Staying close to God while you’re traveling, I don’t think is difficult at all.
He is all around you in the beauty. You see the incredible need for Him in the suffering. You discover His love for all peoples is everywhere to be found. Often, you have more time to spend with Him and talk and wonder about the world. Still, I miss other Christians a lot. Don’t get me wrong, you will meet one occasionally, but it has been rare so far in Thailand and Cambodia. I was so excited when I discovered Chiang Mai Community Church who work with The Well International that I have bought Christmas presents from several years in a row (worldcrafts.org). The Well helps young women who are struggling from all different backgrounds, from the sex industry to single mothers, by training in the Thai arts to help them learn a way to make a living and a new sense of hope and a future. A group contributing to such a good work is one I definitely wanted to meet.
Finally with the help of google maps and a determined taxi driver we arrived at the church along the river. The name was actually different, which made things of course more complicated, but we learned that CMCC used the facilities of another church. I limped up the hill, just starting to heal from some motorbike issues, and headed for the Newcomers table. An ooh so English lady politely welcomed us and asked about our visit to Chiang Mai. They had cold water available, but the open air meeting hall was pleasantly breezy and still pretty empty, and we were early due to not being sure how long transportation will ever take. We sat down quietly and smiled to any who entered and they smiled back. My first thought was, there aren’t many Thai people, just all white westerners. I couldn’t imagine how difficult it must be to pick up the language, which includes sounds that seem hopeless for me to ever learn. How frustrating outreach must be if you can’t communicate. Speaking in tongues would come in handy here for sure! But then, slowly the room filled. And then, to start out the worship, the associate minister welcomed us all, and then she went around to all who were first timers to introduce themselves. England, Australia, New Zealand, Myanmar, China, India, Scotland, Spain, France, all over the United States … wow … all united in one room under one Savior. As we sang “Holy Spirit You Are Welcome Here” and watched everyone singing all out and with a few hands raised here and there, tears just started pouring down my face. I tried to get it together, but it was just so moving to experience and imagine the incredible unity represented here. I could only imagine how varied these people’s backgrounds were, and yet here they worshipped in Spirit and in Truth. Hope you will enjoy a quick glimpse and remember that you have brother and sisters around the world praising God with you. They ask for prayers for an upcoming youth event they have planned and their work at the Well. Miss you Collegeside