I have been reflecting on the word "Missions." Here is my little story to share.
I was in Chiang Mai, Thailand in 2010 and stayed with a missionary couple there for 6 months . I stayed with them to help set up a halfway house for cancer patients and their family. Basically we worked to get the physical house ready and journeyed with the workers there to prepare them to help the families of patients. We also worked with the social workers from local hospital to ensure a good workflow. I spent quite a substantial amount of time in the evening praying and guiding the young workers. I also did a few medical talks for the general public including talks about common diseases like hypertension . I got to do home visits to see patients that were too ill to go to the hospital. I felt good that I was finally able to do some ‘missions work' and was truly grateful for the missionary couple who helped me with my own spiritual journey then.
During my 6 month stint there, I learned that the challenges in missions work are many. There were the issues of language and culture that are so different from my very own language and culture. And the whole area of spiritual warfare was very real. At times I was gripped by fear in dealing with the spiritual world. But I now see how my experience there became part of my training. As I spent more time in prayers and worship, I become little bit braver!
I left Chiang Mai feeling fulfilled but yet wondered if I had it in me to serve in full time ministry when I observed the life of my missionary friends there. I felt inadequate, perhaps because I did not yet have the intention of doing something so bold and extreme. Being a missionary means trusting God 100% and I did not have that then; even till today! Hence I told God "Lord, please do not call me into full time ministry or have me become a missionary as I am not ready for it."
So for many years I struggled to discern His call upon my life. I did not know if I would ever be ready for full time ministry work. It was somewhat scary for me just to think about what ministry work entails.
But as time passed, God would remind me to be missional where ever I am at; that I do not need to go very far; that I can see a need and meet a need daily. I learn that it is not hard to share God’s love with others, with all that overflows from God’s provision in my very own life. Deep down in my heart I always knew that it is my calling to be a palliative care physician. More than just a job, it is my vocation.
Doing what I do in palliative care has been fulfilling and joyful . But there is often the desire to still go beyond my current comfort zone; to do more for the Lord. Hence I keep a look out for simple projects that I can be a part of if I am not able to commit to long term projects.
God has been gracious to grant me different opportunities to serve people. I have been part of the Kiwanis Club of Bukit Bandaraya that helps to get food supplies for poor children for over 10 years now; my longest mission to date! I have also been involved with setting up the UH daycare children cancer's playroom and small kitchen, besides doing many small fund raising projects to help cancer patients. I also give talks to the community on how we can improve our health.
To sum it all up, in being missional, God looks into our hearts. We may not be able to do “big things” for God but we can still be missional, by being involved with simple acts of obedience to Him, with love; more specifically with God’s love!