Student missionaries have been a huge blessing to our work here in Khon Kaen, not only to the music school and church, but also to our family. Since our family’s arrival in Thailand, my husband and I have been focused on learning Thai. We have needed help with our girls so I can study. Lina and Adela absolutely love the student missionaries, and so do we.
Lucas, a Brazilian SM, was here when we arrived. He is an energetic young man who not only taught in the school but also led the Pathfinders. Chris, a hardworking young man whom we met during our AFM training in the States, was an absolute joy to be around, which made saying goodbye to him so much harder. Rachel, whom we shared about last year, was a trooper, jumping into the extra tasks of helping with our kids.
When Vanessa got here last year, it was only about two weeks before the COVID-19 lockdowns hit. This was hard for her and the other SMs, but they threw themselves into helping prepare food for people who had lost their jobs. Later, Vanessa taught at the music school, led Pathfinders and the drama group at church, connected with neighbors, took care of our girls twice a week, and did many other forms of service. This young lady is a busy bee for the Lord!
When you are far away from family, your fellow missionaries and SMs become family. Vanessa was part of our family. In December when her term of service was complete, we had a hard time saying goodbye. Selfishly, I wished she could have stayed longer, because this young lady came to Thailand to serve and love all those around her with the genuine love of God.
Each of our student missionaries takes a piece of our hearts with them when they leave. I don’t know if they realize how meaningful and lasting their impacts are on the lives of career missionaries and their local Thai friends.
I encourage every young person and college student to take a year off and serve as a student missionary. This will be a life-changing experience for everyone involved. I hope the Lord leads you to Thailand (oops, perhaps I am thinking selfishly again!). On a serious note, we are praying for a student missionary to come and help our family with home school and outreach as we plant seeds and harvest house churches.