Sunday, August 15, 2010

Food for thought...and a couple of stories

A little while ago, as I was flipping through some of my friends' pictures on Facebook (I'm really not a creepy stalker!), a song came up on the computer that made me stop and think. The lyrics that caught my attention were these: "I'll go anywhere; I'll do anything at any cost for you, my King." (check out the video below to hear the whole song)

The interesting thing is that the song was nearly finished when I finally listened to what the words were saying. Anywhere? Anything? Any cost? Those are big words. Well, not really, but they have a huge meaning. I thought back on our move from Michigan; at the time, we were excited and completely unaware of how much things would actually change. The 'anywhere' wasn't really a problem for us. 'Anywhere' is exciting. How about 'anything'? That word, too, has a sense of adventure to it. I knew that I would be teaching, but I didn't have any idea of what that actually entailed. Michael had no idea of what he would do in Thailand - 'anything' was a general word that he had (and still has) to come to terms with. But that's okay - we're flexible. Anywhere and anything - we might not like it all the time, but we could probably adjust to it.

We hear these words, even sing these words in a church service, but how many of us actually stop and think about what they mean? As of right now, I feel really confident and comfortable here. I'm definitely willing to consider staying for a second year at GES. But - what if God calls us elsewhere? Would I be okay with returning to the States? Going back to school? Moving to a different country that maybe isn't so comfortable? I don't know.

And what about 'at any cost'? Whoa, pause a minute. What exactly does that mean? Christ called us to leave our families, wealth, and homes without looking back. No questions. Just follow. How many of us would ACTUALLY do that, especially including the "without looking back" part? We left, but we didn't break ties with anyone. We're still in contact with our families and close friends. The big question is whether we would have moved across the world if our families had been against it. Would we have been willing to give up everything, spend all our money and break all ties with people at home in order to follow Christ's calling?

How about you? How extravagantly are you willing to live (all of you who attended the Kuyper College graduation ceremony in April)?

Hmm. Food for thought.

This weekend was a long weekend due to the Queen's birthday/Mother's day. We had a cool little ceremony at school last Wednesday to honor the mothers. I'm sure the kindergarten and elementary school programs were a bit more effective - only four or five mothers of middle and high school students showed up. I got to be the MC for this particular event, and originally I thought it entailed announcing a couple of things at the beginning and end of the program. Well, that was wrong. Turns out I had to announce all the things that were happening, including the Thai title of a song that 11th grade sang. Haha - I asked a couple of students and administrators beforehand to pronounce it for me so I'd get it right...but I probably mispronounced it rather badly anyway. No one laughed, though. That was nice of them. :)

In other news, I have a good cross-cultural story for you. Michael and I went to lunch at a little place down the street yesterday. We've been there once or twice before. The menu is posted on the wall and has about five items to choose from, but they're all written in Thai, so we don't have a clue which one is what. When we walked in yesterday, I thought we'd simply point at something on the menu and hope that it was good. (Always a good strategy, right??) Michael had a different idea. He walked right up to the little kitchen at the front and pointed at a couple of pots, saying, "One of this" and "One of that". The women who worked there appeared a bit confused, but nodded their heads, and we sat down. We thought they understood - one of each in two separate dishes. Pretty simple, right? Actually, not. They apparently thought Michael meant "We want this one and that one in the same bowl" - COMMUNICATION. FAIL. :) After a few minutes, we got one bowl of a dish I'd had before...but it had a bunch of noodles in the bottom that weren't supposed to be there. It tasted just fine - fortunately, Michael asked them to mix things that tasted good together. After I had been eating this dish for about 15 minutes and we were certain they weren't bringing anything else, Michael caught the attention of one of the women and pointed at something on the menu. So, eventually, we both had food and it was okay. Living in a country where you don't understand the language at all (and have little to no hope of ever learning to read anything) is quite interesting sometimes!

That's about all. We'll be thinking about those of you who are heading back to school this week. And to those who are not - enjoy the little bit of summer you have left! Blessings!


  1. Are you taking any language classes?

  2. oh. . . and. . . Stop stalking my facebook, facebook stalker!

  3. I think that your question is a good one and a hard one. With having been in WI this summer some days my strength came from knowing that I would be home in just a few weeks. Though I had stepped out on faith, God didn't really ask me to sacrifice anything for the summer experience and when people ask me about going back there, somewhere else, or staying in GR I am quick to say I'm staying in GR. Maybe this is something I need to pray more about and ask God to help me be willing becasue next time he calls me, i might have to give up more than a few weeks of the summer to come back to the same comfort i left. Thanks for the encouragement and the challenge.