“Thank you for being in your place”…this phrase is one that my pastor says often to our church family. Every time I hear it, it reminds me that I have a responsibility to be present and to serve. It is my personal opinion that God’s desire for me to “be in my place” is not limited to the local church alone. I believe that any time we are gathering with other believers (whether it’s at a church or with a short term mission team in Thailand), Jesus is present and God is pleased. Serving in Thailand, gave me another unique privilege of “being in my place” along with 17 new brothers and sisters of the faith.
Being in our place, gave us the opportunity to encourage and strengthen one another. When we faced difficult moments, joyous moments, special moments…how wonderful it was to have each other. I also hope our presence gave our missionaries, Doug and Cheryl Derbyshire a sense of Christian community. Being in a part of the world where you are the spiritual minority (less than 1% of the Thai population are Christians),I hope our team encouraged them and gave them hope for the future of their ministry.
As I write this last post about my trip to Thailand, I imagine what the world would be like if every believer was “in their place” and faithfully serving as Christ modeled for us. Stepping out in faith to serve boldly, surrendering all to go into the world and make disciples. It’s the real cost of discipleship and as I recall all that we observed and experienced, this truth from Luke 10:2, stands out in my mind: “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. This truth represents the great need in Thailand but is true here in America also…at your job, your school, in your neighborhood. It is a matter of sending the gospel to a dying world and we are the vehicles for spreading the life-giving, good news that can save souls.
I look forward to and pray for future opportunities to serve with my CASM team members in Thailand and other parts of the world. I’m grateful to our church for supporting, teaching and encouraging us to “be in our place” using the gifts and talents God has given each of us to bring glory to His name.
Doug and Cheryl, thank you for being in your place! For over 20 years, you have faithfully served our Lord and are fulfilling the call He has placed on your lives, so that some may be saved and brought into the kingdom. May you be blessed with much love, joy, patience and abounding grace to persevere in your ministry.