Jonathan Kuo- During our morning prayers, I had a moment where I realized that God was sending us on this mission trip similar to how He sent Jesus to this world. Jesus left his heavenly home and glory to live among sinners and to bring them salvation. We were going to a different city to point people to Jesus, our salvation. Jesus poured out his life and teaching unto his disciples. We were pouring out our life and testimony unto the kids. With this realization, I felt blessed because I was reminded how God was using our testimonies, our life, our actions, and our words to help the kids see Jesus the way we have already seen him. However, it was easy. Throughout the week, the team and I had felt insufficient, unable, and weak (both physically and spiritually) to put Him on display in various ways. But I realized that this was also the best place for us to be because similar to Paul when he mentions his thorn in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, we could not boast to God or to anyone that we were able to show the kids the Gospel.
Benny Wu – This week has been fun. I went from contemplating whether to come to the mission to actually enjoying my time here with the kids. I hope that someday they can see that there are more than just negative aspects of life. There are also positive aspects that God has employed into their lives. Its amazing seeing God’s work in these kids this week. These kids really showed me that God’s love is almighty and it has the power to change these kids’ lives. I guess our work might not mean much to them but to us this experience was more than invaluable and more than priceless. The week was rough and we had our ups and downs; but at the end we stayed strong as a group and we were able to finish off with a bang. Hopefully there are more of these moments to come and hopefully these kids do pick up something we thought them this week. God is good, all the time! Thanks guys!
Mason Ma – Over the course of this week, we were tasked with both having fun with the children and sharing about the kindness of God. Throughout the week, we went to various places to connect with children. The children were all relatively well behaved but they would sometimes become disobedient. I was frustrated when these events occurred during the first 2 days but this attitude changed over time. I recognized that the relationship with these children reflected the relationship we have with God. God allows for all of us to experience joys but we often fail to listen to Him when we should. However, God shows us kindness during these times and continues to allow us to call ourselves Children of God. With this in mind, I put down my own frustrations and tried to share God’s kindness with them through my actions. I hope that these children are able to recognize God’s kindness through the experiences we had this week as they return to their daily lives. I would like to thank the church for the continuous prayers throughout the week and most importantly God for providing this opportunity to minister to His Children.
Francis Foo- This mission was an eye opener to the limits of my heart and physical ability. I learned about how taxing missions and ministry work are and I definitely felt the brunt of their tolls on me. At first, I let the physical and spiritual fatigue show through my actions and words. I lost my energy for the kids and started to doubt if God was really working in this mission. However, God really revitalized me after I did my first sermon. During my first sermon, I ended up listening to the own words that I spoke and started to reaffirm the joy and awesomeness of God’s kindness and love for us. Not only that, but God graced me with an attentive, interactive, and curious audience that made me realize that they wanted to learn about Jesus. God used these curious kids to remind me that they need Jesus and that he loves them despite their many flaws and middle school antics. God also reminded me that I cannot persevere on my own, but that I need him to accomplish the works that he gives me to do. Our God is a God of kindness and he shows it through how he allows us to struggle in order to grow and trust him more.
John Chan- In the beginning, I have doubts. Doubt about my health, whether I can do it physically. Doubt about whether I can connect with the kid because of my age. I even doubt whether I know enough about God and Jesus to fulfill the goal of this mission. As the days pass, God have me overcome them all. Each day begins at 6:00am and ends no earlier than 7:00pm. Tiring physically but rejuvenated spiritually sustain me every step of the way. When I meet the campers, I found them to be much more open than I expected. I was able to communicate with them with ease. When one of them hurt her hand, she came to me to wrap her hand in gauze. When another scrap his foot at the pool he asks me to accompany him to the first aid station. Andrew, another camper was hesitated to go into the pool, after 20 minutes of encouragement, he hand me his wallet and a twenty dollar bill and change into his swimming trunk and join his friends. On Monday night, I open the bible randomly and read the following. My faith was answered. 26 For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. 30 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31 so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
Pastor Jeff- This week has been a tremendous encouragement. The encouragement comes not from things being easy, but in seeing God’s faithfulness and presence in the lives of the students we worked with, the testimony of the ministry we were partners with, and growth in the volunteers we sent out. Most of the students were receptive to us talking very openly and deliberately about God. Some students asked very deep theological questions about God and how He works. I learned a bit of the history of the ministry we served. I was able to see how God led the main leaders to serve the children of New Brunswick. Lastly, I saw the volunteers we sent on the trip grow. Many of them increased their capacity to serve, love and care for people in tiredness. Some of them gave testimonies for the first time, others taught and interacted with students and one of the church interns gave his first two sermons every.