It feels like an eternity since I was last in Japan, but also like I was leaving for Thailand just yesterday. I feel a little sad to have left Thailand so soon, especially because of all the amazing people I met there, but it’s nice to be back in somewhat familiar surroundings, and in a country where I actually know some of the language, even if I’m still working at it.
If I were to share everything that happened, this would be super long, so I’ll try to stick to the highlights. The first few weeks we spent working with a Thai man named Pat. We didn’t have a schedule, and most days we only had a vague idea of what we would be doing, we just went wherever Pat took us. Pat has many different ministries, including in hospitals and schools, but his main focus is a prison ministry. He regularly visits a juvenile prison, and when the prisoners are finished their sentence they can choose to go to his Halfway Home where they can learn trades and efficient farming.
I think my highlight during the time with Pat was the first time I was able to do my kamishibai. Although I had written it for children, I’d been unable to do it at the School of Promise, where we’d mostly been cleaning things and helping set up for a Christmas concert. Instead, the first place I ended up doing it was at the prison, and I wasn’t sure what they would think of it, but they ended up liking it, and several of the prisoners said the story reminded them of their lives. Also, on my birthday, we ended up canceling a trip to a village while Pat fixed a pipe in a temple, and because of that we ended up being invited to a Buddhist school.
After working with Pat, we went to an orphanage in the mountains called Sila Home. There we helped build a foundation for a new guest house, as well as do activities with the kids. We also went and taught English at a local school. I got sick, of course, but it was only a cold, so I was still able to do things. The children were all very sweet, and I enjoyed getting to know them.
Outreach as a whole was busy. We were constantly going places and planning things. Despite this, I found I had a lot more time to think than I did during the rest of DTS, because of the lack of a lecture every day. Despite the intensity, there were still things I was able to think about. As a whole, I think Thailand went pretty well. I made some mistakes, but I learned from them. I feel like God worked in and through me in new ways, which I enjoyed.
Our next outreach is going to be in Osaka. We’re mostly going to be doing worship and prophetic evangelism, possibly other stuff, but like Thailand, I won’t really know what we’re doing for sure until we go there. I’m hoping it surpasses Thailand outreach, and I’m looking forward to seeing what God will do!