Seeing Macao Through God's Eyes--Shared Blessing from Short-Term Mission Trip in Macao
Compiled by Lisa Whitney
Located in eastern Asia, Macao borders the South China Sea and China. This small country has a population of 600,000 where 95% of its population is Chinese, but only 0.5% is Christian. It is a country in great need to hear the Word of God.
The goal of the short-term mission group is to bring the Gospel to students from 3rd grade to 12th grade who live in the low-income area of north Macao. By teaching English, crafts, science and cooking classes, the team members build relationships with the students. Through before or after class conversations or invitations to McDonald's the team takes the opportunity to share the Gospel with the students.
Kitty Ma, Director
This was my 6th year leading the short-term mission to Macao. Through prayer offered by our CCM co-workers, God brought eight team members from various parts of North America. With different ABC(American Born Chinese) and OBC(Overseas Born Chinese) backgrounds and an age range from 18 to around 50, the team worked in harmony, joy, patience and love for the students and each other. Even with hot weather and cramped living conditions our team complimented each other and prayed for each other. In this way the Lord gave us the opportunity to taste love and unity in Him and His grace to witness for Him. As a team- we lived out Christ's command for us to love one another that others will know we are His disciples (see John 13:34-35).
One evening we did street evangelism where our team presented a skit, gave personal testimonies, and sang praises. This is particularly difficult for our ABC members because they have to do all this in Chinese. I was impressed with their hard work to learn and memorize Chinese for this.
I really felt the oneness of our team on the night of our street evangelism. It was raining that evening when we met to pray. Our prayer time was so touching. We held hands and submitted ourselves to God.
We truly felt God's presence. The rain stopped and when the evening ended, two accepted Christ that night.
During our two weeks, we reached 25 students and 9 accepted Christ. I thank God for uniting us and enabling us to serve Him and see His grace in Macao. I urge you to join our short-term mission to Macao next summer. May God make you a blessing to the people in Macao and at the same time bring blessings upon you!
I wanted to serve God and be a part of the Great Commission for a long time. I had that chance by joining CCM's short-term mission to Macao this summer. While I was there, I realized that if I were willing to give myself to God, He would use me as an instrument to bring others to Him. Amazingly, every meeting with the students was greater than my expectation. Their enthusiasm of who Jesus is and their willingness to accept the Gospel gave me confirmation that God did have a purpose for me in Macao. Whenever a student repented and accepted the Gospel, my heart filled with gladness and joy. It was a beautiful experience.
God is amazing! He used a sinner like me to change other people's lives, and He also changed me! I realized I wouldn't be able to accomplish anything without Him. Everyday God used John 15:4 to remind me to remain in Him. I learned I was in Macao to "bear" fruit and not "produce" fruit. I can't produce anything. I can only bear ever-lasting fruit by remaining in the true vine. I found this to be very encouraging because everything that I did in Macao was for Him and He used our team to glorify His name.
A favorite memory from our time in Macao was the day our team visited an open area with huge bricks and water fountains around them. The environment was beautiful with trees, flowers, and a lake to the side. In the center of the area, we came together to sing praises and hymns to God. Although we didn't have any musical instruments and couldn't remember the exact lyrics, it was a great moment. As we sang, the new faces I met in Macao reappeared to me. With their faces in mind and the friendship of our teammates, I could only give all the glory to God.
I remember three distinct messages from God while I was in Macao. First, God used Amy, a nine-year-old girl in my English class to humble me. I am usually patient and compassionate, but Amy was outspoken, sarcastic, and rebellious. She sat in class with her arms crossed, rolling her eyes. I became frustrated with her.
One day when Amy was especially upset, I asked her what was wrong. She refused to speak to me. This made me quite angry. After class, I shut myself in the classroom; put my head down on a desk; and did the only thing I could do - pray. I asked God what I was doing wrong. He answered saying, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness" (2 Corinthians 12:9). "Depend on Me."
That afternoon, I realized I had been trying to love Amy with my limited human strength. God unveiled my eyes to see my impatience, pride, and inability to love unconditionally. This mission trip was His, not mine. He softened my heart to see that Amy was created in His image, just like the rest of us. I saw how deeply God loved Amy, and I realized that my strength was actually very weak. The patience I needed came from God alone. Only by His power was unconditional love possible.
The second lesson I received from God was a beautiful picture of the Body of Christ. Never have I ministered with a team of brothers and sisters so passionate about sharing God's love and the Gospel. God partnered us together so well - from each member I saw a glimpse of Christ. Our gifts complemented one another, and our work in Macao would not have been the same if any one of us was missing. To see such a picture of unity where God brought us to Macao was awesome.
