Pastor Kevin Pinkerton and the kids from Doi Saket 4
It’s early morning on my last day in Thailand. It’s been a bit of a blur. And while it seems that I’ve been away from home for far too long, it also seems that I’ve left quite a bit undone. There are people I had hoped to meet, issues I wanted to address, kids I wanted to hang out with and staff I wanted hang out with – but it’s time to leave.
Andy and I spent the last few days with Pastor Kevin Pinkerton. His church in Fremont, Ohio sponsors our Doi Saket 3 and 4 orphan homes. Without his church’s support, we would not be able to provide food, clothing, education and shelter for 40 incredible kids.
It’s been a amazing to see Kevin with his kids – he and his church have only ever seen the kids through a video screen or computer monitor; the kids have, until this week, had only a vague impression of the church. Kevin’s visit has put some flesh on the bones of the relationship – it’s been a real incarnation.
He can go back to his church and say “I’ve been there. I’ve seen it. I’ve felt the heat of the Thai sun, I’ve hugged every one of those kids.” And the kids now have a tangible representation of God’s provision and the love of the church that supports them. The staff feels a sense of camaraderie with their colleagues half a world away, because Kevin has made it clear to them that he considers them to be an extension of his own church’s staff.
I’ve spent somewhat less time with the kids from the other homes than I might if I hadn’t been hanging with Kevin all week, but I’ve long realized that there’s never enough time on each trip to do everything.
This afternoon, Andy and I will be flying back to Cambodia to wrap up a couple of loose ends and then we’ll be heading home, arriving in Columbus on Saturday morning. My to-do list is daunting, and I’m sure I’ll be swamped when I get home. I am a tired guy with too much work on his plate, but I am so grateful that God has called me to this work. I can think of things that would make my life easier, but I can’t imagine a better job.