When I was very young, I would always run up to my dad’s side and grab his hand, clutching it for dear life because I was so afraid. I remember his hand as large and rough as my small hand was together with him. I felt a moment of safety, relief, and peace.
As I walked out of the vehicle six days ago, I was so afraid as I looked into the community to which I would now call my home. It was crowded and somewhat dirty. My first impression of Chantamit in Prapadaeng, a leper community, was one of fear. My heart raced, my mind jumped, my body was shaky. I felt alone and nothing could comfort me.
It was not until a few days later that I realized God, my heavenly father, had been holding my hand the entire time.
Isaiah 41:13 says, “For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, ‘Do not fear; I will help you.’”
While I was completely blind to the fact that God had been leading me the entire time, He still surrounded our team with wise and strong believers to teach and support us.
The first day, Dillon, my teammate and I were sent to help one of the elderly affected by leprosy, to get to the church’s daily Bible study. In the moment, everything that could possibly go wrong flashed through my mind. She looked fragile, like any mistake on my part could break her. As we pushed her across the community, she smiled at us and tried to talk to us. We tried our best to understand, though we didn’t respond very much. Since that day, we have gotten the privilege to help her almost everyday—learning how to read her soft, sweet smile and still learning how to receive her words of wisdom regarding her faith.
God has shown me he has been holding my hand the entire time by the numerous people we have met here in Prapadaeng. But without his hand pulling me forward, I don’t think I would have even taken a step toward the kind, wise, gracious people of Chantamit.
Lord, I thank you for leading the entire Bangkok team to this city. May you continue to pull us into new challenges to grow our faith.
“If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.” –Psalm 139:9-10
- Michael Jones