The family and I recently took a trip to a communist country north of Thailand. Our purpose was two fold.
One was to get our last visa that requires we leave the country every three months for a border run and every year we have to return to the States. Now we will be free to stay in Thailand and only have to visit a local office to take care of our paperwork versus leaving the country.
The second purpose was to join my ministry partner in co teaching a week long training to a group working with students and staff in the capital city. Our main thrust was on sharing the faith with others and organizing new believers into reproducible groups.
We ended up being very well received and had a great time shaking paradigms up for the Glory of God!
Here are some of my thoughts from this time:
- My family is awesome. We traveled by bus, in the back of tuk tuks, and in taxis for over 18 hours and they never complained. They sat quietly in the sweltering heat outside of the consulate while I handled our paperwork. Troopers! When it was time to go home, they took the bus all the way back home by themselves. They are pros!
- I loved being able to have them with me as I traveled and I loved being able to put them up in the nicest little place I could find so they kids could have something to do during the day, ie) swim! Each morning they woke up to a nice breakfast. Bray said the night before that he couldn’t wait until the morning to eat! haha. I love blessing them when I can. I can’t control the suffering that may come but sometimes I can control the blessings. After they left, I went to stay with friends and “rough it.” I don’t mind it at all! God made me to “live in and between worlds.” It’s my joy to do it!
- I loved being able to spend a whole week with my new ministry partner, B. This is the second time we have taught together and we flow well. We had a great time getting to know one another more and hearing from each other’s heart. Key time.
- I loved hearing from the Holy Spirit on the direction of teaching just before we were to teach! By the end of the week, we had added to our training materials and created a whole new outline for future trainings. We were willing and God met us!
- It was so awesome to hear my partner’s testimonies of how God led him to Thailand through an incredible vision when he was 17 years old, how he stepped out, was willing to suffer, and how God met him in that place with some really cool miracles of provision. So awesome to hear how he met his wife K., and how their miracles effected other people’s lives. God amazes me!
- Loved being called out of the seminar to pray for a little girl just outside who had a large swollen mass on the right side of her face. I commanded the swelling and inflammation to leave in Jesus name and for health, healing, and peace to come. She calmed and stopped crying. The next day she was brought to us and the swelling was gone! Just a rougher patch of skin where it had been stretched. She smiled and I kissed her forehead. The man who brought her to us was all smiles. Precious.
- Loved hearing from a Filipino worker who had told his fellow staff the day I taught that I reminded him of some Americans he knew back in the Philippines. He told them “they have the very same heart and passion.” Little did he know, that I went to the same Bible college as those guys who taught him in PI and we know each other! He was a student in their first pioneer Bible college classes. He almost didn’t get in because he was “rough around the edges.” But they let him in and he eventually heard one of them share his vision for the country we were now in. This Filipino guy ended up being a staff worker in this communist country north of Thailand! Like DNA recognized! Small world, huh?
- Loved being able to reconnect with a campus ministry couple who we had the privilege of meeting in our very first trip to this country. We had felt that we should support them as they were believing God for their rent for the next year on their underground discipleship house. We paid their rent for a year anonymously. When we met up with them, they were full of joy even though they had been arrested for distributing Gospel literature. Their baby was only three months old at the time and the police were going to put the wife in jail too. But God had mercy and only the husband was made to go. While in jail he led over 25 other guys to Jesus! His ministry continues to grow and he is fearless! Awesome God! Our relationship with this couple is now stronger and we look forward to seeing what the Lord will do in the future.
- I was also able to reconnect with someone I consider one of the key leaders of an underground church movement in the nation. As my partner and I shared our vision and the type of work we were doing, this leader was super encouraging of our methods and approach. As we listened to him share his vision, we asked him if he would consider adding Northern Thailand to his area of influence. He was excited to do it and we left believing that we would see each other again very soon.
- At the end of our teaching, we had a day that my partner and I kept calling the “day of power.” We preached on being empowered for the work, being filled with the Spirit, and baptized in the fire of God. After our teaching time, we were able to pray for these young students one by one. We saw the power of God come powerfully upon many of them. Some were weeping because of the Holy Spirit’s sweet presence. Some trembled. One girl was shouting and fell out. We had words of encouragement, exhortation, and comfort for each one of them as we asked God to pour out more grace and power to them. Almost every one of them are first gen believers and have never experienced this! They are the “Now” generation of this nation. It was our privilege to come and pour out everything we had time for in that week! So glad we were able to do it.
There is so much other cool stuff but I think I will leave it at this for now. Thanks for praying and supporting us to do this work!