Sunday, July 12, 2015

Joyful Truths in Scripture

It's amazing when God chooses to teach you things you thought you already knew. For the last month, our eyes have been opened to the difficult, but joyful truths found through the Holy Spirit in Scripture.

The Father has truly been molding the way we see sin and the love we have for the Thai people we encounter. As a team, we are experiencing trials of many kinds in order to be conformed to the image of Christ, but it looks different for each of us. For some, our emotions are being changed from confusion and fear going into the Red Light Districts to acceptance of the people and excitement to build relationships in such an unfamiliar place. For others, simply seeing a smile on the faces of the people we have come to care deeply for has become a sight that makes the most painful struggles seem irrelevant.

When people encounter problems and hurt that is unfamiliar, we have a tendency to assume we understand. We encounter brokenness with a mindset ready to mend their lives back together. But what we have found in this city of 6 million is that if we are willing to listen, they are willing to talk. If we come with a sincere heart, then they begin to have trust in us. Too often, we want to fix the problem. We want to pick them up off the dusty road and bring them to a place of peace. The problem with that is we are not the victors and we don't restore the souls of those who are lost and thirsty for the water of life. "But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)" (Ephesians 2:4-5). We have been called to come and listen. We have been called to love sacrificially. When we do this, Christ makes us vessels for His grace and mercy. When we are obedient, Jesus has the victory.

In understanding how short-term two months really is, we are realizing the importance of being intentional with our time. "Thailand" used to sound foreign and unbelievable to our ears, but now it sounds a little more like home to some of us. We have about 3 weeks left and our prayer and desire for the rest of our time here is that we may trade every whisper of our name for a shout of His. Because in a place weighed down with so much darkness, there is still light to be found. We have been called to love people on the road to seeing that eternal light for the first time.

Pray for boldness in opportunities to love like Jesus does.
Pray for the sex workers we encounter to desire a hope and love that is greater than they have ever experienced before.
Pray that God may overwhelm these people with His goodness and grace so that they will believe in Him forever.
Pray for the generations of the chains of Buddhism to fall off the Thai people so their hearts will be accepting of the Gospel.

Thank you for your prayers. They have truly been powerful and effective for our time here.

-Urban Rescuers