This post is a day late because I was not able to get Wi-Fi yesterday.
How can I even begin to describe yesterday? There is much that was done, but more importantly, there is much that has affected the very core of who I am. We started off the day by dividing up and doing different service projects. The other group did flood clean-up, but our group went to clean up and paint at a community park that is located just outside one of the Nazarene churches in Bangkok.
I was assigned to cleaning up trash and leaves. We are all working right alongside the Thai people in the community, most of which are not Christian. It was a great opportunity for the people to hear that out efforts and works are motivated by our love of God, not because we are trying to earn merit, which is a high belief in Buddhist culture and religion. I was right next to a man, carrying baskets of leaves back and forth to a garbage truck. I am not entirely sure why, but there were a group of men that would laugh every time I would come over. It is definitely a struggle having that language barrier. If I were on a mission trip in the States, or somewhere where they spoke English, I would able to ask them questions about themselves and their lives. But, since I can only say hello and thank you in Thai, I felt handicapped. It was difficult, but it serves as a reminder for how people who cannot speak English must feel when they are in America.
We were cleaning and a man was walking with a little girl who was only a little over a year old. They came to the park and so the girl from our group and I said hello to the little girl. She appeared afraid of us. Eventually she smiled. We asked her what her name was, and the man told us her name was Jenny. We invited them to the event that would be held at the church later that night. It maybe wasn’t much, but I am told that you never know about the power of the seeds you plant.
We came back and got cleaned up for the international fair that we were putting on at a different community park. We went to the park where they have recently planted a church. Let me just tell you that I think this is the coolest way to plant a church. They started by providing games and English classes (through teaching Bible stories) for the children. They know that children will tell her parents what they are learning. They are building the church though children. Now I will be the first to admit that my strength is not children’s ministry, but this is powerful.
After spending some time just playing with the children and sharing a meal together (including some really delicious coconut ice cream), we put on a little performance that we called an intentional fair. Since we had several countries represented just in our group (we had already been broken into three groups that went to different church sites), we each did something to show our culture. I’m from the Midwest, so we line danced. Yeah, we are probably not that creative, but you know, it is whatever.
There were probably at least 300 children there plus about 150 parents. It was awesome. Words can’t really describe how powerful the moments of these last few days have been. God is awesome. There are greater things to be done in this city, no question. God deserves all the glory. Please pray for the lives of the people that we interacted with. Pray that God works in this city.