Reflections on the 1st year in Isaan

‘We would like to share with you a reflection we had to write for the annual report of OMF. One of the many blessings of being a missionary is the fact that the Bible starts to speak in a new and different way. Just the fact of living in a different culture helps us to understand some stories and aspects of the Bible better. For instance, since we are living in Isan, we can better understand what it is to live in a hot climate and why it really is necessary to wash your feet after a day of walking on sandals. Especially in our ministry the Bible comes really close to us. What happens in Isan and of course other places, is a continuation of the things we read in Acts. Bible history in the making.

The way we work is directly inspired from the first Christians and first missionaries we read about in Acts. We try to keep our focus clear. Why do we do the things we do and to what purpose do we do those things? Are we really doing that what we are called to do? Have side issues not become main goals and vice versa. Our priority should always be the Gospel of Christ. What really strikes us is the enormous power of how this Gospel advances. Despite and often by means of great persecution the Gospel wins hearts for Christ. Almost like a wave that cannot be stopped.

As a missionary we are blessed in many ways, but we also have our sorrows and struggles. In all of these the things Paul writes have become more familiar. We have to remind ourselves that we are servants, instruments meant to be used. It is tempting to let our feelings and sense of fulfillment depend on our success. Often we work so hard, but do we really pray enough? It is not all about us; it is about God and His glory.

To reach the people around us with the Gospel, close by and those far away, is the task and responsibility of us all. It makes us humble and grateful to know that so many people make it possible for us to do this job. Moreover, also daily lift us and our work up in prayer before God. At the same time mission is totally God’s job. Dependant on Him we expect a great harvest here in Isan. To Him be the glory.’

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