Volume. XXVI, No. 46
Sunday, 13 May 2012


Sister Gillian Ong's Missions Trip - Part 2 (Final)


(In Part 1, Sister Gillian was describing about a young man who came from a rural area. He became a monk twice to seek peace for his sins. He began to pray very earnestly because he believed there is a God. Miraculously he eventually ended up in the school where the missionaries were. There, his prayers were answered when a local Christian shared with him the Christian way of salvation, freely given through the Lord Jesus Christ.)  

This young man is now actively sharing his faith among his people. What an evangelist! Despite the danger of sharing the gospel, this young man has no qualms in telling people about Jesus and what true salvation is. He just simply speaks to anyone who talks to him about the Lord. Even the missionaries were surprised at his boldness. However, he is never pushy or flamboyant about doing it. He simply talks naturally about his faith. So far, people he has spoken to have been open to listen as he has a friendly and humble personality. The missionaries are helping him to learn the Scriptures as he has a fervent desire to know more about God. They are hoping that young X-tian youth like him can one day be the leaders of their church. 

Another example is that of a young girl from a  X-tian ethnic tribe. She is the only and first Christian in her tribe. She now works with the missionaries to translate the Bible into her ethnic tribal language so that the Word may be more accessible to her tribe. She is a lady of influence in her tribe, for her father is a \'medicine\' man. Her English is relatively good and she helps serve as a bridge of communication for the missionaries to the tribe\'s people when they go to the mountains to befriend  them. Meanwhile one of the missionaries has made it a point to learn this difficult ethnic language in order to better her ministry in the mountains. The Lord has gifted her with a strength in languages and she already has a fair mastery of the X language. There are many ethnic tribal groups in X, all of which have their own distinct languages, though most young people would know the official X language. As for this young lady, she faces a lot of opposition in her community and at times feels oppressed by the spirits that the tribe worships (Animism is the culture of faith there) whenever she visits them. The missionaries are praying for her protection against the evil one.

Of course this trip was not without its challenges. We were a team of different individuals in different life stages with different personalities and had to learn to work with each other in the Lord, despite our differences. Our time spent together strengthened our friendship and helped us to be more humble in acknowledging our weaknesses and to work for the Lord and not for ourselves. We learnt to improvise on the go, and to encourage and support each other when feeling unwell or discouraged. From total strangers, we became true friends. 

Furthermore, we were daunted by the lack of adequate medical services. One such instance was when a teammate became very sick due to food poisoning. We were very worried as we were told that the international clinic for foreigners was poorly equipped and doctors often made wrong diagnoses. The local hospital was worse. Apparently, patients are left on their own and have to be taken care of by family members as nurses and doctors are too busy to provide holistic care. One missionary became very sick with dengue some time ago, and she had to survive on biscuits while in the hospital as the rest of her colleagues had to return to the school to continue working due to shortage of manpower. 

We were told that the only way to get good medical care was to cross the border into Thailand which takes a few hours. Missionaries try to take care of themselves as much as possible and commit all worries to the Lord because going to the hospital or clinic is not necessarily a good option when one is sick. 

Thankfully, this teammate eventually recovered. I am very thankful to the Lord for providing many brethren in Christ who prayed fervently for our trip. I am grateful for Uncle Michael\'s help with medical advice and prayer support with regard to this teammate. In a moment of desperate need, I had decided to contact Uncle Michael for we did not know if our teammate would be alright. Thank God for His protection and for the many prayers said on bended knees on our behalf.

During our trip, I often wondered if we were more of a hindrance than a help, and also wondered whether our presence would be of any value to the missionaries as three weeks were such a short time. What could we achieve? This question tossed about in my mind but the Lord was gracious in reminding and encouraging me through 3 John 1:5-8, to minister and show support to those who had stepped out in faith, so that we might be co-workers together for the truth. Every little counts.

Indeed, my heart is full of admiration for the Christian workers (both local Christians and missionaries) we met who have committed themselves fully to the Lord\'s work. I have heard that many of them do not intend to return to their home countries. They have made the decision to commit their whole lives to the work in X. The Lord\'s glory is manifested in them and through the answers to prayers for the many challenges they face in this part of the world. They treat the X people with respect and genuine interest to know and help them. Their living testimonies reflect God; their ministries are lively and vibrant, full of love and service. Seeing how they have toiled and laboured, I cannot help but think of Matthew 9:37, ".... The harvest truly is plenteous but the labourers are few." 

Prior to this trip, I visited Batam BP Church in Indonesia with Uncle Ngie Joo, Aunty Sooi Chin, two of their family members and Sis Serene Wong. Uncle Ngie Joo did medical checkups for the children of the church\'s children\'s home and we helped with the children\'s ministry. There was an elderly deaconess taking care of these homeless children. Though she was elderly and poor, she had committed her life to taking care of these children. She suffered from many physical ailments but she was joyful in her ministry and committed her best to the children, hoping to bring them up in the Lord. When I spoke to Ibu (Mama) Sonya as she was known, she had tears in her eyes as she thanked us for visiting them. I was overwhelmed by her gratitude. While I had viewed my contribution as barely nothing compared to her service for God, she had cherished our time spent with her and the children. As she thanked us, she shared that though the work is difficult, she had always felt very encouraged when other brethren visited because it showed that this ministry in that part of the world, remote and isolated as it is, is not forgotten. The little support had meant so much. I am reminded not to forget these labourers of the Lord, and to show support in prayer, in visits, and in practical ways that are possible – so they do not feel forgotten. 

