(In) competence

‘Do you feel well equipped for your work here, because of your previous education?’ Right before we left for Thailand we would have replied with a confident ‘yes’. With degrees in theology and anthropology we have gained a lot of knowledge and skills to support our church planting ministry. But now, six months on the field? We feel even after a year of full time language study that we barely speak Thai, let alone understand the local dialect.

How do we develop a ministry when our baby and toddler seem to catch all the local viruses? How do you meet people when rain is pouring some days and other days everybody seems to be working on their paddy field? Most days we feel like we’re barely surviving.

However, our education does not seem the key factor in developing ministry. As we feel unable to do anything of significance, we can see God at work. How is it that one neighbor feels fed up with Buddhism and shows interest in the life and faith of Christians. Another seems OK with Buddhist regulations, but is searching for an explanation about how the world came into being. And we’re encouraged, God knows what he does as he pointed us to this house (even though it seemed a bit lonely at first).

And what about that Christian couple we heard about before we came to serve here. They were gone for months, their house was difficult to find. But now they are visiting the church in the neighboring district and the husband has said he wants to be baptized. Last Saturday we hosted the first Bible Study in Na Dun. And we realize, this is not our doing. This is not because of our degrees, this is God at work that we are part of it is just His grace. It’s not about our ability, but about our availability. And above all it’s God at work!

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