My Experiences Serving God In Thailand – by Marcy Boone
It’s all Grace.
A time to reflect, this is much needed, but equally challenging: a summary of a year and words to describe some 365 days. Where to start? Each day was so different, yet kinda not when I think back on what my days consisted of. Before laundry, dishes, and cleaning I think Grace. A year of grace composed of moments upon moments of God’s bestowal of blessings. This picture is beautiful. The Painter used typical colors to create a masterpiece! It was with this grace that God changed me the most.
Often one might ask: What made the biggest impact? What was your highlight? What do you miss the most? I find these questions hard to answer. But really, maybe they aren’t hard questions when all I see is God’s grace and how this grace challenged me to a higher level of stewardship.
Everything I need to glorify God is given to me, and it is by this free gift that I have the ability to live a life of joy, alive in Him! I guess in a simpler words, I learned how to use grace!
During my senior year of school I had been praying about the opportunity to go on a mission trip or be involved in missions after I graduated. I had never been out of the country, besides Canada, and was eager to set my feet on foreign soil. As graduation approached, the pressure to figure out the next step only increased. And my job, as secretarial work for my dad, soon ended when he sold the business within the next months.
The doors suddenly seemed wide open after 12 years of school, and part time job from earlier on until now. I had also become interested in Dental Assisting. So without a job and school, I did what seemed right. I found a job that sparked my interested, and decided to prepare for it by applying to a year long program in a vocational school starting in Aug. Before school started I was hoping to go to Mexico for the summer.
The same week that I received my acceptance letter I had supper plans and was with Martin and Rachel’s family. They shared their need for some extra help in the coming year as Rachel would study Thai, and also when some girls would come live with them while they went to the University. I was interested in what they were doing, but wasn’t serious. As the evening went on we continued to discuss it, and continued to be more and more interested. I was excited at the thought, yet also confused with what I should do. When I told my parents they gave me their blessing and assured me I would never regret doing it. After talking and receiving council from different people I felt confident that God would never be out done and would bless me in going. After I decided for sure, I was more than excited. The question, to go or not, no longer hung over me, leaving me thrilled with God’s guidance. So then it was…after 3 short months of working in harvest, I was Asia bound. With my nerves wound tight, I flew into the dark firmament and a year of unknowns.
The Life, Cross Cultural:
Remembering back on my first few days…The moment I walked off the plane I was instantly hot, shedding the winter coat that had almost been worn for 2 weeks solid while in China:)
It scared me to death!
Me living in nothing but hotness for a whole year made me sweat just at the thought. I’m typically cold or hot, and I don’t know which one is worse. But at that time, it was most definitely hot! Living in warm moisture was nothing I had ever experienced. But my first time mopping and finishing covered in moisture, I realized God’s grace was sufficient and it really wasn’t too bad. It was only the beginning of learning that if the temperature robbed me of joy than I had a dreadful year ahead.
My experience of Thailand was not culture shock like some may think. After seeing multiple pictures of Haiti, I considered Chiang Mai kinda like Modesto. It was sunny with lost of stucco homes, pretty bush filled medians and lots of cars. It was definitely more run down and all crammed in, but the roads were paved and mostly straight, and people didn’t blare their horn continually.
My lifestyle in Thailand wasn’t that much of a cultural adjustment. I ate normal, (probably better:), slept normal, and did normal things living in a normal house.
However, I didn’t know this normal would exist, and felt very guilty at first. So far I had sacrificed very little. I had feelings of doubt and guilt and wondered often what my purpose was. But again, it was God’s grace that gave me eyes to see It isn’t how many things we sacrifice or what we endure culturally that make us a successful missionary, but rather that we lay down our whole life and follow where He leads.
This laying down has different results in everyone’s life, and if God had led me there at that point, then I believe that He would use me there.
I began to view things differently and judge more carefully. And even with all the comforts there still was a mild barrier: the language, religion, and culture.
At first, I had a dreadful fear of the language and had almost decided I could never learn when I began to study. I wanted to know so badly how to communicate, but deemed myself incapable of ever learning. After two months I realized how wrong I was, and that with self discipline and dedication the simplest of simple could actually learn:) I loved the challenged and dreaded to quit for fear of loosing what I had learned already. I just love the thai people and had the time of my life conversing and interacting with them except when I couldn’t understand what they were saying or when I realized we did have differences. The barrier between the two bothered me, but I realized patience and missions go hand in hand. The Buddhist religion was also hard to understand and grasp making it another challenge to relate.
The Life with the Holsingers:
Looking back after a year, I realize now how I really didn’t know Martin and Rachel’s family, but spending every day together was a quick fix. It didn’t take me long to feel my place.
Being with children continually was definitely different for me, and after the newness wore off they soon became the younger siblings I never had. Although the year played out much different than expected, I managed to stay busy with the normal house duties. The novelty of living in a foreign country wore off rapidly as duties became more and more mundane. However, it was in the mundane that God spoke the loudest in my life. It was the joy of serving Him.
I soon realized that serving others is tiresome, but serving God is continual joy. I didn’t realize such joy could come from a grateful spirit.
The art of keeping house, entertaining children, and caring for an infant was refined as Rachel answered many questions, and I observed godly parents. What a testimony to see godly parenting hands on! The relationship with Martin and Rachel’s family was one of the richest blessings. I love to remember back on extended conversations between Rachel and I as we prepared supper, folded laundry, or while we did whatever. Martin’s blessed me by encouraging me in establishing other relationships with the Thai and American and being involved in other activities. These other involvements were such a blessing for me giving me more areas to learn and be stretched.
Once again God showed Himself magnificent as I understand more of His ways. I went to help, bless, and encourage, but in return was helped, blessed and encouraged far beyond my wildest dreams. This quote seems so fitting,
“Spend the whole of your one wild and beautiful life investing in many lives, and God simply will not be outdone. God extravagantly pays back everything we give away and exactly in the currency that is not of this world, but the one we yearn for: Joy in Him.”
God was faithful in answering every prayer, calming every fear, teaching every lesson, and giving me grace upon grace! All glory goes to Him. Marcy Boone
Note from Martin- We were so blessed to have Marcy here with us for a year. We miss her so much, and yet we fully support her in the journey that God is leading her on. You can read more about our perspective in our latest newsletter. Click Here.