Wednesday, January 18, 2012

It's all in your perspective

Yesterday I went to visit McKean Hospital with our CAM staff and a volunteer that is here helping us for 2 weeks. McKean Hospital is one of the first hospitals in Thailand that was devoted solely to treating people with Leprosy. McKean Hospital was founded in 1908 by Presbyterian Missionaries Mr and Mrs McKean. McKean is surrounded on one side by a river and a stream that connects the river to create an island of sorts. The hospital grew in stages of being a leprosy colony and hospital to a leprosy rehabilitation center providing physical and occupational therapy. Their goal is to empower these patients to attain their maximum potential physically and to be psychologically healthy with a sense of worth and self acceptance, and to be able to live productive lives with acceptance and dignity in their own community.

I had visited several times before and have always enjoyed the serene atmosphere and the sense of community that this place exudes. Today we were visiting to celebrate many holidays with the patients such as Christmas, New Years, Children's Day and a few other Thai holidays.

We had a worship service to start with and had all the patients in a big circle sitting in wheelchairs or regular chairs. We all sang together and had gifts set aside for each one of the patients living there. While watching this whole thing unfold I kept thinking to myself how lucky I am to be healthy. I was thinking about all the times that I feel sorry for myself or feeling that life has been such a struggle. Then I look around at all the patients and my struggles and challenges seem embarrassingly minuscule. I started to get emotional watching the scene play out with all the joy and love that was surrounding these people. People who were deformed with missing limbs or nubs for hands and feet, but with beautiful redeeming hearts and souls. Sometimes I think it is good to get a sobering dose of reality to gain a better perspective of what real challenges look like. It is reminders like these that put it all in perspective.

How is God challenging your perspective?

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Muddy Christmas and Gloppy New Year!

This year we wanted to have a fresh clean start to the new year. Nothing says clean like a good old fashion mud bath. This debauchery actually took place before Christmas and so we decided it would be a good early Christmas present for the girls. They also invited their friend Micaiah who was a major playah in their mud fight video last year. Which has only 50,018 views/hits on youtube thats all.

Remember doing this kind of thing as a kid? Man, it seems so long ago when one could just let loose and start slinging the mud. Then I got to thinkin how playing in the mud is alot like being a missionary. It's a stretch I know, but like a mud fight it can be exhilarating and adventurous and at the same time very messy and uncomfortable. Sometimes I feel like I have mud all over my face when I am out and about trying to speak Thai. Often I feel that Thai people are looking at me as if I actually had mud on my face. "What is he saying" "Is that Thai he is speaking"

Just like the picture here of the kids in the Charlie's Angel pose it just goes to show one needs support. Whether it is during a mud fight or trying to walk alongside people sharing your faith.

Life is messy and chaotic, but it is also can be filled with joy, just like playing in a mud puddle. What is the chaos and joy that God has put in your life?