Dear friends and family,
Last Stop: Uthai Thani
We have returned from outreach for almost a month now! Our last location, Uthai Thani (Central Thailand) was a difficult time for the team but we are so glad that we made it together. It was hot, dusty, 20 mins drive from the nearest 7-eleven, and the work was very manual in nature as we were serving in an elderly home that was newly set up. All these challenges stretched the team in our love for each other and many of us questioned why we were even there. However, God assured each of us in His own ways about His love and His purpose for us and that certainly gave us the motivation to push on to the finishing line.
Through the difficult manual work, one thing that all of us enjoyed was the sweet interactions we had with the elderly residents of the home. We did many family-style things with them like cooking, eating, watching tv, and chatting. Some of the nights were spent worshipping and dancing with them. Imagine that – Thai grandmas and grandpas worshipping God in their native tongue and dance. It was a beautiful picture that defied the common notion that Christianity is a “western religion” and it was our privilege to witness it. Jason got to share his testimony, and we also heard some of the elderly’s short testimonies which were very cute and encouraging. At the end of the week, we were excited to finally return to Chiang Mai, but it was also hard to leave the elderly whom we had established warm relationships with. Could you say a quick prayer for all the grandmas and grandpas that we met? Pray that God will continue to fill their lives with joy as they live out their golden years in the home.
A memorable moment that we will remember Uthai Thani by… Look at this big jar that we had to move to another location 20 meters away. It took 4 of us to slowly roll the jar.
Guess what happened?
It was a 5 second moment of shock before we looked at each other and laughed. Thankfully no one was hurt nor angry!
DTS has been a long and trying journey of endurance and faith for all of us, both students and staff. We didn’t give up and finally graduated our students on 20 January 2020! As we sent them off one by one, we know that the real discipleship starts on the day they graduate. Pray for our students that they will continue to walk with God, always being Christ-centred and Holy Spirit-empowered. Many of them will be faced with difficult choices ahead but we want to trust them into God’s loving hands.
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
The journey of staffing DTS was indeed more intense than we thought. There were good moments and not so good ones too, and we’ve been taking time to process, to recover, and to surrender to God all our experiences. We hold dear to our hearts the memorable experiences of ministry with the students and seeing them grow in their faith. At the same time, we also have to let go some of the hurts we may have felt during this time. Certainly, serving God and serving others isn’t as easy as we think. We make mistakes and sometimes we hurt each other, but we are always learning together. Thank God for His grace and also grace from others.
Our leaders spent precious time hearing us out and helped us in processing some of our thoughts after DTS. They even helped us with making sure our bills were paid on time while we were away for outreach!!! So grateful for them.
Happy Chinese New Year!
This year, we had the most special CNY ever as both families came over to visit. Our entourage of parents, siblings and us was 8 pax strong and we spent CNY road-tripping in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai.
We had a fun family photoshoot, first for our group of 8!
Nothing beats being with family. We did not expect it, but God used this time spent together to bring restoration to relationships in our family. He is so faithful and we are so blessed in the area of family even as we serve far away in the mission field.
So, Whats next?
Our current priority is to continue with Thai language classes. We are also taking time to pray and seek God about our next steps. A few ministry doors are opening and we are really excited yet we need more faith. We will update when we can and please pray for us as we continue to hear and follow God’s voice.
We will be back in Singapore from 5th to 18th March 2020. Through this short time, we hope to catch up with many of you! Let us know if you want to meet!