2 nights ago we went and ate dinner with our ministry leader and partner. (thats a co-staff thai and the students that they disciple that we will be partnering with when we go on campus) as we sat there eating some really interesting food that i still dont know how i feel about, we went around and shared our testimonies and what the Lord has been doing in our hearts and lives. i had some of the most mixed emotions during that time...
my ministry partner, who is seriously one of the coolest girls i have ever met, blew me away with her dedication to the gospel. when she became a christian, her family totally cut her off from everything and she was totally on her own. when i asked her if that ever made her waver in her faith or question what she now believed she said, and with a huge smile on her face, that if she did not stay with christianity, there would be no way her family would have a hope beyond hell. that hit me like a load of bricks. seeing these people who have given everything for the sake of the Gospel is so convicting to me. i sit at school acting like its some big thing that because im a christian i shouldn't _________ whereas these girls want to give up everything because they understand the immense joy that comes in surrendering. i want a faith like theirs.
in our quiet times yesterday we read in Mark about when the Lord called his first disciples... before that though the title is 'Jesus begins his ministry' saying
"...Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God and saying,
'The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand:
repent and believe in the Gospel"
that simple. repent and believe. i make it seem like its so much harder than that. but thats it. i have been called to proclaim this gospel of good news. to proclaim that all God asks is for us to repent from our sin and believe in Him.
so many times i see people who say 'im almost there i just need more time to think about it' or something along those lines in regard to becoming a christian. thats when this next section blew me away. because, even now that i am a christian, i still do that! i say, ' oh i see that thats a sin, but i just need more time before im really convicted about it or really need to repent' seriously?
"and Jesus said to them,
"Follow me and I will make you become fishers of men."
and immediately they left their nets and followed him."
immediately. not well let me decide if i feel like it then i will. not let me go say bye to my family and make sure its ok with them. not im busy doing what i want right now but i will next week when its more convenient. no. immediately they followed him. i want a faith like that.
we had our first Sabbath yesterday. i wont lie, i may or may not have shed a tear. i have never loved a worship service as much as i loved ours yesterday. our leader, matt, prayed after and thanked the Lord for giving us a small taste of what Heaven will be like and that was so true. in the service, we were gathered in a gym, that only had fans as air conditioning, in some chairs. but it was the most beautiful church i have ever seen. we all gathered and sang worship songs in Thai and in English.
"After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number,
from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages,
standing before the throne and before the Lamb,
clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands,
and crying out with a loud voice,
“Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne,
and to the Lamb!”
this is all just some of what the Lord has been teaching me. its not close to all of it though. all that being said, it has definitely been hard. adjusting has been difficult. getting used to the food, the time change, the piece of cement that we sleep on, the language, and overall just the difference in cultures has been alot to figure out at once.
we also brought alot with us. or at least i did. and not physical stuff- i mean things going on in our hearts. struggles we are fighting, emotions that we dont know what they are, frustrations we have from certain things... so in the midst of working through things in my heart with the Lord on top of being thrown into this totally unknown culture has been alot for me.
luckily i have a baller roommate (and team). we were talking about this the other night and she reminded me of what Moe, one of our directors, keeps saying- that we are "in Christ". and because of that, we are more than adequate, more than able, and completely strong. its so great being reminded of that each day even though i definitely dont feel like it that majority of the time.
on a lighter note, its so fun talking to the thais! they laugh at us so hard when we butcher words. 'ba ba bo bo jing jing' is by far my favorite thing to say! it means 'very crazy'. we were talking with some of the thai girls about what music they like and one said Lady Gaga to which we all started laughing and saying 'lady gaga ba ba bo bo jing jing!!' they also LOVE taylor swift. courtney has had alot of fun telling them that she lives in the same place at tswift ha. i met one girl yesterday, djrinka who is majoring in photography. we both got out our cameras and tried** to talk about why we love it.
also last night we ate dinner again with our ministry partners last night and milcah and i ate boiled pigs feet. and our friend Pbaan ate pigs blood. when in Thailand right?
- We go onto campus for the first time today! pray for us to remember the little bit of Thai that we do, and that the Lord would give us and our ministry partners boldness is just talking to students
- Pray for our team. that we would continue getting to know each other and encouraging one another
- Praise the Lord that Matt Hill was found.
- Pray that the Lord would continue showing each of us what it is He has us to learn this summer.