Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Thailand 2014

That clip from "Chariots of Fire" in many ways is what God taught me on my trip to Thailand. Not that I need to run in the next Olympics before becoming a missionary to China... but that we were all created by God for a purpose and when we are living in the joy of that purpose, we feel his pleasure. These last two weeks have been weeks where I have felt God's pleasure in my life in a way that I never have before.

This year's trip to Thailand was wonderful. I had a fantastic team and it was a real joy working together with my cousin Sami and my friends Michael and Michal, along with the team that comes from Austin. Michal was a perfect addition, immediately connecting with the girls in a way that I never could. Michael added worship to our afternoons and that turned out to be a real blessing. Sami  is my right hand man, always there to help when I need anything and also great at leading our group in fun games. I enjoyed teaching on a great old sermon from Matthew 5-7.

I appreciated getting to meet a new group of kids this year, as well as seeing some old friends. It was especially hard saying goodbye to one boy who won't be back to any more conferences. He has been a wonderful part of the group since my third year going. Every year is a new hello and another goodbye and I'm learning the joy of staying in the moment even when that intensifies the pain of leaving. I'm very grateful that I get to connect with so many of the kids on both sides of the ocean.

One of the unexpected joys this year was leading a small group with some fantastic kids who were back helping but had already gone through the group. It was neat getting to see them again and getting to know them better. It was also a joy getting to study things of the Lord with them and seeing God work beautifully in their lives.

God is so good and faithful.  He called us to this trip and got us there and back again with a myriad of special joys and mercies along the way. When we landed in Dallas there was snow on the ground, leaving a white carpet to welcome us. I have been slowly getting over jet lag. I suppose sleeping whenever I want isn't helping much. I feel like a very old man, going to bed at 8 pm and getting up at 4 am.

After touching down, I was whirled away into a weekend with my MKs here called 'Planet Wisdom' (a two day youth conference). It was great getting to see everyone again. Then Sunday was truly a day of rest. Now I'm getting back slowly into the ebb and flow of life here in Dallas. At the end of this month I'm leaving again for a week in Orlando to help with and learn from a re-entry seminar for MKs. I'm looking forward to seeing what the Lord does with it.

For now, well - I'm tired. Been up since 4 am!

I praise God for the trip, for his work, and for you who partner with me in making it all possible. I'm so glad to be back with my boys, wrestling and laughing and enjoying being a dad. I'm so glad to be back with my best friend, who happens to also be my wife.  It's great talking to her and spending time just being together again.

May God reveal to you what your purpose is and may you feel his pleasure as you live a life that brings him glory!