Written by Betty Tai, Hong Kong
Many say, “Life is a journey with God.”
But my friend described it as “an adventure” because it is full of ups and downs and it surprises you with many unexpected turns. Indeed, over the past year, the Lord has guided me onto an unexpected route as I took a leap of faith.
It started last year when I was really lost in my city job in London, doubting where I should go, what I should develop, and what I should do with my life. The one thing I was sure of was that I wanted to make the most of my days as a youth count for the Lord. After talking to my mentors at church, I started searching for opportunities to serve in South America. The Latino culture has always fascinated me, and I know a little Spanish. Soon the Lord opened doors for me. Through Latin Link, I was placed in Ecuador, a country which I had very little knowledge about.
I have always said I would never become a teacher (because my mum is a teacher). Interestingly, my job in Ecuador was to go to primary schools to teach Values and English with the Scripture Union of Ecuador. At the start, I had to work hard on polishing up my Spanish and even scripting my class notes to make sure I said the right things. The more I taught, the more I realized there was a special affinity between the students and me. This is a gift that God showed me only after I started serving.
I also saw how my gift of listening continued to help me in Ecuador. It did not take long for the students to start trusting me. Eventually, they came up to me during recess or after school to tell me about their lives—the good and the bad things. This allowed me to share the gospel with them on a personal level and to pray for them. These are important since the Ecuadorian government forbids religion to be openly spoken about in classes.
Another gift, which I was unaware of before, is the fact that I am Chinese. Ecuatorians in general have little knowledge about the Chinese culture, and hence, discrimination exists. It was a challenge, but also a privilege for me, to teach in their local schools in their local language as a Chinese. The discriminations I encountered helped enrich my classes as I taught the students about self-worth.
But it was not a bed of roses from the start. The beginning of this mission trip was the most difficult, since I was on completely foreign ground with nothing to fall back on. During this time, God showed me how I cannot base my self-worth on my job, degree, or possessions, but in God and God alone. I have also experienced how He is a caring father, providing for my “big” needs, such as funding, and also the “tiniest” needs (like a sisterly hug on a lonely depressed day).
This adventure so far has been like nothing I’ve imagined before. Please pray for me as I return to Ecuador for another year! 🙂
This writer blogs at: http://honeymilkjoy.wordpress.