Short-term mission, long-term vision

‘The busy city life of Hong Kong and the quiet pace of life in the countryside of Isaan are quite a contrast. Last week a team of 10 people from Hong Kong came to Isaan on a short-term mission trip, with the goal to see more of and be involved in pioneer church planting in this area.

As said, their life back home is quite a contrast to life in Isaan. Although they are Asian, there are still quite big differences in lifestyle, customs, culture and then there is of course the language. One might doubt, like I did, whether it is really helpful to be involved in short-term mission if you don’t speak the language. In the past week though, we have seen that the most important thing is not the language; it is your heart. Also, what we have witnessed in the last week is that God helps you when you step out in faith and try to do things that are beyond your comfort zone.

Together we designed a program for a week with a focus on them being actively involved in outreach, evangelism and teaching on different schools. Besides that we made a visit to the temple had some discussions with the head monk and we were also welcomed by the major of the town and his staff. And of course there was some time to relax and enjoy the beautiful countryside of Isaan. We had a lot of fun together during the different activities and especially driving on a bumpy road with 11 people packed together in one car.

The team was very well prepared. They had prepared Christian teaching materials in English and Chinese, songs, games, magic tricks, and so on. They were really open to learn and do new things. After one week quite a few of them were able to count and speak a little bit Thai. I think this week has been very fruitful and God blessed us through them. We have met new Isaan people that are interested in the Gospel and want to know more.

One lady started to cry when we told her we came to tell her about Jesus. Short-term mission, with a long term vision. We believe this trip has blessed our work, but also the team. Isaan got a special place in their heart. They very much enjoyed their time here, but they have also seen the need of the people. They will be praying, supporting and who knows maybe one day God calls them to come back and serve for long term.

When you want to come to Isaan to serve, it is important that you are willing to be served yourself. In other words, mission is not only about the other, it is also about you. Be open to what God wants to do in your life, so that ultimately He will be glorified in us and trough us.

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