Our team decided to eat breakfast separately this morning, so Rachel and I walked to 7-11 (which is a HUGE deal here) to find something to munch on. I got some yogurt, Nescafe (also a big deal), and a dragon tea (yummy and berry-filled). We sat down to eat with the East Asian team, who was working on crafts to share with the Thai students, and improving their English.
At 11 we met our team and headed out to the university where we broke into our teams again to talk with students. The first few girls we met LOVED American cartoons, and were big fans of The Little Mermaid (my favorite Disney princess)! We asked them about their faith, but as the day went on, we continuously ran into the problem of people who wanted to accept Christ, but were fearful of alienating themselves from their families. As Americans, this was a hard topic for us to confront with them, so we invited them to our party, hoping to connect them with some Thai friends who had similar struggles with their families.
Around 3 a torrential downpour began which interrupted our conversations. No one could hear each other, and the sidewalks began to flood making it difficult to go places and find people, so our team sat down together and prayed for each other for awhile. The rain started clearing up when it was time to leave (naturally), so our teams met up and began the long ride home.
Most of my team had fried chicken for dinner, but because of the gluten thing (yay, fun) I had coconut cakes to make up for missing them at breakfast. I also tried lychee bubble for the first time! The lychee was absolutely delicious, but the bubbles were very filling, and there were absolutely too many.
When we got back we played a fun but fast round of fishbowl, then went to our separate rooms. I sat down to begin journaling, but was immediately overcome with how much fun I had been having, and how I didn’t want to go home. I had fallen in love with Thailand and all the beautiful people I was meeting and, more than any other mission trip I had been on, I really wished I had more time there.
Rachel walked in while I was all emotional, but she was having struggles of our own, so the two of us sat together and talked about life. She confessed what she was going through, and I shared my struggle with feeling selfish for enjoying our American team bonding more than going out and being with the Thai people. I told her I suspected it was rooted in the fact that I kept comparing this year’s trip to my former trip in Athens, where I connected with the people very easily, and the all spoke relatively decent English so it was easier for me to connect the love of Jesus to their life stories and what they were going through at the time. I felt guilty about all of these comparisons, but Rachel comforted me, telling me that it was okay that the ministry here was different than what we expected, and maybe more about being a prayer warrior, or a pretty face that invites someone to a party to hear the gospel, rather than being the primary evangelist. As I ended my day in prayer and rest, I lay in bed and hoped that the next day I could change my perspective.
“Wherever you are, be all there.”