View, Download and Print here: Legacy Letter April 2015
I am at the end of my Thailand adventure. It has totally been an adventure but I can truly call Thailand my home. I adore it. I not only adore the beauty and the culture. But I adore the home that I found at Legacy with the Thai and Burmese students, along with Leon, Gloria and the Legacy staff. I am thankful that I have been able to teach a few important lessons to my students, but I am even more thankful for the daily lessons they have taught me. I can write a novel on the lessons, experiences, struggles and memories I now have and I do not want to dumb down the fact that Legacy has been the best experience of my life. I never want to take away from my time spent there but I do want to mention how extraordinary my time in Myanmar/Burma has been, even though it has been 2 short weeks.
In Thailand my perspective was drastically changed. Coming from America we have literally everything! In Mae Rim, where I have lived this year, I still have everything. It’s not as fancy as good ole’ America and it took some getting used to but I still lived in a world of comfort…. even if the world of comfort took a few months to get used to.
Spending 2 weeks here in Myanmar has drastically changed my perspective again. I never thought that would happen. I thought I had learned all that God had intended for me to learn on this trip and these last 2 weeks my mind has been opened even more. I know that sounds incredibly cheesy, and again I don’t want to take away from my months spent in Thailand but these 2 weeks have totally been an icing on the cake or a piece of “unleavened” humble pie as I so cleverly like to call it.
I have heard from my students about their families and friends in Myanmar. I have heard their stories about having to be separated from family because of the war in their country, of having to up and leave their home and have to live in a refugee camp or having to live in the jungle for quite a while. I have heard about hard times that come in that country and now I stand on the soil and get to see a tiny bit of what they have talked about. I see the poverty even in our church. OUR church. God’s church! They are our brothers and sisters in Christ and they don’t have much, let me tell you. We are filthy rich kings and queens to them. It is true. We really are.
I was very humbled and quite emotional on my Passover night spent with these people. As Leon gave the Passover ceremony I thought about the oneness that Christ taught, and how he got down on his knees and humbly washed his disciple’s feet. How they were ALL truly one at that moment! Even though Jesus was JESUS! He is a King and He was washing His servants feet. Are you kidding me? That is true humility. That is true service. That is true brotherly love. And I sat with 20-25 people who could hardly understand me, but we all were taking part in something so special. We all have God’s spirit and we all understand the narrow path we have to walk. We all understand that life is super hard and we need to follow Christ’s example despite the difficulties. We are one despite our color, our height, our language, our wealth, or culture. I was overcome with such emotion that God can call people in the middle of nowhere and that they love God just as much as I do. And the best part? God loves them just as much as you or I. It was so incredible.
Another amazing moment was the fact that our feet were filthy. I had a dirt line on the top of my feet and I wasn’t even embarrassed. If I was home in America, I would have washed my feet before the foot washing to make sure they were extra clean. Instead I willingly put my dirty feet in that bowl to the lucky winner and let my feet get humbly washed. The water was not clear… it was muddy and gross and it made me so happy! Talk about an authentic foot washing!
To put into perspective, our brethren over here live in homes that are the size of our small living room, kitchen, or master bathroom. They don’t have beds, they sleep on bamboo. They don’t have AC when it’s 105 degrees. They have to get their water from a well and bathe in a river. They have to walk to church in the hot sun and they also do all this with a smile. What would we do if we had to do that on a daily basis?
Due to the outpouring love we receive from donations the student pastor in Myanmar, Sang Aung has been able to install lights powered by our generator and fans in the church home and church hall itself. He also was able to gather a team and hand dig a 52 foot deep well that is now fully functional for all members and villagers to use. Before that… there was no electricity or fans in church (and let me tell you… I would be a melted pool of sweat if the fans weren’t in the church hall) and also they had to walk a much farther distance to a well not on the church compound. These are all amazing blessings and it’s because of you.
Being here for 2 weeks I now understand how crucial these donations and prayers are. Not just for our brethren to experience a more efficient life but so they can have enough food for their children. So that they can feel free to take their children to the hospital when they are sick. So that we can support God’s servants here so they can take care of their family as well as God’s family. These people need our help and our support. They need our prayers and our love. I am forever blessed to be here and to have been a part of their lives for just 2 weeks. My life changed the moment I walked to their village, saw the many children running around barefoot with huge grins on their faces, and when I witnessed the joy and thankfulness that 3 foreigners took time out of their lives to come and visit them and get to know them. I will never forget my experience here and I pray one day I can return, but until then, I ask for prayers for these people, prayers for their health and their safety, prayers for their unity and oneness, and also prayers for Leon and Gloria who run Legacy and the church over here because without their diligence to God, there may not even be a church here to blog about.
(Blog and pictures by Lacee Hilgen)