Trip to Thailand – SO BENEFICIAL
We are here in Thailand doing our first ever Youth Missions Trip, what an incredible time we are having and what incredible potential for a trip like this to be part of shaping and challenging our young people. Of course the photos on this blog are tourism stuff…but you simply can’t come to Thailand and not see an Elephant or a Tiger. Our young people will be here for nearly a whole month and will be exposed to as many areas of local life and ministry as is possible in that time. They are living on site with the local missionaries and other Thai leadership.
We all know that getting outside of your comfort zones is never easy, but always worth the effort – it makes us grow, changes our perspective and challenges us in all areas of what we “think we know”. So here we are in Thailand, very little English, NO TAGALOG, very little Christianity, no bible base in the culture, no belief in God, Buddhism being the main religion. We have come from a country with no real traditions left, to a country steeped in strong tradition and in many ways, unwilling to change. But the Gospel is here, being carried by Spirit filled Thai working with missionaries like Eric and Marianna Clar and The River Team in Chiang Mae, who have graciously allowed us into their lifes work. Full time missionaries who I think have been here for more than 25 years, that’s some serious commitment to being salt and light amongst a beautiful people lost in darkness.
For us, John 14:12, we have a great opportunity to both learn from and add to another group of Missionaries in a cross cultural setting.
I have watched as Allan and Kat Kat have just risen to the many challenges that another culture presents. They have made so many new friends, have already gotten a grasp on basic phrases, words and Thai greetings. Allan is devising ways to share the gospel and be an encouragement to the Christian Thai nationals he has met. We have come here on a budget, but Allan and Kat Kat have, off their own initiative, set aside a portion of their funds to prepare local Filipino foods and just be a blessing to the Thai by inviting them to eat with them. It’s like I am watching them grow before my eyes…which is why we need to do things like this.
New things present New Opportunities, Challenges brings Change, Stretching brings Growth…both of these things add to our Maturity…which increases our Abilities in the things of God. Getting out of your own culture for a while, allows you to the chance look back at it with different eyes, and you begin to see things that you never saw before. It is very hard to see your culture while you are in it. I am seeing change in our team now, but I am also looking forward to the changes I see once they get back into their own world. I am very much enjoying what I see is happening while we are here, and am looking forward to sending a team here next year.
Once again a huge thank you to Eric and Marianna and the River Team for allowing us this experience. A special thanks to Tim and Bromlyn Perry, who have been the ones who organised this trip and have sort of been of hosts and good friends (as Eric has been away for some of our time here), bless you guys.