The semester has reached its end and I am home. While these past three months have fostered beautiful celebration and journey, they have stretched me in ways unthinkable. In this stretching, my heart has become quite aware of the utter darkness in this world but also of the glorious light that is The Kingdom.
I have built friendships with women my age in juvenile detention centers, shared the Gospel in Thai government schools, established sisterhood with orphans in Cambodia, and taught English to Karen refugees on the Myanmar border. While, yes, each of these settings were not incredibly light, the settings and circumstances are not the darkness to which I previously referred. The darkness that pierces my heart is the same darkness that I see here in the United States. This darkness is not cast out by clean water or education or just government. This darkness plagues North America and Southeast Asia alike. This darkness may even plague you.
John 8:12 says “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life”.
Hold up, people. Did you read that? Whoever follows Jesus will not walk in darkness. Whoever follows Jesus will have the light of life. Wherever there is Jesus, there is light!
Even in the Ratchaburi juvenile detention center, my friend, Sokhom, walks in the light.
Even in a poor Cambodian orphanage, my sister, Chhan, walks in the light.
Even in tin slums, as a stateless child, my sister, Kanya, walks in the light.
Even separated from her husband in the Karen refugee camp, my friend, K Ne Da, exudes the light of Jesus.
Even still, the light shines.
Chhan (Siem Reap, Cambodia)
Kanya (Ratchaburi, Thailand)
K Ne Da (San Phueng, Thailand)
Juvenile Detention Center (Ratchaburi, Thailand)