Initially before the trip I was not keen on going for the trip. I felt I was not suited for mission trips and was fearful that responsibilities back home would fall apart while I was gone as it had in the past. I was not willing to let go of those responsibilities. I knew that short terms mission trips were good but felt I did not need to go for it. But through the encouragement of the mission team and realizing that God would take care of everything back home, I decided to go. I knew God was telling me to look at was He was doing at living waters and that everything was His work and he would look after it. The trip was my first ever mission trip and I felt I was not prepared for the trip even after the team meetings and truly when I reaching living waters the experience was nothing like what I could have imagined.
During the first few days at living waters, I was truly touched by God's goodness and seeing the children worship God wholeheartedly it moved me to tears. I could see that God truly cares and provides for them despite the circumstances they were born into and it also spurred me to have at attitude of thanksgiving for his providence no matter what the circumstances or how uncertain the future may be. The trip was encouraging seeing the miracles that God was doing it encouraged me to never give up hope and trust in God. It is not about seeing the miracles or what God has done but trusting and putting our hope in Him patiently and obediently, never giving up even thought we seeing no way.
As Pastor Ronny and the other missionaries shared their experiences there. It truly stuck me that they were normal people just like you and I doing impossible things for God. Their experiences, lessons and struggles they faced truly encouraged me as I could related to their problems and know God is a faithful GOD you can depend on. Seeing their breakthrough in their ministry encouraged me never lose hope.
The lessons God was teaching me during the trip were no different from things back in Singapore but being in a new environment and being free of repeated tasks and responsibilities, it was not difficult to listen to what God wanted to tell me. I also found myself worshipping Him more in a deeper way and that was not always the case back home. Upon returning to Singapore, I asked myself why I could worship Him more wholeheartedly there. I realized that back at living waters we were constantly reminded of God goodness in everything and it was easy to take it for granted back in Singapore. There my thoughts were on God and His kingdom for most part of the day and it helps me to worship Him more whole heartedly now and I hope it will continue and that I will not struggle to connect and surrender to God during worship, to truly worship Him out of the overflow of my heart.
Another change in perspective is the area of doing the will of God, during the trip many of the people in the team were at crossroads including me. They wanted God guidance and assurance for their next step in life. We realized that the only way was to truly desire to put Him first and make it our desire to want to do His will for His glory. Back in Singapore, I attended a celebration for my seniors graduating from university. As they recounted their university experience and prepared to start work. I could not help but wonder what I wanted in life. It was a bitter sweet moment for them as they recounted their experience during their time in university, I knew their experiences would soon fade as they move on and they had a sense of emptiness knowing whatever accomplishment they have done will be just memories. It spurred me to desire to want to know what God wanted me to do even more and do something truly meaningful and fulfilling. Knowing that true satisfaction can only come from doing what God wants me to do, I hope I will pursue and desire what God want for me. Seeing the older people around me as they go about their jobs and take care of their families, I asked myself are they really fulfilling God’s will for them. Are we living an illusion, as my friend Zhuang Mao put it, being occupied by many things but not God? I do not have the answer but I do know that there are some people who did not follow God’s clear calling for them. Will they be ever satisfied knowing they are not fulfilling God purpose for them? I hope that I will strive to seek God and not live an illusion. Do not think that we know enough or have done enough and stagnate there. Living as Christians should be a constant change towards Christ-likeness no matter what stage you are in life. Lets us not be too comfortable with where we are or what we are doing but continually step out of our comfort zone in faith. Let us also not be lukewarm but on fire for God constantly seeking and becoming more Christ-like.