Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Welcome back

It's good to be back in Thailand.
The first two weeks have flown by. The first week I was getting over Jet lag and moving back into my house. Then there was church camp. Then Suzy, my new roommate, moved in the community--another busy week of getting her connected with the community and moving in. But it's good to be back.
So far so good with Suzy--I've been impressed with her willingness to jump right into the community, and her helpfulness to scrub the house. Especially in a 109* house with 43% humidity. Why has it been so hot this past week?
But like I said it's good to be back. It's good to find 30 cent bags of freshly cut fruit everywhere, and cheap coffee on the street, it's good to eat spicy food and laugh with neighbors. It's encouraging to see how much the new believers have matured, and to be apart of God's Kingdom coming in the slums of Bangkok. It's good to see all the kids who still can't remember if my name is Sara or Christy and now with Suzy in the miss--their all confused. It's good to be back with the team, and it's good to be with the office staff.
It's good to come back and realize how much I love and hope for this place.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Greater things are yet to be done In Thailand

When I moved to Thailand there were no believers in the community I live. Now there is a house church with 7 new followers of Jesus. God is amazing and he has done wondrous things. I love telling the stories of God’s tangible transformation and His glory revealed, but the truth is, for every miraculous story there are 20 more that make me weep in the presence of God. God is good, mighty to save and sovereign, but God is not a genie who grants us every wish. That being said when I came home I was tired. People have commented on the fact that I haven’t blogged in a while and the truth is I was too tired and doubted my voice in the midst of the exhaustion. Although I’ve never experienced as much Joy as when I saw the those living in Thailand become followers of Jesus and although I wouldn’t trade that for anything-- the truth is when I first came home I was too tired to pray for much. I kept my prayers simple. It’s one reason I’m so grateful that God is gracious enough to not depend on my prayers alone—this is why we are called to pray as a community—to lift our voices when others are too tired to hope for more.

This past week I went to a worship night and we sang a Chris Tamlin song with these words

Verse 1.
You're the God of this city
You're the King of these people
You're the Lord of this nation
You Are

You're the light in this darkness
You're the hope to the hopeless
You're the peace to the restless
You are

For there is no one like our God
There is no one like You God

Chorus 1:
For greater things have yet to come
And greater things are still to be done
In this city
Greater things have yet to come
And greater things are still to be done here

Hope arose anew in me. I cried out these words with utter excitement as I prepare to head back to Thailand. I dreamed of what it would look like to see Phothong gambling free where parents instruct their children with love and devotion, where addicts are set free from bondage and forgiveness is a normal part of relationships. Hope arose anew in me as I now have energy again to ask to for these miracles—to be apart of God’s Kingdom coming in full in Phothong as it is in Heaven. I will get tired again, but I pray that you too with continue praying with me. Greater things are yet to be done in Thailand and as a community I hope you will hope with me.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Thundering goodbye

Laying in bed, the thunder cracked, the lightening lit up the room. The rain still hadn't fallen. The house shook as the thunder and lightening chimed in together. Images running in my head of lightening striking my house, a fire starting in Phothong, trees splitting in half. No sleep tonight.
It was quite a night as I laid in bed. When the rain final came it fell with such force I was sure there was hail. (as impossible as that is in 82 degree weather) What a way to say goodbye to Sara. Her last night in Thailand.
Goodbye Sara, Thanks for everything. I hope to go out with a bang just as you did.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Thanks to God? What's That

Yut’s son Keem just turned 7 and he’s a great kid. This past week I had a bunch of leftovers, so I invited Yut and her two kids over for dinner. While waiting for Yut, two other neighborhood boys, (Keem’s friends) peeked in and preciously asked if they could come in also. Something in me just couldn’t say no. They keep trying to sneak bites of the food, and I kept gently reminding them they had to wait till Yut came. When Yut arrived we sat down around the food, and the boy immediately starting grabbing food. Keem responded quickly, “Guys, we have to say thank you to God first.” Staring blankly at Keem, they replied, “Thank you to God, What’s that?” Keem looked strangely and said, "We have to pray to God.” I jumped in and explained that we say grace before eating because God created everything and is over everything. He is big and powerful and so we thank God for the food he provided. To this the kids shout, “Thanks God your big.” We asked Keem if he wanted to pray and so he started, “Father God, Thank you for the food,….Wait wait wait, guys you have to close your eyes and fold your hands I’m not continuing until you do . (Not sure how he noticed his friends weren’t shutting their eyes if his eyes were shut, but to this they promptly obeyed) … Okay Thank you, God, for the food uhhh I can’t think anymore uhhh uhhh. …. To this his mom pipes in Amen, followed quickly by an Amen by PahJai (Yut’s 2 year old daughter) . We ate together it was really enjoyable, and I was so proud of Keem who’s just learned about God and how He so quickly wants to share it with his friends. It reminds me so much that children often lead others to the simple truth of God and how important for parents to impart God’ truth into their children’s lives while there are young. I hope and pray that more families will allow God to transform them.

