MEET KERSTIN NEW: a trip to Thailand changed her perspective on serving, loving, and living well.
How did saying yes to your mission trip stretch your comfort zone?
This past summer I spent two months in Bangkok, Thailand teaching English to people ranging from ages 4 to 72. It was most definitely out of my comfort zone to go to this place with a team of four others of whom I didn’t know long before leaving the country together. The culture, language, food, and so much more taught me patience and what it truly looked like to trust others and most importantly, God. He showed me it was best to surrender to Him all my expectations and all my plans.
What did you learn through fundraising for your trip?
I learned to fully depend on Christ and to be open with my church, friends, and family about the cost of the trip. I sold some awesome shirts through Fund the Nations that helped make it possible to go! I sent out support letters and talked with my local church. I was overwhelmed by not only the financial support but also the prayers that I felt.
How did going and serving impact your life since returning home?
Going this past summer has changed how I see the world and the people in it. It’s helped me to see the urgency of the gospel and to see that not only people here in the U.S. need the Lord but all nations and all people do. It is our job as Christians to go and tell them.
What’s one way you saw God at work during your time in Thailand?
There were so many times I saw the hand of God working this past summer. Through giving us national partners that were patient and helped us out A LOT when we didn’t know where we were going, what to say to a student without messing up pronouncing words and saying something completely different, or helping us not be offensive in the culture. The Lord showed myself and my team that we had to trust Him and rely on Him. One time that I remember very vividly was when one of my teammates had a student that was an older gentleman in her class one week. He was now in his third class that was all about the gospel. He came to know Christ that week (PRAISE HIM!!), and my team got to be part of seeing him come to know Christ and begin his relationship with Christ! A week after we left, he was baptized and has been going to church there. Please pray for him as he grows in his relationship with Christ and that he will keep his faith and trust in Him in the midst of culture and hard times.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to commit to serve but is scared to step out of their comfort zone?
To someone who is considering going, my advice is to simply do what is next. Pray! Listen to the Lord and His voice. Take a step of obedience and go. Do not let cost of a trip or not having family support keep you from doing what the Lord is telling you to do. You have to remember that it is you who will stand before the Lord one day and account for what you did for the kingdom. The Bible tells us that there will be hard and difficult times but also that Christ is with us. He is the only reason we are able to go-by His blood, His strength, and His authority alone! You will not regret going.
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