I have been trying to go for a short mission trip or outreach yearly since 2009. But, I couldn't do it in 2011 as I just changed job and not many annual leaves.
A lot of times, I think how good is it if there's someone who can sponsor me financially where I could just go for mission, for 2 years or so, or even longer. So, I shall continue to pray about this.
So, after saving my leaves, I have decided to go for OCZ (again) which was a 4 days conference + 10 days outreach. This time, I really want to go to Japan. Again, it didn't turn out as by the time I get the confirmation, the air ticket went up (missed the promo). Then, I was looking at what other country that do not require visa application. So, Cambodia came into the picture.
Then, I was approached if I could take up the role being Team Coordinator. I gave it a thought, prayed. Then, I was reminded not to say no on God's ministry. So, there, I agreed on the role. Later I was told there were 12 in the team. 12 means a big group (the max participants) to outreach country.
I have started to fast and pray (though sometimes forgot to pray) right after my China business trip, which was about 2 weeks before the program. I wanted to do this as asking for God's protection, strength and wisdom in this outreach. Thank God there was nothing happened (unlike previous 2 experiences) prior to that.
On Sunday (15 July) morning, dad took me to the conference site in PD. This is where I get to meet my other team members, get ourselves equipped and have the team preparation for the outreach field. The 12 of us came from Malaysia (3), Australia (1), Hong Kong (3), Taiwan (3), Korea (2) with 8 girls and 4 boys.
Throughout the 4 days conference, we got to know each other, other team members, attended workshops, attended sessions to allow God's word to prepare, back us up, soaked in us, have fun and many more. This time, I stayed in a dorm with another 5 girls.
Also, in the conference in PD, we had a night of prayer night where we will go to different stations (14 altogether) and spend time praying. And on the final night, we all will sit as a team to partake communion. Then, we were anointed with oil and go out (to the filed) filled with Holy Spirit.
On Thursday (19 July), different ones fly out to different fields. My team was separated into 2 departure to Cambodia, a morning team and afternoon team. And our team being the only team needed to cook for ourselves. On the very night on Thursday, Anita (HIS child personal from Malaysia too) briefed us again on our next day program.
On Friday, we went to Day Care and then, Team B (our team also split into 2 sub-team for different ministry) proceed to bus ministry, while Team A would go back and prepared dinner. First time being in the bus, we played some games with the local staffs who serves in bus ministry to get to know their names. Then, we also played the local Cambodia 'squeezing game' which is humorous, fun and yet torturing. Haeil being the biggest size didn't have to do anything and could win easily in this game.
We travelled on La-mok (a motorbike with a boat like of vehicle) as this is the cheapest way of transport. It is like a cheaper version of bus.
As we arrived the destination, the children are all waiting there for the bus. There were not many children that day as it might be due to the heavy rain earlier. However, we started the routine, cut their finger nails, play some games (london bridge is falling down), sing some songs (Deep Down in my heart), teach some simple English (It is raining, I am running, hiding in the house). Then, some Bible story, origami. This routine has been there as the bus ministry. Some destination of the bus ministry would have shower for the kids where it has to be fast so that more kids get to be cleansed. At the same time, some small cuts and wounds would be treated. At the end of the bus ministry, each child will get a loaf of french breach (12") to bring home. Some of them would share 1 bread and keep the other for their parents or the next day. All these children were so poor that they live by collecting rubbish and selling all the recycle items.
We also had village outreaches where altogether 4 villages were being visited in 1 week. Also, sometimes, 12 of us would split into 2 sub-team. And each team of 6 would again being separated to minister to the children and adults cell group. We repeated the games, songs with the children. For adults, a pastor would be there to share a message, or teaching of Khemer language. Then, we would share our testimony. They were amazed that we are all serving 1 God in all different languages and reading the same Bible in all different languages.
All villagers are in poverty. And most of the children are without clothes, some have the top, but, not the bottom. And their knowledge in health is close to none. Also, violence often happens in villages. However, all children are very excited and always wait in expectations to listen and to participate. Everyone was so discipline to line up, take turns and enjoy whatever was given to them. In one of the village, a skit of Hands were shared to the adult cell. It's practical to them as to remind them that God gave us hands to care, love and help.
On other days, we would also go to Children Center, Youth Center, kindergarten. Children Center is where all girls and boys (mostly orphan) would stay. Then, the boys get to the age of 15, they would be transferred to Youth Center. This is a place where they would get their education, food and feeding on God's word.
