Pray for Thailand!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Many disappointments now, none later....for eternity!

Its been awhile since I have blogged.  It is not because of lack of things to blog about that is for sure!  In this last month or so I have gone through some rough things.  However, two things I know for sure is that God loves me and that I am here for a reason.
I know God has been teaching me not to hold on to things in this world or to care/worry about material items and money.  About a month ago I learned that my grandma had accidently given away all of my personal things that I had left in boxes at home to Good Will.  Praise the Lord that the boxes didn’t include pictures or things from childhood, only my things from California which included my Bible College books, winter clothes, ski jacket, college diplomas possibly my social security card…etc.  It was difficult to hear this news but again these are just things.  These things I cared way too much about so they were taken away.  But it’s ok now if I ever have grandkids I can tell them when I became a missionary I gave away everything I owned and moved overseas : )

The next morning after I found out about my things my house flooded up to about a foot.  It could have been way worse.  We were able to move all of our belongings upstairs and nothing was ruined in my house.  I wish I could say the same thing for my neighbors.  A lot of people lost a lot of things and some lives were also lost.  After a week the water left and I was able to move back home.

The next big event was my roommate moving out.  Now I am living on my own.  It can be lonely but I hope to have a new roommate soon. 

Finally, I made a trip up north this last weekend and while there I think I ate something bad and I got really sick.  This wouldn’t have been such a bad thing if I wasn’t supposed to go on an airplane today to visit a team in the south.  This trip was supposed to help me decide if God wants me to work with this team in the future.  It was pretty disappointing not being able to go.  I still just feel really weak.  There is time to go another time.  I just hate missing out on things and wasting a plane ticket. 

Anyways the reason I share my disappointments is not so you can feel bad for me.  I know that life is full of disappointments and some of you who are reading this have been through things I could never understand.  I just think God uses disappointments to help us long for him and to long for eternity we will spend with him.  I still am so thankful to be in Thailand.  I have so much peace in being here and couldn’t imagine being anywhere else.  Although I miss my friends and family very much, I know this is right, this is His plan for me…and in His plan there will be no disappointments for eternity!   

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Grandmas are the same where ever you go.

So in moving to Thailand...most things are different here.  The food is different, the customs are different...even how they celebrate birthdays are different.  The one thing that is the same is...Grandmas...

I love my grandma. Growing up my grandparents lived just right around the corner from my house.  My grandma would come over all the time.  She would always put my brother and I to work in the yard or help clean out one of my dad's rental houses.  You couldn't argue with Grandma because she was the one who worked harder than anyone else.  Even today she is 90 years old and still she works on her own yard, picks fruit from my parents' yard and does my dad's work laundry because she knows we would take it to the dry cleaners and that is expensive!  She also worries a lot about me being so far away.  

So moving to Thailand I thought I left my grandma behind...little did I know that my grandma and my neighbor's grandma are pretty much the same person.  My neighbors sell soy milk in town so their mom/ the neighbor kids' grandma wakes up at 3am to help get ready for the days work.  She seems to always be doing something productive when I get home. She puts me to shame just like my real grandma!  She also is worried about me...she got mad at me the other day when I forgot to close my gate one night when my roommate was away.  Also on the mornings when I leave for class later because my class is later in the day...she smiles really big and asks me "What time did you wake up this morning?"  I have to side step her question because I can't tell her 9am when she has been up since 3!  Today she made me move some of our laundry hanging in the front yard because she was afraid it would rain.

So in conclusion:   When everything seems so different I can rest assured  that grandmas will always be the same no matter where I go!

Miss you Grandma!!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

15 seconds of my ride to school yesterday in slow motion detail:

This is what happened in just about 15 seconds or so on my uneventful ride to school on my little yellow bike: I was riding my bike to school with the traffic going into the city. I had two lanes of traffic on my right staying in the slow lane, where there were cars parked. Sometimes I have to go through small gaps between the parked cars and the traffic avoiding the parked car doors opening randomly.  I was doing this when a motorbike decided to drive on the wrong side of the road (not uncommon) towards me in this little gap. So we both slowed down to avoid hitting each other and to figure out how to maneuver around each other without going out into the traffic. While this was happening in that same moment a little dog ran up barking and it seemed he was trying to bite my foot off. I yelled at the dog, went around the motorbike and continued... Thinking hmmm it looks like it might rain.. Like nothing just happened.  Just another 15 seconds of the life here in Thailand.  

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Blessed in 21 + ways here in Thailand.

