Wow, this stop has been rich and full! I’ll do my best to put some takeaways into words…
First of all, the food here is so stinking good! And the sights are beeeeautiful. We have stayed with Bill and Susie Antolec, who are in charge of a ministry called Acorn2Oaks. They house and mentor students (16-22ish years old) from mountain villages who would otherwise not have opportunity to go to school and have a solid education.
During our time here, we have gotten to know (& grown to love) these precious people–Bill, Susie, and all of the students. We have done various types of work, including yard work (dads, be proud of us), teaching English, prayer walking, and a day of VBS up in one of the mtn villages. (I’m pretty sure it’s called Doi Chong? Bill, if you’re reading this, please feel correct me haha. To all you coffee drinkers out there, that coffee is good!)
As I reflect on everything I’ve experienced and learned over the past week, I’m reminded of a comment Bill made, which also ties into our team Bible study we’ve been doing. I was telling Bill how incredible I thought it was for him and Susie to sacrifice the comforts of home to live full-time here in Thailand. He replied, “I get what you’re saying, but I don’t see it that way. Doing this is far more rewarding than anything else would be.”
Our Bible study this past week has focused a lot on the Bible story of the rich young ruler, found in Luke 18. The story eludes to the struggle we as humans have sometimes to sacrifice that which we have/can see for the sake of something better that God is calling us to. Sometimes remaining in a lifestyle that is familiar seems safer or more satisfying than surrendering to a life governed by God. But Bill’s response is a testimony to the fact that when God invites us to be a part of His plan/His work, it is FAR more rewarding than any temporary satisfaction we could have in earthly things (including relationships with earthly people).
We’ve been encouraged this week to really sit down and consider what types of things/people we treasure in our day-to-day lives, and evaluate whether or not those are of God, or of our own desires apart from God. (And even if the things we treasure aren’t “bad things”, do we still spend more time, energy, money, etc. on those things than we do on fellowship with the Lord?)
My prayer is that as you read this, God would stir in your heart, and help you have a willingness to trust Him above all else. The rich young ruler missed out on knowing Christ, and spending eternity with Him bc the ruler was unwilling to sell his possessions (which would fade away and not last for eternity). Praying that we all live our lives with more of an eternal perspective as we consider this.
Here are a few things I’d love your prayer for:
-Continued spiritual growth for Autumn and me
-Funds to continue coming to support the students at Acorns2Oaks
***Several students still need sponsors. I have info for each one. Please pray about potentially sponsoring one of them. I’ve seen the ministry here, and the good it brings. Please consider this, and let me know if interested!
-Safe travels as we head to Uganda in a few hours
Thank y’all again for your continued prayers and support!! I have plenty more stories, pictures, etc. to share when I’m back. Just wanted to share a spiritual takeaway this time because it is so important.
So much love to y’all!!