We came to Thailand do serve.. to do something.. to somehow make a difference in this land they call “land of the Free..” but with so little witness of the gospel. But looking back, I can see many things Thailand Missions has done for us.
Hunger for God
Since we came to Thailand we bid goodbye to dependence on self, family, and people. Not that we were self-dependent when we were in the Philippines, but it was easy to do that. I am just being reminded of “burning our boats and bridges”– we have nothing and no one to go home to, and there is no reason for us to turn back now. We have sold our business, someone else will live in our house. It is a painful thought, but at the same time, it is God saying, “just move on.. there is more.” It is Jesus gently asking, “do you love me more than these?” pointing to comfort, family, ministry, friends, home. In Thailand, every moment of the day is prayer time. I speak in tongues while doing the laundry, i cry in worship while cooking dinner and I just hunger for God like never before.
Nobody… but somebody
In Thailand nobody knows me. Nobody knows who my family is, nobody treats me special. I kind of like that… I am so tired of being in a family in a small city where everybody knows everybody. I am sick of the thought that I should be this because my family name dictates that I should be so. I just want to do God’s will, no matter what the cost. I walk in Bangkok streets and I ride the single motor everyday.. I ride on a songthew and I am just like anyone else. I am a nobody… but somebody in His eyes. In Thailand, I know, like never before, that I am being watched and cared for.. by a Heavenly Dad who never grows tired of loving me
Yes… cheesy! haha.. Maybe because we only have each other. Joey has health problems now, and it is a stressful thought. But we hold hands more often, hug more often and say “I love you” many, many times a day. The covenant we made is more real to us now like never before. This was what we always wanted, and this is where we are at this point in our lives. Everyday in Thailand is a love day– whether we have lots of food in the fridge or not… whether we have money in our account or not. We are a team. We are in this together. For better, for worse, til death do us part.
They were never this bonded! Back home, Ria was always with cousins, Balong engrossed with Playhouse Disney. Now, left with no choice, they make compromises… what video to watch, what game to play, what song to sing. Ria once said, “i never thought he could be a great friend”– but hmmm.. they do quarrel a lot! But well, don’t good friends do that?
A BETTER MOM
Back home I always entrusted my kids to people. No, not other people… but we can say, family. Like I said, Ria hanging out with cousins on weekends and Balong with Dad or Playhouse Disney. I don’t cook merienda for them, although I do cook food for meals. In Thailand I get to do everything.. alangan sa silingan ibilin? Abaw! haha! I am loving it. I love to take my kids when I go to grocery, I love telling them stories, I love it when they grab my hand and show me something funny in the film they are watching. I am amazed of how smart they are, memorizing the lines of their favorite movies. I am blown away when Balong imitates Hillsong London. My heart melts when both of them ask me, “can we help you, ma?” when they see me washing clothes or slicing vegetables or meat. Ria would always say of my home-cooked meals, “it’s not delicious, ma. It is very delicious!” wow.. pila ra gud akong kalipay no? hahay…
But before you can say that Thailand is a paradise, it is not. It cannot be. I know, there will be challenges ahead. There will be times that we will be misunderstood. There will be mountains to climb, there will be Goliaths to defeat. There will be difficult characters to deal with. Perhaps, God intended Thailand to be like this for us.. at such a time as this, to let us know how happy He is that we are here…at a point of no return. At a place of complete abandon and surrender.. at a place where His cloud leads us, for now. For the near future? Only He knows.