>The Benefits of Coffee

>I just had coffee with Sharon, a friend of mine that I haven’t seen in about a month. We sat for two hours and talked about our lives while enjoying wonderful coffee and kanome (cookies). It was so good to hang out with her again and catch up. Sharon is someone that I always feel relaxed when I’m around. Granted, I spend a lot of our time together ranting about my life, but I always leave our conversations with a smile on my face and a bit of a spring in my step. Here are some of the things that we talked about that are related to me:

1) Involvement in church. When I first moved to Chiang Mai, I hated every church that I tried. It sounds like an awful thing to say, with the church being God’s house and all, but it is true. I tried a lot of churches and none of them met my needs. I ended up at my current church because I made friends with the worship leader. I started helping run the sound system for the services and helped start a youth group (which is now thriving) and before I knew it, I was deeply involved and committed to my church. I became happy there after deciding to meet their needs instead of my own. I still struggle with certain aspects of the church but overall, I am very happy and settled there.

2) Relationships. No more details following, just relationships.

3) Radio Stations. Well, actually just one. Today I was asked to start working as a DJ at a local, government run radio station when I return to Thailand in January. I have never actually listened to the radio in Thailand but Sharon has and so we talked a bit about the station. I am excited about the opportunity and will be praying about it while I am back in the states.

4) Boundaries. And of course, my struggle with them. I won’t bore you with this subject again. 🙂

5) 6 Weeks. Sharon is concerned that six weeks is not a long enough break for me and I really appreciate her concern. Honestly, I don’t know if six weeks is the right amount of time or not. I know that six weeks is enough time for me to rest but I don’t know if it is enough time for me to recuperate. I have become burnt out on life and I have a lot of healing to do. Is six weeks the right amount of time? Only God knows.

6) Project Christmas Relief. As I hinted yesterday, I spent the day doing some relief work. Yesterday morning I got up really early and drove up the mountain to a hilltribe village. About 200 villagers showed up to our outreach and we were able to give them blankets, toothbrushes, soap, towels, school supplies and a lot of other things that they needed. We also worshiped with them and shared the gospel, which was the main reason that we were there. Forty two people gave their lives to the Lord, it was amazing! I saw people praying for the first time ever and their faces were filled with passion and emotion like I have never seen. I hope that I never forget that sight. We also baptized 20 people that had made recent commitments to the Lord and had been taught about baptism. I was asked along as the official photographer for the group and took a total of 887 pictures. I had a blast! But the best part about the day was that I was once again filled with a passion for the people. People often think that being a missionary means never taking your eye off the goal but, really it is extremely easy to become comfortable in ministry and lose sight of why I am here. I need to be taken out of my daily schedule now and then and be reminded of why I am here. Yesterday did that for me and I’m so glad to have had this experience right before heading back to the states. I have posted some of my photos on my Flickr site, click on the link on the right to see them.

It was so wonderful to sit with a friend and talk, I need to make more time to this in my life!

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