We put our hope in the LORD. He is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. Let your unfailing love surround us, LORD, for our hope is in you alone.
I (Traci) have been so challenged by the Psalms this month. To be honest, July was tough. Yes, we chose joy, but much of the time I have felt like it has come more naturally. This was different—we had to actively and daily make the decision to not give into the temptation to feel defeated. We see this constantly throughout the Psalms—the acknowledgement of a tough situation, yet the steadfast trust in the Lord’s goodness. By choosing to hold fast to the truth of what we KNOW about God and His calling for us, it has helped us grow immensely over the last few weeks/months, and we are incredibly grateful to those of you that have prayed not only for the logistics, but especially for our hearts.
We really didn’t know what to expect for August, but we came at it with deeper trust as well as a willingness to be patient for the Lord’s perfect timing. Less than a week into the month and our Visa packets arrived from Grace International School (GIS). A HUGE relief as we could not move forward until we had those. We spent hours applying for our Visas online that day, and hours more the next day filling out paperwork to submit by mail. A week later we received our passports back with official Thai Visas. Another hurdle completed.
And the announcement we all have been eagerly anticipating…our flights are officially booked! We are set to fly out of Chicago on September 3rd. Yes—that soon! The next few weeks will be a new kind of challenge and we covet your prayers immensely. As part of the transition process we are required to quarantine in a hotel in Bangkok for the first two weeks. Between booking our flights and our arrival in Chiang Mai we will all get tested for Covid-19 no less than three times each—not particularly pleasant. Plus, being confined to a hotel room for 14 days straight will be a challenge for all of us. We have a list of activities and ideas to help keep us busy and pass the time well, and we are praying we can all look back at quarantine with fond memories as a family rather than just feeling like caged animals for two weeks.
Fifteen of us in the house together for five months went more smoothly than I think any of us expected. This season with our host family (the Schmoyers) is coming to an end, but we are incredibly grateful for their generosity and hospitality…and for all the fun memories made.
Now that we are launching, we are streamlining two ways for you to be involved:
1. Updates—We have set up a private Facebook group where we can give more in-the-moment updates. While we still intend to keep these monthly newsletters concise, we hope to share a lot more photos on the FB group as we make the transition and settle in. You can request to join that page here: www.facebook.com/groups/deringtonsthailand/
2. Prayer—We have also set up a form where you can choose a single day of the month to commit to on-going, regular prayer for us and the ministry—we hope this makes it sustainable for a long-term commitment. You can go here to sign up: https://forms.gle/6rfY5poG6FQiqYb78
We ask for safety as we spend over 20+ hours in the air as well as energy as we recover from jet-lag.
May we be patient with each other and full of cheerful attitudes and creativity.
Leaving friends and family is hard, but especially complicated during this season of COVID.
Pray that we begin to acclimate well to the culture and our team and that culture shock is minimal.