this is it. the farewell dinner…an unexpected glimpse of random indian wedding…and goodbye. 10 full days of sleepless nights, exhaustion and fried brain. but also 10 full days of tears, laughter and transformation. God has done amazing things within me and every member of the group.
i am not sure how i feel at the moment. i am half relieved and half sad. but goodbye has been a big part of my life that i am now able to hug people and not cry.
throughout the trip, i have learnt a lot about God’s grace and sovereignty through my own flaws and weaknesses. i know that the trip wouldn’t turn out as great as it was if it weren’t for many dedicated workers who are behind it: my manager, ying; my team leader, yui (oh…how she pored over those sheets of papers with schedules and numbers and how tireless she worked); the wonderful US staff, brad, mark and victoria; the TH staff who was so willing to help us do whatever we asked…even going to the market to get mangoes and sticky rice; the project staff who organized everything so smoothly for us and all the tour members. i am so grateful that God put us together so perfectly.
throughout the trip, i have met amazing people who are God’s servants…who work on the frontline of different battle fields…whose goal is to win the hearts of sinners and lead them to God’s kingdom. i hope to be able to write about them more in the upcoming posts.
my thoughts aren’t so organized at the moment. but i think this is the time, when memories are still fresh, to reflect on what had happened in these past 10 days. so i am going to split it into 2 categories; sorrow and joy.
my sorrow (or rather, struggles):
– the sense of inadequacy. each day, i had to claim my identity in Christ back…to remind myself that i am God’s beloved and that i am His tool to bring His plan to completion with obedience on my part.
– the sense of failure. apart from feeling not good enough, i sometimes felt like i failed. i often wished i could be more mature, careful and goal-oriented. when i looked at those around me who seemed to be on top of their jobs, i felt so small. when i made mistakes, i felt like i failed…and wasn’t worthy of the tasks.
– the sense of helplessness. we visited many places with great needs. what hit me the most was the stop at pattaya city where prostitution and child abuse were most obvious. when one was standing among the dark place like that, it was difficult to see past the veil and believe that God was real.
– deep exhaustion. sleep was scarce. it didn’t hit me until yesterday after i drank a cup of iced mocha. suddenly, i was tired without any reasons. i was standing sleeping! when i am tired, my brain doesn’t think straight. and it affected my concentration. i am still wondering how i could pull through those translating sessions with my brain so fried like that. the answer is – God was the One who worked in me.
Now let’s look at my joy. the Bible teaches us to count the blessings. here it is:
– people. they made me laugh so hard…especially when i was tired. they always told incredible jokes or sang some funny song…like the american twisted “joy to the world”.
– food. is. bliss. i am sure i had gained so much weight on this trip. food at the projects. buffet breakfast at the hotel. international buffet at nongnuch garden. mango and sticky rice. coffee and tea. fruits. roti. coconut shake. turkey sandwich. cheese crackers. fried chicken. mmmmm.
– children. i used to say that the touch of children fuel me to go on each day. it is still true now. their small hands wrapped around mine. their arms clung around my neck. the smell of their sweaty head (it might sound gross…but i was fine with that. i am actually addicted to that). the tiny body crawling on to my lap. the tight hug. the smile. their innocent eyes. children make me so alive and give me the reason to live.
– the unchanging state of G0d. for someone who is forever changing like me, knowing that God is going to love me despite my failure today puts me at rest. i thank God that He was in control in every situation that happened.
so this is the brief version of my thoughts. now i am typing and sleeping all at the same time. so i’d better go and brush my teeth before i slip myself under the blankets.
more pictures are to come. stay tuned.