Here’s the thing…I have been asked as part of my job, to assist in this trip to Thailand that I am on right now. I am just an observer, here to serve the team where they need a hand etc.
What is real tough is knowing where the balance is in terms of my right to speak firmly into some of the actions of the team and how much is just my quirky opinions.
I am sharing stories of incarnational mission, Hudson Tailor being one of the best.
We are staying in a stunning hotel, in house video, mini bar, huge pool, buffet breakfast, door man…etc
Each day we get picked up in an old bomb that does not even belong to the leprosy colony as they can’t afford one, we all climb in the back and roll on down the hwy for 30 minutes until we pull into the colony…a section of land in which the lepers and their families (some of whom are supported by world vision and compassion sponsorship, some of whom are not and try to live off 5bhat a day) We teach them OUR language, OUR games and OUR songs. We eat different food cooked for us, as some don’t like the hot stuff and we eat seperate from the kids.
Having said all that, the pace at which we run with the kids during the day is frantic, when we roll into the car at the end of the day, the flesh says “I am glad for some moments of peace at my hotel!”
But the other workers at the colony are doing this 7 days a week 24 hours a day, why should I get a hotel, I am only doing this for 5 days…??
Are we Aussies not as tough as we make out?
The team I am with are great folks, young crew and a married couple. I just keep wondering how much I can push my ways and thoughts. I am balancing building relationship with them and finding permission to challenge and alienating myself from them…but each morning I am able to lead them in devotions. I am using a Charles Ringma devotional which is taken from the thoughts of Henri Nouwen. I shared a story of poverty and incarnational ministry on day one, and when I had finished it felt odd, sitting there at the buffet…we went back to our food.
I say this not to have a go at anyone, but rather to suggest this is the very thing we do each night as we watch the news, the Compassion ads on TV etc, we switch off and say, “Could someone please pass the roast lamb down?”
Managed to finally get a lift back to Bangkok tomorrow. I am coming home a day early, so I needed to get my own way back from Surin. It is the New Year in Thailand, (Sonkran) a massive festival in which everyone travels out here to the country. We are about as far as Albany is from Perth, but one guy said it took him 12 hours to get here from Bangkok. The train was fully booked, the busses were all full, I managed to talk my way into a lift back in the back of a guys ute! Long way with not a seat! But is sounds like an adventure!
POST SCRIPT – He put his mother in the back, his wife and kid in the xtra cap and me up the front! I did argue…I DID! But they would not hear of it, he drove me right back to my hostel. 6.5 hours.