Lamenting Brings Rejoicing

When I started to update my blog, it was going to be filled with travel photos from the past 10 years as a way to commemorate 2020. 

 

 

 

 

 

Then COVID-19 hit and life was disrupted. 

But nothing describes the disruption of life than the death of George Floyd

            and Breonna Taylorkilled in her own home

                        and Armaud Arberykilled while jogging

                                    The Charleston 9killed at bible study

                                                 and so many more. 

Nothing describes the disruption of life than to watch the murder of a human being, not of old age or disease but by the hands of another human being. 

Nothing describes the disruption of life than to watch the last breath of a man while three individuals stood by and watched. 

Nothing describes the disruption of life, 8 minutes and 46 seconds, which ultimately ended a life.

So I write this with a mix of emotions:  disillusioned, scared, angry, grieving, hurt, angst, sadness, frustration and lamenting.  Deeply lamenting because of the many lives lost and the injustices (both big and small), that never seem to go away. There are too many to count and I find myself lamenting and just plain weary. 

Lament : to mourn aloud; feeling or expressing sorrow or grief.

Once again, I’m having conversations with family and friends and we share the spectrum of emotions.  Once again, I’m having conversation with those who are not people of color, who ask,  “what can I do?” (thank you for asking) or simply send their love and say, “I stand with you”.    The work conversations, television coverage, and my social media filled with conversations, images and hashtags of people of color who have been mistreated or unjustly murdered…all while living in a pandemic.  And this doesn’t even include the daily self-awareness needed to navigate society.  Exhausting.  

Practically speaking and simply put, if you respect and value others,

  • You will educate yourself… you will read…. you will listen
  • You will choose to be an ally and advocate
  • You will seek diversity in your circle of friends
  • You will treat others with the same respect as your family and friends.

It doesn’t fix everything.  Yet it’s a start.  A start to long term, deep work that requires grace, mercy and a lot of patience. 

“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. Every person can make a difference. We must stand together to honor the image of God and human dignity in all men and women that will heal the racism in America.”     ~Dr. Martin Luther King

As I daily seek to see reconcile what I have personally experienced and the experiences of family, friends and colleagues, through a biblical lens,  I find my questions shifting from “What is going on and why ?” to….

 “Lord, what would you have me learn about you in all of this?”  “What do you want me to learn about myself?”

I know the answers to these hard questions will last a lifetime and will require me to continue reading, meditating upon and applying God’s Word to my life.  Only there can I find wisdom and understanding

When I reflect and remember that God is sovereign in ALL things and that none of what is happening in the world has caught Him by surprise, I find comfort.

When I am remembering the goodness of the Lord, which is often found in and through trials, I find hope and peace.

When I stand in awe of His omnipotence, I know that justice will not be denied.  Then, I find boldness and courage.

 

Lamenting Brings Rejoicing.

I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever”     Ps. 86:12

Back to Thailand

Since my last post to Thailand, two years ago, I’ve had the privilege of returning two more times to serve on short term mission teams. These trips were a bit different than earlier trips, as I was able to serve in the mobile medical clinics! What a blessing to travel into the rural areas of Thailand, far outside the bustling city of Bangkok.

My words can’t fully describe these experiences but God’s word can. His command to: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” is one that compels me to go and show in word and deed, the saving and amazing love of Christ.

This collection of photos provides a glimpse of the opportunity to serve, minister and share the love of Christ.

“Soli Deo Gloria”…To God be the Glory!

Now that jet lag is slowly dissipating…I have a few lingering thoughts and impression as I bring some closure to my mission trip to Thailand.  After five visits to this amazing, beautiful country, I have to say THIS trip was life changing.  My heart overflows with much love, joy and hope for the people of Thailand.

The medical ministry that Doug and Cheryl Derbyshire have devoted 25 years of their lives to, is an amazing gift to this country and it has been a privilege to serve alongside them and their Thai team.

Being able to participate in the mobile medical clinic this year, gave me another perspective of this ministry and the mandate to “go and make disciples”.  

 

Doug, Cheryl and their team are God’s healing servants for the physical and spiritual needs of the people.  Ever hopeful and tirelessly laboring until every person was reached.  Thank you for the privilege to participate in a small way in a ministry that you have given your life to.

 

Thank you for demonstrating what it looks like to offer a place of love, compassionate care, and hope.

 

 

They come seeking and needing…your knowledge, your attention, your care, your understanding, your smile and your respect.

 

 

They come and you and your team tells them about Christ’s love for them, you point them to Christ by sharing the life-saving words of the gospel, you show them the only truth that sets them free.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


To learn more about and follow this ministry, go:  Lifelines to Heaven

“Soli Deo Gloria” … To God be the Glory

 

Joyful, Joyful

After a 7 hour drive from our previous day’s location, we arrived safely to our last mobile clinic day. The long road trip gave our team time to reflect upon the week, pray for the people we have met and served and see the beautiful Thailand countryside.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On this final day, our team spent only 4 hours meeting the needs of the community.  Yes…a 7 hour drive to spend only half a day there doesn’t quite make sense…by western standards but as Cheryl Derbyshire says:  “God’s economy makes sense.”  As a result of this long awaited visit to this community, we ministered to 133 patients and saw 33 professions of faith.  Plus  I was able to finish out the week co-leading our final mini-English camp with over 50 middle school students.  They learned about creation and heard the gospel in Thai.  Every day, I’ve watched and listened to the sharing of the gospel in Thai and even though I don’t fully understand Thai…I know the life changing effect of this message.  It never gets old as I watch the students and teachers being drawn in to the big story of creation, the fall, redemption and restoration is priceless.

