Of Mission and Teaching


(This reflection was posted on my class learning portal regarding my previous mission trip)

Well, I was asked to share about my trip just now in class and I thought that I should have done a better job in sharing what happened. Consider this as part of my reflection on the Greek class as well.

So, as most of you know, I went  to teach in an underground training center which was run by a Singaporean pastor. It's the same place we went to for our mission trip in 2013. And this time, I was there to teach a class of 18 students from churches from other parts of the country on the book of Ephesians.

I must say that knowing Greek first and foremost really helped me in my preparation, primarily because I was using some rather very technical commentary that sprouts Greek all over the place. So being able to read Greek helped me to understand most of the contents that the author was writing about. Also, during the class, as I was teaching the book, some students asked me about other similar words that occurred in other parts of the NT if the original words in Greek were the same. It helped when I could refer to the Greek text and double confirm the words.

Part of the testimony comes from some of the "near-misses" that I encountered during the trip. As most of you know, I left for the airport after lesson last week but as I was waiting at the airport, the zip at the bottom of my travel backpack broke. Just as I was in distress, cos it was past midnight and I thought I didn't have any solution, God gave me the idea to go home and grab another bag by taking cab. I ended up taking cab and spending another SGD 70 just to travel to and fro but I must say that at least I got to shower and grab some other supplies that I did not bring along with me.

Another near-miss was that the police showed up on one of the nights at the hotel I was staying in. They were "checking" the room and I got a bit nervous and had to hide my books on apologetics into my bag (cos I was preparing the notes for an apologetic class which I was supposed to teach when I return). But for some inexplicable reason (and it must be God's blessing in the midst), the police did not knock on my door.

The other near-miss was that my luggage got delayed. I took Malaysia Airlines and I was supposed to transit at KLIA. However, my flight out to KLIA was delayed by one hour and as a result, I had to rush to the departure gate when I reached KLIA. The airport didn't even have time to transfer my luggage to my connecting flight. Hence, I did not see my luggage at the carousel at Changi when I reached. Thank God all my valuables are in my bag so I could just go home. For those who are on my Facebook, you would have seen that I commented that it was a fortunate misfortune as someone else will transport my luggage to my home instead of me carrying all the way from the airport to my home at Bukit Panjang.

The last incident that I want to relate is something that happened to me. While I was walking on the street (at this famous Street), I was approached by no less than 4 pimps (or massage parlour rep) who wanted me to go and "take a look" at their parlours, in hope that I could procure their special services. Thank God He gave me the wisdom to fend them off by speaking to them in English. After seeing that I speak to them in English, most of the pimps left me alone. I was only reminded that the spiritual warfare is real as the Devil attempts to derail us by tempting us and drawing us into sin.

Lastly, I just want to share that this is the first time I took an entire class and an entire "module" by myself, including the design of the syllabus. Attending the class on Advanced Teaching Seminar earlier this year helped in the preparation. And it was indeed tiring for me as I almost lost my voice after the first day. But more importantly, I experienced what Paul said in Ephesians 3:2-13, when he described his ministry to the Gentile as God's grace to him, despite him being the least of the apostles. I was reminded that it was indeed a privilege to serve Him in such a setting, equipping leaders in His Body so that His kingdom can advance. Throughout the trip, I experienced His grace and strengthening as I saw how the students responded to the teaching, as the students think about how to apply the Scripture accurately in their own local setting.

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