By the Creek

the creek was my favorite spot when i was in huay bong village, chiang-mai, last week. i went up there to visit my friend’s family and experienced new adventure. because only few people would speak thai with me, i was put in a position where i had to force all my karen language skills to use, even as little as it might be. very often, i found myself brain-fried and emotionally drained because of the effort to understand the language and to please the villagers.

i was pushed to the edge both in physicality and mentality. my friend didn’t treat me as a guest but as a part of his family, which means i couldn’t just sit around and be served. instead, i was asked (or even sometimes bossed around) to do the dishes, sweep the floor, carry logs, cut lemongrass, clean 6 river fish and cook. he intended to test me and train me so that i would at least have a taste of what it’s like to be a karen. and if i said i wanted to be a missionary for the karen tribe, then i needed this lesson. but like refined gold, one must go through trials to receive the crown.

i shed many tears for the sake of my self-worth, doubts and physical pain.

in those moments, i usually walked across the field of grass to the other side where butterflies fluttered quiet and dragonflies landed softly on pebbles. i would sit there, toes deep in the water, ignorant of the hours passed, listening to the gurgling sound of the stream and be filled.

nature puts me back into perspective. branches sticking out from different kinds of trees, bearing different type of fruits; flowers delicately woven for eyes like mine to behold and the immovable mountains that can crumble with just God’s whisper. they represented His creativity, tenderness and majesty. as i sat there, i worshipped Him…the God of abraham, isaac and jacob…my God.

the scripture from psalm 146:3-5 rang clearly in my mind like the gurgling noise of the creek:

“do not put your trust in princes, nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help. his spirit departs, he returns to his earth; in that very day his plans perish. happy is he who has the God of jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God.”

by the creek, together with God, the song of sparrows spoke comfort to my sorrowful heart. the breeze gently wiped away tears from my eyes. and the mountain wrapped its strong arm around me.

though the journey towards my vision of becoming a missionary in the karen tribe is daunting, and the constant “why me” plagues at my heart, the Spirit of the Lord has assured me that everything that is happening serves His purposes of redemption for mankind.

with this truth tucked securely in my heart, i rose up and determined to overthrow every struggle with the hope in the God of the universe and with the strength of the One who says, “i have overcome the world”.


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

3 responses to “By the Creek

  • Percy

    Wow! You are a really good writer. I speak a second language, Spanish, but I am not nearly as good in it as you are in English. I enjoy writing and speaking Spanish, but my musings aren’t nearly as poetic as yours.

    A girl from my old church traveled to Thailand as a missionary. She was with a group called YWAM, which stands for Youth With a Mission.

    How did you come to know Christ?

    • Minkster

      hi, percy! thank you so much for stopping by my corner. 🙂 and thanks for the compliment! you’ve had some privileges being able to speak spanish. many people, including myself, have tried but, at least for me, to no avail.

      i do know YWAM and visited its office a few times. is she still in Thailand? i came to know Christ about 9 years ago through a Campus Crusade for Christ’s camp. it’s a long story. but to put it short, i came from a strong buddhist family, whose root is deep in rituals and ceremonies. i always wondered if what we were doing at that time really mattered…if the gods would save us. of course, they didn’t, proved by the death of my dad. i also wondered what would happen to me after i died. so i started seeking answer to my question. through the camp, i found that Jesus is the answer so i received Him into my life that day.

      thanks for asking, percy. you reminded me that i had never shared my testimony up here. i already wrote it a while back and posted it on facebook. but this will be just another perfect place to share it too. i hope you eventually feel sleepy and can go to bed. 🙂 may the God of peace shower His blessings and peace over you tonight.

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