We met missionaries in northern Thailand, and when our pastor asked about their work, that was the gentleman’s response. It was a tongue-in-cheek statement wrapped around a little bit of truth. We all laughed, not because it was funny, but because we understood.
Seems like life is like that too often, huh? Raising kids, being a good spouse, serving God…I do not know about you, but those six words pretty much sum up how I feel about how I do 90% of what I do. For the most part, this feeling comes from looking around me and seeing how everyone else (or even one person) does _________ differently from me. I begin to doubt my “why” and “how”, and wonder if I should do it their way.
The funny thing is, prior to coming to the mission field, I did not have this problem. If I was confident the path I was walking was the one the Lord had set before me, then I did not worry about what others thought. Don’t get me wrong–I’m not a rash person by any means. There is usually quite a bit of thought put into everything I do–from “why to “how”–but I have never been afraid of people disagreeing with me. As a matter of fact, someone once told me I had a gift of being able to state my opinion, feelings, or the facts of a situation, and just leave it there for the other person to deal with. This was an accurate description of me… until we moved here. All of a sudden, I started doubting EVERYTHING!!!!
I think part of this comes from the fact that I like rules, and there is not a good “Missionary Rule Book” to follow when you bring older kids to the mission field. I realized very quickly I was going to have to trust my Bible, and my husband. Easy to say, hard to practice! But over the past year, God has shown me again and again, He is in control. If I will just be still and let Him work, then it will all work out. That does not mean it will always be easy; but if I rely on His strength, it will get done. This is a great thing, because all that matters is getting His work done here in Thailand!
1 Corinthians 15:58 “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”
So Thailand is certainly different than America…different foods, different culture, different language, different people, different religion, etc, etc…
But different does not mean it is bad. I thought Bangkok would be neighborhoods, not skyscrapers. I also thought there would be a lot more American food, since Bangkok is so big. They do have American restaurants, but sometimes I am craving Chick-Fil-A like crazy, or some good Red Lobster Biscuits.
The language is pretty cool even though it can drive you BONKERS!!! Right now, I am learning how to read and write, and sometimes it can be the most frustrating thing in the world. But, it has probably been my favorite thing to learn so far, even though my throat hurts really bad after reading. Speaking is pretty cool, too, except if you use the wrong tone, you could totally offend someone or say a bad word (like I accidentally did).
Probably the thing I dislike the MOST is the…FOOD!!! Yes, I have psyched myself out of eating Thai food. I usually eat it every Sunday at church, unless it is way too spicy, and Thai people do like their food spicy! I guess I will have to get over that…and seafood. I have never liked seafood or spicy in my life. I have eaten shrimp on occasion, but other than that, I do not like seafood.
It is fun to make Thai friends. Right now, though, we live in a mainly Japanese condo. I can only say hello in Japanese, so I am not conversational in that language. We are moving next month to a more Thai area, so that should be nice. I just hope I do not make a fool out of myself when I try to speak Thai, but I will have to get over that as well.
So, Thailand is not bad. It is not America, but I still like it here. I enjoy the friendly people, even though it is sad that they do not know God. That is Who we are here to tell them about!
The way the buildings across from our condo turn gold when the sun rises.
The music of voices calling out prices in the market. I love going to the market!
Walking—I get to do lots of walking.
The Thai language. I love listening to them read!
Spicy papaya salad and sweet Phad Thai—especially with a Coke! Oh, and Basil Pork!
Eating watermelon all year! At about $1 for 1 kg (2.2 lbs), it is a staple in our house.
Teaching kids the Bible! Last week, all the kids were surrounding me as I read from a children’s Bible story book. I read too slowly, so they were all trying to see the book and read it to themselves. It was nothing less than wonderful!
Watching my kids adapt and grow.
Once you get outside of Bangkok, Thailand is a beautiful country. It is so green, with incredible views–and they have elephants! We hope to be able to visit one of the beaches here soon, because we hear they are just as pretty as ours in Pensacola.
Seeing my husband live the dream God has put in his heart.
Learning something new everyday. It might be a new word, trying a new food, meeting a new person, or understanding a verse in the Thai Bible. Since moving here, there has not been a single day that I have not learned something new.
This list could go on and on…truly…but none of us have time for that!
1 Chronicles 16:31 “Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice: and let men say among the nations, The LORD reigneth.”
Hi! My name is Rachael and I am a child of God. I was saved from sin and all its bondage at the age of 21. I am married to an incredible man. He constantly challenges me to grow closer to my Saviour. We have three beautiful children that love the Lord. Currently, our family is preparing to go to Thailand as missionaries.