Crisis Relief Trip to South Asia: Reflections

In September 2022, four volunteers from Crisis Relief Wesley (CRW) went to South Asia for eight days to provide some relief to the people who suffered from the recent floods. This included giving food aid as well as providing materials for the building of new homes.

Team briefing – (clockwise from left) KC Kan, Christine Quek, Koh Sian Ann, Koh Tengyu, Lim Meng Sin and David Lee

Here are the reflections of the volunteers. 

David Lee: 

I thank God for His good plans and purposes. I have seen His hand at work many times on crisis relief trips. This time, I especially saw His hand of protection so that the team could complete its tasks smoothly and return safely.

Christine Quek:

Crisis relief projects are an essential and integral part of the gospel. The poor and needy are precious to God. We thank God that He allows us to serve them through Crisis Relief Wesley. 

The road conditions were bad in a mountainous area where the new roads were largely washed away. We had to take the old roads which had not been maintained. When we were not sure if we should stay there, God made the decision for us. God’s protection is always beyond our expectations. 

I thank God that my three-month cough was healed during the trip. To God be the glory!

Site where homes had been washed away
Makeshift shelter

Lim Meng Sin:

Whenever I travel to relief sites, I am reminded of the mighty power of our Creator.  Mountains change shapes and rivers change courses. Man can make roads at the edges of cliffs and build houses by the riverbanks, but all these can be destroyed overnight. It is only by God’s wisdom and submission to His authority that we can be kept safe and protected, living in harmony with His creation.

In 2019, I was in that team which assisted to buy materials to build houses for displaced families. The houses were simple shelters with cement pillars, bamboo walls and galvanised steel sheets.
When I revisited the sites three years later, I saw that they have made them homes — cemented the bamboo walls, extended the shelters, and planted small gardens.  With a little help from us, they restarted their life journeys and moved on well from there.  

This resembles our spiritual life — a little seed planted into the pre-believing heart. If we are like the homeowner — treasuring His Word , seeking God daily, and continuing to walk closely with Him — our spiritual life will mature and become beautiful, just like the way the villagers beautify their homes.

Fear God, do not go against His will, grow ourselves and scatter the seeds.  The world will be as good as when God created it and saw that it was good.

Starting work on walls for houses to be built
Extension of a new room of a house built in 2019

Koh Sian Ann:

“How can I pray for you?”, a friend in Vancouver suddenly texted.

“Let me pray for you,” said another friend later that day. Over the next few days, God brought me to the minds of two other friends who rarely contacted me, and they both offered to pray for me during my trip. It was very nice to be prayed for, but this flood of prayer offers coming just before a trip felt scary. So I asked Audree, Pastoral Team Member for Prayer Ministry, for more prayer support and covering. She kindly activated her prayer teams. Koh Tengyu was our local prayer coordinator who sent daily updates to CRW volunteers who also prayed along with us. Heartfelt thanks to all who prayed for us.

This prayer covering was felt literally on our last evening there. We were walking to dinner in the dark and I was not looking where I was going. Suddenly, I kicked something big and found myself sitting on the ground. I had kicked a sleeping dog and I was now surrounded by a pack of barking dogs! As I sat there, it was scary, but there was also the “peace which passes all understanding”. The dogs did not attack but were scared away. Upon reflection, I was reminded that safety is not the absence of danger, but the presence of God — that wherever He sends me, His grace in providing friends and intercessors will always be sufficient for me.

Over the years, many speakers have told us that “it is not our ability but our availability” that counts in God’s kingdom. The team comprised members who are all in our 60s, and watching God help us work through our differences and disagreements was a good reminder that we have a Counsellor who helps us in our pilgrimage journey. When using the occasional squat toilet, I understood the biblical injunction to strengthen my weak knees in a new way.

In Isaiah 43, God says to behold, to look —  He is doing a new thing. May we all have eyes to see, ears to hear, and hearts to understand our assignments in this new season that the whole world is going into.

Residents waiting for food distribution

About Crisis Relief Wesley (CRW)

The ministry seeks to share God’s love to those affected by natural and man-made disasters and crises in the region through prayer, relief aid and training. Relief trips have recently resumed after a break of almost three years. We will resume training in January 2023. 

To find out more, please contact Rosalia Mahendran,, and have a chat with us.

Read also: Bringing Christmas Cheer to Migrant Workers

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