I have a confession to make:
I am a blogger, and I am not so great at communication.
Don’t believe me? Ask my husband.
Amongst friends I can be talkative, energetic, tell lots of jokes, and generally be outgoing, but I have a difficult time holding a conversation with someone I’ve just met. That is just not my gift.
This was what scared me most about going on the Thailand trip. In fact, it was one of the biggest things weighing on my mind when I considered signing up for the trip at all.
The majority of the Thailand trip is meeting new people and striking up conversations with them. We go into bars, buy drinks, and talk to women there. We start conversations with the women at our table at the Christmas party.
And most of them don’t speak English fluently. I worried the Lord wouldn’t use me in Thailand because I couldn’t easily have conversations with new people, like the women we were ministering too.
Of course I was wrong, and God showed me that through many beautiful women, including this lady.
She sat next to me the second Christmas party night, and her sweet smile assured me that I could be real with her. Our team leader gracious gave us a few questions that we could use to start conversations with: “What’s your name?”, “Where are you from?”, “How long have you been working?”, and “Do you have an children?” By the last question with Hom (name changed), she had taken out her phone and was showing me pictures of her four year old daughter.
Her and her daughter love to do everything together, she told me. They rode bikes, they visited gardens, they went to the beach, they watched movies. They loved being together. Her teenage son was studying to be a monk, and each time she pointed him out in pictures she beamed with pride. I could connect with Hom. She is a woman who loves her two children and is working hard to do the best for them. I shared some photos of my two daughters, two and three years old. Hom and I talked easily about our girls, then about things we liked to do. She worked days in a restaurant carving fruit and vegetables into beautiful flowers, and she did some soap carving as gifts for people she loved. We talked through most of the night, and said sincere goodbyes, wishing it were more of a “see you later”.
God used me many other times that week to connect with many other people. He put people in my path that were so easy for me to talk to and feel comfortable with. I had leaned on Jesus to carry me through every conversation I had that week, asking what to say next, and as He always does, He delivered.