"All joy ... emphasizes our pilgrim status; always reminds, beckons, awakens desire. Our best havings are wantings. - C.S. Lewis
Sunday, June 16, 2013
Thursday, June 13, 2013
If you look closely at the picture above, you can see piles and piles of books. One morning, two team members and I just carried all of these books to the temporary library. We had a group of children who were supposed to be helping us...and they would, except that every time they carried a stack, they would get so excited that they would stop to read. Very soon, the library looked like this:
As much as we would have loved their help carrying (it sure was a lot of books!), it was exciting to see the passion that they have for reading. For most of them, they are the first people in their family who have ever been able to read. Their parents and grandparents have never even had the opportunity to learn. But by God's grace, they can.
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
|I don't have any pictures from the airport...so you get a rice paddy instead.|
As much as it was the worst news to receive so quickly after coming back to the States, I also felt prepared. I had just spent three weeks seeing incredible testimonies of God's providence and sovereignty. Our first flight to Thailand ended up arriving 2 1/2 hours late, and we were an hour late for our flight to Bangkok. We thought that we would be spending the night in Taipei. But in His mercy and because He is good, the airline held the flight for our team and four or five others. His plans are perfect.
In Thailand, I saw a beautiful picture of how the Lord knits together a story for His glory and the good of His people. I practiced trusting that goodness through illness, exhaustion, poverty, and disunity in our team. And so when I received the phone call yesterday, I felt ready.
More than that, I had just seen how the Lord changes hearts. My grandma is very hard-hearted...she does not know Jesus, nor does she want to. I have no false hope. The Lord's will is always done, even when it breaks my heart. My grandma may die apart from His grace.
But there was this thief on the cross...
I serve a God who softens even the hardest of hearts. There are hearts of drug addicts and broken women who now believe the gospel in a little village called Mah Oh Jo, a village that everyone else had forgotten or hated, but my God sought out and pursued. I pray that He pursues my grandma in the same way.
So as I sit in this airport, it feels strangely right. Life is an adventure, one that never stops. I am resting in the goodness of God that I have known so clearly. I feel empty; I'm tired, emotionally and physically. My body doesn't know when to sleep and when to be awake. But I also feel so very full of the right things. Full of trust, full of peace. The Lord's timing is perfect.
Monday, June 10, 2013
When I visited Thailand in December last time, it was pretty. But these past three weeks were gloriously beautiful. Here is just a small sampling of the beautiful skies we witnessed...I couldn't get pictures of the stars and the lightning storms.
It's 2:30 am (hello, jet lag!) and I arrived safely home from Thailand about an hour ago. These last three weeks have been encouraging, strengthening, thought-provoking, refreshing, wonderful and so hard all at the same time. Over this next week, I will upload pictures and share some of the stories of our time there. I am so thankful for this time and I cannot wait to share some of the works of the Lord in and through His people in Northern Thailand!