Dear friends and family,
We’re starting to feel the distance from you in Singapore T-T. We’ve been busy this month with mostly administrative and logistical matters pertaining to settling into this part of the world. Very soon, we’ll be entering our 3rd month here in Chiang Mai.
Visa application in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC)
We went on a short trip to HCMC in mid-July to apply for our visa at the Thai Consulate there. Despite how the Thai government have been more stringent with the visa applications, we are thankful that the whole process was smooth and our applications were approved very quickly – all done in less than 15 minutes spent at the consulate over 2 days.
We took the opportunity to explore the city and to learn about its history. Our visits to war museums in HCMC were really impactful and we admire the Vietnamese for being so resilient in the face of a difficult history.
Linked up by one of our Thai friends, we got to meet a Vietnamese Christian lady for lunch and she shared with us about how her country’s past continues to shape the worldview of her countrymen today. We really appreciate her hospitality. Pray for the Vietnamese to step out of their past, encounter our Father’s love and know their identity in Him.
Home: A place for rest and hospitality
We finally feel more or less settled into our new home and we invited our YWAM colleagues over for a cosy housewarming party. It was fun fellowshipping over board games and FOOD! Before the party ended, our colleagues spent some time hearing God’s voice and praying His blessings over our home. We are blessed by how they stand with us in prayer even as they took time out to grace our home with their presence.
We also had the joy of hosting our friend Ben, and then Sheryl’s sister in our home this month. Them being physically here with us in Thailand was nourishment that we needed as we continue to adapt to living far away from home in Singapore. We are so grateful for the quality time we could spend together!!!
Thanksgiving: Discipleship Training School Student accommodation
For those who still don’t have an idea what a Discipleship Training School is, you can visit this link to find out more: https://www.ywamchiangmai.org/dts/
Thank you for praying for our DTS to find suitable accommodation for our students! We praise God that the housing has been found – it’s a simple place nestled in a quiet part of town, surrounded by nature and owned by a very nice landlord who agreed to rent it to us at a good price. It’s on the staff’s hearts that this will be a restful place for the students to rest and meet with Papa God!
DTS Staff Training (29th July – 1st August)
It was an impactful week of learning about discipleship and conflict management in the Discipleship Training School context. The matters of the heart are meant to be dealt with gentleness, yet with humble recognition that God is the heart surgeon, not us. God is the hero in the life stories of our students, not us.
Our trainer took time to facilitate discussions based on real-life situations to help us put into practice what we had learnt and it was amazing to experience first-hand what was being imparted in knowledge. The frameworks and biblical truths come together with great revelation when we were personally blessed by it. It was also freeing to be able to draw clear boundaries of what we were in-charge of, and what we weren’t. Through this time of training, we became more confident to journey with the students in the upcoming school. We also feel encouraged by how the staff team became closer as we got to know each other more through the discussions, learning about each other’s strengths and passions.
Our marathon: Running into Father God’s embrace
Through our season of transitions, we’ve come to believe strongly that the primary ministry that God has given to us is to love each other in a healthy marriage. We trust that God wants to deposit His Father heart into us and our marriage, and allow His love to fill to the brim and overflow into the hearts of people around us.
In our journey, we daily have to choose to pick up the cross. We die to ourselves and our personal agenda. We trust God to give us the strength and discernment to reject the lies of the evil one, and to rest deeply in His truth and love. As we grow in this area of security in our sonship, and revelation of God’s heart for us, we are so thankful to be able to share our challenges and victories. Regardless of how we feel, or how we perceive the world, God always nudges us to run back into His embrace. We would also like to pray for you that, wherever you are in this journey of faith with God, He has never stopped loving you, and He has never left. May we have the courage to yield and surrender to His jealous love over our hearts.
Upcoming in August
The pace picks up – we will start off with a staff conference in Chiang Rai (9th – 13th Aug), return to Chiang Mai for staff training part 2 (15th – 20th Aug), and we’ll commence the 5-month DTS on 22 August!!!
1. Staff Conference in Chiang Rai – Pray for a blessed time with the Lord, good time getting to know other staff in our region, and safe travels to Chiang Rai and back.
2. God to continue to bind our DTS staff team together in love and unity as we prepare to receive the students next month.
3. Continued wisdom in navigating all the administrative/logistical requirements to live in Thailand. We praise God that we have been keeping up and we continue to trust Him to be with us as we do our best to adhere to the law of the land.
4. Courage and vulnerability to yield to His love, and to live as a beloved son and daughter of the most high God.