I have lived in Norway for 20 years. It is fantastic. I have all I need – lots of clothes and food. I have a lot of Christian friends and a family that loves me and supports me. All in all, my life is fantastic. But while I am lying on my couch, enjoying some chocolate and watching TV, other people are fighting everyday to survive. They are living a life in fear. I think I forgot that people were suffering because it seemed so far away. I knew that other places in the world people were lacking food, clothes and, worst of all, lacking love. However, I tried to ignore it and live my fantastic life.
I have been a Christian my whole life. I have choosen Jesus as my Saviour and lived a life as a child of God. I have enjoyed all the wealth and goodness He has given me, and have rested in the assurance of His love for me. Suddenly it all changed. Suddenly, I realized what Gods love is all about, and how to reach out to people with that love.
From October 2009 until April 2010 I lived in Bangkok. I was working in a kindergarten and with afternoon-activities for youths and children in the Klong Toey slum-area. There is a lot of darkness in the area; Drug-addicts, prostitutes and children with no education and no hope for their future live side by side. When I first came, I tried to close my eyes and pretend that it was not true. I hoped it was all a dream and that I would soon wake up and enjoy my fantastic life again. But I had to open my eyes and face the fact that this is life to billions of people. And they are living in the same world that I live in. It is hard to believe, is it not?
Still, in all this suffering and in all their hopelessness, God is with them. There are people trying to help them, protect them and give them hope. All of a sudden I understood what I needed to do. I could not just stand there and feel sorry for the poor. It would not help to cry and hope that things would get better. I needed to love them. Show them that I cared by being a friend who wanted to be around them. Of course it was difficult sometimes, but when I looked into their eyes and saw the happiness my love gave them, it was worth it. We need to show Gods love all over the world. We can not just live our own lives pretending that there is no one else around us. We need to let them see that there is light, and that there is hope. By showing Gods love, we can be a part of saving the world.
I am now back in Norway. I have lived here for five months after my time in Bangkok. At first I could not figure out how I could live out the changes that had been made inside. What I had learned in Thailand was very difficult to apply to my life back in Norway. Still, I know how my life has changed. I am not living my life as if poverty is far away. I am living my life as if it is in my neighbourhood. By praying and caring and never quit loving them. By that, and by telling people here in Norway how the world really is, I can still be a part of saving the world.
Sometimes you must go into the darkness... to show the light.