We have team here at the moment from Evergreen Baptist Church in the USA.
I only got to meet the team for the first time last night which is kind-of sad since they seem like a really nice bunch of people and they leave tomorrow. I am hoping to get back out to ZOE tonight, with our kids, to see them one final time before their departure.
I find it encouraging to learn what 'short term teamers' get out of their trip as well as hearing how some of them get to be here.
When I meet these teams, it reminds me also of our journey to get to be here and the amazing way that God orchestrates situations, bringing everything together for His purpose.
I was honored to sit with Pam Noritake at the traditional Thai dinner restaurant last night. It was so wonderful to share some conversations with her and also enjoy a couple of laughs. Despite coming from totally different parts of the world, we actually had quite a lot in common.
Here's what Pam recently wrote about just a day after being here in Thailand:
We’ve only been in Thailand for slightly over 24 hours and God has already revealed what breaks his heart. As short term missionaries, we blow in, blow up and blow out...but to see what breaks God’s heart will stay with us for a lifetime. Our desire is to share this “burden” with you our family, friends and supporters so we can understand more of who He is and why we’re here.
Last night as we were adjusting to our jet-lag, we saw a child on the streets who had fallen victim of a beggar’s ring where the child was drugged until she was unconscious. As this child is lying on her “mom’s” lap, the woman was actively asking for money and portraying herself as being homeless. As we walked passed them and rounded the corner to where we’re staying, we saw a little boy with his sibling also on the streets with their mother. This second scene was different. This truly homeless mom was taking care of her children and not asking for money. The poor and vulnerable have a real need here in Thailand and yet there are those who will use this need to fulfill their own greed.
Seeing what breaks God’s heart first hand gives us such a better understanding how to fight human trafficking. He commands us in Matthew 12:29 to “take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls.” We want to help those who have fallen victim to human trafficking so that they may find rest in Jesus. This fight is vast and dangerous…being here, seeing with our own eyes can be overwhelming. This “burden” is not impossible with God. He promises in the same breath in the following verse: “for my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Our team is here to do all we can that is humanly possible and then God will do what is impossible!
I want to say a big "thank-you" to the Evergreen team. Thanks for your encouragement to the missionaries, willingness to serve and for your commitment to keep Thailand in your heart and prayers. Bless you guys!
And I thought I re-post this old video of a short term team here about a year ago. I can't believe how little Tobi and Eli look!