Meeting God in the unknown

My name is Hanna and I volunteered in Thailand with LCA International Mission. Before I had really looked into volunteering internationally, I thought that mission looked like building houses for people. I asked God how he could possibly think it is a good idea to send me to help someone in need. I spent a lot of time questioning God about this nudging at my heart and fought him for a year before I reached out to talk with the staff in the LCA International Mission office.

I ended up spending two months volunteering in Thailand – the second month living and working at Home of Praise in the slums of the capital. Home of Praise is a nursery located under the freeway in the heart of Klong Toey slum community in Bangkok. The nursery provides care for children aged 6 months to 4 ½ years old. These children all live in the slums. Part of our daily routine involved bathing the children, brushing their teeth (if they still had theirs) and providing food for them. We knew that once we sent them home, most of them would not even have running water.

In the slums, even the police don’t come in if there is an ‘issue’. The mafia take care of that area. When I was given a tour of the slums, the Home of Praise staff told me not to be afraid, as the mafia had sworn to leave them be. Even the mafia could see that there was something different happening in Home of Praise. Even the mafia could see the good work being done.

To these Thai people, it does not make sense to give up your time to care for these children. In the Buddhist culture, they believe you deserve to live that way because of something you have done in a previous life. They do not help you out unless they think they will get something out of it – a better opportunity in the ‘next life’. But this is not the way in Home of Praise. They work and care for these children, expecting nothing in return. God’s love does not make sense.

Those two months of volunteering have had a lasting impact on my life. God met me where I was, in the fear of the unknown. He led me to a more intimate and trusting relationship with him. He is in the known and the unknown. In the comfortable and the uncomfortable. My prayer for you is that God will disturb you, like he disturbed me.

If you would like to consider the opportunity to serve as a volunteer in mission, serving in practical ways, teaching English, teaching in the seminaries and institutions of our partner churches, or in local churches, you are invited to phone Nevin on (08) 8267 7300 or email For more information, go to

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