Lots of people have asked me or my family how I’m doing in Thailand. They want an update, something tangible they can understand and wrap their minds around. Here’s what I’ve learned–This life that I get to live is a gift, and I love getting to share it with others.
So here’s what life looks like in Mae Sot.
About once a week, my world looks like this–laptop beside a waterfall. So much of my job with Outpour Movement revolves around writing. I am a behind-the-scenes kind of person, so this life is wonderful in so many ways. Right now, we are working on a major writing project, a book of sorts that we will use to help women at Braverly step closer to Jesus.
I have never ever written a book like this. It is new and unfamiliar territory in so many ways, and it forces me to lean into the Father with every word, every idea, every question I hear him whisper into my ear. I have the gift of working on this project with a dear friend of mine, and together, we are piecing together the first draft.
Every day, I remind myself that it’s just the first draft, and I remind myself that it’s not up to me or my team to come up with the right words, the right sentences, the right paragraphs. It’s up to us to listen to Jesus and simply write what we ought to write.
Braverly is a café that exists to see a community of women empowered, trained, and equipped with the tools to provide for their families, walk in confidence and truth, and impact nations. Above all, Braverly exists to seek Jesus and to see His kingdom built in Mae Sot, Thailand and around the world.
Braverly is one of two training centers under Outpour Movement that trains in business management, sewing, culinary arts, and product development. Even more than this, we desperately long to see women know Jesus, pursue a relationship with Him, and live boldly in who He has created them to be.
We are a space that cultivates creativity, encouraging women to create, to dream, to learn try new things, whether it’s through baking, making drinks, or developing products that are sold in Mae Sot and the U.S. We believe we were not created to simply survive day to day. The Father has created us to thrive, to walk with Him, to dream with Him, to experience the fullness of life through Him. Our heart is to help women in Mae Sot experience this kind of life through Jesus.
I get to spend parts of most days at Braverly, interacting with the women, getting to know them and be a part of their lives. They are amazing women, incredible at baking, making amazing drinks, and creating products (bags, wallets, purses, etc) that people go crazy for. These women have stories and histories that are very different from mine, but here’s what we have common–we are trying to step a little closer to the One who created us, and we love good food and drinks.
God is doing amazing things here on the border, and I get to be part of telling the story. Right now this looks like collecting stories that may be used in our book project. It also looks like creating social media posts to keep people informed in the U.S. So if you want to stay in the loop with everything happening at Braverly, you can find us on Facebook here.
It has been such a gift and a challenge and a joy to learn how to best tell the story of what God is doing here in Mae Sot. I still have so very much to learn. Telling these stories in the right way can be tricky, but if there is one thing I am learning, it’s that I don’t have to have all the answers.
I’m relying on Jesus for those things, because I’ve never done this before. I’ve never lived overseas and tried to tell story for an organization like Outpour Movement. I’ve never had to cross language barriers every single day of my life. I’ve never not been able to read 95% of the signs I see.
And in those moments when I get overwhelmed, my Father whispers, I didn’t ask you to do this alone.
Here’s what life on the “mission field” looks like: Real life.
Almost every morning I’m awake by 6 and on the road for a run by 6:30. I run by the same houses and the same dogs. I get ready and make breakfast and start to work after spending time with Jesus. Before I know it, the day has ended, and I’ve collapsed into bed. My days in Mae Sot require the same amount of intentionality that my days in the States did. They require the same obedience, the same willingness to live in the Spirit. My days are filled with things that are outside of my comfort zone in a thousand ways and things that feel so comfortable, I get a little nervous.
This life of mine, this life on the “mission field” is just real life. It’s life that I get to do in Thailand with this Outpour team. It includes investing in relationships with our Braverly women. It includes bike rides with the team. It includes homemade pizza nights and movie nights and occasionally looking pretty ridiculous at the grocery store. It includes gathering with our church on Sundays. It includes meetings and coffee dates and cooking dinner for friends. It includes sitting in front of the air conditioner because it’s never not hot.
While my family and friends in the State are doing their normal, everyday life, so am I. Granted, I’m trying to feel my way through a lot of unknowns, a lot of cultural and language barriers that never existed before now. But, this missional life, it’s simply life. It’s days and weeks and months lived in intentionality, trying desperately to seek Jesus’ face. It’s days and weeks and months relying on Jesus, trusting in His unconditional love, asking for forgiveness and grace in more moments than I would care to admit. It’s days and weeks and months spent learning and growing and experiencing this big and beautiful world the Father created.
But let’s get real for a second. It includes more air conditioners and fans than you know because Thailand is never cold.