In just a little over 12 hours, the RICE Movement’s first ever team of overseas short term missionaries will be meeting at the airport to embark on a journey of a lifetime.
This is a product of about half a years worth of training, meetings, prayers, and preparations; all in hopes of being more involved with God’s mission in the World.
Right now as I stare down at our flight itinerary, I feel an incredible rush knowing how much this trip will mean. Overseas short term mission trips are hard to describe, and as much as you try to explain it to those who ask you ‘how was it?’, words can never completely capture your experience because you have returned as a different person to when you initially left for the trip.
I started being part of overseas trip since I was in high school and I’ve been on 6 trips up to this date, and I can testify that all of these trips have been formative in my personal growth both spiritually and emotionally. I’ve already been able to see how the team has grown over the past 6 months both corporately and individually, and it’s only going to get better when I see how this team will be changed by the 2 weeks on the ground. There is no way you can attend an overseas short term mission trip and return unchanged.
Hence, before we step onto the plane, I’d appreciate if you would join us in prayer and help us to commit this entire trip to God. He knows the final outcome, He knows the bumps and bruises we’ll encounter, and He knows the joy we’ll experience.
1. Praise God for the fundraiser on December 29.
- We were able to raise close to $3000 on the evening through the entry tickets, bake sale, and postcard & art sale. While we fell short of our mark ($6000), it was incredible seeing so many people joining and supporting the team. We still have individuals from churches sending financial support through online giving and cheques. So we hope and pray that we would have met our goal by the time we return. If you would like to participate in this, this page consists of the RICE Movement’s giving details. Please just include ‘RICE China – Your Name’ in your giving description.
2. Pray for safe travels.
- As you can imagine, the recent news surrounding missing planes can be a little terrifying. While the general advice is ‘don’t worry, you’ll be fine’, our team is not under the illusion that this will never happen to us. But we appreciate that you’d pray that we will have safe travels. In addition to travelling by plane, we will also be travelling by bus and car while we’re on the ground. If you’ve been to China, you’ll know that traffic conditions are not as fine as Australia, and the risks that drivers take increases our likelihood for accidents. So please pray that God will cover us and provide us with the best travelling conditions.
3. Pray for hearts.
- We have a team of 16 members including me and the staff from World Vision Australia. From my experience, a foreign environment, separation from one’s faith family (hence lack of accountability), and intense ministry schedules is an open door for temptation and disheartenment. Please pray that God would help us guard our hearts from the evil one’s attacks and that we would instead thrive and flourish even while we’re outside of our comfort zones.
- Pray that our hearts would be sensitive to what we see and hear. When faced with immense suffering, the easier option is always to shut it out and ignore it. Yet I believe that Paul’s experience in Acts 17 teaches us that really seeing and really hearing will help us be better disciples whether globally or locally. So please pray that we would allow our hearts to feel the weight of the spiritual and material poverty we’ll encounter, and pray that this would motivate all of us to do something about it in Jesus’ name.
4. Pray for safety on the ground.
- Most of our team members have never step foot in China before and even more have not been on an overseas mission trip. Please pray God would keep us safe while we’re on the ground whether it’d be while we’re teaching, travelling, or resting. Pray that our possessions would be kept safe, our healths would be sustained, and that our team would work to support one another.
5. Pray for unity.
- Working in teams are never easy, and whatever challenges we face in teams are multiplied when we work in close quarters for an extended period of time. Our team will be eating together, teaching together, travelling together, praying together, and even sleeping together. This can potentially cause conflict in and amongst team members, which can lead to problems on mission. So please pray that God would protect us from that and that the team would lead with a spirit of humility and teachability.
6. Pray for gospel opportunities.
- Lastly, please pray that we would have fruitful gospel opportunities. Over our entire trip, our team will come in contact with about 3000 students, over 30 teachers, and a host of other World Vision China staff and members of the Local Education Bureau. This is a mammoth task and it would be impossible without God’s help. So please pray that in addition to being able to teach English well, our team would have opportunities to share God’s love.
Most of the people we’ll come in contact with have no idea that there is a Creator who loves them and has a plan for them. This is the reason why we’re going, and this is the reason we’d appreciate if you would partner with us by praying.