United Methodist Missionaries serving in Thailand

United Methodist Missionaries serving in Thailand

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We serve with the Thailand Methodist Mission

We serve with the Thailand Methodist Mission
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Sunday, July 15, 2007

"The Missionary Life" can be an adventure!

One thing that we have learned here in Thailand is that the best made plans can fall apart and one has to learn to be easy going about it all.  Getting upset and uptight doesn't make the solution to the problem happen any faster here.  This ability to keep not get upset and anxious is called "Cool Heart" .  We have had many opportunities to practice our Jai Yen this week and the Lord replaced our plans with something better each time.

When I (Mike) went to pick up our son Jim, who is a teacher at Sammuk Christian Academy, I hit a speed bump on campus too fast (didn't see it in the dark) and blew out the rear tire.  The school is very isolated, so we had to walk a long way to where public transportation could take us home.  At first I was a bit frustrated (although Jim was full of Jai Yen!) .  However, God turned the time into a great time to walk with Jim and talk for a long time (90 minutes) without interruption.  I realized afterwards that God allowed the tire to blowout so I could have a great blessing.  Thank you Lord.

The next day, I went to bring the motorcycle to a repair shop and I had to walk it quite a distance to the nearest shop.  I was really, really hot when I arrived there with the motorcycle and was thinking about how I could have used this time more productively.  But as I watched the mechanic replace the tire, I saw great human kindness in action.  A very thin man dressed in rags walked his bicycle up to the shop and asked if he could fill his tires with air.  The mechanic gave a big smile to him and invited him to fill his tires with air.  The man with the bike moved in very slow motion and was having difficulty using the air hose, but he refused any help that I offered.  I could not figure out why he thought the tires needed air because they were already OK.  But soon, instead of filling the tires with air, he managed to let all the air out of his tires.  He then asked the mechanic for help and the mechanic gave a knowing grin and helped the man out.  Then he asked the man to wait a moment while he helped another customer.  When he finished helping the other customer, he gave the money he received from that job plus all the change he had in his pocket to the man on the bike.  After the man on the bike rode away, I figured out that this is a daily routine.  The same man on the bike comes every day to get air in his tires and each time lets all the air out and has to ask for help.  And each time the mechanic, with great patience and Jai Yen, fills his tires and gives him money to buy some food.  I thanked the Lord for the opportunity to witness the kindness of this mechanic who gives each day to a man in deep poverty.  I needed to see that act of kindness more than I needed to type a sermon that afternoon.

God is good.  And our Heavenly Father wants to use everything in our life to shape us to be better servants.  What seems like inconveniences and annoyances to me are many times God trying to slow me down to give a greater blessing and to mold my character to be more like Christ.  Thank you Lord, for blown out tires, long walks with my son Jim, and the opportunity to see mercy in action.