This story starts back in Atlanta, Georgia a few days before I launched for the World Race. My entire squad was given keys from Adventures in Missions and each of the keys has a word engraved on them. These words weren’t random, each person’s name was prayed over, and they engraved by whatever the Holy Spirit told them to. These keys are called ‘giving keys’. The goal is to pray into our word and figure out what it means for us, and once we do we prayerfully give it to someone else.

When I received my key, I opened the envelope and it had the word “joy,” engraved on it. As soon as I read it, I thought my key was pretty obvious; I’ve always been described as a joyful person. I was telling a friend that I thought my key didn’t seem out of the ordinary to me at all and she replied telling me that my key could mean that I needed to find out what true joy in the Lord looked like. The more I thought about her response, the more it resonated. She was right. I knew what joy was, but there have been many times throughout my life where I’ve chosen to rely on my own joy, instead of the Fathers joy. 

And so it began. I've worn my key every single day for 5 months. This key has gone through so much with me; it has become apart of me.

Now over the months, I've been prophesied over with the word joy and I cannot tell you how many people have spoken truth about what this word means. This key was not a mistake and I feel like I had finally come to a place on my journey where I understood what the action of joy in the Holy Spirit looked like.

This past month in Thailand, I discovered a small smoothie stand close by our hostel with very cheap and delicious smoothies. My go to smoothie was a mango, banana smoothie. As a result from buying so many smoothies over the month, I had developed a relationship with a girl named Poe who made my smoothies. She is 18 years old and can speak a little bit of English. One day as I walking to get a smoothie, it hit me that this relationship I had developed was a form of ministry. Even though my ministry ended at 3 everyday, my ministry didn’t have to stop by any means. By the end of the month, Poe knew my name and my smoothie by heart.

We had two days left in Chang Mai, and I felt a nudge by the Holy Spirit to share to gospel with her regardless of not being able to communicate much. The next time I got a smoothie I invited her to coffee and she was elated. We made a plan for coffee the next day and she brought her sister named Yaoi who could help translate. These two girls were such a treat. My teammate Alli was also with us and we had a grand time. We got to tell them why we’re here and ask about their life. Both of these girls were raised in a Buddhist home and had both attended church before. Also Poe had attended a Christian school before and was aware of what Christianity was. I asked if they had any questions about Christianity and the girls said they didn’t have any and at the end of the conversation they let us pray over them. My heart was full, the seed was planted.

As we were saying goodbye I felt the urge to give them a gift to have something to remember us by. As I searched frantically in my purse, Alli pointed at my key and said you should give her your key. It hit me, she was right. Without thinking, I took off my key and came up to Poe and placed the key around her neck. She was smiling ear to ear. Everyday I saw her at the smoothie stand she was smiling and I knew she was exactly the person I needed to give it to. I told her she is a joyful person and I wanted her to keep this gift as a reminder of our friendship.

My neck feels bare now, but my joy has not left me. The seed has been planted and I hope as Poe wears this key she thinks of our friendship and others who see this key are able to ask her what it means. I pray this key strikes a conversation with another believer who is able to continue the friendship I started.

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