Thursday, February 6, 2014

Love travels.

Her name is Cindy. 
But I call her Sugar because she's sweet. 

It looked like I might die. I was unconscious in Thailand, having crashed a motorbike into a metal pole. My head received all of the impact of the collision. 
Sugar was visiting her family in California for a few weeks,on her once-a-year trip home from Thailand. 
My parents flew to Thailand to take care of me in the hospital in Bangkok, but my parents don't speak Thai.
Sugar speaks Thai. Sugar has a really level head in emergency situations, and she works with the ministry I was serving in Thailand when my head collided with the pole.
So you know what Sugar did? She cut her once-a-year time with her family short and booked a flight to Thailand to help take care of an unconscious girl she had never met. 
She came to the rescue and sat by my bedside. 
The first time she saw me, I was unconscious and remained that way for several days. She watched me drool, as I lay on life support with a feeding tube, a catheter and a diaper. After I woke up, I was confused and mean and called my nurses a few choice words. 
She remained with my family, serving us and loving us. 
The three weeks I spent in the hospital should've been traumatic, stressful, and full of anxiety for my parents. But they weren't. Those three weeks were pleasant, full of faith, and I even dare say, fun. The reason for that is the Holy Spirit, saints praying, and Cindy. Take Cindy out of those three weeks and things would've been a lot rougher, for my parents and for me. During those three weeks she became like a daughter to my parents and they dubbed her, "Sugar," which she will always be to my family. 
This is only one story. I chose this story because it's pretty personal for me and is the story of the foundation of my friendship with Sugar. I could write story after story about sacrifices that Sugar has made for years, driven by her love for the King of kings. 
She's given her life to "the least of these." She didn't leave her family, say 'goodbye' to the pleasures of America, and move to Thailand nine years ago so she could hear men applaud her. She headed to Thailand in complete surrender to Jesus Christ, listening for His applause and His applause only. And she's getting it. Jesus tells His followers some difficult things like, "pick up your cross," "die to your own desires," "forget about yourself." Cindy, as good as anyone I know, is obeying these commands of Jesus. 
(Matt. 16:24, John 12:24,Matt. 10:38-39)
In all the ways a person shouldn't be like me, Cindy's not like me. She's practical, down-to-earth, unemotional, and humble. God's teaching me how to become more like her. Any good qualities I have, she has too, but more of them. 
She speaks three languages, she doesn't look for her own glory, she's a musician, she helps rescue children from human trafficking, she's generous, she's thoughtful, she makes God's Kingdom grow, she's a hero. 
We've sat in hospitals, we've rode elephants in the mountains, we've boated across the Moi River from Thailand to Burma, we've walked in the woods in southern Illinois, we've driven to Chiang Mai, Thailand, we've drank quite a few Starbucks together. 
When I say it's an honor to know Cindy, I'm telling the truth. 
p.s. Happy birthday, Sugar.

preaching the Gospel to a lady at a print shop in Thailand, 
in obedience to Matthew 28:19-29