So I (Amber) find myself in Kanchanaburi province which is located on the western side of Thailand. I am here with one of my OMEGA teams (Team E!) who are helping to run a youth retreat alongside a team of Thai youth leaders from one of the Bangkok Jaisamarn churches. The setting is ideal (thick jungle, meandering river, and open air grass hut meeting space), the Thai youth are warm and welcoming and slightly shy all at the same time, and it’s about 37 degrees.
It is just coincidence (or perhaps God’s divine timing) that OMEGA chose to be in Thailand this year and we are planning on moving here in three months. As I disembarked the plane in Bangkok one of my students turned to me and said “welcome home!” Such a strange thought. This will be home in a few short months.
It’s interesting how you view a place differently when you know you’re going to be there forever. When you are passing through, or only visiting somewhere for a short time, you can be more critical, perhaps focus on the differences, and what makes it feel strange. When you are moving somewhere, you try to draw similarities…at least I do. My senses are constantly grasping for what makes Bangkok feel similar to Vancouver. The mix of people feels oddly similar, the sky train, and Starbucks or 7/11 on almost every corner.
Greater than coffee shops and products in stores, conveniences, and understanding transportation, what makes a place feel like home is people. Over the past 10 days I have had the chance to spend time with some wonderful people. People that will become part of what makes Bangkok feel like home. I say part because in reality, home is where Matthew, Daxon and Zala are. If we are together, regardless of surroundings, things and familiarity, we are home. We will all be home soon enough!