I started this STM with a determined heart to see myself experience God. The rocky preparation phase did not stop me, but rather, makes me even determined to make this trip a worthwhile, cos its really not easy until the point we stepped onto the plane.
I learnt that relationship building is very important aspect of a mission trip. People really need to gain trust from one another, be comfortable to talk to one another, taking care of one another throughout the trip. So since we didn't really have time to interact much before the trip, i told myself to open up as much as possible to the rest, starting talking more to the few of us on the plane. Also on the lookout for people, reminding everyone about keep watch over belongings and boarding pass and such. Drink water also... We need to take care of the health of one another, so that our strength can be maximised.
Coming together as a huddle is important. We share what we observed, what we think is lacking, what is the something we can do to address the needs to the people there.
I also learnt that i should be always ready to share our testimonies - to challenge, to encourage, to engage. Need to constantly watch out for golden opportunities to share, be it to non-believers or bros and siss.
Actually thought that we had really good training in our UNI ministry here, equipped with the knowledge to share apologetics, auto-fill-in-the-blank instinct, ready to serve. Be opportunistic and pro-active, in striking conversations.
Heart is more important that words. I always think that i can't speak very charismatically in group setting, poor vocab of bombastic words in prayer. Have been thinking that it is a limitation. When i went there, i was moved by the fire that the leaders there have, the clear vision and trust, assurance that God will provide, very sure of where God is leading and doing in the ministry. I want to have this power in my ministry, i want to be effective in my sharing and prayer, i want God to give me more of His heartbeart, this heartbeat that beats like a drum, able to impact, to move the hearts of many.
This trip has broaden my view, seeing what God is doing in other lands, thru many people that i dun know. Seeing the same WOG been preached in different areas, song sung in a different language, But i know that is it the same God we are serving, praising, and worshipping. A row of familiar words greeted me at Hope - KS, "To fufill the Great Commission in our life time..." We are all workers for the same BOSS man!
Now as i read the epistles in the bible, i feel a glimpse of what Paul is feeling when he writes to the churches he visited, encouraging the believers in the church... and being encouraged to see the church growing in strength.
We might not sail the sea or ride on donkeys to a foreign land, now we go by planes. We might not be writing letters by mail, but we can continue to keep in contact with our churches outside thru MSN, blogs, Facebook... Isn't that wonderful?