While at home in Charleston, I had coffee with my friend Emily. I was sharing with her why I was excited about Thailand and the reasons I wasn't so excited. I said something to the effect that I didn't see teaching full-time really as missionary work and that since we were coming to a more progressive country (compared to Uzbekistan), that I definitely felt that I wouldn't be "suffering for Jesus"--so that I didn't feel very missionary-y... she said I was a missionary snob!!!
I'm definitely working through all of those emotions still. I've found myself getting really excited about teaching--but then wondering how I can truly impact the people around me for Christ. I know that God will give me grace and show me how to do both, but I wish I already knew NOW! :)
I also find myself a little bit resentful that I can just go down the street to the 'mall' to go to Starbucks or McDonalds, KFC or Burger King. Then, I find myself pretty thankful for the convenience of being able to buy the same toiletries and groceries here, more or less. One of the reasons that I wanted to come here was to live life more 'simply'. I found myself so much closer to the Lord in Uzbekistan, when I wasn't surrounded by all the 'stuff' that America has to offer. I really hope to find that here, even though it is not as simplistic here as Uz. Probably, this is more of a heart issue than anything else anyway.
We also went to a church here last night, and I found myself very critical of how they did things in a 'third-culture' environment. I kept thinking, "This is not how we did things in Crusade... Is this really being sensitive to the Thai culture?... This seems like an American church transplanted to Bangkok..." Whoa, Tricia... "Judge not, lest you be judged."
Also, yesterday, after Matt had spent a long time moving the desks for his students to a new classroom, setting up a bulletin board and moving all their books to the new room, he got word that the Thai administration had decided NOT to split Grade 2 on Monday--and maybe not at all. So, he really doesn't know IF he will, in fact, be teaching Grade 2 or WHEN he will be teaching Grade 2. Frustrating to say the least.
Later, at the mall in downtown Bangkok (about 30 minutes away), I found myself looking around at the masses of people, hoping and praying for some sort of passion to well up inside me. It didn't come. Then, I started to feel guilty, thinking that I have no reason to be here if I don't love these people. I remembered my passion for Uzbeks and the immediate love I felt for the people and the culture there. I long to have that here, but a part of me is afraid to. Probably, a handful of my friends will understand this. :)
A culmination of these thoughts and many more led to a slight breakdown last night--after trudging back to our house through a downpour and feeling terrified of the cobra who apparently lives near our house. ... PRAISE GOD for my wonderful husband who just held me and let me cry and let me pour out all these thoughts and emotions. I've learned through friendships and counseling that I truly do need to 'process' these types of things before letting them eat me up and throw me into a downward spiral...
That's ONE of the reasons for this blog, and also to get your feedback and thoughts on the matter. So, please, with all of these confessions and vulnerability, I hope I've written something that might strike a thought or comment from you. If you are reading this, then you are a special part of our lives, and Matt and I desire to stay connected with you during our time here.
:::Soli Deo Gloria:::