Thailand Trip Challenges Youth to Serve Jesus Daily
Thailand. The word itself seemed unreal to me the whole trip until our plane landed in Bangkok. After that, it quickly became a bona fide experience. I was part of a delegation organized by the Oregon Conference to go to Thailand to do mission work and to represent the North American Division at the World Youth Congress in Bangkok. Our group included people from all over the Northwest, as well as several from the Midwest.
Our mission project was to paint the elementary school building at Chang Mai Academy, located in Northern Thailand, and teach English classes for the elementary students. The task of painting was formidable, but everyone in the group put forth their best effort to get the work finished. To our surprise, the local kids pitched in helping us haul and sweep ceiling tiles to be painted and lifting our spirits as we labored in the scorching sun. We were pleased to work with the wonderful children as we began teaching the English classes for three days. Just being on campus was a joy, seeing Christian love displayed and the smiles of everyone there.
After a week at Chang Mai, we traveled to Bangkok for the World Youth Congress. The theme was “Youth Community Service," and I was blessed each evening by the words of the main speaker, Jose Rojas, and his message regarding Christian service. There were many seminars presented by church leaders from around the world. The seminars I attended urged me to personally serve my Lord better by forgetting self and serving others.
Another enjoyable part of visiting Thailand was sightseeing. While in Chang Mai, we visited an elephant camp and went on elephant rides. Bangkok offered many tourist opportunities. I was excited to visit Ayuthaya, the ruins of the old Siamese capitol, and awed by the splendor of the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. We were able to shop at many great markets and bazaars.
Now my Thailand mission trip is just a memory. However, it is a memory that affects my view both of Christian service and my personal devotion to God. The challenge to serve Jesus daily remains in my heart, and I pray that I will someday return to Thailand to serve God in whatever way I can.