Mentoring ACU Interns & Discipleship

Much of our time over the past two months has been focused on mentoring four young women from Abilene Christian University. Shelly, Laura, Amy and Marina came to Thailand through ACU’s Worldwide Witness program. We originally thought that the ACU students would only be in Thailand for a few weeks to help with our English Camp and the Service Learning Project. We believe strongly in programs like AIM, Worldwide Witness, and similar programs from the other universities apart of our church of Christ heritage. And feel that there are few programs that do as well of a job equipping young people today. Knowing that one day we wanted to host interns and apprentice missionaries, we prayerfully accepted the responsibility and saw this as God way of saying the time to start is apparently now. Ten weeks later, with our summer together now over, we feel so blessed by the whole experience.

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“On to our next adventure!”

“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

-Matthew 28:19-20

The girls arrived in pairs on two different days. The first pair came the day that martial law was declared. The second pair came the day the military coup was declared! Welcome to Thailand girls! They really hit the ground running when they first arrived. Only two days after coming we headed off to Cha Am for our English Camp weekend. We were also joined by a team from the Aggies for Christ Student ministries. We spent a long weekend on the beach with about 30 students from the Suan Dusit University’s Nursing faculty. The English camp was a great opportunity to have fun and build relationships with our students while at the same time giving them greater opportunity to practice their conversational English skills. After English camp we only had a few short days to spend in Bangkok where the girls could get settled in (a little) while we and the Soi 4 ministry team finished up final preparations for the Service Learning Project. Somewhere in the middle of that we made a border run to Cambodia and took the ACU team along with us to see the famous “Monkey Mountain”.

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Having fun at “monkey mountain”! Click on the image to see more pictures.

“Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.”

-1 Corinthians 11:1

After the Service Learning Project we were able to spend more time with the students showing them various ministries in Bangkok that we know of and are a part of. We wanted to expose them to different types of ministries, so that they could see the different ways they themselves could do ministry in the future. One of our major goals with our interns was to teach them about discipleship. Discipleship happens best living on mission in community together. Because of this we did a lot as a group to provide opportunity for us to grow while serving together. Our weekly outreaches were key times for such learning. Like teaching them about Bangkok’s urban refugee situation and taking them with us to visit some of our refugee friends from Pakistan in their homes. And rather than just talking about helping the forgotten and feeding the homeless, we took our interns alongside us to show simple acts of love to the homeless and beggars together. This is what discipleship is. Taking others along side you as you personally strive to follow the example of Christ.

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The girls loved spending time with this sweet Pakistani family!

“If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me.”

-Luke 9:23

Throughout the summer, once a week, we would have a team devotional with the girls where we went through the BASIC series by Francis Chan. This seven part series is a great discipleship tool that goes over the basics of what it means to be a disciple and how as a community of disciples we make up the church. We always loved these times with the team where we could get real with one another about where we are in our own personal walks with Christ. In these times we would ask the group how they’re doing. How is life? What’s been hard? How much are you missing home? It was really neat seeing the four of them, really the six of us, grow together over the 8-10 weeks that they were here.  

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We can hardly believe that our summer together has already come to an end! We had a long and busy summer but will always treasure our time hosting this ACU team. We’re so proud of them and all of the ways that they stretched themselves and allowed God to work through them here in Thailand. They were a blessing to many and to us most of all. We definitely believe that it was by the Spirit’s leading that the Worldwide Witness team was sent here. We continue to pray for them as they’re now returning to school in Abilene. We pray that their adventures continues as they live out the Good Life of Christ among their friends, classmates and community.

 

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