This would be my 4th year to Myanmar on a mission trip. It has been truly amazing and enlightening. I remembered my first trip like it was just yesterday.
What prompted me to sign-up for the trip is the desire to seek God even deeper. Why deeper? Reason being, I was not satisfied with my spiritual state of life (even so as I’m typing this pastoral column). I wanted to change. A change in my mindset and my heart attitude.
And so, off I went for my first BC mission trip. The moment I touched down, I was greeted with brotherly and sisterly smiles from our Brothers & Sisters-in-Christ in Myanmar. They are indeed a hospitable group of people.
The first trip centred around Kachin Theological College & Seminary. It was an eye-opener to see the school and the student body. It was indeed a humble and enriching experience interacting with the students.
Something ‘exciting’ happened during the tail-end of my trip. I was bitten by some bug that made my left ankle festered with decomposing flesh. I thought it was just a small thing but it grew into an excruciatingly painful wound.
Thank God for His grace and strength. I persevered through the whole trip. Felt like giving up during the last part but I told myself that I must not let this ‘trial’ stop me from fulfilling what God has predestined for me to do. As the days flew past, I was already walking with a limp. It was so painful to the point that I wanted to ask for a wheelchair at Changi Airport Customs. Nonetheless, I persevered. I had to.
However, on the 2nd day after I’ve reached home, I was rushed to the A&E of SGH upon the advise of a doctor friend. I had to do an open Op to scrape the rotting flesh from my ankle (and I even get to witness the whole operation with my bare eyes!). It took almost a month to heal. Praise God for His healing and His grace, I was up and running.
Fast forward to the latest trip in 2016, the mission trip took on a different turn. A rather, surprising one in fact.
It was a mixture of pure delight and firsts in the mission field. I was invited to share a short exposition of my morning devotion to a group of teachers. I did not expect that and it came as a pleasant surprise. The passage that I shared was from Psalm 86:11 .
First time sharing in front of such a large crowd. Nervous, yes. Afraid, no. Because it is always a joy and privilege to share the Word of God with my fellow Brothers & Sisters-in-Christ. There were 3 things that I learnt from this devotional. 1) To walk in God’s ways (in reverent fear and truth), 2) Be thankful always, 3) The steadfast love of God. It was indeed a fruitful time of sharing God’s Word.
The latest trip was very much different from the previous. There were meetings with Pastor Hawl Kho Sei who championed the drug addict ministry in Myanmar. Much was shared about the plight of the addicts as well as their progress in the ministry. Indeed the blood of Christ has redeemed these addicts who were once in bondage and now set free. There were also testimonies of them being baptized and moving from glory to glory in Jesus’ name.
We also visited one of the orphanages in Pyin Oo Lwin that BC is helping to setup. It was indeed a joy to see that a new annex is being built to house the orphans.
Another segment that was heart-warming was the visit to the School of the Arts and Sciences. I was given the privilege to share about my working life and the struggles that I faced in the working world, at the same time applying the Word of God. It was a fruitful time of sharing and interacting with the tertiary students.
The whole trip was one that reinforced the realness and love of God. One that was astoundingly insightful and at the same time a strong reminder that these are the end times where we must be vigilant and hold steadfast to the Word of God.
Brother Ethan Quek