Dear Brethren,

“The Joy of the Lord is your Strength” Nehemiah 8:10b

Praise and thanks to God for a blessed and spiritually fulfilling mission trip to Myanmar last week. We had 80 children and youth in the 3-day VBS and the Lord helped 3 of us in the mission team to conduct the VBS at New Life Orphan Centre. At the end of the VBS at around 4pm each day, we went to 3 different village Churches to share God’s Word and conduct art & craft session related to the message for the children. It was physically draining plus the extremely hot weather of 40oC to bear with. We wondered before the VBS, during the VBS and after the VBS, how we could do this task.

The answer is found in the verse in Nehemiah 8:10b that the joy of the Lord is our strength. We served the Lord joyfully and desiring to be a blessing to the poorer brethren in Myanmar. We prayed and trusted God in everything. We received strength and grace from God to serve and complete the task each day. God’s grace is always sufficient and never fails. We did not bring and prepare the art & craft for the 3 village Churches as it was a last minute request for us to help. Yet we see God’s good Hand to provide and enable us to prepare and get all the necessary materials. Indeed praise God from whom all blessings flow!

In every mission trip, I realize we can only do so little for the brethren in the poorer country.  I can liken it to merely giving them a cup of cold water, a small blessing to them with our presence and encouragement, and also only for a few days. But I am encouraged by the words of Jesus in Matthew 10:42, “And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.” Thank the Lord that we can be channels of blessings to the brethren in Myanmar. They have prayed and desired for our return since last year was the first VBS organized for them. There were spiritual blessings of God’s Word taught to them. There was the revival in their hearts from the Lord to want to follow and love the Lord Jesus Christ more.

For me, I received the blessing and encouragement from the Myanmar brethren greatly. Their hunger and desire for God’s Word is strong. They memorized God’s Word wholeheartedly – 4 verses for the 4 VBS lessons. I challenged my older class to memorise in English too. They worked hard at night to memorise in English. On the next day, they could recite the verse to me in both Burmese and English. In our Churches in Singapore, we have become too complacent and take God’s Word for granted. May the Lord rebuke our hearts as we can learn so much from our Myanmar children and youth brethren. Let us love the Lord with all our heart and soul and strength and mind!

Elder John Leong