Written by Christel for Go Asia (May-Aug 2019)
My name is Christel, 22 and I’m a student from Singapore!
In 2016, I had just graduated from polytechnic with a Diploma in Media & Communications – and I was feeling ‘lost’. I didn’t know what direction to take in life, what I wanted to do, if I could get into a local university or even what to study.
That became the start of a gap year for me, filled with months of uncertainty and aimlessness. But I thank God for providing because I was soon able to get video editing work in the media industry.
It was also in late 2016 that God found me and brought me to faith in Him!
I went to Vietnam as a short-term worker with OMF for the first time between April to May 2017.
Hanoi, Vietnam is full of opportunities for young adults for work and university, and also for God to reach them with the Gospel that saves. I thank God for His timing, because my trip was in the summer when students were having their summer break, giving us more time to spend with them!
Many young people in Vietnam are eager to learn and practice English, especially with native English speakers. So that became a bridge for friendships to form and an opportunity to serve. That was my main area of mission work there. Thank God for the many English club ministries in Vietnam, where young people are getting to hear the gospel and interact with both local and foreign believers. It was such a privilege seeing Christ’s work in the lives of the Vietnamese and being a part of that!
Spending time with the locals also showed me more of their interesting character and way of life, which gave me opportunities to shoot footage of their daily life. With the footage I shot (over a few more short-term trips) and great help from the Vietnam team & the OMF Media Team, I was able to produce a video that introduces people to Vietnam, which you can see at: bit.ly/omfvietnam
Meanwhile, one gap year slowly turned into two gap years – and people around me were starting to worry for me.
But, some missionaries in Vietnam saw that video and said they intend to use it to mobilise people to pray for and serve in Vietnam. Seeing how God could use my interest in film for His Kingdom’s work encouraged me to decide to commit to continue studying media & communications in university – and by His grace I got in somehow, despite my far below-average grades! I hope that I can do more videos for Jesus soon! I didn’t see it then, but looking back, I can see God’s goodness more clearly – how God was guiding me to Him and growing me in a time where I saw my waiting as a delay and setback.
I guess young people especially, may sometimes feel ‘lost’ – maybe you don’t know why you’re studying what you’re studying or just aren’t sure what direction to take in life. Our journeys will all look different, but we have one constant: God is good, and I hope my story encourages you to be patient – because the Lord is growing you in the waiting! Try to find joy and meaning in wherever He has placed you in, with whatever skills you have!