27 Dec December 2014 Update
We were honored to be commissioned to serve overseas by our church, Grove Community, during services on December 15th and 16th. It was humbling to see several thousand people praying for us and our ministry in Thailand.
It feels odd to be coming to the end of this long preparation time after more than 18 years in Riverside. We have been entrenched in our jobs and the rhythm of life here and being on the precipice of such a major life change is frightening, exciting, sad and hopeful all at the same time.
The move has had so many moving parts, from the logistics of our visas and what to pack, what to give away, to finishing up the last few tasks at work and squeezing in a few more meetings as we finished at our jobs and said goodbye to colleagues who have become dear friends. We have been meeting with friends one last time before we go and thinking about that LONG flight occupies our thoughts along with the impending sadness of leaving our family. However, we are going toward new relationships, knowing God and ourselves in new ways, and anticipating life in a new culture.
With all the changes, we have been blessed by II Thessalonians 3:5. We are curious about how He shows us steadfastness and patience – though we are constantly in need of His grace, He can absolutely be depended on to care for and to guard our souls. It seems the more we allow Him to show us our need for His grace, the more He shows us we are safe in His care and strength.
Please pray this for us as we also pray it on your behalf…
“May the Lord direct your hearts into realizing and showing the love of God and into the steadfastness and patience of Christ and in waiting for His return”. (Amplified Bible)
Our shipping container seen in this picture was 217 cubic feet. We had a King size mattress and about 100 boxes of various sizes to pack. We are so thankful to Boone, Logan and Matt for figuring out how to best use the space. It really was fun to watch these guys pack this thing. The crate will arrive in Thailand in early March; we hope.
What we will do in January:
Our flight to Thailand leaves Los Angeles December 30th at 2:20pm. We arrive in Singapore 21 hours later and then a 3 hour flight to Chiang Mai. We arrive in the morning of January 1st and have 9 days to adjust to the 15 hour time change. Around the 10th we have a week with our mission agency teammates, then four days of orientation to the local area. In the first week of February Joyce will start serving at Grace International School and Brad will be doing assessments at an educational conference by Asia Education Resource Consortium (AERC).
During this time we will be looking for a house to rent, a car to buy and a dog to pet (or a small pig, if Brad has his way). Once that’s in place, Brad will be working from the home office as soon as all the equipment arrives from the US. As you know, the shipping container not only has all of our testing equipment but the home furnishings we wanted to take with us. It will be nice to feel more settled in our new lives when that arrives.