By Pamelor Phor
Vanakam! (Hello in Tamil)
Upon our arrival in Colombo’s airport, we were welcomed warmly by the local church pastor, where we took a bumpy 10 hour bus ride to a town in the north of Sri Lanka called Vavinuya. Our bus battery exploded along the way but thank God by some miracle we managed to reach our destination without pushing the bus. Our first meal was sumptuous which was cooked by our local host, with the traditional nasi briyani, fried fish, daal, pappadum, etc. Some of us even tried to eat Indian style – with our bare hands! The “hotel” we stayed in was simple, with our fellow resident friends consisting of moths, mosquitoes, flies, cockroaches, bedbugs and even a frog in our bathroom. Heh. Nevertheless, God granted us the grace to have a good rest each night, as all of us were exhausted after a long day of work at the clinics.
We conducted 5 mobile clinic sessions in various places in the village, each session lasting about 3-4 hours at one go. Our one and only doctor saw about 500 patients in total. The rest of us helped out with other tasks such as registration, crowd control, playing with the children, packing and dispensing medicine and praying for the sick. We encountered common illnesses such as flu, worms in stomach, aches and pain the body, while some had more serious diseases such as cataract, deformed bodies, embedded bullet, tumours, etc. We prayed for every person who came, for the Lord to heal them – physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. 8 people received salvation and 1 received immediate healing – Praise Him!
We were supposed to enter an internally displaced people (IDP) camp which housed the Tamils during the civil war which ended in 2009. However, due to the volatile political situation, despite getting the legal permit, we were stopped at the border and had to turn back. It was disappointing for some of us, but we trusted that God was in control and had his purposes. I had heard stories from trippers who managed to get into the IDP camps in previous trips, and hope to come back someday to minister to the people in there.
We also visited 2 local church services while we were there – it was interesting to see how the locals worshipped God in their own way. I’m always amazed how people from different cultures, languages, backgrounds, can worship God together in one spirit. Some of us shared our testimonies. Most of the church goers were women and children – as in most developing countries. One church we visited was smaller than my bedroom! And it fitted about 30 people in total. It was so suffocating that my team leader (the doctor) nearly fainted while preaching his message. It was humbling to see how sincere they were in worshipping God despite their poverty and circumstance. It was also amazing seeing both the Christian Sinhalese and Tamils serving the Lord together, considering that they were both enemies in the civil war.
We had about a day and a half to rest and relax in Colombo – which we spent at one of the local pastor’s church house, and driving down south to a famous beach town called Gaal – but it was dark and raining when we reached there =/ Nevertheless, it was a good time with one another’s company. I’m really thankful for getting to go on this trip with this great bunch of people, whom I only met a few weeks before the trip. Yet it was amazing how we all got along and worked together like we’ve known one another for years! Most of the trippers were younger than me surprisingly - the average age was 28 years old which included two 50+ yrs old ple, so the median age would be around 23 years. The youngest girl was 18 years old, but she amazed me the most with her enthusiasm and humility serving the Lord – I wish the youth in church were all like her.
Each mission trip I go for affirms my calling by the Lord, though I’m not exactly sure where He wants me to go or what He wants me to do, but I believe that as I trust Him each step of the way, He would show and lead me one step at a time =)
I would be raising funds for Crisis Relief Singapore by running my 1st marathon (Adidas Sundown) on 28th May 2011. My target is to complete 42km within 6 hours. You can support me in this effort by contributing any amount. All contributions would go entirely to Crisis Relief Singapore – which is a non-profit organization. You can find out more about them on their website: http://www.crisisrelief.org/ Your contributions would give me greater reason and motivation to finish this marathon!
I’m not a natural runner (in fact, I used to tell people that I hate running), but with much discipline and hard work, I’ve learnt the art of running. At the same time, I learn to enjoy the process of running… Trust me, it’s not easy. Sometimes I feel like giving up. But what keeps me going is the thought/ sight of the end point (rest at last!) Each time I run, I’m reminded of how life is like a race (or rather, a marathon). Some people say that life is a rat race. You can run, just for the sake of running, or for a personal sense of accomplishment, or for health reasons. For myself, I strive to run this race of life with purpose, and to end it well! I pray that you would do so too and I will see you at the finishing line =)
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
Yesu Ungalai Neissi Kira! (Jesus loves you)