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Why Deborah Stopped Dwelling on God’s Will for Her Life

I was an ordinary twenty-six-year-old girl leading a predictable Singaporean life. I was not planning to make any radical decisions, and I was certainly not planning to abandon my stable job at a law firm in order to live in a quiet province of Thailand for six months; that is, until last December, when an unsolicited thought popped into my head.

Six months in Thailand, I heard. I dismissed the idea as senseless. After all, I spoke no Thai. What did I have to offer there?

Furthermore, I did not have a “deep faith” in God to profess. I often struggled to trust God with my life and preferred to remain in control.

But every time I tried to shelve the thought away, it arose again, leaving me uneasy. When I began praying about it, “Hebrews 11” surfaced in my mind. I flipped open my Bible, and by the end of the passage, I was in tears:

“Abraham, when called to go to the place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith, he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country…” – Hebrews 11:8-10

So when God opened the door to Sing Buri, Thailand, I “obeyed and went.” There I taught English to primary school students, which is how I met Prop—a shy ten-year-old girl, unconfident in her speaking abilities.

Prop enjoyed reading Bible storybooks in English; for her, they brought the language to life. When I asked if she wanted to know more about the central character of these stories (Jesus), she was eager. But at the time, she had no idea who Jesus was.

Having grown up in multi-religious Singapore, I had not met anyone who had never heard of Jesus. But in Sing Buri where only 0.11% of the population is Christian, some can go their whole lives without encountering the gospel.

Prop accepted Jesus as her personal saviour the day after I explained who He was to her. Upon this event, I realized how much God loves Prop and how His heart longs for the Sing Buri people.

But what would I do at the end of my six-month placement? The question loomed large. Would God call me to stay long-term? To return to Singapore? What was His will for my life?

As I continued to serve in Thailand, God turned my attention away from His will for me and instead toward His will for mankind: that we would be reconciled to Him so that we may dwell with Him forever.

Instead of asking, “What is God’s will for my life?” I learned to ask, “What role can I play in God’s will for mankind?” It does not matter where I am or what I do. Whether I work in Singapore as a lawyer or in Sing Buri as an English teacher, I will always have the same role to play in God’s will: to bring the good news to all who have not heard, and to inspire others to do the same.

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