Sometimes on the World Race time feels like its dragging on foreeeeeever. Other times, you realize that you’ve been in Thailand for three weeks already. Woah there.
About three weeks ago, our whole squad met up via eight-hour bus ride to the very edge of Cambodia, walked from Cambodia to Thailand, and then hopped back into vans for another few hours to Bangkok. There, we stayed, talked about month one of ministry, explored the city and rested up for five days before splitting up for ministry once again.
At the end of our debrief time, my team and I hitched a ride on a bus and made the thirteen hour drive from the capital city to the Chang Mai Province, and our little town, Mae Ai, at the very northern tip of Thailand (we’re practically in Myanmar) we’re so far north.
Here, our team of seven lives in a tiny little shack about a minute’s walk from the school we teach at everyday. At first, the place came at quite a shock as we thought back to our Cambodian living conditions of hotel rooms and beds. I don’t know that we were mentally prepared for the whole ‘showering/doing laundry/washing dishes/flushing the squatty potty with the same bucket’ reality that we signed up for with the World Race. However, since that shocking day one, we’ve made our little house a home. Six tents and a hammock are set up inside the house, leaving a space in the middle of the floor where we can gather all of our sleeping pads and pillows together, sit in our pjs and watch Hot Rod. Or Tangled. Or Dirty Dancing. We’re a movie-obsessed team.
We began our second full week of teaching today, but we still haven’t gotten a full grasp on the school’s schedule. We’ll get to a class and be under the impression that we’ve got an hour to teach some form of English vocabulary or basic math lesson, and all of a sudden, out of absolutely no where, music straight out of the ‘It’s a Small World’ ride at Disney World starts blaring across campus and school is over. At different times everyday. Or there’s a random “staff meeting” in the middle of the school day, so 400+ kids of all ages are running wild all over the school, because there are no teachers.
Such is life on the World Race.
There is one man (my new best friend y’all) named Foo. Coincidentally, the man named Foo is the only person in the entire town with food (as in restaurant). Every night at 5:30, we head on over to his restaurant/ living room and eat Fried Rice or Pad Thai for about 84 cents (which comes in handy when your food budget is $3 per day). He’s pretty much the greatest. Sometimes we stop at a street vendor for Roti–basically fried crepes covered in sweetened condensed milk & sugary goodness, rolled into a tiny burrito of deliciousness–which make life in Thailand that much more glorious.
My favorite part of this place is the way God lights it up. I mean really.
In Revelation 21, John talks about the ‘new earth’ that will come about after Jesus returns-
“Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
– and these words are “trustworthy and true”. But I think sometimes our God gives us sneak-peaks of that new Earth. Little snippets of His glory to remind us that He is good and He is faithful. Slices of perfection on this side of Heaven to remind us that the same God that made the things as far as our eyes can see made US.
Yeah.. I’ve had some cool chats with Jesus recently.
So, there you have it. Life is good y’all. Thailand rocks.