Rachel Gresock

Chiang Mai, Thailand

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1. What excites you about working with Friends Network?

Working with Friends Network excites me because it is an opportunity to share God’s Word with people who might have otherwise never heard it. Growing up, I never realized just how lucky I was to grow up in a Christian household. I was baptized as an infant and was raised always hearing the Good News. Only when I was older did I realize that wasn’t the case for millions of people around the world. Yet I’ve been given the opportunity to bring the word to those who didn’t grow up with it. It is the most exciting thing in the world to see people’s reaction to hearing the Bible for the first time. Friends Network gives me the unique opportunity to make friends and share the gospel for a living. 

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This is a picture of me and some friends from a language exchange group. The point of the group is to practice different languages that you are studying. In this group of friends we study Thai, English, and Chinese. On this particular night, one friend cooked some traditional Chinese dishes for us to share in his apartment.

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This is a picture of my classroom. I have just started teaching at the School of Promise. About half the students are Christian and half are Buddhist. It is a great opportunity to teach them God’s Word every week so they can hear the Good News.

2. In what ways have you grown by serving as an evangelist?

Serving as an evangelist overseas has taught me a lot about connecting with people. It’s important no matter what your job is to be able to make genuine connections with people, whether it’s your friends, family, or coworkers. I think being an evangelist has helped me a lot in this regard. Being in Thailand specifically has taught me how to adapt to a culture that is not my own and how even if on the surface it feels like you’re so different from people, there is always something you can make a connection with. At the end of the day, every single person is a child loved by God, and with that in mind it’s possible to connect to anyone.

3. Favorite new word or phrase you’ve learned: 

My favorite expression in Thai is “สบายสบาย” (s-bai s-bai). Literally สบาย means comfortable, but as is true with many words, the literal meaning doesn’t encompass the whole connotation to the word. In Thai, สบาย can mean comfortable or good or relaxed or content. This has a lot to do with Thai culture. There is a relaxed pace to everything. As an American where time and planning is usually very important, it took some time getting used to, but now I can really enjoy the mentality of going at a comfortable pace. Let the world go and just go along with it. 

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This is a picture of my friend June. She is currently my roommate. We normally only get to see each other late at night because she works so much. This was a special day when she had the morning off. We spent it together getting lunch and having spiritual conversations over a bowl of noodles. 

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This is a picture of some friends with Lydia and I on our way home from a vacation. We spent 6 days with a group of 10 friends. We spent so much time together building stronger friendships and exploring Thailand together. It left us exhausted in the best way!

4. What can we pray for?

My friend June finds a job with more free time so we can start meeting for Bible studies again.
That the new group of friends I met with to study language with develops into meaningful connections.
My Thai language skills continue to improve. (That my understanding of Thai culture also improves)
Lydia and I can start a Bible study in our home.
The second church location we have started continues to thrive and grow in number. 

To support Rachel and the mission in Thailand, please consider making a donation and praying for the missionaries serving there.

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