I had to quit my job for missions, how will my employer receive it?

In 2011, I was 19 and fresh out of Junior College. Having just finished my ‘A’ Levels, I felt it would be a good season to set time aside to do something different. With that in mind, I decided to go on a mid-term mission trip under the Cornerstone Overseas Volunteer Programme, what would later come to be known as Apprentice. Frankly, up until that point, I had never thought much about doing overseas missions – much less going on a mission trip that would last several months. It was a slightly unnerving, but also incredibly exciting.

As a young teen, I had also taken up a part-time tuition job to save some extra cash. When I eventually decided to head to Country P to serve in a local mercy ministry for two months, I worried how my tuition parent would take it. Would she think I was weird, or maybe even crazy? Most importantly, would she think I was irresponsible and terminate my services?

With a few more months to go before I flew off on my mission trip, I did not want to jeopardise my income source. Yet, I knew that hiding my decision would be irresponsible towards both my student and his mother. So, committing the matter to God, I informed my tuition parent of my decision. I fully expected her to stop tuition lessons with me and prepared myself for her decision. To my surprise (and relief!), she decided to let me continue teaching her son until I left on my trip and assured me that she would want me to resume lessons once I was back in Singapore. At that moment, I knew that any worries and doubts I had had could be laid to rest – God was looking out for me.

Fast forward a few months, I left for Country P for missions. It was a life-changing experience unlike anything I had ever done up till that point. As I neared the end of my two-month mission stint, I knew I wanted to stay on and do more. Yet, once again, I found myself feeling uncertain about how my tuition parent would react. She had already agreed to wait two months for me; what would she say to another two? Moreover, I was neither a trained nor an experienced teacher. How could I expect her to continue putting her son’s tuition lessons on hold while I pursued my own mission dreams overseas? Nonetheless, I knew God wanted me to extend my stay in Country P. With that in mind, I broke the news to my tuition parent. And once again, to my utter amazement, she agreed to put her son’s lessons on hold for another two months. Again, she insisted that she would wait for me to return to teach her son.

I was left speechless. How could it be, that a mere ‘A’ Level graduate like me would be given such an offer? My tuition parent’s response was beyond anything I had expected. Even though I did not understand her decision, I gratefully accepted it and promised to resume tuition lessons as soon as I returned to Singapore.

Looking back, it was both humbling and reassuring to know that God was in control every step of my missional journey. Up until now, I find that I am unable to rationalise how and why I was shown such grace and favour. The only explanation I can come up with is this – that God is able to do exceedingly and abundantly above all that we ask or think. No matter how difficult (or even impossible) it seems, we can trust in Him to provide for all our needs and more as long as we are walking in His will.

Alicia Chua
Image credit: Kimberly Yang

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