Mission to SE Asia
If I had to sum up the trip in one word, it would be “Identity.” This trip more deeply defined for me my own identity as one who is called to help other uncover their identity as individuals and as children of God. I witnessed people and nations who have lost their identity. They are depressed, aimless, and some are trapped in unjust circumstances that steal for them their worth, value, and purpose before God.
It’s heartbreaking to know that human beings are stolen, bought, and sold with no regard to the treasure within their hearts and minds…and no regard for our Savior Who has already bought and paid for all of us. Even in the midst of the heartbreaking and life destroying practices of human trafficking and children even as young as 6 forced into government run armies, there was light and hope.
Our group teamed up with local missions to enable them to do greater outreach efforts. We encouraged people to know that God loves them and has amazing plans for them:
-We played with and prayed for rescued children in orphanages across the nations of Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, and Cambodia. We met incredible men and young men who were former child soldiers who’ve joyfully given their lives in the name of Christ to rescue children from the horrors that they endured. I prayed for healing of children with various pains…one of which had TB chest pain that cleared quickly.
-We’ve prayed for and worked with missionary couples who have selflessly adopted as their own the rejected children…those with special needs, even as they, too, take care of children rescued from trafficking and child armies.
-We took to the streets at night alongside IRIS and XP Ministries to reach out to girls trapped in the sex trade. We prayed for them, encouraged them, loved on them, and witnessed some come to Christ. I personally worked with a small team that ministered to a young woman with an infant. The baby had no diapers or food, and was very lethargic. The mom was malnourished. Not only did we pray for her and the child, but gave her practical help by giving her diapers, milk, and a little creative, anointed investing of some cash. The baby gained strength and her eyes became clear and focused, and she engaged with our team members before we left.
-We found treasure in the garbage dumps in Thailand, Cambodia, and Philippines…those who the world rejected, God has not forgotten. We witnessed healings and salvations in locations that few would think to go to. One man in particular had been lame. I witness his first steps as a few from our team gathered around him. He was so encouraged, that he asked to pray for his asthma. When he received relief, he then asked for prayer for his nightmares. After all of that, he accepted Christ. A few of us women went inside his house and prayed for his wife. She also accepted Christ. What a privilege to witness salvation come into that house! And all of this was in a garbage dump!
One thing I’ve learned about mission trips, God isn’t just about helping those overseas, but He also pours into us and brings healing to team members, too. I had opportunity to do personal ministry with a team member who was struggling with depression. She had given up on life, and yet, God brought her on the trip. How incredible it was to see life, purpose, and identity as God’s child return to her! He loves us so much, and won’t hesitate to bring us halfway around the world to fulfill His purposes if necessary! This is where I was blessed with greater understanding of my identity, too. I LIVE for this. I’m passionate to see people live their purpose, because the world benefits when we walk in God’s purposes…whether far away, or right here in Pasadena, TX.
Deborah Wittig is a member of our church as well as our Senior Leadership team.