by Ho Pang Lin, MMS Missionary in Chiang Rai, Thailand.
Ever since I believed in the Lord Jesus Christ as my Saviour and Lord of my life, I began to be burdened with evangelism. I wanted to preach the Gospel to the world, proclaim that Jesus died for us; Jesus shed His blood on the cross to atone for our sins and to give us eternal joyful new life. Jesus is the only Saviour of life.
I was asked to participate in missions for the first time when I was teaching in a kindergarten affiliated to Fairfield Methodist Church. The Christian principal led the teachers to Malaysia twice a year during the school holidays. Later, I joined my brother’s church to go to northern Thailand to preach for three years. Although I considered myself a good Christian who goes on mission trips twice a year, God has a greater plan for my life. I was increasingly burdened with missions.
One year, I signed up for a three-week intensive camp for prospective missionaries hosted by China Evangelism Mission. The camp was held from Monday to Friday (8am to 10pm) in Chiang Rai. And from Saturday to Sunday, we were assigned to various mountain areas to serve in the church and evangelise. I remember that at 4pm on a Saturday, nine missionary brothers and sisters from different churches took a truck ride to the Akha church to serve. The truck was driven by a local young man. When the truck came to the foot of the mountain, it was six in the evening. It rained in the afternoon and the road was very slippery and winding.
When the truck reached the highest mountain road, the young driver drove too fast. As a result, the truck lost control and continued to slide down. The nine missionaries panicked and screamed in the vehicle. I prayed, “God, please save my life from danger. How can I meet my benefactor like this? What can I give?” After I finished the prayer, the truck suddenly hit a small pillar on the right and stopped. I looked out of the window to realised that the truck was right next to the cliff. The whole truck may fall off the cliff anytime. The front of the truck started to burn, so we had to jump out of the truck one by one.
It was late and raining. I was seated at the back of the truck and had to be the last to jump off. The truck was very high and I was very scared. I prayed in my heart that God would support me with His mighty hand. My heart probably skipped a few beats when I jumped out. Who would have known that I would jump straight into a deep hole! I called out to Jesus to save me and a hand pulled me out of the hole!
When I was rescued and emerged from the hole, I saw a big cross in a distance. I sensed the Lord saying in my heart that He had given up His life for me, and would I give it up for Him. I told the Lord, “You have kept my life and from now on, my life belongs to You. It is no longer I who lives now but the Lord lives in me.
After that mission camp, I enrolled into Singapore Theological Seminary. I took three years of basic mission course in the evening school, and then four years of partial theology certificate diplomas. When I was studying theology, my classmates and I went to Yunhua Village in northern Thailand in December. I had the opportunity to preach the Gospel to a fortune teller who was touted to be able to eliminate disasters and solve problems. He was possessed by evil spirits every night and could not be at peace. After listening to the Gospel, he prayed to accept Jesus as his personal Saviour. When I met him later, he said that he was not possessed by any evil spirit anymore and that he could sleep very peacefully every night after his conversion.
I decided to take the missionary path by attending a five-day Seizing the Opportunity Missionary Course. After the course, God told me in my heart that I should quit my job and become a missionary. I told Him that I was disabled as I have diabetes and high blood pressure. However, God gave me a word of promise in Isaiah 41:9-10:
you whom I took from the ends of the earth,
and called from its farthest corners,
saying to you, “You are my servant,
I have chosen you and not cast you off”;
10 fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
So, I gave up my teaching work to go to northern Thailand. I have been at the Menghe Akha Village for 12 years. It was His grace and love for me. It was an honour to be called to be a missionary.
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