A few weeks back I (Traci) had the pleasure of talking with one of my Thai friends, Noi, through video chat. We worked together back in ’04-05 when I volunteered at Grace International School in Chiang Mai, Thailand. We became fast friends and have stayed loosely connected over the years despite the distance. She has been walking with the Lord for many, many years, but I never had the chance to really hear her testimony. So that was the primary purpose of our call—to hear how she, as a young woman in a Buddhist family, came to know and love Jesus.
After she graduated from Thai school, Noi’s father sent her to Abilene Christian University in Texas. He had a friend that was a teacher there, and he had toured both secular and Christian universities and preferred what he saw regarding the morals and lifestyle of the students at ACU. So despite being practicing Buddhists, the values he saw outweighed the fact that she would be receiving a Christian education.
This is not uncommon for Thais—they are often willing to look the other way where religious beliefs differ if it means giving themselves or their children a great opportunity otherwise. And, although she was required to take biblical classes and attend chapel, Noi said that, “all those things didn’t touch me at all for four years.” She was just going through the motions. But, throughout that time she made some great Christian friends, and God was allowing seeds to be planted.
After college her friends continued to pursue her and would talk to her about Jesus and life after death. Noi said she felt like, “I don’t care. I don’t want to worry about life after I die. It’s okay where I go; I’m not afraid or anything.” This was not something her family talked much about, and it wasn’t what captured her thoughts or her heart.
So what DID capture her heart? You’ll have to read April’s newsletter to find out.
This past Sunday we were officially commissioned by our home church—Grace Fellowship (Fort Thomas, KY campus). This was not only a huge honor, but a humbling experience too. This publicly communicates to the church body that we are part of their fold even after great distance and time have separated us.
Watch the full commissioning video below
Our house went on the market March 5th, and after multiple great offers, we were under contract the next day. Wow! We are so grateful to all of you who prayed to that end. It was a whirlwind of a 24-hour period, and we certainly saw the Lord’s favor in it. We are thrilled for what is to come, but we also cannot deny that giving up some traditional comforts is difficult. This home represents a pretty great season for our family—a time of rest and rejuvenation; for pressing into our marriage and pouring into our littles; a season that now catapults us into an entirely different phase of life.
We will be closing mid April and at that point will be hosted by some friends in Hebron, KY until we are ready to fly out, Lord willing, this summer.
Though our timeline is truly just penciled in at this point, we thought it may be helpful to give you some scaffolding for what is ahead in these next transitional months.
March—Continuing to meet with potential ministry partners as well as purging and packing up our house
April—Meeting with potential partners and temporary move to Hebron, KY; Nick will be resigning from his job at Epipheo after almost nine years
May—Visit out east with friends, family, and partners and we have a one-week Cru training in Michigan
June—Leave for Colorado for Cru’s five-week, cross-cultural training
July—Training in CO; return from Colorado in the last week
August—If we have 100% of our monthly funding, then we will be flying out most likely the second week of August