As I sit in the waiting area at a bus station in Bangkok, my mind is in a million different places(as always). It seems that recently(or maybe I’ve been like this forever), I am in a constant state of being a mess. Not even a hot mess, just a mess. Although I guess I could say I’m a hot mess right now because it’s pretty toasty in Thailand but praise the Lord for air con in this station.
We are 2 days in and to be honest, I’m already wrecked. We haven’t even started ministry yet.
Roaming the streets of Thailand by bus, train, boat, tuk tuk, and foot we have seen and experienced so much.
This country is breathtakingly beautiful in its own unique way.
The intricately detailed temples with vibrant colors such as gold, red, blue, and etc. The temples are often surrounded by beautiful gardens. I was honestly speechless as I walked through the garden, I felt like i was in a dream.
As beautiful as these temples are, there is a heaviness that they bring. Witnessing men, women, and children all bowing down to these gods praying causes an unexplainable feeling to boil up. Knowing that these people are earnestly searching for hope where hope does not exist makes my heart so sad. As terrible as it is, there is a beauty to their reverence. It is just a shame that their reverence is directed towards something that brings emptiness rather than hope.
Not even a block away from these temples, sit homes that look like houses of cards stacked on top of each other only instead of playing cards they are made with cardboard, plywood, and sheets of tin. The holes in the walls are patched up with anything and everything from children’s toys to different household items. Even though these homes would be considered less than sheds where I was raised, the people seem so content. Just thinking about this being everyday life for someone puzzles me. It’s very hot and humid, the smell ranges from dodgy street food to sewage, and they live in what a first world resident would consider a dump. And as far as I can tell, the people are perfectly content, and that is beautiful to me.
Coming on this DTS, I had no clue what to expect. I didn’t know what lecture phase would look like and I knew even less of what outreach phase would look like. I had this underlying expectation that once lecture phase finished, I would be fixed. I hoped that maybe I would have everything together so that when I reached outreach phase I could help others get to that point as well. But as we finished our last day I really wrestled with God because I was the opposite. During the past couple months I have received healing and growth but I am more broken than ever. I have realized that DTS doesn’t make you perfect. It opens your eyes to your imperfections and reintroduces you to your perfect Papa who creates only masterpieces and loves each one so dearly. DTS breaks you in the best of ways.
As we entered this country I felt a huge weight press down on my shoulders, yesterday as we toured around, and tonight as we rode through the city, my heart ached so badly that my stomach churned.
The reason for this was that I had asked one of the most daunting questions a person could ask.
I had asked God to break my heart for what breaks His.
He was doing just that.
We were riding in the back of a truck on the way to the bus station tonight and as I looked out at the city the only thing I could think about was how many women were currently being raped by foreign men. How many children were being used for pleasure. How many lives were being ruined by the stronghold of human trafficking. It made me sick to my stomach.
Bangkok is the place that people come to for money, fun, and sex. The Thai people have a horrible view of tourists because they see their intentions.
It is called the land of smiles but I can’t help but think that there are incredible amounts of pain behind every smile.
The trouble with asking God to break your heart for what breaks His is that you open yourself up to experiencing a pain that is different than any other pain.
As difficult as it is to feel everything so deeply, there is a hope.
Even though my heart breaks for the people of Thailand, the whole purpose of this mission is to bring hope where there is none. And I know you’re probably thinking “okay b, calm down a little. You can’t save everyone in Thailand.”
No, but if I can bring hope to just one person, that is one more soul won over to the kingdom of God. One more child returning to their papa. One less lost sheep.
The small victories are still victories. And those small victories have the potential to ripple out into more victories.
Needless to say, these next two weeks in this country will be a wild ride but I’m ready. There are going to be challenges as there are with anything, but here I am.
Fully aware that things can and will get harder, but ready.
This is what I signed up for, isn’t it? 😉
All my love,