We've been working, spending time with the kids in the Refugee Camp, spending time with our partners and friends here, shooting/creating videos, photos, and blogs for The Sound of Hope, volunteering at a government orphanage, and who could forget all the TRAVEL time! We've been driving all over Thailand during this trip (which is no easy feat). In the past 100 days we've been to Bangkok twice, Pattaya (4 times), Mae Sariang (4 times), Mai Si, Mae Sot, Koh Samet, across the border to Burma and returning after each trip to our "home" in Chiang Mai. WHEW!
So, with all that was happening I had a choice: 1) Stay home and write blogs or 2) BE fully here, with the people, living life. Obviously, I chose #2.... because I knew I would not get this opportunity again!
But that doesn't mean I won't continue to share the stories, pictures, and videos from our time here with you all. I believe I have a responsibility to share all we've experienced with those of you back home. Rusty calls it the "Burden of Knowledge". I also believe it's important for me to have a record of all these things somewhere, so that WE will not forget! Deuteronomy 4:9 says, "Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them." So, I will continue posting about our trip and all that God has done during our time here until I am "caught up" - I hope you'll bear with me and keep checking in!
In the mean time, you can check out The Sound of Hope blog for our final update on The Promised Land Project, and Rusty's final Thailand blog about our last few weeks.
Day 100. I still can't believe this day has come. It is going to be such a drastic change for us to go from living life in Thailand, to our life back in Michigan. I am feeling such a mix of emotions as we leave!
My heart is returning home heavy. I am burdened for the women, men, and children who are trapped in the sex industry here. It is a horrific, perverse reality that many times I wish I'd never seen. The darkness is appalling. But now that I have seen it, I cannot forget it. And we WILL work to rescue as many children out of it as we can!
I am also broken for Burma. I cannot believe that I knew NOTHING about the horrors the people of Burma face at the hands of their own government. I can't believe that the world has turned a blind eye to the atrocities carried out by the evil military regime in charge! But we have heard the stories of the victims and now we are committed to shining a light onto this issue until we see PEACE come to Burma!
Although my heart feels heavy, broken, and burdened.... it is also full of the happy memories we have made here! I have truly enjoyed our time here and I have fallen in love with the people of Thailand and Burma. I am proud that we have worked so hard. I am blessed to have spent so much time with our partners here - getting to know their hearts and their dreams. I am forever changed by the children we met here in the government orphanage and the Refugee Camp. They are beautiful and kind and courageous, and we are committed to seeing them get the HOPE and the FUTURE they deserve!
And, as we leave my heart is full of more FAITH. God has shown up in some incredible ways during the past 100 days, and I do not want to forget the things He has done. As I begin to feel anxious about what will happen next (after we get home) and another season of transition that we know is coming.... I am trying to REST in the truth that He always, always, always comes through for His people. He has walked every step of the way with us until now and we know that He will make a way for us.
Broken. Burdened. Poured Out. Full. Happy. Blessed. Inspired. Committed. Faith-full.
I have been forever changed by the last 100 days, and for that, I am so thankful!
Please cover us in prayer as we begin the long journey home. As you read this, we are on our way to the airport. We have about a 25 hour travel day ahead of us (and 18 hours of it will be in the air). We also have a short lay-over in Japan, which makes me a little nervous after all the earthquakes & radiation issues! We would appreciate your prayers for health, safety, and traveling mercies! Thank you for all the prayers, encouraging comments, and support you have given us while we were here! We couldn't do this without YOU!