“Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
Training & Time Away
What a whirlwind the last several weeks have been! We are beyond grateful for the prayers toward our summer training. We started into our X-Track training in mid June, and it felt a little like we were drinking from a [late-night] firehose for almost five weeks straight. We learned a lot—including several things we weren’t aware we didn’t know. Hah! We also felt very challenged and encouraged by the spiritual emphasis classes and our individual and group coaching times. The kids also really enjoyed their curriculum during the training period. We feel very renewed and energized from our training, in spite of the crazy hours.
In the final week of X-Track we intended to head south to an island for a vacation with some friends, but Covid restrictions heightened again, and we had to change plans. So in the 48-hours before our intended departure, we pivoted and booked a stay in the northern most major city of Chiang Rai—not to be confused with Chiang Mai, where we live. Though not a beach setting, the scenery was still gorgeous, and we deeply appreciated the time away as a family as well as a chance to slow down for a week. It was refreshing, especially after the preceding heavy weeks, and we feel ready to head into this next season of preparation for the school year. We will also be diving back into Thai classes now that X-Track is behind us, and we have a little more bandwidth again.
When we first moved into our home we hired a house-helper/language buddy—Pii May—who lives less than five minutes away. Ironically, she had been working for a Thai neighbor by the house we were originally subleasing, but she was no longer needed there, so we interviewed her. She was thrilled to not only have a job, but one that was much closer to her home. She has been helping to care for the kids while I am out of the house for Thai Class and other things. When she started, she spoke zero English—this has definitely been a stretch for us all, but a huge blessing too. All of us have become increasingly comfortable with the language, and slowly are learning more. She has also learned a few English words and phrases herself. She will continue to speak Thai with us, so that we are all stretched to use the language as often as possible, but we definitely have to rely on Google translate at times.
Additionally, as far as she has shared, she is not Buddhist. Please pray we are able to connect more deeply with her as time progresses and that we will have the opportunity to share the gospel in a clear way. It seems she may already be aware of who Jesus is, but with the language barrier, we don’t know just how much she knows yet…but we are excited to have both a captive audience and language helper.
We will be starting off the school year via online learning. Pray for good attitudes and perseverance.
Pray for great retention and stamina as we dive back into our Thai studies.
Pray for meaningful relationships with locals in spite of our limited language ability and C-19 restrictions.