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These numbers may sound small by western standards but when you realize that less than ½ of 1% of the people of Thailand are Christians, you understand how important this is. Our team rejoices with the Thai believers in this miraculous work!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the best moments of this day, occurred at the end of the day.   We ended the day with our usual practice of prayer…but this time it was different. The pastor asked that we all pray, simultaneously in our native language. Words can not describe this experience except to relate it to the passage in Acts 2: 1-4:

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house here they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

 

Losing to Gain

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This week, we have experienced life with groups of believers who given everything to follow Christ. In the face of extreme persecution and even death, they are boldly proclaiming “Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior” in all that they do and everywhere they go. This statement of faith carries significant importance when you are among a handful of believers in your entire town.

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Add to the mix….the understanding that if you profess belief in Christ and follow Him, you will lose your family, be abandoned by most everyone you know and face persecution. It is hard to truly articulate and understand their experiences, especially from the perspective of Americans who almost never faces the fear of being abandoned/isolated/persecuted because of their faith.

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Of the many lessons and blessings that have come from our Thai brothers and sisters, this one will stay with me:

Being a Christian is more than following a set of beliefs about Jesus, it’s necessary to actually follow Jesus.  There is a delight in being a disciple of Christ and discipling others but there is also a high cost. 

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What if….

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Mobile medical clinics began on Monday and it’s been quite an adventure for me and our team!  I’ve been slow in posting this blog and pictures because we are in areas of central Thailand where internet is very limited.    

In the course of this week. we will see hundreds of people of all ages, eagerly arriving from the town and surrounding vicinity.   It’s also been a  privilege to serve and meet the physical needs of individual, share the gospel of Christ and encourage the local Thai believers.  

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What continues to amaze after each trip to Thailand is that we are seeing people who have never heard about God, Jesus, the Bible.  It’s one thing to read about it but entirely different to meet these individuals personally.   In the course of this week, we have met many people in the community…including monks, entering the clinic for a physical concern and leaving with their heart, mind and soul exposed to the saving grace of the gospel.  

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Each community we served has only a handful of Thai believers but they are a persevering, bold and courageous group of believers who see as their primary purpose: proclaiming Christ to whoever is around and will listen.   These small groups are encouraged  by our presence and it motivates them to press on in Christ’s name.  One church of FIVE believers told us that they are already praying for a church building!  No elaborate building campaigns just the power of prayer and trusting Christ to do what He says He will do.  Initial life lessons or questions so far…

What if we didn’t freak out or become overwhelmed when we are challenged as believers to share our faith?

What if we stayed on the narrow path in our journey, keeping our eyes on Jesus?

What if we encouraged others to persevere in their faith and not quit?

What if we trusted God to God, trust Him and leave the rest to Him?

Sounds like a lot of trusting, obeying, sacrifice and surrender….the life of Christ and those who are His followers.

Blessings,

Kim

 

Night and Day

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The last 24 hours has been full of transition.  Transitioning flights, flight delays, body clocks, food taste, sleep patterns, climate and the biggest transition….a new culture.   But God has been gracious to give us all what we have needed to make the adjustment.

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Doug has provided us with spiritual guidance and direction to help us prepare to shine brightly in a dark place.  He reinforced our threefold purpose:

  1.  Do what we can to make God known
  2. Take care to bless God’s people
  3. Let God be seen in our faces

We had rich discussions about each of these purposes as we have viewed various aspects of the country and culture.  I find this to be great advice for every Christian to know and live by.

So, as we ready ourselves to join the Thai believers and enter into the communities to serve their physical needs, it is supremely important that we remember our primary purpose: Proclaiming Christ and making Him known.

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Let us not neglect to tell our relatives and friends that we have found the way of life…that we have tasted the bread of life and found it good.  Let us awaken to a deeper sense of our responsibility to “Go and tell” all who will hear.

Striving to bring Him glory,

Kim

 

 

 

 

 

THIS IS US

This Is Us!

We are just a week away from boarding our flight to Thailand to support our missionaries, Dr. Doug Derbyshire, his wife Cheryl.  This will be my fifth mission trip to Thailand and I can tell you that each visit is unique and filled with many blessings.  This year, we will be supporting and serving in mobile medical clinics in rural Thailand.  It will be quite an adventure, as we travel and serve in 3 different locations over a 5 day period.  

Our team this year is well prepared on the medical end with a doctor, a nurse and two firefighters on board.  I am honored to be a part of this year’s team and thankful for the support, both financially and spiritually, from family and friends that will allow me to serve once again.

Last night at our prayer fellowship, we were prepared and commissioned by our pastor and church with a message from Hebrews 12: 1-3:

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.        For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Keeps us in your prayers for protection and that we will be worthy ambassadors of Christ, as we travel to and from Bangkok and throughout the country of Thailand.

I plan to use this blog to post trip updates/pictures and an occasional Facebook Live post, depending on the wi-fi capabilities.

Love and blessings,

 

 

All on the Altar

meiying-ng-71590“Is your all on the altar of sacrifice laid?
Your heart does the Spirit control?
You can only be blest,
And have peace and sweet rest,
As you yield Him your body and soul.”

Eli­sha A. Hoff­man

Have I entrusted everything to God?  Possessions, job, health, family?  God’s word reminds and assures us that if we commit ourselves to Him each day and thank Him for every blessing, confidence in Him will survive any test.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.  Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.      Romans 12: 1-2

Christ’s lordship touches every area, every relationship, every concern of our lives. If we are willing to submit to Him, any loss in life can be seen as an opportunity of giving back to God what is rightfully His and trusting Him to provide what is needed.