Journey Mercies (I)

Since my first ministry trip in 2007, I am always amazed and humbled by the divine guidance of our Lord God and the journey mercies He has shown me.

In my recent ministry trip to Bagan Batu, Riau, Sumatra, going straight into the terrible haze of 1000 psi enveloping the entire region, God showed mercy for my health when the haze went down to healthy range just for the three days I was there. Though my throat was sore, it never gave serious trouble to disrupt my sharing.

Let me recount how God had protected me from danger and also prevented foul-up in schedule on several occasions after we prayed.

Once we stayed on a little longer in a pastors and ministry workers’ conference held in a village in Shenyang, China as not to disappoint the attendees who had this tremendous hunger for God’s Word, and we missed the train to Tomen, a border town facing North Korea. After prayer, we decided to chase after the train by hiring a van. We were late at the next city stop by one hour. By the grace of God, the train was delayed by one and a half hours enabling us to catch the train eventually.  We would have missed the ministry opportunity in this beautiful city of mostly Korean Chinese as there was only one train schedule each day and the traveling time to Tomen would take 18 to 20 hours.  We had a tight schedule so we could not afford to wait out another day.

Once I was in Guangzhou in November which was still autumn and the temperature was between 18 to 20 deg C, I brought and wore only a warm jacket. Immediately upon my return from ministry at one Guangzhou church, a freak snowstorm happened and paralyzed the train network for 2 weeks. Several thousands were stranded at the railway station and the Guangzhou church mobilized herself to provide relief and share the gospel. Hallelujah !

Several times in the midst of ministry conference, I had to evacuate quickly on standby motorcycle up the mountain to evade the police as such gathering was illegal then.

Once I was in Philippines, a category 3 storm lashed Manila. I was returning to Manila when the storm hit. It was reported that there was severe flooding in Manila. It was so amazing that the coach was able to travel straight into Manila and even reached my hotel. There was severe flooding on one side of the hotel where roads were inaccessible but the other side of the hotel, it was just fine. But I still wondered how the coach could continue into the capital with such lashing from the storm and flooding.

Once I was waiting under a big neon sign to catch the long distance coach to Manila. Somehow I was prompted to cross the road to the other side to find a seat while waiting. The moment I crossed and sat down, the big neon sign came crashing down.

Once I was trekking along the high mountain road linking Yunnan Province of China with Kachin state of Myanmar in a truck carrying basic food staple, I nearly fell three times into the valley as the mountain road was really narrow. Thinking it was summer, I did not bring along warm clothing but the highest peak I crossed was 12,000 ft with melting ice glaciers. Thank God for His protection as I did not fall ill as a result of staying in such cold condition for nearly a week.

Every quarter from 2011 to 2013, I went to share the Word of God with a church I had nurtured over the years. They were living among  one of the most hostile peoples to our faith. The last time which we met, God’s Spirit prompted me to stay in the capital instead of taking the train to meet them in their city centre some 150 km away.  To do so would be a logistics headache as I did not plan such in advance.   I would have to find hotel rooms in the capital and have all 10 leaders to travel to the capital.  I could not come up with a topic to share even when I had reached the hotel in which I would hold the fellowship meeting. Usually, I would prepare the messages for the plenary session and group discussion way in advance. But this time, I could not prepare anything as God’s Spirit had not impressed upon me the topic to speak on. During the plenary session, I shared about persecution from Luke 21 and Matt 24 as prompted by the Spirit of God. As I have never faced persecution before, it was a difficult topic for me when the participants asked questions about preparation. The moment, the leaders returned to their villages after the meeting, they were persecuted. Some were imprisoned. Some were missing. An angry mob of few hundred came into their villages and burnt their homes. A leader called me later to inform that my message on persecution was timely to prepare and encourage them to face this persecution. God is indeed sovereign. God is good. Hallelujah !   (It was like a “Cornelius” encounter for me to be instrumental to build up this church.  The local missionary translator and partner of ours told us that an unbeliever living in the city centre was interested to know the meaning of the Parable of the Sower after reading the Bible in their language.  That was a very wonderful blessing because firstly the Bible would not be available to all other peoples of their same faith in their respective native languages and secondly, it would be blasphemy for them to read the Bible.  Without hesitation, I went to his home and explained it to his whole household.  Through him and another brother,  they eventually brought some 105 people to Christ before being persecuted.)

Many a times, I was sick even before I embarked on the overseas ministry trip. And each time, God healed me so that I could continue with the ministry.

God is good. Hallelujah ! Praise His Holy Name !

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