I’m back again, with more inspiring stories and recollections of the amazing things that happened during our mission trip to Chiangmai.
One of Pat’s routines was to go to a vocational school a couple times a week. There he was taking guitar classes, and at the same time he used that opportunity to look out for the boys who were also attending the school. Many of these boys were from an orphanage that he also frequented for his ministry work. While Pat took his classes, he sent us out to the streets. He tasked us to be friendly and speak to any foreigners that we met and talk to them about God if the opportunity arose. After all we could only speak English, and so having a conversation with local Thais would be difficult. Nervous but excited, we set out hoping for serendipity and divine appointments.
I was paired up with my awesome buddy for the trip, Bryan. And I’ve got to tell you that this guy really surprised me that day. He has always been a great friend, but that day I saw how he was so willing to go above and beyond what was necessary just to reach out to someone.
As we were walking along the outside of a mall, we noticed that there was a lady praying to an altar that had been erected in front of the mall. We see these altars almost everywhere in Thailand, but no one had explained to us yet what they represented and what role they played in the fabric of Thai society. We waited by the side until she was done with her prayers, and just as she was leaving we decided to ask her to explain to us what it all meant. She was obviously surprised when we approached her, but she immediately warmed up to us. She told us that she was running a snack outlet in the mall, but that business had been going badly for her because of the low traffic in the mall. She was praying to the idol, asking for blessing for her business. We talked until it was time for her to get her shop ready for business, and we told her that we would come visit her shop an hour later and buy some of her snacks. When we went to her shop later that morning, she beamed when we arrived. We asked her whether she would be alright if we prayed for her business, and she enthusiastically agreed, and so we went to the side and prayed for God to watch over and bless her business, and that through His provision she would know His love. Just as we were about to leave she told us that she was so touched by our actions, and that it was actually her birthday! It was so amazing, that God led us to her on such a special day.
Every time we gathered after our outreach sessions, we were all bursting to tell each other about the amazing encounters that we had. It was amazing to see even the transformation in our attitudes towards outreach. It was something that always seemed so daunting, but when we actually went out to do it, it was amazing to see how God could move through us simply through our willingness and sincere hearts.