Monday, October 22, 2012

Bangkok or Bust

It didnt really matter that Id had 8 months to prepare for it.
The news still left me speechless and sitting on the kitchen counter holding the phone long after the brief conversation ended.
".....here we go again".

C had just called me with the news.
"Pack your bags honey.  Visas are approved.  We're moving to Thailand".

(Yes.  He's tactful like that! :)

My emotional gage since then has been wilder than a barometer in Oklahoma during tornado season.  My love language is adventure.  Life with this man has not had a dull moment!  There is great appeal in a new opportunity like this.
But the overwhelming details and logistics have bogged me down.
Uncertainty and fear have reared their ugly heads from time to time.
Excitement for our children to have a worldview shaped by the experience of living in another country.
Sadness at the thought of leaving those nearest and dearest to us.
Joy that He has seen fit to send us.
Concern for how our kids will adapt.
Elation that the climate is warm there.
Uncomfortable with the thought of moving these country-bumpkin, wildlife-lovin' kids to the city.
Disappointment that Evies Wish Trip will be put on hold.
Feeling utterly overwhelmed at the thought of homeschooling the kids in a foreign country.
Stress at the thought of packing up our life....our home...our memories.
But then there has been this overshaddowing of peace.
Peace!!....that where He leads us, I know He has gone before and prepared the way!

God directing our family to move to Ukraine in 2003 began one of the hardest chapters of my life.  And yet looking back, there is no doubt in my mind that it was His leading that prompted us.  Coming back "oh a whim" to birth Evie in 2008 was most evidently again His divine plan to protect and preserve her life.  Our heart ever since our abrupt return from the mission field has been to return at some point if God opened the door.

With full, heavy and anticipatory hearts, we are sharing the news that that time is now!

Last January, C was invited through an organization in Bangkok, to apply for religious visas for our family to get into the country.
Because of C's extensive travel to Europe, Africa, India and Asia, it makes sense for us to base somewhere that he can cut out frequent trans-Atlantic flights.  Basing in Asia will allow him to more frequently engage the leaders he is training and churches he is working with.
And it means he wont have 2-3 week trips anymore.  Just shorter more frequent ones....which makes us happy!!  Having 'daddy' gone for such long intervals takes a toll!

While applying for visas, we knew approval for all 8 of us was unlikely, so it was 'easy' to say we'd be willing to go if the visas came through.
Ill be honest here....I didnt really think they would.
But it was our "fleece" before the Lord.  If it came through, we'd take that as clarity that we were supposed to pursue this.

Funny how God does that....testing our faith.
Funny how quickly we "take it back" when He comes through on something we think is "impossible":)
Funny how patient He is with us!

I can so keenly sense the hand of our Heavenly Father leading and directing as I look back on faith-building situations in past years.  Our brush with walking 'through the valley of the shadow of death' with Evie....and in recent years, sensing His allowing us to 'dwell in green pastures'.  His hand has been steadfast through it all!  Our time here in SC has been a gift.  A "recharge".  Preparation for the next thing.
And as scary as this is for me, there is no where Id rather be (and no where safer) than in the center of His will for our family.

We have 2 months!!  Our visas will require a fast approaching departure date.

Friends, I share this to ask if you will again lift up our family.  This blog has been a source of such encouragement and support and relationships established through it have been invaluable.  We covet your prayers for us as we step out.  This can not be done in any effort of our own.  We are asking the Lord for provision (physical, emotional, spiritual) as we seek to walk in obedience to Him and would so appreciate your prayers in the exhausting and exciting process these next two months will be as we uproot and relocate.
Claiming this promise from Isaiah 55:12
"You will go out with joy and be led forth with peace"



10 comments:

Astrid said...

Oh Mandy! I am, and ofcourse me and Jo, will be praying for all of you! We are currently toying with the idea of moving to Canada, and even that scares me because this is where I have lived my whole married life, and where my children have grown up and built relationships with some wonderful little friends! Seems silly in comparison to your adventure.
Praying for peace for you and the family, and for an easy transition for you and your children. You are right! What an amazing opportunity for your children to experience a different culture as well! So many wonderful things. I know it's so tough to put aside our own anxieties and uncertainties, so I will pray especially for this! Take care!!

Lara said...

Oh, my sweet friend! At this moment, I'm so grateful for your blog & Facebook so that we can keep in touch! What an adventure God has planned for you! Knowing you has eased my heart about my kids' journey to the mission field. It helps so much to know that you've experienced what they will be experiencing in the next few years and that God watches over you. I will so miss bumping into you in random places around Irmo!
We will be praying for your move and all the little details that are involved, and for your continued adventures while serving Jesus! Much love!

Donna said...

What an adventure, all right! So glad you can see the hand of the Lord in this. I'm sure it will go well and that He will protect you in this journey.
I'm on a different journey (cancer) and again, even here, I can see His hand.

Prayers will go up for you and your family Mandy!!

Rebecca Manor said...

Oh my! Wow. It's amazing when the Lord opens doors and makes his will so apparent. And although I know this will have its challenges, you're right, being in his will is the only place to be. You will be in my prayers!
Lots of love,
Becca

anne said...

Mandy, the gracious and beautiful spirit God has given you is lovely to witness :)

Stacey Locantore said...

Mandy, the short time I have known you, and talked to you, and read about each of your children has been one that I am happy to have experienced. I know the hand of God is with you and your family as you take on "his" new mission for you. Prayers for you and your family as you begin on this incredible journey!

Crystal... said...

Oh my dear friend!! Prayers for you and your amazing family! WOW! What an amazing adventure you guys are on. Thanks for sharing and keep us posted!!!! HUGS!!!!!!!!

Laurie said...

You are seriously one of the most amazing woman I have never met! Your Godly attitude is always such an inspiration to me! Prayers will be with your family as you follow God's will for your life! I sure hope I can meet you in person someday!

Rachel C said...

I'll be praying for you and hopefully following your journey through your blog. I'm so excited for you!

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