Jun, from Canaan Baptist Church, shares about their mission team’s experience to Central Thailand....
I thank God for this opportunity to go for a mission trip to Thailand with WEC. Thank you to the persons in charge for this invitation, which was initially a very reluctant “yes” from me.
Looking back at the beginning of the trip, God surely did demonstrate his power on each of the events. Firstly, my husband was unable to join us for the flight in due to a last minute business meeting. On the day that he had delayed his flight to, his business meeting agenda was changed and we were worried that he could not make it for the flight on time. Praise God for answering our prayer and he was finally in our midst safely.
On the first day of our arrival, there was so much to thank God for, as God brought before our eyes assurance and encouragement. Together with Rachel, a WEC missionary from Malaysia, we visited a paralyzed man who announced to us that his unbelieving mother had just prayed the sinner’s prayer of repentance! For years the missionaries had been praying for God to soften the mother’s heart, to come to accept the love of Jesus, the love that her paralyzed son is so filled with. The moment we got to know it through Rachel’s translation, I was instantly moved with tears of joy. What an assurance from God, when the mission trip barely even started!
Another impactful incident, was visiting a half-paralyzed lady in her sixties, who resides with an unloving husband (who is also stricken with cancer) and his children from his previous marriage. The house was built in the middle of a huge flat land, where there were no other houses within close proximity. The self-built house was barely on a proper structure. With the complicated household, I reckon it constitutes what we call an “unlivable” condition. But looking at how Rachel comforted, encouraged and assured her of Jesus’ love, was an important lesson on seed planting and faithfulness for me.
The children ministry was also an eye opener. Like some of us, I regarded myself with no talent in teaching children, no creativity in drawing children’s attention or relating with kids whatsoever. Little did I know that I was exposed to something bigger than I thought! We had so much fun playing, doing artwork and dancing with them. All worries about the children being uninterested due to our language barrier were unnecessary.
What impacted me the most was how God placed committed missionaries at odd and remote places, like Sam Ngao Church in Central Thailand. I know that such commitment of both the missionary and the parents, who send their kids frequently to church even when they are non-believers, must come from God. Truly our God is higher than any obstacle of human nature; and surely above all of man’s manipulations, that we can only submit to Him.
I am also thankful to God for the formation of our team. There were big age gaps in between some of us, but each of us had unique qualities and personalities. I first had concerns, especially when my husband was not going to be around for the first few days, that such dynamics would aggravate friction in this mission trip. Then again, God’s grace was all over us. In the middle of the trip, we found ourselves being caught in situations which were physically, emotionally and spiritually demanding. But we learned to embrace God’s grace and stayed focused, keen and enthusiastic to be used by Him. I am thankful and proud to say that each and every one of us took ownership of the tasks assigned to us and committed to make the best out of it.
Throughout this trip, God also showed me perseverance in His righteousness. I admire deeply the obedience of the missionaries who have come to rural Thailand just to spread God’s love and for the sake of His righteousness. “We just focus on the face of Jesus – that’s how we press on. That’s where we draw strength from.” said Rachel, who has been serving in Thailand for more than 20 years.
It reminds me of a verse in Matthew chapter 5, “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt 5:10)
This sentiment went on as it was approaching the last few days of our trip. By now we were comfortably immersed in God’s momentum! The agenda that followed now seemed to be more exciting than daunting. It was exceptionally comforting, for God to end our mission exploration in this trip with a grand finale – a unique formation of a rainbow in the clouds. Most of us watched quietly, with our individual praise to God, totally engrossed in such a picturesque image God displayed to us. He is truly with us – it was as though He was saying, “I am pleased!”
Suffice to say, none of us in the group would have expected such a wonderful outcome of God’s work. We made friends, mentors and disciples amongst us.
Personally, I thank God, for a renewed perspective on the body of Christ. Indeed, God is beyond marvelous. Pra jao song ying yai. God is great.
I’d like to also convey our gratitude to our fellow Malaysian, Rachel. We’ve learned so much from her. Thank you for bringing us so near to God through your ministry, your testimony and your lifestyle. May the pleasing aroma of Christ continue to flow in and through you.