Its not customary to show emotions here in Thai culture, (and I didn’t really want anybody to see me either), so I had to hide for a few minutes in the bathroom when I got off the plane to shed a few tears of joy mixed with a bit of unbelief that I actually made it back here again. These first few days have had several moments like that. I don’t know what’s wrong with me – everyone who knows me knows that I’m not exactly the most emotional guy in the world. It’s weird – but I can’t help it though – these first few days have just been so great. I’ve already gotten to see many dear Thai friends – the ones who welcomed us and took care of us almost 5 years ago when we first arrived in Thailand. If not for them, I think I, along with my team of Americans, would still be standing at the bus stop outside the Bangkok airport trying to communicate to figure out where to go. Instead, the Thai Campus Crusade for Christ staff who I worked with for two years here taught us everything – how to order food, how to pay our electric bills, how to get around town, they taught us to speak the language, and share the gospel with Thai people in their own words – in short, my two years here would not have been possible without them. So needless to say, I have been absolutely thrilled to be back to see these brothers and sisters in Christ who quickly became dear friends.
I guess a lot of the joy in seeing them comes from the fact we all mutually know that our friendship has not been able to be based on anything but Christ Himself. We didn’t share a common language, common culture, common experiences, backgrounds, traditions – nothing. These Thai brothers and sisters served us and loved us based on the fact that Christ was and is in us as believers. So many times in the States, we as believers base our relationships on other things – not bad things – just other things that we have in commom – instead of basing everything on Him and I believe we often miss out on another level of fellowship that God desires that we should experience. Here in Thailand, we are “”forced”” to depend upon Him for our connection, for our fellowship in a way that is easily overlooked at home. I praise Him for a chance to be reminded of this fact, and for the opportunity to enjoy sweet fellowship with Thai believers again. May I more fully depend upon him in all my relationships here and as I go back to the States.