At the Youth Center, we played games (volleyball, basketball, badminton) with the boys. Then, we had devotion with them. I did a sharing of Luke 19:1-10 Zacchaeus the tax collector. It was quite a last minute preparation as I couldn't get any team member to share. I just prayed that the sharing did benefit them and God ministered to each of them individually. I encouraged them to go after God's heart, think and dream big allowing God to works and also keep in mind that things seems impossible to us, but, with God, I M possible.
I was encouraged that all the boys at their young age already had in mind what they want to become and they were indeed top students in their school. Children coming from broken family. It really touches my heart. Also, their attitude towards devotion time. Each of them were on time and have Bible ready, hunger to know more about God's word.
Our team took over the Sunday service except the praise and worship session where we think it is better to worship in their language. Then, we have Ben S (Australian) sharing the words of God, Gladys sharing a testimony. Then, we have a team presentation on Lord, I lift Your name on high. Earlier, we also took over the Children Church. A skit/ drama of David and Goliath was shared.
The main highlight of the event on this outreach was the Evangelism International Night (His International Night). This event of about 1.5 hours was totally on our own. As the name, it was an international and also evangelism night. So, aside sharing our cultures, we also need to think of the contents of evangelism. So, we have Seungman sharing with the rope tricks (small, medium and big sin), Cassie sharing her testimony, HK team on Hands mime. We had a closing songs on Thank you Jesus in Khemer and I love you Jesus. Then, it is fellowship time where hamburgers and canned soft drinks were given out. As we were broken into small team, each of us also have someone (from Youth Center) to help us translate and talk to the local.
I was greatly encouraged that the simple things and sharing that we did were impacting their lifes. A girl shared that the testimony of how Cassie has come from a Buddhist background helps her relate to her life, and she sees it as possible. Another girl said, she is like the medium sin. She attends church every Sunday, yet, without letting God take over her life, she is not change yet. And, another girl shared that, the mime of hands showed that our hands are to love, to care, not to destroy.
As we only did 1 and not full rehearsal for the event, I or many of us felt discouraged especially when some of the team members were not cooperate. Instead of spending time to practiced more, we just prayed and surrender the whole event into God's hand. Amazingly, God turned the whole event into a great success. Furthermore, the event was only expected 70-80 people. When Hyun-Mi (local OM missonary) told me what if more people come, we won't have enough? I don't know why will I said, don't worry. Then, just break the burgers into half. Indeed, we had 170 people came for the event. If it's not Holy Spirit, it would not be possible.
Personally, I experienced 3 spiritual warfare.
1. In PD conference: where I felt dizzy and stiff neck. I prayed, I text friends to pray. I told God, I must be alright to be effective. Then, at the Prayer workshop, I had Ann laid hand and prayed for me, I felt heat (first time) release from my back, and I was alright 80%. Then, at night, I prayed again, and I was 100% alright. I was told by Mike that I was strong in God, that's why I will face all these.
2. The arrival day in Cambodia. Felt discomfort physically. I whatsapp home to get friends and family to pray, shared with the team and we prayed. Then, I was alright.
3. At the killing field, where I felt discomfort and decided not to continue to walk but turned back, rested and pray.
Also, there were conflicts, misunderstanding within the team as we were all from different background. There was one night where I had a direct debate with another team member. I knew it affected others. I went downstairs, looked for Anita, shared and cried as the pressured and tension being a TC was too great. Further, different team members were sick and I was worried. Then, we prayed. And God changed things around. I apologised to the team the next night during devotion on my behaviour. Be it right or wrong, as a leader, I just feel that I need to do it to keep the team to move on as a team.
There was one night where I spent time praying with my housemates (12 of us were put into 4 different apartments). Then, I saw a vision of cross, where many hands holding to the cross. As I asked God on the meaning, it was showing that all the team members have one purpose, that's to serve God, but, all of us are not as united. I shared to the team, and praying that the team could be united as we were in the war. Yet, another vision, where many purple flowers flourish. Sun was shining at it. Message was that all our works done, God will take care and make it bloom. It was really encouraging knowing that what we have done were not wasted.
There were (are) so many things that I have learnt through this outreach though my main focus was on admin and I felt I didn't really touch the lifes or be a blessing:
- Total means 100% surrender to God
- Total dependance on God
- Pray. In all circumstances, just pray
- Accept each other as they are though may be different culture, different background
- God will make all things possible and beautify as long as we obey and willingly allow Him to do so
- It's all about God's glory, not us
Now that as I returned to my comfort zone. I constantly reminded myself on how blessed am I. And yes, I do miss my team. :)
Please continue to pray for Cambodia.
p/s: I was shared by Seung-Man that I am going to be a long term missionary on the return of a village outreach. I am not sure about that. Just pray. :) Please pray along with me as there are many other things to consider.