Called To Be A Blessing
It was my 4th mission trip and 2nd one with WEC. Having known the missionaries from my previous trip, I wanted to return for another 20 days to get a better idea of WEC's work in Central Thailand through an extended stay with them. Those 20 days were a journey of faith for me. I went without a fixed itinerary and had no better answer than "shadow the missionaries in their ministry" for those who asked what I was going to do there. There was also a fair share of challenges and costs. Apart from finances, the intangible costs were homesickness, loneliness, having to adapt to a new culture/environment and even meeting and living with new people from diverse cultures in such a short span of time. But God never ever short-changes us when we walk in complete surrender and obedience to Him.
‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.’ Isaiah 55:8-9.
While engaging in door-to-door evangelism, there were many instances where we almost didn't approach certain houses because of the nasty dogs or entrances blocked by mud. But I thank God that we persisted and were surprised to find the people in those houses exceptionally receptive to the Gospel. I also thank God for using my testimony to touch the hearts of local believers despite the language barrier, even that of a backslidden lady whom I initially avoided due to her intimidating personality. God reminded me that I have much more to learn in loving the unlovable and looking at their lives through God's eyes instead of my mortal short-sighted ones.
It was most heart-warming to serve alongside fellow believers from around the world (Malaysia, Mexico, UK, USA, Sweden and even the Thais themselves!) united in their love for God and the Thais. I thank God for their kind hospitality and the opportunity to take pleasure in life's simple joys. Outdoor picnics, swimming in a natural waterfall, Thai lessons with a non-English-speaking teacher, breathtaking sights of the dam, river boat rides, pillion riding on a motorbike for the first time, savouring a stick of Paddle Pop for only 8 Baht (S$0.30), daily prayer meetings and interacting with the locals through a mix of smattered Thai and English; just to name a few. The local Christians may be materially poor but were spiritually rich. I have been immensely blessed by their genuine fellowship and encouraged by their faith as I hear testimonies of God's simple mercies in their daily lives. May we yearn to experience such intimacy with God as well!