About two days into moving to the village the following words dropped into my spirit…

“You have to win their hearts before you will win their ears”

When you can barely speak the language there is only one way to win people’s hearts and that is through actions.

Ministry is…

Sitting with the women of the village while they teach you to make Khao Tom Mat (a sticky rice and banana wrapped in a banana leaf).

Ministry is…

Picking up the flag and joining in, in dancing in the street parade. They absolutely loved it, hearts were won and the whole village knows me now.

Ministry is…

Cutting the grass to feed the cows with the family I live with. Even though it is boiling hot.

Ministry is…

Going to the temple with them and while they do their rituals and prayers, I can sit and pray for them.
There are no words to describe the overwhelming love of God the Father that I experienced for these people while sitting there.

Ministry is…

Getting up every morning at 6am, even when your body and soul doesn’t want to because you know another excruciatingly hot, tough day is lying ahead. A day filled with not being able to communicate and being misunderstood.

It is being compelled by the love of Christ for His people to do whatever it takes and to eat whatever gets dished up.

What does living in a village look like…

Constantly sitting on the floor. Having no toilet paper or running water. Eating rice 3 times a day accompanied by something weird and extremely spicy. Not being able to be inside the house between 8am to 5pm because it is like an oven. Not being able to understand or share your heart with the people around you. Think of your house with the kitchen to cook food in, the bathroom with a functioning toilet and bath or shower, a living room with a comfy couch or your bedroom with a bed you just can not wait to get into… now erase all of that.

I’m not complaining. On the contrary, I am so thankful because I’ve experienced God’s blessing and grace in adjusting to living here. Literally, every time I choose to get up and engage with the people and join in whatever they are doing the reward on the other side is so worth it. They see my actions as wanting to be here, wanting to learn from them, loving their country and the people.

Then they take the time to sit with me and teach me the language up to the point where I had a two-hour visit in Thai with the people I live with yesterday. We spoke about Thailand and South Africa, how different life and food is, our families. ALL IN THAI!!!!

Right now, Ministry is winning their hearts through my actions. When I’m able to speak the language I will have their ears.