Amylyn Bihin hails from Kiulu, Tamparuli. After her tertiary education, she worked at Asrama Desa Pukak, Kiulu for about a year. The hostel, run by Good Shepherd Welfare Centre, caters for children from remote villages around Kg Pukak so that they may attend school regularly.
While at university, she was actively involved with the Catholic Student Group. As such, she had the opportunity to work closely with the Kota Kinabalu Archdiocesan Youth Campus Ministry. She is grateful to her sending organisation, the Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu for the opportunity granted her to undergo an 11-month formation at IFFAsia, Quezon City, Philippines.
Initially, I was worried whether my family would support me if I opt to serve full time in the Church. I realised that the formation process in IFFAsia would help prepare me to assume the post as a full time youth minister in the archdiocese. It took me a while to break the news to my family. I was not prepared. It was hard for me to arrive at a decision. It would be difficult for me to stay far away from my family for almost a year.
Two months before my departure, I broke the news to my family. They accepted my decision and supported me throughout my formation period. God has His way and a plan for me. I was relieved. I was ready to be transformed for mission. I left for IFFAsia in January and attended a one-month intensive English course in preparation for the 11-month formation programme which was conducted fully in English.
As I look back, IFFAsia has given me all the opportunity to grow and develop as a balanced individual. The community life in the institute, sharing various household responsibilities, ranging from marketing to general cleaning has taught me the importance of sharing responsibilities, being tolerant and acceptance of others. We were closely knitted. It was difficult for me to say goodbye to all my buddies coming from across Asia.
I used to take my home, my family and even friends for granted. The human development module has opened my eyes to the mistakes I made. Through the self-discovery sessions, I now appreciate my family and friends more. It is a blessing to be part of a family and to be in the companionship of friends. We need to relate to one another as a relational being.
We may fall and fail in life. We all encounter trials and tribulations. In moments of difficulties, we need to turn our eyes to the Lord. He is always present to console us, as in Psalm 50:15… ‘Call upon me in the day of trouble, I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.’
The many social and pastoral exposures; encounter with the youth, outreach to the children and the elderly and the mission project in Thailand have enriched me tremendously with the meaning of mission. It is in serving the poor that we actually serve Christ.
With new skills, knowledge and tools provided by IFFAsia coupled with the right attitude, I hope to be an effective missionary disciple as I return to my community in Sabah. I hope to be one of the many-hands-one-heart team to make Christ known to all.
Everyone has a place in the body of Christ, the Church. We are the living stones of the temple of the Lord. Each has a role and each has something to contribute for the well being of the Church.
Pope Francis said, ‘No one is useless in the Church. We are all equal in the eyes of God.’ Together, we are then the ‘many hands one heart’ team. What are we waiting for? Let’s go.