Tuesday, June 27, 2017

I Have This Hope

Bangkok, Thailand. A city with more 7-Eleven convenience stores than trash cans, where traffic lights are a suggestion, and where there are escalators that go up but not down.
The past week has been filled with blistered feet, cheap food, getting acquainted with the city, and helping the City English Project with what many would consider tedious tasks: passing out thousands of promotional material in the humidity of Bangkok, babysitting missionary kids, and organizing for the coming weeks. 

I have learned the importance of smiling to every Thai you meet even if you don’t receive a smile in return. 
I have realized how crucial it is to be joyful through all circumstances. 
I have been reminded that the Lord uses the “small things” for his glory in a way that I may not fully understand in my short time here.
Bangkok, Thailand. A city where millions attempt to appease evil spirits with food and offerings, where temples and shrines fill every corner, and where prostitution is rampant.
Every time I walk the streets, I see the “spirit houses,” and I am reminded of the grip Satan has on these people. I pass the Hindu temple, and I watch as little boys and girls follow their parents into a place that will never give them life and peace. I see desperation on the Thai people’s faces as they fall to their knees before powerless idols. I see their pain; I see their suffering. And I realize that I will never be able to erase these images from my mind even if I wanted to.
Bangkok, Thailand. A city where people are oblivious to the fact that they are walking in darkness, where the language barrier is difficult to cross, and where most have never heard the Gospel.
I feel the frustration with not being able to speak the Thai language. Every day, I see an elderly Thai woman; no matter where I go, she is there. Since day one, I have been burdened for her, but the language barrier between us is thick and high. The language barrier follows me wherever I go. It has been there as my team and I teach English and try to share the Gospel. I have seen the confusion on their faces and felt it mirrored on my own as we desperately try to understand each other. 
But I have this hope.
I love this city. I love these people. I love teaching them English and forming relationships with them. And I take comfort in the fact that the Lord loves them even more than I do. I can see His relentless pursuit of them; I see Him drawing them to Him. He is moving all around us- opening doors in allowing us to teach English and share the Gospel in the temples, in massage parlors, and to Buddhist monks who have willingly said that they want to learn about the Lord.
I have this hope because I know that the power of the Lord is much bigger than my inability to speak Thai and much stronger than the influence of the Enemy here. I have this hope because I know that even when I leave, the work will still continue. I have this hope because seeds are being planted and sowed in this country. I have this hope because He has reminded me that He is always present and moving even in the “small things.” I have this hope because I know that the Lord is still the king of these people even if they don’t know it yet.
If I’m honest, I have not prayed enough for these people. I see the need and think of it often, but I must remember that the Lord covets the prayers of those speaking on the behalf of those who do not know him.
So please continue to pray.
Pray for the power of the enemy to be broken here. 
Pray for hearts to be opened to the truth. 
Pray for the walls of these temples to be destroyed and replaced with the presence of the Lord.