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  • Mei Anne Foo

He Pens The Punchline: What I Learnt From My First Mission Trip

It was Hyderagood in India.

Why do I believe in Jesus Christ

I stared outside from our hotel window in India at the goats and their udders; and felt like an empty sheet of paper filled with quotes from others.

My team members were sort of pundits in their fields, be it playing their instrument of choice, teaching children, singing, healing the sick, or, well, churning out puns. Me? Most of the time, as a full-time writer and cell group leader, I feel like my words aren’t even my own. I don’t really excel in anything and I’m a copy of a copy of a copy — it was hard to find authentic significance in that.

It was my first mission trip too, and I didn’t know what to expect. So as I hit the road one day; it hit me that maybe I’m good at not being good.

Of course, that’s not true because guess what: God is good at being good! He reminded me that He is good to His people and He gives good gifts. And during the 6-day stint in India, I became God’s gift to His people. Not so much by imparting my skills or talents, but by just being me and loving the people.

Understanding that God is the One who holds the pen took the load off my shoulders. I felt like I could stop striving to be someone that I’m not and He used a genuinely scripted me to reach out to a group of tribal girls. Travelling far from their homes in the jungle, they were brought to the city for the 3-day youth conference our team was involved in. As the environment was somewhat alien to these young ladies, my team and I simply smiled and welcomed them with words of encouragement, gently bridging the prevalent gap of bias between upper and lower caste in India.

There was also a moment where God placed me to be a listening ear — for three straight hours! More than 6,000km away from home, I realised that people share the same hurts, me included, and that all these commonalities actually make it easier to be vulnerable and connect. And though it may be different subjects, there seems to be a ringing theme to the matter: How to manage expectations.

Through these deep interactions, I really understand now that I am good because God is good. He has expertly, perfectly lived His life so that I, “a pen”, can be used by Him to write good life stories. My inadequacies are written-off and He receives the glory!

Christ is the vine. He rose above the gravity of our shortcomings. And we are the branches, extended to bear fruits and at the same time, connected to ​the source of everything. Apart from Him, we can do nothing.

I’m glad my team and I fully abided in Him. Even the people from our church in Singapore who were not part of our mission team became valuable and essential branches, donating their guitars and drumsticks for those who need them.

So at the end of the day, it didn’t boil down to our strengths or​ talents. True that some talents are more prominent than others but that’s not the point. We weren’t striving to be an A-team, but were glad to ​be a team.

Each person was a different colour in God’s big box of crayons. The willingness to be sharpened while on missions is also an important point. But my biggest takeaway is that God is good, all the time; and all the time, God is good. I know for I have tasted it. Although we have our strengths and weaknesses, we were made to be as one body to condiment each other. So let’s trust Him as He pours out His divine flavour and curry us through!

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