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Developing the Total Boy for Christ

 

Father and Son Backpacking Expedition
By Paul Ranga
 
From the 16 to 18 March 2009, the Royal Rangers organised a Father and Son Backpacking Expedition to the Endau Rompin National Park in Johor.
Seven courageous fathers and eight equally courageous sons (one of the fathers had two sons) braved the rigours of 3 days of hiking and camping in the wilderness of one of Malaysia’s few remaining pristine rainforests that has existed undisturbed for millions of years. Accompanied by Commanders Jim Guneratnam, David Peter, Kester Low and Sasha, we left church at six on Monday morning for what was to be a truly remarkable experience.
 
Zachariah with his sons, Samuel and Joel with Paul and his son, Erwin resting after the 3 hour hike to the campsite on the first day (left to Right)
 
Our theme was “Walking with the Lord” taken from 2 Kings 20:3. Fathers and sons drew strength from the verse as we trekked through steep and narrow jungle paths, crossed fast moving rivers, suffered leeches and put up with wet (very!) weather day and night. Even though the hikes were long and the backpacks heavy, it was a time of fun together for the Rangers and their fathers. It was an opportunity to make new friends and strengthen old ones.
 
 
Kevin with his son, Christian on one of the many suspension bridges (Left). There were many river crossing too (right).
 
 
Joshua and Dad, Lau cooking their dinner (Left). Philip and son, William with Christian at the campsite on the 2nd day (right)
 
Being completely cut off from civilization, we cooked our own food and bathed in lakes & rivers, some even taking late night dips in the cold waters. Fathers and sons had a rare chance to be out in the open and share private devotion together.
 
 
Raymond and son, Bernard at the Buaya Sangkut waterfall. They were the only father and son to take the 6 hour hike to this famous waterfall in Endau Rompin (Left). Tony and son, Ethan at their tent (right).
 
 
Thanks to the training we had before the trip which helped to shape us up, it turned out to be an uneventful, safe and enjoyable adventure. In fact, after we returned to Calvary on Wednesday evening and were going back to our own homes, we were already asking if the Royal Rangers would organise more similar trips!
 

 

In preparation for the 3D/2N backpacking expedition from 15th – 18th March 2009, the Rangers and their fathers had 2 training hikes so that the fathers could get into shape for the camp. For the Rangers, it would be just a walk in the park!

DAY 1: We arrived at Church at 6.00am. After Pastor Steven prayed for us, 7 fathers, 8 sons and 4 commanders started to get ready to go to for the exiting camping trip to Endou-Rompin National Park. We drove through Kluang town and stopped at Kahang just after 9:30am for breakfast and bought our packed lunch. After that we drove 54KM of dirt road through oil palm plantations and finally reached the Visitor Complex just after 1pm. We had our lunch and started walking with our backpacks. We walked on paved roads for one and a half hours to a river that was up to our waist line and even though crossing it wasn’t easy, I could see the river so clearly as if I am looking through a window. Along the way, we soaked up the serene atmosphere and marveled at the ageless vegetation. The slight drizzles did not dampen our mood, but rather enhanced the freshness of the air. Mist seemed to hang perpetually over distant mountains. Intermittently, we noticed Orang Asli settlements and marks of human occupation.

I am pretty sure that this is how God intended the Earth to be. Only this close to nature, are we able to appreciate God’s wonderful hand of creation.

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