Friday, August 27, 2010

Thomas' First Assignment is in Bintulu, East Malaysia

Thomas arrived in Singapore in the middle of a 4-day Mission Conference so he had the rare opportunity to meet all the missionaries in the Singapore Mission on day one.  His first assignment is to work in Bintulu, East Malaysia.  His companion is Elder Bench from SoCal.  They leave for Bintulu on Saturday, 8/28/10.
Bintulu is the 4th largest city (a town really) in the state of Sarawak. It is on the northwestern shore of the Island of Borneo, where Orangutans are found in the jungle (the only other place where Orangutans are found in the wild is Sumatra, Indonesia). Borneo is divided into 3 parts, each belongs to a different country: Malaysia has the northwestern part of the island, with the States of Sarawak and Sabah; Indonesia has the southeastern part of the island; and the Sultanate of Brunei, along the northern coast surrounded by Malaysian territory.
Bintulu is a booming industrial town of 180,000 people. The main industry is natural gas found just off-shore. The city has many ethnic groups but the largest group is the Iban. Natives to Borneo, the Iban's ancestors were fearsome warriors. The other ethnic groups include the Chinese, Malay, Kayan, Kenyah, Punan and Segaan.