A WEC Short Term mission offers a unique opportunity to use your skills, to help local ministries reach unreached people. It’s also an opportunity to learn, as Anna will tell you …
I always thought I would do a mission trip sometime in the distant future. But God had other plans! I was a primary school teacher for five years and loved it, but had felt it was time to move on.
Following God’s leading
One day, while spending time with the Lord, I heard him say: ‘Follow me and I will lead you.’ Earlier in the year, I had felt God encouraging me to surrender all to him: to trust and lean on him, not on my own understanding.
I spoke to family members who work on the mission field, and to the team in charge of missions at my church. We considered a range of options. Initially, I thought about doing something new, but the more research I did, the more I realised how much I would miss being a teacher if I took a year out.
I searched Google for ‘teaching opportunities abroad’. One of the first results was the WEC Grace International School (GIS) in Thailand, a school for missionary children. They needed teaching staff, so I contacted them and things moved forward.
It felt increasingly like the right choice. I felt so strongly that this was what God was guiding me into that I resigned my teaching job for the end of the school year, before securing a position at GIS! At the end of April 2019, I received an offer for the position of Sixth Grade Teacher, so I travelled to Chiang Mai in July.
Life at the school
I currently teach sixth grade Maths and Science in the Elementary department. On the whole, it is very similar to teaching in the UK, but we follow an American curriculum, which has taken some adjustment.
Classes are also much smaller than in the UK: around 18 students per class. As it is a christian school, there is a strong emphasis on Bible integration.
That means we have the opportunity to teach the Bible to our students, show them the love of Jesus, and support and encourage them in their faith.
‘I had the opportunity to support and encourage students in their faith.’
The school mainly caters for the children of missionaries, as Chiang Mai is a central location for mission workers serving throughout Southeast Asia. However, a small percentage of the children are also Thai nationals.
A beautiful culture
One of the best things about being here has been learning about a different culture. The Thai culture is beautiful and the people are so humble and servant-hearted. I have also loved meeting people from other backgrounds. Each person has incredible stories of what God has done in and through their lives, and this has encouraged me in my own relationship with God.
‘Each person has incredible stories of what God has done in and through their lives, and this has encouraged me in my own relationship with God.’
On the other hand, the change has been challenging. People are constantly leaving and moving on – especially in an environment like GIS. It is sad constantly saying goodbye, but you can also develop strong relationships in the short time you have with people.
God has provided
I was nervous about responding to God’s call, but since coming to Thailand, he has taught me so much about his goodness and provision. There were many times while I was preparing to go to Thailand when I would stop and ask myself: ‘what am I doing?’. But God is so faithful and has provided for me in incredible ways. I have learnt to be fulfilled where God wants me: even in the midst of challenges you can trust in him to get you through.
I have been supported so well by WEC, too, from the time I applied to my arrival, and throughout my time here. And the Chiang Mai Education Ministries team have been like family to me: they made sure I settled into life in Chiang Mai, and taught me everything I needed to know.
‘One of the best things about being here has been learning about a different culture.’
I am currently on lockdown in Chiang Mai because of COVID-19. We have been told that school has been closed for the rest of the academic year. However, we are teaching online, which I am really grateful for.
If you feel God has called you to go on a short-term mission, I would say go! God will teach you so many things and your whole outlook on life will change.
Do you have a skill that you could use to serve another nation? Perhaps you, too, could use your profession abroad. If you think God might be calling you to short term mission, check out the Short Term area of this website for more about why we do what we do.
Find out more about our Short Term / Gap Year ministry
WEC’s Short Term programme is geared to fuel your passion for God through a hands-on experience.
For a Solo Trek, we aim to match your gifts and time-frame for a short-term cross-cultural faith-filled adventure with God. We will place you alongside an experienced missionary in any one of over 80 countries, where you can serve God, share the good news and grow in your faith.
Alongside Solo Trek, we encourage Church Teams to organise and run your own short term cross-cultural trip. Feel free to get in touch if you would welcome some tips to get you started.
Read more about Short Term / Gap Year here.
We need you to get involved
Take your first step with WEC. Go on a Short Term placement with us.