June 21, 2017 | Free day
Today was our free day. The End. Just kidding. Today was the free day for everyone at the conference. A much needed day of laughter, relaxation, adventure, and did I mention laughter. Our team got to choose an activity to take part in for the day. The activities ranged from rock climbing to manicures and pedicures to zip lining in the jungle.
At breakfast, we made new friends who live on the front lines ministering in East Asia. From the very beginning of the conversation we immediately felt the genuine love that radiated from their hearts. Almost like a grandmother grandfatherly love. A love so sweet and pure that it you sense the love of the Father in every word they said. But we could sense that something was missing. I don’t mean this in a bad way or anything demeaning. They expressed to us the ups and downs and the rollercoaster that they ride on daily basis and let me tell you, it was heartbreaking. They expressed how it felt dry and they didn’t know what to do. As a team, long before we left Pittsburgh, we prayed and the holy spirit laid on our hearts this picture of dry ground, where seeds have been spread but a bird was snatching them up before they could take root. Our new friends used that same analogy. Crazy right? We were able to pray with them, for a renewal, a flood to blanket their hearts and minds that will flip their needle from empty to full so that the thoughts of “is this worth it” “we’ve had a good run, should we throw in the towel” would not creep into their minds. Reflecting back on, it I believe we have all had those moments where those thoughts creep into our minds. As a team, we would be lying if we said we didn’t have those thoughts when we were stuck in Pittsburgh and JKF airport and even when our team split in China for a day. BUT!!! Our Father’s love knows no bounds, and I believe that those thoughts hold no weight here in Chiang Mai anymore. I believe that the Father looks down and is saying my son my daughter, I Love You. I am reminded of the lyrics to an old Ten Shekel Shirt song that says, “When I am empty, you drown me in your sweet embrace, and when I am broken, you come restore my joy again.”
I think that this conversation couldn’t have come on a better day than a free day. What better way to relax than laughing with old and new friends. What better way to refuel, than to try something new, jump off a ledge high in the trees on a zip line knowing that God’s got you and wont let you down so you can soar through the tree tops. Today was about letting loose, putting the daily grind on the backburner for a moment and bonding with friends, strengthening old friendships and making new ones.