Wednesday I’m headed to Thailand for some meetings and to gather photos and stories of God at work.
And yes, regardless of the outcome of today’s election, I’m coming back just after Thanksgiving.
For the first few days I’ll be in Chiang Mai, getting photos in an urban setting for possible use in illustrating the increasingly urban nature of our work. Increasingly, unreached people groups are living in cities and towns. Most urban ministries aren’t equipped to reach distinct ethnic groups, and we’ve been focused on remote people groups, so these people have been mostly neglected.
Then I’ll be in a week of international meetings. This is an opportunity for NTM leaders from across the globe to gather and discuss the challenges we face, and how we can address them as one team. Adding to the complexity is the number of countries – and cultures – that our team comes from. It’s vital to stay on the same page in order to glorify God. I’m hoping to interview some of those people as well.
After that I’ll go to a place where several churches have been planted among one of Thailand’s ethnic peoples. It’s been a long, slow work, but it’s working, at least in part because of the partnership the missionaries have with the believers among the people – a partnership that sees the missionaries’ roles shifting as the people lead. I’m planning to come home with at least one story and lots of photos.
Pray that I am able to bring home powerful stories and photos.
Pray that I am an encouragement and blessing to those I come across. Especially in the 24-plus hours it takes to get to Thailand and back, which can turn me into a grump.
Pray for our finances. While NTM pays the bulk of the expenses – travel, food, lodging – I still have responsibilities, and have spent about $800 on this trip. That’s more than a third of what Julie and I have to live on each month, and no additional funds have come in for this trip.
Pray for my trip home specifically. The airline has changed my return arrangements five times, and now has me flying into the USA on the Sunday afternoon after Thanksgiving – a notoriously busy time for travel. At that point, I will just want to get home – and so will millions of other travelers.