FACES - YWAM Singapore Issue.2018 - Page 19

R I G H T I N FR O N T O F M E Living As A Missionary In Singapore [ Michael (pseudonym) moved to Singapore more than eight years ago and has been working with YWAM ever since. His heart burns to see God’s family care for our neighbours, and for us to live out our faith in the practicalities of daily life. In this interview, he shares what missions means to him.] Michael, you’ve been in missions for quite a while. What does that mean to you? Actually, it is quite simple. To me, missions is God’s invitation to partner with Him, so that everyone can receive His love and truth. When we say “yes” to His invitation, and take little steps of obedience, God transforms our hearts. He changes our perspectives and fi lls us with love for others and a longing to make His truth known. We care for those we never considered before, and stop for others, even if we don’t benefi t from them. for forgiveness. An hour later, through a random person, I received even more than what I needed for a meal! What a great story! What might this way of life look like on a regular day in Singapore? This could mean accomodating to their needs in spite of your schedule. Awhile ago, a friend and I were on our way to church. Of course we didn’t want to be late. We had to get a number of buses to make it in time. Just as we boarded the fi rst bus, we saw an auntie fall off her bike and her groceries tumbled everywhere. I was torn between helping her and making it to church on time. It was inconvenient, but I was impressed with the need to help her. We missed the bus to perform this simple act of service. But Auntie was worth it! And God surprised us. An unscheduled bus showed up just a minute after! We gave up our agenda, and God honoured us. We need to move from thinking of missions as just one part of our lives to embodying it as a holistic lifestyle. We are sons and daughters of God, carrying His presence wherever we go. Think about it, we all eat meals, we all use the MRT. There will always be opportunities to stop for a person who is in need of His love. Think of the uncles and aunties who clear our trays in the kopitiams, or those who clean our garbage. I remember spending some time talking to a migrant worker on my way to work and he was so grateful for our conversation at the end of it. Many of them leave their homes to work here—building our Nation through their labour—but they often feel lonely. Encountering a Singaporean who will stop and speak to them will mean more than the words can hold. We can make this our lifestyle by realising that the people around us are all made in God’s image – made for relationship, not mere robots to fulfi ll tasks. You are talking about loving your neighbour? How can we be more intentional? Yes, loving our neighbour as we are loved ourselves. Usually when we think of missions, we think of things we need to do. We assume the need to participate in a programme, or go for a trip overseas. While this is important, missions is actually about living in right relationships. It starts in our homes, caring for those right in front of us—our family members, people who live on our street, and our colleagues. Let us discern the difference between being busy and being preoccupied, and allow ourselves to have heart-to-heart conversations with others. We can dare to slow down. We can practise living in the moment. We can appreciate and celebrate those around us, and be thankful for them. As we do so, we will certainly grow to see people through God’s eyes. There was a special moment in my life when God taught me this lesson. As a missionary, I trust God for my daily needs. Normally, I always have enough to eat, but one day I didn’t. I asked God, “Why don’t I have enough?” God convicted me then that I did not have the right attitude towards one of my brothers and was not treating him well. He used this moment of lack to alert me to what was on His heart! God said, “This is important to Me. Go, reconcile with him!” I went to my brother and asked It starts from knowing that I am loved, tasting how good He is, knowing that He is much better than I can ever imagine. If I believe that I am loved and valuable, then I am free to give to others so that my neighbours can experience God’s goodness too! There are so many people who destroy themselves by building their lives on empty promises. Only He is the real deal. Why would we hold back from doing all that we can, to point people to God’s love for them? What motivates you to love people in this way, Michael? 17