Overall, this missions trip has been a great blessing. We thought we would go and bless, but ended up being blessed. We have received from the Lord more than we have given. For that I am grateful. 

During this time, I am thankful for the people I met who inspired me with their love for God, and their selfless service for Him. While I have doubts over my own ability and willingness to serve Him as they do, nonetheless, I know that the Lord will use anyone if they will seek Him. I pray that in our busy lives and the materialism, vanity and self-gratification that we often seek, we may remember the Lord and the brethren who give their lives to the call, so that we may be inspired to do the same. 

Lastly, a grateful thank you to the Hopefuls who have prayed for me. I believe that you all went on this journey with me, for your prayers carried me through. All glory be to God.

Much love and God bless,

Gillian Ong

 

P.S. Returning from our trip, I learnt that Ibu Sonya was gravely ill. Shortly after, she passed away. I was saddened but comforted that she is now in Heaven receiving her rewards. 

(‘X’ is a communist nation in Asia, and believers in Christ are restricted in their activities. To protect the missionaries, and believers, the name of this country has been with held).

 

 

 


More Lively Hope

 

Announcements

*Kitchen Roster: Team Leader: Bro Boongs Atijatuporn. Next Lord’s Day: Sis Suzane Lim.

*Wishing all grandmothers & mothers a very Blessed Mother’s Day.

*Hope Bookstore: Open 12:30 - 1:45pm

*All are encouraged to attend Adult Sunday School or History & Theology of Calvinism Classes.

*2012 Family Easter Bible Camp CDs & Media - order forms available at the foyer notice board table.

*Speaker for our 26th Anniversary Thanksgiving Service is Rev Patrick Tan. Please invite your family, relatives & friends. Invites on literature table.

 

 Praise & Thanksgiving

 

1. Journey mercies: Bros Raymond Ang (Adl), Raphael Ng (Goolwa/Adl) & Chen Ooi (Adl); Sisters Christabelle Selvanayagam (Syd), Arum Han & Mavis Wong (Adl); & others who have arrived at their destinations.

2. Church Activities - over the past week.

3. God’s daily mercy, guidance & blessings.

4. God’s guidance & protection in Whyalla  - Sis Arum Han

5. Healing & strength - Sis Bernadette Ng

6. Visitors & new worshippers.

 

Prayer Items

 

1. Health & God’s healing - Dr Gary Cohen (USA), Dr SH Tow (S’pore); Rev George van Buuren; Rev & Mrs James White; Preacher Zhang (Sihanoukville); Bro Colin & Sis Kathleen Creaser; Bro Len & Sis Margaret Pearson; Grandpa Ki (S’pore); Bro Elton Law; Sisters Lynette Booth, Mabella Booth, Margaret Hooper, Lai Kheng Chiong (KL), Myung Ki, Irena Kurek-Braden (NSW), Choon Fong Lee (KL), Lehia Paauwe (Per),  & Susan Varadi; Mr Swee Liang Ng (Bro Raphael’s father); Mr Mang Soo Ong (Sis Gillian Ong’s father); Mr Wong (Dn Wai Kin Wong’s father); Mrs Maggie D’Mello (Mumbai) & Mrs. Chuilin Yap (Malacca); & others in affliction.

2. Sis Nary Li’s pregnancy - normal foetal development.

3. Cambodia Missions - Rev Moses Hahn & Ministry; Preacher Zhang & Ministry (Sihanoukville).

4. Ministry in New Life BPC (London): Ps & Sis Ki.

5. Laos Missions - Bro Surish Dharmalingam & Ministry

6. Batam Missions - Sis Ang Liang Phoa & Ministry.

7. God’s Comfort - Sis Mavis Wong & family; & others who are grieving.

8. iSketch&Tell Studio, YouTube Ministry - Pr HS Lim & Ministry (Melbourne, Vic).

9. IBPFM (USA) - Rev Keith Coleman, Board & missionaries in India, South America & USA.

10. Ps & Sis Weng - Ministry in Hope BPC.

11. Hopefuls in S’pore; In Kuching: Teo family.

12. House of Hope, Cebu, The Philippines - Ministry to drug addicts.

13. Journey mercies: Bro John (USA) & Sis Josephine Wong & Stephen (Adl); Bros Raymond Ang (Pinnaroo) & Raphael Ng (Goolwa/Adl); Sisters Sally & Corinne Teng (M’sia); & others who are travelling.

14. Logos International School (Phnom Penh) - Bro Peter Koo.

15. Interpreters of sermon into Mandarin & Korean.

16.  Uni Placements: Bro Samuel Ki (Broken Hill) & Sis Felicia Tan (S’pore).

17. Full-time Job - Sisters Michelle Lee & Corinne Teng.

18.  Australia - political leaders: wisdom & guidance.

19.  B-P Churches - unity of doctrine & fellowship.

20.  Believers in Islamic & Communist countries.

 

 

 

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