The third and most profound lesson God showed me was His deep love for the nations. I have always wondered why the majority of Christians today seem to be of Anglo-Saxon heritage. However, by living among people of my heritage in Macao, God showed me He is not done with His vision and plans. In Revelation 7:9, John shares a vision of heaven, "...I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no on could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb..." God desires to see people from all nations and of all lines of heritage to come to know Him.
Kitty shared with us about the interrogations and torture that Christians go through in mainland China. It was wondrous to me that Jesus had reached us, a small team of Chinese people, and sent us out to spread His truth to more Chinese people. There is a great need in Asia for missionaries, Christian workers, prayer and financial support. This is especially needed in restricted nations such as Communist China, Laos, North Korea, and Vietnam. Let us not be ignorant about those who are undergoing persecution and suffering for the name of Christ. We are all united in one body, with God as our Head. The people out there are just as real as your neighbor in America.
Does teaching English in a foreign country, living in a house with complete strangers, and being submerged in a culture little known to the outside world seem possible to you? With God's grace, this was possible for me while I attended the short-term mission trip to Macao this summer.
The people in Macao were wonderful. The local church workers and the CCM members toiled long hours to successfully develop a short-term program for the children. No doubt, their love to serve Christ exceeded their love for themselves. To me, this personal testimony touched my heart more than any words can describe.
The children of Maco were in great need of inspirtation. Their lives lack God's unconditional love and yet many had little or no knowledge of the great love that comes from God. When we share the Gospel with them, their responses, were quite overwhelming. I praise God that many youths accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior.
My greatest personal challenge was my limited ability to speak Chinese. Although both my parents are Chinese, speaking fluent Chinese was still a great obstacle. One of my most trying times was when I realized I had to present my testimony during the street evangelism in Chinese. Although my team members encouraged me and helped me with my testimon, my greatest comfort came from a man I had never met before: the Apostle Paul. His advice "do not worry about antying; instead pray about everything" (Philippines 4:6) reminded me that I could only worry so much. I realized God was in control. All I needed to do was try my best and God would do the rest. What a comforting thought! Thanks to God, I survived my 8 to 10 minutes to stage and gained a lifetime of experience.
To share a few experiences I had during the trip doesn't come close to the love and personal lessons I gained. It is difficult to simply jot down a few words to describe the most awesome God. I encourage all those who have always longed to serve God to do so. God calls us to be fishers of men in our daily environment and also in places where we are out of our comfort zones. A little discomfort is by far no comparison to the discomfort Jesus endured for us on the corss. The least we can do is spread the wonderful news to those who hunger and desperately need His love and care.
For a long time I was reluctant to commit myself to serving in such a great capacity as a short-term missionary. Thus, I saw myself in many ways similar to Jonah. Like Jonah, instead of going to Nineveh as God commanded, I chose to focus on my studies and serve myself. However, it soon became apparent that those were all excuses I made to keep me from serving God. Though I didn't think much of myself, I realized that God will do great things through anyone who has faith as small as a mustard seed.
Leading up to the trip, I spent much time in prayer, fundraising, asking for support, and travel preparations. Despite the fact that I had prepared a great deal for the trip, the people of Macao still seemed unreal to me. Before I left they were merely a five letter word that existed somewhere in China. It wasn't until I arrived in Macao and saw the great need for the Gospel there that I developed a heart for the people of Macao. Getting to know them and witnessing their lifestyle gave me a whole new understanding of what it means to love people.
The children especially touched me. I am reminded of Jesus saying we must have faith like a child to receive the kingdom of heaven. My time in Macao allowed me to witness how true those words are. I am privileged that God chose me to share the message and plant seeds in the Macao children's hearts.
Practicing for the street evangelism was particularly difficult for me. Several of the ABCs, including myself, did not speak Cantonese as their first language. At first, the prospect of doing an entire skit in Cantonese seemed impossible. This experience definitely gave me an appreciation for OBCs who have to learn English and adapt to North America. Without a doubt, the skit and communication with the children would not have been possible without God's help and the love of our teammates. They were there to give us strength and overcome any uncertainties or fears. It was their love that truly showed that God is good all the time even during times of difficulties.
Since I've returned from our trip, God continues to bless me more than I could ever expect. Today, I am considering what else I can do to further God's kingdom. Knowing that I'm doing His work gives my life joy and real meaning. My hope is that God will provide me with many more opportunities to tell people overseas about Him.
I am now far from the person who resembles Jonah a short time ago. I encourage others to listen to God and to seek His will. He may be beckoning you to serve him overseas in a place such as Macao. There isn't anything in the world that can compare to the happiness of serving our almighty God.