by Crystal Tse
Logos Baptist Church
From June 27 to July 15th, I went on a missions to Panama and Trinidad with my family and a group of people from Logos Baptist Church to do a marriage and family workshop.
The Chinese people in Trinidad and Panama have gone through a lot. They immigrate from China to earn a better living for their families, but when they first arrive, they live almost like slaves for three to five years. Because they don’t have citizenship, they end up having to do everything their employer says in order to keep their job, or risk deportation. After five years, they are able to earn their own money to support their families. As a result, the Trinidadian-Chinese community is very protective of their work and would rather open up their shop instead of go to church on Sunday. Many of them cannot find the time to come to church which is why the membership of the church is depleted.
In Panama, however, once they established their shops they seemed to be doing very well. Rather than financial challenges, the Panamanian-Chinese community have problems with their children. Once they are settled, they bring in their children from China one by one once they have enough money. So by the time that they get all their children to Panama, they have huge communication problems; their children don’t want to talk to them. When we came in to do the family workshop, we taught them helpful ways to communicate with each other. It especially helped that my sister and I were there because they could see a whole family come together to serve. So even though my sister and I had language differences with the people, we still served a purpose for the missions.
The Chinese communities in Trinidad and Panama have many troubles, but they also had something that many churches in Canada don’t have. They have a passion to serve with whatever the Lord wants them to do. We needed a place to stay so one of the families opened up their house for us. We needed a car so they gave us their own car to drive. We needed a ride from the airport and we had a whole team of people that said that they wanted to drive us. They tended to our every need without regret and I have yet to see people in Canada do something like that. That’s the one thing that I have learned that I need to change from this mission trip: the passion to serve others with no regret.
*Please note that we initially indicated that Crystal was from Logos Baptist in Mississauga. She is, in fact from Logos Milliken. Our apologies for the error.