The New Frontier: Doing Outreach Virtually

by Loh Sook Han, Volunteer tutor from Wesley Methodist Church, Singapore.


Reading the November copy of Harvest Force magazine last year, I was attracted to an article written by Rev Dr Lorna Khoo about a new way of doing missions – Digital Missions. I was prompted by the Holy Spirit to respond and indicate my interest. What a creative way to serve in the mission field virtually without leaving the country or taking a break from my job!


I thank God for technology that has made it possible to teach online. It humbles me to experience how the infrastructure of developing countries like Timor-Leste is not advanced although the technology is available. For example, I initially wanted to use Zoom for my lessons to effectively share files. However, after trying it on a few occasions, I realised that the best way to teach without disruption was to use WhatsApp voice call without video as the video only slowed down the internet speed.


From this experience, I learnt that digital missions is the same as being in the mission field. We have to adapt with the constraints of the mission field to be able to sustain our work on-site or on-line. It is all about serving our neighbours with a humble spirit.


I am so blessed to be connected with Claudia, a student from St Paul Methodist School, Timor-Leste. I tutor her one-to-one in English since March this year. She is an amazing 17-year-old in Grade 12. For me, teaching Claudia English is not just about the academics. I make use of our time together to share parables from the Bible. She practises her oral by reading the Bible as well. Claudia also learns to pray by opening our tuition sessions in prayer.



I recall a composition Claudia wrote about her reflections on the sudden flood that hit Timor-Leste on Easter Sunday, 18 April 2021. She described how devastating the storm and flood were, and how many were caught unprepared for this crisis. She reflected that sometimes, things happen so suddenly in our lives and it will never return to normalcy again. Be it storm, flood, or our current struggles with the COVID-19 pandemic, many people may experience grief, fear, and loneliness. However, through these difficulties, Claudia concluded that our God is sovereign and our posture should be that of surrender. God will use times of trials and challenges to strengthen us and increase our faith.


It has been an amazing journey for me to be involved in digital missions. It is an alternative way of teaching without being physically in the field that allows working people like me to participate in missions. I am glad to be able to serve even as God led me back to the market place after attending a three-month Bible School. Through my interactions with Claudia, I have realised that there is so much on my part to learn about the Timorese way of life, their culture and resilient spirit.


I have learnt that we will be amazed by how our Father God will guide us on creative ways to bond with our students and change lives in spite of challenging circumstances. We just need a willing heart and a desire to be used by our Father for His purpose. Thank God for the provision of the seamless connection via WhatsApp and His new way of missions! We will not be able to do all these without the guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is during these trying times where God will bring on alternative ways and will not let any crisis deter the expansion of His Kingdom!


All Glory to God!



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