Tag Archives: village

(new) village work

Through a series of events, it’s been good to get moved into a different area of village work. I’ve been able to spend time in some refugee camps in the area. Each Monday evening, I’ve been part of a group that goes and teaches a Bible story in one of these camps.

This past week, I tried to take a video of two of the young kids “wai”ing me – basically, the polite Thai way to greet someone (instead of a handshake). However, they thought I was taking a picture, which resulted in a completely adorable video.

Enjoy.

Thousand Friends Update, July 26

Ok, so at this point, we’ve been going to the Thousand Friends village for more than three months. During that time, we have watched it grow.

On our first few weeks there, we only had a few kids. I got excited the week that we first had ten kids. Then, we had a few volunteers who were here from the summer come out with us. They took over the teaching – we teach English using a Bible story. We’ve been going through Creation to Christ, and have passed the part where Christ enters the world.

Each week as we tell the stories, we go through it in English and Thai. Then, we choose about 15 vocabulary words from the story, and review them together. Then, we act out the story. Every week, I have no end of volunteers who want to play the part of Jesus! 🙂

We end with a few games, which is fun. They are hard to beat at Simon Says. Red Rover actually works. Elbow tag leaves us all sweaty and giggly. We have great relationships with the kids – they love it when we come.

The past few weeks, since we’ve had a few volunteers joining us, I’ve had the chance to go out and talk to a few of the women in the village. One is very interested in meeting together – not sure where we stand with that right now. She has to work often, and doesn’t have a lot of time. However, we have had time to sit in her house for several weeks, and just chit-chat about life – our families, our work, etc. It’s been really fun, and the good thing about conversations like that is that it shows me that my Thai doesn’t suck as bad as I feel it does.

I’m getting better, really!

As far as 1000 friends village goes, we’re going to keep going and keep teaching. The kids are interested, and we are approaching the point where we’ll be asking the major question –

do you believe?

I don’t know what the answer will be then, but I’m waiting with bated breath for sure.

Back to 1,000 Friends

So I’ve either had way too much to blog about, or not enough lately. The problem has been that I’ve either had way too many words jumbled about in my head, or none.

Either one is problematic for blogging.

I owe more than one blog post. In the past month, I was part of a traditional Buddhist wedding. I’ve gone to 1,000 friends village several times. My friend Esther has gotten a job that means she can’t go on Tuesday nights. I’ve revisited my strategy for telling the kids about Jesus.

All that could have probably been detailed in a long series of blog posts. Instead, I kept some silence.

Sorry guys.

But now, I’ll break that.

So last week, all of our Thai national partners weren’t able to go out to the villages. They were either sick, or unavailable. So we made the tough call not to go. It was sad, but it was what we had to do.

Last night, when we went back to the villages, the kids greeted us.

“Where were you last week? We waited for you! We sat and waited for a long time, but you never came. We wondered if we had missed you.”

My heart broke. We have people who are open to us coming and teaching them, and studying together, and we weren’t faithful. I let the fact that my language isn’t the best keep me from going. It would have been hilarious had I gone by myself (cause the kids would have been like whattheheckisthecrazyladysaying), but it would have been so fun. We let other things that weren’t that amazing keep us from the work that God brought us here to do. Wait, no, let me put it this way.

I let other things (ie, insecurities, doubts, etc) keep me from doing what God called me to do.

Needless to say, I don’t think that will happen again.

Back to last night.

Esther got a job last week working for a travel agent, I think. She works all day, until 5pm. That wouldn’t be a big deal except for the fact that we have to leave at 4 – it takes us two hours to get out to the villages and studying. Another one of my Thai friends came with me. Her name is Mint, and she helped with translation and telling the story.

Mint is holding out on us. She’s super sweet, and shy. Very quiet. But she is amazing. She translated my story with ease and grace, and was great with the kids.

So we had about 10 kids last night to hear the story. We told them about Noah and the Ark, and how God gave the promise never to flood the earth again. After we told the story the first time, we acted it out.

One of the kids played Noah, one was the Ark. As usual, one volunteered to be God.

We acted it out, giggling the entire time. It was so fun, and each of them told us about seeing a rainbow before – God’s promise in the sky.

As we left, they told us that we have to come every Tuesday night. “We miss you when you don’t come,” they said. “You are welcome to come meet here anytime you want.” Esther’s aunt has offered her house to us at anytime.

