There's a fire in my heart to see all people groups without the gospel reached, but for me there's especially a burden for lost people who follow Islam.
Well, I've got a short letter for you guys this month! I won't lie, I've struggled a bit to figure out what to write about this month. There are quite a few things I could share on, but every time I've sat down to write, I can't seem to phrase myself quite right. Sometimes, that just happens. Usually for me it looks like struggling through my second language, but on occasion my English thoughts get just as garbled. I start forgetting the words in both languages and the conversation just ends. With both people. Staring and confused. For this week, my writing has become a jumbled mess of thoughts in two languages.
I have been reminiscing a lot this month. Thinking about the last eight months, how God led me to Thailand, all of the dreams he has put in my heart. I remember first getting to Thailand on outreach and being amazed by our missionary host being able to order a fried omelet. (ไข่เจียว) Now, I can order pretty much any food I want, and read a menu verrrryyy slowly. ชบาเขียนภาษาไทยด้วย! (I can write in Thai too! Note: ชบา pronounced "shaba" is my Thai nickname. Often when speaking to friends, pronouns are dropped and speakers will use their own name for "I")
Like I mentioned, I've been thinking about how God led me here. One thing I have been pondering is the heart God has given me for certain people groups. Before I knew I would be moving to Thailand, I seriously thought God might have been calling me to the Middle East. In 2021 when the American troops got pulled out of Afghanistan, I remember my heart breaking for those people. Of course as believers in Christ our heart breaks for lost people, and especially those in crisis. For me while my heart breaks for any lost person in a crisis, this was something especially devastating. Almost as if a close friend of mine was caught in the warfare. Going on from that point, and through outreach as well, I realized God has placed a burden upon my heart especially for those who follow the Islamic faith.
Psalm 37:4 "Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart."
It's not as if my heart doesn't break for my Buddhist neighbors. They are some of the kindest people I've met, and they still don't know that Jesus already paid for their Karma. I am so thankful that God is placing these wonderful people in my life. That in time I might be able to share the truth with them that they don't have to abide by an unfair law. Offering sacrifices and hoping the spirits are appeased and they've made enough merit to reincarnate better off than they are now. There are roughly 500 million Buddhists worldwide, many of which live in unreached countries. In Thailand there are roughly 63 million people following Buddhism, unknowing that Jesus came to save them.
That being said, here in the south of Thailand, there are roughly three million Muslims in the same position of unawareness as their fellow Buddhist compatriots. It burns on my heart that we have a similar foundation to religion, and yet they miss the sweetness of truth. They miss the compassion of Jesus who doesn't expect perfect adherence to the law but rather a repentant heart. This compassion that chose to let himself take on the wrath of God for our crimes against him, and give us the joy of repentance and the assurance of eternal life.
This month, Ramadan has begun. I wanted to get ahead of the curve, but unfortunately it snuck up on me. That doesn't change that I will be praying for my Muslim friends here in Trang, and all of southern Thailand, as they fast to get closer to Allah. My prayers for them is that instead of visions of Allah, they would receive visions of Jesus, the man in white, and that they would be met with Christians to explain their visions. I ask of you to please partner with me in prayer. To pray not only for all of the Thai Buddhists, but for the Thai Muslims. Pray with me during this time of their fasting, that God would in his timing give us opportunity to share the truth with these people.
Urgent Prayer Request!!!
In the last month we have discovered that a cult (a spinoff of Christianity) has moved into Trang. We knew that this cult was here in Trang years ago, but they left due to covid. Now, they have moved back and intend to make followers. Please be praying that they would not have any influence, and that they would not inhibit the true gospel going forth. Additionally, we want to see those members come to truth. They are simply deceived. We want them to come to salvation just as much as we want to see out Buddhist and Muslim neighbors follow Christ.
I just got back from the YWAM Southern Thailand conference. This was the first time that YWAM Trang has been introduced as a whole to the greater YWAM in Thailand. I was so encouraged to hear the stories from my fellow running mates on how God brought them to Thailand, and sustained them throughout the years. There were many things shared, and many thoughts I want to ponder on. Maybe sometime in the future I can share more. Or if you want to hear personally contact me. For now, tfhe biggest takeaway was to have faith that God will bring about his plans, and they are bigger than we can imagine.
Sometimes I can get discouraged, but God truly has a good plan for his people. He wants to see those who have never heard come to worship him even more than I do. If we have faith and if we persist and if we keep asking for God to use us he will. It's in his nature. He answers when we call. He's a good God and when our hearts burden for his purpose he fulfills those desires in our hearts.
I'm so thankful to have met these people, and that we get to serve God and partner together. I am already looking for ways to partner with my family. It's so crazy to me that in just a few years God can move so miraculously as to double the amount of YWAMers in the South. Once called the "Forgotten South" because of it's lack of missionaries, God has already begun to show, we are not forgotten. He only has bigger and better plans to come.
In May I will be taking two trips. I'll keep their description brief, but I will be going to meet a family member in a different South Asian country! I am so excited to go and see them, as well as visit a new country. But! Here's a challenge for all of you... The first person to guess what country I will be vacationing to with my family member will get a small box of Thai snacks! You can find my contact on the contact page of my website. Like I said, first right answer wins, so make your guess quickly!
Also in May is another conference in the North Eastern part of Thailand. This conference is directly after my short vacation, so it will be a busy two weeks of traveling, fun, and meeting new people. At this conference there will be more people than the Southern Conference this weekend, so I can't wait to see even more of my YWAM family there!
Various pictures! Pictured left to right, top to bottom; a prayer walk through a temple graveyard, a Tokay gecko whose bite will send you to the hospital, drinking coffee on my (stopped) motorcycle, Obie just hanging out, a teeny tiny jing jok gecko, and the best sweet and sour fish that is to die for.
Well, the man I mentioned last letter is headed to DTS! All his finances were covered, and he is on his way now. All of us at YWAM Trang are so excited to see what God does over the next six months in his life.
Well, in a series of unfortunate events, I ended up having to buy a new phone. My phone was really old and I am excited to have a new one, it was just how all of this came about. To make a long story shorter, both my Thai bank and US bank stopped working. For the Thai bank I had to update my phone. When I updated my phone my data wouldn't work. I couldn't pay for my data because my bank needed data to log in. I contacted Apple by texting a customer service rep over WIFI, so I could set up an appointment only to find out my phone was toast. My US bank was fixed by making a phone call with my friends US number. Yesterday, I just bought a new phone, and then I got logged out of both bank accounts again. Finally, I called my US bank and I'm logged back in. I have data on my new phone and I can get into my Thai bank again! Phew! I honestly think it was an attack from the enemy, for all of this to break on the weekend I was going to meet my Southern Thailand family, but God had already provided for me to have the finances I needed for a new phone. Additionally, I still had a great time at the conference. God 1, enemy 0.
I want to make a request! Please send me any feedback you have for my website or these letters. I want this website to be useful to all of you, and include things from my life that you are curious about. I appreciate all of your input!
- Upcoming travel plans to work out smoothly.
- Pray for Muslims to receive revelations of Jesus instead of Allah during Ramadan.
- The members of the cult to come to Jesus, and that their work would be stopped.
- Continued unity for our team.
- God to continue prepping the hearts of all the Thai people to receive his glory.
-That culture shock would be prevented in our team, and for us to continue adjusting well to Thailand!