JOURNEY WITH GOD
Here I am, Lord, send me!
As the song Here I am Lord Send Me resounded in their ears, their hearts were greatly moved and walking up to offer their lives to the Lord was the only response they could make.
L realised that, while the song relentlessly drew her to tears, J her husband was actually praying during the same time that God would show them and confirm that Cambodia was the field. In spite of this, J had second thought about going because he smoked three packets of cigarettes daily, and it seemed like there was no way he could give that up. He prayed to God for a sign that if it was truly His calling, He would help him get rid of the addiction. Miraculously, J gave up smoking within 24 hours, and since then he never went back to the old habit. As a matter of fact, he has hated the smell of cigarette ever since.
Soon, they went on their way to Cambodia, a country they both knew nothing about, a land they had never set foot on. And, they were already 59.
When J and L first arrived in Cambodia, before their eyes were the children, some with conditions they had never seen before and perhaps could not have imagined. This image was imprinted onto their hearts, and they knew they were at the right place. They were glad that they could serve these children for the Lord. The Lord filled them with happiness with the assurance that they were chosen by Him to serve the children.
“We would never have done it if we were at home in Malaysia, but His grace took us through all that we faced.”
J & L
(They are reaching out to street children and children in crisis)
Favour From Above
KJ spent six years in Pakistan working with a non-government organization (NGO). The first year was marked by the tension resulting from Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, followed by the historic Gulf War not long after that.
In January 1991, tension was building up between the US and Iraq, leading to anti-American demonstrations in Pakistan. Responding to the growing tensions and turmoil, the US consulate had urged all Westerners to leave the country. Some of KJ’s co-workers chose to stay back despite the situation while others decided to go away for a period of time.
Being an Asian was very advantageous. For one thing, Asians were safer in Pakistan compared to Westerners despite the fact that they were working with a Western organization. The locals were especially friendly towards Malaysians, such as during liaison talks with the government, KJ received such privileged hospitality. “While waiting for the person I wanted to see, the office clerk would bring me tea and biscuits, which they never did for the Westerners.”
“If God calls you He will continue to guide, provide, and see to everything. My personal future is not important to me anymore, knowing that God will take care of my needs.”
(Former Interserve Partner who served with a Non-Government Organisation in Pakistan for six years. He is presently Interserve’s Board member)
Miracles on the Journey of Faith
TS chose a journey of faith, and her faithfulness was rewarded with miracles when she needed them.
“The mission hospital was very short-handed and limited in resources and equipment. There was no blood bank, and the locals were never keen on donating blood. There was a superstitious belief that donating a pint of blood could be very hazardous to one’s health. Medically, it is highly impossible for a person with less than 7gm of haemoglobin to survive especially in serious cases of bleeding. An average 10-11gm of haemoglobin is normally required for a healthy person. It takes almost two hours to and from the nearest town to purchase blood, which is often mixed with water. In such situations, it’s not medically possible for the patients to survive. But on several occasions, patients with less than 3-4gm of haemoglobin have survived without any blood transfusion.”
Recalling those miracles witnessed in the hospital where she was serving as a midwife, there was only one conclusion she could make: “This was only possible through the miraculous work of our Lord.”
“All things are possible through Christ who lives in me.”
(Former Interserve Partner served as a nurse with the Emmanuel Hospital Association in India)
Reaching the Children in their Heart Language
From home to the streets of Cambodia, she crossed a geographical as well as a cultural boundary to reach out to His children. For her, the only thing she carries with her that are essential and keeps her going is God’s calling and the enduring love that comes with it.
“It is awesome to be able to serve, work, and hopefully to build future relationships with the marginalized children and the poor. Just looking at these kids – sometimes my heart literally feels like it’s going to burst out of my chest with joy and love for these kids.”
These children have gone through so much and with so many struggles. Anita sees such heavy burdens on these little ones’ shoulders and she is determined and hopeful that one day she will be able to tell them, through their heart language, that they can come to Christ, the only One who can give them rest.
“I am neither a very talented person nor a leader, but I believe that if we are willing to go and be used by God, God can use us.”
(She is reaching out to street children and children in crisis)
From Pastor to Missionary
Way before becoming a pastor, I was already being exposed to mission work while studying in the Bible college through talks and sharing given regularly by mission leaders and missionaries. I told myself then that if God were to lead, I would go to the field myself one day to serve Him.”
And the “if” became a reality when God led him to Central Asia.
TW’s pastoral background and experiences stands out as a very important strength in field work which is pastoral in nature; most obvious of all, in church planting work. He is able to help in guiding a new church by giving appropriate help and counsel to the local pastors or leaders. With regards to the strength or advantages of a pastor-missionary, he adds, “A missionary with pastoral background is suited well to serve as a much-needed mentor to the local pastors. As a pastor, he can also easily gain trust and respect from the local Christian community and this helps in creating strategic partnerships for other areas of mission work.”
“Whether you are personally called to become a missionary or not, the Bible is very clear that the task of bringing the Gospel to the unreached people groups belongs to the whole Christian church. Whether we go or we stay, as a pastor or a leader of the church, we should earnestly pray, asking God to make clear the specific roles we can play in accelerating the fulfillment of the Great Commission of Jesus Christ. If we stay, we should ensure that the church we lead is actively involved in encouraging and equipping people to take part in world mission. The church should also deliberately seek to support missionaries serving in various fields. For those who are called to go, we should know that God can greatly use people with pastoral experience to serve in some strategic roles which only pastors can play.
“The choice is yours to make, whether we want to keep our best workers to ourselves or we can release them for God to use for a greater cause and to become a greater blessing to those who need them more than us.”
(He is serving the indigenous people in Central Asia together with his wife M)