Above was the comment from the bus driver who drove the April Encouragement Tour. He was most interested in the practical way we were working for the people living in the leprosy village.

A team of 18 visited a leprosy village over the weekend. This is a new village to us and the people are still a little wary of our help. As the team knocked on doors offering to paint the inside of some of the residents' rooms, some were very keen but some declined. The team, eventually, made the decision to get three rooms done before the sunset. So they began quickly clearing the room so they could give it a fresh coat of paint; that was an afternoon of hard work. Then the next day, in the early morning before the team had their breakfast, a team member noticed a resident was busy clearing out his room because he supposed we could paint his room too. Oh! And another man who had also said that he didn't want his room painted, just the day before, now had his belongings packed up ready and was saying they could be moved out for painting! It seemed like they didn't want to miss out after all!

But what about the drivers questions? Did some of us give him an answer? Yes, there was an hours drive that gave him the chance to hear from one of our team member about the great gospel and our loving Jesus!

All the hardships were worth the outcome of joy.


Encouragement Tour
Guess What? (A testimony from a team member)

Guess what held me up from handing in my application to MMM for the Encouragement Tour?! The fact is I was worried about seeing cats and dogs at the leprosy village. I have a phobia about these kinds of animals since I was little. Over a week of contemplation, I made the decision; yes! I believe when serving God and serving people I should put all my trust in God's help. This action of love shouldn't be stopped by my little personal anxiety. So, the application was sent and the journey began.

When we arrived at the village we were immediately divided into three teams to do the painting in the residents' home. Their rooms are little but full of stuff and dirt. We needed to remove furniture and anything possible out the door. In truth I hated this work because of the dust everywhere and also lots of mosquitoes; when we disturbed them they flew everywhere! But then I heard a brother say to a sister " Just get on with it, don't worry." Then I remembered Jesus was a good example of serving others and being humble. Although we were not professional we were happy to see the satisfied smiles of the villagers because we made a small improvement in their living environment.

On the second day I went with two brothers visiting the residents. Everyone welcomed us warmly to their homes. Some were happy for us to pray for them. One of the residents gave me a deep impression. He invited us into his home and told us that he believed in Jesus. There was a picture of Jesus on the wall and beside it there was a calendar with a picture of a monk! We were very curious to ask him the reason why there were the two pictures. He replied certainly that Jesus is the true God, the calendar was just a decoration!

Then from his drawer he took out more photos to show us. We saw more photos of Buddhist idols! We tried to explain to him these Buddhist idols are fake gods. He confessed he knew that and willingly agreed for us to throw them away. We thanked God. I believe the seed of the gospel has been planted in him but because of the lack of Bible knowledge his behavior is a little off track. Therefore I reminded myself to be a good example so the people can see God from us.

When I first saw the villagers physical appearance I was a bit scared! Our leader asked us to shake their hands when we sung a song at the programme; that made me really worried. And I was thinking of any way to get out of it. However with the love of God I could break through my personal inhibitions and shook their hands.

In conclusion this trip has offered me an opportunity to do some heart-searching and learning. From the lives of the residents I have learnt to treasure all I have and to be satisfied with a thankful heart.

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