For those of you who have been following our story, you know that this year has been a year of major tragedy, breakthroughs, upheavals, surprises, transitions, heart breaks, realignments, and new assignments.
I wanted to take a moment to catch you up on our story and how it is continuing to unfold this year.
It all started at the beginning of the year at the SEANET conference in Thailand where I met the Global Director for the US Center for World Mission. In our “serendipitous” meeting, God connected our hearts through a very unique and surprising encounter. At this meeting of over two hundred leaders, I led a breakout session called “The Potential of a Church Planting Movement in the Mekong Region.”
On February 9th, we met with a visiting American therapist who did an evaluation on our youngest son. The report showed that he was behind in development. We were prepared to put him in an all English school until we got word that they were not able to receive him at that time. I began to realize that we may need to return home for at least a season to give him the time and care he needed to have the best chance at catching up.
Shortly after this, doors were opened for me to travel to a very unreached area in Thailand to meet with a key Thai leader. Because of discouragement, I didn’t want to go but my wife persisted that I press in. At our meeting, this leader told me that it was a “divine appointment” for him and his network of churches and ministers. This meeting came about through another “divine appointment” with a Thai lady who had lived in America for over twenty years.
We were in consultation with our local leadership back in America and were taking time to pray about the options before us when it came to our son and our future ministry. I was leaning towards returning to the US for a season and my wife was leaning towards staying and utilizing local resources, including speech and occupational therapies which our son had already been receiving.
After a week in watching and prayer, God spoke clearly to my wife, but it was not what we were expecting to hear. He said,
“A storm is coming. But I didn’t bring you here to shipwreck you but to bring you to the other side.”
That very day, February 24th, she was involved in the car accident that critically injured two Thai people; a thirty one year old soldier and his five year old daughter who was not wearing a motorcycle helmet. By his mercy, God raised these two up from near death and saved them.
God also delivered us through this most difficult time of our lives. During this fight, we had received other news from back home that was also devastating to us personally. We decided to take one thing at a time and fight the battles that were right in front of us. By faith and through the prayers and support of many individuals, we were able to sell everything we owned with the exception of a few boxes, move out of Thailand and move on to visit Los Angeles.
During the time of the accident, the man I met at the beginning of the year invited us to come and apply to be on staff at the US Center for World Mission with the Frontier Mission Fellowship. The timing worked out perfect for us to be there for the “Explore” event which is only held a couple times each year. While at the Center God spoke to both me and my wife that this was our new assignment. We came into a agreement and said “Yes” to God before we knew “How?” We were able to find the help we needed for our son as well as continue to stay focused on what God had called our family to do in mission.
While we were at the Center, we heard two words. One was “revitalization” and the other was “intercession.” We didn’t realize that shortly after we left Los Angeles and headed to New Jersey that Lou Engle and his ministry, “The Call,” were coming to the campus of the US Center to fast and pray for forty days. Lou believed that God was speaking to him about raising up a prayer and intercession movement that would go to the nations from the campus of the US Center for World Mission.
I personally have attended three “Call” events since they started; Washington DC, New York, and Nashville. I also believe deeply in the work of the US Center for World Mission and have been affected and shaped by it personally as a missionary. Being one of the younger members on staff, the opportunity was there to bridge the gap between the two groups as well has help the Center bring its rich resources and insight to a new generation while also continuing our focus & work in Thailand and the Buddhist majority world.
On May 28th we arrived in Pasadena. We left on June 9th for New Jersey to visit my wife’s family until the 19th. Jacqueline and the boys stayed longer while I pressed on to Charlotte to begin meeting with our supporters. During this time we also made trips to Atlanta, Durham, Danville, and Virginia Beach. I sent my wife and boys on to Los Angeles on the 21st so they could get into a normalized routine and start school. I then drove down to Atlanta again, to Tuscaloosa, and then to Pensacola to speak at a church that played a key part in forming me into the man I am today. On my return I stopped briefly in Birmingham for a meeting then back to Tuscaloosa for two meetings before another stop in Atlanta and back to Charlotte.
Once I arrived back in Charlotte, I attended our home church’s ten year anniversary. We have been members of the church for over eight years and ordained as ministers for over four of those years. This church selected, trained, sent, and supported our family during our time in Thailand as their missionaries. We are thankful for all they have done, providing the majority of our support for four years.
While we have been on the move, we have been overwhelmed by the kindness and hospitality of many of our friends who have prayed for us and stood with us over the years. It was such a rich blessing to spend time with these people and catch up on their lives, share our hearts with each other, and pray for God’s blessing over each of our lives.
I recently flew to Chicago to meet up with brothers and sisters here and pick up a car that was given to our family. I didn’t realize that my timing in coming to Chicago would coincide with two conferences that would be attended by my co workers at the US Center the very next week. So I concluded that it was the Lord’s timing and decided to stay to attend these two key national mission conferences before driving all the way from Chicago to Pasadena to be reunited with my family.
My wife has settled into a fully furnished apartment home for furloughing missionaries and both of my boys are in school and doing well. Our youngest is already making great progress. Our new community is made up of families from Korea, Brazil, Uganda, Israel, and more! We are surrounded by Asian peoples, particularly over one hundred thousand Thai people in the greater Los Angeles area. We have joined a local area church led by Pastor Che Ahn called HRock Church. My family attends every week. We are committed to the local church, to outreach, and to frontier missions.
We are still in the process of raising our monthly financial and prayer support but we are making great progress despite the reality that our expenses doubled and our support coming into the US had to be built again from the ground up.
Although we are on staff at the US Center, we are still missionaries who must raise 100% of our monthly support through faithful partners like yourself. If you believe in us and God’s hand upon our lives, we welcome your participation in seeing that our story continues for the glory of God and the sake of those waiting on the other side of our obedience.
As a family, we are committed to the ministry call on our lives. Our family comes first, but God in his sovereignty knows how to make both our family and his assignments work best together. It has been said many times to us and still rings true that “the best place you can be is in the center of God’s will.” We don’t always get it right, but we are committed to seeking his will and coming into agreement with it as a family. We are happy to say that this is where we are right now.
God bless you and thanks for taking the time to read this longer than normal update. If you are not familiar with some of the stories I mentioned above, you can scroll through our older posts and read more detailed versions. We would appreciate you adding us to your regular prayer list and considering what the Lord might have you to do personally to partner with us. Thank you.
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