Day 3 (10 Dec) by Ellen

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A memorable moment:

– To prep for the Adventure Camp at Krabi beach tomorrow, Annie, Lennox, Alice, Joshua, Steven and I were required to cook 10kg of tomatoes into a bolognese sauce to feed the 60 Year 7 students who will be attending the camp. The camp will be an outdoor activities camp where students also get to practice their English on us. Never before have we ever even seen so many tomatoes, let alone cook it! Also learnt a nifty tip from Daniel when slicing onions – breathe through your mouth only and you won’t cry! Method has now been tried and tested by the team and happy to report – success!

 

Something I learnt:

– When planning for the camp, it became clear that although there may not always be a plan that we can follow, we can take comfort in the fact that God has a plan and will see that it is done through us. Although we only had half a day to plan activities for a two day camp, it was clear that God provides and with the little resources our team had, we were able to make 10kg of spaghetti bolognese sauce and design a scavenger hunt game around Krabi peninsula with a treasure box prize, made up of the goodies we brought over from Australia!

 

Something to pray for:

– Please pray for the children at that camp that their eyes, ears and hearts will be open and they will be able to sense God’s love through the beauty of his creation, the activities we run with them and the conversations each of us will have with them. Pray for the safety of the team as they conduct activities such as obstacle courses, abseiling and caving and that even despite the little Thai we know, we will persevere and develop good relationships with these children.

Seeing God at work in the Hua Thanon Market

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This afternoon, I went to the local market with OMF missionary Andreas and Ivan, Tracy and Nathalie. I followed Ivan and Andreas initially in handing out biscuits and pamphlets to local businesses. Andreas knew these market stall owners and they were friendly in accepting the gifts. An owner was robbed by burglars and was distressed and asked us to pray about it. I was surprised by this and Andreas told us she was the second person in the market asking for prayers.

We switched with Tracy and Nathalie and manned the store and started handing out Christmas leaflets. It was hard just saying “churn” (which means ‘invitation’ in Thai), tell people I am from “Australya” and to barely remember all these Thai phrases including “I don’t understand you” that Andrea taught but I recall from previous meetings that serving and loving the people is important.

I witnessed the market had so much work to do and I was touched by what Andreas plans to do with the market, with a sign on the ministry centre overlooking the market and a modified tuk tuk (food truck) selling pizza. I saw how God is working here in the market.

By Alex


We went to the local market and have a store with Andy (Andreas). Andy is a foreigner from Europe with wife and children. He has been in Thailand about 2 years.

The store is quite simple. CDs, Christians books and free Christian tracts were placed on the foldable table. We have 4 ppl from the team with Andy. We handed out Christmas invites for people passing by our store.

I felt mute at the stores. I only could speak one word “chern” which means “please” when I gave out Christmas invites and smiled. A lady wanted to ask me something. I could only smile and didn’t know what she asked. I felt a bit helpless suddenly.

There was a girl waiting for her mum next to the store. I gave her a Christmas invite and a Christian tract. Nathalie said the girl was reading the tract. We prayed for her and I gave another Christian book to her later on. Prayed that God uses those Christian materials to lead her to know him.

We have an opportunity to hand out cookies and Christmas message booklets to different store owners who Andy knows.

I was touched by Andy’s perseverance for serving our Lord in the market every Thursday. He made friends with the store owners and has an openness for talking to people. Please pray that God will bless his market ministry and draw more people to know him and people will response to the Christmas invites.

By Tracy

Teaching at a local Primary School

On our 2nd day I teamed up with Alice to be teachers. Thank God for the ideas and good team work along the way. We managed to run the class time for 1.5 hours with year 3 students without much preparation and only with a half hour notification from local missionaries. We were on our own most of the time.

I am so impressed by the students’ behaviour and politeness. Thailand is called land of smiles and I could feel the students’ sweet smiles. It was fun and amazing to hear how the rest of the team went.

By Tracy & Alice

Josh and I were teaching year 2 children. Initially they couldn’t understand what we were saying when we introduced our names but slowly they understood and even learnt to introduce their name to us! The children were fun to be around with in teaching them numbers, Colours and the heads and shoulders song. Some were rowdy, 2 second attention span, sleepy and naughty but they really loved us having around! 🙂

By Alex and Josh

Turns out 10 year olds actually know a lot of animals, including hamsters and camels! One could question whether they were teaching us Thai or we were teaching them English 😛

We played fruit salad to finish up and when one kid was upset, they put aside winning to make sure the kid was okay. Praise God for the love shown by these kids in a country where God’s love isn’t widely known.

By Hannah & Ellen

What do we do with 30 active Year 5 Thai students for 1 1/2 hours? Stephen and I played games with them, and taught some English songs. One song was We wish you a merry Christmas. Stephen was able to share the Christmas story with the help of an interpreter, and explain why Christmas is a happy time. What a privilege to be able to share with the children about a God who loves them and sent His Son Jesus to save them.
Praise God for Chusin School, set up by Thai Christians with the vision of sharing Jesus with Thai families.

