Hello friends and family!
We are so thankful to be able to write to all of you back at home. Being away from familiarity hasn’t been the easiest. Yet God has been so faithful to provide and to guide. There’s so much grace we can find in God despite our weaknesses and short-sightedness!
Moving and settling down again in a new home
God’s provision and guidance brought us through the first few days of transition in Chiang Mai. We are so grateful to our beloved Thai friends Pong and New who housed us when we arrived and made us feel at home with their hospitality.
Enjoying Vietnamese food with Pong and New after they helped us to shift to our house!
God also provided us with our means of transport when our friend Yu Lian transited back to Singapore for further studies and sold us her car at a really affordable price. This really helped us with our house hunting! After 8 days of eventful house hunting, God brought us to a house that we both fell in love with.
That being said, we’ve also started to experience transition stressors. Simple things like hiring an electrician, signing up for an internet package and even grocery shopping become so tiring and challenging. Language and cultural differences play a big part.
During this period, we’ve been also spending quite a sum of money to settle into our house and purchase all the necessities. Thank God for Facebook groups where we can get good second-hand deals for home appliances and furniture in Chiang Mai that helped us to save a fair bit. Sometimes, we struggle with the guilt of spending the money we raised. While we know that we are not splurging or mindlessly making unnecessary purchases, we also have to trust God and rely on His wisdom to be accountable in our spending, without beating ourselves down for making required purchases.
Khao Yai retreat – 10 hours drive from Chiang Mai to Khao Yai
We had a YWAM Thailand DTS retreat at Khao Yai from 10th to 13th June 2019. It was a 10-hour drive from Chiang Mai, and initially, we didn’t want to go as we had yet to find our house. We told God, “If you want us to go, would you help us find a house that we both love?” God provided on the 8th. Hence we decided to go for the retreat.
Our Chiang Mai > Khao Yai travelling group
Throughout the time of retreat, we spent quality time sleeping, eating, praying, and fellowshipping. During one of the sessions, we meditated on Psalm 63 as a group and God spoke powerfully to both of us.
I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your glory.
Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.
God desires us to meet Him in the sanctuary. What is a sanctuary??? We finally understood when we listened to the scripture being read aloud in Thai. The words used for “sanctuary” literally translates to “a place of worship”. He wants us to meet Him in worship. God was moving us to fixate our eyes on His desire for us and His love for us, instead of our desire to spend time with Him.
We got to meet with our fellow Singaporean YWAMer Rachel during the retreat. She serves in another province in the northeast of Thailand.
We have begun our language studies and it’s exciting to be gaining proficiency week by week. Once again becoming like students, rushing homework, trying to impress the teacher with memorised Thai vocabulary taught the previous lesson. It really feels like a gift given from God to have the tenacity, motivation, and some gifting to acquire the language.
Being content with the seasons He brings us through
We liken this beginning phase of our time here in Chiang Mai to that of a seed germinating, just like in the feature image of this post. A seed planted under soil doesn’t get to see the sunlight until weeks later when it starts to germinate and form seedlings. Now, as we settle down and assimilate, we have to come to terms with the journey of being “under the soil”. Some days we feel very uneasy and often ask each other, “why do we seem to be so free ah?”. Some days we feel so tired in the evening even though we didn’t seem to accomplish much. We realised that all the cultural stressors have tired us out very effectively in this beginning phase. We just feel that we should be doing “something”. We should be “busy”. We need to be in the streets, sharing the good news of Jesus! Why are we so occupied with settling down and all the tiredness?
We often forget that it’s a marathon. We forget that sometimes doing less is more. We forget that we shouldn’t let our doing define our identity in Christ. We forget that we have only 1 audience, and that’s our Father God!
Singaporeans often struggle with this apparent need to be occupied with doing stuff. We are so accustomed by our culture of work and efficiency that free time is being seen as problematic and almost disrespectful. While facing this battle, we are also praying and asking God to help us redeem this culture (and habit..!) of ours to edify the kingdom of God in Thailand.
Enjoying our first homecooked meal!!
What’s coming up?
In July, we will begin our staff training for the upcoming Discipleship Training School (DTS) that starts on 22nd August (https://www.facebook.com/YwamChiangMaiDts/ like us on Facebook!). In the coming weeks up until the staff training, besides our language studies, we will be focusing on our personal prayer ministry over Chiang Mai University. All good work begins with the foundation of prayer. Pray with us as we follow God’s leading to intercede for the campus students so they may experience God’s love and an outpouring of His presence.
Spending time together at Chiang Mai University reservoir.
During the 3rd-4th week of July, we will be travelling to Yangon, Myanmar, to apply for our visas. It’s a complicated process. If you would like to know more, you can contact us about it.
Support Raising (95.3%)
We’re so blessed in our support raising journey; right now we are at 95.3% of our budget for the next 1 year. Our funds sustain us as we serve in the field, and we are still seeking for another 3.5k SGD to fully raise our budget. Do let us know if you or someone you know are keen to give financially!
Pray for us
- We are ever grateful for good landlords here in Chiang Mai! Pray for us as we seek to build a good relationship with them and be a living testimony of God’s love.
- Safety as we get used to driving in Chiang Mai and journey mercies for our upcoming travels.
- For us to develop good rhythms as we settle down here.
- Being separated from our families is not easy, both for us and for family back at home in Singapore. Pray with us for God’s continued protection over our loved ones as they bless us to be in the mission field.
- One of the issues that the upcoming DTS is facing is the lack of a suitable venue. Pray that God will lead the team to His appointed place for the incoming students to meet with Him!
Thank you for reading and God bless you!