TITLE: Finding God in the Mountains

THEME OF RETREAT: REFRESH, RESTORE, REVIVE

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13)

These words served as a continuous reminder to the 13 SGLs as each of us dedicated ourselves to be spiritually refreshed, restored and revived throughout our Bario 4-days-3-nights spiritual retreat on 18th – 21st May 2019.

1) Air flight

We boarded MASwings Twin Otter, a 16-seater air-craft, which allowed us to enjoy a panorama of breathtaking landscapes and scenery, as it consistently flew at a low altitude.

2) Homestay

God has prepared for us a wonderful homestay, Bala Metu Homestay for this retreat. Have a look at its aerial view! It is situated on a small hill near enormous Bario farmlands, is run by locals and offers modern facilities.

Upon reaching our Homestay, we were very impressed with the beauty of its surrounding. The average temperature was 20 degree Celcius, it was nice and cool, we were all eager to take some pictures first!

Our group photo taken right outside our Homestay

Another picture taken with our hosts, Nawan Bala & Patricia

Overlooking the majestic mountains and serene greenery, Bala Metu Homestay is such a strategic place!

3) Ice-breaking

After settling down, we started off by breaking ice with both indoor and outdoor games. It was a great time of fellowship, continuous laughter could be heard; Indeed each one of us was refreshed.

Indoor games

Outdoor game – Building church model out of designated materials collected from the surrounding

4) Meals

Our meals were subsequently served complete with traditional Kelabit delicacies, including the ever popular Bario rice and pineapples. We felt so blessed to enjoy the scrumptious meals!

Our hostess, Patricia, took care of all our meals while we focused on our retreat programmes

5) Worship & Devotion

Our main activities were in this spacious living room, where we had our worship, group devotion, sharing and fellowship. Pastor Charles did a great job by leading the SGLs into restoring our relationship with God and with one another.

6) Sunday Service

Since our second day was a Sunday, we took the opportunity to attend Sunday Service with the Bario community. It was indeed very encouraging to experience their vibrant worship and zeal for God; their Sunday Service did not end on time, it went on for about 2.5 hours, and people were still excited!

The Kelabit girls dancing gracefully in worshipping God

They were having Mother’s Day celebration, all the women were dressed in their cultural wear

7) Bario Revival – Hearing first-hand from the locals

On the third day, we walked up Revival Hill, where we listen to the revival story and miraculous works of the Holy Spirit. There were exciting testimonies shared by the then History teacher named Malran on his first-hand revival account when he was teaching at SMK Bario. It was on October 4, 1973, the phenomenal divine visitation of God came when he was meeting a group of 12 student- leaders of the interschool Christian fellowship in the classroom at the hilltop with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and experiencing the over-powering sense of God. There were confessions, repentance, forgiveness, reconciliation and restoration followed by joy and praise.

Through the sharing, our personal life and ministry were once again revived!

“And suddenly there came from heaven, a sound like a mighty rushing wing, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.” Acts 2:2

8) Prayer Mountain

The Prayer Mountain seen from afar – there is a Cross on top of the Mountain

Our three men successfully made it to the top of the Prayer Mountain.

These words were written beneath the cross:

“This Cross marks the first Prayer Mountain revealed in a vision to intercessors during the Bario Revival 1973. Ever since then hundreds have climbed up, experienced spiritual breakthroughs and miraculous healings, seen visions, revelations, signs and wonders.” – Rev Solomon Bulan, 1-11-2015

9) Conclusion

It was a time when SGLs came together in seeking God, worshipping, sharing, and giving thanksgiving and praise; a time of interceding for one another; a time of laughter, great fun and fellowship; a time of spiritual growth when we listen to practical teachings from pastor; a time away from home, work and internet; and a time of appreciating God’s creation when we soak ourselves up in the natural beauty of the rainforest and the pristine surroundings. It was really
“a glimpse of heaven”.

10) Bringing Revival Fire back to the church

After being revived ourselves, the SGLs were determined to bring the “Revival fire” back to the church and society.

2 Chronicles 7:14 – “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

Our God is God of Bario, He is also God of Miri, God of GMC. If He can bring revival in Bario, do we have faith that He will do it again, now in our church?

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