When given the opportunity to head to a new and foreign land, we can sometimes be daunted by the unknown. How will I be able to communicate with someone who speaks another language? Will I be able to eat the food? Do I have to be vaccinated for every disease under the sun? Will I be to cope without my friends and family?
So many questions can run through our minds and restrict us from experiencing God’s goodness and faithfulness in an overseas context.
Tiqvah and Jessica didn’t let the unknown stop them. Together they joined up with a team heading over to South Asia from Franklin Baptist Church, and spent five weeks helping out the Tranzsend team. Currently training to be a teacher, Tiqvah’s teaching skills were in high in demand. Below, is part one of Tiqvah’s experience.
What motivated you to head over to Asia for 5 weeks?
My motivation was God inspired. After living overseas in France, I felt on my heart that I wanted to go experience another country; a country that was very different from the countries I had visited in Europe. Back in New Zealand, I went forward for prayer at church and a lovely lady asked if I had mission on my heart. As I journeyed with our mission pastor, I learnt of Freeset and the doors that were open to go help some of the staff.
I chose to go for five weeks as doing just a short two-week trip would not have been long enough. In a longer trip you actually start to get to know people and start to build friendships; you begin to have a taste of what its really like to live in Asia long term and gain a greater understanding of the work of the mission staff. God had it all planned; He surely did make what seemed impossible become possible.
Was God present in the places you visited?
God was clearly present throughout the whole trip. He was present in the times we spent fellowshipping with other believers, hearing the pastors’ testimonies, and praying for people in the church. He was present as He opened doors for us to teach some of a Sunday school lesson; present as we visited village families; and present when I got the chance to dance at a retreat.
A memorable God moment was one evening before we headed out for dinner. It was at this time that we took a moment to sit on the steps of our flat and talk to the village women who lived beside us, using our Bengali dictionary. It was such a beautiful time to connect and build relationship with these women.
Another time where God’s presence was felt was in the building of friendships with the local children. It was a special time as we played soccer with the boys most afternoons. We ran around and had fun as we were the only girls who were allowed to play. God was just so present in these times of fellowship. He melted our hearts of love for these children, and I just really felt His love for them. Girls are not normally allowed to play sport but because of our influence after we left we were told that a couple of girls started kicking the ball to each other.
Do you think others should be encouraged to do a similar overseas trip?
Yes! If you feel called to go, then allow God to make it possible, while being wise, thoughtful and considerate of the people you may want to stay with or visit. Remember to go with a servant heart and attitude. Hearing about a different culture, land, poverty and how people live is one thing, but actually seeing it and experiencing it challenges and changes your life as you see Gods heart to reach all people.
To read more about Tiqvah’s experiences, keep an eye out for parts two and three appearing soon on the Tranzsend website.