Last week our students traveled once again to the mountains of Doi Mae Salong to produce their first documentary film. we split the students into 4 teams where they are assigned different positions- director, audio, editor, and camera. Together they cultivate a 3-4 minute long documentary about the beautiful people, culture, and tradition of Doi Mae Salong. After a few days of pre-production the teams have only two days to shoot and two days to edit, and at the end of production, we spend the last days in the mountains with a film showing in the village. This is one of my favorite moments here at MediaLight as we screen the documentary films and gospel videos produced by our students. It fills my heart with joy to see the kids and the villagers giggle, laugh out loud and scream as they see themselves and their friends on the screen.
It is during such time I received unexpected news that I cannot extend my visa due to new visa regulations. I was told to leave the country and reapply again. They were able to give me only 6 days of extension. I was so devastated to hear this as it totally messes up my plans.
After such a long day at the immigration office, 6 hours of the bus ride and a tuk-tuk ride home, I can’t help but think, what if our life in this world requires a visa? If you actually think about it, we breathe, we go in and out, and we live because God allowed for us to do so. He kept extending our visa here on earth, though we are not aware of it. I used to think, life is long enough to do whatever I want, it is only the old people that die. But then I had lost 2 friends at a very young age, one for a car accident, another for cancer. That got me to realize that my visa for life might or might not be extended, there is no guarantee. So I yearn to make every moment count, to be more intentional in life and strive to see more people come to know Jesus, the truth, the way and, the life!
But then again, I often got overwhelmed. I live in a country where people who let alone know about God, but who don’t even personally know a Christian, surround me. Sometimes I am afraid to pray that God would give me the heart to love His lost children the way He loves them. How can I handle that? I am already overwhelmed and I don’t think I love them enough. I sometimes got overwhelmed and I feel like all I do is in vain. I often struggle to make sense of the life I live because though I know I am in the right place, I feel my contribution to the harvest is close to nothing. And I don’t often get encouragement from other Christian people. Out of genuine concern, I am always asked when I will get a real job, find a man, settle and live a secure life. Christian people question my motive behind living in Thailand, ‘are you trying to change the sacred Buddhist culture of Thailand?’ 'What is in it for you?...
But I learned that sometimes God wants us to be among His lost children and just pray for them. I learned that what I do is not in vain. I learned that I can only do my part with excellence. Media is a powerful tool to reach the youth and I can take part in equipping Asian youth with media mission skills to reach their nation. Through it all, I feel grateful to be able to live a life that requires trusting God day by day.