Updated: Dec 1, 2021
Day 1: By Karen Huang
As this was my second D-MIT with the same mission partner targeted at teenagers, I expected the younger children to have a lower standard of English. I was surprised that these children have a better command of English because they have been enrolled in Living Hope Academy longer. The lesson went well because they were able to understand and respond well.
The only difficulty we faced was the shyness of the children. Most of them did not turn on their cameras. Instead of using their names, they displayed names like “Vivo 1234” or “86393”. We did not manage to memorize their names and lacked personal touch.
Nevertheless, we thanked God for this opportunity to be a blessing to the engaged and enthusiastic students in this virtual trip.
Day 2: By Lee Li Ern
The children joined us before the class started because they knew us after the first lesson. They were very participative and answered all the quiz questions. Our mission partner was also very supportive. She sent the lesson slide from the previous lesson to the children, collected their homework and placed them into powerpoint slides so that we could go through with them.
Through the quiz we were able to know that the children understood the lesson and bible story well. It was very encouraging as teacher Jen, one of the teachers, also affirmed us that the quiz was good to check their level of comprehension.
We give thanks to God for a great session and also thanked our prayer partners for praying along with us.
Day 3: By Jenny Lim
It was the last day of lessons for us. To wrap up, I taught “Clean Hearts”. Having “clean hearts” means “to be pure and make the right choices”. I paired this up with a lesson video that explained what it means to have a pure heart. The students were very engaged and had clear understanding.
The students also enjoyed the song, “Jesus is my best friend”. They danced and followed the movements to the song. They also had fun during the game, and Karen was able to interact well with the students.
To end it off, I played a farewell video compiled by photos from the first and second lessons, and a simple message to them. It was a fun and memorable time with the students. I believe that God is already at work, touching their lives through the lessons on having a clean body, mind, speech and heart.
We thanked God that most of the students joined all three lessons consistently and stayed throughout the lessons. We also thanked our mission partners for coordinating and welcoming us to teach and impact the lives of the students at Living Hope Academy..
By Jenny Lim Three things I learnt as a Missions trip leader for the first time
The first thing I learnt as a missions trip leader for the first time is the importance of planning and organisation. Being a follower, I was really challenged and stretched during the D-MIT trip. I used to do things at my own pace as long as I meet the deadline. However, I have to be the one giving the deadlines and assigning tasks so that we were on track. I shifted my mindset and started to take additional time in planning ahead.
Secondly, I learnt to work with people who have a stronger leadership quality. Their efforts motivated me to put forward similar efforts in leading the team. This helps all of us to get things done and still have additional time buffers to recheck our work.
Lastly, I learnt that connecting and engaging the children is more important than our lesson plans. Ultimately, this missions trip is worthwhile as long as the children learnt and understood the biblical truth.
By Karen Huang God opened my eyes to see two greatest needs in this country
God has opened my eyes to see how Laos needs salvation and education.
Seeing our missions partner Sylvia holding a full-time job in Singapore as well as being committed to serving the country, I felt that Laos needs more local teachers to evangelise to the country. However, the percentage of Christians in the country is extremely low, so the need for missionaries to reach this country is even more urgent. I pray that God will send more people, including me, to reach out to the country.
I also felt the need for education in the country because the children have so much potential. Although they are young, they know many difficult vocabulary words and have the desire to learn. They are fast learners and they can definitely thrive if opportunities are given to them.
By Lee Li Ern Reflection and What is next?
I thank God for opening doors to partner with Sylvia in reaching out to the Laotian children through digital missions!
I would like to reflect on two aspects of this new way of doing missions. They are the physical and mental areas that we need to consider as we learn to navigate and improve digital missions work.
With technology, we are now able to go anywhere virtually as long as the other side has internet connection. This removes physical boundaries and opens up new opportunities. However, the unreached people group may not have such good conditions. There could be power or internet connection limitations. Hence, we would likely have to work with mission partners in the city or suburbs to connect with the locals. Conversely, we do not need to worry or plan our lodging, transport and physical conditions such as weather that could affect our plans too.
One disadvantage is inability to be physically in the land to do prayer walks, eat their food, experience the culture and spend time one-on-one with the locals and mission partner. We only had a pre-trip session with Sylvia to find out more about the country and ministry. On the last night after our debrief, I prayed for the teachers as I felt that we need to bless them, and seek Father God’s protection upon them and ask for favour so that they can continue to impact the community.
Additionally, not being physically in the country means that the team is still busy with their daily lives. We are not set apart and could be taken up by our studies and work instead of focusing on the people we are reaching out to. Hence, I felt that I was not fully prepared mentally. I was distracted and worried as there were work challenges and deadlines to be met as well. What if there was a work issue before or when the session was on-going?
There was also mental stress of encountering possible technical issues as it would diminish our impact to the Laotian children. There were no alternative plans. Unlike a physical missions trip, the team could have a back-up plan. The back-up plan our team prepared was one more song in the event there was extra time. We were unable to know how the children would respond online. It was only after the first session were we able to gauge whether we were required to adjust our lesson to their level.
In summary, digital missions is great as we are able to connect and reach out from the comfort of our own home, however, I felt that it limits the connection and experience. In conclusion, God is not limited, I know that even though I felt short-changed and had not given my all for this Laos mission trip, I trust that God had used every session to touch the children’s lives. I pray that the lesson on having a clean body, mind, speech and heart will stay with them and they will practise it.
I have been serving in the Missions Committee and working with a great team - Media4Missions(M4M) to update our church website with the latest news from local and overseas missions. I will continue to serve in the missions committee and M4M. Looking forward to grooming the next generation and bringing in fresh blood to the team!
By Loh Ming Wang, 11 years old
1. What motivated me to join this D-MIT?
Being able to teach the Laos children English and getting to know the Laos children
2. How did I prepare?
I read the bible story multiple times and my prayer buddy pointed out areas for my improvement.
3. What did I learn?
From the bible lessons, I learnt to accept God as my Saviour, lay down my pride and power before God, and think and say good and encouraging words to others.
The Laos children were shy at the beginning, but we learnt how to communicate with them and played with them.
4. How will I motivate others to join the next D-MIT?
I will tell them it is very fun! You can get to know more about God and the people you are teaching.