Ministry, Thoughts, Travels

Journeying through Singapore, Malaysia, Cambodia and Thailand

So that was it. One day in Singapore, four days in Malaysia, five days in Cambodia and ten days in Thailand. The transition from the previous 1,5 month of ministry in Myanmar and India was rather big and took a little time, but I was surprised how well this packed schedule went. I felt God rearranged it a bit to make it better. For example, my flight to Cambodia got pushed forward one day, giving me one more day in Penang, just like I wished I would have. And that one day delay lined up all appointments in Cambodia so much better and helped to decide which appointments in Thailand I should skip.

When I look back on all my tweets, pictures and Facebook updates it looks like it was all one big vacation. Parts of it definitely were just that. However, it was the times with the loving, passionate people that I got to meet or stay with that impacted me the most. Those are the times that you don’t really find back in my photo albums. I tend to forget to take pictures when I’m really having a good time. At most there will be a picture of us sitting around a table with a nice smile. But these three weeks have done much in my heart and understanding.

First, traveling through these neigbouring countries has given me so much more insight in regional dynamics and also given me more understanding of the Burmese and Indian cultures and people by getting to know the South East Asian countries and cultures. I could enjoy beautiful places, both historic and modern, and gain understanding in what moves the people that created or helped shape them. At times I cried about the pain and sufferings, the injustice, the hunger for power and lust for money and sex that causes so much of what goes wrong. I have seen deeper into my own heart, what moves me or should have moved me but didn’t. Things I thought about myself that I had to change for worse or better. I have encountered beauty in many different ways. A smile, an act of kindness of a tuktuk driver who was very generous in giving change back while he could definitely use the money well, joyfull hospitality, sharing in the lives of families who opened their homes.

Second, my heart got stirred again about the wisdom of prayer. Wherever I went the same pattern was visible: those who were excited about knowing Jesus above everything else, even doing ministry and helping people, and who had a revelation about prayer saw so many more things move and grow. And many others were longing to grow deeper and asking for keys how they could do it. Being around many passionate people has made me excited again about what I said to believe in, but sometimes lost in my daily walk.

Third, I have learned more to simply trust the Lord and what I think He tells me to do. Often during these last weeks I was wondering if it was right to travel this much and spend all this money when often it just seemed like a tourist trip. But it is the people that I visit that keep confirming how much this visit has meant to them. Over the past years people have regularly shared with me that they saw me walk around with a big bag, like Santa Clause, and just reach in it and hand out gifts to people that I met, many different ones, that would fit what they needed or were longing for. That is exactly what I see happening. I feel like I have nothing to give, but a few words, a small gift, a moment of prayer or a prophetic word for a community will come – and that was it then. It seems so small to me, but it does so much.

Fourth, I got to learn from others in how they do similar work as what we are involved in in Myanmar and India, which will help for the plans we are making.

Fifth, the last ten days in northern Thailand were so perfect to help me shift from this trip back into life in the Netherlands, studying and working for Forerunner Foundation. Time to reflect, being with people who are like family and who love to pray, cities that are nice to live in – perfect!

Sixth, I got to ride motorbikes a lot. That’s just worth the whole trip :-)

And now two more days of traveling remain before I hopefully will be back in Utrecht, the Netherlands!

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