The Thai New Year was the weekend of April 13 and the country celebrates with a nation-wide water fight. So we jumped at the opportunity to return to our youth and throw water at people. On Saturday, we went to the train station where our friends Not and Goi have a coffee stand. They had set up a tarp on the side of the road to shade us from sun and were filling up trashcans with water. We camped out on the side of the road for several hours, hurling buckets of water on pickup beds full of people, who also hurled ice cold buckets of water on us. Kyle’s favorite was throwing buckets of water across two lanes of traffic to land right in the lap of unsuspecting motorcyclists. Just when they thought they had got past the ambush, they were met with a bucket of water! Thankfully, we caused no accidents:) Earlier in the day, we were driving in Sandy’s covered pickup with the side windows cracked to get some air in. We drove past a rode-side water camp like ours and Sandy stopped to let us get a taste of our own medicine. Kyle, thinking fast, pulled down the camper shell lid. I was utterly amazed though, at the volume of water that came through the three inch crack of the side windows. For the hundredth time that day, we were again completely soaked! Later, we jumped in the back of Not’s pickup with our trashcans of water, and drove around the park where everyone was throwing water on each other and rubbing a white paste on each other’s faces. It was like a friendly war zone of 12-year olds all weekend! Oh, the joy of being 12!
Another tradition for the Thai New Year is to honor the elderly in your family or community. We went to Not’s house to do this for his mom, oldest brother, and elderly neighbor. We took cups of water and poured them over their hands and shoulders, blessing them as we filed past. We added our own Christian twist to it by sharing Bible verses and praying for blessing in Jesus’ name over them. Standing there after we had blessed our elders, all 6 of us were moved with prayers of intercession for them. God has done a life-saving miracle in this woman’s life and has empowered Not to preach the gospel to his family. He reads the Bible to her every day. This week she asked to come to church with him.
Please intercede to the Throne of Grace asking for her salvation! Break the bonds and oppression of darkness and release her to hear and receive the Gospel!
Another theme for me the last few months, which relates to the theme of being a kid again, is that of risk-taking faith. Last week, I spent time reflecting on the story of Peter walking on water. When the disciples saw Jesus walking to them on the water, they were terrified. But Jesus assured them it was he. The dialogue between Peter and Jesus goes like this in Matthew 14:28.
Peter replied, “Lord, if it is you, tell me to come to you on the water.”
“Come” Jesus said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and began to sink.
“Lord,” he cried, “save me!”
Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
This made me think about my fears that make me sink in the sea of faith. Being on TREK has ignited my dry faith and the familiar Scriptures have sunk from my head to my heart. I feel like Peter – like I have “stepped out of the boat” and am walking toward Jesus. I have seen God move in mighty ways, maybe not in the way I wanted or expected, but he will further His Kingdom either way.
But, I also see a lot of waves and wind coming to swallow me and my baby faith and keep me from being Christ-like. The fear is sometimes disabling. I hear Jesus inviting me to take the risk and experience the thrill of living by faith and walking on the water. I’ve been learning lately that the only way to grow your faith is to take risks – to step out of the boat. I want to take risks, love the unlovely, and share my faith, because I know that without risk I will sink back into a mediocre faith. I can rest in the truth of these words from the popular worship song “Still” and Psalm 46:10.
When the oceans rise and thunders roll/ I will soar with you above the storm./ Father you are King over the flood./ I will be still and know you are God.
“Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth.”
What are your waves? What makes you take your eyes off of Jesus and sink? What risk is he calling you to take to take your faith to a deeper level? Go ahead. Jump in. The Way is not guaranteed to be easy. But it is Good!