Traveling around with my friend Sharon as she ministered to the Karen people along the southwestern Thai border, was an experience I will never forget! Sharon is a woman who is passionate about seeing the Karen, who have been persecuted and forced to leave Burma, become dedicated followers of Jesus Christ. Me and my two friends, Katie and Cole met up with her in Hua Hin and from there she took us to their Karen Bible school. It was so much fun sleeping outdoors in her bamboo house and every night without fail, her family there would gather to sing, study the Bible or just hang out. The week that we ended up going was actually their vacation time so although there weren't many Bible school students there, the buildings were soon swarming with over a hundred children who had come for their kids camp. On Monday, around 12 o'clock we were asked, "Can you do some teaching for the children?" I looked at Katie and Cole a said, "Sure..." We had one hour to prepare. No problem! I was like, "God, I know You can do it." We decided to talk about fear, the authority that they have in Jesus' name and allow the kids to reenact the story of Jesus calming the storm. So as I was standing up in front of the kids telling them about how this huge storm came upon Jesus and His disciples as they were out at sea, something strange started happening. There was this commotion outside and as I looked out the windows I could see this gust of wind had swept into the camp area and it was picking up twigs and dirt and whatever else was in it's path. I was a little distracted at first until Katie said, "like this" and I got excited and wondered if God was trying to prove a point. It kept blowing until I got to the part of Jesus' saying "Peace, be still." And then it was calm. It was perfect!
While we spent this week with Sharon, I got to see how God moves powerfully through her life. Throughout the day, she would be getting phone calls from people, her Karen family who were in need. This would be her next assignment. We never knew how something was going to work out. But she knew, that if it was of God, He would pave a way and we would be able to get to the person she wanted to help and encourage. When I say that Sharon is a woman of power, I mean like dynamite. :) All of us had many good laughs together as our driver, who after receiving directions from her would say in his soft monotone voice, "Jai yen yen." (Meaning cool heart.) One of my favorite places that we went to was a handicapped children's home. We got to take a group of boys, many of them who are fighting HIV, to a river for a couple hours of swimming. It was so fun to get to just laugh and love on them and I think they too impacted me by their huge smiles and love for life. It was quite an intense trip although for Sharon I think we slowed her down, especially when all of us got constipated from eating only rice and the amazingly delicious curries that the Karen so generously provided, and spent an entire evening sitting in an air-conditioned hotel just so we could use their western toilets. lol! Yup it definitely was an unforgettable trip!
(Thanks Katie for the two photos above!)