We’ve been in Thailand for 6 days and God has been just WONDERFUL!! Today was day 6 and we started the day with eating breakfast with the kids. After breakfast, we saw the kids off to school and then Gai led the morning devotion for our team and we read from Isaiah 43.
Today’s agenda was to go to a hospital to visit and pray with the patients. This is re:ACTS Ministries’ third year doing hospital ministry at the Overbrook Hospital. When we got there we met with the pastor in charge. He gave us a tour of the hospital and an overview of their volunteer program. Overbrook is a Christian hospital and they welcome different ministries to come and share and pray with the patients. We met with their regular volunteers and broke up into 6 different groups. We had a senior citizen volunteer in each of our groups. Brian and I were grouped with a grandma named Arlee. I remembered her from last year’s visit to the hospital. She was very passionate about this ministry and she volunteers at the hospital with her husband three times a week. In the hour and half we were there, we prayed and shared the gospel with 7 patients. While we were going around with our grandma, we learned that there was a spread of Dengue fever in Chiangrai and the numbers were 3 times higher than normal. The hospital was packed with patients with Dengue fever. In an hour and a half, our team had prayed for 66 patients.
To tell the truth, before we left for the hospital, I thought today was going to be a mellow uneventful day. I’ve been to the hospital last year and I knew what to expect, so it was going to be a piece of cake. Little did I know, we were in for a surprise. Brian and I were the first ones back to the meeting room. Gai, Clifton and Julie came in about 10 minutes after and told me that the grandma I was partnered with last year was in the hospital with cancer and showed me a picture of her. They told me she’s been battling cancer and went to 9 different hospitals in the last month. They also told me that she said although her physical body is sick and weak, she’s in peace, because she knows that God is with her and will take care of her. I distinctly remember her, because she didn’t speak any English, but she made an impression on me with her gentle and quiet strength. The news hit home for me because just this past year and half, my mom was diagnosed with stomach cancer and it has been a long journey for my mom and my family. No one can be confident about what will happen to any of us. I’m guilty of always getting worked up about planning things for the future and trying to make sure everything goes right. Sometimes I forget that God is the one who is in control. He makes the plans, and we are just part of the plan. We do not know why people we love get sick and hurt, but we know everything is part of God’s will and He has greater things in store that we will never fully comprehend. When I went to see her, I could see that she lost a lot of weight from the treatments. Her husband was there taking care of her and told us that he stays with her and sleeps on the floor next to her bed. They weren’t in a private room, but was in an area where there were about 10 patients sharing a small space. It just broke my heart to see her in that condition, because just a year ago, I was holding her hand, visiting rooms to pray for the patients. I’m so glad that I was able to experience that with her. When we went back to meet up with the rest of the team, we decided that we would collect donations from the team to give as a gift to the grandma and grandpa. We thought it would be good to give a little something that would help them with the medical cost or whatever else they needed. Some of us who have met them before were emotional about her being sick, but praised God that the group that happened to be in that area were the people who went last year and recognized her. The groups were randomly assigned, so we might have missed them. It wasn’t a coincidence that we were able to see them there. We don’t need to look for some great miracles or events to see that God is working. In this case, we really believe that God placed us in the right place at the right time to do His work. God is AWESOME!
After leaving the hospital, we visited another hospital to visit one of the kids who has Dengue fever. We prayed with him and then headed back to Khaodee. We spent the rest of the night preparing for tomorrow’s carnival.
Tomorrow is the annual carnival at Khaodee. It’s a big event for the team and everyone at Khaodee. We are excited for the all the fun we will have, but most importantly for all of the neighbor school kids and friends of Khaodee kids who will have an opportunity to hear the gospel for the first time. Please continue to pray for us.