Saturday, December 13, 2014

One more week.

One week left.

How did that JUST happen?


I'm excited to get home and see my people again, but it's going to be really hard to leave this beautiful country.

I love Thailand, I fit really well with the culture here. I love my Pakistani family. I love the food. I love my friends I've met. I love the colorful taxis and buses. I love all the different ministries I've been working with for the past 5 months. I love all the adventures I've been going on. It's going to be so weird going back to American culture. What's it like? This is kind of a serious question.

I've moved 7 times in the last two years and there might be another 2-3 coming up once I get home. I'm ready to unpack and live in one place again.

I'm so thankful for this internship. God has taught me so much the past 5 months about His goodness and I love learning about different cultures. I love how each culture worships so differently. I think each culture has parts of God's personality and when two cultures come together, they challenge each other and learn from each other. I'm so blessed to have been able to live in this culture for 5 entire months. It's been great.

So pray for me please.
There's been big changes happening this past year, and the Lord only knows what this transition back will look like.
And pray for the church here!
God is using them in really cool ways, and they're patiently going where God leads.
And pray for my Pakistani family. They have blessed me so much since I've been here.
They are weary, but God is good.

Thank you for your prayers since I've been here, God is so good and gracious. I'm still in awe of how good He is. He's good enough that He can take broken people like us and actually use them for good things. And He doesn't even make us do it on our own, He provides absolutely everything we need to get His work done. He doesn't turn us away when we need Him, He actually wants us to be totally dependent on Him for our every need. What love. It's crazy sometimes.

Here's some pictures of my adventures lately. Thank you for praying and supporting me in this amazing adventure. God is so good.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Bangkok! [10 weeks later...]

It's hard to believe, but I've been in Bangkok now for almost 10 weeks.

I am so sorry I'm awful at updating.

I don't know how to describe this to you all in words, I just wish you all could just come and experience it with me so you would understand.
Thailand has been really good so far. The transition so far has been pretty simple and not too terribly chaotic (which if any of you know my life well, this is not normal).

The Thai language is hard sometimes because they have 5 different tones, so if you use the wrong tone, you could be saying something completely different than what you meant. Thankfully, I have met some really sweet friends here that are very patient with helping me learn how to write my name and learn some Thai phrases... Although some of the phrases they've taught me aren't very useful. For example, I know how to say "Do you wanna die??" but I still don't know the names of the days of the week.

Thai food. Thai food is amazing. I could go on forever about how much I love it. It's so spicy, but I'm building up my tolerance to spicy food so I can be as cool as all the Thai people. I'm getting there! I've never eaten a meal here that I haven't liked yet. Also, coconut water is the greatest. And the fresh fruit.. I never knew what I was missing in my life until now, but I will never be the same. I can't describe to you how delicious everything is.

I'm usually pretty busy here, but it really depends on the week or day. Some days I go and go from sun up until sun down, but other days we hardly have anything going on so we can fill in wherever we're needed.

In a "normal" week, I teach 5-6 English classes, help out at Napada [it's a handbag business that employs women from the community], work at the local food bank, help out at the kids clubs on the weekends, help teach Sunday school, and I spend a lot of time hanging out with some students from the university and helping out where I can. We also have one day off a week, which I sometimes use to explore a little bit. I wish I could say I've been taking millions of pictures, but I've been pretty bad at documenting things so far; I've just been excited I actually get to experience it. At the bottom, you can see some of the pictures I've gotten from my adventures :)

Sometimes I step back and look around me and it hits me that I'm all the way in THAILAND. I'm so thankful for a God who is with me though. Thailand is so far away from everything that's familiar, but it's nowhere near out of His reach. It's a huge comfort to know that He has been and will be with me every single step of the way. It's a huge honor to be able to see God's kingdom moving on this side of the world and I'm excited for the next months to come! 

Thank you so much for praying for me. It really is amazing to see how God has already worked through this internship. I'm so thankful we serve a God who cares and who works in such amazing ways.

Please continue to be praying for me as I buckle down and continue to dive into Thai culture and relationships. I'm so glad I get to be here, but I know it'll start to get rocky after the initial excitement wears off. I'm learning to depend on God for everything and just kinda go with it. He has it all figured out, I just need to put one foot in front of the other and go :)

Here's a list of things you can be praying for:

  • Pray for my English classes that I teach. I love my students so much, but English is sometimes a very hard language to teach, especially when I don't know Thai. 
  • Pray for a new Bible study we've started with some of the university students. 
  • Pray for me as I find new ways I can serve. I just changed my schedule around and I have a little bit more time to find other ministries to work with. 
  • Pray for God's Kingdom in Thailand. It's easy to be discouraged that the Church is so small compared to such a big city, but God is still moving and still working in lives in amazing ways. 
  • Pray for New City Fellowship Church specifically. Pray for them as they continue working in their country long after I'm gone. I only get to see a small glimpse of how much God is using this church, but it is a beautiful thing to see how God can use such a small church for great things. 

-มาริสสา เมย์ โมลลี (That's my full name in Thai. Please be super impressed with me right now)

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Remembering Mario...

Dear Mario, 
Where to start... You've been there for me since the beginning of my driving career. 
Shortly after we became a team, we were in a car accident together. Everyone thought you wouldn't make it, but you did. You're a fighter. Sure, we had to use bungee chords to make sure the trunk wouldn't fly up while driving. 
People laughed and mocked you, but you never let them get you down. You were there for me when I needed you the most. You got me to St. Louis and back. All the kids there loved you and they would sometimes hug you before they hugged me. You were a ray of sunshine to everyone you passed. Even though you were rusty and old on the outside, you still had a heart of gold. 
Today will be one of the saddest days for me... I am losing one of my best friends. I will always remember you. Even when your transmission started failing, you got me home safely from Denver. Even though the hail was threatening to further destroy your beautiful red paint, you kept going. You kept me safe because that was your number one goal. I'll never forget how you have selflessly helped me throughout the years.
Thank you, Mario. 
I will always remember you. 

