The last couple of years have been interesting for our family. The Lord brought us through a number of trials that served their purpose well by bringing us closer to Him in a special way. It’s beautiful to look back over the past year and so clearly see what the Lord was doing through each little test or tribulation we went through. As it is for many, nothing really made sense at the time. And although we trusted that it someday would, we never dreamed it would be in this way.
Matthew has always had a heart for missions. A big one in fact. One that always made me wonder where the Lord might have us serve one day. We never discussed packing up and moving to a far away land. It wasn’t something we planned for or dreamed about necessarily. We just want to serve. To work and put forth our energy and efforts in a way that glorifies God in the greatest way possible. When the Lord called Matthew into the ministry we both were willing to go wherever He wanted us to go. That hasn’t changed. In a few months, after spending some time on the road raising support, our family will be moving to Northern Thailand.
Why Thailand you might ask? Why not, Zimbabwe, Brazil, or Quebec? What about the church down the road that is without a Pastor…wouldn’t that be sufficient? While these are all wonderful places, no doubt with people of God waiting to hear His word preached, the simple answer is…that is not where the Lord called Matthew to be. We desire to be obedient and to do His will willingly and with joy unspeakable. We were granted the opportunity to visit with Paul and Susan Brown in Thailand this past January (http://www.gracetothailand.com/mountain-travels-and-serving/). While we fell in love with the people and work during our visit we simply came home with the notion that “we must do that again someday”.
After our return, as the weeks and months went on, we began to realize that we were discussing the work in Thailand daily. Asking ourselves when we could fit in our next trip and what we could do to fulfill the desire the Lord had put within us to be there…because surely moving overseas was just completely out of the question. We decided we would make a return trip with our two oldest children in November. That would do it. That would settle the stiring within us and everything would be just fine. Nope. Sometimes when the Lord calls you He just shoves you through one open door after another. So it was with Thailand. Even after our visit was booked and scheduled Matthew knew the Lord was calling him to do more. He spent a couple days praying and fasting and came home to tell us he was certain the Lord wanted us in Thailand full time. So…we are called and Lord willing we will go.
While moving to another country is a joyous endeavor it does not come without its own set of challenges. Pray for us as we finish selling off the last of our belongings and saying our tearful goodbyes to friends and family. We have a full schedule between now and the end of the year including a trip to our sending church in Mississippi, followed by a two week visit with the Browns in Thailand. We come home to the week of Thanksgiving and a final week to prepare for deputation in December. The Lord has been SO gracious in preparing our hearts for what He has called us to. We are blessed