I have had a crazy couple of days. I realized that my Thai drivers license was expiring Monday. I drove to the department of motor vehicle & got a mess of papers. I gather what I needed, then go to get an official document from a government official. The government official and I talk back & forth in Thai & English, then she asks what I am doing here in Thailand. I told her that I am a language student. She then asks me what I will do when I am finished. I honestly tell her I am not sure. She pauses, looks a me & says "you are a missionary aren't you?" I said "yes." She then asks me what I did before coming to Thailand. I told her that I was a pastor years ago in Canada & used to live in Mongolia. In Mongolia we studied Mongolian & worked with the poor (children & adult men). I also shared that life in Mongolia is very difficult & there are many poor.
She paused again looked into my eyes & said "most Thai's are not like that. We have most of what we need day to day. But, please give us peace. We need peace." When she said this time stood still. We continued to talk back & forth in Thai & English then I left her office.
I went back to the department of motor vehicles. I had all my documents checked & was standing at the back of the huge room for my number to be called. As I was waiting I had a Thai man come up to me. We talked in Thai for a few minutes & as our conversation continued he asked me what I was doing in Thailand. I told him that I was studying Thai full-time. He asked me what I will do when I am finished language. I told him I don't know.
He asked me "are you a missionary?" I told him "yes" his face lit up & he said that he had been praying to be able to meet a missionary for over a year. He was a Thai pastor that left his church in the South & wanted to start a training centre in the North for Thai, Burmese, Lao, Cambodian, Vietnamese pastors. He told me that he has been praying for a foreign missionary who may be interested. I gave him my information, but told him that I still have a year of full-time Thai language & would see what God wants for us next
The next day the kids & I went to an electronic store in the city centre. As we were leaving I had an older man look at me with a huge smile. I greeted him in Thai & as i came close to him he reached out & placed his hand on my side. He continued to smile & moved his hand away. From time to time Thai men do this to me & it doesn't phase me at all, although at first it used to "freak me out!" I have had many Thai & foreign Christians say that Thai's can see this light in me, know it's good & want to touch it.
The next day I went to my language school to pay the rest of my tuition. I have not been in class for over a month (we taught at a ywam base in a bamboo village, I flew to the US for a week to be there for one of my brothers wedding, came back & right away helped with the preschool program for an Assembly of God conference & this week have our ywam yearly conference.) The school director, who is a Thai Christian when I was done paying asked, "Matt please go talk to the teachers." (All of the teachers in the school are not Christians). I asked why & she replied. "There is this joy that has been missing since you have left & the teachers kept asking when you would be coming back." So I spent some time talking & mostly laughing with them before leaving.
I met with my mentor & he shared with me after hearing these things that this is where God wants me & us. He reaffirmed me many times during our time together that this is where God wants us.
This year has been very stressful for all of us, I would say one of the most stressful times in my life & it showed. The day I travelled around to renew my drivers licence a Thai doctor took my blood pressure & told me that it was a little high. He then told me that I needed to slow down.
I believe God used the doctor to speak to me to say we are in his will, that I need to slow down, take care of myself & to not try to be a supper missionary because those missionaries are usually not missionaries for long. God has also used this to show me that deep inside I keep thinking that I am not doing enough. Then God gave me this verse: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28
Today I picked up a friend, one of the staff of the ywam "bamboo" base we taught at weeks ago. He is a guest in our home & will be taking him to the ywam conference. We are so happy he is staying with us.