Lanna Theological Center


One our greatest joys is when graduates return and tell us their stories. This week, I had the privilege of hearing LTC graduate, Pawn, tell about his experiences during his internship.    I was blessed and encouraged to remain faithful as we wait for God to work out His plan in our lives and ministry. 


I thought I would share Pawn's story and the reminder God gave to me as I  listened.


Even If...



After I completed my course work at LTC, my sponsor sent me to Huay Jaw village for my  internship.  At first I was really excited.  I was finally done with school and could now do the work I had spent four years preparing for.  Huay Jaw is a village that has three churches.  I thought it would be an easy assignment with people who would mentor  and encourage me.  Little did I know that it would be a  nerve-racking 10 months.


Come to find out, Huay Jaw is a center for drugs and alcoholism.    Some of the area's main drug dealers live in this very village.  In addition, I  learned the village has a reputation for violence.   One family killed their mother as a result of drug-use.   This family lived right down the street from the church where I slept.  


Evenings were the worst.  I had to travel 5 kilos from my day job back to the Huay Jaw.   I knew the men of the village were usually pretty drunk and full of drugs by that time.  What if they waylaid me on the way home?  No one would miss me and come look for me.  I could die alone out here on the road.   What if they came for me at the church at night?  Who would help me?  These thoughts plagued my mind each night. 


After the first three months, I was a nervous wreck and ready to give up.  I took a week off and went back to Chiang Mai.  I spent the week at LTC talking with my professors.      They encouraged me and reminded me that God often teaches  his greatest lessons in adverse experiences.  They challenged me to return and see what God had in store for me.    By the end of the week I was ready to return.  Looking back, I can see two big lessons God taught me at Huay Jaw.


My first lesson was how to cope with fear.   I learned that the only solution to fear is prayer.   I prayed like I had never prayed before and discovered in prayer there is peace and when peace comes there is courage.    


The second lesson was how to endure.  I had never been in this situation before, and I had no idea how to minister to these people.   I was alone and at a loss.    I really wanted to give up.  But, God came through for me!   No, I didn't turn the church around.  Those folks continue to struggle with their addictions.  But, I turned around.    I learned that God doesn't always fix everything.  But, He will always stay with me if I am willing to stay the course.    


               I admit that I am glad to be out of Huay Jaw, but I am also glad I stayed.    


As I listened to Pawn's story, I was drawn to the story from Daniel 3 about the 3 Israelites who refused to bow to Nebuchadnezzar's  statute.    When the King threatened them with a trip to the fiery furnace, they replied;   " O King, we do not need to defend ourselves. If we are thrown into the fire, the God we serve is able to save us from it. But even if he does not, we want you to know that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up." 


          These men understood an important principle;  God doesn't always take us out of bad situations, or give us amazing results, but even if he doesn't.... He is still Lord!    And He will bring good out of every situation if we will just stay the course.


Today, will you join me in praying for the leaders and pastors of Thailand, as well as your own ... that they will stay the course.....even if ...

Thank you for your faithful prayers and support for Lanna Theological Center.  Your partnership is precious to us.  We pray God's blessings for you and your ministries. 

Carmen Filbeck
Life Encounters

Lanna Theological Center