01 Aug August 2014 Update
Brad and Joyce – Thailand
In August we attended a week long workshop with 37 other students in a retreat setting to understand and experience how the Spirit works deep in our souls to spiritually form us: and learn and practice a way of following the Spirit in others to arouse and direct their hunger for God.
Led by Dr. Larry Crabb and two colleagues, the course offered a newly developed model of spiritual direction that draws on both the age-old wisdom of the church and more recent perspectives. Dr. Crabb calls it the Passion/Wisdom Model of Spiritual Direction, and sees it as offering the opportunity for our interior worlds and supernatural reality to meet. This model offers a conceptual understanding of the private and often confusing world beneath the surface of our everyday lives and a rhythmic strategy for following the Spirit into the depths of people’s souls, including our own. That is where God’s Spirit is moving us into the Father’s presence and into the light of the Son so that we can (1) enjoy God, (2) accept ourselves, and (3) engage with others in the energy of Christ.
We highly recommend this training to anyone that wants a deeper relationship with Christ.
Our Schedule for Thailand
- July – November 2014 – Support Raising
- December 2015 – Relocate to Chiang Mai
- February 2015 – Start Educational Assessments
- Operation of physically moving to Thailand
- Obtaining a Thai Visa
- Comfort for our family as we go far away
What will Brad and Joyce be doing in Thailand?
Brad will be conducting educational assessments with English speaking students that are being home-schooled in the Chiang Mai area. Many if not all students are children of missionaries. Brad will also be partnering with Asia Education Resource Consortium (AERC). To find out more about them click here.
Additionally Brad will be available for other missionary or international schools through out Southeast Asia upon request to conduct educational assessments for students that are suspected of significant learning problems.
Joyce will be on staff as the School Psychologist at Grace International School (GIS) in Chiang Mai. GIS is an international school that serves about 600 students of local missionaries. GIS in one of a small handful of international missionary schools that offer services for students with learning disabilities. To find out more about GIS click here.
Update on Our Support Level
We are currently approaching 80% of our funding in raising monthly support. It was our original goal
that if we were at 80% by November 1st Brad would submit a letter of resignation to his school district and we will plan to leave the United States at the end of this year.
Thank you for praying.
In 1 Chronicles 4:10, Jabez “cried out to the God of Israel saying ‘Oh, that You would bless me and enlarge my border, and that Your hand might be with me and You would keep me from evil so it might not hurt me.’ And God granted his request.” (Amplified)
This passage has been coming to my mind in the past month or so as God prepares Brad and I for our next adventure as psychologists in Chiang Mai, Thailand. We can sense that God has and is going before us in many ways, from the quick selling of our house to the bringing of a new missions agency with exactly the kind of emotional and spiritual support we will need. We crave the kind of relationships our agency, Ministry Essentials International, engenders–Relationships that are real and that also boldly cling to God and to knowing Him intimately.
This journey is not without its moments of hesitancy or a sense of loss as to what we are leaving behind or the relationships we will miss as we gain new ones. Every step forward leaves something behind and sometimes this feels heavy. Sometimes is also feels as if the evil one has used it for discouragement.
I sense God reminded me of this passage and has used it to encourage me in several ways. I love the boldness and passion I imagine in the request. Jabez knew exactly what he wanted and forthrightly brought it to the “God of Israel.” He wasn’t addressing a weak entity or a platitudinous concept–He was addressing THE GOD OF ISRAEL. I picture him walking right up to God with confidence as well as respect for His strength, and clearly making his requests. Being specific was also a risk as he would know if God answered in the affirmative–how many times are we a bit afraid God won’t answer “yes,” or that He isn’t really so concerned, so we pull back our requests so we don’t risk being disappointed? (Okay, so there was a leak of some of my issues!) Anyway, I crave that level of bold trust.
What will it be to have my borders enlarged? More richness in my relationships–for the joy and the pain that entails? More boldness and less fear? More confident trust that my strong God will protect me fully from the evil one in the most important ways?
That “His hand be with me” speaks of His strength. Oh, how I need that. I’m also picturing His big, strong hand carrying me and I’m resting in His palm, knowing He will take care of the million details of the move and of my heart through all this change and through the adventures He has ahead.
I feel so privileged that God has asked us to obey Him in this way. Also I feel deeply engaged by Him that He wants me to know him better through the circumstances of such big changes. Such grace He is showing!