Jaclyn: InterChange Thailand Update #8

Posted May 15, 2019

Live from Kham Muang,  Kalasin Province, Thailand, 
it is . . .  JACLYN!

We spent Sunday to Wednesday noon in a community called Sahatsakan. One of the days when we were there, we went a visited the local museum. This museum was sponsored by the current king’s sister.

Upon entrance into the museum there was this quote on the wall that said, “Survivors are those who can adjust themselves towards environment... not those who adjust the environment to suit their limitless desire.” While this quote was referencing the concept of survival-of-the-fittest in nature, I feel that when you look at it from a different angle it can change the meaning. I think that this quote has a lot of weight when it comes to missions work. We have met many missionaries through our time here, and have had the opportunity to see them do their work, and through it all there has been a major theme of the importance of people, because people matter. Though all the missionaries are different with their different views and ways, they all found it super important to join people in their community, to join people in their lives, to meet people where they are at.  

I personally feel like meeting people where they are is a major part of Christianity. Jesus came down to earth; if that isn’t meeting people where they’re at, then I don’t have a better example. Jesus came down to earth, and lived as a human. Every day he went down to people, knelt with them, he didn’t require them to meet his perfect standard. In the first letter to the Corinthians, Paul expresses the importance of meeting people where they are, the importance in joining them in their community. He says that he has “become all things to all people so that by all possible means he might save some." He does "all this for the sake of the gospel that he may share in its blessings” (9:19-23). Paul knows that the goal is Jesus, and imposing his ways on the people will not give people the desire for Jesus, nor him the understanding of the people. To have a great impact we need to release our culture from being the most important thing, and step into their culture. 

Now I’m not going to say, “this” is how you can meet people where they are at. People are different and so we will have different ways of expressing the same thing. The goal is to be more like Jesus, not more like one another. I feel like through this trip we have been blessed by all the missionaries that we have met–they were all very different, but they all really loved Jesus, and were taking part in community, meeting people where they were at, sharing Jesus, and becoming more like Jesus in the best way they knew how.      

If we want to make an impact we need to step out of being engulfed in our culture, and step into theirs–we need to adjust to the new environment. If we want to make a difference we need to meet people where they are at. If we want to change the world we need to be more like Jesus.

Thank you for keeping us in your prayers, praying for this opportunity to step outside of our comfort zone into new cultures, and thank you for keeping all the missionaries we have met along the way in your prayers, and we are thankful for the tangible view of meeting people where they are at they give us.