I’ve never been much of a puzzle person. I mean unless it’s the jumbo pack with about 12 pieces. Though I recall one time on The World Race, I attempted to help one of my squadmates who decided to take on a gargantuan task of putting together an 1000 piece puzzle.
He was about 3/5 into completing the puzzle, and so I thought maybe I’d help now. I started placing pieces where I thought they should go…they weren’t fitting.. I remember thinking “They all look the same! Why isn’t it connecting“. I gave up after about 5 minutes…
I imagine a scene of a toddler playing with his shape sorter toy, picking up a triangle piece and trying to jam it in the rectangle opening. Turning and turning that triangle piece, the toddler desperately tries to make it fit.. but no matter how many times he turns it, or forces it.. it won’t go through, because it’s not the right fit…
That’s the lesson God has been teaching me lately. My own selfish will is not the right fit for God’s will and way.
American and Thai culture are literally worlds apart… but also in culture. And then to add that I’m working with the socially outcast of Thai society… is an extra dose of complications.
One of my original plans was to offer English classes to the girls at the cafe, to get them out of the bar environment and build a better relationship. It makes sense…right? Provide a resource for a need or want… but every time I passed out a flyer and explained where it was and what time.. I would hear:
“That’s too early”, or “That’s too far.” or “I’m here all day.”
For about 3 weeks I went to the cafe Mon, Tues, and Thurs. from 1-3 JUST IN CASE a girl would show up… no one ever did… It didn’t make me feel bad, being rejected/being stood up is actually part of my job description now….but it did make me think… “WHAT can we do to reach them? Something has to change.”
I went to God, and told him my concerns, then I prayed with a friend. As she prayed for me, she said:
“God lead Bethsaida, she is doing this for your glory, and not for her own glory, or the organization.”…. I got checked..
Was I really doing it for and with God, or was I doing and trying on my own strength, in my own limited American mindset?
I asked God to begin to search my heart.. and He started to show me that I was trying to do too many things MY own way.. not HIS way. I repented and told God
“This is all about you, I’m just your servant, YOU make the way and timing happen the way that YOU want to”
Yesterday, just the next day, I stopped in a grocery store in the red-light area to buy some water. I got off my bike, and there was a woman playing cards. I smiled at her, and asked her for water, but she wasn’t the store owner, she was the massage parlor owner, the building next door. She told me I reminded her of a friend from America. I was able to chit chat with her a little bit.. bought my water, then drove off.
Later that night, the team and I were heading to the red-light. I drove up ahead of them and waited for them to meet up with me. While waiting, I decided to go visit my new friend and say “hi”… so I did.
She asked me why I moved to Chiang Mai, and I told her to help a Christian organization, and one of the ways I help is to teach English for free. The next thing I knew, she was offering me HER place to teach English because she wants to learn more! And so do her workers! I told her I would be honored, and would it be ok, if some of my friends from the bars could come too? She said “Why Not?!”
God wants us to continue meeting the girls and red-light workers where THEY are at, until they are ready for a change. That is His will, and it’s so OBVIOUS now.
What I thought was best for them right now… is not what God is saying is best for them right now…
I was stunned.. floored….speechless at how God’s ways really are SOO much higher than our ways… It’s when we humble ourselves, give up our own expectations, and let Him do His thing.. let HIm be God.. that we are most blessed.. and least frustrated trying to fit a triangle shape into a rectangle opening.
Speaking of toys and games.. I haven’t event told you what AMAZING things happened with the children last night.
That’s for the next blog =)