Worth It

“To be Thai is to be Buddhist”


The phrase describes the deep connection of the culture of Thailand and Buddhism. I love the Thai hospitality, the smiles, and the deep respect of elders, but Buddha can’t hold a candle to Jesus. That’s why today was so incredible. We got to share the gospel of Jesus with around 50 children and a few adults. In a district of Thailand with over a million people and less than a thousand Christians, the truth was proclaimed. It was one of those joyous, perfect moments that you wouldn’t trade anything for.


That little moment was at the end of two full school days of teaching English to these same children with no teacher help and only occasionally a translator. With only 8 of us and 50 children who knew no English, we had a big job on our hands. There were parts that were fun and full of the laughter only children can bring, but also moments that made us want to pull our hair out. This was our third school of the week (starting from scratch each time) and fifth consecutive day teaching and we were exhausted. The teaching was by no means a miserable experience, but it didn’t have the glamour of getting to share our faith.


Personally, I was limited in teaching. First of all, I have only sporadically felt good in Thailand and as I walked around the school all I really wanted to do was collapse on a couch. Second of all, my teammates are really, really good at teaching English. I don’t think the children would know half as much if I was the one in charge of the lessons. These two things considered, my job was often grabbing props, wrangling the children that would rather draw swastikas on each other than listen (I think it means peace here???), and filling up water bottles for those who are leading the teaching. Again, not nearly as glamourous.


I haven’t taken a hot shower since May and I have only slept in air conditioning once in that same time period. I’m pretty sure I have lice, and I have certainly had my share of rice. I didn’t see any fireworks on the 4th of July, and I missed Jordan Spieth winning his second straight golf major tournament. I’m 8,200 miles away from my parents, and I will miss my niece’s birth if she comes even a day earlier than predicted. As you see, there is much about this life that is completely void of glamour.


Today, as we began our gospel presentation, we performed a skit that, to the best of our ability, portrayed the gospel with emphasis on the differences of Christianity and Buddhism. The goal was to be able to share the gospel fully as we explained the skit. That little three minute skit took us 5-6 hours to prepare last Saturday. It was long and frustrating, but in the end, we had what we wanted. That is essentially the whole story here. We get to see and do amazingly powerful things on the mission field. However, those moments are earned by leaving home, family, jobs, colleges, relationships, comforts, routines, and much more. A lot of people just don’t get this. They wonder why I’m a 23 year old college graduate who doesn’t have a job and currently resides on a top bunk in a little village in Thailand. I’ll admit, it’s not the common road, but I have a sneaking suspicion that if they were at the school today at about 2:15 p.m., I wouldn’t have to explain to them why it’s all worth it.



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