After flying 23 hours….I have finally arrived in Thailand with our CASM Mission Team. Arriving at midnight into Bangkok airport with somewhere between 4-5 hours of sleep across many time zones, meant we were totally exhausted upon arrival. We are so thankful for the many prayers that prepared the way and allowed for safe, delay free flights through LA and Tokyo, enroute to Bangkok.
Today has been filled with a cultural orientation, preparations for the week and bible study from Dr. Doug and Cheryl Derbyshire (our missionary hosts) for our team and Gateway Baptist Church of Gilbert, AZ, our partners in this year’s mission. Fighting through the change in environment, oppressive humidity,cultural differences and varying levels of jet lag, our teams have come together to share Christ with the people of Thailand.
During the time we are here, we will teach English to 200 high school students by sharing the gospel. This good news will take various forms and creativity however the purpose and message will remain clear: we are here to proclaim God and the eternal life promised to those who turn from a life of sin and to Christ. As we listened and learned today from Dr. Doug, it will be a tough because of the many obstacles before us. Just imagine:
- • a place where no one has ever known a Christian or heard about Christ
- • a demon possessed, demon worshipping community
- • a place that is aggressively not welcoming to Christians
- • a place where accepting Christ means being kicked out of your home, family and community.
This is the reality here in Thailand and one in which we have the privilege of serving. The hope of planting the seeds of the gospel in the hearts and minds of teenagers is a pretty radical and seemingly impossible task that is only possible through God’s enabling power. We will NEED YOUR PRAYERS DAILY for the work that is ahead of us.
My call, our call is to stand firm in the face of obstacles and challenges and intentionally heed the command to: Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20