I came back from Thailand with my heart filled with love and concern for the people I met. One of the most impactful experiences for me was the nightly worship time that we spent with the children at the boarding house.
The first time we met the children, they were working on their studies and greeted us with warmth and love, eager to show us around. They were so proud to show us where they lived, and I could not hold back the tears. We have so much in the way of material goods and conveniences, and they have so little in comparison. After visiting the dump where most of the children had previously lived, I realized that it is all relative. It is no wonder that they are proud of their home. They are safe, they are fed and clothed, and they are clean. They are loved and they are one big family.
The next night we had our first evening worship time with the children. They came in quickly and seated themselves in rows with Bibles on their laps. The time began with singing, and they seemed oblivious to us as they were worshiping through music, most with their eyes closed. Each worship time included time for personal testimonies and children came to the front and spoke to the group. If a Bible verse was mentioned, they were quick to look it up. During one of our last evenings, Hine Pai translated what they said. I remember that one little girl shared that she had lost her school ID card and she prayed that God would help her find it. The next morning, she did find it and she gave praise for answered prayer. I was amazed, as well as humbled, to see how they gave praise and thanks to the Heavenly Father every single night. In so many ways, they are really fortunate to have this time together. I was convicted that I do not spend this amount of time in prayer and thanksgiving each day. They set a high bar for me. I am so grateful that God allowed me to spend a week with these amazing children! I was blessed and will forever hold them in my heart. I pray that they will have fruitful lives as they grow and mature in Christ.
- Authored by Mary Ann Rodgers, Thailand team member from First Presbyterian Church in Bakersfield
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