My time in Thailand has been great, but it has started off rather rocky. You will need some backstory in order to understand why. When I first met my team leader, Eric, about going on this trip, something he said sparked an intense excitement in me. Eric told me we were planning to teach conversational English to Thai college students. Each day, we were going to have a different focus, and one of the days would revolve around the kitchen. In addition, he suggested we might be able to use English to show the students how to make an American burger and fries. My heart started to race as I revealed to Eric that I am a line cook and currently work at Eureka Burger in Fresno. This was the moment of sign from God confirming my place on this mission trip.
Ok, back to the present now. I packed my chef jacket, chef hat, and brought non-slip shoes. I was so excited to teach these students how to cook. But, then, the day before MY day, we got new information about what we were going to teach. I had to scrap all my plans. In that moment, my world crumbled. I began to question my purpose for being on this trip.
It took me a little while to realize why I was so crushed. I was upset that God didn't follow my lead. At some point, I started to make this day all about me. I wanted to show off. It was about me, in the spotlight, glorifying myself. Obviously, God was not going to let that happen. After I stopped fighting His plan, my perspective immediately shifted. An incredible peace and clarity freed me from the weight of doubt and insecurity about the lesson.
Side note, I noticed that doubts and insecurities in general had made myself and some of my team timid. Some of us, I, being one of them, held back entering into conversations with the Thai students. We didn't know how much English they understood, and in turn, they were afraid of not being understood. The CRU team has played a crucial role with bridging the perceived language barrier. In only two days though, almost every wall has been lowered. We are even beginning to share our faith with the Thai students.
Back to my main story, our cooking lesson went fabulous. We had them play a few games to learn English names for items in the kitchen. In the afternoon, we had a cooking workshop. The workshop where I had planned to dazzle the crowd with my skills. Instead, the Thai students had to use English to instruct the Americans how to make Thai dishes. The look of panic on some of my team members was hilarious. I still wore my chef jacket and hat (yes, it was very hot and totally worth it) and basically emceed the faux competition.
It was an amazing experience. I am so thankful to God for getting me out of His way. During the cooking, I didn't even participate. I was content to sit back and watch our team show love, patience and trust to these students we just met. I couldn't have put together a better plan or asked for a better outcome.
I wanted to take a second to thank all of you again who gave financially, who were praying and those who are still praying in support of God's mission in Thailand this summer! A few specific prayer needs at the moment are: health (a few colds are making things difficult), peace (constantly changing plans have caused a bit of anxiety) and boldness (we need to consistently show God's love with action and words.