Hindrances before the journey
To a university student, going abroad is a rare opportunities, especially to introduce our country and religion to foreigners. Right before the journey, all the members of this team faced different difficulties. May could not raise enough money so she was even questioned by her friends, “Do you still want to go?” Novia not only faced the problem of raising money but also was under the pressure of finishing her graduate proposal. Lisa’s brother was in the hospital because of cellulites, so all members of her family were tired and busy during several weeks. Bavan almost could not come because the principal of his school did not permit his absence. Iris was very busy and tired of the summer vacation camps so that she had not prepared well but just only wanted to rest. Moreover, the other teammate could not join with us because of some difficulties in his family. Thereupon, there are only five members in this team.
Although facing so many worries and scares, we know when God use us, He must give us a convincing proof and give His hand.
Therefore, depending on the guts and confidence, we stepped on this unknown journey.
Extending and Adjusting
At the first day, May was airsick because of hardness to adjust to the flight cuisine and even threw up on Mavuana’s car at that night. The uncomfortable airsickness and the stress of being a leader were her best difficulty. To Novia, it was hard to adjust to the different environments between Mizoram and
However, we had started to learn how to believe in and depend on God under the circumstances of feeling helpless and useless. When we were willing to hand over the sovereignty, God let us see His love and blessings.
During the first morning devotion in Mizoram, we read this verse: “Remember that I have commanded you to be determined and confident! Do not be afraid or discouraged, for I, the LORD your God, am with you wherever you go.” How wonderful it is! God always know all the hindrances and also arrange all good solutions. It is the most precious thing that He promises us: “I am with you whenever we go.” Even on the journey to Tuipuibari, we experienced the most terrible toilet in our lives, faced soy-sized mosquitoes and broken drawbridge, sat on the residents’ shoulders to cross the river, etc., all these experiences made us want to scream and go back to Taiwan right away. Nevertheless, thanks to teammates’ confidence and encouragement and God’s blessings, we made a breakthrough in faith!
It is definitely true: Lord has already prepared everything for us!
Visiting, Learning and Touching
We went to SMTC, where we saw not only the social caring fulfillment of Synod Office but also the joyful learning of every young people. In
When visiting MTC, we found out these disciplined adults are not theological students, they all have their own jobs instead. Burdened with mission works, they were willing to be educated and disciplined for one year. Their idea that everyone could be missionaries shocked us. It is quite different that we think the mission works are limited to pastors and professional missionaries, who have received completely theological education.
We also visited
However, they reminded us of the verse again: “As you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.” As a result, we could not wait to give them the verse cards one by one. These are God’s words and light, which preventing people from walking in the darkness.
Works of Holy Spirit
During visiting, nothing is more shocking than the closed shopping streets on Sunday. In Aizawl, everyone submits to the church authority.
At the services, we visited the seven levels of Sunday school, from Beginning to Adult. That experience inspired us to reflect when we lead the curriculums and activities of Sunday school or youth fellowships; we usually focus on the interesting of the contexts but not on the importance of God’s words.
As a matter of fact, “Sunday School” is not only for children but for all Christians! As long as we are alive on the earth, we must come to the Sunday school.
Sitting in the church, we felt that the whole city desired to wait quietly for God at the same time. This kind of feeling was touching and vibrating. We realized that Aizawl is a city of worshiping and praying. The more prayers they say symbolized the deeper love they give to God, and undoubtedly, the more God’s blessings will bring.
This also alerts us: Could we separate our time from blessing to God and to the world?
The teaching of Trinity is so clear in Mizoram’s churches. Every worship time we saw many people came to the front dancing as they pleased. This phenomenon confused us, so we asked L.Z. curiously. She truly told us that the works of Holy Spirit are different kinds, such as speaking in tongues and dancing which belongs to external works. The works of Holy Spirit also fill our internal, so we felt peace and comfort in our hearts. These are all Holy Spirit’s works.
It reminds us that, because of lack understanding of Holy Spirit’s works, we usually neglected one of the Trinity—Holy Spirit
Tuibuibari & Salem Boarding (Mission to Distant Areas)
If being asked to sum up this trip to Mizoram in one line, that would be, “The Spirit of Missionaries.” On the third day, we were scheduled to visit the very distant and undeveloped areas in Mizoram. Maybe this was the quickest way to experience the spirit of missionaries.
We went to the place (Tuipuibari Mission Centre) where there was muddy all around along with a broken drawbridge, the inhabitants were living in the houses traditionally made by bamboo. There was no tap-water, rain fountains instead. Also, there were lots of mosquitoes (maybe with malaria), and moreover, the place exists a sad story that the missionary, Rohmingthangi, was killed and raped for the gospel’s sake 20 years ago. However, God has stretched out His hand here, not only churches and schools were established, but the determined hearts of evangelists were also shown. We saw the people to whom they dedicated were not wealthy, not the same race as the missionaries, either, but for the commitment to God, they did it to the very least. They even welcomed us by lining up with flower wreaths, which meant the best greeting.
