This past week we had the opportunity to serve with a missions team from Tennessee. Their team consisted of 2 groups: one to serve through construction on already existing churches and another to provide medical assistance to the local villagers (Akha Hilltribe) who have limited access to regular health care. On the Thailand side there was a team leader (and his family) on the ground building the relationships and coordinating the itinerary; including villages and churches to visit, transportation, accommodations, food, translators, etc.
It was such a blessing to be able to work with this team. We got to serve along side them and build great relationships with them too. It was great to be able to share our views of the people, culture, food and daily life here. I got to share my American perspective while Kwan shared her native Thai perspective. Being able to connect and unite with other believers from the other side of the globe is so refreshing and encouraging. Sometimes, it can be hard to stand firm and keep pressing on. It’s easy to feel like you just aren’t doing enough. I have to be confident that counting pills, writing prescriptions (in Thai) or praying for someone can all be life-changing things. It’s not me anyways, just God working through me.
It takes a lot of different people for a trip like this to be accomplished. You need pastors and leaders encouraging people to go and explaining the importance of doing God’s work outside of their normal context. You need leaders on the ground overseas to be doing the dirty work every day. They are building relationships and working with the locals to see what their needs actually are. You need translators to work with the locals who speak a different language than you or even than the majority of their own country (tribal). Of course, you need laypeople being obedient to God’s call to go, sacrificing their finances and the comforts of home. All of these things come together to accomplish God’s work.
Without all of these conditions (and others) being met, it’s mission failed. We are all the body. We need the pastors. We need the financial backers. We need the doctors and nurses. We need the willing volunteers. We need communicators. We need the long-term missionaries. Most of all, we need God. Every one of us is just as important as the next. Let us be His hands and His feet wherever it is that He has called us to go. Love God. Love people. Be obedient to God’s call for you.