Before leaving on this mission trip, Sarah tasked us with looking for signs of where Jesus is on the move in this corner of the world. Before arriving, I expected it to be difficult because we’re here to come along side children and young women who have experienced atrocities. There is poverty and plenty of heartbreak to go around in the area in question. But upon arriving at the Feed My Sheep Center, we found a place not of painfulness, but of great joyfulness. All a person has to do when seeking Jesus is to spend one day with these women and children.
The kids who populate the safe house run the gamut from little peanuts who are only six years old to young women in their late teens. All who live there have suffered from intensely negative experiences and yet they were bursting with gladness. That’s the word that comes to mind. They were supportive of each other, were loving towards each other, quick to smile, quick to laugh and seemed to truly delight for each other when something positive was happening.
What struck us was how much fun they could have with so little. The boys, along with a bunch of our guys, played soccer outside on a cement patio with a glorified whiffle ball and had an amazing time. Inside a few boys and a bunch of girls played Candy Land, Uno and other card games. If there were too few pieces for all who wanted to join in, they happily watched and laughed along with other’s triumphs. It took a few of us a little while to figure out how to join in with so few games to work with and then gradually came to understand that it’s just about hanging out together.
It seemed too good to be true, so I asked Lek (one of the amazing women who run the safe house) and she confirmed that the kids and young women really are that way.
In the evening, upon our return to the hotel, our group talked about how this crazy joyfulness could come about, and what we alighted upon is the redemptive healing of Jesus, and a large dose of love doled out by Lek and Irene. Knowing they are loved allows the kids to move beyond the pain to the joyfulness. They live in great simplicity with no extras to speak of, yet they have a family, a community, and love—much so that it bubbles out of them.
In this predominantly non-Christian part of the world, Jesus is here. He’s here and we’re seeing Him through the amazing Christians working here.
The Thailand Team (in no particular order…)