CRS Mae Sot: Crossing Rivers, Breaking Boundaries
Maesot 30 July 2014
“We are all called to a mission, and the mission is our life.”-Dr. Lim Koon Jin
On 23 July 2014, a team of 11, comprising two doctors, three nurses, two aspiring doctors, and four other faithful servants of Christ, set out on a 6-day medical mission trip to Mae Sot, situated in West Thailand. Mae Sot is a trade hub which shares a border with Myanmar, and is home to many Burmese refugees seeking shelter from the civil war. We collaborated with a 9-man team from Bread & Life International, Pastor Ricki and family, Steadfast Love Church, and Mae La Refugee Camp Bible School, to organise medical clinics and children’s programmes for the Karen people of Mae Sot.
For 4 days, we saved lives, nurtured children, endured rickety truck rides and traversed treacherous terrains. Through wind, rain or shine, we worked ceaselessly, and poured out our hearts to serve the people to the best of our abilities. Every morning, we opened the day with worship and devotion, quieting our hearts before God and committing our day’s work to Him. After that, we headed to the Mae La refugee camp, running a children’s programme concurrently with the medical clinic. Everyone took turns helping out at the different stations – the triage, pharmacy, and children’s programme. Having refreshed ourselves with lunch at the camp, we went on to another refugee village for our afternoon clinic. At night, we had more varied activities, from children’s worship, night clinic, reflections, to R&R. On our last day in Mae Sot, we were blessed by the morning service held at the Steadfast Love Church in Ban Mai Village, led by youth worship leaders on fire for God.
“God taught me that He is in control no matter what happens and His ways are always higher than ours,” said June. These words rang loud and true, as the Lord blessed our team with many divine appointments during the trip, showing us that even with hiccups and delays, everything has a purpose in His time. On the third day, we set off for our first morning clinic at Mae La Refugee Camp. However, the government permit allowing us to enter the camp was missing from the entry checkpoint, causing a 4-hour delay. Nevertheless, we discovered that God had a divine reason for this long delay. As team members became hot, tired and frustrated, Pastor Ricki took the opportunity to conduct a bible study, which led Eric, a member of the Bread & Life International team, to accept Christ into his heart. What joy there must have been in heaven over the saving of one more soul! Furthermore, God blessed us with symbolic encounters, as Pastor Moses led us across two rivers, and the team was able to witness and lay hands on a woman stricken with leprosy. Just as Jesus miraculously healed the blind, the crippled, and the lepers in the bible, we continue to pray that Jehovah Rapha will heal and redeem every patient we encountered in Mae Sot.
God has blessed us richly in Singapore, so we can be a blessing to others. As Dr. Jennifer reflected, “Once again, I was reminded of blessings of our own home with four walls and a roof that doesn’t leak when it rains, plumbing that brings clean running water at the turn of a tap, education for myself and my daughters, safety for the children and good, affordable medical care.” It is our hope that through our clinics, activities and prayers, the people of Mae Sot felt the love that Christ first showed us when He died on the cross for our sins.
&With what we had, with our skills and talents, and with the overflowing of the spirit, we did what we could to serve the people of Mae Sot, and God multiplied our efforts a hundredfold,& concluded Samuel, team photographer and logistics I/C. Indeed, having touched more than 400 lives over 6 clinics, our team returned tired, but inspired. Having the opportunity to go on this mission trip together was a divine appointment in itself, and we all look forward with anticipation to the next CRS trip!
Reported by Ms. Victoria Chan