One for the album – a pic with participants from 4th Miri!

Story contributed by George Loong, photos by George Loong & Roseline Lee

The expression “Once a BB, Always a BB!” introduced to me 10 years ago has left a deep imprint in my heart.

For some, it is a commitment difficult to sustain. To others, it may sound even like a marriage vow – a lifelong commitment.

Recently I joined my fellow Boys from the 4th Miri Coy in the BB PESTA 2012, a mega biennial Boys’ Brigade event whereby 1800 participants from our country Malaysia and other regions converged in Kulai, Johor for five nights and six days. This year the theme was “Here as One”.

My journey from Kuala Lumpur started with a 4-hour drive down south. Passing by the historic state of Melaka I reminisced the days of my first BB PESTA there. The year was 2003. I participated as a BB. The experiences of sincere fellowship, sleeping on the concrete floor, waking up in the wee hours to shower before the others did were unforgettable.

Pic with BB Girls from Hong Kong. Hundreds from the BB Girls’ Wing also participated at the Pesta 2012.

I still remember my jaws dropped the first time I met a Girls’ Wing Sergeant. I was not amazed by the fact that she was a girl but by the rows of shinning awards on her arm!

The PESTA 2003 was not only an eye opener for me BB but also an “awakening” event in my life. Little did anyone know that the theme “Dare to be different” had inspired this weakened soul to be strong.

Veteran BB from London participating in the Pesta 2012.

You see, I lacked confidence in my secondary school years. I was weary of making any decision fearing a wrong one could jeopardize my future. Incidentally in 2002 I took up saxophone as my musical instrument choice upon joining 1st Sibu band. To be honest I stumbled and had second thoughts of continuing because my mentor had to further his studies hence leaving me in the lurch. Worse still I was the only saxophone musician so sometimes I would nag at God for putting me in such a situation.

At one of the forty station games that requires good motor skills and luck!

However my mindset was changed after participating in the PESTA 2003!

I was challenged to be different!

I decided to continue with my saxophone playing. I was also determined to grow the division with the guidance from my band officer, Lt. Hu Wei Ung. The “Dare to be different” has become one of my principles in life until today.

Becoming different is tough and people will definitely look at you differently. Nonetheless I dare you to be different! Different not for yourself to show off to others but to let people realize that you as a child of our Heavenly Father is different!

Participants from 4th Miri.

After hours of driving I finally arrived at Foon Yew High School where PESTA 2012 was held. Upon arrival it was already dusk. I managed to locate Captain Roseline Lee and the Boys. Stepping into the hall, excitement overcame me. It has been two long years since I saw my fellow Boys! One of the Boys came out to greet me. When I saw him, only one thought came to my mind – “You know that you are getting older when someone who was at your shoulder height two years ago has now grown to a height where your face is looking at his shoulder!”

Even though now as I joined the PESTA as an officer, the experience was like déjà vu. When the Girls’ Wing awed the Boys, I remembered how I too was awed by their drill routine and hard-earned badges. The PESTA 2012 with its theme “Here as One” has also inspired 1800 participants including my fellow 4th Miri Boys.

This time round I experienced another “revelation”.

One of the speakers shared that one of the toughest things to do is to be united as one. To that statement, I strongly agree. The PESTA was a good testimony of unity in the Boys’ Brigade even though there are imperfections.

Pic with Hon. Cap. 1st Johor and Brigade President Malaysia Michael Moorthy.

All in all, the food was fantastic as it was a gala-style dinner generously sponsored. The venue was great and well-ventilated. The programs were exciting with the Food Hunt and Inter-platoon sports (by the way my platoon won!), the fellowship was pleasant and we were able to get to know other brothers and sisters. The trip was tiring but worthwhile.

The Food Hunt concludes at one of the shops – we were so tired and hungry!

With this theme on unity, I want to conclude this sharing with 1 Corinthians 12-27.

We Christians are dependent on each other; we should expect and receive help from others. So therefore let us then have more of the spirit of union in our religion.

Daily morning devotion at Foon Yew High School super big hall. Foon Yew is the biggest independent Chinese school nationwide. 

Lastly I thank God for this opportunity to share my experience on PESTA 2012.

A few years ago when I revisited 1st Sibu Coy, Honorary Captain Joseph Ting reminded me, “We all have Boys’ Brigade’s blood in our veins so continue to serve wherever you are.” With this reminder I recommit myself to “Once a BB, Always a BB!”

I pray that you as part of the Body will commit yourself to serving and advancing the Kingdom of Christ through the Boys’ Brigade in Malaysia!

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