Samara is originally from the US but is currently teaching 1st grade in Thailand. While that may not seem like a mission to some, it’s a great opportunity to get to know people on their own turf. And it’s an amazing opportunity to share the love of Jesus with people.
As you listen, I believe you'll be challenged by what she shares and inspired by her enthusiasm.
Life in Ministry
Prior to leaving for Thailand, Samara studied art and never really considered being a teacher. Now, about two years into her time in Thailand, she is heavily involved in ministering to young children in a lower-income part of town. Many of the students come from families in the mountains and would not have the same education opportunities if the school was not there.
She lives about twenty-five minutes outside of Chiang Mai city in a house with several other people. Most everything they need is within walking distance and most “comforts” are available one motorbike ride into the city.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
After Samara had been at School of Promise for only a couple of months, two of the students had to relocate and were unable to find suitable housing. Because they needed a place to stay, they lived in the same house as Samara for over ten months. But then things took a surprising turn.
Samara's call and commitment to her time in Thailand is to be a church planter. Not in the sense of creating congregations and buildings but by raising up believers and discipling them.
Since so much of her time is taken by her job as a teacher, it can sometimes be hard to reconcile the calling on her life with how much time she spends with children. But God reminded her of something.
One exciting change has been a recently formed small group for teenage girls. They have seen remarkable openness and vulnerability among the girls, which is very uncommon in Thai culture.
Significance in the Marketplace
Take the opportunity to offer prayer to people who are sick or in need. It's uncomfortable but it can really change things.
- Samara had to make some strict choices to ensure she was part of Thai culture instead of a subculture of Christians.
- “Be myself”
Personal Success Habit
- Samara smiles all the time; it's broken down many walls
Samara reminds us that we don't need to be scared. Instead, we should get to know our cross-cultural neighbors and coworkers. We can focus on being a friend and allowing God to work in and through our lives.
Don’t be scared. Don’t worry about looking silly, messing up, or doing things right. When we’re stepping out in faith, God will use those things for His glory.
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As a listener of Engaging Missions, Audible.com will give you a free audio book when you sign up for a 30-day free trial to check out their service. With over 150,000 titles to choose from, you’re sure to find one you like.
Samara's recommendation of The Shack is just one of the titles that are available. If you're not interested in that, I always recommend getting a copy of the Bible.
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- Book: The Shack – Amazon, Audible, iTunes
- Resource: The Verses Project
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Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”