Through Faith and Grace: Mission Trip to Chiangmai - Teaching English and Hope Chiangmai Care Group
From the 2nd-11th of December, a team of 12 of us from Hope Church Brisbane went to Chiangmai for a mission trip. Through these blog posts, I will be recounting the stories and testimonies of God's goodness during the trip.
We arrived in Chiangmai excited: the mission trip was finally here! But at the same time we were nervous, because we did not have detailed plans on what we would be doing in Chiangmai. Even so, this made it clearer to us how important it is to flow with the Holy Spirit and rely on God. This was what our leaders Qianzi and Zhuankhai had emphasised on during our preparations, given our circumstances.
We knew that we would be teaching English at a high school the next day, and I think most of us assumed that we would be taking one class together, with a couple of us conducting the class and the rest assisting the students. Or at least that was what I personally thought we would be doing. But that evening we were told that we'd in fact be getting into pairs, and taking 4-5 classes per pair! I was so taken aback, and felt so inadequte and unprepared!
We gathered that night and shared English songs and games that we could incorporate into our lessons.
The high school.
Being introduced to the students at morning assembly. It was nerve-wracking!
The task was daunting, especially when most of us had little or no teaching experience. Yet we are so thankful that God brought all of us through! The students in this school were a joy to teach. They were so lively, friendly, funny and willing to engage with us in the classes.
I am personally so thankful for the school's openness towards us talking about Jesus and using Sunday school songs in the lessons. We even got to use Bible verses to teach the students English words! During one of my breaks, I looked into a class that Leroy and Huijun were teaching, and the sight really warmed my heart. They had taught the students a song about God's love, and while singing it they played Hot Potato. The student that ended up with the object when the song ended would stand up, and read a line of 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 which was written on the board. The class would be then asked to repeat it, and one by one Leroy erased the key words, like patient, kind, boast, proud and so on. Eventually the whole class was able to recite the whole verse without any help! I was so glad. The students not only learned key English vocabulary through this activity, but also got a chance to learn about God's love. We were not forceful in anything that we did, but just chose to show God's love to these students in any way we could, knowing that for many this might be the only chance they may have to hear about Jesus.
Teachers looking in on our lesson
We were so thankful for this opportunity we were given to teach English for two days at this school. The English department was also very happy to have us! They told us that the students enjoyed themselves greatly and asked us to come again next year! I do pray that by God's grace this can indeed become a regular program where mission teams like us can come into the school, teach English and be the salt and light of God.
After the first day of teaching at the high school, we paid a visit to a Hope Chiangmai university care group, which was held at Zion House, a ministry house for girls. They were so warm and welcoming, treating us like family even though there was a bit of a language barrier.
A lively time of praise
And deep worship
The time of praise and worship really made Revelation 7:9 resound in my heart, As we sang the songs together, the mission team sang in English while the locals sang in Thai, and what resulted was a heart-stirring blend of different languages coming together to worship our God. This gave me the revelation that we were truly brothers and sisters in the same family of God, and that was enough to know that we love each other.
We also got to perform the skit we had prepared. It was a rendition of Everything by Teen Mania. Enying, who claims she was forced into the role (haha), played the main character. I was in charge of directing the skit, and I have to say I am incredibly proud of her. Even though she was reluctant at first, she still decided to step out of her comfort zone. She overcame her fears, and I fully believe that no one else could have done a better job. Everyone in the team also put their heart and soul into the skit and I hope that the people who got to see it were touched by God through it.
We were greatly blessed by our visit to the care group, and we hope that the care group was blessed too. I am encouraged by the lives of the care group members and leaders, and will continue to pray that God works mightily in them and through them.
I still have many more stories to share about our mission trip to Chiangmai, so do check back to read about the great things that we have witnessed God doing!
Till the next post,