Teaching the Soldiers
I would say this would be one of my favorite stories that I have experienced and love to tell while I’ve been here in Thailand. This happened while serving up north in the jungle. I can’t wait for you to read how good God is with every detail!
I woke up exhausted that foggy morning not wanting to crawl out from underneath my mosquito net. The night before, I didn’t get a lot of sleep for my friend Emily was sick so I stayed up with her most of the night. We always started the morning off by meeting together (Thai, Karen, and American teams) to worship the Lord, do devotions, and eat breakfast. Afterwards, Pastor Ben came to me asking if he could have some salvation bracelets to teach the soldiers. There would be around twenty of them. I originally brought these bracelets to teach the children but there were so many children there was no way I could choose who would and who wouldn’t get them. So I was glad that this helped with the decision on where to use them.
I ran down the mountain to get the supplies for I was already running late to teach my 10th grade class. I found Pastor Ben in one of the big huts already speaking to the Soldiers. I looked around and there was double what he said. I got his attention to let him know where I set the bracelets but instead he called me up front. He then announced I was going to teach them. I know my face on the outside had to look panicked because that’s exactly how I felt on the inside. There is nothing like being ready in season and out of season on the mission field. Come to find out later, that’s why the Soldiers showed up. They heard an American girl would be teaching them. (Haha)
As I walked up front I just asked God under my breath to give me the words to say. What could an American girl, as young as I am, say to soldiers? As I looked at their faces my heart broke. Half of these men had to be my age or even younger. They were so young. Being that my twin brother was a Marine, I know what it feels like being separated from your family. To have freedom means sacrifice and there is a price to pay for it. I began encouraging them in that way and then to be Soldiers of God.
While I’m talking to them, I didn’t have the string cut to begin the bracelets. I began cutting not having time to measure. I prayed to God that there would be enough string for there weren’t any stores close by to where we could go buy more. I prayed that the Lord would not let the string run out just like He didn’t let the lady’s jar of oil in the Bible run out. I also prayed that I would make it through teaching them for I realized I was running a fever and getting hotter as time went on. The Soldiers got in line to come up and grab each color of the beads as I handed them their string.
After they all sat down, I handed out my last one, and there was exactly enough for everyone to each have their own. There were 42 soldiers. There were also some people randomly around the building wanting to hear what a white girl had to say – they even got one. All I can say is that was God. Everything about it was Him.
As I told them about the salvation message, it was translated four times. I would speak English, Pastor Ben spoke Thai, Pastor K spoke Karen, and then two other men would translate it into Burmese so everyone could understand the Gospel. This was an absolute amazing experience that I’m so thankful God let me be a part of. To see Him work and move to not even have one string left over, was God showing me that I serve an all knowing, detailed God.
Pastor Ben concluded the service for I wasn’t feeling well and needed to go check on Emily and Grace who were sick. That day ten soldiers asked Jesus into their hearts. Praise the Lord!!