Sawatdii khrap! Sabaay dii may
Greetings from Khek Noi once again, we wish His grace and peace upon you brothers and sisters in Christ!
Today the team awoke from long night's rest despite the F1 car engine that relentlessly roared throughout the night (i.e. snoring souls).
A key element in any mission trip does not concern the field or our programs, but rather it concerns our heart preparation. Worship and devotion today was serious business as well. Not business with the Hmongs or with Radion, but business with the Master of our souls.
The team's inward-looking spiritual posture was confronted mid-way through the worship and we went into another time of intimate self-reflection to examine our hearts; to ask ourselves whether we were more concerned with our own weaknesses, or with His strength. Marvin's devotion in particular reminded all of us not to be "lao jiao pings" (Matthew 11:25-26). Being an older team than Wave 1, with many of us either church/ministry leaders or university students at home, we were indeed a bunch with much to "unlearn" in this trip so that we could all humbly ask for more of Him and less of us.
After a sumptuous lunch of rice (what else), fishball soup, roasted pork in special thai sauce (Yvonne says it is "simply shiok"), papaya salad and kangkong, we proceeded to head out for our first home visitations.
The first home we visited were a slightly mentally challenged couple whose children were malnourished due to lack of food, especially milk. The dire look on their faces was enough to 'floor' most of us. The four packets of kuay-teow seemed very inadequate and all we could do is to pray for them and to show them love.
In the second home was a family of four. What struck me most was the story of one of the daughters who was staying with them. What happened was that a guy actually took advantage of her and left her all alone when he found out that she was pregnant. As I (Yvonne) held her hand to pray for her, I felt a surge of emotions. The feeling of being obfuscated, not knowing what to do next or what the future holds. But one thing I know, that the Lord will be holding her hand and will see her through the trials. Just fyi, the head of this particular household came to accept Jesus Christ into his life today! Praise God! We are excited for the salvation but not surprised because we know that this is just the tip of the iceberg.
We moved on to the third and last home. For the third house, it was pretty run-down with a damaged roof. Thus, when it rained, water seep in contiously and caused the interior of the house to be wet and soggy. Apart from the physical condition was the spiritual state of the lady we ministered to. The weathered look on her face speaks of hardships and a weary heart. There was nothing much we could do but to pray, hug her and give her a heart-shaped origami representing that we love her. Those were our five loaves and two fishes but God used them. As we were about to leave, Eunice told Ben to tell the lady that she truly admires her for bringing the kids up single-handedly and encouraged her to continue to perservere on. This word from the Lord stirred up the heart of this lady and she started sobbing. Her sobs revealed many suppressed hurts and loneliness. Before we left, I felt a word from the Lord from Revelation 7:17: For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. I passed her a packet of tissue, telling her that it would only temporarily wipe the tears off her eyes but I encouraged her to hold on to the promise that God had given, that is one day her tears would definitely be wiped away permanently (itaics mine). We're truly blessed by these home visitations.