One year ago June 20th, I boarded a plane for Asia. Over this last year, I have experienced so much. To be honest, I feel as if this last year has been one of the hardest in my life. I had expected challenges and homesickness but not to this degree. However, I have also come to understand more about our loving Saviour and my relationship with Him. My thankfulness for Him continues to grow and I pray that God would continue to use me to invite Thai and S people to come and join in worshipping Him. He is indeed worthy to be praised!
Back during the Christmas season, my team leader encouraged me to share my weaknesses with others, especially with other S and Thai believers. If we don’t share our struggles and challenges with them, they may perceive us as a special breed of humanity – ones who are always strong, and always know what they’re doing. However, we are human. We have fears and struggles along with everyone else. We are also on this journey called life. We are also in the process of being grown by the Lord Our God.
Since I received my team leader’s recommendation, I have shared with a few other S and Thai believers about some of my struggles with homesickness, and adjusting to life as a missionary in a foreign country. There are 4 occasions that stand out in my mind. In each situation, I hadn’t necessarily been planning on sharing, but felt led by the Lord to do so. In each situation, the Lord used these sisters in Christ to encourage me and deepen our friendship/relationship. Their kind words have meant so much to me. One friend gave me Joshua 1:9 as a verse to read. Another friend, who was my previous Thai teacher, prayed for me as I cried in her office. She has shared much wisdom with me and the Lord continues to use her to speak into my life. A friend at church repeated over and over “Phra Jaow duu leh” (God is looking after you and will keep looking after you). And most recently, another sister at church shared with me her similar struggles. She is the one that I mentioned last year who feels called to another people group. She said that our personalities are very similar and she understands full well how hard it is to go and serve far away from home. She said that I should ask God to give me a close friend (“pheu-an sanit”). Please pray that I would be able to make some good, close friendships in the village I’ll be moving to next month.
James 1:2-4 talks about considering trials pure joy because they develop perseverance, which in turn leads to maturity in one’s faith. Pray that God would use these challenges in my life to not only develop perseverance and continuing maturity in my walk with Him, but ultimately that HE would be glorified.