Saturday, December 11, 2010

Thailand Mission Trip Day 6

It was the day of the English camp and before setting off, there were several doubts for good reasons. For one thing, we were not sure what the turn-out would be like. Would there be enough participants? After all, it is a Saturday. Would there be an unequal balance of children and youth? Uncle Henry led us in prayer, offering the day’s program into His hands. Ultimately, we should not lose our overall objective that is to connect with the participants. Uncle Henry requested that we simply interact and connect with the participants. I was reminded that in the end, programs do not change people but it’s the people who will change others. In addition, each participant had to shell out ten 10 baht for this program. Though it is relatively insignificant, it’s still money and we had to give them their money’s worth.

We arrived at Thanpraporn church and started unloading our items and setting up the registration booth.  Many children started streaming in at nine thirty onwards, half an hour earlier than the appointed time. The team went into action, communicating with the children in whatever limited vocabulary that both parties had. Thankfully there were some things that did not require much verbal communication such as hand and finger games. We were grateful that God granted us an attendance of about 30 children and 20 youths, more than we had expected.

The children’s program ran relatively smoothly. The children were split into groups of 4 and a TMT member was assigned to each group as the facilitator. The atmosphere in the beginning was a little heavy side even though the children were following my instructions. I was very grateful to a church member named Choo who was my translator. Without a doubt, he is a professional children’s ministry worker. I was amazed how he rallied attention when the children were noisy and stirred-up huge enthusiasm with his repertoire and arsenal of songs, dance and hand actions. I found out he was trained at a Children’s Evangelical Fellowship (CEF) and it really shows. I am a primary school teacher by profession for four and a half years, involved in Covenant’s children ministry and I (and of course, all the other trippers) were amazed by how effortlessly he organizes and controls the children, maintaining a very positive and vibrant air. The English program for the youth was conducted upstairs. Below you’ll find Audrey’s account.

20 youths joined us for the youth programme and we had a blasting time! We had an awesome team who were able to execute our programme of simple English conversations and games. Circle games like animal gestures and whacko were crowd-pleasers. Our activities included a memory game, Pictionary and charades. We thank God for the youths and their eagerness to learn, and we had a great time bonding with them. Our takeaway message from this experience is that it is not enough to rely on ourselves, but we also have to trust God enough to commit the whole event to his hands. Once again, we would like to thank God for his magnificent guidance.  (:

The last hour or so was dedicated as an evangelical concert where we taught them the Absolutely Everybody song and dance and performed the Set Me Free skit. We capped off the concert with a pass the parcel, freeze game and a paper ball fight. The paper snowball fight had to be mentioned for excessive adrenaline rush. We had no idea that the participants would be so enthusiastic. Joyce also shared her personal testimony.
The most meaningful activity could very well be back at Pastor Eng Kiat’s home where Uncle Henry conducted a sharing session with everyone chipping in what he or she is grateful to God for.
Perhaps it was the whacko game that warmed up us though it was kinda strange calling each other by nicknames. Aunty Carol was grateful that Ah Bee recovered from her fever as she was prepared to buy three tickets to fly back to Singapore. Uncle Henry was grateful that the team members did their best and manifested the workings of the Spirit. After all, there is no such thing as a smaller Holy Spirit for the younger team members or bigger Holy Spirit to the older members. The same spirit which empowered and empowers is the same regardless. All the other team members affirmed each other.

Some team members had to prepare for the next day’s Christmas service. I was surprised that they painstakingly painted plastic saucers and small containers as Christmas tree decorations. As I am typing, the laughter of the girls upstairs periodically travels all the way downstairs. Looks like it’s going to be a long day tomorrow.