What footwear will we need? Will our luggage weight allowance be enough for the things we’re bringing over? What will the accommodation be like? How many international adaptors shall we bring? What will we do for drinking water when we’re there? How will we cope with three flights on a journey of over 30 hours from Sydney to Nakhon Si Thammarat? These were just some of the things we raised during our team meeting, a week before our team leave for our short term mission trip to Southern Thailand. In the midst of all these questions, it was easy to feel a little anxious, and lose start to lose sight of why we are going.
Yet as I read through The Journey Guide, I was encouraged by this, under ‘Helpful hints for crossing cultures’:
“Use the opportunity to grow spiritually: Trust that God knows what it will take to make your heart look like His Son’s and experience a little of His love for the world. Allow Him to use the challenges and difficulties you face in crossing cultures to mold you into someone that reflects Christ’s character and draws those who do not know him into His glory!” (page 33)
This put our fears and apprehension about the unknowns of our trip into perspective. We don’t know what we will face, as we leave our familiar home and step into a foreign culture. Yet we do know that God loves the people of Thailand. We also know that God will be with us, and trust He will enable and use our ministry alongside long term missionaries, to draw Thai people to Himself. For the sake God’s glory, the saving of those lost without God, and our becoming more like Jesus, it will be worth it!
Please pray this for each of us on the short term team: that God will indeed use this opportunity to grow us spiritually, to make our heart look more like His Son’s, enable us to experience a little of His love for the world, and draw those who do not yet know Him into His glory.
Thank you for being part of this mission trip with us through your prayer. Let’s see how God will work as we set off on Monday 7th December.