In the evening in Tuipuibari, Iris was arranged to have dinner with a female evangelist, she observed that this female evangelist devoted all herself and even whole family to sharing the gospel with Chakma people. Originally, she could lead a good life in Aizawl, but she chose to come to this undeveloped village to be a tool for God. So Iris reflected over herself, since we live in
It’s very difficult for us to stand in the missionaries’ shoes to understand their minds. As they arrived in the place, being in the presence of such a deserted land, how could they say, “I am willing to give my life?”
In these two days, we’ve all learned a weeping experience, though language communication might be hard, God’s love is always without language. As we were leaving the village and walking downhill, we saw many local kids were carrying our suitcases on a muddy road. Even one of the kids, he slipped and muddied his hands, somehow he always left the suitcase clean. On the way back to Aizawl we visited Salem Boarding Middle School, we had to walk across a river. Unfortunately, the river was full quickly after an all night rain, so the local youth finally carried us one by one on his shoulders, leaving our clothes dry and tidy. Besides, as they saw our muddy feet, they just humbly bended down to wash away the mud. At that very moment, we could not help wetting our eyes, we were really too small to be treated in such way!
From their lives, we all saw the same thing, that they were actually like Jesus, who was willing to be the least and wash the disciples’ feet. How come it was so true?
Somte and Mavuana welcomed and received us right on the first day we arrived in Aizawl. It was so considerate of them to understand all our needs and also explained the schedule in details that we felt so cozy from the very beginning in this foreign land. They accompanied and took care of us almost every day, we were all very grateful to them! And we also learned from their personal characteristic, earnest attitude, friendliness, efficiency, dependence, and punctuality.
There were also other people accompanied us in this trip, such as L.T., Joseph, Mawia, L.Z., the skillful driver Chhana, and each member in our home-stay family. Because of them, we realized that Mizo people were extremely hospitable and kind, so that we deeply knew it, “In Jesus Christ, We Are Family!”
Among all the good friends around us, we learned the most precious thing from L.Z., that is, the spirit of missionary. In the short trip to Tuibuibari, we talked very much in depth. Novia once asked L.Z. curiously, “On this mission way to China, are you afraid?” L.Z. then gazed upon her and slowly she answered, “Surely, I am. But the calling from God is so strong that I must go! And I believe that all the evil things will flee away. Only if God is going to accomplish His good will, I can do nothing. Even if someday I need to give my life, I will.” This short conversation moved Novia very much, because L.Z. simply believed that there’s nothing to be afraid as long as God is standing by her.
We saw very clear in this trip to Tuipuibari, L.Z. was such an ordinary girl that she might scream at many things. However we know, it is the ordinary that God would like to choose; it is the people willing to make response that God would like to call. Moreover, God calls not only pastors and priests to be missionaries, but also the ordinary.
Reflection and Deliberation
Each of us eventually said, “Fortunately, we insisted on this trip!”
Before setting off, we felt like that we gave up everything in Taiwan, including our on-working jobs and the comfortable life, even the airfare of May and Novia was donated by others. Nevertheless, the outcome of perseverance brought us the broadness of horizon, the excitement of experience, and moreover, the refreshment of life. Every day, our Dear Father sent people to be around to open our eyes to see all things that He had already prepared. We couldn’t help counting these graces on our fingers, and we realized with great surprise that beyond the bounds came countless blessings.
PCT Faith ─ Identification, Commitment, and Growth
The definition of “Ecumenical Mission” ─ do it, for the goodness of this whole world. No matter where we stand, what we see, how poor the environment is, how deep we’ve been fascinated with our own country, and whether it is Taiwan or India, Taiwanese or Indian, English or Mandarin. This whole world is God’s kingdom from the big land to the vast ocean to the open sky to high mountains and to deep valleys; all the beings that walk on land, swim in ocean, and fly in the sky, are children of God.
Dr. Jerome F. Keating said, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”
Break the frame that frames our thoughts and values, step out of the boat to walk on the water and go through the storm with Jesus.
Ideas, Expectation, and Suggestion
1. We suggest that the youths, who are not wealthy or living in distant areas, are able to take part in ecumenical movement with financial assistance provided by PCI or Mizoram Synod.
2. As for the schedule, maybe it is possible to prolong the visit to distant areas because it takes the majority of time on the travelling.
3. Finally, as a matter of fact, we are too unqualified to give any further advice. We do appreciate and treasure all the things either visible or invisible we have shared together.
“Though we are many, we’re still one body,
In Jesus Christ we are unity.”
（The End of This Report）
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