Learning about sex trafficking stirred my heart with the pain of human suffering and my ambition to seek justice for the oppressed. When I felt called to serve on a newly forming team among the exploited and least-reached in Thailand, there was excitement at the prospect of eventful front-line work. I arrived in Phuket nearly three years ago, and the dust of my glamorous expectations has since settled. In its wake, I’ve discovered something more profound than the imagined whirlwind dramatic liberation; I’ve discovered the ministry of waiting.
Through His infinite grace, Jesus has called our team to be a part of His plan for Thailand, and He is the author of the extent and effect of our part in His cosmic story. In this chapter, our role has been waiting on God and waiting with His people. While initially, it felt surprisingly slow-paced, now I believe there are few tasks more exhilarating than being present with God and others. God desires that we know Him and know who we are in Him, both personally and as His body. He is willing to spend time teaching us our identity, and still, He is always working things together, waiting for the time He prepared in advance.
We pray for God’s presence while we wait. After years, we’ve seen God drawing more believers here to revive this spiritually dark land. After months, we’ve seen God moving mountains of Thai policy in favour of police partnership and anti-trafficking efforts. And after hours in a police station with a victim of sexual exploitation, we’ve seen Jesus doing deep soul work in her while holding her and whispering of His love. There is beauty in waiting.
As followers of Jesus, we get to wait with Him in prayer as He develops our Christ-centred identity, wait on Him in obedience as He brings His kingdom plans to fruition, and wait with others in love as they experience God’s transforming grace. Jesus is never impatient, rushed, or worried. He waits with us, and He waits for us. He is “not wanting anyone to parish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9).
If we find ourselves in a slow season, perhaps there is a deeper phenomenon underway. “Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!” (Isaiah 30:18). The most daring thing to do might be to wait with God, trusting His power, and seeking His presence for ourselves and this world.
Kaura-lea Dueck is an international worker in Phuket, Thailand, working with the Justice and Compassion team known as For Freedom International. She joined the team after graduating from Ambrose University in 2015 with a degree in intercultural studies. Kaura-lea’s home church is The Exchange Church in Calgary, Alberta. Learn more at cmacan.org/kd