Homesickness gone, my experience here only climbs upward.
Upon returning from New Year’s break, I began investing more intentionally in the group of five or six teenagers in our church. I honestly believe this has made the biggest difference to change my experience here. Since I began spending more time with these teens, they have given me back even more than I could ever have given. In them I have found a place to belong, a family away from home. They have been to me not only an amazing friend group, but also a community of fellow believers who are passionate for God and unashamed to speak of their love for Him. I have been so inspired by their testimonies, their sincere praise to God, and their commitment to bring their friends to Jesus.
Recently I joined the youth as they prayed together in United Prayer. I listened as they poured out their hearts to God for parents who didn’t know Jesus, for friends, for the music school, the teachers, even Teacher Zoe by name. When we finished praying, I lingered and thanked the youth wholeheartedly for letting me become a part of them.
“Now, are you more comfortable here in Thailand?” asked Kanot, a youth who had just begun attending church.
“Yes, now I’m okay,” I responded genuinely. It was finally true – I was really okay.
“I don’t want you to leave us,” the pastor’s son told me.
And you know what? “I don’t either,” I admitted for perhaps the first time since September.
God is good.
Now that I’ve found my place in Thailand, the other stress factors have become so much more manageable. I’m once again able to enjoy and embrace my teaching here, and I have more to give. I feel as though I’m in a place to reach out to others for Christ again. I truly praise God that now I can live my best life and make the most of my time here.
Six months left. I’m not going to waste them.