STM experience — Danny Soo

A typical sharing about short-term mission would be about how great God’s provision on various things, how many people accepted Christ as their personal savior, how smooth things went, etc.  The list goes on and on.  I have to admit that those are items that we have to give thanks for, but it would be rather boring if all 10 of us were sharing about the same thing!

I would like to look at the STM from a different perspective, rather than seeing myself as a giver or a recipient.  I had some quiet time and opportunity to observe and gain some insight on STM trips.

First of all, I would ask myself what the outcome would be if I didn’t go.  I would say, the trip would still be on as planned, but just that it’s a team of 9 members rather than 10.  There would still be VBS classes and the evangelistic meetings would still go on, etc.  Virtually, nothing would have changed without my participation.

Based on the above observations, I would say the purpose of my participation would not be based on what I could do prior to, during or after the STM trip.

Does that mean my participation was meaningless?  I don’t believe so, since I believe God puts us in various situations, so that we can be a better Christian and possibly equip us for future ministries.

During the STM trip, there’s a term that’s been mentioned quite often, which is “吃 雞 “, which means being assigned to some last-minute, unexpected assignments.  I personally enjoy eating poultry; therefore I don’t have any negative feeling about this term. Besides, this was nothing new to me as I was involved in wilderness leadership training.  I think this just gave me a good reminder on:

  1. How ready and submissive I am to God’s plan on putting me in various situations;
  2. How teachable I am to learn new things;
  3. How willing I am to do things out of my usual assignment; and
  4. How submissive I am as a team member.

Santiago isn’t really a rural place, because there are supermarkets and shops everywhere, just like in Scarborough, only in a much smaller scale.  In terms of living standards, there is virtually no difference between North America and Santiago.  One very important thing that they are missing is that they don’t have a Chinese church.  Even though they have regular Bible study meetings, brothers and sisters are so longing for a Chinese church, a place that they could worship together and a pastor who could pastor them.  On the other hand, I can see how we take things for granted back in Canada, such as not taking good care of church’s properties, not clean up after ourselves, complain about things that don’t suit to our preferences, daydreaming during worship, etc.