Yesterday a song came to mind when I was getting ready for work-
I walk by faith Each step by faith To live by faith I put my trust in You Every step I take Is a step of faith No weapon formed against me shall prosper Every prayer I make Is a prayer of faith If my God is for me Than who can be against me?
I’ve sung this song so many times before that it sometimes loses its meaning for me. But yesterday, it felt like the weight of the world was upon my shoulders and I hung on to every word I sang.
God was my only lifeline.
I had paid the full sum for my mission trip two Sundays ago despite the fact that I had not applied for leave. I had just came back from church camp and figured I should space out my leave application, thinking it wouldn’t pose much of a problem with the management either.
It ended up being a 4-day battle with my directors and with the Lord.
When my leave form was given to my lady director on Saturday, she was extremely displeased by my application and her refusal to approve my leave, laced with emotions and self-pity, equated to a flat-out no.
All the odds were against me. She was going away to Hong Kong from today till Monday (the day before I would take up for my one-week leave) which means we would be out of touch for 2 weeks, I was the only person in my department, there were shipments coming in, orders to be made, deadlines to be met and to top it off, I don’t even have enough leave to cover my application!
I went to church on Sunday desperate to hear from God, for some sort of reassurance that He was going to work things out for me. Pastor Tiak spoke to the congregation about making a commitment to the church. For me, I felt that God was issuing me a personal challenge to make a lifetime commitment to Him.
It broke me.
I had shared with some people that I would tender my resignation if my leave was rejected, but now the situation was posed differently for me. Even if I did tender, I would not have enough leave to offset my departure in time for the trip. I was stuck. If my leave was not approved, it was going to be no mission trip for me.
In addition, reality sank in and tendering my resignation would mean being jobless without an income- there were bills to be paid, commitments to uphold, my family to answer to… It was much scarier than I thought.
Rewind to last June camp when I heard Aaron sharing about his mission work in Thailand, God had stirred up my heart. Aaron shared about how the lack of female missionaries made it hard for him to follow-up with the female converts, I felt that God was calling me to go to answer the call to go to Thailand and build up His church there.
But things happened and obstacles were laid before me and I decided that I would give myself 3-5 years to pay off my study loan before I go to Thailand. It was a practical and “matured” solution measured against the crazy impulse to pack my bags and leave my country.
It really has been my dream to go on a mission trip for years. In my second year in Brighton, our church was not mission-minded and I was actually not chosen on the account that I was too young then and would have problems with the customs (?!!). In my third year, I was dead broke and could not afford to go. Last year, I had just started working and did not have any leave at all.
This year, it was now-or-never.
I waited till the end of the work day on Monday to ask my lady director again about the status of my leave approval.
I was not going to take no for an answer.
But that was what she told me.
So I pleaded with the Lord inside of me, that if His will for me is to do missions, then surely He would let me go on this short-term mission trip! I braced myself and walked into my male director’s office.
I sat down and he gave me the same reply, but with more understanding and readiness to hear what I have to say. And we sat and talked for more than an hour, and everything I did not have the chance to share with my female director came out. I was glad to get everything off my chest.
Still it was a no- he did not want to set a precedent for me to go on this mission trip as it would have other implications blah blah blah.
And then finally he asked what I thought he knew- “How many days is your trip?” “Tuesday to Tuesday, 6 and a half days.” “And how many days leave do you have?” “Four…” “So you would be taking… two and a half days advance.” “Yes, two and a half days unpaid leave.” “Oh, in that case, we can still think about it.”
We can still think about it!!! All was not lost! I thanked him for hearing me out and left the room with a lightness in my spirit that I had not felt the whole weekend.
To cut a long story short, many people have been praying me- my Cell Group, my close friends in church, the other mission trippers, my colleagues… and on Tuesday morning, the male director asked to see me in his office.
His mood was somber, and I thought, This is it. My calling for missions is something I conjured up in my mind and now I have to face ridicule from everyone.
He sat me down and asked me the same questions about my number of days of leave etc., and I answered him calmly as before.
And then the magic words, “In that case, if it’s just two and a half days unpaid, you can go.”
I was so happy I felt like jumping from my seat and doing a victory dance right there and then, but propriety got a hold on me and I thanked him and walked- not dance ;), out of the room.
6 more days to my mission trip!!!
And I have finally come to the stage to say that I would tender and pack my bags for Thailand if God has truly called me. If He would open the right doors for me, I would obey.
I don’t want to wait till I am retired to serve the Lord.
I don’t want to give the prime of my life to my career.
I want to give my best to God and allow Him to use me to bring the hundreds and thousands and millions of people out there who have not heard of the gospel to Christ.
Do keep me in prayer and we’ll see where God leads me from here. It promises to be an adventure ahead!