Five Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Go On Mission Trips

This article originally appeared on YMI (www.ymiblogging.org)
This article originally appeared on YMI (www.ymiblogging.org)

I am a full-time missionary; but I wasn’t always one. To serve full-time in the mission field was possibly the hardest decision I have ever made in my life.

You must be wondering why I would be writing about reasons to not go on mission trips when I am in the field. I suppose you could say these were my reasons for not going on mission trips before I dove in audaciously.

So, here are five reasons why I think you shouldn’t go on mission trips.

If you are afraid to witness firsthand what God is doing in the world

I was afraid. I was afraid that God would show me what He was doing in the world; and worst, even use me and invite me to join in His work because I felt not qualified to be that person He could employ for His purposes. I was lugging with me a massive baggage of insecurity that paralyzed me from taking a step of faith in obedience to Him.

When God first called me to go to missions, I literally ignored the whole idea of it. For a couple of years, I was able to avoid acknowledging the burden I had felt and successfully managed to pay no attention to its existence. Until I could no longer pretend that it’s not there. It was becoming awfully heavy to carry. Continue reading “Five Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Go On Mission Trips”

Advertisements

Christmas Lights

September. The first -ber month of the year. It marks the beginning of the Christmas season in the Philippines — a tradition that I really enjoyed while growing up, and now, long for as an adult. It was the month I looked forward to enter each year even more so than December.

I used to anticipate the obvious and lighthearted shift in the atmosphere anywhere I went in my hometown when the first day of September arrives. Everyone appeared buoyant and optimistic about life. Radio stations would air Christmas songs that were loudly played in jeepneys (a public transportation in the Philippines). Homes and, yes, malls were lavishly decorated with Christmas ornaments and trimmings.

And Christmas lights! They were my favorite. Christmas lights in different shapes and form emitting a variety of hues were ubiquitous; the spectacle was a pointillism of colors. At night, I would be sticking my head out of the jeepney window staring at stunning displays of these dancing lights on the road mesmerized by it all. I remember feeling my heart bouncing up and down in bliss as I carefully watched them showing off. Continue reading “Christmas Lights”

Fâo Dìao (เฝ้าเดี่ยว): A Picture of Waiting Expectantly On God

Santisuk Krabi 1

Learning a language is a very humbling enterprise. In taking on Thai, my greatest hindrance from truly grasping it is fear to commit mistakes, which to me translates to looking foolish.

Pride, essentially. It was the main culprit of my slow and painful progress, but I had read enough amount of literature and accumulated sufficient personal and vicarious experiences about learning a new language to realize that if I intend to communicate with the people I live in the midst of and share the love of Jesus to them, I had to let go of that crippling mindset.

No, it was not easy. I had to basically swallow my bitter-tasting ego. I had to learn to accept that this time I was not the teacher, but the student. I also had to take my own medicine. I used to tell my students that mistakes are not entirely bad because you learn some valuable lessons that you can’t learn otherwise.

Ah, but I forgot how hard a pill to swallow mistakes are. Continue reading “Fâo Dìao (เฝ้าเดี่ยว): A Picture of Waiting Expectantly On God”

For God is Love

Photo Source:  www.127project.net
Photo Source: http://www.127project.net

Interrupted and inconvenienced.

These words accurately describe our previous week.

At least for me, these are the very words that defined how I initially felt when Jason, my husband, had to leave for Bangkok to help someone who was in a particularly unique predicament. It wasn’t in the plan, and I don’t like straying from plans especially when it involves having to be by myself at home.

I know. I should have learned a long time ago that most of the time, whether you are in ministry or not (maybe even more when you are in ministry), not everything goes as you have designed your time to be.

But I still fall victim to this trap. Every. Single. Time. Continue reading “For God is Love”

2013

2013 is the year I fell in love with Thailand.

It took me awhile to wrap my head around the implications of what I have just recently realized after living in Thailand for over 2 years. Now, I am ready to put pen to paper (or put my fingers on the keyboard), and begin marking my thoughts on a blank page that has been haunting me for weeks.

