Such an amazing trip! 🙂
I shall start at the start. It all started during leader’s retreat. I was reflecting on how i managed myself last year with simply two ministry(+homework club). I have such a bad record; I kept having panic attacks, feeling lonely etc etc. So when we were given the chance to pick our “CCA” I did not want to pick any. So i returned the empty slip of paper back to K. He saw it and asked, “why not?” He then suggested that i go on a mission trip instead. He told me that in the years to come, if i do not choose to go now i would not go for it if the opportunity was presented to me. He also said that people who went for a mission trip has a different view on ministry. That when the years come, i will only have a very closed up view while people will be speaking of the amazing things God has done on the trip. So being persuaded like that, how can one not go? Haha! So i decided to go for the September one because my holidays will be then and a friend asked me(in the end, she did not go.. :<).
So i simply entered the mission trip with no experience whatsoever. No background in planning for events. No background in preparing logistics. No background in planning children’s program. No idea what would happen. The first meeting already showed me how inexperienced i was. I got the role of planning a children’s program and logistics.
Here comes the first big obstacle, J and I have trouble planning for the children’s program. J is very skilled in planning. to a point where i felt like i was not doing much. Trouble is we both do not know how to plan for a program where there is no fixed time, no set budget, no fixed size and no fixed age. So we discussed over and over, scraping ideas here, taking things away here and there. Even until the start of the trip we still do not know what would happen even though we planned so much.
Next obstacle was fighting against time and work. The crunch time for Poly was really close to the trip. i struggled so much to manage both work and ministry. To top it off, i have this trip to plan for. Right before my presentation week, i need to go to Aussie to attend my sister’s graduation. Hence missing a meeting. Then, two weeks later, i have a trip to Hong Kong. Hence, missing another meeting. When i got back, everyone was already in choleric mode doing things, getting logs while i was still catching up. So i simply did whatever they needed me to do; cut cloth, run through games, buy markers etc etc. That particular week, i was serving in CAMY as well. I decided to because i would feel really bad if i made L sub me and serve 3 weeks in a row. So that proposed yet another problem, I have to split my attention to both this trip and CAMY. So i really felt like i did not contribute much to the preparations.
A thing i did during this period which i am very thankful for was that i asked for prayer from my mentors and the worship team. I was really flipping out when i realised that it was a week to the mission trip. I was extremely stressed with so many things undone. Thank you for your prayers! 🙂
I was really afraid as i went to the airport. I was paranoid. What if i lose my passport? What if my programs suck? What if working with them is difficult? Again and again i questioned myself. I was crapping myself(Ok, not literally). I am very thankful that my cell kid was there to play with me so as to relieve my stress. I showed K the extremely scared face and he said he realised. Well, all the way to the plane!
I watched an episode of Big Bang Theory then watched The Fault in Our Stars. Such a nice movie. such great acting with a great representation of pain. checked out Kenny Khoo’s album, not bad, but i am not sure if i would purchase it. Then, i did the most genius thing one can do, i left my jacket on the plane… -.- -sigh- Oh well, time to buy a new jacket, but what a great start to the trip…. 😦 I simply got over it and collected my bags. We then met PD at the airport and he already cracked a joke! He called the bottled water sky juice! We had a 5 hour bus ride to the hotel in V. It was pretty comfortable. When we finally reached the hotel, i just conked out.
When i woke up, we had devotions in the morning–a practice that is pretty foreign to me, for i like to have it at night where i can thank God for the day–but i saw how it benefited us, it really set the tone of the day. The best example was when JK did devotions and pointed out that we have not been praying very much on the trip and on that day we became more prayerful and everything well WAY smoother than yesterday! The first day of devotions, they asked to share one thing we expected out of the trip. I shared that i wanted some direction for my life and to be able to witness that my God is a global God.
I will now describe the different events or highlights:
The first heart attack came when we went for the believer’s meeting. We went there and there were many children there. So SR asked if we could do the children’s program. We did not bring any logistics there, so i freaked out. We brought them to the backyard of the house. I have no idea what to do. I stared at the people there with me(JK, I, E, P, SS). So we started with the song, they were giving very stoned expressions, but they still tried to do the actions with us! Then we tried to play eagle catch small chickens(老鹰抓小鸡). They were so into it! Then we played Mr Fox says because they thought we meant Fox when we were describing a Wolf to the translator. They were rolling in the dirt but they were ok with it! Finally we played freeze and melt. All three games were a HUGE encouragement to me. We did not plan like two out of three games, but they enjoyed it nevertheless. I decided not to be so stressed with doing things and that helped me to let go and let God take over.
The Outreach program. I went there being anxious. Once again, i simply enjoyed myself and became really silly like i was back in the PFP camp. When they were trying to come up with cheers, i tried to learn it. The group i talked to tried Oppa Gangnam style! Then for the other groups i talked to, i tried to learn their cheers/dance, they laughed at me. Then, for the games, i had this very cute boy with a scar on his face that kept asking for ‘gems’ even though he did not play the game. After the game ended, he offered to help me pack up my erasers, i really wanted to give him a gem after he helped me, but i had no more, so i gave him an eraser instead. We ate this rice with some sambal sauce, the sauce was so good i think i had more sauce then rice!