Ok, but seriously now. 

I just got new tires and breaks so Mario would be ready for the long journey to St. Louis in 9 days.... and then the very day I got it back, the transmission went out! 

So this is me panicking really quickly: I don't have a job and I won't have a paycheck until December when I get back from Thailand. So the money I just spent to fix the tires and breaks was a waste and now I have to also buy a plane ticket so I can at least get to St. Louis, but I won't have a car while I'm there (which is fine- I don't NEED one, it's just easier for driving students around and such).

But I've been thinking a lot lately about what it means to have faith like a child. 

Picture a tiny, newborn baby. They don't spend their time thinking "Oh no, what if mommy forgets to feed me? I just ate two minutes ago, but if I get hungry later, will she still feed me??" They just know she'll be right there and give them food when they're hungry. 

That's the faith I want to have. When things like this happen, I don't want to start panicking and think about all the other things I have to pay for (vaccinations, visas, plane tickets, clothing, etc.) I want to trust and know that God will provide. 
He doesn't just plop me in the ocean and say "Here kid, save yourself. Good luck and let me know how that works out!"

Because that would suck. 
No, He has called me to St. Louis and He has called me to Thailand. He's got it all under control. 

Please please keep me in your prayers, I'm feeling a little stressed right now and my flesh would rather go rob a bank and have money provide for myself than trust God with absolutely everything. Because that's just scary. 

My new favorite song is Oceans by Hillsong United. It's kinda my new theme song for the upcoming months. 

Spirit, lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith would be made stronger
In the presence of my savior

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Adventures in Fundraising

Let's just say I'm a little overwhelmed. 
Overwhelmed by the amazing support and words of encouragement I've received, and also overwhelmed by life in general. 

In midst of
-selling our house two days after putting it on the market and not being able to find a house to move into yet (We're supposed to move out on March 28. So please please be praying),
-doing an online school, 
-tutoring three times a week, 
-English as a Second Language on Sunday nights, 
-working with youth group on Wednesday nights, 
-filling out paperwork for my trip, 
-filling out paper work from a car accident I was in a year and a half ago, 
-filling out paperwork for church, 
-filling out paperwork for St. Louis this summer, 
-and also trying to sleep and eat, 
-(not to mention freaking out about everything because I'm just stressed and that's one thing I do really well)
there's fundraising. 

Let me say I love fundraising because it allows my people to be involved in this trip with me. But I hate it with a passion some days. 
I can't control it. 
God has called me to Thailand, so I'm confident He will raise the support needed, but I'm not in charge of who sends what and I can't predict which of my fundraising ideas will actually work. 

I hate that. 

I hate that I can't just snap my fingers and have my trip be fully funded. 
I've only been at this for a month and I've already fallen on my face multiple times. 

But God has so much more planned through this fundraising than just providing money to go. 
Because even when my printer stops working and I can't print off my letters, or my Etsy shop doesn't sell anything, or my pictures don't turn out as pretty as I wanted and my customers aren't satisfied, or when I stay up late working on a presentation board for church only to wake up sick the next morning and unable to go, God is still there. He is still in control, and He is still teaching me to trust Him with absolutely everything. 

By the way, I'm a quarter of the way done. So ya, God provides. A lot. 

Don't ask me why this is so frustrating still, because it's amazing and so encouraging how many people have responded so quickly and have offered tons of love, kind words, and prayers. (And they mean so much to me. Seriously. THANK YOU.) 

The problem is that I should be praising God for the $2,000 that have already come in (because really now, it's only been a month!!), but instead I keep looking at the $6,000 and realizing how incompetent I am. And that is why I shouldn't be in control and I'm thankful that I'm not. 

I'm surrendering this to you. Again. For about the 34th time this month. 
This is a little bit too much for me to handle because I'm weak and very pathetic and also super stubborn. 
So here ya go, it's Yours.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Upcoming Adventures

Hello all of you!
Thanks for checking out my blog. 
I am SO excited about this year and I can't wait to take you along with me!

I leave for St. Louis sometime in May, and then I'll pop back home for a quick visit at the end of July before I begin my big adventure in Thailand!

Please keep me in your prayers. I need them so much. Truth be told, the farthest from this country I've ever been is Canada. As in Niagara Falls. As in I could still see New York. So 5 months in a foreign country will be exciting and super crazy. 

I also need to raise $8,000 by the time I leave. You can help in so many different ways. 
  • Until May, I will be offering photography sessions in the Colorado Springs area for a suggested donation of $75 [you can check out my facebook page [here] for more info if you want]. 
  • My good friend Jami is now selling adorable elephant mason jars on Etsy! All proceeds go towards my trip. [You can find it [here]] 
  • I will be opening an Etsy store to sell prayer bracelets and some other crafty things to raise money (right [here].)
  • After prayerfully considering, you can donate directly! Just mail your checks to 
Mission to the World
PO Box 116284
Atlanta, Georgia 30368-6284
Make sure they are payable to Mission to the World and include my MTW ministry account number (14689) in the memo line. 

Turns out you can also donate online [HERE]. Again, make sure you put my MTW ministry account number (14689) as the destination! (Please note: you may have to create an account in order to donate online.)

Anyways, you can expect occasional blog posts up until my departure, and then LOTS of updates, pictures, and stories once I start this crazy adventure!

I love you all so very much and thank you for joining me in this!
Don't forget to bask in the Sonshine (please note the clever play on words) today :)