Its been a little over a week since we departed on this adventure. There have been many joys throughout this trip, but also a lot of hardships. I have been blessed with an amazing group, that I can now call family. It feels as though we have known each other for years. I am blessed to be surrounded by an encouraging community that is centered around God.
The children here are beautiful. We sang in church yesterday, Your Beautiful by Phil Wickam. I realized as we were standing in front looking out at the faces of the children, how beautiful His creation truly is. All those faces, so unique and they carry with them different stories. Being here has made me think a lot about my own life. This first week I realized how much time I devoted to the internet. It is a blessing that we have internet where we are staying, but I realized it became too much of a distraction from bonding with my team, and being fully present. I have decided to fast from wifi until we depart. This is hard for me because of the people I won’t be able to communicate with. I am blessed though, with people who understand the desire to be present with the Lord and the work that He is doing here in Thailand.
Best parts of the trip so far:
1. Seeing the kids. Ohmylanta I can’t describe the joy that comes when we get to play with them! Their smiles, hugs and laughter. They have so much energy and they are eager to know us. We have been hanging out with the girls a lot, but we were blessed with hanging with the boys the other day. We were able to go to a big soccer field and have a soccer, or should I say “futbol”, game. This trip is all about the kids and it is SO MUCH FUN! I don’t think I have had this much fun playing games in a while. It is definitely exhausting, but so worth it.
2. The food:
I was pretty nervous about the food here, definitely. But so far, I haven’t gotten sick, and things taste pretty good! I love all the noodles!! When the kids ask me what my favorite food is, I say, “Mac and cheese”, they look at me with confused looks, and then the looks increase when I say its cheese on top of noodles. Its been fun sharing life with them. And its been awesome eating along side the kids, and talking about random things such as hot dog pizza.
3. The culture:
We have been truly blessed with the opportunity to explore Thailand and really experience the culture. We went to a hill tribe the other day, one that two of our kids are from. It was awesome to see what life is like out in the country. Thats where my heart broke. Its mind blowing how they live. We learned about Buddhism, and went to a temple. That was hard because of how dark that place was for us, but it was really cool to just walk around and pray. Today we went and rode elephants and I was hugged by an elephant. Last night we experience the Sunday Night Market, and I bought all my loved ones gifts, which left me with no money. ha! The cultural experiences have really helped our team know where these kids are coming from, and it gives us a better understanding of how society works, and it gives us the opportunity to test our Thai on strangers.
4. Seeing God Work:
There have just been some amazing ways I’ve seen God here. Yesterday was really hard for me, I fasted from food for the day, praying for my hip all day. My heart was really hurting yesterday, and God really spoke to me through a young girl at church. She grabbed my hand and I knelt down to her and she said, “You know, you’re really beautiful.” I replied, “thank you, you are beautiful too,” and she affirmed me again, “no, you’re really beautiful” and then she ran away. I see God everywhere here, yet my heart is still processing what is happening. I realized how much I depend on the comfort of people around me, and not on God. That is why I’m fasting, because my heart is broken, and I don’t want to be comforted by the people around me, I don’t want to go to my boyfriend for that comfort, I’m turning just to God. That means cutting connections with everyone from home. I need to be present here, while I’m still here. This place is full of God’s creation and it brings tears to my eyes, tears of joy for the work that is happening here. I just want to find my solitude in the Lord, without distractions. I’m here for six more days, and as we all know, God can do great things in a matter of minutes when we focus only on Him. I miss my family and friends, so much, and I cannot wait to share with them the joy that has been flowing over here. This place is beautiful. God makes beautiful things.
Sa Wat Dee Kha