Buddha

Before Jason and I got married we already knew we were going to Thailand. We knew we would be serving in fulltime ministry. Though Jason has been in the ministry for many years, this would be a leap of faith for me. I have never served fulltime especially in the mission field, which was a very foreign concept to me not too long ago. Continue reading “2013”

On Thanksgiving: Counting My Blessings

Thanksgiving-1

Thanksgiving is a tradition I was not familiar with while growing up. It’s not celebrated in the Philippines as an official holiday like it is in the States. While Filipino Christians may be familiar with this practice, the average Filipino is not aware of such occasion.

And so, it is a fairly new tradition for me but I have come to really love and enjoy observing it.

I still clearly remember my first Thanksgiving celebration. It was during my first year in the States while living with six other girls, fondly called the Taylor girls by everyone in our community, in one house. We all decided to rough it up and drive to Maryland, to one of the girls’ aunt’s home. Continue reading “On Thanksgiving: Counting My Blessings”

At 33

IMG_0104-2

Today I turned thirty-three.

I felt a soft tugging in my heart to spend the morning of my birthday with the Lord. So I woke up early this morning, went straight to the beach by myself, and spent all morning with God.

Today I turned thirty-three. And I am dumbfounded with gratitude for how God swept me away with His raging love.

His. Insane. Grace.

Staring into the beauty I beheld this morning, God broke the silence. As He softly spoke, I saw the last ten years of my life unfold before me. I furiously wrote what He reminded me with. Continue reading “At 33”

When Death Seems the Only Option

Deut31-8

Hungry and talking about what food to eat, Jason and I were oblivious to what was awaiting us just a few minutes later.

Laughing gaily in our car on our way to one of our favorite restaurants from our prayer meeting at church, we were both in a very light mood totally refreshed from the time of prayer we spent together with fellow Christians. We were on a quite familiar road that we’ve passed through more than a hundred times since we came here in Krabi. It is a narrow, utterly dark two-way street that is littered with fast-moving cars, motorcycles with broken taillights, and tuk-tuks (a three-wheeled motorcycle that is commonly used as transportation means by many Thais and tourists alike in the area.) We have become well-acquainted to this labyrinth on the road and have learned to navigate around it. We were not expecting anything more unusual than it already is from what we are used to, not expecting more than blinding headlights coming right at you or motorcycles driving on the wrong side of the road. These are ordinary occurrences here. Continue reading “When Death Seems the Only Option”

He Is Jealous For Them

She is not for sale.  She is a child of God.
She is not for sale. She is a child of God.

Gently, yet uncontrollably, tears started to fall from my eyes as the words, “He is jealous for me,” began at the background while I was watching the documentary, Nefarious: Merchant of Souls. The acute pain and the overwhelming weight of evil I felt in the stories of women sold and sexually violated reverberate in my ears. Words flee me in attempting to paint the affliction that these women bear everyday in their lives. I choke with fear and anger for how this could be present today, and yet it is. The reality of being treated like animals daily endured by thousands, maybe even millions, of women in the world is incomprehensible.

Wounded to the very core, I cannot look the other way. I needed to do something. I must do something. Praying is what seems to be the first thing I can do. Then, writing about it to declare war against this brutal assault on God’s children. Continue reading “He Is Jealous For Them”

Prakhun: You Are Royalty

Prakhun is Thai for grace.

And I am totally blown away with the beauty of this word.

I personally find languages to be captivating. I perceive them as an intimate expression of God’s inexhaustible creativity. While I may feel God’s embrace as displayed in nature, I see and hear God in the languages of different cultures. God’s presence is palpable as people of diverse origins uniquely use their languages in their interactions.

Thai people buying and selling at Pattaya Floating Market
Thai people buying and selling at Pattaya Floating Market

To me, the pulse of a culture is felt in the way its people communicate with words. I believe that for each culture to develop its own system of reading, writing, and speaking is unquestionably God’s doing. The art of words, written or spoken, growing and unfolding in different dimensions with the people who use them exudes so much power and life. It is, most definitely, an illustration of the existence of a big Creator.
Continue reading “Prakhun: You Are Royalty”