A Season of Change

It seems appropriate that with the change of seasons here in Thailand, that a season of change would happen in my life. I write this update to y’all with news of a really big change here in Thailand. My past updates that I have sent out were filled with prayer requests for discernment of how to use my second year in Thailand. I came back from my trip home this summer into a season of discernment to figure things out and quite honestly never really felt like I got many answers. I remained at peace that the Lord had called me here for a two-year commitment and simply trusted that the Lord would open doors as I walked through this next year. I believe he intentionally kept me in the dark on what he had planned for me so that I would be pushed to a deeper place of trust in our Savior. Despite the fact that I had peace about my second year here, I still battled thoughts of frustration and complacency, as I had no idea what I was really going to do with my time. It was difficult for me to trust in the uncertainty of what my time would look like here. I felt “stuck” in this mundane routine as I was discouraged by the state of ministry in my community due to the fact that we had experienced push back from community leadership in terms of the vision my organization is seeking to accomplish. As I have communicated before, it was difficult being the only Servant Partners staff in my community, especially only being interns with major language and cultural barriers. My first year was challenging but I honestly wouldn’t have changed a thing because the Lord did so much in my life during that year. However, things had started to grow dim for me and I found myself looking forward to the day that I would return home next summer. But then a few weeks ago change came in a huge way. My roommate told me that he wasn’t going to be continuing in the intern program and was leaving in a two weeks. I was shocked as my closest friend and ministry partner was going home, but I was left with a question of what did this all mean for me? I met with my Director and we discussed what my next steps would be and this is the part I’m very excited to share with all of you. After communicating my thoughts and praying through things, it was decided that I would be moving to a new community. If you remember back to when I first arrived last September, I lived in a different community called Pho Tong. Well, Pho Tong is where I once again call home. I am very excited about this for many reasons. As I only have eight months left of my internship, moving back to this community allows for me to not have to “start over”. Because I previously lived here and was able to make relationships with Thai people during that time, I was walking back into a community that knew me and that I knew fairly well. This also means that I would now be living with two SP staff members, their names are Kyle and Sprite. Kyle is from the States and Sprite is a Thai national. Both guys are older than me and have already proved to be an incredible support system and cultivators of authentic Christian community for me. Not only do they provide these things, but also getting to serve along side SP staff members allows for me to learn more effectively about urban poor ministry. This is especially true due to all the work that is going on in my new community. Over this past year the Lord has being doing a ton in this community. A middle-class Thai church has become interested in partnering with this community and has begun ministry to their Thai neighbors. The SP staff has played a huge part in establishing this partnership and are now in the process of transitioning ministry completely over to this Thai church. Praise God! What that means is that I will be able to participate in that transition process, so what a cool thing to be a part of and a great learning experience for me. So, I have started attending this church in hopes to get to know its members as we seek to pass on the torch to them. So needless to say, every aspect of my life here now looks incredible different, but I am praising the Lord so loudly because of this change. Through this time of change and transition, I have personally seen the Lord’s goodness to me in answering the cries of my heart and prayers over these past months as to what I was doing here. The Lord has renewed my vision and passion for being here and I am incredibly excited about what these next eight months look like.