The REACH teams have all finished their six-month outreaches and are beginning two weeks of re-entry at the Rosedale International Center. The following update from Morgan, Thailand team leader, was written during their last weeks in Bangkok.
It’s the final countdown – the final stretch of goodbyes, packing, and reentry in Ohio. To be quite honest, it feels like I never left Bangkok since entering the program two years ago, and that I will still be here for a while. Life here has become my “normal” and my “known.” My comfort zone has been expanded to include this country – many, many miles away from home. So now, when I’m faced with the reality that it will all come to an abrupt stop, I think back on my time here over the past two years and think to myself, “now what?”
Now, I breathe in, seeking to embrace the transitions and change to come. I say goodbye, knowing God used me in their lives in some way and will continue to work in their lives after I leave. I remind myself that God is sovereign, in control, and omnipresent. I feel the sadness of leaving (knowing I may never see these people again), the joy of reuniting with loved ones, and the nervousness of the unknowns all at once. As seasons come and go, and people do the same, the sweetness of relationship and the presence of Abba becomes something more and more treasured. Sometimes it’s sad thinking how my friends and family will never really know the things I’ve experienced, places I’ve seen, and people I’ve met in the last year, but there is something in the sadness that reminds me of the Father’s heart for me. Abba is walking with me every step of life, rejoicing and weeping with me, and I rest knowing I am fully known and loved by him.
“Abba is walking with me every step of life, rejoicing and weeping with me, and I rest knowing I am fully known and loved by him.”
As I think about things that I’ve learned and experienced over the past nine months, a theme that I see is letting go and trusting the Father. As I was lifting my team to the Father before our paths officially crossed, I felt like identity was a theme that he kept pressing on my heart for the coming year, and now I can look back and see how that is something that’s been woven amongst different things that I’ve been learning. He taught me that the world doesn’t rest on my shoulders and challenged me to let go of responsibilities and pressures that I was not meant to carry. He taught me to surrender the things and people that I often hold on to, assuring me that he is holding them and cares more than I do. He taught me to have faith, go with the flow, and align myself with his expectations, not my own. He replaced judgment with compassion, fear with confidence in him, and hurts with healing. He taught me to delight in all he is, finding him even in the small, mundane feeling moments of life. He taught me to love sacrificially, lead by example, and let go of control.
Even though this is my last blog, I know that the Father is not finished. In the same way, he has been continually working at home, he will continue to work here, and in me. I know that two years ago I would have never guessed what lied ahead for me. It leads me to wonder if I will say the same in another two!
Please continue to lift up the REACH participants over the next two weeks as they go through re-entry, process their outreach experiences, and step into whatever God has next in their lives.