Reaching the Unreached in Malaysia
Originally posted at: https://agmp-na.org/2017/08/16/reaching-the-unreached-in-malaysia/
“They need to learn how to take care of animals, not simply shoot them.” This is why the Archbishop of Southeast Asia, The Most Rev. Ng Moon Hing started an educational program for the Orang Asli, a historically nomadic indigenous group living in the forests of Western Malaysia. A school run by the church accepts these children to prepare them for life in a post-nomadic economy.
The Orang Asli live off the land far from educational and economic opportunities. They have long been seen as lesser peoples to the Malaysian government and the “superior” indigenous group, the Malays. Furthermore, many of the Orang Asli have never heard about God. This need provides a real opportunity for the local church in Western Malaysia.
The isolated lives of the Orang Asli – in remote forests and villages – mean that their children have limited access to good schools. Without education, these children remain in poverty. Children need to learn practical skills applicable in the modern economy. ARDF is now partnering with the local church to address these needs.
The project itself is very simple. The Anglican Diocese of Malaysia will purchase an old house and renovate it for use as a Christian hostel for ten girls. A 1,400 square foot house has already been identified. It is located adjacent to a boys’ hostel, completed three years ago.
Most importantly, the ten female Orang Asli students will be mentored by members of four local Anglican churches. For some of the girls, this will be the first time they learn that God has a plan for their lives.
Four local churches share a vision for providing holistic training and guidance for secondary students and to provide a counterpoint to the growing Islamization occurring in the region. As parishioners open their hearts to the Orang Asli, both groups will encounter God in powerful new ways.
Before I came to Rumah Shalom, it was very challenging for me to find someone to guide me in my education. Now, a lot of problems related to my studies are solved through [enrollment] in Rumah Shalom. I like this community. I have made a lot of friends in Rumah Shalom. Besides, I like to study with them. … God is blessing me a lot in my education and in [my] health.
– Sken bah Ngah, 17, from Kg pawong, Simpan Pulai, Malaysia
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