairman of BEC Indah Jaya, Dominic Sintar presented 40 Bahasa Melayu Bibles and 2 boxes of clothing to the Senior Catechist of Paitan Mission, Peter Saimin. The handing over of the sponsored bibles was witnessed by Fr. Thomas Makajil and in his thankful note, he expressed his appreciation on the assistance rendered by the BEC Indah Jaya, not only on humanitarian ground but also on pastoral work.
According to Dominic, more community projects will be carried out in the near future.  As God's means to hearing the needs of the disadvantaged, we are to endeavor to establish solidarity among the people of God, especially the poor and oppressed. God's heart has a special place for the poor - 2 Cor 8 : 9. Hopefully, this simple and humble service will inspire other BECs to work in the vineyard of the Lord in Paitan, the one and only mission area of the diocese.

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