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“I Feel at Home:” An Update from Jonatan

Jonatan has been sent by the Nicaraguan church through RMM’s Latin American Missions Partnership to work with RMM’s team in Bangkok, Thailand. This update was received nine months after he arrived in Thailand.

I thank God for the opportunity to provide this update to you and also thank him for life, strength and protection. God has been with me in Thailand and I’m glad he has me here as a light in the darkness.

Soon it will be nine months that I have been here. It has been a valuable time, and I have had good experiences while learning many things. God has been showing me the need of living sacrificially and he chose me to help carry the message of salvation and hope to the lost. I realize God has a plan for each one of us, and I sense his close presence to me as I work within his plan for me.

At first it was quite difficult being here. It was a new life and everything was different, especially the food which was so very different from Nicaragua. The climate is also extremely hot. I missed my family, friends, church, community and in fact, everything.

Probably the most difficult thing was learning a language with sounds that are quite different from Spanish. I recall the first day, I returned to where I was living and felt so very discouraged and frustrated and thought there is no way that I can ever learn this language. But I forced myself to learn the language well and as time passed I started to adapt to life here in Thailand. Now, nine months in, I feel at home. I even like the spicy food, and in fact when I eat food that isn’t spicy, I really don’t care for it.

“I’m so grateful to God for all his blessings and for being able to be a testimony to those around me.. I want to reflect God to them and show them the love of Jesus."I’m so thankful, God has watched over me and protected me and never forsaken me. When I missed my family and would have liked to be with them God provided me with strength to persevere and move ahead. God has been faithful by being with me, and I have faith and confidence he will continue to help me with my struggles, and he will be with me through whatever he has for me. I have many ideas and desires of things I would like to do here in Thailand, and I continually ask God for direction and guidance for each step in my work here. I’m so grateful to God for all his blessings and for being able to be a testimony to those around me still in darkness. I want to reflect God to them and show them the love of Jesus.

Thank you so much for praying for me, my work, and my protection as well as supporting me financially even though you don’t know me. I am encouraged because I know there are people who pray for me and think of me. I know I am not alone and there are many people who make it possible for me to be here. I am glad we are all the body of Christ and that God uses all of us in different ways to bring about his plans.

I continue to ask you to pray for me for me to learn the language well. Pray for my ministry here and what it will be. I have many friends who I would like to introduce to Christ. I ask God for wisdom in finding key people who are chosen to be his disciples. I also ask you to pray for my plans and that God would give me wisdom and would open doors for me. As you pray for me and the team here, ask that God would strengthen all of us. Please pray for my family in Nicaragua as it has been very difficult for my mother, father and my brothers because I am not with them. They would love to have me there but understand that this is a necessary sacrifice for the cause of Christ. May God bless them and all of you richly!

Update: Jonatan has recently secured a part-time job at a Mexican taco stand which he is enjoying. He goes to school in the morning and starts the job in the late afternoon and into the evening. While Jonatan still hopes to find a better paying teaching job to support himself, the restaurant work is thriving. Recently his boss at the taco stand asked him why he is different from the other employees. He said that his customer base has increased substantially since Jonatan began working for him! Furthermore, the job has given Jonatan numerous ministry opportunities to interact with customers who often ask him to share more about his faith.

Translated from Spanish by Larry Chupp