I did a bad thing on our recent outreach. I didn’t share my cookies.
It was snack time, and I had four cookies. I felt God urging me to offer two of them to the young waiter and waitress preparing our dinner in the cafeteria area. Had I not been holding the cookies – had they been in a container – I would gladly have offered them to the young man and woman. But I had them in my hands, and frankly, my hands felt dirty, and I didn’t want to gross out these poor teenagers by offering them grubby cookies. So, I ignored the nudge from God and ate the cookies instead.
My shame of dirty hands kept me from showing a young Thai boy and girl the love of Jesus. Do you think Jesus was always clean? He sat down to eat with the Pharisees without washing his hands (Luke 11:38).
Do you think when the disciples handed out fish and bread to the massive crowds they washed up? Scripture doesn’t say, “They first went and found soap, tidied themselves, and then served the crowds.” It says they were far away from any town; they sat in the grass; they had been following Jesus for three days!
Ugh. Why didn’t I share my cookies?
“Surely, after my turning, I repented; and after I was instructed, I struck myself on the thigh; I was ashamed, yes, even humiliated, because I bore the reproach of my youth (Jer. 31:19 NKJV).”
Shame can cause us to miss a multitude of opportunities. Jesus was never ashamed, even as he hung on a cross. We shouldn’t be either. Always share your cookies when prompted.
RAIN, AWKWARDNESS ARE GOOD
Luckily, we have a God of mercy and second chances. That same afternoon we took all the youth to a local park to share the Gospel through carnival games, face painting, skits, and dramas. At one point, the rain poured down, and we had to move underneath the pavilion in the middle of the park. We were kind of bummed at first, but as everyone moved into closer proximity of one another, people began asking questions about what we were doing. Soon, the kids had a few extra faces to paint, and the adults had a few extra opportunities to share about our outreach.
The rain let up, and as the kids piled back into the parking lot to continue their games and dramas, many people followed. Awesome timing, God!
As I was finishing up a couple things under the pavilion, I turned to see a couple men setting up a table. I can only credit the Holy Spirit for my next move because I waltzed up to the table like I owned the place, put on the most welcoming smile I possessed, and cheerfully greeted the men with, “Hey, how are you?! What are you guys doing?”
As the words “ … you guys doing?” tumbled out of my mouth, I looked down to see Alcoholics Anonymous booklets placed strategically in front of each chair around the table. I felt like a doof. The men were polite, however, and one recognized my American accent and started up a conversation.
Turns out, he was from South Carolina and had only been in Chiang Mai 10 days and was looking for a church home.
When I told him I am with Youth With a Mission, he popped up out of his chair and asked, “So, is there a pretty large community of believers around here?”
I pointed to our crowd of about 100 youth and adults, and said, “There is a pretty large community of believers right here.”
Pointing at the table, I said, “Do you do this every week?”
He said, “I do this every day.”
I sensed this man could use a friend. I gave him some suggestions on local churches, chitchatted awhile, told him about Create International and media contextualization, and bid him ado with a heartfelt, “God bless!” He was all smiles, and I felt extremely good.
I still should have shared my cookies, but thankfully, God gives us new opportunities all the time.
[Click on a photo to see larger images. I’ve never used this feature. It’s pretty cool, really.]
PRAISES AND PRAYERS
- Create’s School of Visual Arts for Missions is underway! Four students are learning how to share the Gospel through contextualized art. They will spend the next six months training and reaching out to various people groups. Please keep them in your prayers as they explore God’s creativity and the talents He has bestowed upon them.
- I am cooking once a week for the school and any staff members who want to eat with the students. I also deliver meals each evening to the students. I love serving the students and being a part of the school in this way. It is my joy!
- I also am part of a newly-formed team that will revise Create’s Equip video and training package. We have six weeks to revamp this unique training tool that teaches missions teams/church groups how they can pair Create’s visual resources with their missions plans to help reach the lost. If you’re interested in receiving a copy, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I can tell you how to get it. It’s a great way to prepare teams for outreach!
- The girls and I will go with a team in two weeks on outreach to the province of Phichit, which has the least number of believers of all the provinces in Northern Thailand. Please pray that we can break ground there and that God will open a door and lead us through it.
- We also will make a border run to Myanmar next weekend. Because of our type of visa (typical for most visitors/volunteers here), we have to leave the country every three months. This consists of taking a trip to any border, crossing over, and coming back into Thailand. Myanmar happens to be the closest border (about a four-hour van ride), so that is where we will go. Please pray for safe travels, favor in getting our Burmese visas, getting back into Thailand … and not missing the van ride home!
- We are finally moving this week! We had some delays in moving to our new house, but we are scheduled to sign papers Monday. The house is furnished with beds, furniture, stove, refrigerator, etc., but we are lacking a few household items, like pots and pans, full-size sheets, pillows, and a few basic necessities. Please pray we can make our house a home. This will be the first time EVER the girls have their own bedrooms. We have been sleeping in the same bedroom/bed for so long, they are excited to have a little space of their own.
As always, we love each and every one of you. We are so blessed to be serving the people of Thailand in a multitude of ways. Days are busy and HOT, but I know summer in Oklahoma (and everywhere else) is beating down on everyone.
I hope you had a great Fourth of July and a plentiful harvest and get a season of rest very soon.
Many blessings and much love,
Korina, Jaynee, Justine
Mission contributions can be sent through our home church. Visit our Sponsor Us page for details.