North Carolina Baptists traveled to Malaysia as a summer missions team to rebuild and renovate rural chapels and church buildings.
"Here I am, almost 40-years-old and hardly been out of North Carolina, just a couple of times, and now I'm in Southeast Asia getting ready for my mission trip. When God Called me, I didn't want Him to get a busy signal, I didn't want to be too busy to have time for God, said volunteer Benny Langston. "I'm excited about it, I'm looking forward to a holy venture."
The men traveled to the Borneo states in rural Malaysia, and cooperated with the Iban people.
"Our assignment is to come and help them put an extension on their chapel. Right now they are all in one room. And they want a place where the children can meet apart, and they can do their songs, and do their games and be taught separately as the adults are having their meeting, the children can also be taught at their level, said Benny.
The men were able to finish their work through efficiency and effort. "They were very talented, they all knew what they were doing. The 'chief' which is what we called the superintendent, he kind of organized everything, but every man knew what they were doing, said Benny. "The wood comes from the forest. They find a particular tree that's to their liking and cut it down and put chalk lines and then make two-by-fours right there in the forest. That was amazing!"
According to the group, the hardest part of the trip was the lack of supplies.
"On this particular trip, so far, we've really had to be patient. When we got here, the materials we needed were not ready. They were completely dependent upon another man down the river who had a big enough boat to bring in the heavy stuff. So we decided that at least we could dig on a foundation and we could start doing some things. Hoping that the boat would come. We're going down the river this morning, and we want to try one more time to talk with the head of the construction company and try to convince him or encourage him to bring the materials up the river as quickly as possible, said Langston.
Nonetheless, the supplies did come, and they were able to finish their project.
"It's not something you soon forget. Little things in my life that's important to God. And it works both ways, what's important to God is supposed to be important to me, and people are important to God, that's why I'm here, Benny said.
"If you would come to Malaysia on a mission, you would be transformed in your heart, said a participant from Malaysia. For those who come it is an eye-opener for them because they see God's people living differently in other parts of the world. For the people being visited, they begin to appreciate that God's family is a global family and there is mutual encouragement on both sides, knowing one another. The testimonies I've heard of people who've come, some of them have said 'Our heart becomes a highway for God's love to other people."