The Inn | University Ministries | University Presbyterian Church | World Deputation

Bangkok Update #2

What do karaoke clubs, tropical islands, free lattes and honey boo boo have to do with ministry? Before Bangkok, I would have said they had absolutely nothing in common.Image

I guess I had this preconceived notion about what deputation would look like – and it wasn’t pretty. For some crazy reason, in my head, I had this scale with “fun” on one side and with “God” on the other. I could have some fun and some God, or all God and no fun, but I felt like I couldn’t have both. So you can imagine as I was getting ready for deputation how nervous I was. My balanced scale was about to be drastically tipped towards God.

At SeaTac airport, my inner drama queen took over. Instead of my REI travel backpack, I carried some variety of personal torture devise (a cross felt too BCE, was it an electric chair? Realistically though could I carry that on my back?).  I hugged my parents goodbye and told them I would be fine, as any decent martyr would, and prepared for a summer of following God.  I was about to live out the biblical command to “carry your cross daily” and it was going to suck.

Fast forward to now: we are sitting in a hotel room with air conditioning and free wifi on a tropical island. Yesterday, for Laura’s birthday, we got pedicures, ate every meal on the beachside restaurants and finished the day with a bevy of honey boo boo child youtube clips. I can honestly say that the hardest part of my day was figuring out the optimal time to put on sun screen to avoid getting sun burned while still getting that “yeah I was on a tropical island” glow. Is this real life?

This whole time, we were trying so hard to be selfless and serve, but God kept showering us with more and more blessings. That’s not to say that this trip has been easy. We have witnessed physical abuse, been surrounded (literally) by the sex industry and had to walk past people worshipping idols on every street corner. But I can honestly say God has been here the whole time. We have seen girls leave the sex industry only to go back into the bars for outreach, telling workers about what Jesus has done for them. The ladyboys we work with have taught us so much about being passionate and trusting in God. So even when times have been rough and I feel like God is challenging us, He has never left our sides and is only trying to make us better and more like Him.

In summary, God rox and life truly is so much better when focusing on Jesus. Although it took 20 years, I now think of fun as synonymous with a relationship with the J-Man. As the trip comes to a close, I really think the hardest part will be leaving the people we have grown to love and integrating back into American life (TG we can still watch Honey Boo Boo) but I know we will have each other and this amazing community. I’m sure everyone on deputation has had as many life changing encounters as we have and we can’t wait to hear about them!

Sawadeeka, Copcoonka, Cowtoteka and Sabideemiika,

^just throwing in literally every Thai phrase we know to seem cultured

Team Thailand

Yordanos, Laura and Lisa

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