JERUSALEM – On 29 March, a group of 32 pilgrims led by spiritual director and leader, Fr Patrick Heng, left Kuala Lumpur to begin a ten-day spiritual journey together to the Holy Land. The pilgrims were from Kuching, Bau, Miri, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Oman, and Australia, and were a good mix of old and young, professionals, and non-professionals but the majority were retirees.
The pilgrimage started from Jordan, through Israel onto the Sinai Peninsula and into Egypt. The pilgrims were blessed with an opportunity to re-live scenes from the Old and New Testaments, particularly in tracing the footsteps of Jesus.
Some of the pilgrims shared their feelings about the experience:
“This is a journey of enrichment, affirmation and fulfillment.
‘Enriching’ because we now understand the traditions, cultures and life-styles of the people in the time of Jesus and his disciples. We can now better appreciate their struggles and sacrifices in their harsh environment.
‘Affirming’ because all that we read in the Scriptures has been authenticated.
‘Fulfilling’ because our Christian faith is strengthened to help us live a better Christian life and be a witness and light to the world around us.
To me, the most touching moments were when Fr Heng recited Psalm 88 about Jesus’ feeling when he was imprisoned and tortured for a night in a darkened chamber. How could anyone not feel guilty of their sins! This experience is simply beyond any description!”
– Titus Chuo
“I feel that my spiritual life is deeper now after I climbed Mount Sinai. I nearly gave up because my leg was very painful and I had a headache, but I prayed and trusted in the Lord and he helped me up the mountain. Now, the pain has gone! Praise God!”
– Anna Binsin
“The Lord wants me to know him and be close to him. I felt his closeness especially during the Mass celebrated in the open space beside the Sea of Galilee in the Capernaum. Truly, I am very blessed … and I want to thank the Lord for calling me home!”
– Faith Lim, new convert
“The pilgrimage taught me how to pray and to love and to accept one another as a big family of God. There was joy and laughter; sorrow and tears.”
– Doris Ting,
baptised in May 2007
“I got to know a great sister in-Christ. My room-mate lost her luggage, but she was such a cool and patient and caring lady. Little was mentioned about her luggage for she had surrendered everything to the Lord.”
– Jennifer Goh
“This pilgrimage showed us the importance to be more like Christ and follow him; to be Christ-centred and Other-centred and not to be self-centred.”
– James and Clare Kong
“The pilgrimage reinforced my faith. I felt the presence of the Lord.” – Andrew Goh
The group is grateful to God and all who prayed to make their pilgrimage enriching in all ways.