Sharon and I just returned yesterday from a short trip to the Philippines to visit friends from our home church working there. We were sent as representatives of Trinity Church to encourage David and Vanessa and to get a first-hand perspective of what their lives are like. It was an incredible trip for a number of reasons. The trip gave us a new perspective on Thailand as we visited another place and it gave us a new perspective on our lives and ministry as we observed other missionaries.
We met several Thai people while traveling. It was fun to listen in on Thai conversations then interrupt with a question relevant to what was being discussed. I remember one older lady particularly well. Her jaw dropped and worked around in a circle until she got her wits around her again and sputtered, “You’re smart!” When people are outside their usual environment surrounded by people who don’t speak their language they really enjoy talking to someone who can understand them so this lady unloaded on us… I could have written a book on culture just from our 20 minute conversation. Many things combined to give us a fresh perspective on things that are distinct to Thais and characteristics Thai people share with other Asian people groups. In our line of work, perspective is priceless.
Interacting with other missionaries in the Philippines helped us better understand our own ministry and lives. It turns out missionaries there are slogging through the ups and downs of language learning just like we are here. It was refreshing to share with them the things we’ve been working on and to hear from them what they’re doing and how things have gone for them. Personally, it made me much more excited to get back here to Thailand and get back to work.
Many people on Facebook were able to follow our trip. We’ll continue to get more pictures up so you can experience the trip with us. We’re thankful for God’s protection while traveling and for a new way to look at life and ministry.