Most of you know that my health has been a constant battle. One of my fears in coming to Thailand was how my body may react to the food and my surroundings. On Sunday I woke up feeling off, hopped in the van for a bumpy ride for three hours and then attended two services at our Professor’s church. The first service two of the girls shared their story to the people (the message was translated) and we sang our signature song of “Trading My Sorrows”. The church provided lunch and afterwards we ventured to a church service in a lady’s home. The lady who owned the house was 90 years old and is not educated, but she knows the hymnal by heart. I enjoyed listening to worship in a different language. I felt content just listening to their voices and observing how God works beyond the edge of cultural bounds. After both services we hopped back in the van and drove to the edge of Thailand, where we got to take a step into Burma. I looked beyond the border mark to see the watch tower of the Burmese. It felt strange to be at the edge of a country and not be permitted to enter.
The day was new, but my insides were hurting. I fought hard to keep myself together and presentable amongst a new situation. Traveling is wonderful, but it is hard to keep a high spirit when your body is in pain. My adventure mates were kind and checked up on me. One of the girls took a rather deep picture of me. The pain and miserableness seems to show in my expression. At that moment it took all the energy I had to even hold myself together. Adele reminded me that students like me who come with extra stressors are brave. We fight a different element beyond the normal edge of experiencing a new culture. It is a battle I face while traveling, some days are better than others. Some days are worse. The comfort I have in those moments is the reminder that it will pass, the pain is fleeting. I was humbled to be amongst people who do not have much, who offer a ton of food (including waffles), and give beyond what they have. They are living testament to God’s giving. Even amongst suffering, there are people who love, care, and give. My pain is not comparable to some others, but it gives me a better understanding of the internal battles that people face. It helps me to see beyond the surface, to seek a deeper understanding of people and their struggles.
Thank you everyone for your prayers.