Something that has really been on our heart in coming to Thailand has been unity. There are good ministries already out there – we don’t want to start something on our own that other people are already doing (and honestly are doing it better than we could because of experience, knowing the language, etc). We want to help start something that brings unity and help connects things that are already in place (as you can read about on our new website – yes that was a shameless plug). It has been super encouraging to hear from others that they feel God has been calling for more unity among the church and missionaries in Thailand.
So far most of our time has been consumed with studying the language, and trying to meet with ministries and NGO’s (Non Governmental Organizations) to discuss this. How can we better work together, as a unified body, to advance and build up HIS Kingdom? One thing we have been pitching to people is how much more effective we could be if we did work together to some extent. There is nothing wrong with having our own ministry, and specializing in the areas we feel called to or are gifted in. But we must be cautious that what we are doing does not become more important than the ones we are trying to serve. We must be cautious that our own ministry or kingdom is not taking priority over a greater cause, a greater kingdom – God’s Kingdom. This is when our good intentions can cause great harm. Everyone has different gifts, talents, and resources. So what if we were able to continue to do what God has gifted us in, but have the ability to utilize other people’s strengths, where we are weak or need help?
Nicole and I have only been in Thailand for a month and a half. We have accomplished a lot as far as getting settled, learning language, making connections, and building relationships so far. At the same time, I get impatient and I feel like things are moving too slow. We so desperately want good things to be accomplished. We want to honor God with our work. We want good things to happen for our family and friend’s sake; to affirm that us leaving isn’t worthless. We want it for our sake; to affirm that we didn’t give up everything we cared about back home for nothing. We want to see results so we can share with you, so you can be proud of us, and continue to pray and support the work that God is doing through us. But as I analyze this thought process, I realize something. When I become so wrapped up in wanting to see results, it is usually because I’m wanting to build up the Kingdom of Mike and Nicole and Justice ACTs Thailand and disguising it as wanting to build the Kingdom of God. We begin to do the very thing we are preaching against, being more concerned with OUR kingdom than God’s, regardless of our “good intentions”. The selfish and prideful part of me wants to see things happen NOW – without necessarily being concerned about what God wants or may be doing during the slow times or the building phase.
So as we continue to connect with NGO’s, Businesses, and Disciplers, please pray for us. Pray that:
– We are patient. Good intentions can do more harm than good if we are careless. We need to make sure we are building a system that works, and that Christ will be glorified. This will take more time, but it is necessary that this is built up with a lot of prayer, thought, and strategy. We could implement something quick so we can try to rescue as many at risk girls as we can in two years, and it may not be effective at all but we will have a few more badges to put on our Good Works vest. OR we could take the necessary time and steps to try to build up something that will be effective and long lasting. Pray that we focus on the latter and have patience.
– God will continue to open doors with NGO’s (which He already has done!), but that He will also provide open doors with more businesses and Christian women (Thai or Missionaries) willing to give the at risk job opportunities, and that we can provide them with discipleship along with that.
– We carry ourselves with an attitude of humility and are servants. That we are “quick to listen, slow to speak”. That we continue to be learners – of the other NGO’s here, of the businesses, and of the Thai people.
– That we won’t just have good intentions, but that we have HIS intentions. That we can lay down our desires and will and HIS will be lifted up.