By Charissa

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Meeting up in HK on the way to Thailand

Greeting to our brothers and sisters of EFC. Good morning! The team is about to arrive in Hong Kong in 30 minutes at the time of writing this message. Thanks God for the night flight from Sydney. It was a smooth but uneventful flight. Thanks God for His protection. We would meet up Tracy, Lennox, and Angel while in transit to Bangkok in Hong Kong. Please continue to pray for us to arrive in Thailand safely.

We have arrived in HK.

Everyone is tired and going to sleep. Thanks God for leading the team into Thailand and His protection as well as provision on the way.

Stephen

A parking spot story and Bon Voyage

This morning I went to work and was worried about all day public parking spaces. If I missed out, I would have to park far away which meant that I would be going to the airport later. As I drove past a line of cars, praying for a spot, God graciously reserved one last spot for me! God is wonderful.

By the way, we all got to the airport on time.

We sent the Thailand team out this evening from Sydney airport.

There are three team members awaiting in HK to join the team. Then they will travel to Bangkok and then change and make their way down to the south.

-Please pray for safety for the team as they travel.

-They’ll be tired when they arrive, so pray for sustenance and energy to acclimatize to the hot and humid conditions in Thailand.

-Pray for good communication and a humble servant heart

-Pray for softened hearts as they share the good news of Jesus in their words and deeds

Team photo

Will it be worth it?

What footwear will we need? Will our luggage weight allowance be enough for the things we’re bringing over? What will the accommodation be like? How many international adaptors shall we bring? What will we do for drinking water when we’re there? How will we cope with three flights on a journey of over 30 hours from Sydney to Nakhon Si Thammarat? These were just some of the things we raised during our team meeting, a week before our team leave for our short term mission trip to Southern Thailand. In the midst of all these questions, it was easy to feel a little anxious, and lose start to lose sight of why we are going.

Yet as I read through The Journey Guide, I was encouraged by this, under ‘Helpful hints for crossing cultures’:
“Use the opportunity to grow spiritually: Trust that God knows what it will take to make your heart look like His Son’s and experience a little of His love for the world. Allow Him to use the challenges and difficulties you face in crossing cultures to mold you into someone that reflects Christ’s character and draws those who do not know him into His glory!” (page 33)

This put our fears and apprehension about the unknowns of our trip into perspective. We don’t know what we will face, as we leave our familiar home and step into a foreign culture. Yet we do know that God loves the people of Thailand. We also know that God will be with us, and trust He will enable and use our ministry alongside long term missionaries, to draw Thai people to Himself. For the sake God’s glory, the saving of those lost without God, and our becoming more like Jesus, it will be worth it!

Please pray this for each of us on the short term team: that God will indeed use this opportunity to grow us spiritually, to make our heart look more like His Son’s, enable us to experience a little of His love for the world, and draw those who do not yet know Him into His glory. 

Thank you for being part of this mission trip with us through your prayer. Let’s see how God will work as we set off on Monday 7th December.

– Charissa

Message from our Team Leader

Since 2010, God has sent two teams of people from EFC East Lindfield church to Thailand on Short Term Mission. In December this year, God would send a third team from EFC East Lindfield church to go on a Short Term Mission trip to Thailand. This time, 15 people have been chosen by Him to have the privilege of witnessing His work and partake some of the works in partnership with His long term placed missionaries in Nakhon Si Thammarat and Pak Phanang in Thailand. We call this team ‘Thailand Team 2015’.

Members of Team 2015 are, in alphabetical order, Alex So, Alice Li, Angel Cheung, Annie Wong, Charissa Mak, Ellen Law, Hannah Leong, I-van Leong, Jennifer So, John Sham, Joshua Yu, Lennox To, Nathalie Leong, Stephen Yu, and Tracy Law. Each person in the team has a role and responsibility to fulfill for the team.

This Team was officially formed in early Feb15, and has since undertaken a series of mission trainings provided by Overseas Mission Fellowships (OMF), as well as under the direction from EFC’s English Pastor, Rev David Chen, in preparation for their endeavor for the Lord in Thailand.

God’s provisions, protections, blessing and grace are truly evident during the course of the preparation for the trip. Without God, we can do nothing. We would wait to see how God is to be glorified in our lives and in the lives of the people we shall encounter in Thailand.

This is not a holiday trip, and neither a site-seeing tour. A fairly heavy program has been put in place for the team by OMF, and will be executed upon our arrival in Thailand. Upon arrival, we will undertake some language training, culture training, school visit, hospital visit, prison visit, English camp, Christmas carol singing, Christmas concert, and community outreach. Perhaps, an adventure camp is a possibility for the team to outreach to local Thai youths. This mission trip would last for 2 weeks. Every day would be a challenge and of course fun to all of us. We pray that we would be further developed by the Lord in this Thailand trip in order to undertake the Great Commission of Jesus Christ anywhere else God would lead our lives. Luke 9:23 ‘Then Jesus said to them all; ”If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”’

Just one more month to go before we shall depart for Thailand on 7th Dec15. Please partner with us in this mission trip by praying for us every day. We need you to pray for us. May the protection, provision, blessing and grace from God be with the team!

By Stephen Yu