Journal to God

Dear Jesus:

April 1 – I went to immigration to get my visa extension. Social distancing, long lineups, but the building itself was nearly empty! Thankfully I got another 3 month education visa extension. Praise God that I can trust you to come through always. Funniest conversation was with 3 young nurses/pharmacists who were hiding behind this huge plastic dome. They were like a help desk if you thought you were sick and wanted to get covid testing. But what kind of person would want to come all the way to the middle of nowhere to get tested?? And who would admit that they were sick anyways? I asked.

April 3 – Called Geng and his wife again. Oddly Geng has been super busy. His wife Bai too. He say’s he’s stuck in work and sometimes has to be cancel our online meetings. Busy during quarantine period when everyone is stuck in their homes? What kind of work does he do?

April 5 – My devotions today have been centered on passion week. The week leading up to the Lord’s crucifixion. This helps me focus on what matters. And it’s in the name. Passion. Lord help give me the zeal, the passion that you had to care for your sheep before leaving this earth. This includes acts of service, care towards others, but also devotion to you.

April 6 – Eating can be such a chore. Going out and buying food is a daily task, especially when you don’t have a kitchen. Lord please forgive me for not eating more local Thai food. Pad Thai and noodle soup just isn’t designed to be taken home. Som Tam also suffers from the same problem. I want to eat like a local, with the locals. With flies all running around, in the sweltering heat, in colliquial broken Thai or other dialects, with that wonderful Thai smile I’m so used to. Not just eat it in isolation. That is too boring.

April 9 – Yesterday I was supposed to meet up online with the other missionaries who left in the same co-hort as me but I forgot!! How embarrassing, I had it marked on my calendar incorrectly. And also being confused due to time zone differences. Thankfully Tim Moore told me what went down. It’s glad to hear the other missionaries are doing fine. I hope their language studies are progressing well. Some just landed before the whole outbreak began. The ones with kids are going stir crazy though.

April 12- It’s Easter. Big event for us Christians. Yet being locked up it has been feeling tiny. Wonderful to see so many churches online celebrating Jesus’ resurrection. Even Thai churches. Some even bring out all the works – plays, dramas, huge productions. Other’s are more somber. I wish I could just run out and tell everyone that Jesus is alive. But to a Buddhist’s ear that would be meaningless if not negative. If Jesus died a brutal death he must have been a very bad man.

April 15 – Every 90 days I have to send a report to the government saying where I live, else I get fined big time. Every foreigner has to do this process, including long timers. BUT this time after mailing my response through the school I didn’t get anything back. It’s been around 3 weeks past due date and concerning. Talked with the Burnett’s about this issue for a long time. Complained to the school even more. Government office is a mess from what the news said. Guess I will have to trust in the advice of the Burnett’s. Don’t sweat it since you already did your part. Pray for the Lord to intervene and trust in his unfailing plans. – but it’s so much easiest to trust in you Lord when things are going well!! Help!

April 15 – I’m losing track of time. It’s been around 30 days of self-quarantine already. News has been a downer to read as always. US losing tonnes of jobs. Canada also. C&MA also struggling to survive. Found out my friend who’s a pastor got let go from their church. Another church once had 7 pastors, down to 2 now. Must keep my head looking up to the Lord. Nothing surprises God. Nothing catches him off guard.

April ? – I wonder how crazy one can go in isolation. In the movie cast away, Tom Hanks drew a person’s face on a volleyball and talked to it daily. I have this Tom Yum plastic cup to which I do the same. I complain to it about how spicy it is and how fearful I am of eating it. When I talk to my friends online I pull out the plastic cup and brag about how I will eat it one day. Which is funny, cause this particular brand is called ซื่อสัตย์. Which means “sincere”. Well when I am talking to a ramen cup daily I am sincerely going crazy!

Wilson, the Volleyball

April ? – I tried to read proverbs 13 with a friend in Thai. Big mistake. Almost impossible to comprehend. Language used is very formal. Better to stick to something easier like the gospels.

April 18 – No wonder the Thai bible is so huge and thick! A lot of our words end up stretched out as it is with Thai royal language. Example is “Jesus told her”. Becomes “Jesus the Lord God on high turned to her and proclaimed”. Something to that effect. Praying in Thai is also challenging. I wonder if my Thai friends are laughing inside at how broken my prayers are. I don’t even know if I’m asking God correctly in Thai. When I get stuck on how to pray it, it just urges me to speak faster to get it over with! Cause it seems all the Thai Christians pray very fast. I’d say average prayer time per person is 1 minute. But I want to take 5-10 with God at least. But I also don’t want to be rude to my Thai friends, especially when it seems like babbling.

April 22 – The Canadian Eastern District Office has been reaching out to me a lot. It’s good to have some communication with those in the leadership. Been very encouraging to hear the direction of prayer with the District Superintendent. Especially Acts 1:4. Pray for 40 days for power on from high. Sometimes I feel my prayers are too tiny. So many things I wonder if prayer would make an impact. Could prayer impact the belief of a Thai non-believer? Should I pray that God would provide this or that for me? Do I pray that the Lord would save his elect in Thailand?

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