Hi all,
I am now at the end of my first week of language school and I just want you to know how blessed I am.  Its ridiculous.  I so so so soooo do not deserve the following blessing from the Lord:
1. Salvation---still in awe of God's continued work in my life.
2. Your support and love
3. The ability to live in Thailand
4. The friends I have here, at home and around the world.
5. The humble and wise leadership of OMF International.
6.  My roommate.
7.  A flushing toliet!!!!
8.  The body of Christ all over the world!!!!!
9.  A year set aside to focus on learning the heart language of the Thai people!!
10.  Multiple delicious coffee shops!!
11.  Freedom!!!  Freedom to worship in Thailand and a visa (soon to be getting) that states my purpose is to share the word of God with those who want to know and to work with Christians in Thailand.
12.  My Health and the health of my family and their love and support.
13.  A loving and supportive Home Ministry Team
14. Cornerstone Church and the rest of the body of Christ.
15. Each breath as God continues to give me them.
16.  No dogs or monkeys have yet to attack me!
17.  My sweet yellow bike.
18.  Humor and laughter.
19. Friendly Thai neighbors.
21.  FORGIVENESS from the Father as I have offended Him too many times to count.

And the best part is the reason why we are blessed as Christians and its not because we are "good people" no one is good but God's because of His Son's sacrifice, His love and His call for us to be a blessing to others. Lets not forget  God's greatest commandments: Love God, Love People.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Believing what you’re singing

So many times in church I have just sung the songs that were being sung because that is what everyone else was doing.  It wasn’t that I didn’t believe the songs. I just didn’t always think about the meaning of what I was doing.  It just can become something that you do at the beginning and end of the service.  When I do think about the words I can have an amazing time of singing praises to God who deserves our praise.  However, this should be at all times not just part of the time.  I think if I am not singing for the glory of God I should just not be singing at all.  Also, we need to be careful about what we are communicating to God. Older hymns tend to talk about the greatness of God and who He is. In the songs we sing today, the writers of the songs tend to make a lot of promises or bold statements to God within their songs.  I think many people are making a big mistake by just singing along. I find this with a lot of Hillsong’s songs especially. Such as  “Lead me to the Cross” Do we know what that means??? Do we mean it??  As a Christian, we should mean it BUT have we thought it through…about what we are committing to?  Essentially I think this song is saying this to God: “God feel free to do whatever you want with me for the sake of the Gospel even it means we must die as Jesus died.”  It’s a serious commitment.  Something we should commit to but through prayer and serious thought.  Another song that really struck me was another Hillsong song that has people singing enthusiastically “Take, take, take it all! Take, take, take it all!”  I listened to this song a lot when I was in Atlanta caring for my brother after he became paralyzed.  It made me think. Did I really understand what it meant to have everything taken for the sake of Christ?  I couldn’t even understand why God took my brother’s ability to walk.  I can’t even imagine the scene of God taking everything away.  I do trust in God and do believe that God could “take it all” (all of this world) and I would still love him because he is everything we need.  I just think we need to be careful to what we are saying and singing to an all-powerful all-knowing God of the universe.
More recent example if you fast-forward to now as I have just arrived in Singapore. I am having a similar experience with the song “More than enough”.  It goes “All of you is more than enough for all of me, for every thirst and every need. You satisfy me with your love. In all I have in you is more than enough.”  I cried at church before I left while singing this.  Did I believe these words?  God decided to move me out of the US and give me a completely new context do I believe that God is more than enough? For EVERY thirst? That God can satisfy me with HIS love?  And that God is not just enough or good enough but that God is MORE than enough?  The answer is yes HE is or else I would not be in Asia right now.  Pray that He would continue to remind me of His truth and His love that is more than enough for me and He is more than enough for the billions in Asia! 
I will do the same for you. 

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Made it to Singapore!

For those who have not gotten my email.

I made it to Singapore.  I will be here the next 3 weeks learning all about OMF  International and what it means to be a part of this group.  So far it has been fine, just trying to adjust from walking to swimming through the humidity.  I will try to keep this blog more updated as I go on through the 3 weeks and into the time in Thailand. I leave July 24th.  Feel free to email, facebook, comment, find me on skype (Stine319), or contact me any other way.

Also if you don't get my prayer newsletter and want me

Thanks miss most of you , no no I miss all of you!!!


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Learning to be a learner

I am about a month away from leaving for Singapore/Thailand.  I fly to Singapore the early morning of June 28th and then head to Thailand July 24th.  So crazy how fast it is coming up!  

Lately I have been thinking about how I will be entering a new culture and how important it will be to have an attitude of a student.  A student of Christ, the people, the culture, the Thai church and of older wiser missionaries.  When Christ came to this earth he became  the word in flesh, he is/was fully human and used human words,did human things why? so that people could have a relationship with him. If we as missionaries are going into another culture we need to become as much a part of that culture as we can. Why? So that people can have a relationship with us and in turn be introduced to Christ in a way they can understand.  Not just changing a track from English to Thai but knowing how to minister to them in a way that make sense and is natural. NOTE TO SELF: Experiencing Jesus does not have to be done through Hillsong United songs, Piper, Francis or C.J. Mahaney sermons.  It might be ways that I have experience Christ in this culture but its not the answer for every culture. I pray against my american (not biblical) understandings and baggage that I am inevitably bring with me to Thailand.
Please Join me!

1.  That I would trust in the HOLY SPIRIT!
1.  That I would be a student of the Thai people and culture.
2.  That God would humble me when I need it.  
3.  That I would share Christ in a way that the Thai people would understand.