I would like to share some lessons learnt from joining the dental health mission trip to Vietnam that took place earlier this year. Through my sharing, I hope that more of us can step up to the challenge of going for short term mission trips, whether locally or abroad.
When I first decided to join the mission trip, I had very little faith that my fundraising efforts would be able to generate the $800 target that we were each given. But God is so good, He takes whatever faith we have – if we choose to exercise it – and He does miracles. I had to do my part, which was to send out an email appeal for funds. Within days, a friend gave me $1,000!! When I saw my bank account, I had to blink a few times to believe what I was seeing. I was also blessed with donations from family and friends and even one of my PhD advisors! This gave me the opportunity to tell them about the great things God did during the trip.
During the trip, God showed in so many different ways, due to space constraint, I will choose to just share a very personal one.
God helped me to deal with my emotions on one of the days when we had been working really hard – packing over 2000 bags of dental supplies for the children. However, as I was very tired, I interpreted the words and actions of a team member in a very negative light. At one point, I was actually crying. I did not trust myself to speak to the person, or anyone else around me immediately, but I sent out a prayer S.O.S. via whatsapp to my family in Singapore. Thank God for technology!
I asked them to pray for me, that I would not bear a grudge because disunity hinders God’s work. God answered their prayers in the most interesting fashion! I encountered a cockroach that night and the person helped to kill it! I took this as a divine provision because it really took the sting out of my emotions at that time. Eventually I was able to talk to the team member and I could see that, because I asked God to help me, He really blessed us with very strong unity throughout the trip.
I believe the unity helped us to accomplish A LOT together – in total we blessed almost 1800 kids within 4 days! We also had so much favour with the government officials and schools that we were invited back. So we will be making another trip, whether to do dental work or not, is yet to be confirmed. Whoever is interested to go and support, please get in touch with Derrick (email@example.com). You will not regret it, I promise!
Jen Lee Teh
Elevate S4, St Lucia Morning Service