If I had to sum up March in 2 words, it would be 'Training and Trips'. In many ways the past month has been a good taster for what I'm hoping to be doing a lot more of in the future. Since arriving, whilst still getting involved in various ministries here, I have tried to keep a bit of a lower profile while I tried to get a much better grasp of language and culture. But as the year has gone on, ministry opportunities slowly presented themselves, so last month in particular, I had the privilege of being able to write a series of 4 studies on 1 Peter that we taught to the SS teachers in order to teach the kids. It was a great opportunity to get back into writing studies, but i soon discovered that writing and prepping studies in English can have several limitations when trying to translate the questions directly and into Thai. Often questions had to be completely rearranged in order to help my Thai friends understand the passage better. Needless to say, it's a good reminder that even while language is improving, I still have a long way to go. But it also was a good reminder of God's power and grace in enabling me and allowing me to be able to teach. The Joshua cell group is still working it's way through Acts, so I had to lead a few of those studies this month too, as well as helping Maggie prep studies on the Sermon on the Mount for her own Bible study group. All these great opportunities to teach meant that I was writing or prepping 3-4 studies a week. Definitely a good way to stretch my brain. There were some weeks I felt like I was back at college with all the reading I had to do. But I loved it all (despite a few headaches from staring at a computer screen for too long).
What often added to the challenge of prepping so many studies was the fact that every week I've pretty much gone away, anything from a day trip to a 3 day/2 night trip away. Despite adding a bit of extra pressure in prepping studies, i was awesome to be able to see parts of Thailand I'd never been to, and especially be able to spend time with various friends and be able to continue building relationships with people over here. It's become a bit of a running joke here that my new 'work' is to go away. It's a tough life, but someone's gotta do it.