Our Time in HIS Hands
Joyce Lau – MSI President
“Are you willing to do this long-term?” “You must be kidding, Lord!” The year was 1994. It was a sweltering 40 over degrees in rural Pakistan. I had just vomited after suffering a heatstroke. A fresh graduate who was raring to make my first bucket of gold in the marketplace, I had signed up for this short-term missions trip out of obligation as the missions secretary of my varsity Christian fellowship. Compounded by culture shock, my rejection to God’s call firmly reverberated in my heart and mind.
“I would go but please give me five years.” I felt the Lord was pleased. It would take me seven years before I entered China. The Lord ensured none of these seven years were wasted. I worked for five years in strategic planning, organisational change, human resource and project management, all of which proved invaluable in my work in MSI. After one year of seminary studies and internship in church, I was ready to go but what should I do and who should I go with? Armed with an introduction from a former work supervisor, I knocked on the doors of MSI.
“How long are you thinking of going to China?” “I thought all callings were for a lifetime.” I saw the shock on the faces of my MSI interviewers, especially when they discovered I had never stepped on Chinese soil. They speedily arranged for me to accompany an experienced MSI member who was heading to Sichuan. I struggled to keep up with her in the snow. It was my first winter and the cold and dreary weather was depressing. Yet the hospitality of MSI members warmed my heart. What impressed me even more was how they were endeavouring to live out the Gospel in and through their lives and work. Holistic missions was what the Lord had been preparing me for. I signed up on the dotted line… .
“How long have you been with MSI?” For 19 years, I have served as an English teacher, liaison officer, office manager, Deputy Chief Rep and Chief Rep spanning Sichuan and Yunnan provinces. I also obtained a Master’s in Public Policy in Peking University and Master’s in Cultural Studies in Singapore Bible College. There have been ups and downs; times when I was seized with pure joy as I witnessed people grow and develop, times when I wanted to throw in the towel as I faced disappointments and conflicts. Yet throughout this adventure of twists and turns and rollercoaster rides, God has never let me down or let me go. I have experienced His amazing grace, bountiful provision and constant presence, especially during turmoil and upheavals. I have no regrets. I am grateful for His calling and am assured He would continue to lead MSI and me in the days ahead. We value your prayers and partnership.