Team Thailand: Week 1 update from Mae Sot
Well, we’re here. Hello, Thailand. After 33 hours of travel, we made it to the YWAM base in Bangkok, giant backpacks stuffed wide and high with everything we’ll need for the next three-month phase of our Discipleship Training School. We capped off our Lecture Phase with an intensive week on Spiritual Warfare – particularly impactful for a team heading into one of the “throne rooms” of the Buddhist religion. Before I dive in any further, I should note that we lost an entire day while crossing over the International Date Line, so if anyone ever asks me what I did on December 10, 2014, I’m afraid I won’t have an answer for them.
We spent our first few days in Thailand getting acclimated to the time and weather changes while learning a bit about what to expect during our time here. The welcoming staff at the YWAM base spent time teaching us about Thai customs, culture, and how to most effectively put into practice the foundation we’ve received over the last three months. Biblical evangelism in a foreign society is a bit different than ministry in the States, as we’re quickly discovering – these are a people who know next to nothing about Jesus, so it is crucial to go back to basics to impact them. Again, it’s a bit of a mental shift, but not impossible to carry out.
Next stop on our journey is Mae Sot, where we are currently serving. Last Sunday, we boarded a bus for an 8-hour ride to the northern border of Thailand. Over the past week, we’ve done everything from manual labor (building an outdoor classroom at a school for Burmese refugees) to local outreach (working with Burmese kids) to street preaching. Open-air ministry, we call it – we drive out to a market, factory, roadside, etc., with nothing but a translator and a microphone set up, and we preach the Gospel and pray for people. None of have had much experience with extemporaneous public speaking, so, naturally, God has had to work in our hearts a bit, pushing us out of our comfort zones, but we’ve seen so much come out of our efforts. It’s come to my realization that our Lord tends to take us until we come to the end of ourselves, for it is then that His power and providence truly comes into play. And thus, we surrender to His will, and not our own.
Such a mindset of submission is not an easy endeavor, by any means – don’t get me wrong. It requires sacrifice and humility. For all of us, over the past 11 days, it has meant lack of down time, loss of sleep, a separation from loved ones.
Regardless of the struggle, our Father continues to clarify the worthiness of our work. It does not matter what we do, or where we do it, so long as our focus is set on the Kingdom of Heaven. For us, now, our work is Thailand. Our Father continues to prove, time and time again, that to jump headfirst into His Will is always the best move one could ever take, regardless of the circumstances or outlook.
So here is our proposition.
We will get up and preach until our voices give out, work until our knees are shaking and our shoulders burn, be a friend to the lonely and a healer to the sick, even if our hearts are broken in the process – so long as everything we do is in accordance with the will of God. The Spirit of the Lord goes before us, so onward we will go; for Freedom, He has set us free, and therefore, we submit ourselves into His protection.
And yes, we understand what that means.
This update is from Mae Sot, Thailand
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