Somewhere in 1933 - 1934, local newspaper 'Sarawak Gazette' published an article about how Lun Bawang people would have a feast for 100 days every year in drunkenness. Long time ago, they were many but at that time their tribe was almost goes into extinction. When they celebrated wedding or any other festivals, they would drink rice wine (‘tuak’ or ‘burak’) to the fullest. Their festival would go on for few days and even their children will also get drunk. Shirley writes, 'Everyone would get drunk except dogs!' Their place was filled with vomits; dogs and pigs move freely under their house and when the wind blow, horrible smell would pollute the air.
Missionaries such as Carey Tolley, Hudson Southwell and many others really pray for revival toward Lun Bawang people. Once, Limbang Resident said, 'We cannot allow you to go there because they are dangerous'. Mr. Banks, curator from Sarawak Museum told Southwell that nothing much they can do, 'they are dirty!', he said. Even in 1935 Rajah Vyner Brooke said, 'Let them die... they bring no benefits to us and there's no hope for them.' Carey Tolley writes, 'They are affected by many diseases. In 4 years, diseases had taken many lives which reduce them to only a small numbers.' Some of long houses even lost up to 50% of their people. There were only few hundred that were left. Their addicted to 'burak' (Rice wine) brings them closer to grave each days.
For many years, Carrey Tolley and his teams refused to give up, live among them and over and over again preached the Good News. There are many great stories about the adventures and challenges by early missionaries, which it is not fair for me to 'compact' the whole stories into this note. But what I want to share with you in this story is that: When there seems to be no way, God will make a way. Gives hope to the hopeless. When men said, 'Impossible', God said, 'Nothing is Impossible. I AM able!’
Years later, Lun Bawang people had been transformed by the Good News, 'What have you done to these people, Southwell?', asked Mr. Banks with amazement. 'Not me', answered Southwell. 'You had written about them in drunkenness, now you have to write about their transformation.' With much delight, Southwell explained that, 'This place had become very clean... Murut longhouses at Trusan were once very dirty and nasty in Sarawak, but now it's become very clean and tidy.' (Sarawak Gazette, 1st July 1939) Good News doesn't affect only the Lun Bawang people; Iban, Bisaya, Kelabit etc were also transformed from darkness to light.
The word Gospel mean Good News, it used over 90 times in the New Testament. And what do you do with the Good News? Well, friends you got to tell it! What makes the possibility of Good News is Bad News. The Bad News is 'our sins', but the Good News is that Christ died for our sins. What motivates me from this story is that: "With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God." (Matthew 10:27)
P.s: For those who had read the English version of the book, if any error please inform me because I translated it from BM version