So I piped right up. “What if we come on Saturday July 11, and spend a long time with you? I have plans already for most Saturdays, but I can come that day.”

They grinned. “Yes, please come!”

So now, I’ll be planning an event for that day – not sure yet how long that will be, but I am pretty stoked about it.

Mint and I debriefed in the car about it. She was incredulous. “I’ve never seen anything like that,” she said. “They are so open to the gospel! They want to hear the stories. They listen to you, and obey what you say. It’s amazing!”

So we’ve talked about the vision that we have for this place – we’re all super excited about what God is doing at 1000 friends village.

Don’t forget – you guys are just as much a part of the work at 1,000 friends village as I am. You’re the invisible warriors, fighting epic battles on your knees on behalf of these lovely people.

Here’s some ways you can fight (pray):

  1. Pray that we’ll have national partners to go with us. While it sounds like an excuse, if just the foreigners go and teach, the kids are confused cause our Thai isn’t that good. It’s getting better. School is about to start, and since many of our partners are college students, their schedules are about to get busy.
  2. Pray that we continue to meet over the next month. I’m going to be travelling through three other countries in the next month, and the studies need to continue. Pray that others will be able to fill the place where I normally go.
  3. Pray for the people – that their hearts will be more open to God every day.

Tuesday Progress

So when the volunteer team was here last week, we went out to a nearby village. Me and one of my Thai friends have been prayer walking at this village. Let’s call it “1000 Friends.” There aren’t a thousand people there – but something in the name makes it sound like “thousand.” While we were there, we found ourselves praying for it – we claimed that village for the Most High God. We asked: no, begged, God to give it to us for his glory. That people would be willing to meet with us. That they would want to meet with us, and that we would have inroads to the gospel.

Hold on. Let me start at the beginning.

My Thai friend and I have been praying for her village for the past few weeks now. She’s had it on her heart for a while. See, she grew up there, and when she became of university age, moved into the larger city where I live. As she’s been away from her aunt and cousin, she’s felt God tugging her heart for her people.

So we decided that it was time to go out. Each Tuesday, I’ve been driving folks out to the village where they all minister, but I’ve always felt like an extra person: like I wasn’t really needed, but that I was there for my car. I was thankful to go. I loved it. I loved going out, and holding the older women’s hands as we prayed together. But I wasn’t needed. So there was no point really in going.

I approached my friend about this, and asked if there was somewhere else we should go – if we should go out in the village and talk to people, or if we should try to find a new village.

As it turns out, she had been praying for her village, about going there.

So we went and prayer walked one Tuesday night. We didn’t get to talk to many people – our purpose in going that night was to walk through the village and cover it with prayer, and if folks asked what we were doing, we would surely tell them.

But as it happened, we didn’t get asked. But we went over the whole village.

The next week, we went with a missionary from the area. He’s in his early 40s, so he’s more highly regarded than me, a 26 year old single girl. He talked to the village leader, who was very open to people like us coming every week.

The next Tuesday, we had a volunteer team in town. That was last week, btw. So we went to the village, prayed through some parts, and ended up holding an impromptu worship service in the aunt’s home. We prayed for her family; and sang songs of praise to God. I thought that the bamboo rafters were going to fly off as we lifted God’s name high.

One of my prayers was that people would be being prepared. That their hearts would be open to us coming and sharing more than just the English lessons that a lot of people use to break through.

This past Tuesday, when me and two of my Thai friends went, her aunt invited us to dinner. We sat on bamboo mats, eating an omelette, curry, and fried morning glory. During the dinner, we talked and just enjoyed hanging out.

A monk, a friend of the teenage daughter, showed up and sat against the wall and stared at me. He’d shuffle off the other room and talk to the daughter, and then come back and stare a while.

As the evening progressed, my thai friends would step out to get little things for dinner. When they came back, each time, they said, “we have more people coming to meet with you next week. Many people are coming.”

We’re going to start meeting next week. It’ll probably be small and simple – just sharing with English stories. But even as I teach, I love to tell stories. I also love to tell the stories that I know best. And what stories do I know best?

Yes.

The stories of God.

Now, I’m at the prayer point. What do I tell? How do I share best? How to break into an unreached village? How to share the love of Jesus; of the almighty God, in a village that wants to turn their back on him?

I’m confident that God will answer that as Tuesday draws close.

For now, I’m rejoicing in knowing that A GROUP IS MEETING next Tuesday.