The Edge

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.


Bethany Jane

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Katrina Berquist says:


    I don’t know if this will be private or public so I will try to make it short and not too personal. I am SOOOO excited for this adventure that you are on!!!

    I am sorry to hear of your continued struggle with your health. I wish to say something that might be a comfort. My health struggle has been with mental issues and some nagging physical things. Your strain of being in a new country I liken to the strain I went through experiencing the death of my father and then being in a continuing situation of facing death in my work with hospice. It is a pain that few can understand. The bright point in all of this was seeing God’s utter faithfulness to me in my weakness and His constancy in comforting me. He also took my eyes off my pain by letting me focus on the “one thing” I could do for the patient in front of me. True I am taking a break from hospice work now, but the lessons I learned have cut my fears way down and He has shown me that He will always come through for me.

    There is a devotional that I have been reading that is profoundly exceptional : Streams In The Desert by Cowman. She and her husband were missionaries to China in the early 1900’s. Maybe you can get access to it somehow.

    Love you much! You and your whole family are amazing! 🙂
    Mom Berquist


    1. bwiddi says:

      It does show up public on my blog, but I appreciate you sharing this with me! The culture has experienced a lot of loss and I know the pain of losing a loved one. It is incredibly difficult. I just pray through the pain when it comes unbearable. Thank you for your encouragement! I might be able to find the devotional, but not sure around here. Mail is a hit or miss here, haha.

      I love you dearly and I pray things are going well for you!



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