Pua Mission Trip -- May 2019
We are grateful for the team of ten, including three newcomers, who braved the heat and headed to Thailand from 24-27 May to conduct the quarterly English camp at Kathy's Home. The newcomers were greatly encouraged by God's work in Pua and we hope that their thoughtful reflection below will in turn encourage you to join us for the next trip from 30 Aug to 2 Sep.
The team comprised ten members: (clockwise from back row left) William Lenn, Tan Kim Song, Susan Tan, June Kiew, Kiew Won Lee, Chong Kang Wei, Euodia Chi, Bernecia Low, Karen Lenn and Ngiam Siew Kim.
Euodia, Bernecia and Kang Wei joined the team for the first time and as always, we were delighted to have new faces joining the team to witness how the Lord is working in the lives of the children at Kathy’s Home. The three newcomers were amazing in teaching and loving the children, and not only were the children at Kathy’s Home excited to meet them, they also took to the new teachers very quickly.
As usual, the team in Singapore flew to Nan via Bangkok on Friday morning and reached Pua in the early evening while William and Karen, accompanied by Won Lee and June, drove from Chiang Mai to Pua on Friday. All made their return journeys on Monday. We are grateful for their safe and uneventful travels.
Morning Devotion and Sermon
Karen and Susan led morning devotion for Saturday (James Chapter 1) and Sunday (Psalms 139) respectively, while Siew Kim shared a message on ‘Why Worry?’ on Sunday.
Sharing from Matthew 6:24-34, Philippians 4:4-7 and Romans 8:26-39, Siew Kim assured the children that we have a God whose love for us is so strong that nothing can separate us from Him, and so He who considers us more important than any of His creation on earth will definitely take good care of us. With such an assurance, we can rejoice in Him and instead of worrying, we can give Him all our worries and His peace will be with us. The message provided a great opportunity for some of the teachers to talk with the children on their anxieties during the class after the Sunday worship, and to encourage them to seek God in all circumstances.
With the start of a new academic year in Thailand, we were thrilled to have 11 new children joining the camp:
Left: (L-R) Warat, Nikom, Sarawit, Saranyu and Khunanon. Right: (Front to Back): Ganyalag, Sumalee, Kasama, Rawipha, Oramom and Butsayalak.
The team was also very grateful for the record number of alumni – Sombat, Sawinee, Aranya, Suparat, Taksinawat and Piraporn – who returned to Kathy’s Home to help out with the camp. They were a great help, giving the teachers much needed break during classes given the extremely hot weather, and facilitating the communication between the teachers and students. It was also a great encouragement to see them modelling the love of Christ as they encouraged the younger ones both in their walk with the Lord as well as in their studies. We thank God for each and every one of them!
(L-R): Piraporn and Sombat sharing tips on how the children can improve their English; Taksinawat helping Kim Song in his class before his university term; Aranya and Sawinee catching up with the younger girls during a break.
Visit to Maesanan Village
Kang Wei, Bernecia and Euodia visited the Hmong village at Maesanan on Sunday. After the worship service, Kang Wei bid successfully with 100 Thai baht for this 11 kg jackfruit at the church’s fundraising auction. They took it back to Singapore and shared the fruit of their labour with GBCers the following Sunday!
What Our Newcomers Say:
It was really amazing to see how God's hand was at work in the lives of the children and their families, and especially encouraging to hear of those who graduated from Kathy's Home with a firm foundation in Christ while pursuing higher education. Personally, it was very heartening to see how eager the children were to learn and interact with us.
Visiting the Maesanan village also gave me many insights on the Hmong people and their culture, and showed me the beauty of living in simplicity. I was especially touched by the hospitality shown to us, and the love shown by Uncle Mak and Aunty Narola who continue to remain as testimonies of God's faithfulness.
It reminded me that despite our language barrier and disparity in culture, and although we worshipped in different languages, we still serve the same loving God nonetheless. I pray that He will continue to work in these people, and that they will one day experience for themselves the goodness of His love through a relationship of closeness with Christ. May God also continue to bless and expand the church there and give the leaders wisdom to minister to their people, touching the lives of many more.
