Living Waters Village (LWV) – is home to more than 700 Dayak children in the heart of the West Kalimantan jungle. LWV recently celebrated its 20th anniversary and it all started with a God-given vision birthed through Pastor Ronny and his wife Kay who left their home in Australia to answer the Lord’s call to love neglected children. Now that vision has allowed them to care for 1,000 abandoned children and to provide an education for over 2,000 children. LWV village in our eyes was truly a miracle zone!
This year’s mission trip was a very special one for the following reasons:
- This was the first time that the Principal and Dean of TLBS have joined the LWV mission team!
- It was the largest cohort from TLBS comprising of 33 people.
- The youngest and oldest team members ever were part of our team (age 12 and 70).
May you be blessed and encouraged by our spiritual journal of this God-filled encounter in His mission at LWV!
October 16 – The Weight of Burdens
There was a sea of luggage bags at the Changi airport – 34 pieces to be checked in on top of our hand-carry 10kg backpack. There was a lot of weight, and the burdens were gradually showing on our faces.
But we witnessed many of our members stepping up to help one another to carry each other’s burdens - from checking in to loading and retrieving the bags in the cabin space, at the baggage counters and onto the bus taking us to the mission house where the team rested for the night.
October 17 – The Oneness of God
When our flight landed, we immediately began our 10-hour long journey from Kuching to West Kalimantan. The road was wrought with many challenges, but God led us through each one.
- The bus had a flat tyre and arrived an hour late. But we put our trust in our one Hope and arrived just in time for dinner at LWV.
- The bus had maxed out its horsepower and was struggling to ascend the steep hills. But we prayed as one Body and God boosted our bus to overcome the hills.
- The aircon in one of the buses was super weak and made the journey uncomfortable. But the fire from one Spirit kept us going.
- The small little wooden truck taking us to LWV encountered heavy rain and baptised us thoroughly. But strangely, we felt shiok even when we were soaked. We were all immersed in one Lord!
October 18 – Culture Shock
Our team visited the different miracle zones of LWV. Everything there that we saw and touched was a witness to the miracle of God turning this place from a dense mountain forest into a training centre, medical centre, homes, bakery, sewing room, workshops, and schools! One can only imagine what a culture shock it must have been for Pastor Ronny when he first arrived.
Part of our culture shock included showering using scoops of cold river water - all inside a squat toilet accompanied by flying insects and crawlers. But culture shock has a purpose: to stir the hearts of men to embrace the heart of God to bring others to His Kingdom.
October 19 – The Child of Humility
Our team was deployed to undertake various tasks around the Village including plucking weeds at the garden, taking out rusty nails, recycling timber, cleaning the kitchen, and stripping paint marks left on water pipes. Tough jobs!
At every mealtime, we witnessed and felt the heart of the LWV children working in the dining hall. This was NOT child labour, but a value of humility inculcated so that they laboured out of love and joy in serving everyone. We saw this joy of the Lord in the faces of everyone in the village while they were doing their own work with excellence.
October 20 – The House of Prayer
Friday in LWV was a special day where everyone fasted a meal in the evening and prayed together. They fasted in a way that we had never seen before. People were hungry to pray for everything, big or small - healing for the sick, ministries for outreach to the villages, individualised prayer needs for the sponsors, rich nations to bless the poor ones, prayer for Israel and Palestine, etc.
Foregoing a meal may mean little to us in Singapore, but for LWV, every meal is precious. One may think that by being poor, there would be nothing to give. Instead, the people in LWV were so rich in spirit that even out of the little they had. Fasting a meal meant not spending Rp 5,500 per meal x 900 people or 5 million Rupiah each week. They would instead use those funds towards those who were unable to pay for hospital bills and for ministry needs!
October 21 – The Fruit of the Gospel
Some of us were sent to work on the vegetable farm at LWV, clearing the weeds and tilling the soil. The effort may have been 90% perspiration, but the 10% inspiration to see the garden bear real fruit was worth every drop of sweat!
“… In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world—just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace.” (Colossians 1:6)
It was so encouraging to see how the gospel was bearing fruit in LWV. Through this experience, we understood God’s grace with a deeper revelation through the eyes of these children who were:
- once lost but now are found
- once poor but now are rich
- once despised but now are revived
October 22 – The United Kingdom of God
The Sunday in LWV was no ordinary one. People came in their Sunday best and were prepared to give their all to worship the Almighty God.
The book of Revelation ends with a vision of God’s kingdom on earth. At the end of time, history’s completion is illustrated as a gathering filled with people of every ethnicity, language, and nation, singing together in a beautiful chorus of praise to God. We saw a glimpse of what that looks and feels like in LWV.
October 23 – The Coming of Jesus
We concluded our final day of work with a time of fellowship with the LWV missionaries. The evening time was filled with so much fun and laughter with the children having so much fun learning how to say and write 神就是爱 (God is Love). Our team could not resist the ever-flowing tears and hugs of “never say goodbye” from these children of God. They were not merely touched by what we did here for them; but the number one hit song “Sungguh Indah” which they sang day and night reminded them how beautiful they are in eyes of God.
When the disciples witnessed the Lord’s appearance after His death and His ascension to Heaven, they must have felt the same way as the children of LWV, longing for the return of many who have touched their lives, including our Lord Jesus Christ.
God is saying to us to be watchful, do not lose sight, do not waste time, keep your eyes upon Jesus. Be ever ready. Do not live like there’s no tomorrow. Do the things that matter most for eternity, for the Lord will reward us according to what we have done for His Kingdom. (Revelations 22:12)
October 24 - The Journey of Faith
It was time to bid farewell to LWV. The kids woke at 3am just to be able to send us off. These moments will be forever etched in our memory.
What is next after Tung Ling and our trip to LWV? These experiences are key milestones in the journey of our faith. We must not forget to continue our pursuit to fulfil the Kingdom assignments that God has called us individually.
“Let us keep looking to Jesus. He is the one who started this journey of faith. And he is the one who completes the journey of faith…” (Hebrews 12:2)
Therefore, let us keep our eyes upon Jesus so that we stay focused. Just like in LWV, the daily walk back and forth from church to the training centre required effort. This is what it will be in the journey of our faith. Turn that mountain of fear into a mountain of joy just as Jesus did for us all.
Andrew Lim | Christ Methodist Church, SOL 2023