The second Outreach program. This was the day when K pointed out that we were not really praying very often. So we prayed consistently on this day. God blessed us with a VERY good translator, R. She was able to understand everything very well and helped us to explain it in Tamil. T also gave us some tips to add Christ into the program without being too pushy about it. So i drew a cross on the paper, but most of them were distracted by the girl i drew as well. One boy saw and asked if i was a christian, i said yup and he gave me the “Ok, everyone is entitled to their own beliefs” face. This crowd were more conservative compared to the first outreach, but they still had the competitive spirit. Some were very playful and bugged me to give them a gem. This was also the day i fell in love with the dragon mixed rice and pineapple rice. Best pineapple rice i had! So much flavour of pineapple in the rice and the dragon mixed rice was so good! The principal or supervisor said that this was a healing program for them. I did not know that the war only ended 4 years ago.
The workshops. I was struggling with my testimony and my workshops as well. There were some content that i wanted to put in but i did not dare to; i really did not want to be THAT vulnerable with the SL people. I got over it and just went with what i wrote. it was simple, but i was really thankful that they appreciated it. i will share more on my testimony later. The adults in this meeting were very competitive during games as well, i remembered that they were playing Blow wind blow and they were more excited than a lot of people back in Singapore. Here i also met R, a farmer, whose family is in I in the refuge camps. He had some problems with the approval of his farm so he went to C and got it settled now he is starting afresh. He finds it difficult to serve God while having so much on his hand. I was really thankful that i finally had a decent conversation with a local.
The second believer’s meeting. I was with the kids again. however, this time, there were not enough space to run and it was already dark so running is dangerous. So we went into the room. I was tasked to tell the story of David and Goliath. We never really thought it through, so we started with the story first. 😛 They were really engaged! However, we have no idea how to transit from the story to prayer. So J said his piece about defeating giants, but it was still awkward so i said my piece on the demonstration of having a small boy push E down, yet it was still awkward. Thankfully T was there to help us! 🙂 After saying the sinner’s prayer. We sang “My God is so Big” and “With Christ in the Vessel”. They were way more responsive than the last group during the song as they tried to sing along as well! Then we played, J Says, E Says, Poison dancing toy and Mr Fox says. Everyone that was there really got a lot of joy from playing with the kids.
The youth camp. I had to prepare logs for each game. So ya once again, the people were very enthusiastic. A very cute boy took a photo of me. I was able to pray for him during the altar call.
The third believer’s meeting. This time, there weren’t a lot of kids so we all attended the adults side. It was alright! Pretty cool. Prayed for this old man at the back.
My Testimony sharing. I was tasked to give my testimony, i really wanted to add in something, but i did not want to as well. it was like i had two different voices fighting in my head. In the end, i decided to go with what i had. As i shared, i felt release. I felt a little breakthrough in my spirit. I realised that the argument was in my head. God was telling me that he could use any little things for his work. So after i gave it, a huge burden was off my back, and it was so much lighter.
The team. During the debrief, i wanted to share something about PD, but before i shared, E already shared. So nevertheless, i still shared about him and I have no idea why, but i shared about my direction. I did not get my direction…. but it is less murky now. I wanted a longer timeline but God called me to do the simple things and do the little things for him right now in the present. God told me to focus on these and trust in Him. I and SR also shared their experiences. i became more open with the team and i admitted my insecurities about being unable to articulate my thoughts clearly. I realised that i have a trust issue. I will speak more about it later.
PD. I think i look out for role models whom i can learn from very often. PD is such an amazing person whom i really would want to learn from. He cares so much for people and does God’s work so fervently; he has an orphanage, A, which was closed down due to people slandering him, but he got news that A is reopening! He had such joy that it was so inspiring. He keeps telling funny stories and cold jokes! He is definitely a person i want to be.
Well, i said all that i wanted to say about the trip. Now i want to speak about myself; about what i have found out about myself:
– I have trust issues. I did not realise this, but when i said it during the debrief, that was a truth that i knew deep down. I have trust issues. -sigh- I really have so many problems. The reason i found so difficult to work with so many people was because that i simply did not trust them enough, as a result, not trusting them becomes a deterrence to them.
– I have abandonment issues. Ok, not new, but i realised that this somehow developed into another quality; I like to protect people. I was reflecting and i saw how much i liked to be at the back because i am able to see them and protect them. I know it will kill me if any of them were lost because of me. I also realised that i really care if someone finds me annoying or if i hurt someone.
– I have problems articulating my thoughts clearly. I understand things, but i have problems being able to speak of it clearly. Perhaps this is the direction of my mentorship!
– I have to start being more faithful in the small things God has called me to do
– I need to be more initiative
– I need to learn how to communicate with people
– I need to stop saying “sorry”
Oh and i was really happy that a very pretty stewardess remembered me. She was afraid when there was turbulence back on the way there. Then she was very friendly to me on my way back! She offered me a cup of water even though i did not ask for it. Ok, maybe i am thinking too much, but she was really pretty!
– I need to be less distracted (Hehe)
– Now(In Singapore), i have to be more prayerful. MUCH more prayerful.
Thank you for this trip Lord! 🙂