Thailand… people usually take Thailand as a place for a getaway or a party. For me, it’s been totally different. My time in Thailand has been interesting and life changing for me.
I was born and raised in a Christian family in a Muslim country, Pakistan. Fortunately, I was introduced to the faith at a very early age. I spent more time in the church with my teen age group and later in a youth club rather than at home. Bible studies, playing games, regular fellowships, group studies, and cleaning services were my life routine at that time. What I lacked all this time was the personal relationship with God, which makes one understand the purpose of your life. When I left my comfort zone and started living alone in Chiang Mai, Thailand, it burst the bubble that I had created for myself in the past years. Out of my comfort zone and with more time for introspection, it led me to know God more closely and intimately. The relationship made me realize that it’s not about us, in fact it’s all about God. Living our life for Him and loving others. Deep down in my heart, I’ve always wanted to work for a cause, for a reason, for something far greater and meaningful than money, something which would give me inner peace while working towards the bigger picture. I got all this here at Earth Mission Asia. I realize the work I am doing here is not for me, it’s for the Karen Youth, and especially whatever I do is for our Lord Jesus Christ.
As I keep working, my daily motivation is: Colossians 3:23-24 “Whatever you do, work heartily as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.”
Being from a subcontinent family, I’ve always thought of us as being more family/community oriented than the west. My perspective completely changed after meeting the Karen. Last year, while interviewing the new Year 1 students at the Chiang Mai office, I came across a dilemma which changed my life. I asked a young vibrant Karen student, ‘Why do you want to become a Physician Assistant?’ His answer simply shook me to my core. He said, ‘I want to learn how to become a Physician Assistant so I can go back and teach other friends and kids in my village.’ His level of giving back to the community was new to me. My understanding of giving back to the community or being family oriented was totally different which seemed hollow as compared to this young man from the jungles of Myanmar.
Empowering the community with your learning and skills was his vision which I learnt from him that day. And it will remain engraved on my heart for the rest of my life as I look forward to empower and uplift my own fellow Christians living in Pakistan.
As the Bible says, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” – Galatians 6:2 (NIV)