Thursday, July 1, 2010

Thailand and the Trickle Down Effect

One thing I love about the whole concept of Come before Winter is that it acknowledges, no, it relies on, the Trickle Down Effect. The leadership and the board of directors know that when women reconnect with God's call for their lives and are renewed in their passion to pursue it, there is an effect on those around them. When people who are disconnected from their value in ministry find their identity, their entire sphere of influence is altered.

So, before we left for Thailand, my prayer was that future generations of Christians in SE Asia and beyond would look back on their family tree (of faith) and there would be a direct link back to this renewal. People could ask their grandparents in 50 years, "How did you become a believer?" or "How did our family become believers?" and somewhere in their heritage of faith, there would be a person who attended this renewal. And if not for this renewal, their story would be different. That was my prayer.

Now, after spending the week with the team and 36 amazing women who serve in the Philippines, the United States, Singapore, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Brazil, Cambodia, and China, my thoughts and prayers about the trickle down effect get a little more specific. The thoughts often drift back to "What if this person fully embraced the transformation they experienced at the renewal? Could God do this mighty work he's been saving for them?" Now, theologically, I know and believe that God can do a mighty work without this person's help (if he so desires), and yet I know they each have gifts that would make it a mighty work with a cherry on top. :)

So, I pray for the Trickle Down...

What if a harried school principal fully embraced God's provision for her and her academy? Could hundreds of school children know what security is through observing their headmaster?

What if a woman full of resentment towards her man came home as a woman full of grace? Could the children she's only yet prayed for be born into a heritage of compassion?

What if the women on a team of missionaries returned to their teammates united as one? Could an entire town bear witness to what reconciliation truly is?

What if a tired family that trains social workers bounced into their next workshop? Could the bondage of abuse that spans generations be broken through the fresh anointing these trainers receive?

What if the frustrated mom met her children at the airport with a new appreciation for her family? Could her tender strength sustain her sons and daughters through future struggles in their faith?

What if the isolated single working in a country where proselytizing is illegal found herself whole again through reunion with friends and sisters in Christ? Could just her smile at work spark a co-worker's search for meaning and lead to the revival of a nation?

Just one woman's transformation could alter the course of an entire people. A heritage of faith is my prayer.

But what if none of it trickles down? But what if it only sticks with one? Would Come before Winter be worth it if it only revived one? Would the hours of preparation and execution, the tens of thousands of dollars sacrificed, or the knees aching from being bent in prayer be worth it for just one spirit to be renewed?


The joy in seeing a woman being able to reenter into the presence of God, freely and without condemnation, was my biggest takeaway from this time in Thailand. If even for one, it would be worth it.

It was so worth it!


jaymie said...

awesome thoughts Natalie!! Thanks! I am glad you had a good trip. I know a couple of those girls in the pics (Jessica and Ann). I know you were a great encouragement to them!

Rachel said...

What an amazing trip! I'm so glad you got to go. You make me wish I had been there!

Ann said...

Great post Natalie! Thank you for sharing your heart. And more than that, thank you for sharing your time, money, love, encouragement, prayers, compassion, and so much more on all of us over here. That week was a powerful week for me and I'm still praising God for what He showed me there and asking for more to trickle down. Love you! It was such a treat to get to know you! God bless you and your ministry and your precious family.

Brooke said...

I love the pictures! Thanks for sharing these thoughts. I hope we get to travel together sometime!