As you all may know from the videos that we’ve posted online, we travelled about 3,800km, starting from here, going over to Adelaide, Port Augusta, Warrnambool, Melbourne and back. As rewarding as it was, it was also very difficult but the rewards definitely outweigh all the difficulties and hardships that we faced. Reflecting on what the beginning was like: I admittedly was concerned about how we would be able to juggle everything. Physically, it can be very demanding staying in the mini-buses and – especially for the drivers – having to stay awake and alert at all times so that everyone is safe. Pastor Ko, Pastor Ace, Lani, Liu, myself, and a few others from the Mentor Crew drove. From my side of the story, attempting to run the media stuff without a team devoted to just media, it was quite difficult, but I’m very thankful that I had Liu’s help, Lani’s help, everyone’s help, everyone was very supportive and I can’t wait to share the rest of the videos with you all.
Just reflecting on the time we spent in Port Augusta particularly, instead of remaining behind the camera like I did during the last trip, I prayed and I reflected about halfway through when I started struggling with getting videos done every day. God was giving me a sign that it was a lot more important to focus on building these relationships with these kids and with the entire team: Mentor Crew, OneHeart, anyone else who’s joined us. I think that me choosing to focus less on creating and capturing content every second of every day, the relationships that I’ve built with everyone and the relationship that I’ve been able to build with God was really powerful, spiritual, and emotional (in a good way). I’m so excited to go back in two years.
That was our last group photo that we took at the motel that we stayed at before the Sydney team had to drop Mentor Crew off at the airport and before we started driving off back to Sydney. I’m really glad that you can’t really see my face that well because my eyes were kind of puffy from crying. But it was really good, it was a really great experience being with them. I can’t express how much I’ve actually learnt from Mentor Crew, just with their sheer drive and their passion to spread the gospel through their actions and their stories. Although there was a slight language barrier, I think the way they were able to communicate, even with that, was very inspiring, and there isn’t much that I could say to actually show you all how amazing it was. It was something where you had to be there to just witness the power and how God was and is speaking so well through them. I’m at a lack of words to explain how that was for me.
I definitely think that, in comparison to the last trip because I was still a very young Christian at the time, as a slightly more seasoned Christian during this trip, I’m really happy to say that I was able to help more people come to know God, and to actually attend a few baptisms that were held in the mornings and afternoons right before lunch, for some of the youth that actually came to our gatherings. It was just a really powerful experience.
I think I’ll start with what I enjoyed the most during the mission trip. To be honest, the mission trip itself was just amazing, every part of it was beautiful, passionate; everyone was very engaged with everything, it was an awesome experience. Everywhere we went – churches, or even when we were out to play, I could feel Mentor Crew’s passion for everything, and I was slowly learning their passion. Eventually, I was able to be passionate when we were doing street ministry or even when we were at Port Augusta or the youth events.
It was certainly the longest road trip I’ve ever been on, I think the longest before this mission trip was only about five hours, maybe four hours. I wasn’t that exhausted from the driving because I wasn’t the driver, I was just in the van, sleeping the whole time. But my perspective towards road trips changed positively. Now, I don’t have any carsickness anymore, I’m completely fine with cars. So I’m really excited to go on road trips again in about two years.
But I didn’t go to play around. I certainly learnt some important things during the mission trip. I think I was able to train myself to be flexible and fight against difficult circumstances that can happen around me. Out of all the things I’ve learnt, though, I was most challenged when the leader of Mentor Crew challenged me by telling me that, if I want to preach the gospel and work for God, I need to know who He was about His Word which is from the bible, and he challenged me to read at least one chapter of the bible every day. From that mission trip and up until now, I’ve been reading at least one chapter a day. Now I’m reading Joshua and I think now this is becoming a habit and I’m really happy that he encouraged me to read at least one chapter. In the beginning, it was hard, but now it’s like a habit. I think I learnt how to create good and positive habits, not only negative ones. Lastly, I’ll share a hardship that I struggled with, and how I overcame it. The most fearful thing that I had towards this mission trip was things like street evangelism. I was really scared to talk to people outside of the church community and my English is not that great. I was really quiet in the first street evangelism, but as I watched the Mentor Crew preaching the gospel, showing who God is by their ability, I was shocked. They know that there’s a language barrier, but they kept trying and trying, so I was really challenged. By the end of the mission trip, and now, I think I’m ready to face these kinds of street evangelism at any time.
Something I’ve learnt in the past 14 days: I saw Mentor Crew every day, when they wake up and when they go to bed. They just wake up, open the bible in the beginning without doing anything, they just read for 30 minutes and they’re all sitting there quietly reading and praying, and eating their breakfast. It was like a habit of reading their bible every day when they’re waking and sleeping and I realised that I rarely read my bible every day when it’s not Sunday or Saturday. I just put it on the shelf and I just do anything else I want. It really challenged me that I should be closer to God when it’s not the weekend.
What I liked about the mission trip: like what Yohan spoke about, I was kind of shy talking to people and spreading the Word of God, or the gospel: but then the Mentor Crew, even with the language barrier, they’re trying more than me. I felt really bad about myself, even without the language barrier, hiding in the corner. So through that mission trip, I tried to be more brave and I tried to be more open. I made a lot of friends there which was good. I really liked the mission trip because I played a lot of basketball there and everyone was so friendly.
And also, some of you might have heard: seven people got baptised through our mission team, so that’s really great. I was really proud of myself that I went to this mission trip. It was a wonderful mission trip and it was really worth going to. Thanks for all your prayers and support, thank you.