Back from Thailand!
Warm spring greetings! Rosie, Caleb and I returned from our 2 week scouting trip to Thailand on May 10th. The trip was hugely beneficial for us as a family and we are so thankful to those who gave financially and prayed for us while we were there.
- While visiting Thailand, we visited 19 different ministries/missionaries! God was faithful to put old missionary friends in our path who helped direct us and opened the door to a bunch of contacts. What a blessing!
- We visited 4 cities during our travels; Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Mae Sai & Fang.
- The ministries we visited included works in church planting, cafe ministry, community development, campus ministry, AIDS/children’s work, sex-trafficking, Teaching English as a Second Language, sports ministry, international christian schools, business as missions, work amongst unreached peoples and various YWAM based ministries. It was right in line with our goals of getting a look at the broad range of what is happening in the region.
We had three main questions in our mind as we traveled: Where? What? When?
After visiting each city and the ministries and missionaries, we committed everything we had seen and learned to the Lord. We both feel clearly that God is directing us to the city of Chiang Rai. We felt drawn to the city as we entered it and as we continued with our trip, we felt that Chiang Rai was going to be the place for us to settle.
Before we left on our trip, I was convinced that we needed to immerse ourselves in the Thai language and make every effort to understand and embrace the culture before diving into ministry. Without exception, every single ministry we met with agreed and applauded our thoughts on this. This was very encouraging, giving us confidence that God was indeed giving us the direction we had sought. Our intention is to move to Chiang Rai and study the language and culture for at least one year, as we continue to learn more about the needs of the region and how God wants us to plug in. God often leads us only one step at a time, and this is what He has shown us for now.
This one is still not as clear as we would like it to be, and we need your continued prayer for guidance. My heart wants us to get over there as soon as possible, which given the circumstances would be January. However, northern Thailand is covered with toxic air pollution due to the burning of forests and fields by farmers during the months of February and March. Moving in January would be a lot more difficult on us as a family, as we would need to be outdoors quite a bit trying to set up a home, secure a car, etc. My head tells me the better move is to go in later March, after the smoke has cleared… so please pray for clear guidance.
- Nick shared on the topic of Buddhism with the young adults of Smithtown Gospel Tabernacle in May. He continues to research and develop his teaching into a format to teach as a seminar.
- We just finished up our time at the Smithtown Missions Convention. It was great to connect with our missionary friends scattered to the four corners of the earth!
- Nick will be speaking with the Missions Class at Smithtown Christian School for several classes over the next couple of weeks.
- We will be visiting Tennessee again in August, so if you would be interested in meeting up with us or having us share with your church, please let us know so we can schedule it in.
We are excited to be moving to this new location, where less than 1% of the population is Christian. There is so much need and injustice in the land, with dysfunctional family structures, human trafficking, poverty, lack of education and so many other issues. We pray that you will continue to stand with us in prayer as we make our plans to transition to Thailand and continue to be HIS light to the world, making a difference in the place where He plants us.
– Nick and Rosie