Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Christmas Like No Other

One thing before I start- I’m currently sitting outside on the top floor of a 3 story Starbucks in the center of Chiang Mai city plaza. I am one happy girl.

As I mentioned in my last blog post I had the opportunity to spend the weekend, and Christmas, in a village. This village is completely Buddhist and my team and I had the privilege of presenting the story of Jesus’ birth to them for the first time- it was such an honor.

Friday morning we all packed up and set out to the village. But first I was able to Skype with my family. It was hard knowing that I wouldn’t be there to spend Christmas with them- they all looked so cute and it made me miss them a lot. But I had to keep reminding myself that it’s just one Christmas. After a 3 hour car ride we made it to the village. We met our host mom and settled in. I slept next to BMK and I must say that girl is crazy (in the best way possible). I love her to death; we had so much fun together the whole weekend.

Friday night we had worship as a team and I got really frustrated with myself and with God. I asked Him to give me a revelation of His love; I really wanted to know that He loved me. And then I got so mad that He wasn’t telling me His plan for my life. I am such a planner and I want to know what my future holds so I continually worry about it. Awhile after I told that to God, JM walked over to me and started giving me a hug and it sounded like she was laughing. I asked her why she was laughing and she said that she was crying. And she proceeded to say over and over “He loves you. He loves you. He loves you.” And of course, I started crying; a lot. She then said, “He has such a beautiful plan for you. Stop worrying. He has a plan.” God is so amazing. All the time.

On Saturday morning we were able to work in the rice fields. We didn’t realize until we got there that women don’t work so most of the girls sat in hut and prayed over the village. But not me :) Our job was to repair the walkways in between each field. Needless to say it was a very muddy job. I loved it! I had so much fun playing in the mud and spending time with my friends... And I only fell twice!

That afternoon BMK and I took a nap and when I woke up I felt sick. While the rest of the team practiced our Christmas program I continued to take a nap. I felt a little better and had dinner with the team. That night I realized that it was Christmas Eve and as some of you know, I’m ALWAYS sick on Christmas Eve, in some form.

And then Christmas! Oh man, it did not feel like Christmas. But we did have a Christmas miracle. The house I stayed at had 12 little piglets in the morning! We were so excited for our mom; they were adorable! After hanging out with the piglets, we cleaned up one of the houses in the village and spent the rest of the afternoon playing with the kids.

Those kids, man, they stole my heart. There is one little girl there, Praywah, who is beautiful. She seriously made my heart so happy every time she hugged me. I pray for her all the time, that she have an opportunity for education and a good life, that’s all I want for her. The boys were precious too. I brought coloring books with me from the States and at first they didn’t want to color but by the end of the afternoon they were all coloring.

We practiced again that afternoon, had dinner, and then had a Christmas celebration as a team. That afternoon some of us went to the 7/11 in town and got some treats to share. I was so happy to be together as a family with Christmas music, enjoying the day. It was a great way to end the night.

Monday we again went to the fields, this time one closer to our home. And once again, we didn’t do much. I spent some time praying for the fields and the village. It was a nice morning. We had our final practice for that night after lunch. It brought me back to practicing for Church Christmas programs. :) TB and I hung out after practice and had a good talk on the basketball court. I am so glad that she is our team leader- she is so wonderful!

After dinner we all gathered on the basketball court, ready to present our final product. It was kind of an awkward situation because there had been a death in the village that day so we couldn’t be too loud while playing with the kids and such. We played duck duck goose with the kids and it was hilarious! They were getting so sassy with each other and us; it was adorable. Our presentation of the Christmas story went really well! It was so exciting to be a part of; this was the first time these people had heard of this story!

It was hard saying goodbye to the kids that night; I don’t think they realized that we were leaving. I started crying when thinking of leaving Praywah. But I just kept praying that God protect her and her family; and all the kids for that fact. God has such beautiful plans for each one of them; I’m so excited to see where He takes them all.

So Monday we spent the day packing and saying our goodbyes. I was sad to leave but I knew that it was time to get into ministry in the city. I’m excited to start working with the orphanage.

And here is where I leave you, excited to spend the next few hours with a book and sunshine.
I love you all, happy holidays from Thailand!

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