TRAVEL without a wallet
“Don’t take any gold or silver or even coppers to put in your purse; nor a knapsack for the journey, nor even a change of clothes, or sandals or a staff…” (J.B. Phillips)
“Don’t think you have to put on a fund-raising campaign… You don’t need a lot of equipment. You are the equipment…” (The Message, emphasis added)
One of my first experiences going abroad really shaped the kind of traveler I want to be. I went to Thailand after my sophomore year of high school. It was unique because I had no agenda. I just wanted to live, learn, and grow.
In Thailand, my stepfather took my mom and me into a camp for Burmese refugees fleeing their country’s repressive military dictatorship. Embarrassingly, I had no idea what I was getting into. A well-taken-care-of southern California girl, I felt I had a good global perspective — but how wrong I was! Thousands of people were barb-wired in, and the place stretched on for miles. I was overcome with fear and didn’t want to enter. But I didn’t have an option.
After meeting many people we crashed for the night. In the morning I was awakened by a choir singing gospel praises in Thai. The music was beautiful…soothing…unforgettable! We participated in a church service, and after leaving I recognized that many of the musicians — blinded and handicapped by landmines in their flight across the border — were not well cared for.
I told my parents what I thought. Our openness to divine inspiration has now changed the lives of these musicians. My parents have raised funds to buy the men musical instruments and upgrade their living conditions. Their uplifting music is in demand throughout the camp. In their “darkness” the blind men are shedding light everywhere.
We didn’t bring lots of money to Thailand, or any particular agenda. Just hearts full of the desire to serve. We were the equipment, and God used us to make a big difference.
Melody Colliatie, June 2012
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Topics: Right Place, Supply