No Enemies

The last time I was in the village, I tripped over a broken brick.
Looking at the debris on the cold, damp mud floor on which the children sat, I wondered what could be done.

The village needed a real school, and a real school needed a real floor. I prayed, "Lord, would you help us pour a concrete floor for these children?" Discussing this with the team, we soon had bags of cement set aside and planned a visit to the village to discuss next steps.

That night we were given a prophetic word, "Your courage will be tested on this trip, but do not be overwhelmed. You have enemies, but God will help you to overcome."

As we arrived in the village, a delegation of men were waiting to meet with Pastor Isaiah. Looking at their stern faces, Isaiah immediately felt anxious. All those present had been our enemies, men who had opposed us and forbidden Christians from living in their village. One of the men said, "The head monk knows that you have donated concrete for a new high school. He has said that he will not allow it; if we receive your concrete he will leave us."

Nervously, Isaiah asked, "What did you answer him?"

The man replied, "We said, ‘How soon can you pack your bags?’" Shocked by this answer, Isaiah laughed out loud.

And so the next morning we formed a work crew: eight Burmese men and myself and my husband - two middle-aged Canadians. We began levelling ground to make a road, so that we could transport the bags of cement by truck. Sweat poured off our backs as we swung the hoes into the sandy hillside.

A few locals carrying heavy sacks of rice on their heads stopped to rest and ask, "What are these foreigners doing here?" One lady recognized me. “You came to teach English at my school. I am the principal.” She was clearly perplexed. “First you donated computers to us, and the monks were angry. Now you are making us a new school?”

One of the village elders spoke up, saying, "Pastor Isaiah does not need to fear opposition anymore. There are no enemies here."

By Louise Sinclair-Peters, Thailand