Reflect on Life Together as a Family

by Cliff and Linnet Ma

It’s been in our heart to take the girls on a mission trip for some time. We have both been on Vine Missions Trips even before we married, and have always found them eye-opening and impactful to our lives. Hong Kong is a place of extreme paradox – it looks and feels very wealthy and prosperous, but the reality is that there are far more people living on the opposite end of the spectrum. Mission Trips have encouraged us to keep that Kingdom perspective of love and compassion for the poor and needy, to use what God has blessed us with to be a blessing to others. That is why we want to teach our children through missions.

Our schedules were always difficult to join The Vine-organised missions, so we decided to contact YWAM in Cebu, Philippines, ourselves to see if we could go and volunteer over Christmas. They graciously accepted, and arranged for us to stay at the base for our 4-day trip, coordinating daily outreaches and really sharing their lives with us. The outreaches were generally visits to the slums and villages where YWAM has regular outreach, where we sang, danced, did skits and played games with the children, connected with parents, and brought food to share and distribute.

For my own selfish reason, I wanted to bring the girls to see how blessed we were to live in Hong Kong. But going there as a mother, it opened my eyes in other ways I couldn’t imagine, mostly in our parental approach in a city like Hong Kong. One particular example is whether we are too over-protective. Kids run free in the places we visited. They play with bugs and spiders. They climb trees, poles, buildings, and machinery, sometimes to seemingly dangerous heights! They run barefoot outside, where there were trash everywhere and dirty, at least to our hygiene-sensitive eyes. At first, our daughters were hesitant and unsure of what to do in the outreach. But after the first time, they understood, and then they engaged, and ultimately enjoyed playing with the kids. We hope that there will be more opportunities for them to experience and exhibit God’s love and compassion for others.

This trip was truly a meaningful and unforgettable time that allowed us to reflect on life together as a family. Whether it is a Vine-organised or a self-organised mission trip, we encourage everyone to go on one when you get an opportunity!

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