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live out love

Updated: Feb 16

Gabriel Yap was part of a team of eleven WEFCers (comprising youths, young adults, adults and a toddler!) who went on a mission trip to PhangNga, Thailand from 18-22 December 2023. He shares his reflections from this life-transforming trip below.




Before this trip, I was skeptical about the real effects of short-term mission trips, although I had been on a mission trip to the Philippines before. I thought such trips were a "touch and go" affair, where we only had a short period of time to give limited and tangible help to the locals, after which we would return home. However, I learnt that even short-term mission trips can truly have a long-term impact on a local community!


What made this trip unique was how hands-on an experience it was. As a team, we planned, prepared and executed all the programs on our own, and learnt to resolve any conflicts or issues faced independently as well.




During the trip, we had the privilege to interact with and befriend a group of young people in Grace Home. When I first met them, I was super nervous as they did not speak English and I was worried that I could not even communicate with them with my few words of Thai. But my fears were allayed when they warmly welcomed us with a mixture of Thai, English and hand gestures that showed how happy they were to meet us. When I saw the adults exchanging hugs and handshakes with those whom they had met on previous visits, a feeling of warmth filled my heart.


Although each mission trip only lasts five short days, but those who go up regularly, year after year, can and do form strong bonds with the locals. I watched them catching up on each others' lives, asking how they were doing in their school or work, encouraging and spurring them on, and I could clearly see the lasting friendships that have been formed through these short trips. It is apparent that these friendships form the groundwork for the larger picture of God's work in Thailand. When needs arise in the community, the locals are therefore not afraid to ask our church for help through the missions team. In this way, we are able to understand the situation on the ground, and better serve and love the poor and needy in the community. We were able to distribute soap bars, toothpaste and toothbrushes and food items to various ones in need during our time there



I was heart-warmed to learn that the Singapore team is one of the locals' favourite missions teams that visits them. :) Our regular visits have instilled a sense of trust, opening doors for future ministry in Thailand. Indeed, short-term but regular mission trips can help solidify key relationships to pave the way for cross-cultural missions in the longer-term.


"Missions is way more than sharing the gospel and bringing your friend to church."


More personally, this trip has also shown me that missions and evangelism is way more than sharing the gospel and bringing your friend to church. When faced with a huge language barrier in Thailand, we had to go back to the more universal modes of communication. And when we didn't know what to say, we showed our love through smiles and laughter; when we didn't know what to do, we played games or sang songs with them, or even enjoyed some good food together. And despite our limited communication, we quickly formed friendships with the locals, myself included.


Taking what I have learnt back to Singapore, evangelism is not limited to using "2 Ways to Live" or the "Four Spiritual Laws" to share the gospel with a person. It starts with being salt and light to our community, living out Christ's love and following His example. Only then can we spark conversations about our faith, and only then can we be doers of what we preach to our friends and family.


This short trip to Sawa has truly had profound and long-lasting effects on both the locals and myself. I'm thankful for the experience! If God is leading you to missions, I would urge you to answer His call in obedience too.





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