“I’m not sure. I’ll need to think and pray about it, but it sounds like an incredible opportunity.” 

Do these phrases sound familiar? These were the words I reluctantly uttered to my coworker Drake when he asked me if I wanted to join a small team from our church to visit our ministry partner, Kritsana Udomsrirat, in Thailand and work as a photographer during the trip. I had a lot of doubts and uncertainties in my mind: What if I don’t like the food? (I’m a very picky eater.) What if I get sick from eating said food? What if the pictures I take aren’t even that good? What if the plane goes down? After all, it was a 16-hour flight one way. What if I have to use a squatty potty?! (Look it up!) 

These are all legitimate concerns in my already over-thinking mind. After some contemplation, prayer, and consulting with wise and trusted friends, I decided not to miss this fantastic opportunity and take a chance by saying “yes”! I’m so glad I took that chance. Though it was my first international travel experience, I had a great team with me – friends and elders from church. 

Kritsana lives in northern Thailand, where the main religion is Buddhism, and runs a ministry called Asian Women and Children. She wears many hats and always has a lot going on. She shared that God blesses her with good sleep every night, which is essential given her busy schedule! One of the ministries she runs ensures children from remote villages have access to education. During the week, she takes children to and from school each day and provides housing for them at “Eden” – the name given to the grounds by the children. She also has prayer and devotional time with them, and teaches them what it means to follow Christ. Another ministry she heads up oversees schools in several other remote villages near MaeHongSon. Additionally, she runs a prison ministry. Our team got to visit Eden, the villages, and the prisons with her. 

On a few occasions, she asked if any of us had any encouraging words to share with the people. I’m not usually one to speak in front of a crowd, but somehow, the language barrier (until Kritsana translated) helped! I shared at the women’s prison and a small church in MaeAw how unsure I was about the trip before saying yes. I shared with them that we all have questions and uncertainties at times, but those are the moments when God wants us to trust Him and trust that we’ll be used for His glory. Sometimes, you just need to take a leap of faith and trust that God will catch you, and everything will work out as it’s supposed to. 

I made many fond memories on that trip, had lots of laughs with those around me, made new friends, grew existing friendships, ate good food, and took some great photos that I will enjoy looking back on! Plus, the plane didn’t crash and several of us even got our own rows on some flights, so that was a win! Though, on my next international trip, I hope to not get nauseous on a 6-hour mountainous road trip of 1,864 curves and not accidentally sleep for 17 hours after returning home (to hopefully avoid a week of sleepless nights). But, even looking back at the “negatives,” I would say “yes” again because the positives far outweighed the negatives. Going to Thailand and trusting God with getting me out of my comfort zone led me to one of the most incredible experiences of my life! Learning to say yes to God and trust Him even in the unknown was a huge win for me. We need to learn to say “yes” to God’s best because He will never let us down. 

Written by Lindsay Haddan • Christ’s Church Graphic Designer

Kritsana Udomsrirat

Kritsana lives in the village of MaeHongSon and leads a ministry called Asian Women and Children. Her ministry provides God’s message, a home, and education for children who have little hope for a bright future. Many of these children come from the mountain village of MaeAw, where Kritsana started and oversees a Chinese school for over 100 refugee children up through the 6th grade. Kritsana continues to spread the Good News wherever God leads.

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