MISSION TRIP TO HUAY KANG

MISSION TRIP TO HUAY KANG

How a young woman met God in a foreign land 
By Elizabeth Lim
Aged 14 to 15 years old, the students at Maiya Wittayakhom School were like teens everywhere-curious, shy and eager to make friends.
 

From June 14 to 19, a group of us embarked on a mission trip to Huay Kang village. Huay Kang is part of Chiang Rai in northern Thailand, near the country’s borders with Laos and Myanmar. A group of older Thai sisters from our church’s Thai congregation came with us. After a long hiatus from mission trips due to Covid restrictions, I was eager to embrace this opportunity to grow in God’s love and sow seeds for His gospel.

We spent the weeks leading up to the trip learning basic Thai phrases and etiquette from a sister of the Thai congregation. Alongside that, we practised Thai songs and icebreaker games while diligently preparing lesson plans, a skit, a puppet show, and activities for an outreach programme we planned to present.

Before we knew it, the time to depart for Thailand came. The journey was remarkably smooth, a testament to God’s watchful care over us. The first two days in Thailand were spent conducting an English camp at Maiya Wittayakhom School. We were there to teach English. Although initially apprehensive because it was our first time working with this secondary school, our worries were eased by the school’s warm hospitality and support. The school staff graciously assisted us in arranging logistics such as sound systems and microphones, allowing our activities to run smoothly.

The students we encountered were incredibly endearing! Despite the language barrier, God enabled us to connect through creative means like hand gestures, broken Thai and Google Translate. These interactions fostered genuine friendships, allowing us to show God’s love to the Thai students. While some students were initially shy, they gradually opened up to us over the two days. I was particularly encouraged when some of the more reserved students stepped out of their comfort zones, attempting to speak English aloud and even bravely presenting in front of the class.

Holding the fun-filled outreach program inside River of Grace Church was a bridge for Thai students to enter and see a Christian church, many for the first time.

 

In addition to the English camp, we invited the students to join us for an outreach programme at the local church, Huay Kang River of Grace Church, on Saturday. To our delight, there was a heartwarming turnout. The enthusiasm displayed by the students during songs and dances was infectious, and we had a joyful time of bonding and getting to know them better.

Throughout the trip, I witnessed the beauty of diverse gifts coming together to serve Christ. Every team member worked in synergy, supporting and complementing each other. The Thai sisters played a crucial role in helping us communicate with the locals, showcasing the power of unity despite our differences.

One unforgettable experience was when we were hosted for dinner at a church member’s home. At my table sat a blind man. It was challenging to communicate with him because we did not have a Thai sister at our table. Gesticulating was useless because he could not see. So I tried to speak Thai to him. To my surprise, he understood some of my sentences. We learnt that his favourite hobby was to pray and I discovered that we shared a common love for Chinese songs!

The testimonies of several local church members showed how God’s love transforms lives. The unwavering faith and devotion of these Christians, even in the face of suffering and poverty, humbled us, and deepened our own worship of God.

This mission trip also had a profound impact on my own heart. Amidst the focus on serving others, I encountered God personally. I was reminded of how Jesus yearns to speak to us, and all we have to do is open the doors of our hearts and be sensitive to His voice. I learned that it is so important to first be filled with God’s love before I can love people around me.

As we said farewell to Huay Kang, we left with hearts full of gratitude for the opportunity to serve and be served by the people we encountered. All praise to God for his faithfulness, and it is our prayer that God will continue to establish the church in Huay Kang and draw more people to know Him as their Saviour and Lord.

Elizabeth Lim, 20, grew up in True Way. She leads a small group at YouthZone and attends the church’s young adults ministry. She will leave for university in Scotland at the end of August.

Opinions expressed are those of our authors. This is the third article of our July 2023 issue. All rights reserved. Please send comments to [email protected]. Previous issues are available at trueway.org.sg/newsletters.