One of the best blessings about moving back to Thailand is that I can move right on into life and work with few language difficulties. The Thai is coming back like I haven’t been gone for six years. …mostly. Sometimes I’m moving right along in a conversation and bits of Chinese inserts itself into my sentences. I know what I’m saying inside my head, but what comes out is sometimes a confusing mix, depending on which word in Thai or Mandarin is most convenient to my brain. Sometimes I catch myself, other times… depends on the puzzling looks I get.
It was just a week or so after my arrival in Thailand that I got involved in a small group Bible study among Thai doctors and nurses; professors, residents, and students. How refreshing! I’ve also been attending a Thai church that is warm and welcoming. To be honest, I never expected to want to go to a local church. I reserve my Sundays as a pure Sabbath (perhaps more on this in a future post) and anything feeling like work (including operating in a foreign language) I easily eschew. Lately, however, I’ve been desiring this fellowship. Even though I’m a new outsider, I am very welcome there. The first time I attended a senior lady said that she and her group have been praying for me – that they pray for all the cross-cultural partners there. And this was before I even met them! I was so touched! This is the Body at work!
Since I don’t have to learn a new language for this international move, I decided to start learning Russian. Da! Just so happens that the Canadian from whom I bought my motorbike is married to a Kazakh who is willing to tutor me! So I hired her for about 4 hours a week. I want to be prepared to speak with people trafficked to/from Russian-speaking countries – unfortunately more and more of them are showing up in Asia. Russian may also come in handy next time I’m running in Moldova.
I came to Thailand with an idea of how it was supposed to go (work, visa, friends, etc) and as usual, in some respects it is quite better than I thought and in others, slower. Notice that I didn’t say worse than I expected. For me, slow is usually tantamount to being worse, even though objectively – and this is what I try to tell myself – it really isn’t worse. All timing is in God’s hands and as I press and lean into him, I can rest in his timing, laying my anxiety down. What do I know anyway? I know the Father. That is all that counts.
Even as I started composing this post over the past week, I have had several key meetings and I’m meeting new people (in unplanned meetings) every day that are interested in partnering with me. The best news: I will travel to Cambodia on the 21st with a letter of invitation from a foundation here that will enable to me apply for a different kind of visa to start the process of living and working here on a long-term basis. I may even be able to launch Relentless as an official project here! Nothing is sure until I have the papers in hand so do continue to lift up this process to the Father that I may have favor with those that grant visas and all will go smoothly. Thank you!
The people in Cambodia, I think, are secretly happy that I have had to do back there so often. I do enjoy the work there and am learning a lot as well. However, I am looking forward to developing, solidifying, and integrating relationships in this country.