Southeast Asia 2013

Guest writer: Doug Kegarise, Pastor of Development and Deployment

We’ve had so many rich experiences here in Southeast Asia. It is often the unexpected experiences that touch our hearts the most.

In the mountains of Northern Thailand there are nine officially recognized tribes of people, one of which is the Akha people. The other day, we traveled to an Akha village where one of the rescued, at-risk children at the GROW home grew up. I road in the bed of a truck with a few of the children for the 90 minute drive through the (MOST BEAUTIFUL) mountains. It was all dirt road…so I had trouble sitting the next day…if you catch my drift!

I could write ten blog posts about the things we learned from this experience, but I will focus on just one idea for now.

These people have been robbed of dignity and freedom. They own nothing because they are prevented from doing so. They are not considered citizens of Thailand for a variety of reasons. And they are essentially trapped in the mountains, lacking the ability for any opportunities in other villages or cities. (Side note: three cheers for the International Justice Mission who is addressing the roots of these injustices…Google them)! They live the simplest of lives because they have nothing.

The thing that breaks my heart though, is that the decades and decades of living like this have led them (even the Christians among them) to believe that they are worthless. That somehow they are less valuable than ‘Thai’ people, or Westerners.

I’ve been reading through Ephesians during this trip and have been reminded of the significance of our status as Christ followers:

– we are blessed with every spiritual blessing

– we were chosen & adopted, and it brings him pleasure

– we have been redeemed, forgiven

– we are sealed with the Holy Spirit

– we are saved

– and we are SEATED WITH CHRIST IN THE HEAVENLY REALMS…FAR ABOVE ALL RULE AND AUTHORITY, POWER AND DOMINION, AND EVERY TITLE THAT CAN BE GIVEN, NOT ONLY IN THE PRESENT AGE BUT ALSO IN THE ONE TO COME…

And those are just a few selections from chapters 1 & 2! Let those truths simmer a bit.

Are you living in light of this new identity in Christ? Or are you comparing yourself to others based on surface level lies fed by circumstances, culture, and the enemy?

Understand and live under the love and grace of Jesus today!

Guest writer: Doug Kegarise, Pastor of Development and Deployment

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