The excitement started to build as the days drew closer to our holiday in Thailand and Vietnam in early January 2017. We had all our plans in place of places to see, and were excited to try some of the freshly cooked street food and hop on different modes of transportation. In the mix of all the holiday planning, we were also determined to experience the trip as if we were out on the mission field.
On arrival, we were taken by surprise by the different sub-cultures among the Thai people. We were so blessed to receive the gentleness and warmth of the people, both in Thailand and Vietnam. This was not only evident in the retail stores but in everyinteraction we had out on the street. A few days into our holiday, we became conscious of people's willingness to listen, which encouraged us to draw near to them without any inhibition.
In the midst of the beauty of the land and wide assortment of foods we had experienced, we also identified the idolatry and darkness within the culture. Our hearts were broken to see such blind faith in things that are man-made, and yet people still searched for that supernatural power, of which they had no understanding.
An immense inspiration and privilege for both of us was listening to the stories of various missionaries we met. Their steadfast commitment to learning a new language and building new relationships in challenging situations highlighted the significance of their decision to impact these people, and emphasised their utmost dependence on God.
We were blessed to hear how, after being on the field for some time, missionary priorities tended to change. Worrying about matters like finances or health have taken a back seat, as they are now fully absorbed in the task of boldly sharing their faith. And they must wait patiently, even if it takes many years, to witness the fruits of their labour.
Each day was a new but refreshing experience for us, and it confirmed that God has a purpose for the people of Thailand and Vietnam, even as He unfolds His plans in mysterious ways. It was an absolute privilege to meet these beautiful missionary individuals and families who were from many different countries but all were there with one thing on their mind; to serve Jesus Christ and to share God's love with the people of these nations.
What a holiday – both refreshing and inspirational.
Sarah and Edmonds Namburi
Edmonds is the Senior Pastor of Avondale Baptist Church.
Story supplied by OMF NZ.
If you would like to learn more about the work of OMF please visit www.omf.org/nz