Whether coincidence of God-incidence, even before the plans for my program "tour" came together, I had registered for a conference/retreat at the end of January. So just five days after I returned from Henan/Hunan/Yunnan, Kristen and I were off to Bangkok. Previously Lindsay was the only one of our family who had had the privilege of visiting Thailand, during a missions trip in 2015. She loved it, and now Kristen and I know why. (Marissa is not amused!)
Our first week in Thailand was simply vacation, well at least for me, Kristen still had to keep up with her online classes, which she did reasonably well given the many lovely distractions. While we have enjoyed our few trips to the US to visit family and friends and have made the most of our many visa runs in our early years in China, we have not had a week just for the purpose of relaxation in ten years. It was HEAVEN! I am so very thankful for the lovely retreat facility our friends recommended. It is just for ministry workers in Asia; the accommodations and services are basic, but clean and friendly and very, very low cost. And perfection. I can’t remember the last time I was so relaxed and felt so free of responsibility. All meals were prepared onsite, so I never even had to think about where we would eat. (Did I mention perfection?) Walks on the beach, great food, mealtime conversations with fellow mission workers from Thailand, China, Cambodia, Bhutan, and lots of kids for fun times in the pool and evenings playing “capture the flag” for Kristen. I’ll let the photos tell the rest of the story.
Our second week in Thailand was the working part of the trip, although the best possible kind of work. We were able to attend a conference for an organization of independent Christian workers who are serving in a large number of ministry areas. The reason for going was to get to know the people and the organization to see whether this is something I would be interested in joining in the future. But my real objective for the week was to take some time to think and pray and maybe discuss the options before me with others who are doing similar work and have wrestled with similar decisions. It delivered far more than that. The energy generated when 100 people are gathered together who are passionate about the work they do, who care deeply about the people they serve, and who are committed to being agents of positive change in the world is electrifying. It was exactly what I needed to relight my spark, restart my engine and refuel my tank. Can you tell?! I am so very, very thankful for this opportunity. It was exactly what I needed to help me take the next step.
So what is that next step? Stay tuned.
About This Blog
Part documentary, part family chronicle and part personal reflection as I try to sort through the ups and downs, the joys, heartaches and surprises of our life and work as we follow the path that God has set for us here in China!
Lindsay and Marissa as they prepare for semester exams and look for good summer jobs to earn money for college tuition.
Kristen to finish the school year strong and to make friends.
Donna to have wisdom in planning and implementing new programs for the youth and for financial provision to cover our expenses.