I left my heart in Thailand

This month in Thailand has been quite the adventure. It’s been a month full of inconvenient, uncomfortable, frustrating, amazing, challenging, learning, incredible experiences, including:

  • Setting up and tearing down my tent a couple times in one day, due to inconvenient termite and ant hotspots that were discovered too late
  • Water getting into my tent from all the rain we’ve had (even though it was supposed to be the dry season)
  • Termites eating holes in my tent (prompting evacuation #1)
  • Ants invading my recently-patched tent (prompting evacuation #2)
  • Re-packing my gear more times than I can count, due to the evacuations above
  • Discovering HUGE spiders running around in my backpacks (also because of said evacuations), and killing them with lots of squealing and bug-killer spray 😛
  • Getting stabbed by enormous spikes on the palm tree branches that we cut down every day while clearing the land
  • Getting bit by every kind of ant imaginable (big red ants, big black ants, small red ants, small black ants (don’t worry, they all bite in Thailand!))
  • Getting bit by a snake while walking in the dark to my tent (don’t worry, either, I’m okay From jesseischens.theworldrace.org)
  • Termites eating my newly-bought Thai pants
From jesseischens.theworldrace.org
(see picture below for the previous day when my Thai pants were still intact :-P)


  • Chopping down trees with machetes, saws and axes
  • Planting a banana orchard, corn and cucumbers
  • Hauling brick and sand via a pulley system
  • Eating Bud’s pancakes, French toast, eggs and potatoes, and even cinnamon rolls for breakfast!
  • Riding on elephants and in songtaus, cars, truck beds and buses
  • Drinking a TON of Thai coffee and loving every minute of it
  • Getting to have 2 mango shakes that tasted just like I remembered
  • Seeing several of my good friends from Minnesota and my church here in Thailand!
From jesseischens.theworldrace.org
From jesseischens.theworldrace.org
  • Laughing/giggling/playing tickle tag and Uno/building relationships with precious Thai children (they invaded my heart like I’ve never experienced before)
  • Feeling crazy at home in Thailand
  • Hearing God’s voice and feeling Him begin to work in my heart
From jesseischens.theworldrace.org
[ One of my favs 🙂 ]

Thailand was a hard month to describe. I think it’s because it was hard but so, so GOOD. The goodness really outweighed the bad on every scale…the Lord gave us so much extra strength and energy to pour into the kids, and He really blessed us with the relationships He allowed us to form that were unlike anything I’ve ever formed before in so short a time. Jesus literally gave me an incredible amount of love for each one of the precious kids. I can’t even begin to explain it, but it came like a flood and a gushing waterfall.

Thank you, Jesus, for such an incredible month in Thailand. Thank you for blessing us abundantly with amazing contacts, beautiful land, hard work, patience and grace and wisdom to overcome every obstacle, love for each other, and for pouring Yourself into us and through us into our ministry and the beautiful children. I love You SO MUCH!

All I can say is: God is AMAZING. He is so, so, SO GOOD.

I’m leaving my heart in Thailand, but I know that the Lord has so many surprises in store for us in Malaysia. I’m so excited! 🙂

Your thoughts would look GOOD here :)