Originally posted by ykim1993 on 7/4/2015
“Patience is not a waiting passivity until someone else does something. Patience asks us to live the moment to the fullest, to be completely present to the moment, to taste the here and now, to be where we are.” -Henri Nouwen
We spent the past two days ministering to one family. Sophia has been building relationships with Lat and her children for many years now and it was a privilege for us to serve alongside her, learning from her and supporting her in any way that we can. Lat and her family are from a village around 6 hours away from Bangkok called Khon Kaen. Unlike the very westernized and metropolitan lifestyle of the city, Khon Kaen’s culture and people are unique to what is called “Isan”. Isan consists of three other cities in Thailand and makes up the northeastern region of the country. Isan people speak a different dialect, cook different types of food and have a different lifestyle than most people from Bangkok. The Isan region is also known to have more cases of violence and abuse than other parts of Thailand. Lat’s family are also victims of this abuse and through this, Sophia is able to serve and support them by inviting them to live at the Walk With Love house.
Sophia believes in meeting people where they are, not expecting them to fulfill any sort of expectations we may have of them. This belief allows her to see people through God’s eyes and to serve humbly and compassionately. This is what we experienced as we watched Sophia love and care for Lat and her family by taking them in as her own. Watching the kids play together, and seeing Sophia and Lat’s friendship reminded us of a typical family: joking, serving and mutually encouraging one another with words and actions. It was an honor for our team to be invited into this relationship and to take part in what God was already doing.
Lat has five children, each unique with their own personalities, quirks and stories. This is Buddy, the oldest among the siblings, and he guides and leads his younger brothers and sisters with gentleness and maturity. When we were playing with them, whether it was making crafts or playing games, he was always watching over his siblings from afar. During meal times, he helped his mom feed the younger ones and helped clean after them as well. This is Sarah and she has a beautiful soul. Though quiet and shy at first, Sarah loves to hold hands and give hugs. She is among the top 10 students at her school and she is always taking care of her younger siblings. Sarah is always willing to help others and she does it with so much love. This is Bae. Bae is always so cheerful and has a smile on his face. His deterministic character and unwillingness to give up is very encouraging and inspirational. He loved to play with all of our team members and he wasn’t afraid to ask for help when he needed it. His open and humble personality was a joy to all of us. This is Bifern and by far the strongest kid we ever met, both mentally and physically. Even when she was young, she walked in pride and confidence. As we see her grow, we can tell that her fiery nature is being refined into a strong and persevering character. Her boldness is covered with a light blanket of gentleness as we saw how soft and reserved she could be. This is Pohn and she is the youngest of the five siblings. Despite being the baby of the family, she insists on being independent and doing things her own way. When she smiles, our hearts melt and that’s a good thing because she smiles a lot. Her carefree and playful nature was such a joy to all of us and she was so open in sharing her love with us.
These five children were the object of our hearts the past few days and they got us. It didn’t take long for our team to fall in love with them, hence saying good bye today was difficult. Whether we were ice skating or dancing randomly at the mall, we cherished every moment with these kids. As Nouwen said, we were able to learn the true meaning of patience when we made it our goal to be in every moment we had with Buddy, Sarah, Bae, Bifern and Pohn. We are so thankful for Lat, her family and Sophia for sharing these moments with us. But more importantly, we thank God for being so active in every part of our lives, so that we can share that same love to those around us.