(set leew means finished already in thai)
I'm moving on and moving up. This past week I finished Module 3 at language school, which involved learning to read and write. And with that came lots of homework. Everyday we were given words that are spelled with exceptions and basically took a spelling test everyday. Thank goodness I have a pretty good memory and the free time it takes to memorize.
I feel so blessed that God has given me this season to really focus on the language and culture of Thailand. To not have to also be running a full-time ministry. To not have 'management' wondering what I'm doing everyday and how the 'numbers' are coming. Gosh, what a blessing. But this is the IRIS Ministries DNA, as Heidi Baker's always saying, Go Low and Go Slow. The idea is to build relationships, establish connections, let people know what you're about, and when they have a need they know who to turn to. We should never want to come in with our 'white man' way of doing things, but observe the culture, and see how to adapt to it and give God full access to move.
I feel like a full-time student. Class 4 hours a day with at least 3 hours of homework to follow. But I love it. I love reading Thai, it's like decoding a secret message- I always loved those as a kid. The more I apply myself the more return I get, it's a great motivator and reward system.
My Module 3 consisted of 6 South Korean men and 1 Japanese lady. The Koreans are seriously taking over....it's a little crazy. It makes me want to learn Korean because they're always talking amongst themselves leaving me and the Japanese lady silent and bored. There were 2 Korean guys my age that were really witty and sarcastic (even in Thai) that made the class lots of fun and full of laughs. I will definitely be missing them in the months to come.
It's amazing after 3 months how well we all can speak, really. I am blown away by the schooling system. I hung out with one of my classmates for coffee, dinner, and a movie. And we were able to chat for hours, literally, all in Thai all about ourselves, our family, life, interests, hopes.....everything. We may not say it properly but the point is conveyed.
This Korean guy's mom is a pastor in Korea at a spirit-filled church; he's grown up in the church and knows God, although he is obviously not walking with God at the moment (but claims to attend church every Sunday). Our conversations got me thinking, how amazing it is that people can immediately connect and have a communal foundation when both believe and know God. There's an immediate understanding and acceptance, that's hopefully full of grace, mercy, and love, creating an instant deeper friendship. It just blows my mind. This is how the body of Christ is to work; no matter our nation or background, we're all family. We all have a real, personal relationship with God- our Papa- making us literally brothers and sisters cheering each other on. I so love how God designed the Body of Christ.
My class. Although 3 guys dropped out the last week for visa issues and what not. That's how it always seems to be, by the end about 40% have dropped out....because it is pretty overwhelming and full-on. (my teacher's in the middle)