First Year Plan
During our visit to Thailand in April of 2012, we met many different missionaries and organizations. Rosie and I were very impressed with what Youth With A Mission (YWAM) Thailand is doing in the country, and after prayer and discussion, we have made the decision to join the organization once again, under the banner of YWAM Thailand. With over 40 years of presence within the country, YWAM provides us with access to a network of other missionaries, accountability, pastoral care and flexibility to pursue the vision that God lays before us. We are excited about this next step in our lives.
Once we have gotten our family settled into our new home, we will begin attending classes at a local language school to learn Thai. Thai is a notoriously difficult language to pick up, with 5 different tones and a complex alphabet, so much of our first year will be invested in getting a solid grasp of the language, although we fully anticipate continuing our language studies into a second year as well. This will no doubt be a challenge, but we believe that language is one of the keys to hearts of the people we are trying to reach and are fully committed to become fluent speakers to maximize our effectiveness.
All incoming YWAM staff are required to go through the Culture and Language phase to ensure that they have a solid grasp of the culture before launching into ministry. This program typically takes between one and two years to complete. The goals of the program are to gain cultural orientation and understanding, fluency in language, confirmation and clarification of our calling to the Thai people, and integration into the YWAM Thailand family.
Though most of our time will be spent on language acquisition and cultural integration, we will gradually begin to work with one or more ministries as we build relationships with those who are already working in the region. There are some great ministries already established in Chiang Rai, and we are looking forward to getting to know them better, learning from their experiences, and serving alongside them in ministry.