Keem: after drawing a picture of himself, Sara, Christy, his mom Yut, and his little sister PohJai. Above is God showing us the way to cross the footbridge so we don't get hit by a car.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Answered Prayer

On October 18 2008 I wrote this prayer in my Journal---This month God has responded in a bigger way than I could have ever imagined. Both parents have become christians and this little girl will have a hopeful future as God is radically changing this family. ( This is Niew...)

I wrote, " Today I held a 2 month old in the community for a long time while I overheard her Mom talk about wanting to drink alchohol--Her mother is addicted to gambling and likes to drink--ALOT. I first met this baby when she was 3 days old, her mother had left her alone to go gambling. 3 days old. The baby is a sweet girl and as I held her I prayed for her--I prayed she would feel secure and that she would know God's love as she grows up--I prayed she would be the one to bring change to the family as she knew Jesus and shared it with them--I prayed she would break the cycle of addition and abuse in her family. I looked at this tiny precious child wanting to smile at her, hold her and let her know there is someone who can keep her secure. I looked at her and wanted to cry--she has so much to overcome to suceed in life, so much to overcome ans she's only 2 months old. So much.

Can Jesus change her family? Will Jesus care for this child? Is Jesus big enough to hold this wee little one born in to an addicted family with a mother who yells and hits and drinks and tosses dice? If not for Jesus what hope does this precious, beautiful, girl have. All I could do today was hold her, speak truth in her ear and pray that God can and will do more. All I can do is trust that God hears my prayers for this little girl who was made in the image of God and plopped in a broken and hurting world.

Please Jesus protect her, keep her secure, and let her know She is loved by you.

Use me though I am nothing
Hear me though I am small
Love me though I am imperfect. "

God answered 9 months later-------I am big enough. Bigger than Big enough and have the power to change the whole family in ways you can't even imagine.
Prayer really is powerful
God truely is amazing.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Just a little Girl

Bang--She's 11. Too old to be small and to small to be grown up. When I first met her, she was indeed a little girl, but over the past year I have seen her struggle with growing up. Her Cousin was born and she so often is seen parenting this little girl. She tries to play tough and even has taken a teaching role with the other kids. On any given day I see her waver from being "too cool" to hang out with me to begging to come in and play.
A couple of weeks ago I had the kids in watching Chronicles of Narnia. It started out with alot of kids coming in a watching--with, of course, Bang instructing them where to sit and when to be quite. As the movie went on--the younger kids lots interest. As the numbers dwidled. Bang came laying her head in my lap, At more intesnse parts she'd grab my hand and cover her eyes. She layed there for a good 30 minutes. I didn't say anything, didn't want to ruin the moment. I was reminded of just how young she is. It's a rariety she gets to be a kid, a ratiety she doensn't have to mother and train her 8 month old cousin, a rariety she can just be taken care of. Though my foot was falling asleep, I let her lay there--being a little girl.

It was a gentle and sweet reminder that I too need space to be a little girl. Too often I come to Jesus with big problems--seeking questions to huge answers. There's a time to be big and there's a time to just sit in the Lap of Jesus--being a little girl with her heavenly Father. Free to say I'm scared, free to say I need a lap of comfort, free to say "I don't have it all fiqured out--And that's okay"

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Blogging thoughts

So I haven't blogged for a while. There's lots to say, and plenty to comment on . Things are going on, so why haven't I blogged in so long. I think there is an element of normalcy going on. At first I blogged a lot because everything was new, strange, funny and completely baffling. In actuality nothing has changed--I still have dead spiders on my pillow, centipedes in my bathroom, moments where I want to scream, and moments where all I can do is stand there baffled at the cultural differences. At the same time everything has changed. I've gotten used to all these once strange differences and they have become normal everyday life. I think, "why would everyone want to hear about normal everyday life"--that's when I realize that it's still not normal for everyone else. The things that break my heart and give me Joy are completely foreign to those I'm used to talking with. The things are foreign because they take place in Thailand, but they are also normal family woes. The things my neighbors deal with sometimes seem heightened, but they are similar to problems in American marriages. So what am I saying---I'm saying Thailand feels more normal and that I love that sense of home. Yet I'm also saying there are some things in this culture and American cultural that I hope I never get used to. I never want to stop crying out to God to fix the things that break His heart.
I'm also saying I'll try blogging some more, to fill you guys in.
Any preferences on what you want to hear about???? It's all normal to me.