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Hope for Thailand

By Candice and Jonatan, Workers in Thailand

Thanks to Jonatan, a Nicaraguan member of the RMM team, for sharing his heart in this testimony of God’s leading through a very dark time in his life. His words are a challenge to all of us to keep pursuing God and our callings and not give up.

Currently, Thailand is going through a time of mourning. The longest reigning monarch has passed away and the entire city of Bangkok dresses in black and white and pays their respects to a man who helped his country in so many ways. The night of the supermoon was also the Loi Kratong celebration, when Thais float little rafts with candles and flowers, make wishes and confessions and thank the river for life. This year, the festival was muted by the mourning period; no fireworks, no loud celebrations. Many friends didn't celebrate at all.

Now, as much as ever, Thailand needs a King. We pray that God's kingdom comes in Thailand "as it is in heaven." Jonatan is here to share a vision of that kingdom and to hold on to his belief in that kingdom amid a sea of unbelief. As you read his story ask God to continue the good work that has begun.

Greetings everyone,

In this letter, I want to share what has been happening to me in the last few months. I also want to share about God’s faithfulness, how He uses people and other ways and circumstances to confirm our call so we don’t forget the plan and calling He has on our life.

When I was still living in Nicaragua, I heard testimonies from many missionaries who shared about the challenges and problems they faced living in a new culture and how difficult it was to adjust. They said it was especially difficult during the first year. For me, this second year has been more difficult. A year full of disillusionment, testing, personal struggles and discouragement to the point I began to doubt God’s call on my life. I thought God was wrong to have brought me to Thailand because everything I was doing turned out wrong. I would try different things and the doors would close and I wondered if God really had brought me here. Why was He allowing all of this to happen?

It all began when my visa was about to expire. I went to a university and asked if I enrolled could they provide paperwork to help me get a student visa. They told me to return on another date because they were not able to help me that day. I waited and asked them again if they could help me, and they said they couldn’t because I hadn’t had my diploma translated into English. They told me I had to come back another day. I said I would and asked if they needed any other documents translated in order for me to register. They said I only needed my diploma in English. So I left to get the translation, and by that time I only had fifteen days left on my visa.

I only had four days left on my visa when I went back to the university. I was then told I still needed other documents and that would take fifteen days. By then all of my hopes were dashed. I was fatigued and stressed. All of my efforts had failed and I was frustrated.

So I left the country to request a new visa and praise God they extended it but only for a short time. I went back to the university to continue the student visa process. I thought that all the bad that could happen had already occurred, but that wasn’t the case.

When I started classes I was also working at a Mexican restaurant. I would get home at 10:30 pm or midnight and by then I was too tired to study. I also needed to get up early the next morning to help prepare food at the restaurant. I became frustrated because I had responsibilities at both places and I couldn’t do either one well. I was tired but couldn’t sleep because of all the things on my mind. I felt like my head was going to explode so I had to drop my classes to keep working. This was not easy, but I had to resign myself to this reality.

After dropping my classes I dedicated myself to my job at the restaurant. The restaurant was also my place of ministry but gradually the business changed and the number of customers declined. Business declined considerably to the point where my boss decided to close it. “He told me not to abandon the call on my life and to believe He has a purpose for me here – including all of the bad things that had happened; it was for my good.”At that moment it hit me that all this was just too difficult. With everything that had happened to me before, I questioned why this too was happening. I thought God made a mistake in bringing me to Thailand so I decided I would return to Nicaragua. I even talked to my team and told them about my decision.

I was deeply discouraged and disillusioned but in the midst of this, I felt God speak again to my heart. He told me not to abandon the call on my life and to believe He has a purpose for me here – including all of the bad things that had happened; it was for my good.

At the same time, I met with Tom and he told me about a documentary that had been produced about a family from Matagalpa (Nicaragua). This was the story of how Diego Chavarria and his family had endured many hardships and how difficult it was to obey God’s call in order to fulfill the dreams God gave him.

I remember that night going to my room and watching the video. Incredibly, every word they were saying in the documentary with everything that had happened to them was exactly what I was going through at that time. I also remember the words from Gloria in the documentary questioning God when she was going through difficult times, “If this is from God, why is this happening to us?” That very same question was going through my mind, and as I was watching the documentary I began to understand that everything was in God's plan. In the end, even with all the bad things, God always is true to His word and keeps his promises. No matter what takes place – He is the reward.

I just wanted to share this as my testimony about how this documentary helped me not to abandon my sense of call no matter what happens. Thank you to everyone who made the documentary possible. May God greatly bless Diego and his family. I don’t know them but I deeply admire them for what God has done in their lives.

Thank you to those who make it possible for us to be here to shine the light of Christ to those who are in darkness. Your prayers and support encourage me to move forward, knowing I have brothers and sisters who care about me. We are a family, and together we can work to fulfill the Great Commission. There are still many challenges I’ll need to face but I know that God will guide me where He wants me to go and in what He wants me to do.

To God be the glory

– Jonatan

God answered our team's prayers that Jonatan could remain in Thailand and continue to work with us. Since this was written, he was able to find a place in a university, studying hotel and tourism management and is currently in his first semester. He also has a student visa which provides him with a visa for a year. Praise God for his provision and protection!

Please join us in prayer for Jonatan – that he would continue to find hope and purpose in the Lord, and that his ministry in Thailand would draw people toward Christ. If you are interested in supporting him financially you can donate online at www.donate.rmmweb.org.