Ashley Ciolkosz

It is an interesting feeling being back here in Thailand. There has been so much progress here in the village since the last time I came four years ago. When I first arrived back in the village I took some time to see everything that has changed since the last time I came. Four years ago we made bricks that would build a schoolhouse which would allow for the school to expand classrooms. Now the building is up and running, filled with students and learning. The coffee plants that were once saplings are now strong and full of cherries. It has been so sweet seeing how God used the seeds that we helped plant and how He used the foundations we helped build. Now I’m back to participate in the same work with new lessons to learn.

Most mornings we wake up and begin our day before the sun rises. The other day the whole team started work at 6am to finish laying concrete for a restroom near the school. Perhaps one of the most encouraging things was seeing each of us working together as a team toward a common goal. We will not be able to finish the entire project during our trip, and we may not be able to see the finished structure, but we are reminded of the lasting impact this project will have in the community.

I’m reminded that the work that Integrated Tribal Development Program does here in the villages is very similar to our work on projects. They continue to lay a foundation of relationship with the villagers. The small seeds of faith planted in these communities produce growth that we as short term missionaries may not be able to see, but I am encouraged by the work that God continues to do in these villages. The continued growth is hard to see in the moment, but being able to come back and see how God has been faithful reminds me that He’s not finished yet.

Ashley was a part of The Well Community Church Winter Exposure trip 2018-2019. We are thankful for her continued service to help provide resources to the Hill Tribes and their partnership with I.T.D.P.