Before Ann and the children arrive, and before I go on a staff trip overnight tomorrow, I thought I would take the opportunity to write another post about what God has called us to do in Chiang Mai. I make no excuses for immediately referencing that call of God. I believe 100% that God has called us as a family to serve him here in Chiang Mai and in the community of Grace International School.
After a difficult and harrowing year, during which I completely lost my confidence and pondered many regrets, God has helped me to know in my heart that the experiences we have been through, including the successes and failures, in working with Friends International, as a Pastor and as a teacher have culminated in this opportunity live in Thailand for as long as the Lord wants us to be here.
The school is enabling missionary families to stay on the field but I have also began to realize that Chiang Mai is a place where many bruised and broken families come for respite care. Families at Grace have served and are serving in Afghanistan, Pakistan, China, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia among other places. The children and young people studying at the school, therefore, are part of families who have endured and suffered much.
Although these missionaries are often amazing people, they are not immune from a fallen world and that falleness manifests itself in all the typical ways and some typical ways. Some parents, whose children study at Grace
have neglected their children in the name of serving Jesus. Some of the students are very resentful of their parent’s life choices. This is not a school where behaviour is impeccable. Pornography, bullying, ‘sexting’ abuse, etc go on here too. But it is a school where God’s grace is exalted.
Having received so much of God’s grace, my mission in life is to speak much of it and to show it. I can’t do that in my own strength. But God has called my family and I to this location to magnify his grace.
Those of you who pray and support us, you are partners in this. I hope you can feel a measure of the excitement of being partners in God’s plan to radiate his grace to the nations.
This grace has helped me get through some crazy days recently. Last night I was preparing to go to bed when I heard the sound of rushing water. A pipe had burst in the kitchen and had completely flooded the downstairs portion of the house. And it was coming out fast. Because we live in community, I was able to call on a fellow teacher nearby who found the valve and then sped me away on his motorbike to the school (at 10pm) where we picked up some ‘super-soppers’ (which I held in one hand as I clasped his back tightly on the end of the bike) in order to shunt the shin high water into the downstairs bathroom.
Because I have been spending my time furnishing as well as flooding the house, I have fallen behind in lesson preparation. I do need prayer that I can prepare a great scheme of work and great lessons as I am teaching Bible study methods to grades 9-12 (14-18 year olds). This is an incredible privilege and I am desperate to do a good job.
Well, Ann and the children arrive on Friday night. I haven’t seen them for two weeks so that is exciting. They are going to be tired, hot and overwhelmed. Please pray that they may settle quickly and also know this sense of call without numbering themselves among those children who feel neglected in the cause of Jesus.