Surrendering to Hope: A Visit to the Karen

How do you tell a story?

A story that’s probably already been told by dozens, hundreds, maybe even thousands?

One that largely remains hidden from most?

With just one voice and a few photographs?

This is my attempt to tell a story. Really, it is a compilation of stories likely told and shown before, but this time, it comes from my perspective. I should have told it months ago, but perhaps I was not ready… I just didn’t feel what I had was adequate for the task. But I’ve come to realize that in sharing this story, it’s not about my talent for words or whether my photographs will “wow” anyone. It’s simple: I just want to tell what I’ve seen, and I trust that God will do the rest. Continue reading

A Thankful Heart in Chiang Rai

9:01 p.m., Night Bazaar, Chiang Rai

It’s my last night in Thailand, and I’m here at the local night bazaar, finally sitting down for a late dinner. Chicken soup and 7-Up are on the menu today. I’m afraid it’s all that’s sounded good. I almost made it through my whole trip without incident until I got sick yesterday. =( Let’s just say that last night was not fun. =( x2 A combination of getting too much sun (not advisable when on the anti-malaria meds I’m taking) and eating something that sat out a bit did me in.

But praise God even in the midst of feeling completely miserable. Why? Well, I was planning to leave Chiang Mai for Chiang Rai Monday morning instead of today, but felt the slightest hesitation. Even as I was trying to book a room for the 2 nights I had planned to be in Chiang Rai, I kept hitting a brick wall in my search. Hours later, I decided to give up and resume on Monday morning. Continue reading

The Power of the (Unedited) Gospel

6:07 a.m., Last Morning in Chiang Mai

I’ve been thinking a lot about missions, and what it means to surrender my time, talent, and heart to the Lord to use in whatever way He wills to bring His Kingdom to the hearts and minds of all men, women, and children. Last night, I had the opportunity to spend time over dinner with some brothers and sisters I met at a local church in Chiang Mai. As they are here largely to bring the Gospel to the people (native and foreign born), we got into some interesting conversations about sharing the Gospel cross culturally and communicating to those back home about what God is doing here.

We talked about how best to share the truth about Jesus to a different culture without morphing His truth into something particular to our culture. (I know all of you who’ve studied missiology are probably getting excited right now. 😉 ) It’s a very good question though not without a good answer. Continue reading

The Sweet Spot of His Presence

10:32am, Wawee Coffee, Chiang Mai

I decided to go for a walk around town to get to know my surroundings a little better. Now I’m sitting at the local Starbucks-equivalent, Wawee Coffee, just minutes from where I’m sitting sipping my Earl Grey tea next to a lovely view of the Ping River. Now that is a little different than the coffee shops back home. 😉

I’m laughing a little at myself for my half-tourist, half local feeling here. I’ve got my camera strapped about my person, with pretty magenta, embroidered blouse, loose fitting cargo pants, and comfy sandals. But for those who know me well, the camera bit is not touristy at all! Just my photographer’s heart in action. 😉 Continue reading