The beginning of November Joel and I headed to Thailand. We were given the opportunity to participate in some meetings over there with representatives from all over the world. The opportunity for Joel and I was a huge blessing. It has been rare that we have been able to travel together to an event like this. It was also the first time in a while that we participated in meetings that we weren’t involve in the organization of. We were greatly looking forward to this trip. Here is a little bit about our time there.
The reality of travel – We were supposed to leave Friday at 8am. We got a call Wednesday at 4pm to say that our flight was canceled and we could either leave 24 hours earlier or 24 hours later. We really didn’t want to miss part of the meetings, so we decided that we would leave early. However we might have looked a little crazy that evening as we quickly tried to get done what we were planning to do in 36 hours in the 7 hours remaining before bed. The next morning we took off and started our 36 hour journey to our location and let me tell you by the time we got there we were happy for the extra day to recuperate before meetings began.
The highlight – It was really the first time that we gathered together with other people who were doing the same ministry we are doing. It was so good to hear what others are doing, what struggles they are having and what is working well. It was encouraging to see that we are not alone in our ministry and to see the realities people are facing. The first week was dedicated specifically to culture and language learning. There were many different approaches and perspectives, but so much that could be gleaned from it all. I walked away encouraged with some new ideas to try and new contacts for the future.
Diversity – The second week was a meeting for all our fields around the world. There were people there from over 20 different countries. 4 translations were being done simultaneously. It was amazing to hear what God is doing all around the world and also astounding to think of all the work that is left and some of the challenges we face in reaching the areas that are left. There is nothing that like that to remind you of your complete and utter dependence on God.
The Unexpected – A week into the trip I started running a fever. I struggled four days straight with a fever that would come and go. It was a bummer to get sick over the time there, but it did make me slow down and just spend some time reflecting on life with God. Thankfully the fever started to go away and didn’t consist into our travels home. It was not what I had planned, but God was still gracious through it all.
An Added Bonus – Since Joel and I don’t get away very often we tacked on a weekend at the end to do a little tourism and spend some time together. It was so refreshing to take time away together. It was so good for us to just take a small break from the daily stress of life and ministry and to have a little fun.
More Pictures of Our Time in Thailand to come…