Quick Update: I am so excited to report that I received my visa and will be departing for Thailand on June 15. Thank you to each of you for your faithfulness in prayers and loving support. But most of all, thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph. Looking forward to sharing with you what He does in my life through my six months in Pattaya!
This week at small group we talked about keeping love alive within us for the lost, the prostitutes, the drug dealers, the broken. We talked about how love for others stems from the place of knowing God’s love for us. It was a very timely message for me as I purchased tickets to Bangkok this week and the reality of this adventure is upon me! I’m departing on June 15 and will be spending six months among the most broken people I have ever met. It almost seems surreal that I will soon be back in Pattaya. After my arrival, I will be going through orientation with Bridges to the Nations, going to bars and loving on the bar girls and ladyboys, worshipping at and loving on Dongtan Beach, and spending time at the Pattaya House of Prayer, all while doing what He leads to raise up a generation of God lovers. God has been so faithful to sustain me, provide for me, and prepare my heart to do this work. Though there’s much my heart longs to see change, my highest aim is to love. If I can leave the mark of love on each person I meet, I will call it a success.
My desire to love well has been solidified over the last month through hearing godly men and women share about living kingdom by choosing to be laid-down lovers. I want to be a laid down lover. At times it seems much gets in the way of that. The reality is that so little does other than me. My Papa God created me for love. To give love. To receive love. Really being a laid down lover is simply about giving and receiving love and not loving my life so much as to shrink from death to my own desires and plans. It’s about living the kingdom lifestyle. The kingdom is upside-down and backwards from the way that makes sense to me. In this kingdom I die to live. I lose to gain. I lay down my life so I can take it up again.
In this season of transition from what is comfortable and familiar to a place that is only vaguely known to me it seems as though I’m laying down much: An amazing group of friends in Northern Colorado that I am very sad to leave. My family. A prayer group I’ve been a part of for the last three years. A small group on Spirit-led evangelism that I have grown to love over the last few months. The church I grew up in. The many fellowships I have been a part of since college… Not to mention a culture in which I know the ways and customs and language. And yet, there is joy in laying down my life for this season and walking out into this new place.
I’m grateful for the ways each of you have enabled me to go through your prayers, your encouragement, and your loving support. Thanks for standing beside me faithfully. Most of all, thanks be to God! Though the next three weeks will be busy in making preparations, you are an important part of this preparation time. I want to connect with you before I go if possible!
Joy in the Journey,
Pray that the relationships that have already been formed between myself and ladyboys in Pattaya will be quickly rekindled when I return.
Thank God that the tensions in Thailand have been eased and peace has been restored.
Pray that a long term solution will be found for the situations that created unrest.
Pray for my transition:
The right place to live
Friendships and fellowship
My new team
The ability to learn Thai quickly