It's hard to believe that i'm now back in Sydney already!! Where did the past 1 1/2 months go? Unfortunately the busyness of 2 short term teams, border runs for visas, packing up and moving out of home, farewell parties and saying goodbye, arriving back in sydney and trying to sort out life back here has meant no recent posts. It's not to say that i haven't still been seeing God doing amazing work in people's lives and seeing God's word at work and changing people's lives, i just haven't had a chance to share about it all.
After the CCC team, we had a few days break before the CCC Melbourne team came along. Even though we had never met any of the team members before, within the first 20mins of meeting them, we knew that this was going to be a team that we would get along really well with and be a lot of fun to work with. We got to head down to Mae Tia and do a gospel skit presentation which had all sorts of singing, multimedia, videos and skits. The team did an awesome job of presenting the gospel there which was really exciting. We also got to go to another small village called Mae Jong and help a local church there with doing a gospel christmas outreach to the village there. It was great to see how us being there to teach the kids and run kids activities in the afternoon could free up so many of our thai friends to be able to put on the christmas party and organise to present the outreach presentation - something which we would never be able to.
The highlight of the second team would have to have been the 3 day Bethany Camp that we ran over New Year. Basically it was like a houseparty/youth camp for the 30+ kids from the Bethany House orphange. For me, it was a really exciting way how we could see the partnership of christians around the world coming together for the gospel. We had churches from Australia helping to finance the camp, the short term team helping run activities, but more importantly helping doing 8 amazing skits to help the kids understand the gospel more, thai friends from our church giving talks, taking music and forming relationships and getting alongside the girls and talking to them about all sorts of issues, as well as our team helping facilitate it all to happen. It really was a great way to see the many ways that we are all part of the same body of Christ and how we all have our various roles to play. What really encouraged me and fired me up after the first team was to see the way that God really worked in so many lives of the team members and others, and how many of them were so challenged by what it means to be a christian in our everyday lives, whether or not we are in Sydney, Melbourne, Thailand or where ever.
Kids and team at the Bethany Camp
Kids at the camp
kids doing activities at the camp
me playing guitar
maggie and denise with the puppet show
no i'm not constipated - just doing the 'chicken dance' after being the 'loser' in a game
After the second team left, it was pretty much all systems go to pack up, clean up and say goodbyes. I don't think there's ever enough time to say goodbyes. It was really tough having to say goodbye to so many that have become such close friends and even feel like family. Many of my thai friends are thinking of my time back in Sydney as a short term mission to sydney before i go back :) I quite liked that take on things :)
Cana House kids doing a dance for me at my farewell
With my Cell group at my farewell
Since coming back, it has been awesome catching up with so many old friends and family. In many ways it feels like i never left as things are still the same, but at the same time, i also feel like there is a whole new life and i know that i have changed so much in my thinking and way of life. I'm still scared about all the reading that i'm going to have to do for college, but am also really excited about getting more into the Bible and preparing myself for future ministry - hopefully back in thailand.
Hopefully over the next few months, i'll post up a few odds and ends about college life, reverse cultural observations etc.
For those praying, please be praying for all those who i've had to leave behind in Thailand, to continue growing in their love and knowledge of God. Please pray for me in my adjustment back to life in sydney and new responsibilities of being a student here. Please pray that i won't forget any of the lessons that God has been teaching me over the past couple years am that i will continue to desire after Him,