7 – 14 Nov 2017
The mission trip has injected variety into the program, packed with activities that offered rich spiritual experience – prayer walks, ministry in villages, prayers for healing and deliverance, New Rice Festival celebrations, birthday party, luncheons with the locals and the bible students. Our host sister, Nancy, has even topped it up with some sides as pleasurable rewards for the team on a few days when pockets of time allowed – Elephant rides, coffee stops, local lunches and visit to the famous Singha Park and a quick stop at a souvenir shop.
God’s favour was upon us by blessing us with amazingly good weather. Contrary to the weather forecast of rain during the period, we did not have to face wet weather, save for one afternoon on 11 November during lunch in a village church. That made our rides and walks along mountain bumpy roads so much convenient and safe.
The programme was well-coordinated and our team leader, Daniel, whose strong leadership enabled the team to participate with incredible unity. Every day, Daniel & Megan briefed us on what was to come and ended the day with reviews and feedback.
Engagement & Interactivity
Engagement with the locals at the Akha Outreach Foundation (AOF) was plenteous. We were not hampered by the language barriers because God’s love and presence transcends beyond boundaries, race and culture. The interpreters were helpful to bridge the gap. God’s presence enabled us to deliver words of knowledge in ways that we could not imagine.
I recall I was praying for one Ahka’s woman and interpreters were busy with other prayer groups. God had impressed upon me about her spirit of heaviness and her plight of lacking in supply. As I laid hands on her and prayed in the spirit, tears kept flowing; and not only her but me as well! Later, when Nini (interpreter) joined us, I was able to speak prophetically about God’s provision for her and the family.
What most satisfying was the immersive experience I have throughout the trip. First, our prayer walks in the village was joined by a dozen bible students from the AOF. Most were either in their teens or twenties. Our prayer walk was greatly boosted by their powerful incessant singing of praises and worship. It paved the way, broken down walls, pushed back the darkness. The words that came to me then were “And the gate of hell shall not prevail against the people of God”, “And all the trees of the field will clap their hands”.
Another beautiful experience was the opportunity to be back-benchers watching the AOF leaders in their meeting. I was both humbled and inspired by the experience to pray for the leaders. At that moment, God has impressed upon me and I saw a vision of the latter rain on the AOF’s leaders in the room. Later during lunch with the leaders, each of us were given a publication entitled “Akha Rain” and I was astounded at how the vision gels so nicely with the title of the book!
Prayer is Key
One highlight of the trip was the constant prayers for the congregation, pastors, children and the villagers; nothing should take the place of prayer! I was greatly encouraged by the simple faith of the locals. Although we did not witness instantaneous healing, I believe God in His sovereignty will bring healing and restoration in His time.
We also became active participants by prayer walking around the village churches and the adjoining compound, praying through every block at the AOF’s premises – boys’ and girls’ dorms, assembly hall, House of Joy and the playground. We claimed victory over these areas and God’s anointing to fill every inch of the compound.
Celebrations and Food
We often read about celebrations, dancing and singing and feasts in the Bible. This came alive for us at the celebration of the New Rice Festival with the locals. It was a whole new experience for me to see the Akha in their tribal costumes lining up at the entrance to welcome our team. They brought their first fruits of the harvest – rice, grains, nuts, melons, ginger, pumpkins, and even chickens(!), placing them at the altar area of the church. Towards the end of the celebration, God impressed upon me the fragrance of flowers and petals from heaven falling upon the church.
Spiritual Experience and Transformation
Every day, God drafted me for something new and unexpected. Just as the locals who were ministered by us, I was also deeply ministered by them in return. Their spirits, love, and faith in God propelled me; I was experiencing spiritual transformation. Each night, after ministry, I went to bed feeling a deep sense of joy that could not be explained.
The hosts, Pastor Aje and sister Nancy, amazed me. They are great role models of true disciples of Christ, full of love and sacrifice, with a passionate heartbeat for the lost and disadvantaged. I was greatly motivated by their commitment to the Great Commission. This has spurred me to be a vessel of love for God, to minister to people in my community and to take up the challenge to go for the next Cornerstone Couriers trips in the near future.
THAI 01, 2017
Chiang Rai, Thailand