The Second Pre-Trip Training was over on 23 June. It was reminded that living out the Good News in our everyday life, rather than making Gospel presentation, makes more impact on unreached communities. Short-term Mission (STM) members were advised to follow, facilitate, support and protect what have been doing on the fields by long termers. Parallel to the adult session, kids enjoyed their own training which empowered them to put on their full armors and fight against their own negative emotions as they would face in STM.
More Interested in People
Some field workers were invited to shared how STM teams sparked off small sustainable businesses for the villagers who used their talents to make both ends meet while being ready for a Christ-centered life and discipleship. The hand-embroidered products by Bangladeshi women and coconut shell handicraft items by Cambodian young people set the examples among others.
Hin, one of the guests, encouraged participants to seize the opportunities to serve others. He told a story that an STM team leader led a group of 3 to serve a rickshaw driver in the rain. Little did they know how much of a positive impact they had had on him and the long termers.
Wan, another guest, added, “Being proactive, in another sense, is being prepared.” He recalled a Japanese-speaking participant, who had prepared a large pile of greeting cards in his hometown, was resolved to break the language barrier on the field. Years ago, an STM team brought Wan a large box of chocolate. The chocolate was finally eaten up, but the love prevailed.
Lok, the third guest, emphasized that “by the smile, body language or small help, it will make a tremendous impact on others,” even though STM members did not share the same language with the local. After all, the joy brought along with STM teams was influential.
Lay Aside Your Self-Centeredness
Bella, one of the hosts, asserted that heroism does not apply in STM. STM teams should pay attention to the working style and perspective the long termers hold. “STM members act as supporters, partners and facilitators for the long termers, not doers to achieve their own goals.” A Christ-like witness is much more convincing and powerful to remove bias in the Restricted Nations where gospel is a sensitive issue. Bella suggested that members should appreciate and respect other cultures besides taking care of other’s souls.
Alongside the adult training in the hall, the kids’ training took place in a classroom next to it. “The training taught us how to behave in STM. We shouldn’t be overcome by our bad mood because we’d put on the full armors given by God,” explained by Diu Tao, aged 11, in the kids’ session with other children. “I’m going to Kuching where it’s very hot. As hot as it is, I may want to give up, but I will hang on,” said the little first-timer. Encouraged by her spiritual mentor, Diu Tao prayed to God and decided to go to Kuching where “trees are abundant”. She was deeply moved when her spiritual mentor later decided to go with her on STM.
About Pre-trip Training
Every STM members have to go through a 3-session training program before the STM trip. Four churches came to join the training to prepare for their own DIY missions or missions outside CCMN this time. Unlike the usual practice, a kid-friendly training program has been tailored to kids for STM this year, parallel to the adult training. A revamp of STM manual for kids, featuring cutie and colorful elements as well as keeping things simple for easy understanding, makes it lively and funny to read.