Holy Ground

it has been an extremely long day. i went to the karen church this morning. it was my 2nd time there. but this time, mom and my friend from compassion weren’t with me. thankfully, God sent a guy, Woot, to befriend with me and translate for me. i practically had no idea what was being said in karen. but it’s my goal to learn and master the language, say, in 1 year. i don’t know how far i will get. with faith, everything is possible, right? 🙂

i’d been spending my whole day with the church’s youth group. they are fun to be with. i just wish i could understand karen better. i was able to sing along in one of the songs i got to practice with them yesterday. that was cool. 🙂 afterwards, we went to a member’s house to have a late lunch (it was 2:30 pm). i got to talk more with some of the people. then some of us went to a mall to get ice-cream while the others, including me, were content enough to stay at home and watch movie.

at 5:30, we drove to another member’s house for an evening service. on the way there, we passed a lot of elegant-looking houses. and i thought, “man, i’ve never known that there are some karens who are so well-off!” of course, my presumption came from the fact that i had no idea where we were going…until we turned into a construction site.

there were probably 5-6 trucks parked there. men, women and children were milling around the site. there were pots with rice boiling…sending the aroma that made my stomach rumble. i turned to my friend, “are these people here for the service?” he nodded. i was ushered into a small bamboo home, probably about 7 meters long and 3 meters wide. the space was very narrow and not so comfortable. but when i did the head count, there were 20 people crammed up in that place…not including some who were standing outside. it was unbelievable.

the leader led us in singing, praying and listening to the word of God (which, again, i had no clue what she was talking about). then all the youth stood up…and they looked at me like, “why aren’t you standing?” i was like, “what are we doing?” it was time for special song. (side note: karen people are musically talented. there has got to be at least 2 special items in every service) so i clumsily stood up, placed myself at the back row and began singing the song i only learned 2 hours ago, in karen. my reading skill is alright. i can read well enough if there is no music rhythm to keep up with. that was a fast song too. and i was tumbling through the song…but it was fun. i did something i never expected to do – praising God in a bamboo house filled with 20++ karen people on a construction site.

while i was sitting there, ignorant of what was being said, i just had this impression that God was there and so pleased with what we were doing. of course, God is with us everywhere. but at that particular moment, i felt like our hearts were tuned to God’s. from our brokenness, we sang worship to the Lord who reigns. from within the humble abode, He was being lifted up and glorified. and we worshipped Him…acknowledged His presence…accepted His gift – unity in faith. despite the language barrier and cultural differences, i was one with them, they were one with me, and we were one with the triune God. what Jesus prayed for the believers in john 17 took place this evening:

“i do not ask for these only (the twelve disciples), but also for those who will believe in Me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that You have sent Me.”

john 17:20-21

where brokenness and fellowship among believers are, it is a holy ground.

now i am headed to bed. my head is throbbing. but my spirit is lifted. i am learning to lay down my worries and rest my body in His embrace. Jesus is enough.


About Mink Gough

"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined the things that God has prepared for those who love him." 1 Corinthians 2:9 View all posts by Mink Gough

5 responses to “Holy Ground

  • Sharon

    Really loved reading your post today. It was awesome, I could imagine what the service was like. It made me think of the first church service I went to in Thailand in 2005. I almost cried through the whole thing, as it was such a powerful experience. There were about 28 of us and we were on one side of the church and the Thai people were on the other side. We all were there in one accord, and when we sang a song they had up on the screen in English and the Thai people sang in Thai. We were all praising God. It helped me get a small taste of Heaven with every tongue Praising God in one Spirit. You are such a blessing to me!!!!!

  • Juli Jarvis

    What an amazing experience — it’s sort of how I felt at the LDP graduation, praising God in a foreign language, not understanding anything being sung, but seeing the joy on everyone’s faces around me. I’m sure they were blessed by your presence too.

  • Sharon

    I think so as we all knew the song and what we were singing to Our King.

  • Minkster

    thank you guys for sharing the experiences! what amazing is that there will be many more to come for all of us.

    be blessed and be a blessings! 🙂

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