This trip was a great experience for me as I got to know these children in a more intimate way. Listening to their family backgrounds and challenges that they face from the regular team from GBC has helped me to understand their behavioral traits. I am encouraged by the testimony of some of the older youths who came forth to share about the good work of God in their lives. However, while I see this ambition and hope in these youths, I also see uncertainty and doubt. For the children who have yet to know Christ, this brokenness in them reveals an empty shell that can only be filled with God’s love. Where fear and doubt is, God shines ever brighter. Thus, I hope that we will continue to pray for these children, especially for those who have yet to know Christ, that they may be inspired and encouraged by the testimony of the regulars, as well as their seniors who have graduated from Kathy’s home and choose to follow Jesus.
Chong Kang Wei
Over the years, I’ve been asked many times to visit Kathy’s Home and check out the mission work at Pua and all this while, I’ve good reasons to say “maybe next time” – work demands have been unpredictable, I’ve young children, we have no helper over the weekends, I am needed at home, I’m already serving actively, I’ve done other mission trips etc. With support from Xiuhui (my wife) and my mum, I finally said “let’s do it”. Honestly, I wasn’t sure if I could eventually make the trip – these ‘good reasons’ are still ‘good’. By faith (as a family), I signed up – and oh, how glad I’m I did. The food was so yummy, so cheap! And I kid you not.
Keep asking, it works. Many (all) things require faith.
Good food is great but it’s bland in comparison to what God is cooking at Kathy’s Home.
I see 50s, 60s and 70s being the new 40s! And it’s such an encouragement for me to see older men and women still serving the Lord with zeal. Older people caring for the younger people and together loving the children at Kathy’s home.
How melodious it is to hear the constant chatters on the lives and wellbeing of the various Hmong names and how ironically beautiful and unifying it is to experience heart aches together for sheep gone astray and to rejoice over sheep returned.
And this good work has been going on for 15 years and counting! Close to 100 people from GBC have come through Pua. Praise be to God but it is mention worthy of the core team of men and women who have worked on making the Kathy’s Home <> GBC partnership sustainable – minimal requirement on the participants but with continuity, delivers deep impact collectively, offering a rich experience but affordable to participate and be hopeful of the good work we can do by His Spirit yet conscious of the realities of the fallen world.
Another thing that left an impression on me is our deliberate modesty – in the choice of our hotel, how we travel, the gifts we give, the way we dress and where and what we eat with our friends/partners in Pua yet I know it comes from a generous spirit to love others and set a good example.
To end with a ‘food’ note – I’ve been hearing about the famous wanton mee. Yup, heard it but have not tried it – guess I’ll need to make another trip.
To the people thinking of making a trip to Pua, “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!” (Ps 34:8)
Please check out Kathy’s Home Facebook for more photos!
We give thanks to our Lord for:
- loving us, assuring us that nothing can separate us from His love and that we can cast all our anxieties and worries unto Him and let Him guide us, mould us and take care of us.
- the children and especially the 11 new children who have just joined Kathy’s Home.
- the record number of alumni who have returned to help out.
- Mak and Narola’s love for and faithful ministry to the children and the Hmong villagers.
- the teachers and their perseverance in the extremely hot weather.
- the three newcomers (Bernecia, Euodia and Kang Wei), their love for the children, and their earnestness and dedication in teaching them.
- for the new children that they will settle down well and also discover the joy of knowing God and learning English.
- for all the children at Kathy’s home and that they will lift up all their worries unto the Lord and let Him take charge of their lives.
- for the Hmong churches that they will be strong in the Lord and the elders may have spiritual discernment and wisdom to minister to their people.
- that God will continue to strengthen and bless Mak and Narola as they labour for Him – this is their 29th year!
- for Nokton to recover well and that he will be able to join Kathy’s Home end of this summer after completing his language studies in Bangkok.
- for the GBC team that we will not be anxious, but continue to look to Him and seek Him, knowing that He will continue His good work that He has begun.
- Aug 30-Sep 2
- Dec 6-9
You can also read Mar 2019's trip report here.