Som tum, sweat, and old friendsSo it’s been a full week in Thailand already and in just a few short days we’ll be headed home again. As always, these trips just fly by. We finished up our time at the SHE Center in Phuket, and hopped on a plane this morning up to Chiang Mai. Our time at SHE was so sweet – just the right amount of busy and relaxing, ministry and rest, relationship and teaching. I absolutely loved getting to teach for the MTS. There were 8 students, plus an occasional visitor, who have come from the US to Thailand for 6 months to attend this Missions Training School (similar to a YWAM DTS). Some of the students are committing to return for a 2 year staff commitment to SHE, so being able to pour into and train on counseling and healing the abused was such an important subject and an honor for me. And God really used all that I’ve been getting trained in and taught from Bethel Atlanta (our home church) as well as my education and experience. The combination of formal counseling training with the Holy Spirit and prophetic giftings makes for an explosive duo, and we learned together through doing. Every day of the class time looked a little different as the Holy Spirit prompted in different ways. I made the students practice using their prophetic giftings in various ways as well as stepping out in authority through worship and intercession. I even made them role play with each other using the basic counseling skills I was sharing with them. All together the time was awesome and was closed with a time of Daniel and I praying and prophesying over the students, and them doing the same for us in return.
Some of our other time in Phuket allowed us to spend time with the Thai women I love and have become good friends with over the past few years. Nothing says lovin’ like sharing a meal together, so Daniel and I enjoyed a Thai staple (Isaan style – referring to the Northeast region of Thailand): BBQ chicken, sticky rice and som tum (spicy papaya salad) at least 3 times with different Thai friends. Our friend Nong was one of the girls who came to work at SHE out of the bars some time ago and now she has her own food stand making this yummy combo, so many an afternoon included walking down the street to this hangout and catching up with old friends, laughing, sweating, swatting mosquitoes and just loving each other. Such precious moments.
In between the eating and the class time, we also fit in a prayer walk to Patong (the main red light district area of Phuket), photography projects, a day of going to the land SHE is building their community development training center on (this is such a cool project – at the moment they are building a coffee shop out of earth bags and other recycled materials), some times of leading worship together for the teams, and hours of intercession. Another highlight for me were the conversations with the volunteers and missions team members staying at SHE. I love meeting new friends, and the people at SHE this time around stole my heart in a special way. I have a feeling I’ll be seeing some of them again. And did I mention eating? Seriously, between Magnum bars, the amazing fruit stands, fried bananas and iced Thai tea, I think I was putting something to eat or drink in my mouth every two hours…
So now we’re in Chiang Mai and just getting started on our newest new adventure. Can’t wait to see what will come of these next three days or so. I’m already loving the change of pace and scenery. So until next time, picture us here still sweating and swatting mosquitoes, but with new faces around us, learning new people’s stories and seeing God’s heart for another region of a country He loves so much.
Cause at the end of it all that’s what matters most. He loves.