|At the Chedi|
|Hannah Grace and CJ|
We have just gotten back from a month long visit to Thailand. We took the Greenlight Gateway students and served as hosts for the country.
Hannah Grace had a very happy reunion with her Thai sister CJ! Both had grown up over the past 8 months, but they picked right back up where they left off. We feel fortunate and blessed to be able to keep up many of our friendships and treasure our Thai adopted family.
|Greenlight and Thai English students in Chinatown doing an Amazing Race|
This is our 3rd year having the opportunity to host the Greenlight Gateway program through TMS-Global. This year we took 7 college aged students from all over the country to Thailand, along with a leader who is currently a second year student at Asbury Seminary. The trip was a blessing for the students as it gave them opportunities to be spiritually formed and hear from the Lord. It is amazing and we get the chance to see first hand, people get out of their comfort zones and in new contexts they are often able to hear more clearly from God. Their experiences had a lot of time with Thai nationals, many who are Buddhist. These exchanges allowed them to learn about a culture of people much different from theirs, but also with many similarities.
|Shining Jesus' love|
|Debrief with Maggy and Andrew|
|Spending time with Patdy teaching at her school in Essan|
The trip was also a blessing for the American and Thai missionaries serving in Thailand. The group was able to bring small gifts from the US and offer them encouragement. Each missionary unit spent time with the group sharing what life is like on the field. Most of the students were interested in what were the hardest parts and the best parts of serving cross culturally. Usually the differences in food and availability of food and language barriers were the common sources of stress as well as being so far from loved ones. Encouragement came from the relationships with the Thai people and the opportunity to share the love of Christ and to get to learn and do many new things!
|Time with Cheryl, CCW about to go South of Thailand to serve|
|Chris Barbee, Kat and Patdy with Greenlight|
The Greenlight experience is designed to help students discerning a call to mission to see what living as a cross cultural worker is really like. The trip includes some hard parts of ministry including a prayer walk through one of the slums of Bangkok. This along with a prayer walk in the Redlight district and a visit to an orphanage were some of the most challenging parts for the group. These experiences helped them to see the needs and burdens that exist in the culture. Here are a few testimonies of our group participants:
This summer, to say the least, was eye opening and challenging. From having no personal space on public transportation, to eating bugs and mystery meat, to the smells of a Bangkok street, and to the fact that no one seemed to speak english, it was different and at times frustrating. In the midst of all the differences and chellenges I saw God working in the culture. He was using many different people in such a variety of ways. I think this trip really showed me God's heart for all people and his desires for us to use the gifts he has given to go and make disciples.
,This was an experience that I was not totally expecting. I knew I had to limit my expectations about how this trip would go. I knew I would be learning about culture, about ministry, and about myself. But I didn’t really dive into dreamland of how I expected this trip to teach me. But I know I wasn’t expecting such big changes about myself or God’s call in to my life. Everyone had a different experience, for God works in a multitude of ways. But for me he opened my eyes to things I was holding in the way of Him and his call in my life: obedience, hope, and trust. There is still work to be done. But this trip as opened up a bigger chapter in my life!
|In the slums praying with residents|
It’s hard to put into words all this experience has meant to me. It has really been life changing. The Lord broke my heart in Thailand but He also gave me hope in Thailand. This experience has changed my perspective and I’m excited to see what doors it opens.
|Offering hygiene packets and prayers|
|Pam with her girls|
|Todd with his student|
|Hannah Grace meeting old school friends and family|
|Our friend Oil flew in from Chiang Mai (8 hours away) to see us|
|Hannah Grace and Aim|
|Students now at Universities in Bangkok who came to see us at church|
|Graysen starting his ministry|
|Hannah Grace and a 3 day old goat in Nong Phok|
|Todd and Life|
Please pray for the most recent Greenlight group as they continue to process all they learned this summer and seek the Lord's direction in their life.
Pray for us as we begin to plan for next summer and begin training with potential hosts around the world to expand this program.
Please continue to pray for our adjustment to America and for our work here expanding God's kingdom through mobilization and sharing our lives with people.
Please pray for the Thai people and for the ongoing ministry there. Pray the Lord will raise up more Thai nationals to serve in ministry and let the Western missionaries there work to empower the Thai believers.
Please pray for our children and our parents.
Please pray for continued resources and financial support so we can continue to serve in ministry.