it was a full weekend. i half hoped that i would be able to get lazy, lay around in my room with both TV and computer on, eat junk food and not have to do laundry. well, i did get to do all those things…for three hours. for the rest of my saturday and sunday, i spent at church.
having pulled myself out of comfy cushions, i quickly threw a t-shirt and a pair of shorts into my tote bag along with toothbrush, toothpaste, yancey’s “soul survivor” and the bible. i was running late so i shuffled my legs as fast as i could. i hopped on a red truck, hopped off and hopped on a yellow truck (yes, chiang-mai has colorful transportation. there are red, yellow, green, blue and white. i wish they’d add pink and purple to the transportation system). as i strode toward the church, something amazing happened.
i was feeling grumpy and poopy because i felt that coming to church on a weekend wasn’t a kind of fun i was looking for at the moment. i also had that nagging sense of guilt and wanted to hide from Him more than go into His presence. while i got closer to the church, i became more aware of my surroundings. the green rice plants were swaying against the evening breeze. the clouds were easing slowly as the sun started to set. and the half rainbow arched on the eastern sky over the lahu church’s green roof. God was inviting me into His gate…His kingdom. what a contrast! the loving God was welcoming a bad-tempered woman like me! grace…so sweet.
anyway, youth group had the fast and pray night on saturday. it was the first time for all of us to fast and pray together at church. we were psyched up and energetic for the 1st two hours. the next 2 hours, i saw sleepy eyes, yawning and even some nodding heads. 🙂 we had a great time of worship and prayer. one of our prayer points was the flooding in thailand, which gets more severe day by day. it is one issue that i want you to join in interceding for our brothers and sisters, who have lost their homes, farms and loved ones. there will be a lot of homeless and hungry stomachs once rainy season is over.
today, we, girls, still groggy, slipped out of our blankets and sleeping bags (someone set up the alarm clock in the middle of night. and that someone had too deep of the sleep that she didn’t even hear the alarm set off. everyone except her and her friend was woken out of sleep because of the constant ring). at 7:00am, we had morning service. then at 10am, we had the usual service. i was singing 2 special items with the youth group and church’s choir band. it was neat. then in the afternoon, we had fellowship with the youth group from our neighboring church. we rode in two trucks (i was having my skin toasted within 15 minutes. the sun was scorching. there was no way to hide from it). when we got there, about ten people were already there. we danced, sang and played games together. then we worshipped the Lord. i got goosebumps. that gathering was genuine. although we barely knew each other, when God’s spirit was upon us, we were a band of brothers and sisters in Christ. we shouted praises to His name. we sang from the top of our lungs (i had never done that for a very long time. almost 3 years). we prayed together. it was neat…just being in that place and worshipping God with the people i love. this kind of love didn’t take place because of time and endurance. it was spontaneous, coming from the fact that we were God’s chosen people and we were there because God wanted us to be there. and we were siblings.
after youth group, we came back to our church and hung out. i learned two new cords from my karen-burmese friend. he is a great musician. i enjoyed being more acquainted with him. he’s come to the church for a month or even more…but i just started to feel comfortable enough being around him and goofing around with him. yeah, i take time with friendships and relationships. then we had the evening service and had dinner. then here i am…home at last.
it was a long weekend un-separated from the church. but i’m grateful to be back and active at the church again. i love spending time there…and i love the people there…adults, youth or even children.