As you know from reading my post Is It Gonna Burn? that our lives have been full of changes since February. So now that things are settling down some, it’s time for another update on life in the jungle.
And now for the other updates on moving.
“Prepare the way before me and teach me to walk in it. Teach me to endure hardship and rejoice in suffering. And wherever You lead, please make me a blessing – I don’t want to be a hindrance to Your work or a burden to Your workers.”
I laid my pen beside my open journal and sat in silence, head bowed and thoughts serious. I was visiting some friends, and ever since worship the evening before, God had been speaking to me. I knew He was calling me to face my fears of moving to a village by myself so I could focus on language learning. He’d provided a place for us to move to and more volunteers who would soon be joining the work, so I knew I could take some time away without increasing the burdens of the others by my absence. But several obstacles barred my way and significantly limited my options for where I could go – in fact, I didn’t know of a single village that would work. I knew I wasn’t prepared for whatever He would call me to do. But I also knew He would give me everything I needed to do His work and be faithful to Him.
As I left my friends’ home to return to our campsite and help finish moving things to our new property, I decided that at the first opportunity I would ask Jason to help me find a village where I could live for a time to help me conquer the Karen language. I had no idea how everything would work out, but I did know God was somehow answering my prayer to prepare the way and teach me to walk in it – the busses were full and I almost had to return to my friends’ for a few more days, but at the last He helped me get a seat on a bus to Mae Sot and make contact with Mr. Sharon, who was planning to meet me with the motorbike in Mae Sariang so I could let him know I would be coming by songtow from the opposite direction. As I settled into my seat for the night, my heart was full of peace and even a little excitement to watch His plan unfold. I didn’t have long to wait…
The next day Mr. Sharon was waiting for me when I jumped off the songtow. I climbed onto the motorbike behind him. “Let me tell you the news.” He shouted over his shoulder as we wound our way up into the mountains.
“I’m listening!” I shouted as I leaned forward a little so I could hear better.
“We still have a lot of work to get the rest of our things moved across the river. Jason finally fixed the borrowed truck enough so that he thinks it will run if he takes up our other battery. Then he can drive the stuff up to our place on the other side of Tee Thah Kee Village. We could finish moving by the end of the week.
“The other news is that Jonathan found someone to help Travis at his place for a month. He’ll be flying into Bangkok late Wednesday night, so I need to meet him and take him to Travis’s place. Last night Travis sent me an email asking if you could go to his place for two weeks to see how you like it. You should probably plan to stay a month. We still need to talk to Momo about it, but I think it would be good for you.
“Rodney and Phimpha will come tomorrow to help us take care of the paperwork for the property. That means we’ll all need to go to town tomorrow, so we only have the rest of this afternoon and Wednesday morning to work on moving as much as we can before we need to leave, so you have one day to think about it and pack if you’re coming with me. Don’t bring anything you don’t want to carry in! So…” I almost held my breath as I waited for him to finish. “Are you willing to go?”
If he’d glanced in his rear view mirror at that moment, Mr. Sharon might have seen a huge grin on my face. Everything God had been asking of me the past few days now made such perfect sense that I didn’t even need to think about my response – I’d already decided several days earlier. “Yes! I’m willing.”
Three days later I found myself at the beginning of the road we would hike to reach Travis’s school. Due to a late start and a real tropical downpour, we didn’t complete the sixteen plus mile hike until the next afternoon, but when we arrived, I knew one thing: God had given me the strength to do something I’d thought impossible, and He would give me the strength to do anything else He called me to in this remote location.
This morning (about a month ago now) Travis extended the invitation for me to stay and help long-term with this project. So while everyone else moved across the river and up the mountain to our new property, four of our students from last year and I moved twenty-four hours south to help teach and work here at another little school away out in the jungle. Classes begin on the 28th, and we still don’t know how everything will get completed or where the rest of our help will come from, but we know that the God who has led us this far will not fail us now.
And so to summarize the beginning of my time at T.E.A.M.S. I thought you might enjoy some pictures.