I recently returned from a missions trip in Bangkok, Thailand. Can I say life changing, heart changing, perspective changing, Jesus-filled whirlwind. I’m in a place of unease, and uncomfortability. But I’m so thankful for that. My heart is heavy, my heart is overwhelmed. I am in every way drained. But I’m so thankful for that. See going to Thailand changed me in a lot more ways than I thought it would. Starting with 20 hours on a plane to visiting refugee family after family, I never wanted to leave that place. And in being back, I pray that I remain burdened and uncomfortable. I pray that my heart never forgets the ways that I saw Jesus move in those 10 sweet days of my life.
Since being back in the states, I have had absolutely NO DESIRE to be here whatsoever and still I would rather be anywhere but here at school. Mostly though, I want to be in Thailand with the place and the people that took part of my heart so so quickly. It’s been so hard to be here when my heart wants nothing to do with this place. I wish I could just make myself believe that God has me here to do His work too. He has a purpose for me here too. I know that deeply in my head but my heart only has eyes for missions right now and getting the gospel to the nations. There are so many people that need Jesus. I’m just continually praying for a joy and peace in doing ministry here in Virginia or even when I go back to Pennsylvania in just a month for summer because maybe Thailand or some other place is God’s will for me some day but right now, this right here is my mission field NOW.
There’s just something about that place in Thailand that made my life make sense. For once I felt like I had a purpose and I felt more loved than ever by my Father. It wasn’t just the fun of riding an elephant, or the amazing food, or the sweet, sweet people. It was the culture riddled in Buddhism, it was the streets lined with prostitutes and strippers, it was the refugees that were imprisoned and still believed in a faithful Savior in Jesus, it was the way that I felt so uncomfortably comfortable. That nation, that city needs Jesus. Like they really really need Jesus.
In these days since returning I’ve been seeking for some sort of answer from God, some sort of anchor to the way I’ve been feeling, some sort of whisper from the Lord that He desires for me to be here right now. And His Word has been such a sweet comfort to me when I’ve been feeling nothing but sadness and unrest and heaviness for the people I met and here are a couple of the passages that are encouraging me and tearing my heart apart all at once.
Romans 10:13-14 13 “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” 14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?
Job 36:11 If they obey and serve him, they will spend the rest of their days in prosperity and their years in contentment.
And in all of this, I hope that we impacted one person there for the gospel. I hope that lives were changed, like mine has been and I hope that Jesus keeps stirring a missions heart and mindset in this life of mine. Thailand, you changed me and my heart loves you.
“Here I am, Lord. Send me to the ends of the earth, send me to the rough, the savage pagans of the wilderness. Send me to all…from all that is called comfort on the earth. Send me even to death itself if it but be in Thy service and in Thy kingdom”